June 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. Six monographs Rewiring Bodies, Archive and Access, Pornography and the Law, The Leap of Rhodes or, How India Dealt with the Last Mile Problem - An Inquiry into Technology and Governance, Transparency and Politics and Internet, Society and Space in Indian Cities are published online and will be launched later this year.
- CEPT to Set up Centre to Research Role of Internet in Social Development [Published in the Indian Express on June 18, 2011]
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 – 15 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
- The Digital Dinosaurs [Volume 5]
HE Cell's initiative on social justice, in collaboration with CIS, has initiated the Pathways Project for Learning in Higher Education. It is supported by the Ford Foundation. Under this project, nine under-graduate colleges in different parts of India will be identified to provide special skills in livelihood, knowledge and technology to underprivileged students in those colleges.
New 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 Entries
- Policy Spotlight: 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act [Written by Deepti Bharthur; contains an e-mail interview with Jenifer Simpson, Senior Director for Government Affairs and head of the Telecommunications & Technology Policy Initiative at the American Association of People with Disabilities ]
- ICT Accessibility in Sri Lanka [Written by Nirmita Narasimhan]
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.
New Blog Entry
- Putting a Lid on Royalty Outflows — How the RBI can Help Reduce your IP Costs [Written by Sanjana Govil]
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.
- Comments on the draft National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy [submitted to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure]
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:
- The Present — and Future — Dangers of India's Draconian New Internet Regulations [By Anja Kovacs in the Caravan on June 1, 2011]
- Big Brother is Watching You [By Sunil Abraham in Deccan Herald on June 1, 2011]
- The Digital is Political [By Nishant Shah in Down to Earth, Issue of June 15, 2011]
- Do You Want to be Watched? [By Sunil Abraham in Pragati on June 8, 2011]
- Snooping Can Lead to Data Abuse [By Sunil Abraham in Mail Today on June 9, 2011]
- Privacy and Security Can Co-exist [By Sunil Abraham in Mail Today on June 21, 2011]
Column in Indian Express
Nishant Shah, Director-Research will be writing a series of columns on Internet and Society issues:
- Say 'Password' in Hindi [By Nishant Shah in the Indian Express, May 15, 2011]
- Socio-financial Online Networks: Globalizing Micro-Credit through Micro-transactional Networked Platforms – A Public Lecture by Radhika Gajalla [at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, July 8, 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.
- Copyright Enforcement and Privacy in India [Written by Prashant Iyengar]
- A Street View of Private and the Public [By Prashant Iyengar in Tehelka on June 4, 2011]
- The new Right to Privacy Bill 2011 — A Blind Man's View of the Elephunt [By Prashant Iyengar in Privacy India website on June 8, 2011]
New Blog Entry
Event organised in Guwahati
- Privacy matters [Donbosco Institute, Kharguli, Guwahati, June 23, 2011]
- Internet Surveillance Policy: “…the second time as farce?” – A Public Lecture by Caspar Bowden [TERI, Bangalore, June 27, 2011]
- Privacy Matters - A Public Conference in Hyderabad [Osmania University Center for International Program, Hyderabad, July 9, 2011]
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:
Articles by Shyam Ponappa
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.
- NTP 2011 Objective: Broadband [published in the Business Standard on June 2, 2011]
- Technology, Transparency and Accountability: A Bar-Camp in Delhi [June 5, 2011, Delhi]
- Communication Policy Advocacy, Technology, and Online Freedom of Expression: A Toolkit for Media Development [June 20 – July 1, 2011, Budapest, Hungary]
News & Media Coverage
- Your cyber space is a hackers paradise [Mail Today, June 6, 2011]
- Centaur website reveals guests' personal info [Times of India, June 20, 2011]
- Mumbai Takes Note of Sexting, the Seamier Side of Texting [Times of India, June 19, 2011]
- Look what the state just did to you [Mid Day, June 12, 2011]
- Tough neighbourhood tests India's e-tolerance [Times of India, June 12, 2011]
- India Weighing Looser Web Rules [Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2011]
- Public data on the Web leaves much to be desired [Hindu, May 28, 2011]
- What documents will you need, to get UID? [CitizenMatters.in, May 28, 2011]
- Mobile education comes to villages [Mail Today, May 27, 2011]
- Google now stalks your street [Hindu, May 27, 2011]
- Women in love with Facebook [Deccan Herald, May 27, 2011]
- Google Unveils Controversial Street View Mapping in B’lore [Economic Times, Mumbai, May 27, 2011]
- NGOs say eG8 report must stress internet rights [TELECOMPAPER, May 26, 2011]
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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.