Centre for Internet & Society

CIS newsletter for the month of August 2018.

Dear readers,

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.


  • India houses the second largest population in the world at approximately 1.35 billion individuals. In such a diverse and dense context, law enforcement could be a challenging job. Elonnai Hickok and Vipul Kharbanda throw light on the CLOUD Act and its implifications for India in a blog post.
  • On August 9, 2018, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. CIS had commented on some key aspects of the bill in many forums earlier. Elonnai Hickok and Murali Neelakantan in an article published by Bloomberg Quint have voiced their opinion on the bill.
  • Murali Neelakantan, Swaraj Barooah, Swagam Dasgupta and Torsha Sarkar in an Op-ed in Bloomberg Quint have examined the National Health Stack, an ambitious attempt by the government to to build a digital infrastructure with a “deep understanding of the incentive structures prevalent in the Indian healthcare ecosystem. The authors have argued that collection of health data, without sensitisation and accountability, has the potential to deny healthcare to the vulnerable.
  • An article titled India's Contribution to Internet Governance Debates, co-authored by Sunil Abraham, Mukta Batra, Geetha Hariharan, Swaraj Barooah and Akriti Bopanna, was published in the NLUD Student Law Journal, an annual peer-reviewed journal published by the National Law University, Delhi.
  • IT/IT-eS Sector and the Future of Work in India was organized at Omidyar Networks’ office in Bangalore, on June 29, 2018. Torsha Sarkar, Ambika Tandon and Aayush Rath co-authored a report.
  • Swaraj Barooah and Gurshabad Grover co-authored an article in Livemint that examines a few problematic provisions in the proposed Anti-trafficking Bill. The authors say that it may lead to censorship.
  • The Researchers at Work programme of CIS had invited abstracts for essays that explore dimensions of offline lives. Selected authors are expected to submit the first draft of the essay (2000-4000 words) by Friday, October 5, 2018.


CIS in the News

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.


Blog Entry

Events Organized

Event Participation
Note: Event reports for all these were published in the month of August 2018.

Internet Governance

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.


Blog Entries

Event Participation

Free Speech & Expression

Blog Entry

Event Participation
  • Feminist Information Infrastructure Workshop with Blank Noise and Sangama (Organized by Sangama and Blank Noise; CIS, Bangalore; August 8, 2018). Akriti Bopanna, Swaraj Paul Barooah and Ambika Tandon conducted the workshop.
  • Summer School on Disinformation (Organized by Digital Asia Hub, Hans-Bredow-Institut, University of Hamburg, Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro - ITS Rio and Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; Azure Room, Pullman, Jakarta; August 22 - 24, 2018). Sunil Abraham made a presentation on Disinformation and Online Recruitment.
  • World Library and Information Congress 2018 (Organized by International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; Kuala Lumpur; August 26 - 27, 2018). Swaraj Paul Barooah was a speaker at two panels. Swaraj's first panel, titled "Intellectual Freedom in a Polarised World" was selected as one of 9 sessions to be live-streamed and recorded, out of 249 sessions in total. The recording can be accessed on YouTube.

Information Technology

Blog Entry

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:

  • Call for Essays: Offline (P.P. Sneha; August 6, 2018). Selected authors are expected to submit the first draft of the essay (2000-4000 words) by Friday, October 5, 2018.

About CIS

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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► 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].

CIS is grateful to its primary donor the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.