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Defender of your Digital Freedom

WHAT WE DO

Software Freedom

Software Freedom

Software Patents
We consider opposing software patents, which are irregularly granted against the intent of the legislature, to be a primary item in our agenda.
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Community Engagement
We contribute to the FOSS community with training and awareness on technology related developments and new concepts.
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Free Speech

Free Speech

Banned Books
We have curated a list that contains books that have been banned in India since the independence of India.
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Digital Defenders
We have curated a list that contains websites and URLs that have been banned in India over the years.
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Privacy

Privacy

Privacy Bytes
We at SFLC.in work with stakeholders to promote a greater understanding and respect for the privacy rights of citizens.
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Digital Security Training
Hands-on training, simplified explanations of law and technology, and demonstration of easy to use tools to manage and protect your privacy and security.
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Access

Access

Internet Shutdowns
We track incidents of Internet shutdowns across India in at attempt to draw attention to the troubling trend of disconnecting access to Internet services
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AC3
An empowerment initiative within the local community to bridge the widening of the digital divide using FOSS.
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Impact

Open letter for restoration of 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir in wake of COVID-19

Open letter for restoration of 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir in wake of COVID-19

SFLC.in wrote an open letter to the Principle Secretary of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Home Minister Amit Shah on March 31 requesting them to restore 4G internet speed in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir has been facing an internet blackout since August 4, 2019 and it is only recently that citizens have gained access to the internet at 2G speed. The current order issued by the Centre following the top court's ruling states that the speed of the internet will be restricted to 2G till April 3, 2020 after which the order will be pending a review.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic which has resulted in public health chaos. As of March 31, 2020, the number of cases of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 55. To fight this global pandemic, timely information is needed which isn't possible without reasonably high speed internet access. Restricted internet has led to citizens of the UT, not being able to download informative videos as well as resource material for dissemination of necessary and accurate information, when a lot of rumours and misinformation are doing the rounds. Timely information both to the general public, medical professionals and media is needed to fight the pandemic.

In order to contain the spread of infection and monitor patients, telemedicine is important along with access to high speed internet for doctors to be able to access material online and to do video consultations with other healthcare practitioners as well as patients.

There is a severe lack of information among the citizens in Jammu and Kashmir owning to the fact that information cannot be accessed without proper internet. Multimedia content including that issued by the Health Ministry and WHO cannot be accessed as well. There are a number of students, working professionals and other citizens who have been asked to work from home due to the lock down in view of the corona virus, and this is possible only if unrestricted internet access to internet is allowed.

Sub- clause (d) of Clause 4 o the Annexure to order no. 40-3/2020 dated 24-03-2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs states that telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services, IT and IT enabled services are exceptions to lock-down for essential services. Functional high speed internet is a pre-requisite to contain the pandemic as well as to mitigate the damage both in terms of health of the citizens and economy.

In our letter, we have requested the government to consider the prevailing extraordinary circumstances and restore 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir on an urgent basis.

About SFLC.IN

SFLC.IN is a donor-supported legal services organisation that brings together lawyers, policy analysts, technologists, and students to protect freedom in the digital world. SFLC.in promotes innovation and open access to knowledge by helping developers make great Free and Open Source Software, protect privacy and civil liberties for citizens in the digital world by educating and providing free legal advice and help policy makers make informed and just decisions with the use and adoption of technology.

For further communication:
Prasanth Sugathan
Voluntary Legal Director, SFLC.IN
prasanth@sflc.in

Panel Discussion on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

Panel Discussion on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (2019 Bill) was introduced in the Lok Sabha in it's previous session on 11.12.2019. The 2019 Bill is a reworking of the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 published by the Justice Srikrishna Committee which was an expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“Meity”) to conduct a study on the data protection framework for India. The panel discussion intends to convene different stakeholders of the Data Protection regime under one roof to discuss, and draw clear conclusions on the key and critical issues in the 2019 Bill. To confirm your presence, RSVP Here

Statement about SC judgment on Internet Shutdown in Kashmir

Statement about SC judgment on Internet Shutdown in Kashmir

SFLC.in welcomes the judgment pronounced today by the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v Union Of India(W.P(C) no. 1031 of 2019) wherein the Court has directed that shutdown orders must adhere to the principle of proportionality and must be temporary in nature. SFLC.in maintains the
only internet shutdown tracker in India and has been trying to raise awareness among citizens in general and policymakers in particular about the need to prevent Internet shutdowns. In the present age, Internet is a medium that is necessary for citizens to meaningfully exercise their fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, right to education and right to life. SFLC.in has always argued for considering right to internet access as a fundamental right and the High Court of Kerala had upheld this contention in Faheema Shirin v State of Kerala(WP(C) 19716/2019) while holding that right to access internet is a part of right to education and right to privacy. The Supreme Court has recognised that the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), and the right to carry on any trade or business under 19(1)(g), using the medium of internet is constitutionally protected. This declaration would make it easier to challenge shutdown orders in future. The Court also emphasised on the need for transparency and has mandated that shutdown orders need to be published. The biggest obstacle in challenging shutdown orders in the past was the lack of transparency. Most of the applications under the RTI Act filed by SFLC.in for obtaining shutdown orders were rejected citing national security as a reason. Publishing shutdown orders could enable citizens to approach High Courts to challenge these orders. The direction to have reviews of suspension orders every 7 days could place a check on long shutdowns. However, the fact that the review committee is also composed of members exclusively from the executive could make this a futile exercise. Although the judgment has not given any immediate relief to the people in Kashmir affected by the shutdown, we hope that the Internet blockade in Kashmir will be lifted at the earliest based on the law laid down in the judgment.

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Publications

Content Take Downs on the World Wide Web – A Global Reality

This paper is a legal analysis of five key cases on global take downs from around the world, namely Swami Ramdev v. Facebook Inc. (India, Delhi High Court), Google v. CNIL (France, CJEU), Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek v. Facebook Ireland Ltd. (Austria, CJEU), Google Inc. v. Equustek SolutionsInc. (Canadian Supreme Court), and X v. Twitter Inc. (Australia, […]

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Intermediary Liability 2.0 – A Shifting Paradigm

This report looks at the current state of intermediary liability laws, notable litigations, present legal framework and glimpses into other jurisdictions including.

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Living in Digital Darkness – A Handbook on Internet Shutdowns in India

A report on the state of Internet shutdowns in India, analyzing its emergence as a public policy issue, governing laws, recorded instances, and impact among others.

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Report: Online Harassment – A Form of Censorship

We at SFLC.in have grown increasingly concerned of late by the appreciable spike in instances of online harassment across platforms. Whereas online speech platforms like social media websites, blogs, and discussion forums set the stage for unprecedented levels of public engagement in relevant policy discourses, the widespread prevalence of abusive, threatening, and otherwise hostile content […]

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