August 2014 Bulletin
Eighth issue of the newsletter (August 2014) below:
We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcome you to the eighth issue of the newsletter (August 2014). Archives of our newsletters can be accessed at: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters
- CIS published a policy guide on Privacy in Healthcare that seeks to understand the legal regulations governing data flow in the health sector - particularly hospitals, and how these regulations are implemented.
- Nehaa Chaudhari wrote two articles on the Karnataka Goondas Act in Spicy IP. The first one is an overview on the various provisions of the law and discusses the potential impact of the amendment . The second one is a note on legislative competence .
- Andhra Loyola College and CIS entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to steward the growth of Telugu Wikipedia and to make available free knowledge in Telugu to all Telugus across the globe.
- In July 2014, the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Science, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India released a draft Open Access Policy. CIS participated in discussions along with experts brought on board by the Drafting Committee to develop and review the open access policy. As a follow-up, CIS prepared comments to the draft Policy .
- Anandini K. Rathore wrote a report on the second privacy and surveillance roundtable held in New Delhi at the India International Centre on July 4, 2014.
- As part of its project on mapping cyber security experts in Asia with funding from Citizen's Lab, CIS interviewed Tibetan monkGyanak Tsering and Saumil Shah, security expert.
- Published a white paper on content removal best practices and put it up for feedback. The draft paper has been created to frame the discussion towards the creation of a set of principles for intermediary liability in consultation with groups of Internet-focused NGOs and the academic community.
- Shyam Ponappa's monthly column Transformation, or Drift? published in Business Standard and Organizing India Blogspot was mirrored on the CIS website.
- P.P. Sneha blogged on the emergence of the phenomenon of the alt-academy in the West and the nuances and possibilities of such a space in the Indian context .
Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing two projects. The first project is on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India. CIS in partnership with CLPR (Centre for Law and Policy Research) compiled the National Compendium of Policies, Programmes and Schemes for Persons with Disabilities (29 states and 6 union territories). The updated draft is being reviewed by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. The draft chapters and the quarterly reports can be accessed on the project page. The second project is on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.
NVDA and eSpeak
Participation in Event
As part of the Access to Knowledge programme we are doing two projects. The first one (Pervasive Technologies) under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is for research on the complex interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property to support intellectual property norms that encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The second one (Wikipedia) 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.
- Comments on the Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science Open Access Policy (by Anubha Sinha, August 22, 2014).
- Connecting the Next Two Billion: The Role of FOSS (organized by ICFOSS, Noida, August 4, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a speaker at this workshop held as part of the APrIGF.
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).
- Andhra Loyola College and the Centre for Internet & Society sign MoU for Better Net Access (by Rahmanuddin Shaik, August 19, 2014): Ten theosophical books authored by Rev. Fr. P. Jojaiah, SJ were released under free license (CC-BY-SA-4.0); For the first time an educational institution in the state of Andhra Pradesh is signing an MoU with CIS-A2K to work collaboratively to qualitatively improve Telugu Wikipedia; ALC faculty and students will create free e-content in Telugu on Telugu Wikipedia; Digital content from the fields of Botany, Physics, Chemistry, Telugu, Statistics, Ethics and Religion, Music and Dance will be produced on Telugu Wikipedia.
News and Media Coverage
CIS-A2K team gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
Participation in Event
- Konkani Global Enclave (organized by Jagotik Konknni Songhotton, Kalaangann, Shaktinagar, August 24, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan participated in the event.
As part of our Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development (SAFEGUARD) project with Privacy International we are engaged in enhancing respect for the right to privacy in developing countries. We have produced the following outputs during the month:
- Second Privacy and Surveillance Roundtable (by Anandini K Rathore, August 6, 2014).
- Surat's Massive Surveillance Network Should Cause Concern, Not Celebration (by Joe Sheehan, August 3, 2014).
- Learning to Forget the ECJ's Decision on the Right to be Forgotten and its Implications (by Divij Joshi, August 14, 2014).
Participation in Events
- Learning Event - The Internet and Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (organized by the International Development Research Centre and Association for Progressive Communications, August 8 - 10, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a remote participant.
- Understanding Surveillance and Privacy in India (organized by Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, August 28, 2014). Bhairav Acharya delivered a lecture.
As part of our project on Freedom of Expression (funded through a grant from the MacArthur Foundation) to study the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government and contribute to the debates around Internet governance and freedom of expression at forums like ICANN, ITU, IGF, WSIS, etc., we bring you the following outputs:
- Zero Draft of Content Removal Best Practices White Paper (by Jyoti Panday, August 31, 2014).
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- 'I'm going to ruin you, dear' (by Prasun Chaudhuri with additional reporting by Varuna Verma in Bangalore, August 3, 2014).
- We the goondas (by Shyam Prasad, Bangalore Mirror, August 4, 2014).
- Sunil Abraham | The online warrior (by Anirban Sen, Livemint, August 9, 2014).
- Dot Bharat domain to roll out on August 21 (originally published by IANS and mirrored in FirstPost, August 19, 2014).
- The Uncertain Future of India's Plan to Biometrically Identify Everyone (by Jessica Mckenzie, TechPresident, August 28, 2014).
- Will domain dot भारत spur the growth of Indian languages on the internet? (by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan, August 29, 2014).
- SC seeks govt reply on PIL challenging powers of IT Act (by Shreeja Sen, Livemint, August 30, 2014).
As part of its project on mapping cyber security actors in South Asia and South East Asia with the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, CIS conducted 2 new interviews. With this it has finished a total of 21 interviews:
- Saumil Shah (August 30, 2014).
- Gyanak Tsering (August 31, 2014).
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:
- Transformation, or Drift? (by Shyam Ponappa, Business Standard, August 6, 2014 and Organizing India Blogspot, August 7, 2014).
- "OTTs Eating Into Our Revenue": Telcos in India (by Geetha Hariharan, August 7, 2014).
CIS is building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. The Digital will be used as a way of unpacking the debates in humanities and social sciences and look at the new frameworks, concepts and ideas that emerge in our engagement with the digital. The clusters aim to produce and document new conversations and debates that shape the contours of Digital Humanities in Asia:
- Digital Humanities and the Alt-Academy (by P.P. Sneha, August 19, 2014).
The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.
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► Request for Collaboration:
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at[email protected] or Nishant Shah, Director - Research, at [email protected]. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at [email protected].
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.