Centre for Internet & Society

The Design & Technology behind India’s Surveillance Programmes

Posted by Udbhav Tiwari at Jan 20, 2017 03:56 PM |

There has been an exponential growth in the pervasive presence of technology in the daily lives of an average Indian citizen over the past few years. While leading to manifold increase in convenience and connectivity, these technologies also allow for far greater potential for surveillance by state actors.

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Global Governance Futures 2027 - Session 3, New Delhi

The Global Governance Futures program (GGF) initiated by Global Public Policy Institute and supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung brings together young professionals to look ahead ten years and recommend ways to address global challenges. Sumandro Chattapadhyay will join Ankhi Das (Facebook) and Arun Mohan Sukumar (Observer Research Foundation) on Tuesday, January 17, to discuss the "data governance" scenarios developed by the GGF 2027 Fellows.

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Social Media Monitoring

Posted by Amber Sinha at Jan 13, 2017 07:10 PM |

We see a trend of social media and communication monitoring and surveillance initiatives in India which have the potential to create a chilling effect on free speech online and raises question about the privacy of individuals. In this paper, Amber Sinha looks at social media monitoring as a tool for surveillance, the current state of social media surveillance in India, and evaluate how the existing regulatory framework in India may deal with such practices in future.

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Comments on the Proposed ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy

Posted by Padma Venkataraman, Rohini Lakshané, Sampada Nayak and Vidushi Marda at Jan 13, 2017 03:56 PM |
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ICANN sought community input on the Proposed ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy on 7 November 2016. In response to this the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) submitted its comments.

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Comments on the Report of the Committee on Digital Payments (December 2016)

The Committee on Digital Payments constituted by the Ministry of Finance and chaired by Ratan P. Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog, submitted its report on the "Medium Term Recommendations to Strengthen Digital Payments Ecosystem" on December 09, 2016. The report was made public on December 27, and comments were sought from the general public. Here are the comments submitted by the Centre for Internet and Society.

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New Media, personalisation and the role of algorithms

In his much acclaimed book, The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser explains how personalisation of services on the web works and laments that they are creating individual bubbles for each user, which run counter to the idea of the Internet as an inherently open place. While Pariser’s book looks at the practices of various large companies providing online services, he briefly touches upon the role of new media such as search engines and social media portals in new curation. Building upon Pariser’s unexplored argument, this article looks at the impact of algorithmic decision-making and Big Data in the context of news reporting and curation.

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Mapping of Sections in India’s MLAT Agreements

Posted by Leilah Elmokadem and Saumyaa Naidu at Dec 31, 2016 06:52 AM |

This set of infographics by Leilah Elmokadem and Saumyaa Naidu maps out and compares the various sections that exist in the 39 MLATs (mutual legal assistance treaty) between India and other countries. An MLAT is an agreement between two or more countries, drafted for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws.

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Mapping of India’s Cyber Security-Related Bilateral Agreements

Posted by Leilah Elmokadem and Saumyaa Naidu at Dec 29, 2016 01:20 PM |

With the rapid spread of cloud computing and the growth of cyber spaces, large masses of information are now easily transmittable transnationally, necessitating the ratification of new agreements and cooperation efforts amongst states in order to secure cyber spaces and regulate exchanges of information. In an attempt to understand the nature and extent of current international collaborative efforts in cyber security, we have compiled the following data regarding India’s cyber security-related bilateral agreements. The intention of this exercise is to offer a dynamic visualization that demonstrates which countries India has collaborated with on cyber security efforts and initiatives. This is an ongoing map that we will be updating as our research continues.

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Incident Response Requirements in Indian Law

Posted by Vipul Kharbanda at Dec 28, 2016 01:20 AM |

Cyber incidents have serious consequences for societies, nations, and those who are victimised by them. The theft, exploitation, exposure or otherwise damage of private, financial, or other sensitive personal or commercial data and cyber attacks that damage computer systems are capable of causing lasting harm.

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The Curious Case of Poor Security in the Indian Twitterverse

Posted by Udbhav Tiwari at Dec 17, 2016 12:28 AM |

What are the technical, legal and jurisdictional issues around the recent Twitter and email hacks claimed by the ‘Legion Crew’, and what can targeted entities do to better protect themselves?

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Inputs to the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation on Public Policy Issues Pertaining to the Internet (WGEC)

Posted by Sunil Abraham and Vidushi Marda, with inputs from Pranesh Prakash at Dec 17, 2016 12:20 AM |
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The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) submitted inputs to the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation on Public Policy Issues Pertaining to the Internet (WGEC) on 15 December 2016. The WGEC sought inputs on two questions that will guide the next meeting of the Working Group which is scheduled to take place on the 26-27 January 2017.

