Internet Governance Blog

by kaeru — last modified Oct 18, 2011 06:40 AM

The Geopolitics of Cyberspace: A Compendium of CIS Research

Posted by Arindrajit Basu at Sep 24, 2021 08:54 AM |

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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Facial Recognition Technology in India

Posted by Elonnai Hickok, Pallavi Bedi, Aman Nair and Amber Sinha at Aug 31, 2021 09:30 PM |

The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, University of Essex, UK and the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) have jointly published a research paper on facial recognition technology. Authors, Elonnai Hickok, Pallavi Bedi, Aman Nair and Amber Sinha, examine technological tools such as CCTV and FRT which are increasingly being deployed by the government.

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Techno-solutionist Responses to COVID-19

Posted by Amber Sinha, Pallavi Bedi and Aman Nair at Aug 10, 2021 03:34 PM |

The Indian state has increasingly adopted a digital approach to service delivery over the past decade, with vaccination being the latest area to be subsumed by this strategy. In the context of the need for universal vaccination, the limitations of the government’s vaccination platform Co-WIN need to be analysed.

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Finding Needles in Haystacks - Discussing the Role of Automated Filtering in the New Indian Intermediary Liability Rules 

Posted by Shweta Mohandas and Torsha Sarkar at Aug 03, 2021 12:00 AM |

On the 25th of February this year The Government of India notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The new Rules broaden the scope of which entities can be considered as intermediaries to now include curated-content platforms (Netflix) as well as digital news publications. This blogpost analyzes the rule on automated filtering, in the context of the growing use of automated content moderation.

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Media Market Risk Ratings: India

Media Market Risk Ratings: India

Posted by Torsha Sarkar, Pranav M Bidare, and Gurshabad Grover at Jul 12, 2021 05:00 PM |

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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The Ministry And The Trace: Subverting End-To-End Encryption

Posted by Gurshabad Grover, Tanaya Rajwade and Divyank Katira at Jul 12, 2021 12:00 AM |

A legal and technical analysis of the 'traceability' rule and its impact on messaging privacy.

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State of Consumer Digital Security in India

Posted by Pranav M B at Jul 05, 2021 12:00 AM |

This report attempts to identify the existing state of digital safety in India, with a mapping of digital threats, which will aid stakeholders in identifying and addressing digital security problems in the country. This project was funded by the Asia Foundation.

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At the Heart of Crypto Investing, There is Tether. But Will its Promise Pan Out?

At the Heart of Crypto Investing, There is Tether. But Will its Promise Pan Out?

Posted by Aman Nair at Jul 01, 2021 02:46 PM |

The $18.5 million fine levied by the New York attorney general’s office earlier this year to settle a legal dispute, raises more questions than answers.

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On the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Posted by Torsha Sarkar, Gurshabad Grover, Raghav Ahooja, Pallavi Bedi and Divyank Katira at Jun 21, 2021 12:00 AM |

This note examines the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The analysis is consistent with previous work carried out by CIS on issues of intermediary liability and freedom of expression.

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

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

Posted by Amber Sinha at May 31, 2021 10:23 AM |

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

Regulating Sexist Online Harassment as a Form of Censorship

Posted by Amber Sinha at May 31, 2021 09:56 AM |

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”

Posted by Torsha Sarkar and Shweta Mohandas at Apr 05, 2021 12:00 AM |

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

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

Posted by Aman Nair and Pallavi Bedi at Dec 31, 2020 12:00 AM |

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

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

Posted by Shweta Reddy at Dec 31, 2020 12:00 AM |

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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The PDP Bill 2019 Through the Lens of Privacy by Design

Posted by Saumyaa Naidu, Akash Sheshadri, Shweta Mohandas, and Pranav M Bidare; Edited by Arindrajit Basu, Shweta Reddy; With inputs from Amber Sinha at Nov 12, 2020 10:55 AM |

This paper evaluates the PDP Bill based on the Privacy by Design approach. It examines the implications of Bill in terms of the data ecosystem it may lead to, and the visual interface design in digital platforms. This paper focuses on the notice and consent communication suggested by the Bill, and the role and accountability of design in its interpretation.

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The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Demanding your Data

Posted by Rekha Jain at Nov 10, 2020 05:44 PM |

The increasing digitalization of the economy and ubiquity of the Internet, coupled with developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has given rise to transformational business models across several sectors.

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Reclaiming AI Futures: Call for Contributions and Provocations

Posted by Divij Joshi at Nov 09, 2020 11:05 AM |

CIS is pleased to share this call for contributions by Mozilla Fellow Divij Joshi. CIS will be working with Divij to edit, collate, and finalise this publication. This publication will add to Divij’s work as part of the AI observatory. The work is entirely funded by Divij Joshi.

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Comments to National Digital Health Mission: Health Data Management Policy

Posted by Shweta Mohandas, Pallavi Bedi, Shweta Reddy, and Saumyaa Naidu at Oct 05, 2020 03:56 PM |

CIS has submitted comments to the National Health Data Management Policy. We welcome the opportunity provided to our comments on the Policy and we hope that the final Policy will consider the interests of all the stakeholders to ensure that it protects the privacy of the individual while encouraging a digital health ecosystem.

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Mapping Web Censorship & Net Neutrality Violations

 

For over a year, researchers at the Centre for Internet and Society have been studying website blocking by internet service providers (ISPs) in India. We have learned that major ISPs don’t always block the same websites, and also use different blocking techniques. To take this study further, and map net neutrality violations by ISPs, we need your help. We have developed CensorWatch, a research tool to collect empirical evidence about what websites are blocked by Indian ISPs, and which blocking methods are being used to do so. Read more about this project (link), download CensorWatch (link), and help determine if ISPs are complying with India’s net neutrality regulations.

 

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Learn more about website blocking in India, through our recent work on the issue —
  1. Using information from court orders, user reports, and government orders, and running network tests from six ISPs, Kushagra Singh, Gurshabad Grover and Varun Bansal presented the largest study of web blocking in India. Through their work, they demonstrated that major ISPs in India use different techniques to block websites, and that they don’t block the same websites (link).
  2. Gurshabad Grover and Kushagra Singh collaborated with Simone Basso of the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) to study HTTPS traffic blocking in India by running experiments on the networks of three popular Indian ISPs: ACT Fibernet, Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Jio (link).
  3. For The Leaflet, Torsha Sarkar and Gurshabad Grover wrote about the legal framework of blocking in India — Section 69A of the IT Act and its rules. They considered commentator opinions questioning the constitutionality of the regime, whether originators of content are entitled to a hearing, and whether Rule 16, which mandates confidentiality of content takedown requests received by intermediaries from the Government, continues to be operative (link).
  4. In the Hindustan Times, Gurshabad Grover critically analysed the confidentiality requirement embedded within Section 69A of the IT Act and argued how this leads to internet users in India experiencing arbitrary censorship (link).
  5. Torsha Sarkar, along with Sarvjeet Singh of the Centre for Communication Governance (CCG), spoke to Medianama delineating the procedural aspects of section 69A of the IT Act (link).
  6. Arindrajit Basu spoke to the Times of India about the geopolitical and regulatory implications of the Indian government’s move to ban fifty-nine Chinese applications from India (link).

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