April 2017 Newsletter

by Prasad Krishna last modified May 20, 2017 12:59 PM
Welcome to the CIS newsletter for April 2017.

Dear readers,

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.


Highlights
  • In a report on the information security practices of Aadhaar, Amber Sinha and Srinivas Kodali documented numerous instances of publicly available Aadhaar numbers along with other personally identifiable information of individuals on government websites.
  • CIS along with like minded organizations made a submission to the Government of India to frame a feasible accessibility guidelines for mobile apps since there is no single standard in existence at the moment.
  • A two-day 100 Women Edit-a-thon was held in March 2017 by CIS-A2K team along with Odisha's biggest newspaper Sambad. The event was inspired by BBC’s 100 Women series and edit-a-thons with the same name in December 2016. More than 20 female journalists participated and registered as new Odia Wikipedians.
  • On March 31, 2017, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training released a Circular framing rules under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (“RTI Rules”). The Ministry invited comments on on the RTI Rules. CIS submitted its comments.
  • In an article originally published in Hindu Businessline on March 31, Sunil Abraham lists out 11 reasons why Aadhaar is not just non-smart but also insecure.
  • Shuttleworth Foundation has announced Sunil Abraham as Honorary Steward for its September 2017 fellowship round.
  • CIS worked on a three part case study. The first case study on digital protection of traditional knowledge was published by GIS Watch in December 2016. The other two case studies along with the synthesis overview has also been published.

CIS in the news:


CIS members wrote the following articles:

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Accessibility & Inclusion
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India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities, we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

Submission

Event

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Access to Knowledge
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Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is 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.

►Wikipedia

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).

Blog Entries

Note: All the following events were held earlier but the reports were published in the month of April:

 

►Copyright and Patent


►Openness

Our work in the Openness programme focuses on open data, especially open government data, open access, open education resources, open knowledge in Indic languages, open media, and open technologies and standards - hardware and software. We approach openness as a cross-cutting principle for knowledge production and distribution, and not as a thing-in-itself.
Publication

Submission


Event Organized
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Internet Governance
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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 IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.

►Privacy

Blog Entries


►Free Speech and Expression

Blog Entries

►Miscellaneous

Blog Entry


Event


Participation in Event

  • ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 27 Meetings (Organized by Bureau of Indian Standards; University of Waikato and Novotel; New Zealand; April 18 - 25, 2017). Udbhav Tiwari attended the meetings.

►Cyber Security

Event Organized


Participation in Event

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About CIS
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The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.

► Follow us elsewhere

► Support Us

Please help us defend consumer and 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, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at sunil@cis-india.org (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at sumandro@cis-india.org (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, at tanveer@cis-india.org.

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.

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