interesting news

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interesting news

Tejaswini Niranjana
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/soon-the-web-will-have-bharat-in-local-languages/article4485576.ece?ref=sliderNews

--
Tejaswini Niranjana, PhD
Lead Researcher - Higher Education Innovation and Research Applications (HEIRA)
Senior Fellow - Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS)
Visiting Professor - Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Visiting Faculty - Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute
of Science (CCS-IISc)

t: 91-80-26730476, 26730967, 26730268
f: 91-80-26730722
http://heira.in
www.cscs.res.in

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Re: interesting news

Vickram Crishna-2

While this is not, per se, a subject directly for this list, I feel that as many Wikimedians as possible ought to appreciate the subtle establishment of hegemony here.

ICANN is an independent body, true, but it has been seen in the past to act in favour of US interests, in case of significant conflict of interest. For good reason, many people opine that continuing effort needs to be made to maintain the nature of the Web (the whole Net, actually, but most people really don't perceive anything beyond the Web) and not allow governments to acquire control. Worryingly, the interests of governments and private sector corporations are also being seen as aligned, although it is very clear that corporate control is in the hands of a very small number of individuals (ref an analysis published in New Scientist last year, 155 individuals effectively control the 48,000 top global corporations).

This was recently quite naked, with an ITU meeting in Dubai where an effort was made to hand over control of ICANN to a governing body drawn from the diplomatic corps of 55 countries.

This move was evidently authored, behind the scenes, by India, hence my raising it here.

Now that ICANN has made its move to establish a framework for the other-than-English Web, we see that the Indian government is playing God (DeITy, the official acronym of the department of electronics) in terms of controlling the transitional phase. Some listmembers will recall this same department, a dozen years ago, did nothing to cut access costs until presented with NIXI, the switch that is supposed to keep local traffic local, which it simply annexed, without even a show of hands, or a flag march, the way that traditional takeovers of territory used to be accomplished. Incidentally, this switch still does precious little to keep local traffic local, and is instead used primarily for surveillance of Indian IP users, and to facilitate website blocking. It has a second job, the registrar for tld .in, and here too, there are concerns about its functioning (e.g., the domain iipm.in is apparently registered with a false declaration of physical address, but no action has been taken against the owner. Indeed, some 60 odd urls were blocked at this same outfit's behest a few weeks back, despite the fact that the accompanying court order was very likely mala fide – one of the urls was a page of the UGC website, for instance).

As Wikimedians, we face some struggle to ensure our rights are not constrained, especially the right to freedom of expression and its obverse, freedom of information.

While it is great to know that some effort will be made to ensure Indian content creators will now have a straightforward way to bring people to Indian-language pages, I question how much effort has been made and is being made on the ground. For instance, to what extent has the team building the Android uploader been supported, and what is the roadmap to an Android local language content creation app? I'm not saying nothing has been done, I'm just saying I don't know, and I would like to hear from our local players.

Also, I somehow sense a certain amount of arrogance in the remark that Web creators in Chennai don't know how to use Tamil typing on vanilla keyboards. Are we to conclude that Tamil websites can only be created in Chennai? Nobody else anywhere else can use Tamil? That probably wasn't the intention, but that is how it comes across.

--
Vickram
Fool On The Hill
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play. 
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.) 
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you."
Jethro Tull: A Passion Play (1973)

On Mar 9, 2013 11:17 AM, "Tejaswini Niranjana" <[hidden email]> wrote:
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/soon-the-web-will-have-bharat-in-local-languages/article4485576.ece?ref=sliderNews

--
Tejaswini Niranjana, PhD
Lead Researcher - Higher Education Innovation and Research Applications (HEIRA)
Senior Fellow - Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS)
Visiting Professor - Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Visiting Faculty - Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute
of Science (CCS-IISc)

t: 91-80-26730476, 26730967, 26730268
f: 91-80-26730722
http://heira.in
www.cscs.res.in

_______________________________________________
Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
[hidden email]
To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l


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