December 2014 Bulletin
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) wishes you a very happy new year and welcomes you to the twelfth issue of the newsletter (December 2014).
- CIS prepared a policy brief that identifies the problem areas with the current work flow being used to publish documents and proposes suitable modifications to make them easy to locate, authentic and accessible.
- NVDA team conducted two workshops. The first one was held at the Hyderabad Central University for reading and writing in Telugu. The second one was held at the Blind Empowerment Foundation in Kolkata for reading and writing in Bangla.
- Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the 29th WIPO-SCCR held in Geneva from December 8 to 12, 2014 and on behalf of CIS gave statements on the Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations , Limitations and Exceptions for Education, Teaching, Research Institutions and Persons with Disabilities , made a brief pointed intervention on the Broadcast Treaty , and briefly interviewed Prof. Crews on his Updated Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives .
- Nehaa Chaudhari analyses the broadening of definitions/concepts in the Proposed Broadcast Treaty versus those in pre-existing international instruments.
- Maggie Huang, an intern at CIS as part of the Pervasive Technologies projects conducted interviews with fabless semiconductor industry professionals in Taiwan. The findings are highlighted in two separate blog entries. The first one explores some of their views on the current intellectual property system and the second explores the tension between market forces and governmental intervention in providing access to mobile technology .
- Tejaswini Niranjana, a distinguished fellow at CIS wrote an op-ed in the Hindu telling readers to see the ongoing Sanskrit versus German controversy as a welcome opportunity to discuss the real and persistent problems of our education system.
- Vidushi Marda and Bhairav Acharya have co-authored a white paper that seeks to identify aspects of privacy in Islamic Law and demonstrate that the notion of privacy was recognized and protected in traditional Islamic law.
- Ashna Ashesh and Bhairav Acharya have produced a white paper seeks to locate privacy in Classical Hindu Law, and by doing so, displace the notion that privacy is an inherently 'Western' concept that is the product of a modernist legal system.
- Vipul Kharbanda authored a white paper establishing the relationship between privacy and confidentiality.
- Geetha Hariharan in a blog entry examines the constitutional validity of Section 69A and the Blocking Rules.
- Shyam Ponappa in an article published by the Business Standard writes that India's current policies for telecommunications don't serve our interests and tells readers what must change.
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 publication has been finalised and is being printed. 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
- December 2014 Report (Suman Dogra; December 30, 2014).
- Telugu eSpeak Training with NVDA (Organized by NVDA team; Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad; December 1-2, 2014).
- Bangla eSpeak training with NVDA (Organized by NVDA team; Blind Empowerment Foundation, Kolkata; December 19-20, 2014).
- Training in Use of eSpeak with Malayalam (Co-organized by CIS, DAISY Forum of India and Chakshumathi Assistive Technology Centre; Trivandrum; January 24 - 25, 2015, Trivandrum).
- Availability and Accessibility of Government Information in Public Domain (Sunil Abraham, Nirmita Narasimhan, Beliappa, and Anandhi Viswanathan; December 9, 2014).
Participation in Event
- First meeting of the high level committee on National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility (Organized by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology; December 30, 2014; New Delhi). Sunil Abraham participated in this meeting.
- When technology is able but the mindset is not (Governance Now; December 1-15 issue). Sunil Abraham and Nirmita Narasimhan gave their inputs.
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.
As part of the Pervasive Technologies project, Maggie Huang conducted interviews with fabless semiconductor industry professionals in Taiwan. The findings from the samples are highlighted in four part series. The third and fourth parts have been published:
- [Open] Innovation and Expertise > Patent Protection & Trolls in a Broken Patent Regime (Maggie Huang; December 26, 2014).
- "Copyright Management in the Age of Mobile Music" - Living Methodology Document (Maggie Huang; December 26, 2014).
Nehaa Chaudhari attended the 29th WIPO-SCCR held in Geneva from December 8 to 12. The following are the outputs:
- 29th Session of the WIPO SCCR: CIS Intervention on the Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 9, 2014).
