February 2017 Newsletter

by Prasad Krishna last modified May 20, 2017 12:46 PM
Welcome to the February 2017 newsletter of the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS).

Dear readers,

We are pleased to bring you the Centre for Internet & Society's February newsletter. Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.

  • Submitted comments on the Vision Document 2030 published by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in February 2017. Our submission recommended that the vision articulate more clearly in terms of quantifiable targets what it seeks to achieve at different points of time and that these targets are not so minimally set as to undermine the aims of the Act and the national commitments outlined therein.
  • Ting-Yi Chang wrote an article on the state of women editors in Wikipedia. In a write-up published by Your Story on February 7, Ting-Yi explored the reasons for the low percentage of women centric articles on the social media platform and how could the gender gap be bridged.
  • In a research paper Anisha Gupta has assessed the privacy protections under 15 e-governance schemes. The paper analysed the schemes rolled out by the government, starting from 2010.
  • Amber Sinha, Vanya Rakesh and Vidushi Marda authored a research paper that has sought to understand the most effective way of researching Big Data in the Global South.
  • The second edition of the Internet Researchers' Conference, an annual conference initiated by CIS to bring researchers, academicians and others on a common platform to share insights and chart the way foreword was held in Bengaluru.
  • Divij Joshi and Aditya Chawla in a report studied five Indian telecommunication companies and three Indian online service providers. The report has evaluated the practices and policies of companies which provide internet infrastructure or internet services, and are integral intermediaries to the everyday experience of the internet in India.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 was passed, which shall replace the present Data Protection Directive DPD 95/46/EC. This step is likely to impact the way of working for many organisations. In this light CIS requests you to take part in a survey aimed at understanding how various organisations view the changes in the Data Protection Regime in the European Union.

CIS in the news:

CIS members wrote the following articles:


Accessibility & Inclusion
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.


Access to Knowledge
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.


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

Event Organized

  • Marathi Wikisource & Digitisation Workshop (Organized by CIS, Maharashtra Granthottejak Sanstha, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited and Jnana Prabhodini; Jnana Prabodhini, Sadashiv Peth, Pune; February 17, 2017 and C Trade Tower, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune; February 18, 2017).

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 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.


Research Papers


Participation in Events

►Big Data

Research Paper

►Freedom of Expression and Cyber Security

Participation in Event

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:


Researchers at Work
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by an emerging need to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It aims to produce local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:

Event Organized

  • Internet Researchers' Conference 2017 (Organized by the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy and CIS; International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru; March 3 - 5, 2017).

About CIS
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.

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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 [email protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (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 [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.
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