Protests To Review IT Act

FSMI on Microsoft ending support of Windows XP

Microsoft stated that from April 8th, 2014 onwards, official support to Windows XP will be discontinued. This will mean that no further updates, including security patches will be released for the operating system. A large number of organisations in India, including Public Sector Undertakings, Private Companies, Educational institutions are still reliant on Windows XP as the Operating System for a majority of their computers.

 FSMI strongly demands and recommends that all the companies, public & private, educational institutions, health care institutions, shift to Free Software Operating Systems based on GNU/Linux . Free software evolved and exists as the alternative to proprietary software that push towards a vendor lock-in. FSMI pledges support to any organisation which decides to migrate to free software based systems.

 Windows XP has been known to be very vulnerable to virus attacks, malicious software and critical security bugs. With Microsoft officially discontinuing sup port to Windows XP, this leaves the critical computing infrastructure of most of these companies at a huge risk.

Internet Freedom Fortnight Celebrations

The recent revelations of Edward Snowden have brought to fore the unprecedented massive surveillance that the NSA under the aegis of USA has been carrying out on world countries. This naturally raises serious questions on the future of internet and democracy. If the Section 66(A) of the IT Act in India acts as a deterrent to freedom of speech and expression that the citizens are constitutionally entitled to, surveillance leads to loss of individual privacy and our national sovereignty. These acts remind us of the infamous days of colonial rule, to come out of which took us hundreds of years. Today, we are heading back to the same days- our domestic policies, space research, military strategies etc., are monitored by the USA through the various surveillance mechanisms. It is time we stand up and join the movement for internet and digital freedom!

Seminar on "Internet Surveillance and Internet Freedom"

Industry, research, academics and society have progressed enormously in the past two decades, largely owing to the availability of free internet. The availability of enormous information and its easy transmission via the internet has facilitated the progress achieved thus far.

However, some of the recent happenings have brought to fore a widespread debate amongst internet and computer users in general and intellectuals and activists in particular. If SOPA and PIPA in the United States of America made the future of internet look bleak, the more recent and infamous Section 66(A) of the IT Act in India raised serious doubts about its constitutional validity. 

AICTE removes the mandatory clause from the notice on implementing Office­365.

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A delegation from the Free Software Movement of India and other groups have submitted a representation demanding the revision of the decision of the AICTE making the usage of Office-365 mandatory on the 30th of April 2013.

FSMI representation to AICTE against the deal with Microsoft.

FSMI delegation gave a representation to the AICTE appealing for a  revision of AICTE - Microsoft deal by enforcing the usage of Office 365 in all engineering colleges.  This decision is in contrary to the Government of India's policies and against the interest of the Nation. 

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The concerns are :

1. As a publicly funded body, AICTE cannot reach a private agreement with a particular company and make it mandatory for all its institutions to partner such a program. This would promote vendor lock-in and would be against all government policies.

2. AICTE as a public body, is required to follow certain norms for any agreement to partner or choose any particular services or software. We are anaware of any such open and transparent policy that AICTE has followed in choosing Microsoft as its partner.

3. Indian government has already adopted an open standards policy vide National Information Technology Policy 2012, which explicitly seeks to promote open standards and promote Free, open source and open technologies. The AICTE decision to use Microsoft Office 365 is in violation of this policy.

4. Similarly, the government has also adopted Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance, which has mandated what are the characteristics of open standards. Office 365 does not meet this standard.

Press Release: Condemn the disruption of the Protest by Hooligans..in Pune

FSMI Condemns the detention of the activists campaigning for Internet Democracy,  protesting for the ammendment of IT act and against the misuse of 66A. The role of the security guards of a company and the company officials who threatened the protestors in a public area which is not of their concern or jurisdiction is something that is condemned by any democratic minded citizen of our country.

Response to the call reflects the Ire on the IT act.....

Protests against the govt. to review the IT act have sparked off on the 02-Dec in three places in the country with 600+ participants that include Bangalore and Guntur along with Hyderabad. In the coming fortnight there would be protests in 20 odd cities across the country.

Press notes on Protests Demanding Review of IT ACT

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Protests against the govt. to review the IT act have sparked off on the 02-Dec in three places in the country today that include Bangalore and Guntur along with Hyderabad that saw a particiaption of 600+ together. In the coming fortnight there would be protests in 20 odd cities across the country. Responding to the call of Free Software Movement of India, Swecha’s protest against the IT Act, has seen  a participation of 300+ people from all walks of life, predominant among them were Swecha activists, IT Professionals, Students, academicians and school kids broadly the generation today and the future generation the Fugen.

Call for protests demanding review of IT act

FSMI calls for protests demanding the review of certain sections of IT act including 66A. The text of the message is as follows:

Free Software Movement of India condemns the misuse of 66A and calls for protests across the country from 1st December 2012 to 7th December 2012 demanding the Government of India to review the sections of the IT act including 66A (which deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services etc.), as a minimum it should come out with clear Rules under the Act clearly limiting the scope of Section 66 A and others to be in conformity with the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Call for protest demanding review of IT act

A call is being given by FSMI demanding the review of certain sections of IT act including 66 A. The text of the message is as follows :

There is an attack on Internet Freedom from many quarters . A repeated misuse of section 66 A of the IT act raises the doubts of whether we are living in a democratic country governed by rule of law or in a dictatorship where every dissenting view is crushed through such terror? Before one could forget the illegal arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, came the shocker of arrest of two young women from Palghar. The issue of AI crew members being arrested under the 66A in ruthless manner came in to light. This instance asserts the possibility of more such cases exist where 66 A has been misused. Free Software Movement of India condemns the misuse of 66 A and calls for protests accross the country in the first week of Decemeber demanding the Government of India to review the sections of the IT act including 66 A (which deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service etc.), as a minimum it should come out with clear Rules under the Act clearly limiting the scope of Section 66 A and others to be in conformity with the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. FSMI shall co-ordinate and work with all groups and individuals and urges the democratic minded citizens of this country to come forward in demanding the government to review the section 66A .
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