- 29th Session of the WIPO SCCR: CIS- 2nd (brief) Intervention on the Broadcast Treaty (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 11, 2014).
- The Broadening of Definitions in the Proposed Broadcast Treaty Compared to Other International Conventions (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 11, 2014).
- 29th Session of the WIPO SCCR: CIS Intervention: Questions to Prof. Kenneth Crews on his Updated Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 14, 2014).
- 29th Session of the WIPO SCCR: Statement on the Limitations and Exceptions for Education, Teaching, Research Institutions and Persons with Disabilities (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 20, 2014).
- Protection of Broadcasting Organisations under the Proposed Treaty as Compared to Other International Conventions (Nehaa Chaudhari; December 21, 2014).
Participation in Event
- Save the Date - 10 December 2014: The Broadcasting Treaty: A Solution in Search of a Problem? (Organized at WIPO; December 10, 2014). Nehaa Chaudhari was a speaker at this side event. The details were originally published by Knowledge Ecology International.
- SCCR 29: Public Interest Organizations Statements regarding the Broadcasting Treaty (Knowledge Ecology International; December 9, 2014).
- SCCR 29 Libraries, Archives and Public Interest NGOs in Q&A with Dr. Crews (Knowledge Ecology International; December 11, 2014).
- At WIPO, Study On Copyright Exceptions Stimulates Broad Discussion With Author (Catherine Saez; December 18, 2014).
- WIPO Delegates Hear Concerns of NGOs on Exceptions for Libraries (Catherine Saez; IP Watch ; December 19, 2014).
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).
- Beyond the Language Tussle (Tejaswini Niranjana; The Samaja, November 17, 2014).
- Odia Wikisource campus project at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (Subhashish Panigrahi; December 3, 2014).
- Several Publications Now Available under Creative Commons License (Subhashish Panigrahi; December 28, 2014).
- Odia Wikisource workshop at New Delhi (Subhashish Panigrahi; December 30, 2014). The event was organized by CIS in collaboration with "The Intellects" on December 14.
News and Media Coverage
CIS-A2K team gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- Odia Wikipedia (Dhatri; December 1, 2014).
- Odia Wikipedia (Odiapua; December 1, 2014).
- Access to Rare Books Made Easy (Diana Sahu; Indian Express; December 5, 2014).
- Tulu Wikipedia gets some push (Hindu Businessline; December 13, 2014).
- Tulu Wikipedia (Kannada Prabha; December 14, 2014).
- Tulu Wikipedia (Vijaya Karnataka; December 15, 2014).
- Tulu Wikipedia (VijayaVani; December 27, 2014).
- Works of Veerasalingam Pantulu on web (Hans India; December 31, 2014).
- Wiki Winter Camp - Coverage in Sakshi (Sakshi; December 31, 2014).
- Wiki Winter Camp - Coverage in Eenadu (Eenadu; December 31, 2014).
- Odia Wikisource Sabha 2014 (Co-organized by CIS-A2K and Odia Wikimedia Community; November 28, 2014). Subhashish Panigrahi participated in the event.
Participation in Events
- ICT for Development (Organized by Christ University; December 3, 2014). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja was a speaker at this event.
- Swatantra 2014: Fifth International Free Software Conference, Kerala (Organized by ICFOSS, Govt. of Kerala; Hotel Hycinth by Sparsa, Trivandrum; December 18 - 20, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan chaired a session on Wikimedia and Access to Knowledge in India and Rahimanuddin Shaik co-presented on Making DLI Accessible.
- Department of Science and Technology & Department of Biotechnology adopt Open Access Policy (Anubha Sinha; December 29, 2014).
Participation in Events
- Tech for Citizen Engagement 2014 (Organized by Omidyar Network; New Delhi; December 11, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a speaker in the session "Rules of Engagement: Emerging Trends in Citizen Outreach".
