August 2015 Bulletin
We are happy to share with you the eighth issue of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) newsletter (August 2015). The past editions of the newsletter can be accessed at http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.
Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing a project on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here. The project on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India got over and the compilation has been printed.
NVDA and eSpeak
- August 2015 Report (Suman Dogra; July 31, 2015).
- Training in eSpeak Marathi (Organized by NVDA team; National Association for the Blind; Nashik; June 22 - 23, 2015). The workshop was held in the month of June but the report got published later in August.
- Training in eSpeak Hindi (Organized by NVDA team; Jeevan Jyoti School for the Blind; Varanasi; August 26 - 28, 2015).
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.
- Methodology: Patent Landscaping in the Indian Mobile Device Market (Rohini Lakshané; November 10, 2014). This blog post published last year has been recently updated.
- Comparative Transparency Review of Collective Management Organisations in India, United Kingdom and the United States (Maggie Huang, Arpita Sengupta and Paavni Anand; August 1, 2015).
Other (Copyright and Patent)
- CCI Participation at the Upcoming 3rd International Conference on IPR and Competition (Amulya Purushothama; August 5, 2015). CIS wrote to the Competition Commission of India Chairman on August 5, 2015 about participation at a conference organised by Ericsson and concerns regarding conflict of interest. We also had several other NGOs sign on to the letter.
- MHRD IPR Chair Series: Introduction (Amulya Purushothama; August 10, 2015). Aditya Garg assisted in research and writing.
- National IPR Policy Series: What Have the Sectoral Innovation Councils Been Doing on IPR (Nehaa Chaudhari and Varun Baliga; August 13, 2015). Amulya Purushothama assisted with research and writing.
- Competition Commission of India chariman's participation in Assocham conference raises conflict of interests (Rema Nagarajan; The Times of India; August 6, 2015).
- Assocham event sparks row over conflict of interest by CCI (Dilasha Seth and Deepak Patel; Business Standard; August 6, 2015).
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).
- Odia Wikisource has a new Wikisourcer, and he is the youngest in the Odia Wikimedia community! (Subhashish Panigrahi; August 21, 2015).
- Annamaya Library edit-a-thon (Organized by CIS-A2K and Telugu Wikipedia Community; August 6, 2015; Andhra Loyola College; Vijaywada).
- International Workshop on Digitization and Archiving (Organized by CIS-A2K and Wikipedia Community; August 19 - 21, 2015). Rahmanuddin Shaik was one of the trainers.
Participation in Events
- Workshop on digital collaborations in Tamil-language, Tamil Virtual Chennai (Organized by Tamil Virtual University, Anna University Campus, Chennai; August 8 - 9, 2015). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja atttended this event.
- Open Innovation, entrepreneurship, and our digital future (Organized by iSpirit; Bangalore; August 13, 2015). Rohini Lakshané attended the event. Rohini wrote a report on this .
CIS gave its inputs to the following:
- Telugu Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at ALC (Eenadu; August 6, 2015)
- Telugu Wiki Edit-a-thon in ALC (Eenadu; August 6, 2015)
- Rare Telugu religious and historical work preserved at Annamacharya library to come on Wikisource! (The Hans India; August 7, 2015).
- ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಪ್ರಗತಿಯಿಂದ ದೇಶದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಪ್ರಗತಿ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. (Mangalorean.com; August 13, 2015).
- ವಿಕಿಪಿಡಿಯ ಮುಕ್ತವಾಗಿ ಬಳಸಿ: ಡಾ.ಪವನಜ (Karavali Karnataka; August 14, 2015).
- ಬೆಳ್ತಂಗಡಿ:ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೂ ಲಭ್ಯ ಇರುವ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಹಾಗೂ ಮುಕ್ತ ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯಾ-ಪವನಜ (SahilOnline; August 14, 2015).
- Talamaddale on August 23 (Hindu; August 16, 2015).
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 International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on studying the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government.
- Security: Privacy, Transparency and Technology (Sunil Abraham, Elonnai Hickok and Tarun Krishnakumar; Observer Research Foundation, Digital Debates 2015: CyFy Journal Volume 2 ; August 19, 2015).
- CIS Comments and Recommendations to the Human DNA Profiling Bill, June 2015 (Elonnai Hickok, Vipul Kharbanda and Vanya Rakesh; August 27, 2015).
- Policy Paper on Surveillance in India (Vipul Kharbanda; August 3, 2015).
- Comparison of the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012 with: CIS recommendations, Sub-Committee Recommendations, Expert Committee Recommendations, and the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 (Elonnai Hickok; August 10, 2015).
