June 2014 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 14, 2014 10:05 AM
Our newsletter for month of June is below:


  • Nehaa Chaudhari participated in a Stakeholders Consultation organized by the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development in New Delhi, February 21, 2014, on Mapping Institutions of Intellectual Property. She blogged about the outcome in a two-part series. The first part discusses establishment of a National Institute of Intellectual Property Rights and the second part deals with the documents introduced at the Stakeholders’ Consultation for India’s National Programme on Intellectual Property.
  • For the first time in the history of Indian books, 10 Telugu books by a single author were released under Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA 3.0). These books will be uploaded on Telugu Wikisource and converted into Unicode (searchable) text. This will ensure that these books are freely read, both online and offline in various formats like PDF, epub, mobi, text, etc. This is a major milestone initiative by CIS-A2K to make the sum of all knowledge in Telugu freely available to all Telugus over the internet.
  • ICANN published a call for public comments on "Enhancing ICANN Accountability" in the wake of the IANA stewardship transition spearheaded by ICANN and related concerns of ICANN's external and internal accountability mechanisms. CIS submitted its comments.
  • ICANN sought comments on the existing barriers to Registrar Accreditation and operation and suggestions on how these challenges might be mitigated. CIS sent its comments.
  • Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile carrier released a report disclosing to what extent governments can request their customers’ data. Joe Sheehan analyses the report to tell us that if more companies were transparent about the level of government surveillance their customers were being subjected to then the public would press the government for stronger privacy safeguards and protections.

Accessibility and Inclusion

Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing two projects. The first project is on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India. We compiled the National Compendium of Policies, Programmes and Schemes for Persons with Disabilities (29 states and 6 union territories). We will be publishing this soon. The draft chapters along with the quarterly reports can be accessed on the project page. The second project is on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

NVDA and eSpeak

►Monthly Update


Blog Entry

Media Coverage

Access to Knowledge

As part of the Access to Knowledge programme we are doing two projects. The first one (Pervasive Technologies) under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is for research on the complex interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property to support intellectual property norms that encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The second one (Wikipedia) 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.


►Participation in Event


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).

The following were done this month:

►Articles / Blog Entries

►Events Organized

►News and Media Coverage
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

Internet Governance

Freedom of Expression

As part of our project on Freedom of Expression (funded through a grant from the MacArthur Foundation)  to study the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government and contribute to the debates around Internet governance and freedom of expression at forums like ICANN, ITU, IGF, WSIS, etc., we bring you the following outputs:


►Blog Entries

►FOEX Live
We are also posting a selection of news from across India implicating online freedom of expression and use of digital technology: June 8 – 15, 2014 and June 16 – 23, 2014.


As part of our Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development (SAFEGUARD) project with Privacy International we are engaged in enhancing respect for the right to privacy in developing countries. We have produced the following outputs during the month:

►Blog Entries

►Event Organized

  • Privacy and Surveillance Roundtable (co-organized with the Cellular Operators Association of India and the Council for Fair Business Practices, June 28, 2014, IMC Building, Churchgate, Mumbai).

►Participation in Events

  • Commonwealth Domain Name System Forum 2014 (organized by the CTO, hosted by ICANN, and supported by Nominet and the Public Interest Registry, London, June 19, 2014). Pranesh Prakash was a panelist. Jyoti Panday participated in the event.
  • Research Advisory Network Meeting (organized by the Global Commission on Internet Governance’s Research Advisory Network, OECD Headquarters, Paris, June 26-27, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a panelist.

►News & Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

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 Entries


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:

►Newspaper Column

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 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.

ASPI-CIS Partnership


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