Centre for Internet & Society

Our newsletter for the month of December 2013 can be accessed below.

We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) wish you all a great year ahead and welcome you to the twelfth issue of its newsletter (December) for the year 2013:


  • The National Resource Kit team has published a draft chapter highlighting the state of laws, policies and programmes for persons with disabilities in the state of Gujarat.
  • Government of India has passed the National Electronic Accessibility Policy. CIS had worked with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to formulate this policy. We bring you a brief analysis of the policy and provisions therein in a blog post.
  • Nehaa Chaudhari on behalf of CIS submitted comments on the Proposed WIPO Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • CIS-A2K team has published a report highlighting the key accomplishments about the work accomplished on Konkani Wikipedia from September to December 2013.
  • Vipul Kharbanda has provided an analysis of the laws and regulations that apply to Bitcoin in India concluding that government can regulate Bitcoin.
  • We released the first documentary film (DesiSec) on cyber security in India in Bangalore on December 11.
  • In the module on Global Histories of the Internet (part of the Knowledge Repository on Internet Access project) Nishant Shah analyses the understanding of the internet, cyberspace and everyday life and why do we need to know the history of the internet.
  • The second "Institute on Internet and Society" will be held in Yashada, Pune from February 11 to 17, 2014.
  • As part of the Making Change project, Denisse Albornoz provides an analysis of the benefits and limitations of increasing access to information to enable citizenship and political participation.

CIS is seeking applications for the posts of Program Officer (Access to Knowledge) and Program Officer (Internet Governance): http://bit.ly/1aA57K6. There are two vacancies each for these posts and these are full-time based in Delhi. To apply, please send your resume to Sunil Abraham ([email protected]) and Pranesh Prakash ([email protected]) with three writing samples of which at least one demonstrates your analytic skills, and one that shows your ability to simplify complex policy issues.

Accessibility and Inclusion
As part of our project (under a grant from the Hans Foundation) on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India, we bring you draft chapters for the states of Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, and the union territory of Daman and Diu. With this we have completed compilation of draft chapters for 27 states and 5 union territories. Feedback and comments are invited from readers for the following chapter:

► National Resource Kit Chapter

Note: All of the chapters published so far in this project are early drafts and will be reviewed and updated.


# Media Coverage

  • An “Advocacy” Saga and the Inspiring Legacy of Rahul Cherian (by Shamnad Basheer, Spicy IP, December 16, 2013): http://bit.ly/1a5B7sU.

# Blog Entry

  • National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility – An Analysis (by Anandhi Viswanathan, December 27, 2013): http://bit.ly/1dfCW3I.

Access to Knowledge
The Access to Knowledge programme addresses the harms caused to consumers and human rights, and critically examines Open Government Data, Open Access to Scholarly Literature, and Open Access to Law, Open Content, Open Standards, and Free/Libre/Open Source Software.

# Submission

  • Comments on Proposed WIPO Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations (by Nehaa Chaudhari, December 7, 2013). CIS submitted its comments to the Ministry of Human Resource Development: http://bit.ly/1hpWeuu.

# Events Participated In

  • 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest & Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa (organized by University of Cape Town, December 9-13, 2013). Sunil Abraham participated as a speaker in the sessions on Bridging into the Global Congress: Global Issues, Local Answers?, User Rights Track: What Medicines Can Teach Tech: Exploring Patent Pooling and Compulsory Licensing in the Indian Mobile Device Market (http://bit.ly/1f74yir), User Rights Track: Reclaiming the World Trade Organisation: A Modest Proposal for a WTO Agreement on the Supply of Global Public Goods (http://bit.ly/1f74yir), and was a keynote speaker on The Freedom Continuum (http://bit.ly/1dH1WEM). Nehaa Chaudhari also participated in this event: http://bit.ly/1bJArFJ.
  • Twenty-Sixth Session of the Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights (organized by WIPO, Geneva, December 16 – 20, 2013). CIS gave its statement on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives (http://bit.ly/JWnjq7) and on Limitations and Exceptions for Education, Teaching and Research Institutions and Persons with Other Disabilities (http://bit.ly/JWnjq7). Nehaa Chaudhari participated as a speaker. India and the United States introduced 6 proposals on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty: http://bit.ly/1edqvr3.

The following has been done under grant from the Wikimedia Foundation (http://bit.ly/SPqFOl). As part this project (http://bit.ly/X80ELd), we held 3 workshops in the month of December, published a detailed report of key accomplishments of the work done in Konkani Wikipedia, a report on Train the Trainer Program held in the month of October and published an article in DNA.


