July 2013 Bulletin
Our newsletter for the month of July 2013 can be accessed below.
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcomes you to the seventh issue of its newsletter for the year 2013. In this issue we bring you a report on the Institute on Internet and Society held in the month of June, comments submitted by us to the Office of the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks on the draft guidelines on computer related inventions, report from the fifth privacy roundtable meeting held in Kolkata, updates from Kannada Wikipedia workshops held in Hubli and Sagara, a report on Digital Humanities for higher education, media coverage, and information on our forthcoming events.
CIS is inviting applications for the posts of Developer (NVDA Screen Reader Project). To apply for this post, send in your resume to Nirmita Narasimhan ([email protected]). CIS is also seeking applications for the post of Policy Associate (Internet Governance). To apply send your resume to Sunil Abraham ([email protected]) and Pranesh Prakash ([email protected]).
CIS is doing two projects in partnership with the Hans Foundation. One is to create a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India and another for developing a screen reader and text-to- speech synthesizer for Indian languages:
National Resource Kit for Persons with Disabilities
CIS and the Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) are working in this project. Draft chapters have been published. Feedback and comments are invited from readers for the chapters on Punjab, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Chandigarh:
- The Punjab Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, July 31, 2013).
- The Uttarakhand Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, July 31, 2013).
- The Chandigarh Chapter (by CLPR, July 31, 2013).
- The Maharashtra Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, July 31, 2013).
Note: All the chapters published on the website are early drafts and will be reviewed and updated.
The Wikimedia Foundation has given a grant to CIS to support and develop the growth of Indic language communities and projects by community collaborations and partnerships. This is being carried out by the Access to Knowledge team based in Delhi. CIS is also doing a project (Pervasive Technologies) on examining the relationship between production of pervasive technologies and intellectual property. CIS also promotes openness including open government data, open standards, open access, and free/libre/open source software through its Openness programme.
Access to Knowledge (Previously IP Reforms)
- Comments on the Draft Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (by Puneeth Nagaraj, July 31, 2013). The comments were submitted to the office of the Controller General of Patents Designs & Trademarks, Mumbai on July 26, 2013.
- An International Conference on Interface between Intellectual Property and Competition Law (organized by ASSOCHAM, July 12, 2013). Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the conference and shares select notes in a blog post.
Access to Knowledge (Wikipedia)
The A2K team consists of three members based in Bangalore: T. Vishnu Vardhan, Dr. U.B. Pavanaja and Subhashish Panigrahi and one team member Nitika Tandon who is working from Delhi office.
- A Kannada Wikipedia Workshop (organized by CIS-A2K team, July 21, 2013, Hubli). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja gave training to the participants on Wikipedia. Leading newspapers like the Times of India, Vijaya Karnataka, Deccan Herald, VijayaVani, Prajavani, Samyukta Karnataka and HosaDiganta covered the event. Scanned versions of the published articles can be viewed here.
- A Kannada Wikipedia Workshop at Sagara (organized by CIS-A2K team, Sagara, July 28, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja gave a talk on Wikipedia and Kannada Wikipedia.
- Telugu Wiki Academy at Centre for Good Governance (organized by CIS-A2K and Telegu Wikipedia Community, Centre for Good Governance, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, April 9, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan participated in this event.
Note: The event was organized in April but report got published only in July.
- Free Software (organized by Free Software Movement of Karnataka in partnership with Jnana Vikas Institute of Technology, Bidadi, July 24, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja made a presentation on Wikipedia.
- A Workshop on Posting Articles in Kannada on Wikipedia (organised by the Centre for Proficiency Development Placement Service, University of Mysore, CPDPS premises, Manasagangotri, August 6, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja is conducting a workshop. The announcement was made in an article by R. Krishna Kumar in the Hindu on August 2, 2013.
- Konkani Wikipedia next? (by Diana Fernandes, OHeralO, July 27, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan is quoted.
