Centre for Internet & Society

Our newsletter for the month of November 2015 is below:

The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) is happy to share the eleventh issue of CIS newsletter (November 2015). Previous editions of the newsletter can be accessed at http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.

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Highlights
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  • The Internet Governance Forum was held at Jao Pessoa in Brazil from November 10 to 13, 2015. The theme for IGF 2015 was Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development. Sunil Abraham, Pranesh Prakash and Jyoti Panday participated. Overall CIS spoke in 10 panels. Jyoti Panday has summarized the developments.
  • Draft Outcome Document of the UN General Assembly's Overall Review of implementation of WSIS Outcomes was released on 4 November 2015. Comments were sought on the Draft Outcome Document from diverse stakeholders. CIS responded to the call .
  • The first draft of the National IPR Policy was released last December. Comments and suggestions were submitted to the DIPP on this. Akshath Mithal in his blog post analysed the comments available online and the trends that he was able to find.
  • Ramya Chandrasekhar wrote a blog post that has deconstructed and explained some aspects of the various proposals to enhance ICANN's accountability.
  • Mangalore based cultural centre Maand Sobhaann recently relicensed 3 of their publications under a free license so that the books could be digitised on Konkani Wikisource and enrich Konkani Wikipedia. Rahmanuddin Shaik and Tanveer Hasan have captured the development in a blog post.
  • Japreet Grewal in a blog post has attempted to understand the domain in which censorship laws are penetrating today giving the example of the role of group admin in Whatsapp.
  • Elonnai Hickok in a policy brief has reviewed different oversight mechanisms from the US, UK, and Canada and provides recommendations for ways in which India can strengthen its present oversight mechanisms for state surveillance and the intelligence community.
  • Rohan George has reviewed the literature surrounding big data and predictive policing and has provided an analysis of the legal implications of using predictive policing techniques in the Indian context.
  • Large blocks of underused spectrum lie tantalizingly out of reach, waiting for enabling regulation, administration, and to some extent technology, to accelerate our move towards Digital India, according to Shyam Ponappa's column published in the Business Standard.
  • CIS in collaboration with T.A.J. Residency & SKE Projects and or-bits.com developed Silicon Plateau Vol-1. This book marks the beginning of an interdisciplinary artistic project, Silicon Plateau, the scope of which is to observe how the arts, technology and society intersect in the city of Bangalore.
  • P.P. Sneha has outlined a few questions/conflicts that the digital practitioners in arts and humanities disciplines are grappling with in the first among seven sections that has been published.
  • Centre for the Study of Culture and Society and CIS has set up the CSCS Digital Innovation Fund. The objective is to encourage, host, and provide seed funding for the development of digital tools and infrastructure for arts, humanities, and social science research in India. The fund will be administered by the RAW programme at CIS.

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Accessibility and Inclusion
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Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing a project on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

►NVDA and eSpeak

# Monthly Updates

►Other

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Access to Knowledge
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As part of the Access to Knowledge programme we are doing two projects. The first one (Pervasive Technologies) under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is for research on the complex interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property to support intellectual property norms that encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The second one (Wikipedia) under a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation is for the growth of Indic language communities and projects by designing community collaborations and partnerships that recruit and cultivate new editors and explore innovative approaches to building projects.

►Pervasive Technologies

# Blog Entries

►Copyright and Patent

# Blog Entries

# Participation in Events


►Wikipedia

As part of the project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation we have reached out to more than 3500 people across India by organizing more than 100 outreach events and catalysed the release of encyclopaedic and other content under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-3.0) license in four Indian languages (21 books in Telugu, 13 in Odia, 4 volumes of encyclopaedia in Konkani and 6 volumes in Kannada, and 1 book on Odia language history in English).

# Blog Entries

# Participation in Events

  • Making Tulu Wikipedia 'Live' (Organized by Tulu Sahitya Akademy; Mangalore; October 28 - 29 and November 5 - 6, 2015). Rahmanuddin interacted with Tulu Wikipedians. Rahmanuddin was also invited to be a part of the World Konkani Literature festival where he spoke briefly about Konkani Wikipedia to the gathering.
  • Open Source India 2015 (by EFY Group; NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bangalore; November 19 - 20, 2015). Subhashish Panigrahi attended the event.
  • Tulu Wikipedia Tutorial (Organized by Wikipedia community; Mangalore; November 2015). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja trained the people involved in the creation of the Tutorial video.
  • FUEL GILT Conference 2015 (Organized by Mozilla Corporation, Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), Pune and Red Hat; Tamil Virtual Academy, Anna University Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kottur, Chennai; November 20 - 22, 2015). Subhashish Panigrahi spoke at the event.

# Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following:

The following were published in October but mirrored on the CIS website recently:

►Openness

  • Design Public Conclave, 6th Edition (Organized by by Civic Labs, an initiative of the Center for Knowledge Studies, and part of the Vihara Innovation Network, in partnership with Social Innovation Exchange, Okapi, Business World, Business World for Smart Cities, and the Delhi Jal Board; New Delhi; November 3, 2015). Sumandro Chattapadhyay and Amber Sinha participated in the event.

