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5 Organizations Fighting For Your Online Freedom

By SiliconIndia  |   Sunday, 14 October 2012, 19:28 Hrs
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Bangalore: Internet is the single most invention which brought in new human civilization in these couple of decades. Started as point- to-point communication between mainframe computer and terminals; evolved in to connecting networks and then the humans all over the world. The growth of internet is unprecedented because of its free and open nature. And the very freedom of internet is being threatened by governments of the various countries conniving to cut the wings of internet.



Internet is capable of playing myriad roles-- information dissipation, entertainment, social network and many more. It is huge medium to express political dissent, social justice, and can turn in to a single voice incorporating a million voices, which cannot be silenced with a decree. The Jasmine Revolution, which changed political scenario in middle –east, is one such example. While internet offers innumerable goodies, it also has some glitches, the antisocial elements find this to be credible medium, be it the piracy, child pornography, national security, terrorism or organized crime. In these cases governments’ move to curb internet freedom seems noble. While there are ways to do it without causing threat to nature of internet, governments are mulling for easy way out—something which even a feeble creature like mouse comes up with upon seeing a cat.          



There are advocates of democracy and free speech, pitched to freedom of internet. Read on to know such five organizations.



#5 The Centre for Internet & Society



It is an organization based in Bangalore, focused on the concerns of internet freedom in India. It undertakes policy and academic research on impact of internet with respect to social, political and cultural context in the country. India ranks 39 among 100 countries on the scale of most free to least free internet, as on April 2011. The government recently added more rules which require intermediaries, including search engines, and social networking sites to remove contents if the individuals complain that it is offensive. This opened an unmanned door where anyone with malicious intentions without real reasons can file a complaint to block the site or some content.



The Centre for Internet & Society has been very vocal about the Indian Government ’s attempts to sabotage internet freedom in 2011 and undertook many initiatives to spread awareness among the masses to campaign against the policy. The protesting people wore a ribbon tying their mouth.



It partnered with Google India in 2011, created Google policy fellowship. Rishabh Dara who got elected as fellow, gave paper presentation about the IT Rules 2011. As part of study, he sent takedown notices to seven intermediaries, about the action taken by them. The result is that six out of seven intermediaries took down the content without even a proper judgment if the act was necessary or not, because it’s easy to strike it down than defend themselves in the court. This successfully exposed how the freedom of internet is vulnerable under government bills.



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