January 2011 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 30, 2012 11:25 AM
Greetings from the Centre for Internet and Society! It gives us immense pleasure to present regular updates on the progress of our research on the mainstream Internet media. In this issue of we bring our latest project updates, news and media coverage:


RAW is a multidisciplinary research initiative. CIS believes that in order to understand the contemporary concerns in the field of Internet and society, it is necessary to produce local and contextual accounts of the interaction between the Internet and socio-cultural and geo-political structures. To build original research knowledge base, the RAW programme has been collaborating with different organisations and individuals to focus on its three year thematic of Histories of the Internets in India. Monographs finalised from these projects have been published on the CIS website for public review:

Digital Natives

CIS has interest in developing Digital Identities as a core research area and looks at practices, policies and scholarships in the field to explore relationships between Internet, technology and identity.

Column on Digital Natives

A fortnightly column on ‘Digital Natives’ authored by Nishant Shah is featured in the Sunday Eye, the national edition of Indian Express, Delhi, from 19 September 2010 onwards. The following article was published in the Indian Express recently:


The third and final workshop in the Digital Natives with a Cause? research project will take place in Santiago, Chile, from the 8 to 10 February. Open Call and FAQs for the workshop are online:

Blog Entry by Maesey Angelina

Maesy Angelina is a MA candidate on International Development, specializing in Children and Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She is working on her research on the activism of digital natives under the Hivos-CIS Digital Natives Knowledge Programme. She spent a month at CIS, working on her dissertation, exploring the Blank Noise Project under the Digital Natives with a Cause framework. She writes a series of blog entries. The latest is:



Estimates of the percentage of the world's population that is disabled vary considerably. But what is certain is that if we count functional disability, then a large proportion of the world's population is disabled in one way or another. At CIS we work to ensure that the digital technologies, which empower disabled people and provide them with independence, are allowed to do so in practice and by the law. To this end, we support web accessibility guidelines, and change in copyright laws that currently disempower the persons with disabilities.

New Blog Entry

Intellectual Property

Copyright, patents and trademarks are the most important components on the Internet. CIS believes that access to knowledge and culture is essential as it promotes creativity and innovation and bridges the gaps between the developed and developing world positively. Hence, the campaigns for an international treaty on copyright exceptions for print-impaired, advocating against PUPFIP Bill, calls for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty to be restricted to broadcast, questioning the demonization of 'pirates', and supporting endeavours that explore and question the current copyright regime. Our latest endeavour has resulted into these:

New Blog Entry

Internet Governance

Although there may not be one centralised authority that rules the Internet, the Internet does not just run by its own volition: for it to operate in a stable and reliable manner, there needs to be in place infrastructure, a functional domain name system, ways to curtail cybercrime across borders, etc. The Tunis Agenda of the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), paragraph 34 defined Internet governance as “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” Within the larger field of Internet governance, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue forum that was instituted by the WSIS processes and that is their only formal outcome, has fast emerged as one of the key institutions.  As the definition quoted above indicates, a unique feature of the field of Internet governance is that, unlike many other governance spheres, it does not only involve governments.  Historically, not only governments but also the technical community and private players have played a crucial role in the development of the Internet.  In the context of the IGF, that role is not only explicitly acknowledged but also institutionalised as the IGF formally brings together governments, private players and civil society actors from all areas of and organisations involved in Internet governance. Moreover, now that the open and egalitarian potential of the Internet is increasingly under attack, this unique nature of the IGF, in addition to its WSIS roots, has made it a prime venue to remind stakeholders in all areas of Internet governance of the commitment they have made earlier to building a “people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society” (WSIS Geneva Principles, Para 1).  CIS involvement in the field of Internet governance has the following shape:

New Blog Entry


CIS has undertaken many new and exciting projects. One of these, "Privacy in Asia", is funded by Privacy International (PI), UK and is being completed in collaboration with Society and Action Group. "Privacy in Asia" is a two-year project that commenced on 24 March 2010 and will complete within two years from the commencement date, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. The project was set up with the objective of raising awareness, sparking civil action and promoting democratic dialogue around privacy challenges and violations in India.  In furtherance of these goals it aims to draft and promote an over-arching privacy legislation in India by drawing upon legal and academic resources and consultations with the public.

Apart from "Privacy in Asia" CIS is also participating in the " Privacy and Identity"  project, which is funded by the Ford Foundation and managed by the Centre for Study of Culture and Society. The project is a research inquiry into the history of Privacy in India and how it shapes the contemporary debates around technology mediated identity projects like Aadhaar. The "Privacy and Identity" project started in August 2010.

New Blog Entries

Staff Update

Prashant Iyengar is a lawyer and legal scholar who has worked extensively on intellectual property issues particularly focusing on copyright reform and open access. He is a past recipient of an Open Society Institute fellowship for research into Open Information Policy, and has been affiliated with the Alternative Law Forum – a collective of lawyers in Bangalore engaged in human rights practice.

Prashant joined the Centre for Internet and Society as a lead researcher in the Privacy India project recently.


The growth in telecommunications in India has been impressive. While the potential for growth and returns exist, a range of issues need to be addressed for this potential to be realized. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the second aspect is a countrywide access to broadband which is low at about eight million subscriptions. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum. It is imperative to resolve these issues in the common interest of users and service providers. CIS campaigns to facilitate this.


Shyam Ponappa is a Distinguished Fellow at CIS. He writes regularly on Telecom issues in the Business Standard and these articles are mirrored on the CIS website as well.

News & Media Coverage

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