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CCG Connect


 January - March 2017
CCG Connect is a round-up of information policy news and our work in the area. The newsletter mirrors our research in the field of civil liberties, global Internet governance and cybersecurity. We hope CCG Connect will offer you valuable news and analysis and we invite you to share your comments and feedback with us.
Introduction

The Law Commission of India released its report on hate speech in March. A week before this, we held a public symposium on Unpacking Hate Speech: Comparative Approaches to Hate Speech Law to discuss the recommendations in our upcoming detailed report on hate speech laws in India. We also organised a discussion on Confronting Online Hate Speech: Identification and Strategies at RightsCon in Brussels.   

Discussion on Confronting Online Hate Speech: Identification and Strategies at RightsCon

Three major intermediary liability cases are currently being heard by the Indian Supreme Court. They cover contentious issues like non consensual pornography, child pornography, and the search algorithm.  

We launched #DelhiTechTalks, our technology policy update event series, with an event celebrating the second anniversary of Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Shreya Singhal v Union of India, on March 24, 2017. The first event was held in collaboration with Internet Freedom Foundation and Access Now, and we invite other collaborators to join hands with us for the series.

Discussion on Tech Policy Challenges at the first #DelhiTechTalks 

Cybercrime is on the rise in India, with reports in the last month of major data breaches in the Bank of Maharashtra UPI application and in the Aadhaar database. A recent report suggests over 36.6 million records were compromised over 2016. We have started partnering with the Delhi Judicial Academy, and have conducted two capacity-building workshops for judges, to facilitate the better adjudication of cyber crimes. We will be conducting a similar capacity building workshop, targeted at law enforcement in cyber crime, in conjunction with the Bureau of Police Research and Development in the forthcoming quarter.
Civil Liberties

Internet shutdowns continued to be imposed across India. The latest being a shutdown in a district in Rajasthan as recently as March 31, 2017, bringing the total number of shutdowns in India this year to 9. Our compilation of incidents of internet shutdown in India since 2010, is available here.
 

Incidents of Internet Shutdown in India (2010 - February 2017)

Issues such as censorship, privacy, cybercrime and data security have been in the news. Chinmayi had a discussion on some of these issues with Mr. Frank La Rue at the UNESCO’s public event Connecting the Dots: Access, Free Expression, Privacy and Ethics on the Internet. We held an international Summer School on Online Hate Speech in March in collaboration with the Hans Bredow Institut, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg, Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers, and the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication and Information at the University of Hamburg.

Privacy and surveillance concerns under India’s biometric project have come back into focus due to several recent instances of data breach. Kritika spoke of experiences regarding the adoption of such systems in other jurisdictions as part of a two-day workshop on Decoding the Digital Project at the Indian Law Institute. The right to be forgotten is gaining momentum with four petitions being heard by the high courts of Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Kerala. The Delhi High Court is hearing a petition seeking the deletion of a court order for violation of the petitioner’s right to privacy and reputation. We wrote about some of these cases here and here.

Three intermediary liability cases are pending before the Supreme Court. They seek regulation of content such as information on pre-natal sex determination services (prohibited in India), videos depicting sexual assault and defamatory articles. Our blogposts about these cases are available here and here.

Global Internet Governance

The first meeting of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum was held from March 1 - 3 in Geneva. The MAG for 2017 was announced one day prior to the meeting. The lack of transparency in appointments to the MAG was criticised by civil society groups. Our blogpost on the meeting analysed the 2017 renewal in the context of persistent criticisms based on the lack of transparency and diversity in the MAG renewal process.

RightsCon 2017 was held in Brussels from March 29 - 31, 2017. Puneeth presented our report, ‘Multistakeholderism in Action’ in a lightning talk on March 29, 2017. We also made submissions to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and Expression based on the report. The Special Rapporteur is in the process of producing a report on Access to Information in International Organizations. Our submission addressed issues of transparency and access to internet governance organizations from a developing country perspective.

