Descriptively, data retention refers to the gathering and storing of information relating to subscribers’ use of telecommunications networks. This storage happens at a remote location, inaccessible to the user whose activities are the origin of the stored data. Typically, data retention protocols require the continuous collection of certain parameters from internet users and the maintenance of comprehensive records of user activity, in one form or another. Retention can be done at the ISP level, as a commercial decision on the part of the service provider, or at the regulatory level, as a national policy decision on the part of the State in order to achieve larger goals of law enforcement and public order. Over the course of two posts, I will attempt to construct a brief critique of the policies adopted, first narrating the Indian stance and then using contemporary global trends as a yardstick against which this stance can be measured.
The following post is by Shashank Atreya, a student of School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore. He is a founding member of the Committee on Public Policy and Governance, School of Law, Christ University, and has headed research panels drafting suggestions to the Parliament Standing Committee and Law Commission. Shashank is a Media Law enthusiast, and vouches for net neutrality. He brings us a detailed analysis on TRAI’s recent suggestions on Cross Media Ownership, which formed part of it’s recommendations to the Law Commission of India.
The media plays an important and multiple roles in society. The most obvious of these are collection and dissemination of information, communication and entertainment among the people. Further, through its reach to the people the media also transmits social and cultural values and serves as a medium of education. Thus by providing information the media can inspire and generate political social ideas and aid in shaping policy agenda and priorities.
(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/92t8FA)
In its long series of antitrust woes, Google found itself facing an antitrust complaint filed by two Korean internet search sites a few years ago, accusing it of blocking third party search applications from the Android operating system, though it was later acquitted of the same. It was this complaint that later led to the European Union complaint. Preceding this, the internet giant was the subject of a complaint regarding Android filed with the European Commission by a Portuguese app store, Aptoide. Aptoide claimed abuse of its dominant position in the smartphone market by Google, accusing it of blocking third party app stores that rival its own app store (Google Play) in the Android operating setup. Thus, by creating obstacles for users to install any other app store but Play on the Android platform, Google ensures that there is no direct competition to it. Aptoide’s complaint also stated that the bundle services that are essential for the functioning of the Android system are tied up with Google Play and Google blocks access to Aptoide websites in its web browser Chrome
(Image Source: owni.fr)
The Internet is an enabling space. It provides us with the realization of our basic human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, opinion, thought and belief. In this blog post, I have tried to give an overview of the recent developments with regard to the Internet rights in Africa.
(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/aWsHkX)
(This post was earlier published on SpicyIP)
Google, ARA and Open Source Licensing
When Google sold Motorola, which it had bought only a short while ago for a certain amount, there was a considerable amount of speculation over the sale. One of the most curious points about the deal, though, was that Google had retained Advanced Technologies and Projects group, the Research and Development wing of Motorola. This division was tasked with developing one of the most revolutionary technologies of the century – the modular smart phone, known as Project ARA. The project aims to build a free and open hardware platform for creating modular smartphones. Google released the Module Developer Kit (MDK) for the project in early April this year, giving the developers whatever they need in order to start making modules for the device. This post will focus on the MDK’s IP licensing policy and its implications.
Only last semester, I had a slight mix-up regarding my project submission where my professor did not receive the mail containing my project despite it being in my sent folder. By the time I realised that he hadn’t received it, it was too late. It was that what got me thinking about read receipts. A read receipt is basically an intimation that your sent email was read by your intended recipient. This could be immensely helpful to people who send material that would generally require a reply on the part of the other party. I for one can attest to that. Imagine sending your internship applications with the read receipt turned on. You’ll know exactly when they read it and you’ll no more have to suffer the torture of wondering whether they actually haven’t had time to look at your application yet or are simply ignoring it. However, the aim of this post is to examine if these would be of any assistance to us in the legal profession.
The Tech Law Forum aims, essentially, to provide a platform for opinions, comments, and responses – a platform for discussions and debates on all issues relating to Technology Law, with a specific focus on India. We chose the Forum’s existing format due to the constantly evolving nature of technological advances, and the necessarily immediate, or even better, proactive, nature of responses to such developments. The Forum aims to serve as a place for students, academicians and practitioners from the fields of technology and law, both, to discuss relevant issues. At the same time, the Forum also aims to provide a ready commentary on recent developments in the field from its own Editors, and to link readers to other interesting resources and articles.
We also aim to create a The Commons, a diverse and cohesive collection of links to Creative Commons and Public Domains resources related to Tech Law, for anyone who needs them.