Workshop Proposal 8

Date: 4 Aug 2014

Time: 13:30 – 15:00

Venue: Tapas 2

Remote Participation LInks: Video / Text / Adobe Connect

Workshop Title Connecting the Next Two Billion: The Role of FOSS
Thematic Area of Interest Internet for socio-economic development
Specific Issues of Discussions & Description Connecting the next two billion users on the Internet poses unique challenges that must be addressed. The next two billion users will have very different profiles as compared to the first billion in terms of factors such as geography, demography, gender, disability, technology access, language access, and connectivity devices. In addition, with the coming of the Internet of Things, the users of the Internet may also include devices, sensors and sensor networks. Further, the context of the Internet itself may be changing, particularly in relation to efforts by various State and non-State actors to restrict  freedom of access to the Internet and freedom of expression on it.Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) has now assumed greater significance in the light of revelations related to arbitrary surveillance conducted by states. This issue highlights the need to use audited technology and infrastructure to prevent the wanton violation of privacy of citizens. FOSS can be used to build shared community infrastructure that will protect users from privacy abuses. As most of the online applications run on top of free software, there is also a need for greater  collaboration between the industry and free software community to ensure security and robustness of software to prevent incidents like the heartbleed bug vulnerabilities. As the next two billion comes online, FOSS assumes great significance for building a safe and secure Internet and robust communication platforms.The panel will discuss the following issues:• Relevance of FOSS as an access enabler and source of robust, cost-effective andfreedom-preserving software• The importance of FOSS in preventing arbitrary surveillance• Co-operation among businesses and free software community to develop secure

• Building community communication infrastructure using FOSS to restrict the

dependence on centralised services.

Expected Format and Target Panel Members This will be a panel discussion with the following speakers:

  • Moderator: Ms. Mishi Choudhary, Executive Director, SFLC.IN, New Delhi
  • Dr. Rahul De, IIM Bangalore (Remote)
  • Dr. G. Nagarjuna, Free Software Foundation of India (Remote)
  • Mr. Prasanth Sugathan, Counsel,
  • Mr. Satish Babu, Director, ICFOSS
  • Mr. Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore
  • Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Media Lab Asia/Govt. of India

Workshop Organiser This workshop will be jointly organised by International Centre For Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous institution under the Government of Keralamandated with the objectives of co-ordinating FOSS initiatives within Kerala, as well as linking up with FOSS initiatives in other parts of the world and SFLC.IN, a donor supported legal services organisation that works to protect freedom in the digital world.The details of the contact person for the workshop is given below:Name: Mr.Satish BabuDesignation: DirectorOrganisation: International Center for Free and Open Source Software (IC-FOSS)