January 2014 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified Apr 07, 2014 07:09 AM
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) welcomes you to the first issue of its newsletter (January) for the year 2014:


  • Amba Salelkar provides an analysis of the three stages of the Rights for Persons with Disabilities 2013 since it was initially commissioned.
  • We published revised chapters for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as part of our National Resource Kit project.
  • In the first of a three-part study Ananth Padmanabhan examines the "John Doe" orders that courts have passed against ISPs, which entertainment companies have used to block websites.
  • The second Institute on Internet and Society is being held in Pune from February 11 to 17.
  • CIS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with KIIT University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences for furthering Odia Wikipedia.
  • Dr. Nishant Shah co-authored a chapter on video games in a book published by Palestinian Art Court-al Hoash.
  • Sneha gives an overview of the research enquiry in the field of Digital Humanities in her blog post on Mapping Digital Humanities in India.
  • In the first of the insightful seven part series, Gautam Bhatia looks at surveillance and the right to privacy in India from a constitutional perspective, tracing its genealogy through Supreme Court case law and compares it with the law in the USA.


CIS is seeking applications for the posts of Program Officer (Access to Knowledge): http://bit.ly/1fnydB0 and Program Officer (Internet Governance): http://bit.ly/1aA57K6. There are two vacancies each for these posts and these are full-time based in Delhi. To apply, please send your resume to Sunil Abraham ([email protected]), Nirmita Narasimhan ([email protected]) and Pranesh Prakash ([email protected]) with three writing samples of which at least one demonstrates your analytic skills, and one that shows your ability to simplify complex policy issues.

Accessibility and Inclusion

As part of our project (under a grant from the Hans Foundation) on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India, we bring you draft chapters for the states of Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, and the union territory of Daman and Diu. With this we have completed compilation of draft chapters for 27 states and 5 union territories.

Based on the feedback and comments received from our readers the following chapters were revised:

► National Resource Kit Chapter

# Blog Entry

  • The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2013 and the Lack of Access to Accessibility Rights (by Amba Salelkar, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1diSg40.

Access to Knowledge

The Access to Knowledge programme addresses the harms caused to consumers and human rights, and critically examines Open Government Data, Open Access to Scholarly Literature, and Open Access to Law, Open Content, Open Standards, and Free/Libre/Open Source Software.

# Analysis

  • Can Judges Order ISPs to Block Websites for Copyright Infringement? (Part 1) (by Ananth Padmanabhan, January 30, 2014). Ananth looks at the theory behind John Doe orders and finds that it would be wrong for Indian courts to grant "John Doe" orders against ISPs: http://bit.ly/1nteYaK.

# Blog Entries

  • Open Letter to the Vatican: Request for Holy See to Comment on IPR (by Samantha Cassar, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1dGN7OS.
  • The Game of IPR: Insights from the 6th Global Intellectual Property Convention in Hyderabad (by Samantha Cassar, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fY5qS6.

The following has been done under grant from the Wikimedia Foundation (http://bit.ly/SPqFOl). As part this project (http://bit.ly/X80ELd), we organised 4 workshops in the month of January, published an article in DNA, and signed a memorandum of understanding with KIIT University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to further the development of Odia Wikipedia:


# Articles / Newspaper Columns

  • Odia Wikipedia: Three Years of Active Contributions Gives Life to a Ten Year Old Project (by Subhashish Panigrahi, HASTAC, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1jvxD8r.
  • WikiSangamotsavam 2013 brings Indian Wikimedians together (by Netha Hussain and Subhashish Panigrahi, DNA, January 14, 2014). The article was edited by Rohini Lakshane: http://bit.ly/1jvynKP.

# Announcement

  • CIS-A2K, KIIT University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences sign MoUs (by Subhashish Panigrahi, January 11, 2014): KIIT University, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences and the Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge team (CIS-A2K) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoUs) for furthering Odia Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/1j1qtFv.

# Blog Entries

  • Wikipedia Editing as Assessment Tool in the Indian Higher Education Classroom (by Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana, Ashwin Kumar A.P. and T. Vishnu Vardhan, January 30, 2014): http://bit.ly/1m5QHMD.
  • Wikipedia at Forefront in Christ University (by Syed Muzamiluddin, January 29, 2014): http://bit.ly/LTFA8E.

# Events Organised

  • Odia WikiMeetup (Bhubaneswar, January 11, 2014): http://bit.ly/NBkFJi.
  • Introductory talk about "Wikipedia in Academics" (KIIT School of Technology, Bhubaneswar, January 12, 2014): http://bit.ly/1j1yv1f.
  • Odia Wikipedia's 10th anniversary @ KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar, January 28, 2014): http://bit.ly/1gsqkJC.
  • Odia Wikipedia 10th anniversary (Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal, January 29, 2014): http://bit.ly/1dGRBoy.

