The new rules for surveillance under the IT Act are an assault on our freedom. They also seem misguided, says Sunil Abraham. How many terrorists or criminals will be arrested in India thanks to the new ID requirements at cybercafés or a ban on public wi-fi? Intelligence work cannot be replaced with blanket surveillance
A BarCamp held in Gurgaon recently showcased a number of new initiatives focused on technology, transparency and accountability, from ways to minimise corruption in dealings with government to ways to track power cuts
Michel Bauwens, founder of the Peer to Peer Foundation, is one of those who believe in open spaces and creation without incentive. In this interview he talks about the Free Software and Wikipedia movements as pointers to a genuine change in the way we think, create and distribute goods. He believes that we have never before had such real-time possibilities for human cooperation and collective intelligence on a global scale
In a backlash to the skyrocketing prices of academic journals, academics worldwide are seeking ways to wrest knowledge back from the corporations and open access to all. Following the lead of major universities in Europe and USA, IMSc Chennai launched its open-access repository last month
In villages across nine Indian states listeners are getting hooked on to radio shows featuring women sarpanches and journalists fighting social and economic inequities through panchayati raj institutions. In the process, listeners are spurred on to participate in local institutions of self-governance themselves
The villagers of Budikote in Karnataka are making and narrowcasting their own cable radio programmes on issues of local interest. Thirty-five neighbouring villages also tune in to the cable radio network for two hours everyday. With legislation on community radio broadcasting still a long way off in India, cable radio could be the best way forward
Karnataka's Bhoomi project, which computerised 20 million rural land records, was designed as an instrument of equity. But is IT also reinforcing inequality, with men benefiting more than women and the rich benefiting more than the poor?
The world's richest man, Bill Gates, is pouring money into India. Is it largely because of the challenge posed by the GNU/Linux computer operating system? And what really are the benefits of Free Software?
If government-to-citizen initiatives are to succeed, Indian local language computing is a must. But with almost three dozen major languages and hundreds of dialects, the task is complex. Some headway is being made however, with the debut of a 'total Tamil' computer
There are plans afoot to computerise thousands of rural schools across India, attended mainly by poor children. But where is the software that is suitable for use in these schools