Defender of your Digital Freedom

All Posts | Aug 26,2020

Roundtable on Encryption, September 3rd, 5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Roundtable on Encryption, September 3rd, 5:00 PM-6:30 PM

On September 3rd, 2020, Software Freedom Law Centre, India (SFLC.in) organized a multi-stakeholder round-table discussion to "Individual Liberty vs. National Security" debate, and to address the concerns arising from conflicting encryption regulations across the world through the lens of members of civil society, journalists, technologists and lawmakers.
The report of the round-table can be found below:

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All Posts | Aug 04,2020

Event – Reconciling State’s interests with a digital life

SFLC.in in collaboration with Live Law is hosting a panel to commemorate an entire year of communication block in The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This panel will be taking place virtually on the evening of 4th August 2020.

The panel will be discussing internet shutdowns vis a vis national security, misinformation, censorship, content takedown and encryption. The panel will also be discussing the ramification of the communication blockade as well as the road that lies ahead for Jammu and Kashmir as well as India.

The panel will have -

Mr. Manish Tewari -  Mr. Tiwari is an Indian lawyer and politician. He is a member of the INC and represents Anandpur Sahib in the 17th Lok Sabha. He was the Minister of Information and Broadcasting from 2012 to 2014 and a Member of Parliament from Ludhiana from 2009 to 2014.

Dr. Gulshan Rai - Dr Rai is the  Chief Information Security Officer at the Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India, and a distinguished fellow at ORF. Dr. Rai has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology, including e-governance, cybersecurity, and cyber laws.

Prof Manoj Jha - Prof Jha is an Indian politician who is a member of Rajya Sabha in the Indian Parliament and also the spokesperson of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. He has been a Professor at The Department of the Social Work University Of Delhi.

Ms. Anuradha Bhasin -  Ms Bhasin is a journalist with three decades of experience in covering Jammu and Kashmir, with a special focus on border issues, Kashmir conflict, and human rights. She is Executive Editor, Kashmir Times, the oldest English daily in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Faisal Farooqui - Mr. Farooquiis the founder and CEO of MouthShut.com India’s largest consumer review and recommendation platform. He is a highly recognized IT entrepreneur who is among the trailblazers of his generation.

Ms. Sairee Chahal - Ms. Chahal is Founder and CEO of SHEROES –the world’s largest online ecosystem for women. She is on the Board of Directors of Paytm Payments Bank.

The chair for the session and our moderator is Ms. Mishi Choudhary.  Ms. Choudhary is a technology lawyer, licensed to practice in New York & India with a decade & a half of experience. She is the Legal Director of the New York-based Software Freedom Law Center & the Founder of http://SFLC.IN.

SFLC.in has been tracking this block on the internet since the beginning. We run an Internet shutdowns Tracker which not only maps the internet disruptions in Kashmir but all over India. Our tracker has recorded shutdowns since 2012. We have also been trying to record the impact of the block by running an Initiative called Voices from Kashmir.  We have also been partaking in strategic litigation across various courts in India to fight against arbitrary and illegal internet blocks.

All Posts | Jun 26,2020

Multistakeholder Roundtable on India’s Draft Intermediaries Guidelines

On June 26, 2020, the Indian Internet Multi-Stakeholder Coalition (IMSC) along with the Global Network Initiative (GNI) hosted the "Multistakeholder Roundtable on India's Draft Intermediaries Guidelines Amendments" to deliberate on the key provisions of the Draft Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018 ("the Draft Rules") from the perspective of international human rights law and principles. GNI had initially prepared a policy brief on 'Regulating Digital Content and Human Rights' that uses the legality/legitimate purpose/necessity framework established under international human rights law to identify a number of key issues related to freedom of expression and privacy. The policy brief also formed a part of the discussion which revolved around the issue of intermediary liability and content regulation.

On 24.12.2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) released the Draft Rules which suggested changes in the existing due diligence standards which are to be observed by Internet intermediaries in India, to avail the protection of the safe harbour provision under Sec. 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The  Draft Rules are in the process of being notified by the Ministry.

SFLC.in facilitates the IMSC. The IMSC is conceptualized as a coalition that brings together businesses, civil society, academia, and experts for collectively deliberating on tech-policy issues.  The coalition is designed on the lines of GNI, which is an international multi-stakeholder platform bringing together technology businesses, investors, civil society and academia to help protect freedom of expression and privacy in technology.

SFLC.in organized and coordinated the event along with GNI and other members of the IMSC. The discussion saw an an active engagement and discussion with policy makers, representatives from the government, industry participants and various other stakeholders, to explore possible solutions to the challenges surrounding the issue of intermediary liability. The discussion was organized under the Chatham house rules.

The event report which was jointly prepared by GNI and the IMSC can be found below:

All Posts | Feb 18,2020

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

All Posts | Dec 24,2019

Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India

Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India

SFLC.IN is releasing a report on Intermediary Liability titled “Future of Intermediary Liability in India” on January 17, 2020 at the India Islamic Cultural Center. The event will be inaugurated by Mr. Rajeev Gowda Hon'ble Member of Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India and followed by a panel discussion on "Controlling Intermediaries- Shrinking Safe Harbour, Dwindling Freedom"

A Brief Background

On December 24, 2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued the Draft Intermediary Guidelines (Amendments) Rules, 2018 (New Rules), to amend the Intermediary Liability Rules, 2011. The New Rules set out additional requirements such as use of automated filters, and traceability of messages, in order to avail the safe harbor protection for user-generated content under the Information Technology Act, 2000. While the changing landscape of the Internet warrants additional responsibility from intermediaries, the New Rules have raised several concerns pertaining to the flow of information and freedom of speech and expression of citizens in the online space.