# Event Participated In

  • The Dynamics of Education to Employment Journey: Opportunities and Challenges (organized by KIIT School of Management, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, February 21-22, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan gave a talk: http://bit.ly/1ePwqHc.

# Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

  • Digitising contest to preserve rare books in Malayalam (The Hindu, January 4, 2014): http://bit.ly/NBtVgz.
  • ‘With Internet in every pocket, power to the people’ (by Shubhadeep Chaudhury, The Tribune, January 12, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ojb1IZ. Shubhadeep interviews T. Vishnu Vardhan on internet and social media.
  • ଆଦିବାସୀଭାଷାରଉନ୍ନତିକଳ୍ପେଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ(Odishan.com, January 12, 2014):http://bit.ly/1kAWJmG.
  • KIIT University to lead building free knowledge repository initiative (India Education Diary.com, January 20, 2014): http://bit.ly/1j1Rzwk.
  • Odisha: KISS to create tribal languages and heritage repository (Odisha Diary Bureau, January 20, 2014): http://bit.ly/1bLBhmB.
  • FDC recognition for the Centre for the Internet and Society (Wikimedia Foundation, January 30, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fYdxOz. Wikimedia Foundation published a resolution declaring CIS eligible for funding through the Annual Plan Grants program.
  • Tech-savvy students given tips to enter IT field (The Times of India, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1j1QvIX.
  • Odia Wikipedia (Sanchar, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ePwAON.


# Event Organised

  • What is happening in South America and how Openness is an opportunity to Social, Political and Activist Movements? (Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, January 17, 2014): http://bit.ly/1bnZaq0.

Internet Governance

CIS is doing a project (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) on conducting research on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). So far we have organised seven privacy round-tables and drafted the Privacy (Protection) Bill. Gautam Bhatia gives an analysis of the right to privacy from a constitutional perspective and Elonnai Hickok analyses a public report published by GNI.

# Analyses

  • Surveillance and the Indian Constitution - Part 1: Foundations (by Gautam Bhatia, January 13, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ntqsen.
  • Surveillance and the Indian Constitution - Part 2: Gobind and the Compelling State Interest Test (by Gautam Bhatia, January 27, 2014): http://bit.ly/1dH3meL.

# Newspaper Columns / Book Chapter

  • Big Brother is Watching You (by Chinmayi Arun, The Hindu, January 3, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cGpg0K.
  • Making the Powerful Accountable (by Chinmayi Arun, The Hindu, January 30, 2014): http://bit.ly/1nvzSpC.
  • Video Games: A Case Study of a Cross-cultural Video Collaboration (by Larissa Hjorth and Nishant Shah, January 31, 2014): http://bit.ly/1eTaXLX. A new book focusing on Palestinian artists’ video, edited by Bashir Makhoul and published by Palestinian Art Court- al Hoash, 2013, includes a chapter co-authored by Larissa and Nishant.

# Blog Entries

  • Letter requesting public consultation on position of GoI at WGEC (by Snehashish Ghosh, January 7, 2014): http://bit.ly/1g66bL7.
  • Electoral Databases – Privacy and Security Concerns (by Snehashish Ghosh, January 16, 2014): http://bit.ly/Mb4ktM.
  • GNI Assessment Finds ICT Companies Protect User Privacy and Freedom of Expression (by Elonnai Hickok, January 20, 2014): http://bit.ly/1mjbpmL.
  • Interview with Mathew Thomas from the Say No to UID campaign - UID Court Cases (by Maria Xynou, January 27, 2014): http://bit.ly/1eT9XHv. Maria interviewed Mathew Thomas on UID.
  • India's Central Monitoring System (CMS): Something to Worry About? (by Maria Xynou, January 30, 2014): http://bit.ly/1gsM4oQ.

# Events Organized

  • Biometrics or Bust? Implications of the UID for Participation and Inclusion (CIS, Bangalore, January 10, 2014). Malavika Jayaram gave a talk: http://bit.ly/1lJZhuK.
  • Digital Citizens: Why Cyber Security and Online Privacy are Vital to the Success of Democracy and Freedom of Expression (CIS, Bangalore, January 14, 2014): http://bit.ly/KucEU5. Michael Oghia gave a talk.
  • Nullcon Goa Feb 2014 — International Security Conference (organised by Nullcon, Bogmallo Beach Resort, Goa, February 12 – 15, 2014). CIS is one of the sponsors for this event: http://bit.ly/1lrBu5I.

