Posts by Guest Author

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  • The Making of Political Ads: Classification as Distraction

    Internet based advertising has changed both the Internet and advertising. Efforts to understand the impacts of advertising business models rely on a distinction between ads that might be considered political and the rest. Such a classification empowers platforms to hide from scrutiny a whole lot of ads that are a basic part of an intrinsically political corpus of public discourse. Therefore, enhanced transparency for political ads, rather than shining a light, functions as a cover, obfuscating the impact of targeted and optimised ad infrastructures. In this essay, we use data collected at the Persuasion Lab (ad.watch) to problematise this central classification, and argue that the very nature of targeted ads is inherently political.   More

    Research

  • Is the fourth way going far enough? Our submission to MEITy on draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018

    The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology invited public comments to the draft Personal Data Protection Bill and accompanying report. The report claims that the proposed framework is a fourth way (others being the European Union model, the United States model and the Chinese model) that is tailored to suit India and other developing countries. The Internet Democracy Project made a submission, with general comments as well as some specific suggestions.    More

    Policy Submission

  • Digital India abroad: India’s foreign policy and digital rights

    THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CO-AUTHORED BY ANJA KOVACS AND SAIKAT DATTA. If India has supported economic, social and cultural rights far more vocally at global fora than civil and political rights, this is a result of both domestic security compulsions and historical foreign policy positions. Internet rights advocates’ strategies will need to take into account India’s preoccupation with sovereignty and an improved international stature to gain the country’s full support. This article was co-authored by Anja Kovacs and Saikat Datta, and first published in Lettinga, Doutje and Lars van Troost (eds.) (2015), Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: India. Amsterdam: Amnesty International Netherlands.   More

    Research

  • Democracy and transparency

    BY VIDYUT — AAM JANATA In this Make Blog post, Vidyut reflects on the growing censorship in the world and its negative effect on the quality of democracies everywhere. In this light, she also analyses the devastatingly chilling effect the IT Rules can have in India in particular. And asks …   More

  • Perspectives on censorship: the Netherlands

    BY AMRUTA MEHTA In an earlier post, Amruta Mehta wondered whether censorship is the new sterilisation. Since then, she has taken her quest to find out whether censorship is indeed the latest global fad a step further by inquiring about this among friends from around the world. Today, written for …   More

  • Perspectives on censorship: Canada

    BY AMRUTA MEHTA In an earlier post, Amruta Mehta wondered whether censorship is the new sterilisation. Since then, she has taken her quest to find out whether censorship is indeed the latest global fad a step further by inquiring about this among friends from around the world. Today, written for …   More