Centre for Internet & Society

Welcome to the CIS newsletter for April 2016. The key issues we worked on this month included the Aadhaar Act 2016, Standard Essential Patents, cyber security of smart grids, and involvement of international agencies in the smart cities project in India.

Early last year, thanks to the fund raising efforts of a friend of CIS - Suhail Kazi, we received Rs. 1.9 lakhs as donations from 19 individuals. In January this year, we set up an online giving feature on our website which would ease the donation process, but we haven’t got a single donation so far! This could be because many of you may be under a false impression that CIS is very wealthy and does not need more support. Unfortunately, this is no longer true. Today, we are unable to find a single donor who is interested in our Accessibility, Telecom, or RAW programmes. In other words, we need your support. Would you to consider making a small donation to CIS? Click here to donate.

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.


Highlights

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CIS in the News
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CIS gave inputs to the following media coverage:

 

CIS members wrote the following pieces:

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Accessibility & Inclusion
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India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities, we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

►NVDA and eSpeak

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Access to Knowledge
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Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is under a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, is for the growth of Indic language communities and projects by designing community collaborations and partnerships that recruit and cultivate new editors and explore innovative approaches to building projects.

►Pervasive Technologies

Comments

Blog Entries

Participation in Events

►Wikipedia

As part of the project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation we have reached out to more than 3500 people across India by organizing more than 100 outreach events and catalysed the release of encyclopaedic and other content under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-3.0) license in four Indian languages (21 books in Telugu, 13 in Odia, 4 volumes of encyclopaedia in Konkani and 6 volumes in Kannada, and 1 book on Odia language history in English).

Work Plan

  • CIS - A2K Work Plan: July 2016 - June 2017 (CIS-A2K Team; April 2, 2016): We have revised the work plan template taking into account the changed proposal plan sent out by WMF and in light of the feedback that we have received from FDC assessment during last proposal application. The FDC feedback is taken into account at the level of design, RoI and ensuring quality for all our activities.

Article

Media Coverage

Event Organized

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Openness
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Our work in the Openness programme focuses on open data, especially open government data, open access, open education resources, open knowledge in Indic languages, open media, and open technologies and standards - hardware and software. We approach openness as a cross-cutting principle for knowledge production and distribution, and not as a thing-in-itself.
 
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Internet Governance
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As part of its research on privacy and free speech, CIS is engaged with two different projects. The first one (under a grant from Privacy International and IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.
 

►Cyber Security

►Big Data

Blog Entry

►Privacy

Blog Entries
Articles

Participation in Events

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Telecom
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CIS is involved in promoting access and accessibility to telecommunications services and resources, and has provided inputs to ongoing policy discussions and consultation papers published by TRAI. It has prepared reports on unlicensed spectrum and accessibility of mobile phones for persons with disabilities and also works with the USOF to include funding projects for persons with disabilities in its mandate:
Article
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Researchers at Work
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The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by an emerging need to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It aims to produce local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:

Article

Announcement

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    About CIS
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    The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with diverse abilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.

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    ► Support Us

    Please help us defend consumer and citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of 'The Centre for Internet and Society' and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru - 5600 71.
     

    ► Request for Collaboration

    We invite researchers, practitioners, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at sunil@cis-india.org (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at sumandro@cis-india.org (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, at tanveer@cis-india.org.
     
    CIS is grateful to its primary donor the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.