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ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 Working Group Meetings - A Summary

The Centre for Internet & Society attended the ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 Working Group Meetings from 22 to 27 October 2016 in Abu Dhabi at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

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Deep Packet Inspection: How it Works and its Impact on Privacy

Posted by Amber Sinha at Dec 16, 2016 11:14 PM |

In the last few years, there has been extensive debate and discussion around network neutrality in India. The online campaign in favor of Network Neutrality was led by Savetheinternet.in in India. The campaign was a spectacular success and facilitated sending over a million emails supporting the cause of network neutrality, eventually leading to ban on differential pricing. Following in the footsteps of the Shreya Singhal judgement, the fact that the issue of net neutrality has managed to attract wide public attention is an encouraging sign for a free and open Internet in India. Since the debate has been focused largely on zero rating, other kinds of network practices impacting network neutrality have yet to be comprehensively explored in the Indian context, nor their impact on other values. In this article, the author focuses on network management, in general, and deep packet inspection, in particular and how it impacts the privacy of users.

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ISIS and Recruitment using Social Media – Roundtable Report

Posted by Vidushi Marda, Aditya Tejus, Megha Nambiar and Japreet Grewal at Dec 15, 2016 06:40 PM |

The Centre for Internet and Society in collaboration with the Takshashila Institution held a roundtable discussion on “ISIS and Recruitment using Social Media” on 1 September 2016 from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. at TERI in Bengaluru.

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Protection of Privacy in Mobile Phone Apps

Posted by Hitabhilash Mohanty and Edited by Leilah Elmokadem at Dec 15, 2016 02:18 PM |

The term “Fintech” refers to technology-based businesses that compete against, enable and/or collaborate with financial institutions. The year 2015 was a critical year for the Indian fintech industry, which saw the rise of numerous fintech start-ups, incubators and investments from the public and private sector.

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Workshop Report - UIDAI and Welfare Services: Exclusion and Countermeasures

This report presents summarised notes from a workshop organised by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) on Saturday, August 27, 2016, to discuss, raise awareness of, and devise countermeasures to exclusion due to implementation of UID-based verification for and distribution of welfare services.

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Enlarging the Small Print: A Study on Designing Effective Privacy Notices for Mobile Applications

Posted by Meera Manoj at Dec 14, 2016 04:30 PM |

The Word’s biggest modern lie is often wholly considered to lie in the sentence “I haveread and agreed to the Terms and Conditions.” It is a well-known fact, backed by empirical research that consumers often skip reading cumbersome privacy notices. The reasons for these range from the lengthy nature, complicated legal jargon and inopportune moments when these notices are displayed. This paper seeks to compile and analyse the different simplified designs of privacy notices that have been proposed for mobile applications that encourage consumers to make informed privacy decisions.

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CIS Submission to TRAI Consultation Note on Model for Nation-wide Interoperable and Scalable Public Wi-Fi Networks

Posted by Japreet Grewal, Pranesh Prakash, Sharath Chandra, Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Sunil Abraham, and Udbhav Tiwari, with expert comments from Amelia Andersdotter at Dec 12, 2016 01:55 PM |

​This submission presents responses by the CIS on the ​Consultation Note on Model for Nation-wide Interoperable and Scalable Public Wi-Fi Networks published by the TRAI on November 15, 2016. Our analysis of the solution proposed in the Note, in brief, is that there is no need of a solution for non-existing interoperability problem for authentication and payment services for accessing public Wi-Fi networks. The proposed solution in this Note only adds to over-regulation in this sector, and does not incentivise new investment in the sector, but only establishes UIDAI and NPCI as the monopoly service providers for authentication and payment services.

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Comments on the Draft National Policy on Software Products

Posted by Anubha Sinha, Rohini Lakshané, and Udbhav Tiwari at Dec 11, 2016 04:05 AM |

The Centre for Internet & Society submitted public comments to the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Information & Communications Technology, Govt. of India on the National Policy of Software Products on December 9, 2016.

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Habeas Data in India

Posted by Vipul Kharbanda and edited by Elonnai Hickok at Dec 10, 2016 03:55 AM |

Habeas Data is a latin word which can be loosely translated to mean “have the data”. The right has been primarily conceptualized, designed, ratified, and implemented by various nation-states in the background of a shared common history of decades of torture, terror, and other repressive practices under military juntas and other fascist regimes.

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