September 2016 Newsletter
Welcome to the September 2016 newsletter of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS).
Thank you for reading the Centre for Internet and Society's September newsletter. The past month was notable for the media presence that various CIS members had. Dr. Nirmita Narasimhan continued our work looking at the inaccessibility of everyday electronics with a piece in the Huffington Post about mobile applications and their low usability for persons with disabilities.
Ting-Yi Chang continued her research into the gender gap in Wikipedia, with a series of blog posts looking at the various movements and discoveries she has made about the Indian and the global context.
We are also happy to announce that CIS, in partnership with the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy, will organize the second Internet Researchers' Conference next year.
Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.
CIS in the news:
- Talking Point: Futile Battle Against Torrents (Deccan Herald; September 1, 2016)
- Despite SC order, thousands booked under scrapped Sec 66A of IT Act (Aloke Tikku; Hindustan Times; September 7, 2016).
- The DigiLocker was supposed to cut down paperwork but less than 0.1% of Indians are using it (Mayank Jain; Scroll.in; September 12, 2016).
- How does the government track all its legal cases? (Shreeja Sen; Livemint; September 13, 2016).
- SpaceX Explosion Slows Facebook & Israeli Efforts To Control Online Content (Kit O' Connell; Mint Press News; September 13, 2016).
- India's Aadhaar mandate for smartphone makers may rile global firms (Alnoor Peermohammed; Business Standard; September 14, 2016).
- “Made in India” Innovation Policy (Prof. Collen Chien and Prof. Contreras; SpicyIP; September 19, 2016).
- Is India Prepared for a Cyber Attack? Suckfly And Other Past Responses Say No (Sushil Kambampati; September 21, 2016).
- To embed a tweet or not? (Vidhi Choudhary; Livemint; September 23, 2016).
- WhatsApp ruling: Experts seek privacy law (Apurva Venkat and Moulishree Srivastava; Business Standard; September 24, 2016).
- When the war’s on WhatsApp (Manju V.; The Times of India; September 25, 2016).
CIS members wrote the following articles
- Internet Rights and Wrongs (Pranesh Prakash; India Today; September 1, 2016).
- Digital India Needs These Policy Changes (Shyam Ponappa; Business Standard and Organizing India Blogspot; September 1, 2016).
- Glaring Errors in UIDAI's Rebuttal (Pranesh Prakash; Economic & Political Weekly; Vol. 51, Issue No. 36; September 3, 2016).
- Quarter Life Crisis: The World Wide Web turns 25 this year (Nishant Shah; Indian Express; September 3, 2016).
- Indians Ask: Is Visiting a Torrent Site Really A Crime? (Subhashish Panigrahi; Global Voices; September 5, 2016).
- Making Telugu Suitable for Internet (Rahmanuddin Shaik; Ammanudi; September 6, 2016).
- Where is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Headed? (Anubha Sinha; Spicy IP; September 12, 2016).
- Software Freedom Day: The Importance of Free and Open Source Software (Subhashish Panigrahi; DNA; September 17, 2016).
- ଆମ ହାତେ ଆମ କୋଡ୍ ଲେଖିବା (Subhashish Panigrahi; Samaja; September 17, 2016).
- It's September, and That Means It's Time for Software Freedom Day (Subhashish Panigrahi; Global Voices; September 17, 2016).
- Who Owns Your Phone? (Nishant Shah; Indian Express; September 18, 2016).
- Mobile Apps Are Excluding Millions Of Indians Who Want To Use Them (Nirmita Narasimhan; Huffington Post; September 22, 2016).
- Delhi High Court’s Ruling Against Publishers is a Triumph For Knowledge (Anubha Sinha; September 23, 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
- September 2016 Report (Suman Dogra; August 31, 2016).
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.
►Copyright and Patent
- Methodology: Statements of Working (Form 27) of Indian Mobile Device Patents (Rohini Lakshané; September 14, 2016).
Participation in Events
- Workshop on Innovation, Economic Development and IP in India and China (Organised by the Singapore Management University, O.P. Jindal Global University, and Renmin University of China; New Delhi; September 27 - 28, 2016). Anubha Sinha made a presentation on Investigating Limits to Innovation and Peer Production in India's Mobile Apps Economy. Rohini Lakshané made a presentation on Exploring Open Hardware in Mass Produced Mobile Phones.
- Law and Economy Policy Conference 2016 (Organized by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Institute of New Economic Thinking; India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; September 28 - 30, 2016). Sunil Abraham served as a discussant on the "Towards a privacy framework for India" session of this conference.
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).
- Wikiwomen’s Meetup at St. Agnes College Explores Potentials and Plans of Women Editors in Mangalore, Karnataka (Ting-Yi Chang; September 1, 2016).
- A workshop to improve Telugu Wikipedia articles on Nobel laureates (Pavan Santhosh; September 12, 2016).
- Another 5 Years: What Have We Learned about the Wikipedia Gender Gap and What Has Been Done? (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3; Ting-Yi Chang; September 18, 2016).
- ସଫ୍ଟଓଏର ସ୍ୱାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ: ଆମ ହାତେ ଆମ କୋଡ଼ ଲେଖିବା (Subhashish Panigrahi; September 18, 2016). The blog post was mirrored in Your Story, Odisha Story and Aajira Odisha on September 17, 2016. The originally published piece can be accessed here.
- Campaign for relicensing copyrighted books under Creative Commons licenses (Pavan Santhosh S. & Subhashish Panigrahi; September 20, 2016).
- Comments on the Telangana State Open Data Policy 2016 (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; September 1, 2016).
Participation in Event
- Fuel Gilt Conference 2016 (Organized by Fuel Project; New Delhi; September 24 - 25, 2016). Subhashish Panigrahi participated and made a presentation.
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.
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.
Participation in Event
- Young Scholars' Programme, CPRSouth 2016 (Organized by Communication Policy Research South; September 6 - 7, 2016; Zanzibar). Rohini Lakshané participated in this programme.
Participation in Event
- CYFY 2016 - The India Conference on Cyber Security and Internet Governance (Organized by Observer Research Foundation; September 28 - 30, 2016; New Delhi). Sunil Abraham was a speaker.
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:
- TRAI Consultation on Proliferation of Broadband through Public WiFi Networks (Sunil Abraham, Sharath Chandra Ram, Vidushi Marda, and Thejaswi Melarkode; September 1, 2016). Shyam Ponappa and Arjun Venkatraman provided inputs.
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:
- 7 Ways to Con/fuse the Internet with Analogy (Intergalactic Mix) - Talk by Surfatial (CIS, Bangalore; September 26, 2016). Surfatial, a trans-local collective that works with text and sound gave a talk about their essay.
- IIRC: Reflections on IRC16 (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; September 6, 2016)
- Internet Researchers' Conference 2017 (IRC17) - Call for Sessions (Sumandro Chattapadhyay; September 23, 2016).
- How Green is the Internet? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Aishwarya Panicker; September 23, 2016).
- Mobilizing Online Consensus: Net Neutrality and the India Subreddit (Sujeet George; September 27, 2016).
Participation in Event
- Designathon 2016 (Organized by Sequoia India; Bangalore; September 10 - 11, 2016).
- Workshop on Center for IT and Society (Organized by IIIT, Delhi; September 17, 2016). Sumandro Chattapadhyay participated in the event.
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 protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (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 protected].