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Another win for Internet, Net neutrality is upheld in the world’s biggest democracy – India

February 9, 2016 1 comment

After nearly a year-long consultation with the public and telecoms, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally announced their stand this evening barring content discrimination and differential pricing. This development has come after the direct effect netizens of India rallying up to protect the level playing field of Internet.  A major credit for this victory should go to the people behind savetheinternet.in who created awareness and helped people respond to TRAI on its consultation. This is not an ordinary victory for the people of this democracy as the telecom companies were fiercely lobbying against any net neutrality rules and huge corporates like google, who were found to be silently lobbying against net neutrality in India, and facebook’s own Internet.org which changed its name to free basics after criticisms pointing out they were neither charity nor the entire Internet. TRAI has asked reliance communications, the country’s only provider of facebook’s free basics to suspend providing free basics to users earlier this month. Facebook spend millions of amounts for advertising free basics with billboards everywhere, full-page advertisements in the newspapers and attractive television advertisements, it also made use of its user base unethically to lobby for it, a move which was later criticized by TRAI. Today TRAI has taken a stand officially to prohibit content discrimination and differential pricing,with the exception of emergency services. Full official report can be read  in TRAI’s official report here. The guidelines released are,

  • No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
  • No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content
  • A service provider may reduce tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of grave public emergency, provided it is reported to TRAI within seven days and the authority approves it.
  • TRAI may review these regulations after a two years or after a period TRAI may deem fit.
  • TRAI may also levy a penalty of 50,000 Rupees up to a maximum of 50 lakh Rupees if any service provider is found contravening these regulations.

Indeed a day to celebrate. Though the battle is won, the war is not won yet with major private corporations and governments wielding more and more control into the daily lives of the people, there must be a similar fight to liberate the people from the surveillance of the governments and from the clutches of these corporations. For only free thinking and informed citizens can uphold this democracy.

Rise up to save the Net neutrality in India

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

As the fight to a neutral non discriminatory open Internet just got over in the US, and FCC ruled in favor of the people, upholding the principle of Net neutrality after hearing comments sent to FCC by the Internet users. History: fight and victory

Now a similar fight is underway in India and the Indian telcos are lobbying to break the Internet as we know it.Airtel announced differential pricing plan for voip content and withdrew it after severe social media backlash. Now they have come up with Airtel zero which let access apps pay them and let users access it for free giving preferential treatment for corporations with big money. facebook’s internet.org in the name of charity let’s people to access only sites that signup with them for free. Both if gone ahead would break the the Internet as a level playing field. Telcos are crying to let them charge for services like whatsapp,viber,redphone and other instant messaging and voip apps which are used by people for free stating that they are eating their revenues even as the data usage grows.

Everything is not over yet, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has released a consultation paper(link) on 27th March asking for the public to comment on a set of 20 questions and send them to email id listed on page2 of the paper with a tight deadline of 24th April.

Internet users all over India has responded and websites have been set up http://www.netneutrality.in/ and https://www.savetheinternet.in/ to help people understand the issue and respond to TRAI with a simple mouse click.

Also several videos have put up explaining the issue with some going viral. Here is a simple video that have been put up by the people defending net neutrality that explains this issue in simple terms

What can you do to save the Internet :

If you are in India respond to TRAI by sending an email to them, write to your MP and let more people know about this issue. Even if you are not in India you can share about this and let your friends in India know about this issue. For more ways to help please look at http://www.netneutrality.in/support/

Your voice makes a difference, here is a list of developments so far,

Flipkart pulls out of Airtel Zero: http://www.medianama.com/2015/04/223-flipkart-pulls-out-of-airtel-zero-net-neutrality-in-india-gets-a-boost/

Several Internet companies walk out of facebook’s internet.org: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/04/15/internetorg-withdrawal_n_7071532.html?utm_hp_ref=india

Politicians and celebrities voice their support for Net neutrality: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-04-14/news/61142375_1_net-neutrality-sachin-bansal-flipkart

Reset the Net : Don’t ask for your privacy, Take it back

June 1, 2014 1 comment

The day of action for privacy and freedom is on June 5th and is less than a week away. Join Reset the Net and pledge to take actions to protect your privacy.

Why Reset the Net?

NSA and Governments around the world has taken the Internet and turned it into a surveillance state. So let’s make it harder for NSA and anyone who want to spy on us. Our, best defense right now is to encrypt everything.

Here is a short video explaining everything.

Why June 5th?