# Events Co-organised

  • CPDP 2014 Reforming Data Protection: The Global Perspective (organised by CPDP, Brussels, January 22 – 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/KsgCws. CIS is one of the sponsors for this event. Malavika Jayaram was a speaker.
  • The Future of the Internet, Who Should Govern It and What is at Stake for You? (organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India, Cellular Operators Association of India, Internet Democracy project, Media for Change, SFLC and CIS, India International Centre, January 29, 2014): http://bit.ly/1eqkSUu. Chinmayi Arun moderated a session. Snehashish Ghosh participated in the event as a speaker.

# Events Participated In

  • Seminar on "Hate Speech and Social Media" (organized by NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad and British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad, January 4 – 5, 2014): http://bit.ly/1dmcEkT. Chinmayi Arun was one of the speakers.
  • Multistakeholders Consultation on International Public Policy Issues (organized by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, New Delhi, January 21, 2014): http://bit.ly/Mbfkao. Snehashish Ghosh participated in this meeting.
  • Internet Governance and India: The Way Forward (organized by Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, January 22, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ePFueY. Snehashish Ghosh participated in the event.
  • Data Privacy Day 2014 (organized by Data Security Council of India, Infosys, Bangalore, January 28, 2014). Elonnai Hickok was a panelist: http://bit.ly/1ePFfk8.
  • TACTIS Symposium 2014 (organized by Tata Consultancy Service, TCS Siruseri, Chennai, January 28 and 29, 2014): http://bit.ly/1bo9y0R. Sunil Abraham gave the keynote address.

News & Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

  • Inventions that will make a difference (by Geeta Padmanabhan, The Hindu, January 1, 2014): http://bit.ly/MKwmfu.
  • Rise of the bot: all you need to know about the latest threat online (by Danish Raza, Hindustan Times, January 5, 2014): http://bit.ly/1dHgNex.
  • Despite apex court order, IOC proceeds with Aadhaar-linked DBT (by Deepa Kurup, The Hindu, January 6, 2014): http://bit.ly/1g6ffjn.
  • Worldwide: International Privacy - 2013 Year in Review – Asia (by Gonzalo S. Zeballos, James A. Sherer and Alan M. Pate, Mondaq Yearly Review, January 8, 2014): http://bit.ly/1iOaYRO.
  • Election panel rejects Google’s proposal for electoral services tie-up (by Anuja and Moulishree Srivastava, Livemint, January 9, 2014): http://bit.ly/1gpaGjF.
  • Social Notworking - 'Murder by Twitter'(by Malini Nair, The Times of India, January 19, 2014): http://bit.ly/1j2kT63.
  • The net is taking over (by Veenu Sandhu and Surabhi Agarwal, Business Standard, January 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/1hb4eQL.
  • The Dangers of Birdsong (by Namrata Joshi, January 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1kB8J7L.
  • Is Bhutan selling its soul to Google? (by Lucky Wangmo from Thimphu and Pema Seldon form Bangalore, Business Bhutan, January 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fYl3sO.
  • What is net neutrality and why it is important (The Times of India, January 30, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ePFZ8P.

Digital Humanities

CIS is building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. The Digital will be used as a way of unpacking the debates in humanities and social sciences and look at the new frameworks, concepts and ideas that emerge in our engagement with the digital. The clusters aim to produce and document new conversations and debates that shape the contours of Digital Humanities in Asia:

# Blog Entry

Digital Natives

CIS is doing a research project titled “Making Change”. The project will explore new ways of defining, locating, and understanding change in network societies. Having the thought piece 'Whose Change is it Anyway' as an entry point for discussion and reflection, the project will feature profiles, interviews and responses of change-makers to questions around current mechanisms and practices of change in South Asia and South East Asia:

►Making Change Project

# Blog Entry

  • Creative Activism - Voices of Young Change Makers in India (UDAAN) (by Denisse Albornoz, January 20, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cxXAMI.

# Newspaper Column

Knowledge Repository on Internet Access
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project to create a knowledge repository on Internet and society. This repository will comprise content targeted primarily at civil society with a view to enabling their informed participation in the Indian Internet and ICT policy space. The repository is available at the Internet Institute website: http://bit.ly/1iQT2UB.

►Ongoing Event

  • Institute on Internet and Society (organised by Ford Foundation and CIS, Yashada, Pune, February 11-17, 2014): http://bit.ly/180mQi9.

About CIS

The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.

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► Support Us
Please help us defend consumer / 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, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at [email protected].

CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the Kusuma Trust which was founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.

ASPI-CIS Partnership


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