October 2016 Newsletter
Welcome to the October 2016 newsletter of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS).
We are pleased to bring you the Centre for Internet & Society's October newsletter. The month of October was fervent for CIS as can be gauged from the number of outputs in various publications and our overall presence in the media. A research paper co-authored by Prof. Arunachalam has shed light on the contribution of Indian researchers in open access journals which has been considerably higher as against contributions from rest of the world.
Vipul Kharbanda and Elonnai Hickok in continuance of their research on mutual legal assistance treaties, examined a new approach to international bilateral cooperation being suggested in the United States, by creating a mechanism for certain foreign governments to directly approach the data controllers.
CIS also published the impact report form for receiving the Annual Plan Grant from Wikimedia Foundation.
Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.
CIS in the news:
- Eye on Mumbai (Tariq Engineer; Mumbai Mirror; October 2, 2016).
- Indian language localization community meets in New Delhi (Mayank Sharma; Opensource.com; October 3, 2016).
- An 'app'ening world (Chetana Divya Vasudev; Deccan Herald; October 4, 2016).
- Changing Wikipedia’s (and society’s) male bias is work in progress (Shrabonti Bagchi; Factor Daily; October 5, 2016).
- A Market Structure for Digital India (Shyam Ponappa; Business Standard and Organizing India Blogspot; October 5, 2016).
- If all goes well, Indian IT Act may enter 21st century (Surabhi Agarwal; Economic Times; October 6, 2016).
- Tech for the blind: How app developers can help end the ‘disturbing touchscreen trend’ (Naina Khedekar; First Post; October 10, 2016).
- Tech companies like Gmail, WhatsApp may be asked to store user information (Surabhi Agarwal; Economic Times; October 14, 2016).
- Here is why government twitter handles have been posting offensive and partisan messages (Danish Raza; Hindustan Times; October 15, 2016).
- Digital Native: The Future is Now (Nishant Shah; Indian Express; October 16, 2016).
- New regulations in place; Aadhaar Card records to be preserved for 7 yrs by Centre (Financial Express; October 17, 2016).
- Govt to keep Aadhaar record for 7 years, activists worried (Aloke Tikku; Hindustan Times; October 17, 2016).
- The Big Debit Card Breach: Three Things Card Holders Need To Understand (Alex Mathew; Bloomberg; October 20, 2016).
- Intelligence agencies will not have open access to Aadhaar data: UIDAI chief (Aloke Tikku; Hindustan Times; October 20, 2016).
- ‘Entrepreneurship will become a common, respectable profession’ – 25 quotes from Indian startup journeys (Madanmohan Rao; Your Story; October 23, 2016).
- Some Key Words Are Missing (Arindam Mukherjee; Outlook; October 23, 2016).
- Bridging the gap: Tech giants bring the internet to women in rural India (KumKum Dasgupta; Hindustan Times; October 28, 2016).
- Behind Modi’s Heartwarming Diwali Ad for Soldiers, An App That’s Primed for Political Messaging (Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty; The Wire; October 29, 2016).
CIS members wrote the following articles
- Request for Specifics: Rebuttal to UIDAI (Hans Varghese Mathews; Economic & Political Weekly; September 3, 2016; Volume 51, Issue No.36). This was mirrored on CIS website in the month of October.
- Love in the Time of Tinder (Nishant Shah; Indian Express; October 2, 2016).
- IANA Transition: a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes? (Vidushi Marda; Digital Asia Hub; October 6, 2016).
- Internet democratisation: IANA transition leaves much to be desired (Vidushi Marda; Hindustan Times; October 6, 2016).
- Services like TwitterSeva aren’t the silver bullets they are made out to be (Sunil Abraham; Factor Daily; October 6, 2016).
- Why Open Access Has To Look Up For Academic Publishing To Look Up (Anubha Sinha; October 12, 2016).
- What Indian Language Wikipedias can do for Greater Open Access in India (Subhashish Panigrahi; Your Story; October 20, 2016).
- How Long Have Banks Known About The Debit Card Fraud? (Udbhav Tiwari; Bloomberg; October 22, 2016).
- How Open Access Content helps Fuel Growth in Indian-language Wikipedias (Subhashish Panigrahi; Opensource.com; October 24, 2016).
CIS is presently seeking applications for the following positions
- Policy Officer (Cyber Security)
- Senior Policy Officer (Cyber Security)
- Programme Officer (Communications)
- Intern (Pervasive Technologies Project) - Application accepted throughout the year
- Internship - Application accepted throughout the year
- Survey Participants for Research on Musician Livelihood
Accessibility & Inclusion
India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities, we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.