June 5th, 2014 marks one year since the NSA’s classified documents about mass surveillance came to light. Thanks to Edward Snowden, British daily The guardian published this story last year. Here is a link to the original story published. Since then a lot of revelations have been made and more is yet to come as promised by Mr. Snowden.

 

ResetTheNet.org

Fight for your Privacy

Update:

On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a Year Ago –  By EFF

Save netneutrality…Write to FCC stating your opinion on net neutrality

May 17, 2014 1 comment

If you are an Internet user living in the United States, FCC has asked for your opinion on their new rules for regulating Internet. Write to them staing why having a free, open and equal to all Internet is important to have.
EFF, the leading nonprofit organization which fights for our Internet freedom is asking for your help to protect Net Neutrality.

Go to dearfcc.org write to FCC and let your voice be heard.

For more information on what’s at stake and why you need to act now, head to this EFF page.

Even if you are not living in Unites States, you can do your part by letting others know by sharing this information in your social circle.

The True Meaning Behind “Free Software”

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a month since i last blogged and i decided to start with this topic,which i think every one who uses a software should know.

“The True Meaning Behind Free Software”

what do you think or what comes to your mind when some one says this software is FREE?

  • the software can be downloaded free of cost
  • you can freely give it to your friends

Well,the first one seems right in most cases,But getting it for free of cost means every thing to you,the Answer should be NO.

Because,a true free software should give you some freedom or rights that you need.some of rights or freedoms are described below:

  1. you should be able to use the software for any purposes you need.
  2. you should be able to know how the program works,by looking at the source code of the program.
  3. you should be freely able to redistribute the software  to your friends and neighbours.
  4. if you find any errors in such software you should be able to correct it and give the corrected copies to others,for this you should have the source code of the program.

points 3 and 4 might not be helpful for everyone as they do not want to study programming,they just want their software to work.But these will be helpful for people who want to look at the working of some great software done by others and make room for any improvements or use the coding in their own software again this would help the general people by having improved software.

In fact,these points are originally defined in the GNU General Public License(GPL) which is the license widely used in many open source software.Even the widely used Linux kernel is released under GPLv2 of this license.More about these licenses can be read here at GNU website

you should imagine what would happen to this world when these basic rights are denied.If you look at the history there are many architectural and structural marvels which have been created in the past;now we wonder at them and try to figure out their mysteries because those people haven’t wrote their work or share their skills with other people;there were also great scientists and philosophers whose works were not known to us;we only knew the works which were written or taught.

In a similar way software which is freely shared,modified would be of high quality and there would be technical support for it as long as it is used.

Those softwares which are not shared and cannot be modified as there would be no source code available for it,and there would be no room for improvement and it is limited by the knowledge of the copyright owner and even if it’s great piece of code it would be buried.

Free of cost is an other side of it and you should always look for the above rights or freedom when you use a software,and ALWAYS read the license agreement that comes with a software before you accept it and DON’T use a software when you don’t agree to their terms and conditions.Instead look for an alternative.Always There will be a Choice!

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want to play media without restrictions?use free media formats

December 1, 2008 Leave a comment

These days everything you use is copyrighted, and either you have to pay them or get permission the copyrighted owners to use any of their products and you have to accept the license agreement by which you state that you will not share the  product obtained from with somebody else,you agree to not to modify it and use it as you wish,you agree to use the product only as stated in the license terms and many more restrictions.This even applies to hardware you buy, with some modified restrictions or else you will lose your warranty.

Take another example you buy a media player and it supports only the companies own protected media formats and as the format is a closed one and the specification is not openly available and only the company and others who are licensed to provide support can develop software for it and you have to pay them and agree their license terms to use the software,this is an evil and these days a new evil has emerged in the name of DRM(Digital Rights Management),it attempts to control use of media by preventing access,converting to other formats and copying by users,want to know more about this evil visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management.Have your say against DRM.visit drm.info

why live in this restricted world,there is also an other face of this world which is restriction free.use only free media formats and encourage others to use them,by using software or media under GPL and other compatible licenses use or free to copy,share,modify and redistribute it to others and you dont have to ask anybody as there is no owner or everybody is the owner.use only softwares that respect your freedom.

By using free media you don’t have any compromise on quality,free softwares are technically best than their proprietary counterparts and free media formats such as ogg can compress to smaller size than mp3 of same quality or can sound better for same size.

The world should be free to everyone,and no one should have control over it.Sharing is our right and no one should take this right away from us.you could change the world by changing yourself.Help make this world a better place to live. visit http://www.fsf.org/ and support freedom.
Link to the Spread Open Media project

Categories: my voice Tags: , ,