[July 22-29] CCG’s Week in Review: Curated News in Information Law and Policy

The RTI Amendment Bill was passed by both houses of the Parliament as the Government considers relaxation in proposed data localisation requirements for foreign tech firms; crypto critiques by the Garg Committee’s proposed ban; probes and penalties in the struggle to regulate global tech giants— presenting this week’s most important developments in law and tech.

Right to Information

  • [July 23] Lok Sabha passes bill to amend RTI, Oppn says centre is weakening the law, Livemint report; The Economic Times report.
  • [July 23] Lok Sabha passes RTI Amendment Bill amid Opposition uproar; what changes have been proposed under new law, Firstpost report
  • [July 24] 14 political parties from Rajya Sabha oppose the RTI amendment bill, The Economic Times report.
  • [July 24] Freedom of expression is under threat due to RTI Act amendments, say former Chief Information Commissioners, National Herald report.
  • [July 25] Rajya Sabha passes RTI amendment bill, Opposition walks out, Livemint report; India Today report; Business Standard report.

Data Protection Bill

  • [July 23] Personal data protection bill: IT Ministry may back storage curbs for critical, sensitive data, The Hindu Business Line report.
  • [July 27] Policymakers a divided lot on personal data bill provisions, ET Tech report.
  • [July 27] Personal data protection bill to take care of sovereign data concerns: Govt, ET Telecom report.
  • [July 28] Data protection bill still in limbo after 1 year; Govt refuses info, The Quint report.
  • [July 28] India will never compromise on its data sovereignty: Prasad, The Economic Times report; DNA India report; Firstpost report

Data Protection and Privacy

  • [July 23] Equifax to pay $650 million for the 2017 data breach, Medianama report;  New York Times report.
  • [July 24] Facebook agrees to pay record $5 billion settlement in privacy investigation, Time magazine report; NBC news report; The Economic Times report
  • [July 25] Record Facebook fine won’t end scrutiny of the company, ET tech report.
  • [July 25] WhatsApp announces privacy investigation partnership, ET Tech report.
  • [July 25] WhatsApp to engage with policymakers to strengthen privacy, ET Telecom report.
  • [July 25] Facebook ends Microsoft, Sony access to friend data, ET Telecom report.
  • [July 25] Facebook warns of costly privacy changes, discloses another US probe, ET tech report.
  • [July 26] UK Data Protection Agency issues new guidelines for data sharing, JD Supra report.

Data Localisation

  • [July 24] Only critical information may need to be housed in India, ET Tech report.
  • [July 24] India may tweak data privacy norms to keep only critical data in country: report, The Economic Times report; Business Today report.
  • [July 26] As data localisation gathers steam, RailTel goes on cloud offensive, The Hindu Business Line report.
  • [July 29] Big relief for foreign firms: Govt panel says no need to mirror personal data in India, Financial Express report; The Indian Express report.

Digital India

  • [July 22] Empowering India’s hardware startups: Qualcomm signs a technical bilateral cooperation agreement with MeitY, YourStory.com report.
  • [July 23] TRAI wants to be country’s data czar, MeitY not keen, The Economic Times report; Money Control report.
  • [July 26] India’s agricultural farms get a technology lift, ET Tech report.
  • [July 29] India’s mid-cap IT firms caught between shrinking deals and rising costs, ET tech report.

Content Regulation

  • [July 23] TikTok has removed over 60 lakh videos between July 2018 to April 2019, Medianama report
  • [July 23] Why they want TikTok banned in India, Medianama report.
  • [July 24] Over 150 cases of fake news reported during Lok Sabha elections, says Union Minister, News18 report.
  • [July 24] Over 2100 URLs on social media blocked in 2019: Prasad, The Outlook report.
  • [July 25] Govt says porn sites blocked by Jio, Airtel and others after 3 court orders, hints watching porn not illegal, India Today report.
  • [July 26] Muslim hawker beaten up over Jai Shri Ram chants in Bengal, internet suspended after tension, India Today report.
  • [July 26] Social influencers make hay while content shines, ET Tech report.
  • [July 26] POCSO amendment bill expands child porn definition to ‘any visual depiction’ of sexually explicit content involving children, Medianama report.

Aadhaar

  • [July 21] UIDAI to soon select adjudicating officer for inquiry in contravention cases, Money Control report.
  • [July 23] 100 plus e-seva centres in Chennai shut after operators lose access to Aadhaar website, Times of India report
  • [July 24] Income Tax return 2019: Compulsory mention of Aadhaar in ITR, Financial Express report.
  • [July 24] Devendra Fadnavis joins the ‘link Aadhaar with voter IDs’ bandwagon: report, Medianama report.
  • [July 25] States can now use Aadhaar data for their schemes, ET Tech report; The Hindu Business Line report, Livemint report; Money Control report.
  • [July 25] Aadhaar linking not mandatory for activation of RuPay cards, Times Now News report.
  • [July 25] Aadhaar misuse surfaces in Gurugram, The Tribune report.
  • [July 25] Providing Aadhaar details for ‘parivar pehchan patra’ purely voluntary: Khattar, The Week report.
  • [July 25] All Aadhaar issues have been settled: Nandan Nilekani, The Economic Times report.
  • [July 26] Plea against Aadhaar-vote link filed before Delhi HC, The Telegraph report.
  • [July 28] Fake Aadhaar racket busted in Andhra Pradesh, The New Indian Express report.
  • [July 28] Linking Aadhaar with election ID would disenfranchise elderly and manual labourers: ECI told, Counterview report.