SFLC.in been closely working on the developments in the Intermediary Liability space in India since 2010. In 2014, SFLC.IN published a report titled Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules,2011, which was launched in an event attended by Mr. Baijayant Panda (Former BJD MP), Mr. Jagdambika Pal (MP), Dr. Govind (Erstwhile, National Internet Exchange of India), Mr. Jayant Choudhary (General Secretary, Rashtriya Lok Dal), Dr. Arvind Gupta (Former Convener, IT Cell, BJP) and Mr. Faisal Farooqui (CEO, MouthShut.com). A follow up report titled “Intermediary Liability in India: A Shifting Paradigm” was published in March, 2019 by Mr. Gopalakrishnan (Joint Secretary, MeitY) and other industry representatives.

As the New Rules are expected to be notified in January 2020, SFLC.IN is publishing a third report discussing their impact on the intermediaries functioning in India on 17th of January, 2020 at the India Islamic Cultural Center (Conference Hall No. 1) between 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm


To confirm your presence, RSVP Here


All Posts | Jul 23,2019

‘Ethics by Design in AI’ – A Roundtable at IIM-Banglaore

On 20 July, 2019 (Saturday), SFLC.in in association with Facebook and IIM-Bangalore conducted a round table with start-ups, businesses, academicians, civil society and lawyers/ researchers on the topic ‘Ethics by Design in AI'. We discussed issues of ethics in AI and how we can incorporate ethical principles in AI systems by design. Some of the key issues participants discussed during the discussion are: that ethics are an ever evolving concept and they also shift from region to region, we need to take care of such differences; there is already rich literature on inclusion of ethical principle in ICT, we should learn from these established practices and transpose them to AI use; we should build AI systems for human benefit and centred around how humans interact with technology; in India due to the non-robustness of the start-up ecosystem, start-ups are not always considering ethical questions while designing AI systems; for the regulation of AI, we should explore a co-regulatory model rather than a purely state regulation regime; and we need to go beyond informed consent and see how we can make the consent more meaningful. We will be soon uploading the full report of the event.

All Posts | Jun 24,2019

Round table on Ethics by Design in AI – ‘Save the Date’

'Ethics by Design in AI'

    The next frontier of technology infusion in the daily life of humans is powered by AI. As AI applications enter new domains, they raise complex questions that require a collaborative approach future policy and regulation. Our round table will focus on the ethics in AI with special attention given to 'Ethics by Design'. Starting with a discussion on existing frameworks and best practices, the round table will cover ways for stakeholders to collaborate to facilitate an inclusive discussion.

Brought to you by

SFLC.in, IIM Bangalore and Facebook

Date: 20 July 2019

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Venue: Central Pergola, Bannerghata Campus, IIM Bangalore.


Register on the following link



All Posts | Apr 25,2019

Roundtable on ‘Policy Enabling – Information Technology in Healthcare’

We are organising an invite-only round table discussion on 'Policy Enabling - Information Technology in Healthcare' in Bangalore on 27 April 2019 in association with IIM Bangalore and Facebook.

To ask for an invitation, please send an email to: events at sflc.in .

The agenda for the event is mentioned below:

  • 10:00 am to 10:30 am: Registration (Tea and Coffee)
  • 10:30 am to 10:45 am: Introduction and Opening Remarks
  • 10:45 am to 11:00 am: Overview and Applicable Laws and Regulations (A presentation by SFLC.in)
  • 11:00 am to 12:00 pm: Discussion on Technical Aspects of IT use in Healthcare, including topics such as: Image Processing, Code generation/ Training, Testing and Quality Assurance
  • 12:00 pm to 12:15 pm: Tea Break
  • 12:15 pm to 01:00 pm: Open Discussion
  • 01:00 pm to 02:00 pm: Lunch
  • 02:00 pm to 03:00 pm: Discussion on Policy Aspects of IT in Healthcare, including topics such as: Data Protection, Privacy, Data Localisation, Government Regulation etc.
  • 03:00 pm to 03:15 pm: A Brief Survey of Participants on Certain Regulatory Issues
  • 03:15 pm to 03:30 pm: Tea Break
  • 03:30 pm to 04:15 pm: Open Discussion
  • 04:15 pm to 04:30 pm: Closing Remarks

All Posts | Apr 12,2019

Blue Paper – Conference on Future of Tech Policy in India

We organised a Conference on 'Future of Tech Policy in India' on 15 March 2019 in Delhi. Over 150 people participated in the conference. Our report on Intermediary Liability 2.0 - A shifting Paradigm was launched during this conference.


A Blue Paper containing inputs received during this conference is available below. This document does not reflect the views of SFLC.in.


Brief agenda:

  • 09:30 AM to 10:00 AM: Registration

  • 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM: Session 1 - Misinformation and Intermediary Liability

  • 11:30 AM to 11:40 AM: Overview of the Report on ‘Intermediary Liability 2.0: A Shifting Paradigm’

  • 11:40 AM to 11:50 AM: Tea Break

  • 11:50 AM to 01:15 PM: Session 2 - The Role of Social Media in Elections

  • 01:15 PM to 02:00 PM: Lunch

  • 02:00 PM to 03:20 PM: Session 3 - Online Harassment

  • 03:20 PM to 03:30 PM: Tea Break

  • 03:30 PM to 03:50 PM: Lightning Talk on FreedomBox

  • 03:50 PM to 05:00 PM: Session 4 - The Future of Tech Policy