►NVDA and eSpeak
Our project with the Hans Foundation got over this month. Archives of the reports can be accessed on this page.
Access to Knowledge
Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is 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.
Participation in Events
- Workshop on Innovation, Economic Development and IP in India and China (Co-organized by the Singapore Management University, O.P. Jindal Global University, and Renmin University of China; September 27 - 28, 2016). Anubha Sinha and Rohini Lakshané made presentations. The event details were published on the website in the month of October.
- Workshop on Competition Law and Policy (Co-organized by National School of Law India University and the Delegation of European Union to India; New Delhi; October 19 - 21, 2016). Anubha Sinha and Rohini Lakshané participated and made presentations.
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).
- Grants:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round2/The Centre for Internet and Society/Impact report form (Tanveer Hasan; October 9, 2016).
- UTF-8, Indic and Stub Length Article in Wikipedia (Dr. U.B. Pavanaja; October 20, 2016).
- Querying Wikipedia Data (Dr. U.B. Pavanaja; October 21, 2016).
- Wikipedia Asian Month — 2016 iteration starts on 1 November (Tito Dutta; October 30, 2016).
- Adopting ORCID as a Unique Identifier will Benefit all Involved in Scholarly Communication (Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam and Muthu Madhan; National Medical Journal of India, Vol. 29, No.4, 2016 and Indian Institute of Science Repository; October 28, 2016).
- Should Indian Researchers Pay to Get their Work Published (Muthu Madhan, Siva Shankar Kimidi, Subbiah Gunasekharan, and Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam; Indian Institute of Science Repository; October 29, 2016).
Participation in Events
- OD4D Summit (Organized by IDRC; October 3, 2016).
- Open Data Charter Meeting (Organized by Open Data Charter Lead Stewards; October 5, 2016).
- 4th International Open Data Conference (IODC 16) (Organized by red.es, IDRC, the World Bank and Open Data; October 6-7, 2016).
- (Lack of) Representation of Non-Western World in Process of Creation of Web Standards (Harsh Gupta; October 20, 2016).
- Technical Alternative to Encrypted Media Extensions (Harsh Gupta; October 20, 2016).
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 IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.
- Not Everyone Plays by the Rules in the Digital Playground: Addressing Online Child Sexual Exploitation (Organized by International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Singapore (ICMEC) and TULIR - Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse, India; October 3 - 4, 2016; India Habitat Centre, New Delhi). Japreet Grewal was a speaker.
Participation in Events
- The Future of Privacy in the Age of Big Data (Organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom; September 3 - 10, 2016; Berlin and Hamburg). Vanya Rakesh was one of the participants from South Asia.
- LITD 17 Committee, Bureau of Indian Standards Meeting (Organized by Bureau of Indian Standards; September 23, 2016; Bengaluru). Vanya Rakesh attended the meeting.
- MLATs and the proposed Amendments to the US Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Elonnai Hickok and Vipul Kharbanda; October 20, 2016).
- RBI Directions on Account Aggregators (Elonnai Hickok and Vipul Kharbanda; October 21, 2016).
- Workshop on Big Data in India: Benefits, Harms, and Human Rights (India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; October 1, 2016).
- Workshop on 'Privacy after Big Data' (Co-organized by CIS and the Sarai Programme, CSDS; New Delhi; November 12, 2016).
Participation in Event
- National Cyber Defence Summit 2016 (Organized by National Cyber Safety and Security Standards in association with State & Central Governments, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, AICTE & Anna University; Chennai; September 30 and October 1, 2016). Vanya Rakesh attended the event.
- Hakon 2016 (Organized by by Ninja Information Security Systems; Indore; September 30 - October 2, 2016). Udbhav Tiwari attended the conference.
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:
Participation in Events
- Seminar on Quality of Services in Telecom and Data Services: Issues, Challenges and Solutions (Organized by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi; September 21, 2016). Shyam Ponappa was a speaker. This was mirrored on CIS website in October.
- Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper (Organized by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; Hyderabad; October 24, 2016).
Researchers at Work
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by an emerging need to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It aims to produce local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:
- CISxScholars Delhi - William F. Stafford (CIS, New Delhi; November 3, 2016). William F. Stafford, PhD candidate in UC Berkeley, made a presentation on "Public Measurements, Private Measurements, and the Convergence of Units.
- Learning through Archives: A Colloquium on Digital Scholarship (Organized by FLAME University; Pune; October 16, 2016). P.P. Sneha participated in the dialogue.
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 disabilities, 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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► Support Us
► 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 email@example.com (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.