March 24, 2017 marks the two year anniversary of the landmark Shreya Singhal judgment. This was a very significant ruling on freedom of speech and expression and occupies an important place in the Supreme Court’s discourse on civil liberties. The judgment traces out the contours of free speech on the Internet in India and unequivocally holds that the right to freedom of expression provided under Article 19(1)(a) applies to speech over the Internet, making it clear that this is a medium-neutral right.
The event aims to shed some light on this key judgment and discuss ongoing discussions regarding our civil liberties and freedoms online before courts and the Parliament. The organisers would also like to take this opportunity to discuss some of the other pressing issues like Network Neutrality, Internet shutdowns, Privacy and User Security which need immediate attention and engagement of our democratic institutions. The aim is to formulate effective strategies which will further shape the legal and policy framework in India, and facilitate better collaborative efforts between stakeholders.
The event hopes to bring together everyone who contributed to the judgment, and those who do work connected with it, so that we may build on it to seek a better legal framework to protect online speech and to discuss the threats surrounding digital rights and how best build on the foundations of the judgment.
The discussion will be followed by dinner and an Open Bar for an Open Internet, which will start from 9.00 pm at the Annexe Court in the India International Centre — Annexe. In case you are unable to attend the seminar, please do join for dinner!