Centre for Internet & Society

Our newsletter for the month of May is below:

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


  • We have published a summary of the various landmark judgments given by the Supreme Court and some of the high courts in a blog post as part of our National Resource Kit project.
  • CIS submitted its comments on the Open Licensing Policy Guidelines to the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
  • The Access to Knowledge team from CIS has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) College to introduce “Indian Language Wikipedias in the Indian Under Graduate and Post Graduate Classroom”.
  • Sunil Abraham wrote an article “Net Freedom Campaign Loses its Way” in the Hindu Businessline which analyses the recently concluded NETMundial.
  • Divij Joshi gives a comparative analysis of the United States of America and India with regards to search and seizure and the right to privacy in digital age.
  • Anirudh Sridhar has produced an essay “Binary Code Invades the Universal Problematic” looks at language as an archive and posits, through a reading of Foucault, Derrida, Saussure and Jakobson that the means of perceiving language in the digital has changed.
  • As part of its Making Change project CIS is holding a public exhibition of stories of change from all over Asia, where the first of its Production Sprints will take place. The exhibition will be held at CIS office in Bangalore on June 7, 2014.
  • Earlier this year (February 11 – 17) we organized the second Institute on Internet in Pune. A draft of the Knowledge Repository on Internet Access was presented at the event. We are uploading digital versions of the repository for archival purposes. Three units (The Body in Cyberspace, Access to Knowledge and Openness) have been published.

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 first draft of the kit (29 states and 6 union territories). The 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

National Resource Kit

Blog Entry


Blog Entries

Event Organized

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.


Blog Entry

Participation in Event

  • OGP Asia Pacific Regional Conference (co-organized by Web Foundation, World Bank, and UKP-PPP, Bali, May 6 – 7, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a speaker in the session on “Open Data in Asia-Pacific: a Cross-Country Learning Discussion”.

Media Coverage


The following has been done under grant from the Wikimedia Foundation:


  • CIS Signs MoU with Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College (by Dr. U.B.Pavanaja, May 27, 2014): to introduce “Indian Language Wikipedias in the Indian Under Graduate and Post Graduate Classroom”. Dr. U.B. Pavanaja on behalf of the CIS-A2K team signed the MoU. The signing event took place earlier on April 21, 2014.


Event Organized

  • Tulu Wikipedia Workshop (co-organized by CIS-A2K and the Regional Research Centre, MGM College, Udupi, May 25, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.

News and Media Coverage

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 International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on studying the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government.


As part of our MacArthur project on free speech and expression we are posting a selection of news from across India implicating online freedom of expression and use of digital technology:

News Compilation


Blog Entries

Participation in Events

  • Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference 2 (organized by Yale Law School, May 2-4, 2014). Pranesh Prakash participated as a discussant in the session “Speech and Safety Laboratories”.
  • Re:publica 2014: Looking for Freedom (organized by Re:publica in partnership with DAIMLER, Global Innovation Gathering, Microsoft and Science: Lab, Berlin, May 6 – 8, 2014). Pranesh Prakash was a speaker at the session “The Architecture of Invisible Censorship: How Digital and Meatspace Censorship Differ”.
  • Does Size Matter? A Tale of Performing Welfare, Producing Bodies and Faking Identity (organized by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, May 13, 2014). Malavika Jayaram gave a talk on “Does Size Matter? A Tale of Performing Welfare, Producing Bodies and Faking Identity”.
  • The Future of Cyber Governance (organized by Hague Institute for Global Justice in association with the Observer Research Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, and the Netherlands Institute for International Relations – Clingendael, The Hague, May 13 – 15, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a speaker in the session “Do users of major social media platforms have adequate protection of their rights to privacy and freedom of expression?” and “Expert Panel on the Future of Cyber Governance”.
  • WSIS+10 High-Level Event: Open Consultation Process (organized by ITU, UNESCO, United Nations and UNDP, WIPO Conference Room, Geneva, May 28 – 31, 2014). Jyoti Panday participated in this event.

Event Organized

  • National Elections 2014: How Technology Powered Campaigns (organized by HasGeek and CIS, Bangalore, May 23, 2014). Vijay Grover, founder of Bangalore Media Foundation, Viral Shah, part of Nandan Nilekani's campaign management team, and BG Mahesh, founder and managing director at Oneindia.in, made presentations.



Blog Entry

News & Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

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


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:

Newspaper Column

Knowledge Repository on Internet Access

As part of our research (with Ford Foundation) on the origins of the Internet in India, its impact on the Indian GDP and topics and debates surrounding the Internet in today's world we published the following units:

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 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.