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Internet Governance

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As part of its research on privacy and free speech, CIS is engaged with two different projects. The first one (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on studying the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government.

►Internet Governance Forum

IGF 2015 was held at Jao Pessoa in Brazil from November 10 to 13, 2015. The theme for IGF 2015 was Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development. Sunil Abraham, Pranesh Prakash and Jyoti Panday participated. Overall CIS spoke in 10 panels.

  • The Social Role of the Communications and the Strengthening of the Freedom of Expression Panel - "Cultural Diversity and Freedom of Expression" (Organized by Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Communications of Brazil; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 9, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist. Thirty-three participants took part in this pre-event.
  • Open Forum - DINL, Digital Infrastructure Association (Organized by Digital Infrastructure Netherlands Foundation; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 10, 2015). Jyoti Panday was a speaker at this workshop. CIS participated in the open forum to discuss the increase in government engagement with "the internet" to protect their citizens against crime and abuse and to protect economic interests and critical infrastructures. Thirteen participants attended the open forum.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Internet Economy (Organized by Multistakeholder Advisory Group; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 11, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist. Fifty five delegates attended the event. CIS participated in the discussions focusing on internet economy and internet role in sustainable development goals.
  • Cases on the right to be forgotten, what have we learned? (Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 11, 2015). Jyoti Panday attended the event. CIS took part in the event to understand arguments, scope, discussions and current situation of the Right to be Forgotten outside the EU and around the world in rulings and legislations. Fifty four participants attended the event.
  • The Benefits and Challenges of the "Free Flow" of Data (Organized by Public Knowledge; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 12, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist. Twenty-four delegates attended the event. CIS was part of the panel which discusssed the many benefits and challenges of the free flow of data. The workshop fostered a discussion of the ways in which stakeholders could address the underlying reasons for data flow restrictions.
  • Encryption and Anonymity: Rights and Risks (Organized by ARTICLE 19 and Privacy International; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 12, 2015). Pranesh Prakash was a speaker. CIS participated in the roundtable that discussed recommendations and the latest challenges to the protection of anonymity and encryption. Sixty three delegates attended.
  • A Dialogue on "Zero Rating" and Network Neutrality (Organized by Chalmers & Associates; Jao Pessoa; Brazil; November 12, 2015). Pranesh Prakash was a speaker. CIS took part in the discussion to promote access to expert insight and multi-stakeholder community discussion. Eighty five delegates attended the session.
  • Empowering the next billion by improving accessibility (Organized by Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability and Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs; November 13, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist. Pranesh Prakash participated in the discussions. CIS took part in the discussions that examined the technological and programmatic solutions available today for an effective removal of such barriers, potentially bringing a considerable number of new users to the Internet.
  • FOSS & a Free, Open Internet: Synergies for Development (Organized by Civil Society; Jao Pessoa, Brazil; November 13, 2015). Sunil Abraham and Pranesh Prakash spoke at the event. CIS took part in the discussions that explored links between the Free and Open nature of the Internet and the Free and Open Source Software through a series of experience sharing among the speakers as well as audiences.
  • Transnational Due Process: A Case Study in MS Cooperation (Organized by Internet & Jurisdiction Project; Jao Pessoa; November 13, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist. The tension between the cross-border nature of the Internet and diverse national jurisdictions is a prime concern. The round-table described the method employed to develop this framework, challenges encountered and solutions found as well as the potential distribution of roles among the respective stakeholders in the operation of the diverse framework components. Twelve delegates attended this workshop.

►Big Data

# Article

# Blog Entry

# Event Organized

  • Big Data in the Global South International Workshop (Organized by Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro; Hotel Windsor Florida, Rua Ferreira Viana, Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; November 16 - 17, 2015). Sunil Abraham and Vipul Kharbanda were speakers at this event.

# Participation in Event

►Privacy

# Blog Entries


# Participation in Event


►Free Speech, Expression and Censorship

# Submission

# Article

# Blog Entries

►Cyber Security

# Participation in Events

  • Technology, Innovation and Societal Change (Organized by Indian Institute of Management; Bangalore; November 4, 2015). Vanya Rakesh attended the event.
  • Ground Zero Summit (Organized by Infosec Consortium; November 5 - 8, 2015; New Delhi). Amber Sinha attended the event.
  • Cyber Security Summit 2015 (Organized by Government of Karnataka in association with Biz Wingz Production House; JW Marriot, Bangalore; November 27, 2015). Sunil Abraham was a panelist.

►Miscellaneous

# Article

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Telecom
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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:

# Op-ed

# Blog Entry

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Researchers at Work

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The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by contemporary concerns to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It is interested in producing local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:

# Book

# Blog Entries

# Event Organized

# Upcoming Event

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News & Media Coverage
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CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

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About CIS
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The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with diverse abilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of
social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.

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► Request for Collaboration

We invite researchers, practitioners, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at sunil@cis-india.org (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at sumandro@cis-india.org (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, at tanveer@cis-india.org.

CIS is grateful to its primary donor the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.