Centre for Internet & Society

An Overview of DNA Labs in India

Posted by Shilpa Narani at Jul 24, 2011 08:15 AM |

DNA fingerprinting has become the most precise and technologically advanced method for identifying crimes such as murder, kidnapping, robbery and rape. Police and judicial authorities and in some cases even private parties retain this in their records, writes Shilpa in this blog post.

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Consumer Privacy in e-Commerce

Posted by Sahana Sarkar at Jul 23, 2011 09:35 AM |

Looking at the larger picture of national security versus consumer privacy, Sahana Sarkar says that though consumer privacy is important in the world of digital technology, individuals must put aside some of their civil liberties when it comes to the question of national security, as it is necessary to prevent societal damage.

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Video Surveillance and Its Impact on the Right to Privacy

Posted by Vaishnavi Chillakuru at Jul 23, 2011 08:15 AM |

The need for video surveillance has grown in this technologically driven era as a mode of law enforcement. Video Surveillance is very useful to governments and law enforcement to maintain social control, recognize and monitor threats, and prevent/investigate criminal activity. In this regard it is pertinent to highlight that not only are governments using this system, but residential communities in certain areas are also using this system to create a safer environment.

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Privacy Matters, Guwahati — Event Report

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Jul 21, 2011 08:00 AM |

On June 23, a public seminar on “Privacy Matters” was held at the Don Bosco Institute in Karhulli, Guwahati. It was organised by IDRC, Society in Action Group, IDEA Chirang, an NGO initiative working with grassroots initiatives in Assam, Privacy India and CIS and was attended by RTI activists and grass roots NGO representatives from across the North Eastern region: Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Assam and Sikkim. The event focused on the challenges and concerns of privacy in India.

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Right to Privacy Bill 2010 — A Few Comments

Posted by Elonnai Hickok at Jul 20, 2011 07:00 AM |

Earlier this year, in February 2011, Rajeev Chandrasekhar introduced the Right to Privacy Bill, 2010 in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is meant to “provide protection to the privacy of persons including those who are in public life”. Though the Bill states that its objective is to protect individuals’ fundamental right to privacy, the focus of the Bill is on the protection against the use of electronic/digital recording devices in public spaces without consent and for the purpose of blackmail or commercial use.

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Privacy & Media Law

Posted by Sonal Makhija at Jul 19, 2011 12:05 PM |

In her research, Sonal Makhija, a Bangalore-based lawyer, tries to delineate the emerging privacy concerns in India and the existing media norms and guidelines on the right to privacy. The research examines the existing media norms (governed by Press Council of India, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Code of Ethics drafted by the News Broadcasting Standard Authority), the constitutional protection guaranteed to an individual’s right to privacy upheld by the courts, and the reasons the State employs to justify the invasion of privacy. The paper further records, both domestic and international, inclusions and exceptions with respect to the infringement of privacy.

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When Data Means Privacy, What Traces Are You Leaving Behind?

Posted by Noopur Raval at Jul 18, 2011 06:00 AM |

How do you know yourself to be different from others? What defines the daily life that you live and the knowledge you produce in the span of this life? Is all that information yours or are you a mere stakeholder on behalf of the State whose subject you are? What does privacy really mean? In a society that is increasingly relying on information to identify people, collecting and archiving ‘personal’ details of your lives, your name, age, passport details, ration card number, call records etc, how private is your tweet, status update, text message or simply, your restaurant bill?

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My Experiment with Scam Baiting

Posted by Sahana Sarkar at Jul 15, 2011 01:45 PM |

Today, as I am sure many of you have experienced, Internet scams are widespread and very deceptive. As part of my research into privacy and the Internet, I decided to follow a scam and attempt to fully understand how Internet scams work, and what privacy implications they have for Internet users. Though there are many different types of scams that take place over the Internet —identity scams, housing scams, banking scams— just to name a few. I decided to look in depth at the lottery scam.

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RTI and Third Party Information: What Constitutes the Private and Public?