E-Commerce

  • [July 22] How an in-house e-commerce platform revolutionised government procurement, ET Tech report.
  • [July 25] Shopping from Chinese e-tailers set to become more expensive, The Economic Times report; Entrackr report.
  • [July 26] Amazon engaging with Indian govt to seek stable e-commerce policy, ET Tech report.
  • [July 28] Government plans e-commerce boost for rural products, ET Tech report.
  • [July 29] Data, e-commerce laws held up as India, US talk, Hindustan Times report.

Digital payments

  • [July 26] Govt fears WhatsApp may share payment data with Facebook, others, ET Tech report.
  • [July 26] Digital payment firms wait for new finance secretary to discuss Merchant Discount rates (MDRs), ET tech report.
  • [July 27] WhatsApp’s payment service is now being tested by companies, ET Tech report.

Cryptocurrency

  • [July 22] FINRA extends deadline for firms to report crypto activity, CoinDesk report.
  • [July 22] Iran legalizes crypto mining, Coin Desk report.
  • [July 23] Inter-Ministerial Group suggests banning of private cryptocurrencies in India, The Economic Times report; Business Today report; Livemint report; Quartz report
  • [July 23] India mulling an official crypto-currency? Looks like govt veering towards the idea, The Economic Times report
  • [July 23] Swiss Data protection regulator seeks details on Facebook’s Libra, Coin telegraph report.
  • [July 24] Crypto startups say panel clueless about Distributed Ledger Tech, ET Tech report.
  • [July 24] Crypto community rails against crackdown proposed by Garg Committee, Entrackr report.
  • [July 24] Cryptocurrency ban bill: Finance Ministry wants to ban cryptocurrency, encourage blockchain, Medianama report.
  • [July 24] Panel’s cryptic stance foxes crypto investors, The Economic Times report.
  • [July 25] Investors in limbo as Centre proposes cryptocurrency ban, Times of India report.
  • [July 26] Indian government official resigns after drafting ‘flawed’ crypto bill, Bitcoin.com News report.
  • [July 27] IRS warns crypto holders: dodge tax and we’ll hand out stiff punishments, the Guardian report.
  • [July 27] Crypto mining malware targets cloud computing platforms, FX Street report.

Cybersecurity

  • [July 22] Israel to arm students on autism spectrum with cybersecurity skills, Times of Israel report.
  • [July 23] NSA to unveil a cybersecurity directorate report says, CNET report; The Wall Street Journal report; Forbes report.
  • [July 24] A contract programmer faces 10 years in jail for inserting a ‘logic bomb’ into a spreadsheet that caused the company to keep rehiring him, Business Insider report.
  • [July 25] Louisiana declares cybersecurity state of emergency after a series of attacks on school district systems, Dark Reading report.
  • [July 25] Russian hackers build fake Skype, Signal, Pornhub apps to lure victims, Defense One report.
  • [July 26] Does India have enough cybersecurity talent? Analytics India report.
  • [July 26] UK’s national Cybersecurity Centre warns over global DNS hijacking, JD Supra report.
  • [July 27] Cybersecurity spending to rise 37% in five years, The New India Express report.

Big Tech

  • [July 24] The struggle to regulate online giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, ET Tech report.
  • [July 26] Australian anti-trust watchdog challenges market dominance of Google and Facebook in advertising and online news, Medianama report
  • [July 26] Big Tech release transparency report for the Global Internet Forum to counter terrorism, Medianama report.
  • [July 28] How regional languages are fueling You Tube’s growth in India, ET Tech report.

Emerging Tech/AI

  • [July 22] With $1 billion from Microsoft, an AI Lan wants to mimic the brain, The New York Times report; Tech Crunch report.
  • [July 23] Facial recognition: As airports in India start using the technology, how will it be regulated? Scroll.in report.
  • [July 23] How AI will help detect tiny drones 3 km away, Defense One report
  • [July 24] China’s ByteDance ventures into AI-generated music with Jukedeck deal, ET Tech report.
  • [July 24] Reliance owned Haptik aqcui-hires Los Angeles based AI startup Convrg, Tech Circle report.
  • [July 26] Facial recognition systems at IGI airport to be operational from next month: report, Medianama report.

Telecom/5G

  • [July 22] EU completes first phase of 5G cybersecurity risk assessment, RCR Wireless report.   [July 24] Top CoT panel clears Rs. 3,050 cr penalties on Airtel, Voda-Idea in PoI issue, ET Telecom report
  • [July 24] Jio is biggest mobile tower customer of BSNL, MTNL, ET Telecom report.
  • [July 25] National Security Advisory Board blows to 5G bugle: Build local muscle, get real on China, ET Prime report.

