Free Speech Online in India under Attack? A Panel Discussion

On 21 December, at 5.30 pm, the Internet Democracy Project and the Centre for Internet and Society are jointly organising a panel discussion on the topic “Is free speech online in India under attack”, at the Centre for Internet and Society’s offices.

When Minister of Communications and IT Kapil Sibal suggested pre-censorship for a range of popular online platforms and social networking sites, this suggestion was soon 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.

In this event, Achal Prabhala, Anja Kovacs and Lawrence Liang will join moderator Sunil Abraham to discuss in more detail  some of the most direct threats to freedom of expression online that exist in India today; 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.

Join us at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, on Wednesday 21 December, at 5.30 pm.

Address: No. 194, Second ‘C’ Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage, Bangalore – 560071

Phone: +91 80 4092 6283

About the speakers:

Achal Prabhala is a researcher and writer from Bangalore who works on access to knowledge and access to medicine.

Anja Kovacs 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 is a lawyer and researcher at the Alternative Law Forum. He works on the intersection of law, technology and culture and has worked closely with film makes and artists in a number of anti-censorship campaigns.

About the moderator:

Sunil Abraham is the Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore.

We hope to see you in Bangalore on Wednesday!

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