Your voice matters to us at ISOC

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organisation founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy. ISOC is dedicated to ensure that there is open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.

ISOC Chennai was the first chapter in India and has been an active proponent in raising awareness on a large number of topics related to Internet, Internet by itself is a network of computers, mobile devices and servers connected across boundaries and brings forward a lot more challenges. So we as user need to be an active voice in raising all these concerns and discussions to the fore. Today large organizations and countries get affected by sentiments and expressions over the internet. No longer is this a domain for just the geeks but all inclusive.

So join is and make your voice be heard ! Join us for life ! Click here

– Syed Nazir Razik, Director – Corporate , ISOC India Chennai

Ideacamp, India Search Summit and Socialmaxx : Forthcoming initiatives at The Knowledge Foundation

How many times have you felt an awesome idea and wanted to validate it with a peer group ? How many times have you felt that you are found sitting at a great idea for so long that you find that competition has been capitalising on that ? And how many times have you reached out to your community to build something together ? The answer to all this  #Ideacamp .

Events like #barcamp , #ignite have ventured partly in this direction but with Ideacamp we just want to celebrate ideas (any domain) and understand  how collective brainstorming can take things to the next level. This platform will seek to validate ideas as well as gather support in building a team around the idea. The key component of Ideacamp would be the audience. The more diverse they are the greater will be the input to the event per se.. Already we have members from ISOC Chennai trying to connect the event with global thinkers. Due to be held in the third week of May 2010 Follow developments on twitter and facebook by tracking the tags #ideacamp

Search meets Social and Social meets search. A few weeks back twitter announced with twitter predictor it was able to predict box office success.Lately a lot of commercial organisations are listening to social media streams like twitter , facebook, linkedin to understand their customers, service levels as well as online branding. Naturally its imperative that we combine both streams without diluting content in each of these domains. Searchcamp has been renamed as India Search Summit Owing to the tremendous success of the previous two editions of Searchcamp , we wanted it to grow into a larger and serious initiative that can bring together more Search professionals so that we can take it to other cities in India on the long run.

The Knowledge Foundation has already done events in the past like Buzz140  ( #buzz140 ) on twitter (2009) , India’s first Facebook Garage in Proto.in Pune edition (2009) , its time that we elevate the bar to combine all into one focussed event on Social Media. This time we want to combine popular tools like LinkedIn also to the discussion . India Search Summit and Socialmaxx will be held on consecutive days at the third week of August 2010. We welcome volunteers and enthusiasts who can join us to help in these initiatives . To follow development updates on this event pls search for #socialmaxx

World Summit Awards 2009

Last week i happened to be invited to chair a high level discussion panel at WSA ” 21st. Century India on Digital Content” The meeting was held at the Intercontinental. Delhi as a part of the World Summit Awards and  went excellently well. I happened to chair 3 major discussions panel of which the primary invite was for  ” Digital Content in E-Governance : Policy Focus :

The objective of the brainstorming session was to arrive at solutions to bridge gap in content delivery on public services online. Some of the recommendation arrived at were presented to Mr Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner of India and Mr Chandrasekar, Special Secretary DIT , MOCIT

Recommendation provided by the group to Govt of India

1. An all Inclusive approach to development rather than creating information silos
2. Incentivise content delivery models for PPP initiatives
3. Subsidize cost of devices, access and other factors to build sustainable models around such initiatives
4. Set standards for interoperability particulary to support regional language content
5. Rather than aiming at holistic models like Single window solutions build model that fit local requirements

Among the co panel members with me were
Rudi Vansnick, President ISOC Belgium
Effat El Shooky , Advisor to MOCIT, Egypt
Dorothy Gordon, DG , Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center for ICT
Ashish Sanyal, Sr Director, DIT, MOCIT, Govt of India
Tulika Pandey, Addnl Director, DIT
Ajay Mishra, Principal Scy IT & C . AP Govt
Neel Ratan, ED, PWC India
Gitanjali Sah, UN Solution Exchange

During the Networking sessions i happened to exchange notes on ISOC India Chennai’s  Online Child safety Initiatives with many distinguished guest of which prospective leads were with Rudi Vansnick, Effat Elshooky, Gitanjali Shah (UN Solution Exchange on ICT  and Sreenivasan (Founder- Career Launcher Network), Jayalakshmi Chittoor, Deepinder Singh ( Egov -MOCIT) . All these ppl appreciate our efforts. Particularly i had a conversation with Dorothy whjere she made an observation of having visited an internet cafe in Remote india and it will filled withy school boys watching porn. Most of them are willing to participate as well as help us in the initiative. All we need to do is pursue forward with single minded focus.