More on Huawei

  • [July 22] Huawei secretly helped build North Korea’s wireless network, leaked documents suggest, CNET report; The Guardian report.
  • [July 22] UK Government decision on 5G delayed, BBC News report.
  • [July 23] Huawei unit cuts more than 600 jobs from its US research wing following sanctions, Livemint report; Tech Crunch report.
  • [July 23] Huawei inks pact with Micromax to expand retail presence, but analysts wary of upside, The Hindu Business Line report.; Business Today report; Livemint report.
  • [July 24] Huawei faces new allegations over cybersecurity in the Czech Republic, Forbes report.
  • [July 26] China accuses FedEx of ‘holding up’ Huawei parcels, The Economic Times report.

Tech and Elections

  • [July 24] Electronic voting machines completely non-tamperable: Centre to Lok Sbaha, NDTV report.
  • [July 25] Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic Presidential Candidate, sues Google for $50 million, The New York Times report; The Wrap report.

Tech and Law Enforcement

  • [July 25] HC pings IIT-M professor for report on WhatsApp’s traceability, ET Telecom report
  • [July 27] RAW ex-chief urges coordination between intelligence agencies, The New Indian Express report.

Tech and National Security

  • [July 22] 275 items manufactured by OFB declared “non-core”, forces can procure it from OFB or open market, The Outlook report.
  • [July 23] In first 50 days, Modi Govt spent Rs. 8500 cr on defence deals, The Economic Times report
  • [July 23] Turkey threatens retaliation if US imposes sanctions over S-400 purchase, Jane’s Defence Weekly report.
  • [July 24] In his first Defence Acquisition Council meeting, Rajnath Singh to clear projects worth Rs. 10,000 crore, Times Now news report.
  • [July 24] HC asks Centre to examine whether to restrain Google from uploading Indian maps, ET Tech report.
  • [July 24] India all set to launch first-ever space war exercise ‘IndSpaceEx’, Jagran Josh report.
  • [July 25] More autonomy for OFB under planned corporatisation but job security to go, Times of India report.
  • [July 26] India to be self-reliant in defence manufacturing in the next five years: DRDO, Times Now News report.
  • [July 28] Facial recognition is changing Customs and Border protection operations, Defense One report.
  • [July 29] Rajnath wants DAC file summaries in Hindi, India Today report.
  • [July 29] State-owned enterprises continue to dominate defence production in India, The New Delhi Times report.

National Security Law

  • [July 22] National security, welfare schemes, foreign policy tops Modi government’s agenda in first 50 days of NDA-II, Swarajya report.
  • [July 22] Will book land mafia under NSA:UP CM, Times of India report.
  • [July 25] Lok Sabha passes anti-terror bill to ban individuals too as terrorists, amid Opposition concerns over misuse, Livemint report; The Business Standard report; Time of India report.

Opinions and Analyses

  • [July 21] Nitin Pai, Live Mint, Some space for the private sector in the race for space.
  • [July 22] Ankit Srivastava, New Delhi Times, Modi irradiates loopholed Defence procurement. 
  • [July 23] Yogesh Gupta, Times of India (blog), China is rapidly emerging as a technology superpower; far reaching-implications for India. 
  • [July 23] Ashit K Srivastava, The Pioneer, Achilles’ heel of data protection.
  • [July 23] Prannv Dhawan and John Simte, Deccan Herald, Dangers of regulatory approach in tackling fake news.
  • [July 23] Yaya Fanusie, Forbes, Will crypto rogues threaten the geopolitical order?
  • [July 24] Venkat Ananth and Shelley Singh, ET Tech, Big Tech and fair digital rules.
  • [July 24] Maj. Gen. Amrit Pal Singh (retd), The Tribune, National security  narrative and its economics.
  • [July 24] Rahul Matthan, Livemint, UPI is world-class and it’s time to take it international.
  • [July 25] Neiman Lab, Quartz, Should Facebook have a “quiet period” of no algorithm changes before a major election?
  • [July 26] Mishi Choudhary, Financial Express, Data safety regulation not barrier to India’s role as global destination. 
  • [July 26] Prasanto K Roy, India Today, Aadhaar: The offer you can’t refuse.
  • [July 26] Kunal Ambasta, The Indian Express, NIA Amendment Bill infringes upon state authority, must be reconsidered.
  • [July 27] Naman Pugalia, The Indian Express, Aadhaar must sync with voter IDs to empower citizens.
  • [July 27] Kalev Leetaru, Forbes, Does the Huawei debate matter when all roads in the digital world lead back to the US?
  • [July 28] Mathieu Duchatel, South China Morning Post, While weighing 5G security risks, France predicts it can manage Huawei without banning it.
  • [July 28] S Ragotham, Deccan Herald, India, with Chinese traits?
  • [July 28] Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta, India Legal Live, Army information security: big brother is listening.
  • [July 28] Swathi Moorthy, Money Control, This week in IT: Tackling privacy breaches in an era where data is the new oil.

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