June 2013 Bulletin
Our newsletter for the month of June 2013 can be accessed below.
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcomes you to the sixth issue of its newsletter for 2013. Hivos published a White Paper by Nishant Shah titled Whose Change is it Anyway?, which attempts to reflect critically on existing patterns of making change and its implications for the future of citizen action in information and network societies. The Access to Knowledge team carried out a quantitative analysis to identify trends and growth patterns in Indian Language Wikipedias from September 2012 to April 2013. CIS drafted the Privacy Protection Bill and amended it as per feedback gained from the New Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai Privacy Roundtable Events. CIS made closing statement on the Treaty for the Blind at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference which was concluded with the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled. In a research paper Nehaa Chaudhari gives an analysis of patent pools, Sameer Boray gives an analysis of video piracy and Pranav Menon gives an analysis of India-EU FTA and issues surrounding data protection and security. In this period we organised the Institute on Internet and Society with support from the Ford Foundation at Golden Palms, Bangalore from June 8 to 14, 2013.
Celebrating 5 Years of CIS
CIS is now 5 years old and we just celebrated this by holding an open exhibition in our offices in Bangalore and Delhi from May 20 to 23, showcasing our work and accomplishments over the period. We had about 170 visitors from the general public coming in to our office. Videos of the event are here.
Google Policy Fellowship
CIS has initiated processing of applications for the Google Policy Fellowship programme. Shortlisted candidates would be informed about their interview. However, as of now there will be a 20 days delay in announcing the list for the interview.
CIS is inviting applications for the posts of Developer (NVDA Screen Reader Project) and Editor/Content Developer. To apply for these posts, send in your resume to Nirmita Narasimhan ([email protected]). CIS is also seeking applications for the post of Programme Officer (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 chapter on Jharkhand:
- The Jharkhand Chapter (by CLPR, June 30, 2013).
Note: All the chapters published on the website are early drafts and will be reviewed and updated.
- Girls in ICT Day 2013 (organized by ITU-APT Foundation of India with support from CMAI - Association of India Communication and Infrastructure, FICCI Auditorium, Tansen Marg, New Delhi, May 7, 2013). Dr. Nirmita Narasimhan got a felicitation for her contribution and achievements in the field of Information and Communication Technology. The honour was conferred during the celebration of this event.
- A Treat for the Blind (by Chitra Narayanan, Business World, June 26, 2013). Pranesh Prakash was quoted.
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)
Pranesh Prakash participated in the WIPO Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities in Marrakesh, Morocco, June 17 to 28, 2013. The conference concluded with the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works by blind persons, persons with visual impairment, and other print disabled persons, by requiring mandatory exceptions in copyright law to enable conversions of books into accessible formats, and by enabling cross-border transfer of accessible format books. Click for:
- CIS's Closing Statement at Marrakesh on the Treaty for the Blind (by Pranesh Prakash, June 28, 2013).
- India's Closing Statement at Marrakesh on the Treaty for the Blind (June 29, 2013).
- Pervasive Technologies: Patent Pools (by Nehaa Chaudhari, June 27, 2013).
Other (FTA, Piracy)
- The Right Way to Fight Video Piracy? (by Sameer Boray, June 6, 2013).
- India-EU Proposed Free Trade Agreement: Issues Surrounding Data Protection and Security (by Pranav Menon, June 8, 2013).
- India- EU FTA: A Note on the Copyright Issues (by Nehaa Chaudhari, June 18, 2013).
- Governance in the Age of the Internet and Free Trade Agreements (organized by Thai Netizen Network and co-hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, June 8, 2013). Sunil Abraham was a speaker.
Access to Knowledge (Wikipedia)
- Indian Language Wikipedia Statistics (by Nitika Tandon, June 30, September 2012 – April 2013).
- A 'Kannada' Wikipedia Workshop for Bloggers (Suchitra, Bengaluru, June 23, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja conducted the workshop.
- Telugu Wikipedia Training Workshop (co-organised by A2K team and Theatre Outreach Unit, University of Hyderabad, Golden Threshold, Nampally, Hyderabad, March 8, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan conducted the workshop.
- Digital Humanities for Indian Higher Education (co-organised by HEIRA-CSCS, Tumkur University, CILHE-TISS and CCS, Indian Institute of Science, July 13, 2013).
- My First Wikipedia Training Workshop – Theatre Outreach Unit, University of Hyderabad (by T. Vishnu Vardhan, June 26, 2013). The workshop was conducted in March but the report was published only in June.
- Wikipedia Visual Editor (by Nitika Tandon, June 27, 2013).
Press Coverage (including videos)
- A Feature on Wikipedia and Telegu Wikipedians (HMTV, May 30-31, 2013). Watch the video.
- Wikipedia Live Phone-in Programme (HMTV, June 1, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan took part in a one hour live phone-in programme on Wikipedia.
- Wiki donors (by Akhila Seetharaman, TimeOut Bengaluru, June 21, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan and Dr. U.B. Pavanaja are quoted.
- Kannada Wikipedia Workshop at Hasan (Prajavani, June 5, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja conducted the workshop on June 4, 2013.
- Kannada Wikipedia Workshop at Hasan (Samyukta Karnataka, June 5, 2013). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop on June 4, 2013.
- Kannada Wikipedia Workshop at Hasan (Vijaya Karnataka, June 5, 2013). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop on June 4, 2013.
- Wiki Rahasya: Panel Discussion (Suvarna News, June 13, 2013). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja participated in a panel discussion around Wikipedia in general and about Kannada Wikipedia in specific.
- Big Data, People's Lives, and the Importance of Openness (by Nishant Shah, DML Central, June 24, 2013).
