Tag: Internet

Right to Privacy

People are very reluctant to talk about their private lives, but then you go to the internet and they’re much more open” – Paulo Coelho

The internet is possibly the greatest invention mankind has seen in almost five decades. It has made our vast and diverse planet into a ‘global village.’ It has made our lives so much easier, like making projects is so much easier if you have access to the internet (who doesn’t nowadays?) than having to go and sit in a library, read a ton of books and spend a huge amount of time comprehending what you have read. You even get ready made presentations on various topics on the internet. Of course the internet, does not exist without its faults.

A nine judge bench of the Supreme Court is currently examining whether ‘Right to Privacy’ can be upgraded to the status of a fundamental right. This comes after a PIL (Public interest litigation) was filed regarding intrusion of privacy of the citizens who have had various types of data like addresses, photos, biometrics were uploaded as part of the Aadhar Card document. The government in its written submission to the Supreme Court said that,”the petition challenging the validity of the Aadhar scheme on the ground that it violated right to privacy could not be entertained as right to privacy is recognised as a general right under Article 21.”

This sparked off a debate on protection of privacy over various other internet based services as well; such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Currently there is no body which regulates how the data is used by these companies. Everything that we do on the internet leaves a digital footprint, these footprints can be tracked by various organisations like your ISP (Internet Service Provider), the owner of the website or even at times, the government. We can be easily influenced if we aren’t aware and unfortunately, majority of the population isn’t aware of the concept of Right to Privacy let alone the debate over it; even though it has been in the spotlight for a few days now.

The Government must ensure that strong laws are introduced for the protection of our privacy online, they should ensure that they also implement (We make great laws, but we don’t ever see them in action) those laws properly and effectively. The internet is an integral part of our lives, we simply cannot live without it and regressing to a lifestyle which does not include using the internet is simply out of the question. Let us all come together and demand for better protection of our privacy online as our privacy is an integral part of leading a life with dignity and we simply cannot allow it to be overlooked and disrespected.

Priyamvad Rai

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War on piracy just hit our shores

Torrenting is one of the world’s, and the Internet’s most popular medium of sharing files. It is used by many people to download various soft-wares, videos etc.  Though, it is also used for sharing movies, Television shows, games and other paid products and all of this can be done for free. This is termed as piracy.

Recently, the owner of KickAss torrents, one of the largest torrent websites on the world wide web, was arrested in Poland. This isn’t the first time torrent sites have been targeted. But to the relief of many, the Pirates are fighting back and a new enemy has emerged, a new country.

India had been a safe haven for torrent websites and users downloading torrent files, though a recent development has changed that.

Various websites around the internet host such torrents. Users can upload their files and also download files of other users for free. It has been a controversial method of file sharing and has faced a lot of criticism and suppression, the Indian government has finally banned or is planning to ban torrent websites. It is not clear whether this action has been carried out, though many websites are showing the following message

“This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offense under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at urlblock@tatacommunications.com who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance.” 

Yes, the war on Piracy has hit the shores of Digital India.

Personally, I tried a few websites and didn’t encounter this message, but it is possible that the ban will be imposed on these websites soon.

The interesting thing about the ban is that you are not only going to get punished for downloading files from the websites, you will also be punished for accessing these ‘BLOCKED WEBSITES.’ Okay! You are trying to curb piracy, GREAT! But what kind of a law  punishes someone for witnessing a crime? If a website is banned, the user cannot download files from it in the first place! The punishment should be imposed when users attempt to download files from blocked websites by trying to bypass the block and the other technical hullabaloo.

Now the punishment itself, you can be jailed to upto 3 years and levied a fine of Rs.3,00,000/- for just viewing the sites, that too on FIRST offense. This kind of heavy penalty should be placed on violation of traffic rules so that our godforsaken roads are safer to be driven on. I applaud the government for finally taking to heavy penalty of breaking laws, but I condemn them for not doing so in the required area. All of us know that we Indians are terrible drivers and always had a problem with following rules whether it be roads or at home (Don’t take it in the wrong way, but it is true).

On the other hand, I strongly doubt that the country has enough jails to lock people up, every 2nd person whom I know uses torrents to download files. If this is implemented strictly then the Indian brigs are going to fill up, possibly half of the urban population will land up in jail. The ban needn’t be lifted, but it has to be changed, tweaked, to make sure that we don’t have more prisoners than the free population.

Priyamvad Rai

 

 

FYI, The dictionary got updated

Every year, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED as the Internet likes to call it) updates the meanings of existing words, adds new words to its existing pool of words. These additions have been mainly the various local slangs from countries around the world that do not ever make it out of their local neighborhoods.

In recent years, the OED has been adding words and terms from one of the most influencing sources of information in the world and that is the internet. Every year, terms from the internet make their way to the ‘prestigious OED’ of the English language and have made their mark there. People go OMG every year as the OED bows to the influence of the internet.

The OED itself has its dictionary available on the internet and therefore, it was inevitable that the words of the internet not make it to the dictionary. Maybe it was out of respect that the people at OED decided to include these internet acronyms.

But what this really denotes is the growing influence of the internet, not only over the people but also over various languages across the world. There are many words and terms that have been developed over their usage on the internet. Being an open platform and the anonymity of the people is protected. The internet allows almost a complete free source of information. Whether this is a positive or a negative impact that is a matter of personal view.

This article may not have much importance to many people, but it definitely highlights the growing influence of the internet and also the growing flow of information between the people.

Priyamvad Rai