# Article

  • Telugu Wikipedia completes 10 years (by Rahmanuddin Shaik, DNA, December 16, 2013): http://bit.ly/19OAvUV.  The article was edited by Rohini Lakshané.

# Report

  • CIS-A2K: Work Accomplished on Konkani Wikipedia (by Nitika Tandon, December 31, 2013): http://bit.ly/1l6ttmp. The report throws some light on the work accomplished on Konkani Wikipedia from September to December 2013.

# Blog Entries

  • First ever Train-the-Trainer Program in India (by Nitika Tandon, December 5, 2013): http://bit.ly/1euwSXt.

The following are videos of participants from the Konkani Vishwakosh Digitization project (jointly organised by CIS-A2K and Goa University) speaking on their experiences with Wikimedia projects.

  • Priyadarshini Tadkodkar on Konkani language (by Subhashish Panigrahi, November 17, 2013): http://bit.ly/1hldNM8. We are featuring this here as we didn’t carry this in the last newsletter.
  • Varsha Kavlekar on Konkani Wikipedia Incubator (by Nitika Tandon, December 12, 2013): http://bit.ly/KmxyFo.
  • Darshan Kandolkar on Konkani Vishwakosh Digitization Process (by Nitika Tandon, December 13, 2013): http://bit.ly/1cqKyQ2.
  • Darshana Mandrekar speaks on Konkani Wikipedia (by Nitika Tandon, December 16, 2013): http://bit.ly/1keWyya.
  • Pooja Tople on Wikimedia Projects (by Nitika Tandon, December 17, 2013): http://bit.ly/1hlbubU.

# Events Organised

  • You Too Can Write on Wikipedia! — Training workshop (National Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, December 5, 2013): http://bit.ly/1edmx1z.
  • Telugu Wikipedia Training Workshop (KBN College, Vijaywada, December 16, 2013): http://bit.ly/1i8ScnL.
  • Kannada Wikipedia Workshop at Alvas Vishva Nudisiri Virasat (Moodabidre, December 19 – 22, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja gave a presentation about Kannada Wikipedia and also conducted a workshop on Kannada Wikipedia as a parallel track. The event was covered by Prajavani (December 22), Hosadigantha (December 22), and Deccan Herald (December 22): http://bit.ly/1dGTBkw.

# Events Co-organised

# Event Participated In

  • A Wikipedia Workshop at IISC (organised by the Assamese Wikipedia community, Bangalore, December 1, 2013). CIS-A2K team and Wikipedian Shiju Alex supported this event: http://bit.ly/1dSutY2.

# Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs for the following media coverage:

  • A Feature on Telugu Wikipedia (Namaste Telengana Newspaper, December 8, 2013): http://bit.ly/19Yjwj6.
  • Odisha: Odia Wikipedia reaching 5000 article mark! (Odisha Diary Bureau, December 17, 2013): http://bit.ly/1dGU2vc.

Internet Governance
CIS is doing a project (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) on conducting research on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). So far we have organised seven privacy round-tables and drafted the Privacy (Protection) Bill. This month we bring you an analysis on whether Bitcoin can be banned by the government and a blog post on misuse of surveillance powers in India. As part of its project (funded by Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and support from the IDRC) on mapping cyber security actors in South Asia and South East Asia a film DesiSec: Episode 1was screened. We also did an interview with Pranesh Prakash on cyber security. With this we have completed a total of 13 video interviews so far:

#  Analysis

  • Can Bitcoin Be Banned by the Indian Government? (by Vipul Kharbanda, December 24, 2013): http://bit.ly/1lJrnGF.

#  Blog Entries

  • Misuse of Surveillance Powers in India (Case 1) (by Pranesh Prakash, December 6, 2013): http://bit.ly/1donbaJ.
  • Brochures from Expos on Smart Cards, e-Security, RFID & Biometrics in India (by Maria Xynou, December 18, 2013): http://bit.ly/1f714fN.
  • India’s Identity Crisis (by Malavika Jayaram, December 31, 2013 Internet Monitor Annual Report: Reflections on the Digital World, published by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society): http://bit.ly/1lTRuuz.

#  Upcoming Events

  • Digital Citizens: Why Cyber Security and Online Privacy are Vital to the Success of Democracy and Freedom of Expression (CIS, Bangalore, January 14, 2014): http://bit.ly/KucEU5. Michael Oghia will give a talk.
  • CPDP 2014 Reforming Data Protection: The Global Perspective (Brussels, January 22 – 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/KsgCws.
  • Nullcon Goa Feb 2014 — International Security Conference (organised by Nullcon, Bogmallo Beach Resort, Goa, February 12 – 15, 2014). CIS is one of the sponsors for this event: http://bit.ly/1lrBu5I.