There is a door open in your home ! Safeguard your Child !

How would you feel that your home has a open door that you are not aware of ? How would your react if i were to say that your child is exposed to this open door ? Have you ever wondered what your child is doing online ? Isnt it time that we start to understand the impending threats of an unregulated internet at home. Assuming that the government is doing a lot of measures to curb illegal material online and also assuming that our ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) also do a great job in regulating content online. 10th of Februray commemorates Safe Internet Day and is a good time to discuss issues related to this and thereby create awareness among the society at large.

First lets understand certain basic facts about online content.

1. Content is classified as legal or illegal based on the person viewing the content . What might be appropriate viewing for an adult can be offensive when viewed by children and minors. Content providers need to provide Proper Age verification systems on their website to facilitate child protection on such sites.

2. Online content is never limited by geographical boundaries. National borders don’t play a pivotal role in internet. In principle the criminal jurisdiction can be created with the place in which the criminal act has been performed or the place in which the perpetrator resides

3. Dissemination of content takes place in the following manner. It also narrows down on the onus of shouldering responsibility .

Content Producers >> Content Providers >> Access Providers >> Users.

The principal role players in child protection falls primarily with parents and then its is left to the teachers. These two are the key stake holders in providing online safety to children. Create an awareness campaign among parents spreading the message on the possible risks that are children face online and how we can combat and prevent such threats. We need to remove certain perceptions on safety that most parents have about the online world. Apart from protecting our children from lurking paedophiles online, today the children are exposed to extreme forms of violence in video games and demented views online. We hear cases and instances of misguided youth taking to directions of terrorism. Eventhough we are yet to find a direct blatant link between online content and behavioural influence we cannot deny the fact that there is an element of threat.

Some of the Recommendations that we can propose to address these issues are

1. We need set standards / clear guidelines for online game development as well as for adult content viewing
2. We need to put in place Sophisticated Data mining tools to track the online perpetrators who have been producing Child porn content
3. We need to have an ISOC Chennai focus group on Child protection online that can address these issue on the ground in Indian Scenario.
4. In Indian most of the content is accessed by children from cybercafe and we need to insist on universal framework / means to verify age group of the user to address this concern
5. We should clearly establish a minimum age sentiment on certain sites like Child erotica, manga, Stales so on.
6. Using the ISOC Chennai Focus group on Child protection, we need to empower the parent and teachers on mechanisms and methods by which adequate measures are taken to protect children from such exploitation. First there needs to be Self regulation instruments and that awareness needs to be imparted to the parents and teachers.
7. From ISOC Chennai we need to create a Youth protection round table inviting teachers and parents to be a part of and that encourages collaborative and cross border dialogue thereby to provide an optimal mix of effective technology enhanced strategies in one hand and education based strategies on the other thereby enable a safer and secure internet.
8. Global organisations like Clicksafe, CEOP, Insafe network will join up with organisations from all over the world in a virtual exhibition ground starting from 10th February. Currently Insafe operates across European Union and we in India need to create a similar body to address a much bigger child user group online. The Insafe virtual fair will open its doors to the public on 10th February and close on February 24th. You can access this event at http://www.sidfair.org, visitors will be able to get an overview of what is going on in their country, browse resources in their language and watch videos.

All these issues need to be addressed and in Indian scenario we are in a very premature stage in terms of Child protection online. We are talking about moulding a future generation and It is the onus of credible organisations like ISOC to address these issues. As a part of this we invite educators and parents to join hands with us to make this possible after all we serve our time at earth for maybe 60 – 70 years, but lets leave behind a better tomorrow for our children.