Works Stream 2 of the IANA transition is gathering pace at ICANN, aiming to be completed by ICANN 59 in June. CCG is closely following the CCWG-Accountability Process. Our comment on the dispute resolution process at ICANN highlighted the problems with the current policy with respect to conflicts of interest and accessibility to developing country stakeholders.

The Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation held its second meeting in Geneva from January 26 - 27. Puneeth attended the meeting as an observer and CCG submitted comments to the open consultations. The third meeting of the group will be held from May 3 - 5.
Cyber Security

The rising number of cyber crimes has been a cause of significant public concern, especially since demonetisation forced many Indian citizens to use digital financial services. Our blogpost here seeks to review and evaluate several initiatives taken by law enforcement towards more effective cyber policing, including the proliferation of cyber police stations and the proposed introduction of predictive policing.

We cover the legal landscape of financial cyber security here.  For a discussion of the law that applies to e-wallets, we recommend reading our post on framework for digital wallet security. Both MEITY and the RBI have released draft guidelines dealing with prepaid payment instruments in March 2017, which are expected to be brought into force shortly.

Critical information infrastructure in particular is a major target for cyber criminals. While the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre has taken several active steps to enhance the protection of critical information infrastructures, important gaps remain, which we identify in our blogpost here.

The Tallinn Manual 2.0, an expanded second edition of the "Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare", was published in February 2017 by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the Cambridge University Press. Where the first edition discussed purely the international laws of war, this edition reviews the applicability of all existing international law applies to cyberspace. Shuchita was invited to speak at a roundtable discussion on the relevance of Tallinn 2.0 to India, organized by Cyberlaws.net and Pavan Duggal Associates, Advocates on February 16, 2017.

Policy

Incidents of Internet Shutdowns in India (2010- March '17)

Submission to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression's Report on Access to Information in International Organizations

Comments on the ICANN Draft Updated Supplementary Procedures for the Independent Review Process

Submission to the Open Consultation of the ITU Council Working Group on International Internet related Public Policy Issues on "The Developmental Aspects of the Internet

Lectures

Lecture on Offences under the Information Technology Act 2000 at the Delhi Judicial Academy on March 3, 2017.

Lecture on Offences under the Information Technology Act 2000 at the Delhi Judicial Academy on March 24, 2017.

Events Organised

First Orientation Programme on Cyber Laws and Digital Evidence with the Delhi Judicial Academy at the Delhi Judicial Academy for officers from Delhi Higher Judicial and Delhi Judicial Service from March 3-4, 2017.

Summer School on Online Hate Speech in collaboration with the Hans Bredow Institut, University of Hamburg and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg, Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers, and the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication and Information at the University of Hamburg from March 14 - 20, 2017.

Public symposium on Unpacking Hate Speech: Comparative Approaches to Hate Speech Law at the India Habitat Centre on March 17, 2017.

Discussion on State of Digital Rights in India, in collaboration with the Internet Freedom Foundation and Access Now, at the India International Centre on March 24, 2017. We moderated the panel on the ‘Future of Digital Rights in India’ and participated in the panel on ‘Beyond Shreya Singhal:  A Discussion on Tech Policy Challenges’.

Second Orientation Programme on Cyber Laws and Digital Evidence with the Delhi Judicial Academy at the Delhi Judicial Academy for officers from Delhi Higher Judicial and Delhi Judicial Service from March 14-25, 2017.

Discussion on Confronting Online Hate Speech: Identification and Strategies on March 29, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels. The speakers for the discussion included Professor David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and Clinical Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, Siddharth Narrain, Research Associate, Sarai - Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Professor Susan Benesch, Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Director, Dangerous Speech Project, Professor (Dr.) Wolfgang Schulz, Director Hans Bredow Institute and Chair, Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Internet Intermediaries and Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director, Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi and Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Dr. Rob Faris, Research Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University moderated the discussion.

