Email to TRAI on Net Neutrality

Email to TRAI on Net Neutrality

Internet in India is at Risk. Telecoms service providers and Content providers are violating Net Neutrality in various means. This will not ensure equal Internet for everyone as how it is right now. This will create an artificial scarcity for knowledge & information which otherwise is freely flowing in nature.

TRAI (Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India) is asking opinion from Public whether or not they support Net Neutrality. This is our chance to make our voice heard. For your convenience, we are providing you with the content for email.

What should I do?

  1. Read the email content below.
  2. Copy the email content.
  3. Use Subject as “I Support Net Neutrality” for the email.
  4. Send email to advqos@trai.gov.in by pasting the copied content in the message.
  5. Share this message with your friends too.
  6. Use #IndiaWantsNetNeutrality hashtag on Social Networks.

Hi,

Last two-three decades have shown us the power of people communicating to each other independently, peer to peer over the INTERNET. The world of Free Software, Wikipedia, Khanacademy, MOOCs(Massive Open Online Courses), Arxiv.org, to name a few would not have been possible had people not been able to express, share, and spread their views over INTERNET.  Internet has made it possible to decentralize knowledge andmake it accessible to people across the world.

On similar lines, Facebook, Gmail, Whatsapp, are just few examples of how corporates have made use of INTERNET and made available platforms to enable people to communicate easily with very little technical knowledge. They have come up with own business models across this also.

But though all these are the major and well known players in the INTERNET world, they just form a very small part of the actual INTERNET world. Internet comprises of millions of websites, each trying to communicate some idea to its viewers. Like Facebook provides a platform to communicate with your friends, a blogger like Avijit Roy may use his blog as a platform to spread his views on religion. Like Gmail provides mailing service, Riseup.net may provide mailing list services to activists organizations. Whatsapp may provide services for people to chat using their mobile, where as TOR may be used by people to browse
Internet anonymously.

All of these wide range of entities (individuals/organizations/corporates) are making use of Internet in their own way. Calling only a few of them  OTT(Over The Top) Service would definitely be wrong as each entity provides some or other service. Some may make money over donations, some others by  displaying ads and some by selling ads. However that should not be a reason to differentiate their content or service over the INTERNET.

All of the content over INTERNET should be treated equally irrespective of how they are accessed, used or monetized. I would request government of India not to take steps towards breaking fundamental aspects of INTERNET which is one of the humanity’s greatest invention. Net Neutrality is a must for future of Internet.

Email Content Source Credit: Vignesh Prabhu of FSMK (http://blog.viggy.in/?p=836)

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Edubuntu in Girls Government High School

We have been talking about installing Gnu/Linux Distro’s for the Computers in Savararayalu Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Puducherry, since Hemavathy, Principal of that school wished to migrate from Windows to Gnu/Linux after visiting & inspired by Kerala Schools.

We had discussions on what Gnu/Linux distribution we should install. Finally we chose Edubuntu (an official derivative of Ubuntu operating system) and the version is 14.04.1 LTS. We also had other choices like EduBOSS (official derivative of BOSS – Indian government funded customized debian derivative operating system by C-DAC). The number of packages that came along with EduBOSS is very limited compared to Edubuntu. Moroever, edubuntu gave more choices while installing with respect to leave out or include education tools based on the age category like elementary, primary or secondary level students.

We found out that Edubuntu can acts as a thick client serving thin clients connected via local network. Though, we did not use it due to the fact that there was no LAN in their school.

Prasanna, Sinduja & Sarath volunteered the installation session.Thanks to Sinduja, she had already installed various Free Software Educational tools in most of the machines running windows. There were Posters on Richard Stallman, Aaron Swartz, Charles Babbage, Free Software Philosophy, Linus Torvalds, etc., There were 9 Desktop in which Five machines running Windows 7 and four Windows XP. We tested Edubuntu performance in all the machines before installing. We disabled Unity interface and sticked with Gnome fallback environment because of low availability of hardware resources(1.25 GB of RAM) and the fact that Unity also consumes more memory of graphical overlay.

We installed Edubuntu in 7 machines along with the existing operating system as dual boot & in 2 machines we had to install it as a primary OS since their windows installation has already been corrupted and required a reinstall.

We named those machines after the name of Free Software activists, Privacy enthusiasts & Scientists (RMS, Linus Torvalds, Aaron Swartz, Edward Snowden, Jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Ramanujam, Charles Babbage, Lady Ada). We started the installation session at 2 pm and finished by 5.00 pm.

Thanks to Hemavathy Madam for allowing us to install Edubuntu in their school computer lab. Soon students will be using Gnu/Linux in their school. There will be continuous classes for students on various tools available in the OS. We are in need of volunteers to teach the students. We have lots of work to do. Gear up people.

Installation Pictures – https://prasanna.trovebox.com/photos/album-9/list

P.S: This Post is composed by Sarath and edited by Prasanna.

Documentary Screening – The Internet’s Own Boy

Documentary Screening – The Internet’s Own Boy

“The Internet’s Own Boy depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. It features interviews with his family and friends as well as the internet luminaries who worked with him. The film tells his story up to his eventual suicide after a legal battle, and explores the questions of access to information and civil liberties that drove his work.” – The Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaronSwartz)

This documentary is released under Creative Commons License (CC-BY-SA-NC). Last week the documentary was screened by Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu (FSFTN) at Thoughtworks, Chennai. As a part of this movie screening FSFTN is screening at Puducherry this Sunday (27/07/2014).

docu_screening

Here is the agenda,

  • 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM – An introduction speech
  • 3.15 PM – 4.00 PM – First part of movie screening
  • 4:00 PM – 4:05 PM – A small break.
  • 4:05 PM – 5:05 PM – Rest of the movie.
  • 5:05 PM – 5:30 PM – Discussion about the issues.

The event is free to attend.

Time : 3:00 PM – 5.30 PM
Venue : Livelihood Resource Center for Marginalized (near Sri Sankara Vidyalaya Matriculation School, E.C.R, Lawspet, Puducherry).