Dear Prasanth, Thank you for the update - I learned a lot listening to you, as well as Anya, speak about this about WCI. Is there anything we could do other than as individuals - which is to say, is there anything that the Wikimedia institutions can do? (the chapter, the Foundation, etc.) I guess we would then have to ask each entity whether they are comfortable with doing something here, but if there is, would there be a benefit in having institutional support?
Cheers, Achal On Monday 21 November 2011 06:47 PM, Prasanth Sugathan wrote: > Dear Wikipedians, > > This email is the result of the stimulating discussions that I have > had over three days with members of the Wikipedia community at the > Wiki Conference India 2011 in Mumbai. The kind of enthusiasm that was > visible across the spectrum of participants – and it indeed was a wide > spectrum from 10 year old editors to representatives from various > language communities to persons with disabilities - has prompted me to > write this letter to the community members appealing them to extend > their support to the campaign to ensure that the ecosystem for > Wikipedia – which is first and foremost a free/open Internet - > survives in India. > > The threat to free/open Internet is REAL in India. The new Information > Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011 threaten to curtail > our freedom on the Internet. As the demonstrations over the map issue > outside the venue during the conference showed, there could indeed be > threats to the way the community operates in India. These threats have > multiplied manifold by the notification of these rules. > > *How do the rules operate ?* > > The rules, at first look, seem innocuous, as it provides a set of > guidelines for intermediaries to operate in India. But, when you look > deeper, the rules are essentially a control on the users and a > coercion on the intermediaries to implement those controls. The rules > require the intermediary (Wikipedia will fall under the definition of > the intermediary) to enforce a set of terms and conditions on their > users. This includes asking the users not to post any content that > will beconsidered as g*rossly harmful*, harassing, *blasphemou**s*, > *defamatory*, *obscene*, pornographic, paedophilic, *libellous*, > invasive of another's privacy, *hateful*, or racially, ethnically > objectionable, *disparaging*, relating or encouraging money laundering > or gambling, *threatening friendly relations with foreign states*, or > otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever. Thus any editor who posts a > content on a historical event, a person or anything that could be > perceived to come under this wide list could be courting trouble. > > The critical provision of the rules is that anyone who is not happy > with any content that is posted on the intermediary site, and this > could include a person who is upset with a map or a description of a > historical event or person, could write to the intermediary asking > them to remove the content. The intermediary on getting such a request > is mandated to comply with the request within a period of 36 hours. > The rules neither require the complainant to produce a court order, > nor does it give an opportunity for a content creator to reply to such > a demand. The intermediary who does not comply with such a request > loses the safe-harbour > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_harbor#Internet> protections that > it otherwise enjoys. Such a mechanism threatens the well-honed, time > tested procedure of content creation in the Wikipedia and exposes the > Wikipedia to legal actions. > > *Questions of privacy* > > The Wikipedia community includes a large number of users who use > pseudonyms and their information is protected as per the privacy > policy <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Privacy_policy> of > Wikipedia. The rules could force Wikipedia, on getting a written > request from a Government agency authorised under the rules to divulge > information of the user, including facts like IP addresses from which > the user posted. As the rules do not mandate a court order for gaining > access to private information of users and only require a written > request, as against an elaborate procedure in the case of Internet > monitoring or telephone tapping, this threatens the right to privacy > of Wikipedia editors. > > We, as a community of Internet users have to ensure that our freedom > on the internet- to use it as a platform for public discourse, as a > means of knowledge dissipation- is not curtailed in any manner by such > draconian rules. I request you to be a part of the campaign to get > these rules amended by signing this *online petition > <http://softwarefreedom.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=97&Itemid=83>*, > > by writing to your MP and by spreading this message through Facebook, > Google Plus, Twitter, identi.ca <http://identi.ca> and in every > possible manner to Indian citizens …. > > > Warm regards, > > > Prasanth Sugathan > Legal Counsel, > Software Freedom Law Center > K-9 Second Floor, Birbal Road, > Jangpura Extension, > New Delhi-110014 > Phone# +91-11-43587126 <tel:%2B91-11-43587126> > Cell: +91 9013585902 <tel:%2B91%209013585902> > www.sflc.in <http://www.sflc.in> > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > Wikimediaindia-l mailing list > Wikimediaindiafirstname.lastname@example.org > To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l _______________________________________________ Wikimediaindia-l mailing list Wikimediaindiaemail@example.com To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l