July 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. 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. Five monographs: Re: Wiring Bodies by Asha Achuthan, Archive and Access by Aparna Balachandran and Rochelle Pinto, Pornography and the Law by Namita Malhotra, The Leap of Rhodes or, How India Dealt with the Last Mile Problem – An Inquiry into Technology and Governance by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Internet, Society and Space in Indian Cities by Pratyush Shankar were sent for peer review.
Upcoming Event in CEPT, Ahmedabad
- Locating Internets: Histories of the Internet(s) in India — Research Training and Curriculum Workshop: Call for Participation [Deadline for submission – 26 July 2011; Participants to be selected by 30 July 2011; Workshop from 19 to 22 August 2011]
Digital Natives with a Cause?
Digital Natives with a Cause? is a knowledge programme initiated by CIS and Hivos, Netherlands. It is a research inquiry that seeks to look at the changing landscape of social change and political participation and the role that young people play through digital and Internet technologies, in emerging information societies. Consolidating knowledge from Asia, Africa and Latin America, it builds a global network of knowledge partners who want to critically engage with the dominant discourse on youth, technology and social change, in order to look at the alternative practices and ideas in the Global South. It also aims at building new ecologies that amplify and augment the interventions and actions of the digitally young as they shape our futures.
The Digital Natives Newsletter
"Links in the Chain" is a bi-monthly publication which highlights the projects, ideas and news of the "Digital Natives with a Cause?" community members. It includes opinion posts by participants from the three workshops — Talking Back (Taipei, 15 – 18 August 2010), My Bubble, My Space, My Voice (Johannesburg, 6 – 9 November 2010) and From Face to the Interface (Santiago, 8 – 10 February 2011) as well as the facilitators, interviews with them, comics and cartoons highlighting current issues affecting the community, as well as current news and discussions happening at the project website, www.digitalnatives.in.
- The Digital Dinosaurs [Links in the Chain, Volume 7]
- Special Mid Year Edition [Links in the Chain, Volume 8]
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.
- Accessibility Policy Making: An International Perspective (Revised Edition 2011) [A G3ict White Paper researched and edited by the Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India. Editor: Nirmita Narasimhan, Revised edition: May 2011]
Access to Knowledge (previously IPR Reform)
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.
- Don't Shoot the Messenger: Speech on Intermediary Liability at 22nd SCCR of WIPO (speech by Pranesh Prakash at a side-event co-organized from 15 to 24 June 2011, by WIPO and the Internet Society on intermediary liability).
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.
- People are Knowledge – Experimenting with Oral Citations on Wikipedia (co-produced by CIS in association with the Wikimedia Foundation, on Oral Citations in India and South Africa)
- Opening Government: A Guide to Best Practice in Transparency, Accountability and Civic Engagement across the Public Sector (published by Transparency & Accountability Initiative, CIS contributed the section on Open Government Data).
Although there may not be one centralized 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.” Its latest endeavour has resulted into these:
New Blog Post
- Socio-financial Online Networks: Globalizing Micro-Credit through Micro-transactional Networked Platforms – A Public Lecture by Radhika Gajalla [at CIS, Bangalore on 8 July 2011]
- Internet Surveillance Policy: “…the second time as farce?” – A Public Lecture by Caspar Bowden [at TERI, Bangalore on 27 June 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 24 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.
- Privacy & Media Law (by Sonal Makhija). The research examines the existing media norms governed by Press Council of India, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Code of Ethics drafted by the News Broadcasting Standard Authority, the constitutional protection guaranteed to an individual’s right to privacy upheld by the courts, and the reasons the State employs to justify the invasion of privacy.
- Right to Privacy Bill 2010 — A Few Comments (by Elonnai Hickok). CIS has given specific recommendations and specific comments on the Right to Privacy Bill, 2010, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Rajeev Chandrashekhar.
- Privacy Matters, Guwahati – the event was organised by IDRC, Society in Action Group, IDEA Chirang, an NGO initiative working with grassroots initiatives in Assam, Privacy India and CIS on 23 June 2011.
New Blog Entries
- My Experiment with Scam Baiting (by Sahana Sarkar)
- When Data Means Privacy, What Traces Are You Leaving Behind? (by Noopur Raval)
- Video Surveillance and Its Impact on the Right to Privacy (by Elonnai Hickok)
- Consumer Privacy in e-Commerce (by Sahana Sarkar)
- An Overview of DNA Labs in India (by Shilpa Narani)
- UID: Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear? (by Shilpa Narani)
News & Media Coverage
- Indian SMEs still fail to harness the power of Net [Sunday Guardian, 19 June 2011]
- Sorry Wrong Number [Telegraph, 3 July 2011]
- Aadhaar’s moment of truth [Deccan Herald, 5 July 2011]
- The Walls Have Ears [Outlook, issue, 11 July 2011]
- Transparent Government, via Webcams in India [New York Times, 17 July 2011]; news also published in other languages in wprost (Polish), ictnews (Vietnamese) and @rret sur images(French)
- NYT lauds Oommen Chandy’s 24/7 office webcast [Deccan Chronicle, 19 July 2011]
- UID: The World’s Largest Biometric Database [International School on Digital Transformation, 21 July 2011]. Sunil Abraham made a presentation.
- Facebook, my boyfriend is lousy [Bangalore Mirror, 24 July 2011]
- Portal augurs well for transparency [The Hindu, 25 July 2011]
Follow us elsewhere
- Get short, timely messages from us on Twitter
- Follow CIS on identi.ca
- Join the CIS group on Facebook
- Visit us at www.cis-india.org
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.