October 2011 Bulletin
Welcome to the Centre for Internet and Society newsletter! In this issue we bring you the updates of our research, events, media coverage and videos of some past events organized by us during October 2011.
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:
On Fooling Around: Digital Natives and Politics in Asia
by Nishant Shah, Director-Research
Youths are not only actively participating in the politics of its times but also changing the way in which we understand the political processes of mobilisation, participation and transformation, writes Nishant. The paper was presented at the Digital Cultures in Asia conference at the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Links in the Chain
Analog Relics in the Digital Age, volume 8, issue 4
Guest Editor: Nilofar Ansher
“The scale of inventions has not really leaped, so much as mutated. We had Twitter and Facebook ... (remember notice boards, community centers and pamphlets); they just weren’t so instant, hyperlinked and global in scale. We still use the medium of a mouthpiece and speaker to talk to each other long distance, the difference is in the changed aesthetics of the 21st century – it’s all squarish curves and scratch-proof glass that are more appealing today. Blackboards, writing material, listening devices and memory aids have undergone unprecedented transformations of function and usage, but it’s still about having a blank canvas to write upon with a chalk, pen, paper or iClick”, writes Nilofar in this issue of the Digital Natives newsletter.
- In Search of the Other: Decoding Digital Natives: Nishant Shah charts the trajectories of our research at the Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, India) and Hivos (The Hague, The Netherlands) to see how alternative models of understanding these relationships can be built. This blog post by Nishant Shah was published in DML central on 24 October 2011.
- The Write Stuff , Deccan Chronicle, 14 November 2011. Nishant Shah has been quoted in this article.
India has an estimated 70 million disabled persons who are unable to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. The disabled need accessible content, devices and interfaces facilitated via copyright law and electronic accessibility policies:
- e-Accessibility Policy Handbook for Persons with Disabilities (Russian Version)
Edited by Nirmita Narasimhan
The e-Accessibility Policy Handbook for Persons with Disabilities is now available in Russian. The handbook is a joint publication of ITU, G3ict and the Centre for Internet and Society, in cooperation with the Hans Foundation. Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union wrote the preface, Dr. Sami Al-Basheer, Director, ITU-D wrote the introduction and Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict wrote the foreword.
The case for Accessible Banking by Dinesh Kaushal.
The Access to Knowledge programme addresses the harms caused to consumers, developing countries, human rights, and creativity/innovation from excessive regimes of copyright, patents, and other such monopolistic rights over knowledge:
Of Jesters, Clowns and Pranksters: YouTube and the Condition of Collaborative Authorship
by Nishant Shah, Director-Research, Centre for Internet and Society
The idea of a single author creating cinematic objects in a well-controlled scheme of support system and production/distribution infrastructure has been fundamentally challenged by the emergence of digital video sharing sites like YouTube, writes Nishant in this essay published in the Journal of Moving Images.
The 'Openness' programme critically examines alternatives to existing regimes of intellectual property rights, and transparency and accountability. Under this programme, we study Open Government Data, Open Access to Scholarly Literature, Open Access to Law, Open Content, Open Standards, and Free/Libre/Open Source Software:
- Know Your Users, Match their Needs!
As Free Access to Law initiatives in the Global South enter into a new stage of maturity, they must be certain not to lose sight of their users’ needs. This blog post gives a summary of the “Good Practices Handbook”, a research output of the collaborative project Free Access to Law — Is it Here to Stay? undertaken by LexUM (Canada) and the South African Legal Institute in partnership with the Centre for Internet and Society. Rebecca Schild and Prashant Iyengar from CIS were part of the research team.
- Open Access to Academic Knowledge, organised by the Indian Institute of Science and CIS at National Centre for Science Information, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on 2 November 2011. Tom Dane participated in this event.
- 3rd Canadian Science Policy Conference, organised by Canadian Science Policy Conference from16 to 18 November 2011 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Sunil Abraham spoke in the session on Global Implications of Open and Inclusive Innovation.
- The Wikimedia India Program Trust. A new entity, the “Wikimedia India Program Trust”, has been registered in Delhi. Sunil is a trustee.
The Internet Governance programme conducts research around the various social, technical, and political underpinnings of global and national Internet governance, and includes online privacy, freedom of speech, and Internet governance mechanisms and processes:
Comments / Submissions
CIS Comments on Finance Committee Statements to Open Letters on Unique Identity: The Parliamentary Finance Committee responded to the six open letters sent by CIS through an email on 12 October 2011. CIS has commented on the points raised by the Committee.
Comments on the National Policy of Information Technology: The NPIT 2011 has the laudable goal of making India a ‘knowledge economy with a global role’ by developing and deploying ICT solutions in all sectors to foster development within India and at a global level. CIS appreciates this initiative of the Department of Information Technology and offers brief comments to strengthen the draft.
CIS Comments on the Draft National Policy on Electronics: CIS submitted its comments to the request for comments put out by the Department of Information Technology on its draft 'National Policy on Electronics'.
India's Statement Proposing UN Committee for Internet-Related Policy: India made its statement at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, its proposal for the UN Committee for Internet-Related Policy was presented.
