Free Speech Online in India under Attack?

by Prasad Krishna last modified Mar 02, 2012 03:03 AM
When the Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Kapil Sibal suggested pre-censorship for a range of popular online platforms and social networking sites, the suggestion was met by a barrage of criticism, which soon forced him to back down. Yet Sibal’s suggestion is not the only threat to free speech on the Internet in India today. Legislation such as the Intermediary Due Diligence Rules and Cyber Café Rules (also jointly known as the IT Rules) issued in April 2011 is equally dangerous for free speech online.

Event details


Dec 21, 2011
from 09:30 AM to 11:30 AM


Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage, Bangalore – 560071

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Achal Prabhala, Anja Kovacs and Lawrence Liang will join Sunil Abraham to discuss in more detail some of the direct threats to freedom of expression online in India today including the larger legal and social context of freedom of expression and censorship, control and resistance in which they have to be understood and the steps that can be taken to ensure that substantive protections for freedom of expression online will be put into place.

The Speakers

Achal Prabhala

Achal is based in Bangalore, Karnataka. He is a researcher, activist and writer in the areas of access to knowledge and access to medicine besides being a member of the Advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Anja Kovacs

Anja works with the Internet Democracy Project, which engages in research and advocacy on the promises and challenges that the Internet poses for democracy and social justice in the developing world.

Lawrence Liang

Lawrence is a researcher and lawyer based in Bangalore, who is known for his legal campaigns on issues of public concern. He is a co-founder of the Alternative Law Forum and works on the intersection of law, technology and culture. He  has worked closely with filmmakers and artists in a number of anti-censorship campaigns.

The Moderator

Sunil Abraham

Sunil is the Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society, a Bangalore-based non-profit organization. He is also a social entrepreneur and Free Software advocate. He founded Mahiti in 1998 which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of Information and Communication Technology for the Voluntary Sector by using Free Software.

This event is jointly organised by the Internet Democracy Project and the Centre for Internet and Society. Join us at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, on Wednesday 21 December, at 5.30 pm.