All posts by Tech Law Forum @ NALSAR

‘Skirting’ the Law, Part I

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This is the first in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law on upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India. Deepthi is a 4th Year Law student at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Calcutta. She is extremely interested in the intersection between gender and technology. She has previously authored a paper on Revenge Porn.

 ‘Upskirt’ photography, as the term suggests, refers to the voyeuristic practice of covertly taking pictures of women under their clothing without their consent or knowledge. These pictures, labeled ‘creepshots’, are generally pictures of a woman’s private areas. They are then widely disseminated via the internet, infamously through sites such as Reddit and 4chan.

In 2014, the legality of upskirt photography was brought into question before the US Courts across three different jurisdictions –Washington DC, Massachusetts and Texas. The first part of this post addresses the American perspective on the issue. It seeks to illustrate how America would rather err on the side of caution and permit the morally reprehensible acts of upskirt photography than curtail free speech. The second portion of the post looks into the Japanese perspective on creepshots, which is the polar opposite. Japan prioritizes women’s safety above free speech concerns. This portion of the post also looks into the curious phenomenon of cellphone manufacturers taking law into their own hands to regulate upskirt photography. I argue that this is a classic example of Lessig’s adage ‘code is law, law is code’. I conclude by extrapolating where India lies on the legal spectrum with regard to regulating upskirt photography. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part I

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‘Skirting’ the Law, Part II

(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/6LUL9s)
This is the second in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law of upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India – this part deals with Japan and India. The first part is available here.

Japan

1. Anti-Nuisance Ordinance

Japan has enacted an Anti Nuisance Ordinance to curtail upskirt photography or “panchira” as it is locally called. In 2008, the Japanese Supreme Court punished a man under this ordinance. The man was found to have taken 11 pictures of the woman’s butt/hip region. It is to be noted that the woman in the photograph was wearing all her clothes. Subsequently, in 2011 a man was arrested for taking pictures of a fully clothed woman sleeping on a train. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part II

Machine Learning: An Explanation

Have you ever wondered how the spam in your mailbox is automatically detected? And what about speech recognition or handwriting recognition? These are quite challenging problems. But luckily they have one thing in common – that is data, and a good deal of it.

Machine learning aims at creating systems that learn from data using various computer science and mathematical techniques. To put it differently, machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve  automatically through collected information of experience, i.e., data. Continue reading Machine Learning: An Explanation

The Status of Electronic Surveillance Laws in India: An Overview (Part II)

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The following is the last in a series of two posts on the Electronic Surveillance laws in India, brought to us by Anurag Dasgupta, CNLU Patna.

FEW OTHER STATUTES WHICH AIM AT REGULATING SURVEILLANCE IN INDIA
Continue reading The Status of Electronic Surveillance Laws in India: An Overview (Part II)

The Status of Electronic Surveillance Laws in India: An Overview (Part I)

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The following is the first in a series of two posts on the Electronic Surveillance laws in India, brought to us by Anurag Dasgupta, CNLU Patna.


After the wave of liberalisation and globalisation; the demographics of various countries have changed, (for better), such change also includes within itself the technological impetus, which many of the developing countries have not been able to provide with. Crimes are now not restricted to battery and assault, but includes with its ambit wiretapping also. Government too need not place its reliance only on the physical attendance of the police but can very well control or for that matter have surveillance by sitting in front of a computer screen. Hereby under these circumstances, reliance on any of the archetypal methods would spell apocalypse and hence a revamp of technology laws for any country is a must. Continue reading The Status of Electronic Surveillance Laws in India: An Overview (Part I)

Editors’ Picks (02/11/2014)

1. Google is Not What it Seems, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks.

2. Hungary’s Orban puts Internet tax on hold after huge protests, Kriztina Than and Marton Dunai, Reuters.

3. Good Intentions, Recalcitrant Text – I: Why India’s Proposal at the ITU is Troubling for Internet Freedoms, Geeta Hariharan, CIS-India.

4. Good Intentions, Recalcitrant Text – II: What India’s ITU Proposal May Mean for Internet Governance, Geeta Hariharan, CIS-India.

4. Andhra: Student held for Facebook post on cyclone Hudhud, PTI, Hindustan Times.

5. Wireless carriers are rolling out a horrible new way to track you, Russell Brandom, the Verga

6. Elon Musk Compares Building Artificial Intelligence To “Summoning The Demon”, Greg Kamparak, TechCrunch.

7. So Facebook controls the way millions of people get their news. What should we do about it?, Matthew Ingram, Gigaom.

8. Free Press: Legally Dubious Hybrid Proposals Won’t Protect Internet Users, Timothy Karr, freepress.

Editors’ Picks (19/10/14)

1. The Right Way to Fix the Internet, George Anders, MIT Technology Review.

2. Laura Poitras on the Crypto Tools That Made Her Snowden Film Possible, Andy Greenberg, WIRED.

3. How Anonabox Went From Privacy Savior to Scam in Less Than a Week, Joseph Cox, Motherboard.

4. Google Is Trying To Create An Ultra-Fast Wireless ServiceAlexei Oreskovic, 

5. Innovation Works Better, Faster with Opennness, not Lock-in, Mike Masnick, TechDirt.

Shaasthra: IIT Madras International Symposium on Healthcare

A little bit about us:

Shaastra, Asia’s largest student run festival, is the annual technical festival of IIT MadrasIt is the first ISO 9001:2008 certified student-organized technical festival.

Shaastra is scheduled to be held between the 3rd and 6th of January 2015. Cash prizes worth Rs. 60,000 to be won! SymposiumPoster

Continue reading Shaasthra: IIT Madras International Symposium on Healthcare

The Internet Finds Itself in a Web – What the U.S Withdrawal from ICANN and its Transition Signify

The following post is by Madhulika Srikumar, a fourth year student at GNLU, Gandhinagar. She has an avid interest in the debate on ownership of Internet, Internet security and freedoms, and has worked earlier on issues relating to ICANN and Internet Jurisdiction. She brings us an interesting commentary on the US withdrawl from ICANN, and how it  may affect Internet Governance as it currently exists.

The Internet finds itself in a “web” these days, a web of polarizing powers and conflicting interests; a web that could possibly result in changing the Internet as we know it. Attempting to untangle this web is no mean feat.

The Internet is best defined by the values that formed it. These values are of “open” code or software that govern the Internet, whose source is available to all and can be taken, modified and improved. It is these ideals that many still hope to preserve in today’s Internet governance. Continue reading The Internet Finds Itself in a Web – What the U.S Withdrawal from ICANN and its Transition Signify

Editor’s Picks (12/10/14)

1. Why the Trolls Will Always Win, by Kathy Sierra, Wired.

2. Online Native Ads Are Held To Higher Standards Than Those On TV, by Danielle Wiley TechCrunch.

3. It’s now legal to make backups of movies, music, and e-books in the UK, by Megan Geuss, ARSTechnica.

4. Georgetown law professor says Apple may now be a regulated financial institution, John-Michael Bond, The Unofficial Apple Weblog.