Professor Balaram talks Open Access : Tom Dane spoke with Professor P Balaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Science about the Open Access movement. A podcast of the interview is available for download.
- The 2nd IJLT-CIS Lecture Series — A Post-event Report : The 2nd IJLT-CIS Lecture Series was organised by the Indian Journal of Law and Technology and CIS on the 21st and 22nd of May 2011 at the National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore. The main theme for this year was Emerging Issues in Privacy Law: Law, Policy and Practice.
- Material Cyborgs; Asserted Boundaries
by Nishant Shah, Director-Research
Nishant explores the possibility of formulating the cyborg as an author or translator who is able to navigate between the different binaries of ‘meat–machine’, ‘digital–physical’, and ‘body–self’, using the abilities and the capabilities learnt in one system in an efficient and effective understanding of the other. The essay was published in the European Journal of English Studies, Volume 12, Issue 2.
Articles / Columns
What is Dilligaf? On the web, time moves at the speed of thought: Groups emerge, proliferate and are abandoned as new trends and fads take precedence. Nowhere else is this dramatic flux as apparent as in the language that evolves online. While SMS lingo – like TTYL (Talk To You Later) and LOL (Laughing Out Loud)– has endured and become a part of everyday language, new forms of speech are taking over. This article by Nishant Shah was published in GQ India.
The Book of Jobs The man who made the computer personal, who changed the face of the digital media industry, who was inspired by Zen philosophy to create an eight-billion-dollar empire, Steve Jobs, died last month. Just a few weeks before his death, in the midst of his painful illness, he told Walter Isaacson, the man chosen to write his authorised biography, “I really want to believe that something survives”. And Isaacson wrote him a fairy tale which will make sure that Jobs will be remembered beyond the gizmos and gimmicks, writes Nishant Shah in this article published in the Indian Express on 12 November 2011.
- Is Facebook tracking your virtual footprints? by Sheetal Sukhija in MidDay, 22 November 2011. Sunil Abraham was quoted in this article.
- M-governance gains momentum by Vasudha Venugopal in the Hindu, 20 November 2011.
- Learn it Yourself: The peer-to-peer world of online learning encourages conversations and reciprocal learning, writes Nishant Shah. The article was published by the Indian Express on 30 October 2011. Nishant Shah is quoted in this article.
- SOPA: The bill that could kill the Internet by Suw Charman-Anderson in Firstpost.Technology, 16 November 2011.
- Broadband user base still has a long way to go, by Leslie D’Monte & Deepti Chaudhary in Livemint, 15 November 2011. Sunil Abraham has been quoted in this article.
- Not mandatory’ but maids, guards get fingerprinted by Hemanth Kashyap in Bangalore Mirror, 9 November 2011. Sunil Abraham has been quoted in this article.
- Netizen Report: Transparency Edition by Rebecca MacKinnon in Global Voices Online, 7 November 2011.
- Blocking online content: Google gets more requests than govt by Pallavi Polanki in Firstpost.com, 2 November 2011. Pranesh Prakash has been quoted in this article.
- Sources of CIS Funding by Pranesh Prakash on 9 November 2011.
TRAI urged to take action against P2P throttling and DNS hijacking by Anand on 9 November 2011.
- Exposing Data: Art Slash Activism organised by Tactical Tech and CIS at CIS office in Bangalore on 28 November 2011. Ward Smith and Stephanie Hankey (Co-founders of TTC), Ayisha Abraham (Filmmaker, Srishti School of Art Design) and Zainab Bawa (Research Fellow, CIS) gave a lecture.
- Droidcon India, first Android Conference in Bangalore, organised by CIS in collaboration with Droidcon.com, Bangalore Android User Group, MobileMonday Bangalore and Android Advices on 18 and 19 November 2011 at the MLR Convention Centre, Bangalore.
- Western Ghats Portal: Workshop on Biodiversity Informatics organised by the Western Ghats Portal team at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, 25 November 2011. Sunil Abraham spoke in the session on Scientific Commons and Policy.
- Names Not Numbers Mumbai, 26 November 2011. Nishant Shah spoke in a panel on “The New Digital Individual: Is New Technology Liberating or Enslaving?”. The event was organised by Editorial Intelligence and partners which included the British Council and Financial Times, BBC World News, Mumbai first, Vodafone, Trident and Godrej India Cultural Lab.
- Facebook Resistance Workshop at CIS. This was a workshop for people to learn on how to think beyond the rules and limitations of Facebook, to tweak and play around the features and design to generate useful, creative, and funny concepts and explore how this creative intervention can be turned into a real software developed by the Facebook Resistance.
While the potential for growth and returns exist for telecommunications in India, a range of issues need to be addressed. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the other is a countrywide access to broadband which is low. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum:
- Telecom Path-Breaker?
Does the draft National Telecom Policy-2011 reflect true brilliance or smoke-and-mirrors? It will be a game-changer if a shared network is implemented effectively, writes Shyam Ponappa in this article published in the Business Standard on 3 November 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.