- Right to Privacy in Peril (Vipul Kharbanda; August 13, 2015).
- Responsible Data Forum: Discussion on the Risks and Mitigations of releasing Data (Vanya Rakesh; August 26, 2015).
- Are we Throwing our Data Protection Regimes under the Bus? (Elonnai Hickok and Rohan George; August 29, 2015).
- Supreme Court Order is a Good Start, but is Seeding Necessary? (Elonnai Hickok and Rohan George; August 29, 2015).
- Big Data and the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules 2011 (Elonnai Hickok; August 11, 2015).
- A Review of the Policy Debate around Big Data and Internet of Things (Elonnai Hickok; August 17, 2015).
Participation in Event
- The Changing Landscape of ICT Governance and Practice - Convergence and Big Data (Co-organized by Innovation Center for Big Data and Digital Convergence, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan; August 24 - 25, 2015). Sharat Chandra Ram was granted the Young Scholar Award 2015 to attend theYoung Scholar Workshop followed by main CPRSouth2015 conference (Communication Policy Research South) conference.
Free Speech and Expression
- CIS submission to the UNGA WSIS+10 Review (Jyoti Panday; August 9, 2015),
- Bangalore Chapter Meet of DSCI (Co-organized by DSCI and CIS; September 26, 2015). Melissa Hathaway, Commissioner, Global Commission for Internet Governance and Sunil Abraham will be speaking at this event.
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:
- Those Dropped Calls (Shyam Ponappa; Business Standard; August 5, 2015 and Organizing India Blogspot; August 6, 2015).
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by contemporary concerns to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It is interested in producing local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:
- Digital Activism in Asia Reader (edited by Nishant Shah, P.P. Sneha, and Sumandro Chattapadhyay, with support from Anirudh Sridhar, Denisse Albornoz, and Verena Getahun; August 8, 2015).
- Civil Society Organisations and Internet Governance in Asia - Open Review (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; Asia Internet History Vol. 3, edited by Prof. Kilnam Chon). Comments are invited.
- Civil Society Organisations and Internet Governance in India - Open Review (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; Asia Internet History Vol. 3, edited by Prof. Kilnam Chon). Comments are invited.
Accepted Paper Abstract
- Studying the Emerging Database State in India: Notes for Critical Data Studies (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; August 2, 2015). The paper has been provisionally accepted.
- Mock-Calling - Ironies of Outsourcing and the Aspirations of an Individual (Sreedeep; August 6, 2015).
- Governing Speech on the Internet: From the Free Marketplace Policy to a Controlled 'Public Sphere' (Smarika Kumar; August 28, 2015).
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- Why the DNA Bill is open to misuse: Sunil Abraham (Kanika Datta; Business Standard; August 1, 2015)
- Porn ban: People will soon learn to circumvent ISPs and govt orders, expert says (Karthikeyan Hemalatha; The Times of India; August 2, 2015).
- Indian government orders ISPs to block 857 porn websites (John Ribeiro; IDG News and PC World; August 2, 2015)
- India blocks access to 857 porn sites (BBC; August 3, 2015).
- India launches crackdown on online porn (James Crabtree; Financial Times; August 3, 2015).
- Proxies and VPNs: Why govt can't ban porn websites? (Siladitya Ray; August 3, 2015; Hindustan Times)
- Nanny state rules porn bad for you (Anahita Mukherji; The Times of India; August 4, 2015).
- Ban on pornography temporary, says government (Business Standard; August 4, 2015)
- Porn block in India sparks outrage (Australian; August 5, 2015).
- Indian Porn Ban is Partially Lifted But Sites Remain Blocked (Sean Mclain; Wall Street Journal; August 5, 2015)
- Genetic Profiling: Is it all in the DNA? (Ullekh N.P.; The Open Magazine; August 7, 2015)
- India partially lifts Porn Ban? (Nazhat Khan; DESI blitz; August 7, 2015)
- Net Neutrality: India is a Key Battleground (Abeer Kapoor; Hardnews; August 10, 2015)
- Stats from 2014 reveal horror of scrapped section 66A of IT Act (Aloke Tikku; Hindustan Times; August 20, 2015).
- The seedy underbelly of revenge porn (Sandhya Soman; The Times of India; August 23, 2015).
- The new tattler in town (P. Anima; Hindu Businessline; August 28, 2015).
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 mediation and reconfiguration of social and cultural processes and structures by the internet and digital media technologies.
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► 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 [email protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (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, Access to Knowledge, 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.