- Swatantra 2014: Fifth International Free Software Conference, Kerala (Organized by ICFOSS, Govt. of Kerala; Hotel Hycinth by Sparsa, Trivandrum; December 18 - 20, 2014). Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam was a speaker and made a presentation on Open Science.
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. During the month we published the following blog entries:
- Locating Constructs of Privacy within Classical Hindu Law (Ashna Ashesh and Bhairav Acharya; December 29, 2014).
- Relationship between Privacy and Confidentiality (Vipul Kharbanda; December 30, 2014).
- Identifying Aspects of Privacy in Islamic Law (Vidushi Marda and Bhairav Acharya; December 14, 2014).
- Security, Governments, and Data: Technology and Policy (Co-organized by CIS and the Observer Research Foundation; January 8, 2015; New Delhi).
- CPDP 2015 : The eighth international conference on computers, privacy and data protection will be held in Brussels from January 21 to 23, 2015. CIS is a moral supporter of CPDP.
- Security and Surveillance: A public discussion on Optimizing Security while Safeguarding Human Rights (CIS; December 19, 2014).
Under a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, CIS is doing research on the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government and contribute studies, reports and policy briefs to feed into the ongoing debates at the national as well as international level. As part of the project we bring you the following outputs:
- ICANN reveals hitherto undisclosed details of domain names revenues (Geetha Hariharan; December 8, 2014).
- Revolving Door Analysis: IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (Lakshmi Venkataraman; December 10, 2014).
- Is India's website-blocking law constitutional? - I. Law & procedure (Geetha Hariharan; December 11, 2014).
Participation in Event
- National Seminar on Cyber Security & Cyber Laws - Issues and Concerns (Organized by the Advanced Centre for Research, Development & Training in Cyber Laws & Forensics; National Law School of India University, Bangalore; December 27 - 28, 2014). Sharath Chandra Ram was part of a plenary session on "Multi-Disciplinary Challenges in Ensuring Cyber Security".
- Overview of the Constitutional Challenges to the IT Act (Pranesh Prakash; December 15, 2014).
- Reply to RTI filed with BSNL regarding Network Neutrality and Throttling (Tarun Krishnakumar; December 22, 2014).
News & Media Coverage
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- India sees biggest improvement in Internet freedom, says report (Moulishree Srivastava; Livemint; December 5, 2014).
- Are Cab Apps safe? (IBN Live; December 8, 2014).
- FrndiNeed; an app for passengers' safety (Athira A. Nair; Economic Times; December 10, 2014).
- Thank You To Our 2014 Sponsors (Medianama; December 22, 2014).
- Why did India fail to discover the ISIS Twitter handle? (Anita Babu; Business Standard; December 26, 2014).
- Targeting surveillance (Ajai Sreevatsan; The Hindu; December 28, 2014).
- Centre blocks 32 websites for security reasons, restores some later (S. Ronendra Singh; Hindu Businessline; December 31, 2014).
- DoT Reportedly Orders Blocking of 32 Websites Including GitHub, Archive.org, SourceForge (NDTV; December 31, 2014).
- Govt blocks 32 websites, including Vimeo and Github (Moulishree Srivastava; Livemint; December 31, 2014).
- Vimeo, DailyMotion, Pastebin Among Sites Blocked In India For 'Anti-India' Content From ISIS (Jeff Stone; IB Times; December 31, 2014).
- Pastebin, Dailymotion, Github blocked after DoT order: Report (Anupam Saxena; The Times of India; December 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:
- A Road Map for Digital India (Shyam Ponappa; Business Standard; December 3, 2014 and Organizing India Blogspot; December 4, 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:
- The Spaces of Digital (P.P.Sneha; December 30, 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.
► Follow us elsewhere
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CISA2K
- Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/cisa2k
- Visit us at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge
- E-mail: [email protected]
► Support Us
Please help us defend consumer / 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, 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] 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.