- Delhi: Digital Activism in Europe (The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, July 8, 2013). Bernadette Längle gave a talk about the hacker scene and digital activism in Europe, with a focus on the Chaos Computer Club.
- Open Hardware Lab: Play & Invent + Bonus Film Screening (CIS, Bangalore, August 4, 2013). There was a film screening of Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey at the event.
CIS began two projects earlier this year. The first one on facilitating research and events on surveillance and freedom of expression is with Privacy International and support from the International Development Research Centre, Canada. The second one on mapping cyber security actors in South Asia and South East Asia is with the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and support from the International Development Research Centre, Canada:
- Delhi: Learn to Secure Your Online Communication! (IIC, DU Campus, Delhi, July 6, 2013). A cryptoparty was held in Delhi.
- Dharamsala: Learn to Secure Your Online Communication! (Dharamsala, July 13, 2013). A cryptoparty was held in Dharamsala. This was also covered in an article published in the Caravan on August 1, 2013.
- Privacy Roundtable Meeting (co-organized by CIS, DSCI, and FICCI, Kolkata, July 13, 2013). An event report was written by Maria Xynou.
- The Hackers Way of Reshaping Policies (CIS, Bangalore, August 2, 2012). Bernadette Langle gave a talk on privacy.
Events Participated In
- Biometrics or bust? India's Identity Crisis (organised by the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University Press, July 2, 2013). Malavika Jayaram participated as a speaker on UID and Privacy.
- DSCI Best Practices Meet 2013 (organized by DSCI, Anna Salai, Chennai, July 12, 2013). Kovey Coles attended the meeting.
- Achieve Cyber Security Together (organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Chennai, July 13, 2013). Kovey Coles attended this event.
Ongoing / Upcoming Events
- The Phishing Society: Why 'Facebook' is more dangerous than the Government Spying on You - A Talk by Maria Xynou (CIS, Bangalore, August 7, 2013). Maria Xynou will give a talk on phishing society.
- Learn to Protect your Online Activities! (ACJ - Asian College of Journalism, Second Main Road (Behind M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation), Taramani, Chennai, August 7, 2013).
- Privacy Meeting: Brussels – Bangalore (CIS, Bangalore, August 14, 2013). Gertjan Boulet and Dariusz Kloza will give a talk on privacy.
- Privacy Round Table, New Delhi (co-organised with FICCI and DSCI, FICCI, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi, August 24, 2013).
- How Surveillance Works in India (by Pranesh Prakash, New York Times, July 10, 2013).
- Can India Trust Its Government on Privacy? (by Pranesh Prakash, New York Times, July 11, 2013).
- Parsing the Cyber Security Policy (by Chinmayi Arun, The Hoot, and cross-posted in Free Speech Initiative, July 13, 2013).
- The Difficult Balance of Transparent Surveillance (by Kovey Coles, July 10, 2013).
- Moving Towards a Surveillance State (by Srinivas Atreya, July 15, 2013).
- More than a Hundred Global Groups Make a Principled Stand against Surveillance (by Elonnai Hickok, July 31, 2013).
- The Audacious ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ (by Kovey Coles, July 31, 2013).
- An Interview with Reijo Aarnio: Maria Xynou conducted an interview with Reijo, the Finnish Data Protection Ombudsman.
- Google brings tabs to sneak advertisements into your inbox (by Indu Nandakumar, Economic Times, July 30, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- How the world’s largest democracy is preparing to snoop on its citizens (by Leslie D' Monte and Joji Thomas Philip, July 3, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Geeks have a solution to digital surveillance in India: Cryptography (by Joanna Lobo, DNA, July 7, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- India's centralised snooping system facing big delays (by Phil Muncaster, The Register, July 9, 2013). CIS is mentioned in this article.
