February 2011 Bulletin
Greetings from the Centre for Internet and Society! In this issue we are pleased to present you the latest updates about our research, upcoming events, and news and media coverage:
RAW is a multidisciplinary research initiative. CIS believes that in order to understand the contemporary concerns in the field of Internet and society, it is necessary to produce local and contextual accounts of the interaction between the Internet and socio-cultural and geo-political structures. To build original research knowledge base, the RAW programme has been collaborating with different organisations and individuals to focus on its three year thematic of Histories of the Internets in India. Monographs finalised from these projects have been published online for public review:
CIS has interest in developing Digital Identities as a core research area and looks at practices, policies and scholarships in the field to explore relationships between Internet, technology and identity. The Digital Natives project is funded by Hivos, Netherlands. CIS involvement has resulted into these:
Columns on Digital Natives
A fortnightly column on ‘Digital Natives’ authored by Nishant Shah is featured in the Sunday Eye, the national edition of Indian Express, Delhi, from 19 September 2010 onwards. The following articles were published in the Indian Express recently:
- Pull the Plug [published in the Indian Express on February 20, 2011]
- A FLASH of Change [published in the Indian Express on February 6, 2011]
- Wiki changes the world [published in the Indian Express on January 23, 2011]
The third and final workshop in the Digital Natives with a Cause? research project took place in Santiago, Chile, from 8 to 10 February 2011. Samuel Tettner wrote a report about the workshop:
Blog Entries by Maesey Angelina
Maesy Angelina is doing Masters on International Development, specializing in Children and Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She is working on her research on the activism of digital natives under the Hivos-CIS Digital Natives Knowledge Programme. She spent a month at CIS, working on her dissertation, exploring the Blank Noise Project under the Digital Natives with a Cause? framework. She writes a series of blog entries. The new ones are:
Blog Entry by Samuel Tettner
Samuel Tettner is a Coordinator in the Digital Natives project. He has written one blog entry:
Estimates of the percentage of the world's population that is disabled vary considerably. But what is certain is that if we count functional disability, then a large proportion of the world's population is disabled in one way or another. At CIS we work to ensure that the digital technologies, which empower disabled people and provide them with independence, are allowed to do so in practice and by the law. To this end, we support web accessibility guidelines, and change in copyright laws that currently disempower the persons with disabilities.
New Blog Entry
- The Working Draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010: Does it exceed its Mandate in Including Provisions Relating to Other Disability Legislations?
CIS believes that access to knowledge and culture is essential as it promotes creativity and innovation and bridges the gaps between the developed and developing world positively. Hence, the campaigns for an international treaty on copyright exceptions for print-impaired, advocating against PUPFIP Bill, calls for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty to be restricted to broadcast, questioning the demonization of 'pirates', and supporting endeavours that explore and question the current copyright regime. Our latest endeavour has resulted into these:
New Blog Entries
- Exhaustion: Imports, Exports and the Doctrine of First Sale in Indian Copyright Law
- Thomas Abraham's Rebuttal on Parallel Importation
- Indian Law and "Parallel Exports"
- Why Parallel Importation of Books Should Be Allowed
CIS believes that innovation and creativity should be fostered through openness and collaboration and is committed towards promotion of open standards, open access, and free/libre/open source software, its latest involvement have yielded these results:
New Blog Entries
- Engaging on the Digital Commons
- CIS Comments on the Interoperability Framework for e-Governance (Phase I)
- Withdrawal of Journal Access is a Wake-up Call for Researchers in the Developing World
Although there may not be one centralised authority that rules the Internet, the Internet does not just run by its own volition: for it to operate in a stable and reliable manner, there needs to be in place infrastructure, a functional domain name system, ways to curtail cyber crime across borders, etc. The Tunis Agenda of the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), paragraph 34 defined Internet governance as “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” CIS involvement in the field of Internet governance has taken the following shape:
New Blog Entries
- Comments on Intermediary Due Diligence Rules, 2011
- Comments on Cyber Café Rules, 2011
- Comments on Draft Reasonable Security Practices Rules, 2011
CIS is doing a project, ‘Privacy in Asia’. It is funded by Privacy International (PI), UK and the International Development Research Centre, Canada and is being administered in collaboration with the Society and Action Group, Gurgaon. The two-year project commenced on 24th March 2010 and will be completed as agreed to by the stakeholders. It was set up with the objective of raising awareness, sparking civil action and promoting democratic dialogue around challenges and violations of privacy in India. In furtherance of these goals it aims to draft and promote over-arching privacy legislation in India by drawing upon legal and academic resources and consultations with the public.
Blog Entries by Elonnai Hickok
Elonnai Hickok is a Programme Associate in the Privacy in Asia project. She has published a series of Open Letters to the Finance Committee regarding the UID:
Other New Blog Entries
- Conference Report: 'Privacy Matters' Bangalore
- Analysing the Right to Privacy and Dignity with Respect to the UID
The growth in telecommunications in India has been impressive. While the potential for growth and returns exist, a range of issues need to be addressed for this potential to be realized. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the second aspect is a countrywide access to broadband which is low at about eight million subscriptions. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum. It is imperative to resolve these issues in the common interest of users and service providers. CIS campaigns to facilitate this:
Shyam Ponappa is a Distinguished Fellow at CIS. He writes regularly on Telecom issues in the Business Standard and these articles are mirrored on the CIS website as well.
- Spectrum auctions - 'Jhatka' or 'Halal'? [published in the Business Standard on February 3, 2011]
CIS is holding some conferences/workshops in the month of March in Delhi and Bangalore:
- Role of the Internet in Fostering Freedom of Expression and Strengthening Activism in India - A Workshop in Delhi (March 4, 2011, Constitutional Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi)
- Global Challenges to Freedom of Expression (March 4, 2011, Constitutional Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi)
- Electronication: Ragas and the Future (March 6, 2011 Jaaga, Bangalore)
- Design!publiC (March 18, 2011, Taj Vivanta, New Delhi)
Deepti Bhartur is a Research Intern at CIS. She did her BA (Hons) in Journalism from Lady Sriram College, University of Delhi and completed her Masters in Communication from Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad. Deepti joined the Accessibility team of CIS and is working on accessibility in telecom policy in India.
News & Media Coverage
- Growing cyberspace controls, Internet filtering (Hindu, February 20, 2011)
- 2(m) or not 2(m) (Business Standard, February 19, 2011)
- Can the twitterati change the world? (The Times of India, February 12, 2011)
- Can the mouse be a tool of revolution in India? (DNA, February 12, 2011)
- Social Network Suicide (Bangalore Mirror, February 6, 2011)
- New Kids on the Blog (Indian Express, February 6, 2011)
- Procuring books in Indian libraries (Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange, February 4, 2011)
- What Are You Accused of? Find Out Online (Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2011)
- One among the clan of Wikipedians (Hindu, January 27, 2011)
- Digital Wrongs (Forbes India, January 24, 2011)
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Looking forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to write to us for any queries or details required. If you do not wish to receive these emails, please do write to us and we will unsubscribe your mail ID from the mailing list.
CIS is grateful to Kusuma Trust which was founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.