Centre for Internet & Society

Seventh issue of the newsletter (July 2014) below:

We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcome you to the seventh issue of the newsletter (July 2014). Archives of our newsletters can be accessed at: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters


  • Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the 28th session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (WIPO-SCCR) held in Geneva from June 30 to July 4, 2014. The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) gave its statements on the Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives and Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations.
  • India became the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty and the Accessible Books Consortium was launched. Nehaa Chaudhari who participated in the 28th session of the WIPO-SCCR reports on this in a blog entry.
  • Vikrant Narayan Vasudeva produced a research paper on patent valuation and license fee determination as part of the Pervasive Technologies project.
  • Our grant application to the Wikimedia Foundation was approved. CIS has been awarded Rs. 12,000,000 for the next one year for the Access to Knowledge (Wikipedia) project.
  • CIS and the University of Mysore organized the Open Knowledge day in Mysore on July 15, 2014. Six volumes of Kannada Vishwakosha was re-released under the Creative Commons (CC license).
  • We helped the Ministry of Science and Technology draft the Open Access Policy for the DST/DBT.
  • The first of the seven proposed roundtable meetings on “Privacy and Surveillance” conducted by CIS in collaboration with the Cellular Operators Association of India and the Council for Fair Business Practices was held in Mumbai on June 28, 2014. Anandini K. Rathore has blogged on this.
  • Bedavyasa Mohanty has produced a blog entry that analyses the nuances of interception of communications under the Indian Telegraph Act and the Indian Post Office Act.
  • Vinayak Mithal has written a blog entry on the Constitutionality of Indian surveillance law that analyses ICANN's reactive transparency mechanism, comparing it with freedom of information best practices. He describes the DIDP and its relevance for the Internet community.
  • Nishant Shah speaks on the right to freedom of speech and expression in the latest interview conducted as part of the Cybersecurity series being done with a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa.
  • Nishant Shah’s peer reviewed article “Asia in the Edges: A Narrative Account of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School in Bangalore” was published in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Journal, Volume 15, Issue 2, on July 3, 2014. Nishant gives a narrative account of the experiments and ideas that shaped the second Summer School, “The Asian Edge” hosted in Bangalore, India, in 2012.
  • CIS recruited two new staff members in its Bangalore office. Rohini Lakshane joined as a Program Officer in the Pervasive Technologies project and K.N. Medini joined as a Senior Accounts Officer. Their profiles can be accessed at http://cis-india.org/about/people/our-team.

Accessibility and Inclusion

Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing two projects. The first project is on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India. We compiled the National Compendium of Policies, Programmes and Schemes for Persons with Disabilities (29 states and 6 union territories). We will be publishing this soon. The draft chapters along with the quarterly reports can be accessed on the project page. The second project is on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

►NVDA and eSpeak

Monthly Update

Blog Entry

Media Coverage

Access to Knowledge
As part of the Access to Knowledge programme we are doing two projects. The first one (Pervasive Technologies) under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is for research on the complex interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property to support intellectual property norms that encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The second one (Wikipedia) 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.


Participation in Event and Statements
Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the 28th session of WIPO-SCCR held in Geneva from June 30 to July 4, 2014. The following have been the outputs from the event:

► Pervasive Technologies

Research Papers

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).

Our grant application to the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) of the Wikimedia Foundation was approved by its board which met in Frankfurt from May 21 to 24, 2014. CIS had requested a grant of Rs. 18,406,454 and were awarded Rs. 12,000,000 for the next one year.

The following were done this month:

Articles / Blog Entries

Event Organized

  • Open Knowledge Day (co-organized by Mysore University and CIS-A2K, Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies, University of Mysore, July 15, 2014). The event coincided with the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin from July 15 to 17. Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the event. On this occasion Mysore University released six volumes of Kannada Vishwakosha under the Creative Commons (CC) license.

Participation in Events

News and Media Coverage
CIS-A2K team gave its inputs to the following media coverage:


Blog Entries

HasGeek Event

  • The Fifth Elephant (NIMHANS Convention Centre, July 25-26, 2014). CIS was a community outreach partner.

Media Coverage

Internet Governance

►Freedom of Expression

As part of our project on Freedom of Expression (funded through a grant from the MacArthur Foundation) to study the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government and contribute to the debates around Internet governance and freedom of expression at forums like ICANN, ITU, IGF, WSIS, etc., we bring you the following outputs:

Blog Entries


We are also posting a selection of news from across India implicating online freedom of expression and use of digital technology: July 7, 2014.


As part of our Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development (SAFEGUARD) project with Privacy International we are engaged in enhancing respect for the right to privacy in developing countries. We have produced the following outputs during the month:

Blog Entries

Event Report


Participation in Events

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

►Cyber Stewards
As part of its project on mapping cyber security actors in South Asia and South East Asia with the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, CIS conducted 2 new interviews. With this it has finished a total of 19 interviews:

Video Interviews

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:

Peer Reviewed Article

Blog Entry

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.

► Follow us elsewhere

► 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 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.