Centre for Internet & Society

Beyond Public Squares, Dumb Conduits, and Gatekeepers: The Need for a New Legal Metaphor for Social Media

by Amber Sinha

In the past few years, social networking sites have come to play a central role in intermediating the public’s access to and deliberation of information critical to a thriving democracy. In stark contrast to early utopian visions which imagined that the internet would create a more informed public, facilitate citizen-led engagement, and democratize media, what we see now is the growing association of social media platforms with political polarization and the entrenchment of racism, homophobia, and xenophobia.

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Regulating Sexist Online Harassment as a Form of Censorship

by Amber Sinha

This paper is part of a series under IT for Change’s project, Recognize, Resist, Remedy: Combating Sexist Hate Speech Online. The series, titled Rethinking Legal-Institutional Approaches to Sexist Hate Speech in India, aims to create a space for civil society actors to proactively engage in the remaking of online governance, bringing together inputs from legal scholars, practitioners, and activists. The papers reflect upon the issue of online sexism and misogyny, proposing recommendations for appropriate legal-institutional responses. The series is funded by EdelGive Foundation, India and International Development Research Centre, Canada.

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Comments and recommendations to the Guidelines for “Influencer Advertising on Digital Media”

by Torsha Sarkar and Shweta Mohandas

In February, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had issued draft rules for regulation of digital influencers, with an aim to "understand the peculiarities of [online] advertisements and the way consumers view them", as well as to ensure that: "consumers must be able to distinguish when something is being promoted with an intention to influence their opinion or behaviour for an immediate or eventual commercial gain". In lieu of this, we presented our responses.

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New intermediary guidelines: The good and the bad

by Torsha Sarkar

In pursuance of the government releasing the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, this blogpost offers a quick rundown of some of the changes brought about the Rules, and how they line up with existing principles of best practices in content moderation, among others.

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Pandemic Technology takes its Toll on Data Privacy

by Aman Nair and Pallavi Bedi

The absence of any legal framework has meant these tools are now being used for purposes beyond managing the pandemic.

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The Geopolitics of Cyberspace: A Compendium of CIS Research

by Arindrajit Basu

Cyberspace is undoubtedly shaping and disrupting commerce, defence and human relationships all over the world. Opportunities such as improved access to knowledge, connectivity, and innovative business models have been equally met with nefarious risks including cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, government driven digital repression, and rabid profit-making by ‘Big Tech.’ Governments have scrambled to create and update global rules that can regulate the fair and equitable uses of technology while preserving their own strategic interests.

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A Guide to Drafting Privacy Policy under the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

by Shweta Reddy

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, (PDP Bill) which is currently being deliberated by the Joint Parliamentary Committee, is likely to be tabled in the Parliament during the winter session of 2021.

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Media Market Risk Ratings: India

by Torsha Sarkar, Pranav M Bidare, and Gurshabad Grover

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) are launching a study into the risk of disinformation on digital news platforms in India, creating an index that is intended to serve donors and brands with a neutral assessment of news sites that they can utilise to defund disinformation.

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Beyond the PDP Bill: Governance Choices for the DPA

by Trishi Jindal and S.Vivek

This article examines the specific governance choices the Data Protection Authority (DPA) in India must deliberate on vis-à-vis its standard-setting function, which are distinct from those it will encounter as part of its enforcement and supervision functions.

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