- India’s Central Monitoring System: Security can’t come at cost of privacy (by Danish Raza, FirstPost, July 10, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Is CMS a Compromise of Your Security? (by Rohin Dharmakumar, Forbes India magazine, July 12, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Snooping technology: Will CMS work in India? (by Pierre Fitter, FirstPost, July 17, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- सावधान आपके प्रोफ़ाइल पर है पुलिस की नज़र! (by Parul Aggarwal, BBC, July 18, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- Your life's an open Facebook (by Shikha Kumar, DNA, July 21, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Concerns over central snoop (by Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times, June 28, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Your telco could help spy on you (by Joji Thomas Philip, Leslie D'Monte and Shauvik Ghosh, LiveMint, July 30, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
DNA Profiling Bill
A sub-committee has been constituted as per the recommendations of the Expert Committee of DNA Profiling Bill. The sub-committee will have a meeting in Hyderabad on August 6, 2013. Sunil Abraham is one of the members of the sub-committee.
Cyber Stewards Project
Laird Brown, a strategic planner and writer with core competencies on brand analysis, public relations and resource management and Purba Sarkar who in the past worked as a strategic advisor in the field of SAP Retail are working in this project.
- Part 3: Interview with Eva Galperin (July 10, 2013).
- Part 4: Interview with Marietje Schaake (July 11, 2013).
- Part 5: Interview with Amelia Andersdotter (July 12, 2013).
- Part 6: Interview with Lhadon Tethong (July 15, 2013).
- Part 7: Interview with Jochem de Groot (July 18, 2013).
- Part 8: Interview with Jeff Moss (July, 23, 2013).
- India's National Cyber Security Policy in Review (by Jonathan Diamond, July 31, 2013).
- Guidelines for the Protection of National Critical Information Infrastructure: How Much Regulation? (by Jonathan Diamond, July 31, 2013).
Free Speech, Expression and Censorship
- You Have the Right to Remain Silent (by Nishant Shah, July 22, 2013).
Event Participated In
- Connaught Summer Institute on Monitoring Internet Openness and Rights (organized by the Munk School of Global Affairs, Bloor Street West, July 23, 2013). Malavika Jayaram participated in this event and spoke on "India's Civil Liberties Crisis: Digital Free Will in Free Fall".
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project to create a knowledge repository on Internet and society. This repository will comprise content targeted primarily at civil society with a view to enabling their informed participation in the Indian Internet and ICT policy space. The repository is available at www.internet-institute.in.
- Institute on Internet and Society: Event Report (supported by Ford Foundation, Golden Palms Resort, Bangalore, June 8 – 14, 2013). Pranesh Prakash, Bernadette Längle, Vir Kamal Chopra, AK Bhargava, Ananth Guruswamy, Archana Gulati, Chakshu Roy, Elonnai Hickok, Gaurab Raj Upadhaya, Helani Galpaya, Michael Ginguld, Dr. Nadeem Akhtar, C. Nandini, Dr. Nirmita Narasimhan, Dr. Nishant Shah, Parminder Jeet Singh, Ravikiran Annaswamy, Dr. Ravina Aggarwal, Satyen Gupta, Dr. Subbiah Arunachalam, Sunil Abraham, Tulika Pandey and T. Vishnu Vardhan were speakers at the event. The presentations and videos can now be accessed in this report.
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:
- Building Up vs Tearing Down (by Shyam Ponappa, July 3, 2013, originally published in the Business Standard, and also mirrored in Organizing India Blogspot).
We are 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 for Indian Higher Education (co-organised by HEIRA, CSCS, Tumkur University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and CIS, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, July 13, 2013).
- Digital Humanities Talk (CIS, Bangalore, July 31, 2013). Sara Morais gave a talk on the advantages and problems in doing digital humanities work.
Event Participated In
- Political Economy, Activism and Alternative Economic Strategies (organized by the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Hague, July 9 – 13, 2013). Nishant Shah presented his paper on paper on Citizen Action in the Time of Network.
- Designing Change? Gatekeepers in Digital Humanities (by Sara Morais, July 2, 2013).
- Towards Critical Tool-building (by Sara Morais, July 12, 2013).
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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- Visit us at http://cis-india.org
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] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]
CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the 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.