#  Events Organised

  • Big Democracy: Big Surveillance - A talk by Maria Xynou (CIS, Bangalore, December 3, 2013): http://bit.ly/19YnA31.
  • DesiSec: Episode 1 - Film Release and Screening (CIS, December 11, 2013): http://bit.ly/1lJt2fm.
  • Legal Issues pertaining to Cloud Computing (NLSIU Campus, Bangalore, December 14-15, 2013): http://bit.ly/1cvcmGq.
  • Biometrics or Bust? Implications of the UID for Participation and Inclusion (CIS, Bangalore, January 10, 2014). Malavika Jayaram will give a talk: http://bit.ly/1lJZhuK.

#  Events Participated In

  • Convention on Crisis of Capitalism and brazen onslaught on Democracy (organized by INSAF, December 6, 2013). Snehashish Ghosh participated as a speaker: http://bit.ly/1gAxmNy.
  • International View of the State-of-the-Art of Cryptography and Security and its Use in Practice (IV) (jointly organized by Microsoft Research India, Indian Institute of Science, and Indian Institute of Technology Madras, December 6, 2013). Sunil Abraham was a panellist: http://bit.ly/1eAXl5t.
  • Technology in Government and Topics in Privacy (organized by Data Privacy Lab, CGIS Cafe, Cambridge Street, Harvard University Campus, December 9, 2013). Malavika Jayaram participated as a speaker on Biometrics in Beta – India's Identity Experiment: http://bit.ly/1bJDqht.
  • Cyberscholars Working Group at MIT (organized by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, December 12, 2013): Malavika Jayaram made a presentation on Biometrics or Bust - India’s Identity Crisis: http://bit.ly/1eIpHef.
  • Seventh NLSIR Symposium on “Bridging the Security-Liberty Divide” (organised by National Law School, Bangalore, December 21-22). Chinmayi Arun and Bhairav Acharya were speakers at this event: http://bit.ly/1gjsxYe.

News & Media Coverage
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

#  Announcement

  • Pranesh Prakash has been elected as the Asia-Pacific representative to the executive committee of the NonCommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) (part of the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group, which is in turn part of the Generic Names Supporting Organization, which is in turn part of ICANN): http://bit.ly/KuIVeC.

Shyam Ponappa, a Distinguished Fellow at CIS is a regular columnist with the Business Standard. The articles published on his blog Organizing India Blogspot is mirrored on our website:

# Newspaper Column

  • For a Telecom Revival (by Shyam Ponappa, Business Standard, December 4, 2013 and Organizing India Blogspot, December 5, 2013): http://bit.ly/1avRDii.

Digital Humanities
CIS is building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. The Digital will be used as a way of unpacking the debates in humanities and social sciences and look at the new frameworks, concepts and ideas that emerge in our engagement with the digital. The clusters aim to produce and document new conversations and debates that shape the contours of Digital Humanities in Asia:

#  Blog Entry

Digital Natives

CIS is doing a research project titled “Making Change”. The project will explore new ways of defining, locating, and understanding change in network societies. Having the thought piece 'Whose Change is it Anyway' as an entry point for discussion and reflection, the project will feature profiles, interviews and responses of change-makers to questions around current mechanisms and practices of change in South Asia and South East Asia:

►Making Change Project

# Blog Entries

  • Tactical Technology: Information is Power?  (by Denisse Albornoz, December 26, 2013): http://bit.ly/1cEUrcY.
  • Tactical Technology: Designing Activism (by Denisse Albornoz, December 27, 2013): http://bit.ly/1a9IuzH.


# Newspaper Column

Knowledge Repository on Internet Access
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project to create a knowledge repository on Internet and society. This repository will comprise content targeted primarily at civil society with a view to enabling their informed participation in the Indian Internet and ICT policy space. The repository is available at the Internet Institute website: http://bit.ly/1iQT2UB.

# Upcoming Event

  • Institute on Internet and Society (organised by Ford Foundation and CIS, Yashada, Pune, February 11-17, 2014): http://bit.ly/180mQi9. Registrations are closed for this event.

# Modules

About CIS

The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.

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► Support Us

Please help us defend consumer / citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of ‘The Centre for Internet and Society’ and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd ‘C’ Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru – 5600 71.

► Request for Collaboration:
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]. To discuss collaborations on Indic language wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at [email protected].

CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the 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.