Centre for Internet & Society

Welcome to the newsletter of November 2012 from the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS). The present issue features an analysis of Section 66A of the IT Act by Pranesh Prakash, comments on the draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, an introduction to 12 mobile devices that we are researching as part of the Pervasive Technologies project, submissions of civil society in relation to the revision of International Telecommunication Regulations that are to take place at the ITU's World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, updates from the Wikipedia community on Indic languages, and news and media coverage.


CIS is seeking applications for the posts of Research Manager and Programme Officer – Internet Governance. To apply send your resume to [email protected].


India has an estimated 70 million disabled persons who are unable to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. The disabled need accessible content, devices and interfaces facilitated via copyright law and electronic accessibility policies:

Blog Entry

Event Participated

(organised by ITU, November 9, 2012). Nirmita Narasimhan was a speaker in the session "Introduction: ICT and Telecom Accessibility, Good Practices in Policy and Industry Initiatives".

Access to Knowledge

The Access to Knowledge programme addresses the harms caused to consumers, developing countries, human rights, and creativity/innovation from excessive regimes of copyright, patents, and other such monopolistic rights over knowledge:

WIPO Transcripts

We are providing archival copies of the transcripts of the 25th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights held in Geneva from November 19 to 23, 2012:


Pervasive Technologies: Access to Knowledge in the Marketplace

As a part of the Pervasive Technologies: Access to Knowledge in the Marketplace research project, CIS is researching upon 12 gray-market mobile devices to generate a better understanding of the intellectual property implications of the pervasive mobile technologies available in the Indian market:

Workshop Report

Blog Entries

Upcoming Event


The 'Openness' programme critically examines alternatives to existing regimes of intellectual property rights, and transparency and accountability. Under this programme, we study Open Government Data, Open Access to Scholarly Literature, Open Access to Law, Open Content, Open Standards, and Free/Libre/Open Source Software:

Event Organised

Blog Entry

Event Participated

  • Science Gallery Workshop @ Srishti (organised by Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology and Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology (N2 campus), Bangalore, November 23, 2012). Sunil Abraham participated in this event.

Access to Knowledge Programme

Beginning from September 1, 2012, Wikimedia Foundation has awarded CIS a two-year grant of INR 26,000,000 to support and develop free knowledge in India. The A2K team consists of three members based in Delhi: Nitika Tandon, Subhashish Panigrahi and Noopur Raval. Program Manager, Shiju Alex left the organisation. November 16, 2012 was his last working day.

Events Organised

Events Participated

News and Media Coverage

Blog Entry


HasGeek creates discussion spaces for geeks and has organised conferences like the Fifth Elephant, Droidcon India 2011, Android Camp, etc. HasGeek is supported by CIS and works out from CIS office in Bengaluru. The following event was organised by HasGeek in the month of November: Droidcon India (November 2 and 3, 2012, MLR Convention Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore).

Internet Governance

The Internet Governance programme conducts research around the various social, technical, and political underpinnings of global and national Internet governance, and includes online privacy, freedom of speech, and Internet governance mechanisms and processes:

Analysis of IT Act

Analysis of Justice AP Shah Report

Comments / Submissions to ITU

Event Participated

  • India Internet Governance Conference (organised by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, FICCI and Internet Society, October 4 -5, 2012). Pranesh Prakash made a presentation. CIS was one of the supporting organisations.

Blog Entries

Upcoming Events

Internet Governance Forum

Pranesh Prakash, Chinmayi Arun, Malavika Jayaram and Elonnai Hickok participated in the Internet Governance Forum held in Baku, Azerbaijan in the month of November 2012. In total, CIS spoke in 12 panels:

Event Participated

  • Privacy in the Social Networked World (hosted by the Centre for Business Information Ethics, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan, on behalf of the Asian Privacy Scholars Network, November 19 – 20, 2012). Elonnai Hickok spoke on Transparency and Privacy in India.

Featured in the Media

Media Coverage



While the potential for growth and returns exist for telecommunications in India, a range of issues need to be addressed. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the other is a countrywide access to broadband which is low. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum:


Building Knowledge and Capacity around Telecommunication Policy in India

Ford Foundation has given a grant of USD 2,00,000 to CIS to build expertise in the area of telecommunications in India. The knowledge repository deals with these modules: Introduction to Telecommunications, Telecommunications Infrastructure and Technologies, Government of India Regulatory Framework for Telecom, Telecommunication and the Market, Universal Access and Accessibility, The International Telecommunications Union and other international bodies, Broadcasting, Emerging Topics and Way Forward. Dr. Surendra Pal, Satya N Gupta, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Payal Malik, Dr. Rakesh Mehrotra and Dr. Nadeem Akhtar are the expert reviewers.

The following are the new outputs:

Newspaper Columns

Event Participated

2nd MPL Faculty Workshop (North Zone) on Teaching Public Policy, Media and Law (Central University, Rajasthan, November 1-2, 2012). Snehashish Ghosh made a presentation on "Building a Telecom Knowledge Repository."

Digital Natives

Digital Natives with a Cause? examines the changing landscape of social change and political participation in light of the role that young people play through digital and Internet technologies, in emerging information societies. Consolidating knowledge from Asia, Africa and Latin America, it builds a global network of knowledge partners who critically engage with discourse on youth, technology and social change, and look at alternative practices and ideas in the Global South:


  • Whose Change Is It Anyway? | DML2013: As a preparation for the DML conference, Nishant Shah had an interview with Howard Rheingold, a cyberculture pioneer, social media innovator, and author of "Smart Mobs. Watch the video on YouTube.

About CIS

CIS was registered as a society in Bangalore in 2008. As an independent, non-profit research organisation, it runs different policy research programmes such as Accessibility, Access to Knowledge, Openness, Internet Governance, and Telecom. The policy research programmes have resulted in outputs such as the e-Accessibility Policy Handbook for Persons with Disabilities with ITU and G3ict, and Digital Alternatives with a Cause?, Thinkathon Position Papers and the Digital Natives with a Cause? Report with Hivos, etc. We conducted policy research for the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, etc., on WIPO Treaties, Copyright Bill, NIA Bill, etc. CIS is accredited as an observer at WIPO, and has given policy briefs to delegations from various countries, our Programme Manager, Nirmita Narasimhan won the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities from the Government of India and also received the NIVH Excellence Award.

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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]

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.