Lightning Talk on Multistakeholderism in Action: Analysing Indian Engagement with Internet Governance Institutions on March 29, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Events Attended
Panelists

Presentation on UK and US Experience with National Identity Cards at a workshop on Decoding the Digital Project at the Indian Law Institute on March 4, 2017.

Connecting the Dots: Access, Free Expression, Privacy and Ethics on the Internet a discussion between Mr. Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General (Communication and Information) UNESCO, and Chinmayi Arun organised by UNESCO at UNESCO House on March 8, 2017.

Session on Resisting Illiberal Trends: The Role of Courts in Protecting Freedom of Expression in a Complex World organised by the Global Freedom of Expression and Information Project at Columbia University on March 29, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Session on Walking the Cyber Talk: How Successful have we been in Building a Global, Multistakeholder Culture of Cybersecurity organised by the Freedom Online Coalition on March 30, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Session on At What Costs?: Telecoms and Internet Companies Discussion Internet Shutdowns organised by the Global Network Initiative at the #KeepitOn Summit at RightsCon 2017 on March 30, 2017 in Brussels.

Session on Jurisdictional Scope of Content Restrictions: Should Content Restriction be Limited to Geographical Borders organised by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on March 30, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Session on Getting to Know the Global Network Initiative organised by the Global Network Initiative at the #KeepitOn Summit at RightsCon on March 30, 2017 in Brussels.

Session on How Effective are Mobile Apps for Women's Safety? organised by the Centre for Internet and Society, India at RightsCon on March 30, 2017 in Brussels.

Session on What's Next in the Global Fight for an Open Internet organised by epicenter.works on March 30, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Session on Surveillance and Privacy from the Margins organised by the Digital Rights Foundation on March 30, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Participants

2nd Meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation as an observer in Geneva on January 26-27, 2017

Participated in two meetings on Internet Governance organised by the Vivekananda International Foundation on January 30, and February 3, in preparation for their seminar on Internet Governance to be held in April 2017.

Roundtable on Tallinn Manual 2.0 and its Relevance for India conducted by Cyberlaws.net and Pavan Duggal Associates at the India International Centre on February 16, 2017.

India Encryption Roundtable at the Taj Mahal Hotel conducted by BSA - The Software Alliance on March 21, 2017.

Roundtable on Privacy and Data Protection at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy on March 24, 2017.

Global Digital Rights Strategic Litigation Network Meeting organised by Access Now and Media Legal Defence Initiative on March 28, 2017 at RightsCon, Brussels.

Blog Posts
Law Enforcement Initiatives Towards Tackling Cyber Crime in India by Shuchita Thapar

Transparency and Diversity in the 2017 MAG Renewal by Puneeth Nagaraj

Two Takes on the Right to be Forgotten by Kritika Bhardwaj

Supreme Court considers installation of CCTV units in courts – but will it regulate what happens next? by Smitha Krishna Prasad

The Supreme Court Hears Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India – Another Blow for Intermediary Liability by Kritika Bhardwaj

Dirty Picture Project: Dangal- A truly dhakkad biopic By Sthavi Asthana and Anushka Sachdev

Cybersecurity in the Financial Sector: An Overview by Shuchita Thapar

Roundup of Sabu Mathew George vs. Union of India: Intermediary liability and the ‘doctrine of auto-block’ by Arpita Biswas

Delhi HC hears the the Right to be Forgotten Case by Kritika Bhardwaj

Gaps in the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures in India by Sowmya Karun

Digital Wallet Security: Is there a framework? By Sidharth Deb

Decoding Privacy Policies – WhatsApp by Kritika Bhardwaj

Intermediaries v. Copyright Holders: The Delhi High Court Wants to Protect Both by Smitha Krishna Prasad
Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi
Sector-14, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110078, India

e: ccg@nludelhi.ac.in

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Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi · Sector 14, Dwarka · Delhi 110078 · India

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