Posted by Noopur Raval at Jul 12, 2011 01:25 PM |
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The passing of the Right to Information Act, 2005 was seen as giving an empowering tool in the hands of the citizens of India, six years post its implementation, loopholes have surfaced with misuse of the many fundamental concepts, which have yet not been defined to allow for a consistent pattern of decisions. Among many problems that emerge with the Act, a major problem is defining the extent to which an individual has access to other people’s information. While most of us tend to think that asking for other people’s phone numbers, personal details like passport number or IT returns are private and would be kept so, under the RTI Act and as seen in the Central Information Commission (CIC) decisions, all of these details can be availed of by someone who doesn’t know you at all!

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Privacy and Security Can Co-exist

Posted by Sunil Abraham at Jun 22, 2011 03:55 AM |

The blanket surveillance the Centre seeks is not going to make India more secure, writes Sunil Abraham in this article published in Mail Today on June 21, 2011.

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Copyright Enforcement and Privacy in India

Posted by Prashant Iyengar at Jun 14, 2011 12:10 PM |

Copyright can function contradictorily, as both the vehicle for the preservation of privacy as well as its abuse, writes Prashant Iyengar. The research examines the various ways in which privacy has been implicated in the shifting terrain of copyright enforcement in India and concludes by examining the notion of the private that emerges from a tapestry view of the relevant sections of Copyright Act.

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Snooping Can Lead to Data Abuse

Snooping Can Lead to Data Abuse

Posted by Sunil Abraham at Jun 09, 2011 12:15 PM |
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THE NATGRID, aiming to link databases of 21 departments and ministries for better counter-terror measures, adopts blunt policy approach, subjecting every citizen to the same level of blanket surveillance, instead of a targeted approach that intelligently focuses on geographic or demographic areas that are currently important, writes Sunil Abraham in this article published by Mail Today on June 9, 2011.

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The New Right to Privacy Bill 2011 — A Blind Man's View of the Elephunt

Posted by Prashant Iyengar at Jun 09, 2011 11:25 AM |

Over the past few days various newspapers have reported the imminent introduction in Parliament, during the upcoming Monsoon session, of a Right to Privacy Bill. Since the text of this bill has not yet been made accessible to the public, this post attempts to grope its way – through guesswork – towards a picture of what the Bill might look like from a combined reading of all the newspaper accounts, writes Prashant Iyengar in this blog post which was posted on the Privacy India website on June 8, 2011.

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Do You Want to be Watched?

Posted by Sunil Abraham at Jun 09, 2011 10:20 AM |
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The new rules under the IT Act are an assault on our freedom, says Sunil Abraham in this article published in Pragati on June 8, 2011.

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The Digital is Political

Posted by Nishant Shah at Jun 08, 2011 12:25 PM |
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Technologies are not just agents of politics, there is politics in their design, writes Nishant Shah in this article published in Down to Earth in the Issue of June 15, 2011.

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Say 'Password' in Hindi

Posted by Nishant Shah at Jun 08, 2011 10:30 AM |
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English might be the language of the online world, but it’s time other languages had their say, writes Nishant Shah. The article was published in the Indian Express on June 5, 2011.

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A Street View of Private and the Public

Posted by Prashant Iyengar at Jun 04, 2011 01:30 PM |

Prashant Iyengar on how in the eyes of the law, the internet giant is like the homeless in India. This article was published by Tehelka on June 4, 2011.

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Bloggers' Rights Subordinated to Rights of Expression: Cyber Law Expert

Posted by Elonnai Hickok at Jun 03, 2011 09:40 AM |

Vijayashankar, an eminent cyber law expert answers Elonnai Hickok’s questions on bloggers' rights, freedom of expression and privacy in this e-mail interview conducted on May 19, 2011.

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Big Brother is Watching You

Posted by Sunil Abraham at Jun 01, 2011 06:40 AM |
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The government is massively expanding its surveillance power over law-abiding citizens and businesses, says Sunil Abraham in this article published by the Deccan Herald on June 1, 2011.

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The Present — and Future — Dangers of India's Draconian New Internet Regulations

Posted by Anja Kovacs at May 31, 2011 09:15 AM |

The uproar surrounding India's Internet Control Rules makes clear that in the Internet age, as before, the active chilling of freedom of expression by the state is unacceptable in a democracy. Yet if India's old censorship regimes are to be maintained in this new context, the state will have little choice but to do just that. Are we ready to rethink the ways in which we deal with free speech and censorship as a society? Asks Anja Kovacs in this article, published in Caravan, 1 June 2011.

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