- RHoK Global Event (Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, June 1 – 2, 2013). Yogesh Londhe shares with you a post-event report.
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:
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.
- An Interview with Ram Mohan (June 30, 2013)
- The Geopolitics of Information Controls: A Presentation by Masashi Crete-Nishihata (TERI, Bangalore, June 19, 2013). About 20 people participated in the event.
- Privacy Protection Bill, 2013 (With Amendments based on Public Feedback) (by Elonnai Hickok, June 30, 2013): CIS drafted the Bill. Based on feedback received from the New Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai Roundtables the Bill was amended.
- Interview with the Citizen Lab on Internet Filtering in India (June 24, 2013). Maria Xynou interviewed Masashi Crete-Nishihata and Jakub Dalek from the Citizen Lab on internet filtering in India.
- Interview with Billy Hawkes (June 20, 2014). Maria Xynou interviewed Billy Hawkes, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner on recommendations for data protection in India.
- Indian Surveillance Laws & Practices Far Worse than US (by Pranesh Prakash, Economic Times, June 13, 2013).
- World Wide Rule (by Nishant Shah, Indian Express, June 14, 2013). Nishant Shah reviews Schmidt and Cohen's book “The New Digital Age”.
- Way to Watch (by Chinmayi Arun, Indian Express, June 26, 2013).
- The State is Snooping: Can You Escape? (by Snehashish Ghosh, India Together, June 26, 2013).
- India Subject to NSA Dragnet Surveillance! No Longer a Hypothesis — It is Now Officially Confirmed (by Maria Xynou, June 13, 2013).
- SEBI and Communication Surveillance: New Rules, New Responsibilities? (by Kovey Coles, June 27, 2013).
- Open Letter to "Not" Recognize India as Data Secure Nation till Enactment of Privacy Legislation (by Elonnai Hickok, June 19, 2013).
- Open Letter to Prevent the Installation of RFID tags in Vehicles (by Maria Xynou, June 27, 2013).
- Technology, Power, and Revolutions in the Arab Spring (CIS, July 2, 2013). Prof. Ramesh Srinivasan gave a talk.
- Learn to Secure Your Online Communication! (CIS, Bangalore, June 30, 2013). A Crypto Party was organised.
- Learn to Secure Your Online Communication! (IIC, Delhi University, South Campus, New Delhi, July 6, 2013). A Crypto Party was organised.
- 4th Privacy Round Table Meeting (co-organised with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Data Security Council of India, Mumbai, June 15, 2013).
Upcoming / Ongoing Events
- Digital Activism in Europe (The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, July 8, 2013). Bernadette Längle will give a talk.
- Privacy Round Table, Kolkata (co-organised with the Federation for Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Data Security Council of India, Lytton Hotel, Sudder Street, Kolkata, July 13, 2013).
Event Participated In
- Biometrics or bust? India's Identity Crisis (organized by the Oxford Internet Institute, July 2, 2013). Malavika Jayaram was a speaker.
- Pranesh Prakash on the US snooping into Indian cyber space (by Tehelka, June 2013).
- Indian student in Cornell University hacks into ICSE, ISC database (by Kim Arora, Times of India, June 6, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- ‘Hacking’ sparks row over exam evaluation (by Vasudha Venugopal and Karthik Subramanian, Hindu, June 7, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- Internet firms deny existence of PRISM (by Javed Anwer and Ishan Srivastava, Times of India, June 8, 2013). Sunil Abraham and Pranesh Prakash are quoted.
- Indian Government Quietly Brings In Its 'Central Monitoring System': Total Surveillance Of All Telecommunications (Tech Dirt, June 8, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- Facebook, Google deny spying access (by Javed Anwer, Times of India, June 9, 2013). Pranesh Prakash is quoted.
- Govt mulls advisory on privacy issues related to Google, Facebook (by Thomas K Thomas, Hindu Business Line, June 10, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Cyber experts suggest using open source software to protect privacy (by Kim Arora, Times of India, June 22, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Govt goes after porn, makes ISPs ban sites (by Javed Anwer, Times of India, June 26, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Indian govt blocks 40 smut sites, forgets to give reason (by Phil Muncaster, The Register, June 27, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Concerns over central snoop (by Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times, June 28, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Internet users enraged over US online spying (by Maitreyee Boruah, Times of India, June 29, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- Issue of duplication of identities of users under control: Nilekani (by Anirban Sen, Livemint, June 29, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
- In India, Prism-like Surveillance Slips Under the Radar (by Anjan Trivedi, Time World, June 30, 2013). Sunil Abraham is quoted.
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project on Internet Access. It covers the history of the internet, technologies involved, principle and values of internet access, broadband market and universal access. It will also touch upon various policies and regulations which has an impact on internet access and bodies and mechanism which are responsible for formulation of policies related to internet access. The blog posts and modules are being published in the Internet Institute website:
- Institute on Internet and Society (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 can be accessed here.
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:
- Law & Order through Traffic Systems (by Shyam Ponappa, Business Standard, June 5, 2013 and cross-posted in Organizing India Blogspot).
Digital Natives with a Cause? examines the changing landscape of social change and political participation in light of 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 critically engage with discourse on youth, technology and social change, and look at alternative practices and ideas in the Global South:
- Whose Change is it Anyway? (by Nishant Shah, Hivos, June 18, 2013).
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.
- Mapping the Field of Digital Humanities (by Sara Morais, June 11, 2013).
- A Suggested Set of Values for the Digital Humanities (by Sara Morais, June 12, 2013).
- Archive Practice and Digital Humanities (by Sara Morais, June 24, 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.
Follow us elsewhere
- Get short, timely messages from us on Twitter
- Join the CIS group on Facebook
- 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.