September 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 that happened in the month of September 2011.
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 base, the RAW programme has been collaborating with different organizations and individuals in order to focus on its two year thematic of Histories of the Internets in India. Five monographs were recently launched at a workshop, Locating Internets: Histories of the Internet(s) in India — Research Training and Curriculum held in Ahmedabad from 19 to 22 August 2011.
- Re:Wiring Bodies by Asha Achuthan
- The Last Cultural Mile by Ashish Rajadhyaksha
- Porn: Law, Video, Technology by Namita A Malhotra
- Archives and Access by Aparna Balachandran and Rochelle Pinto
- Internet, Society and Space in Indian Cities by Pratyush Shankar
Digital Natives with a Cause?
Digital Natives with a Cause? is a knowledge programme initiated by CIS, India 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.
- Digital AlterNatives with a Cause? - This collaboratively produced collective, edited by Nishant Shah and Fieke Jansen, asks critical and pertinent questions about theory and practice around ‘digital revolutions’ in a post MENA (Middle East - North Africa) world. It works with multiple vocabularies and frameworks and produces dialogues and conversations between digital natives, academic and research scholars, practitioners, development agencies and corporate structures to examine the nature and practice of digital natives in emerging contexts from the Global South.
- Digital (Alter)Natives with a Cause? — Book Review by Maarten van den Berg - The books come in a beautifully designed cassette and are accompanied by a funky yellow package in the shape of a floppy disk containing the booklet ‘D:coding Digital Natives’, a corresponding DVD, and a pack of postcards portraying the evolution of writing - in the sentence ‘I love you’, written with a goose feather in 1734, to the character set ‘i<3u’ entered on a mobile device in 2011, writes Maarten van den Berg. The review was published in "The Broker" on 19 September 2011.
- Digital AlterNatives book launch – CIS and Hivos launched this book at the Museum for Communication, Hague on 16 September 2011.
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.
- Stakeholders Meeting of the USOF on Facilitating ICT Access to Persons with Disabilities in Rural Areas, on 7 September 2011. Nirmita Narasimhan made a presentation.
Access to Knowledge
Access to Knowledge is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents, and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape. CIS believes that access to knowledge and culture is essential, and such access promotes creativity and innovation, and helps bridge the differences between the developing and developed worlds in a positive manner. Towards this end, CIS is campaigning for an international treaty on copyright exceptions for print-challenged people, advocating against laws (such as the PUPFIP Bill) that privatize public-funded knowledge, call for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty to be restricted to broadcast, question the demonization of 'pirates', and support endeavours that explore and question the current copyright regime.
New Blog Entries
- Copyright Amendment Bill in Parliament by Nirmita Narasimhan, 30 August 2011.
- Photocopying the past by Sunil Abraham in the Indian Express, 2 September 2011.
- Calling Out the BSA on Its BS by Pranesh Prakash, 9 September 2011.
Internet technologies have fundamentally questioned the notion of governance, not only at the level of administration but also at the level of mechanisms of control, regulation and shaping of the individual. e-Governance initiatives, in combination with other regimes of surveillance, control and censorship, are redefining what it means to be a citizen, a subject, and an individual. We look at questions of governance — at the micro level of the individual and the private (family, relationships, community structures, etc.) as well as the level of governmentality — at the macro level of nation state, citizenship, market economies, and the public (spaces of consumption, work, leisure, political engagement, etc.) under the umbrella of digital governance.
New Blog Entry
- Understanding the Right to Information by Elonnai Hickok, 28 September 2011.
- Using the Internet as a Tool for Political Change: Lessons Learned and Way Forward, IGF, Nairobi, 27 September 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.
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.
- Reviving Growth, published in the Business Standard on 1 September 2011.
- Open Spectrum for Development in the Context of the Digital Migration, IGF, Nairobi, 29 September 2011.
- Screening of Partners in Crime, [email protected] Nandan along with CIS screened the film and followed it with a discussion with the director of the film, Paromita Vohra, Smriti Nandan Cultural Centre, 9 September 2011.
- Prime Security: The Mathematics of RSA Encryption, a one-day workshop with Rohit Gupta, a leading Mathematician.
News & Media Coverage
- India's social media "spring" masks forgotten protests [Alistair Scrutton in Reuters, 25 August 2011].
- Social media holds the key to Hazare's campaign success [Alistair Scrutton in NEWS.scotsman.com, 26 August 2011].
- Digital divide: Why Irom Sharmila can’t do an Anna [FirstPost.Ideas, 25 August 2011].
- When revolutions go viral [Times of India (Crescent Edition), 27 August 2011].
- IBSA Seminar on Global Internet Governance, organised by the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, with support from the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) and the Center for Technology & Society (CTS/FGV) and governmental and non- governmental actors from India, Brazil and South Africa, 1 to 2 September 2011, Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pranesh Prakash participated in this event.
- Copyrights Amendment Bill to Be Tabled in Indian Parliament – Parallel Import provisions have Been Removed [Mike Palmedo in infojustice.org, 5 September 2011]
- The Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development [Indigo Trust, 15 September 2011]. Sunil Abraham participated in this event. A video of his speech is now available on YouTube.
- Planning Commission, Census 2011 and India Post using social media to understand people's pulse better [Vikas Kumar in the Economic Times, 20 September 2011]
- The Impact of Regulation: FOSS and Enterprise, organised by FOSSFA and ICFOSS, IGF, Nairobi, 28 September 2011.
- Privacy, Security, and Access to Rights: A Technical and Policy Analyses, organised by Expression Technologies, IGF, Nairobi, 29 September 2011.
- Putting Users First: How Can Privacy be Protected in Today’s Complex Mobile Ecosystem?, organised by GSM Association, 29 September 2011.
- The Truman Show, in Kerala [Times of India, posted on CIS website on 23 September 2011].
- Making a difference, online and offline [LiveMint, 27 September 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.