Tue 21 Mar 2017 6:10AM

Kerala becomes 1st state to declare Internet as basic right; announces free wifi for 20 lakh citizens

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 376

The Kerala government has announced an initiative in this budget to provide free internet connection to 20 lakh citizens. I think this is a positive step, but devil is in the details.

“A basic human right? A state wide wifi network? What if you want to use it without identification? What if a parent denies it to a child?"

Looking at how public internet cafes are monitored (you need to register your photo id) or centralized internet connections in campuses/offices are tracked (you have to login with your id) and censored (no torrents, no social networks etc) I don't think this is going to be any good for privacy/free speech.

I think we should add access to uncensored, unmonitored internet as a human right to our manifesto, ensuring privacy and free speech is protected. We should make a statement in support of this move, but asking the tough questions about the implementation.


Smith_ai Sun 23 Apr 2017 6:32AM

This is a late reply.
However, the state gov.'s move towards establishing internet as a basic right is a +ve move. but it is just treated as a utility, like how the state provides it services to every home. When it is treated as a necessary utility, it needs to be monitored and tracked.

We know that communication is a emergent phenomenon, and there shall be a stand about gov. be supporting such phenomenon (like funding local rural and urban communities with long range and medium range wireless nodes), so that internet basically evolves from decentralization.

basically two approaches we used to follow.

  1. Eliminating the middle man in web -- just like how Freedombox does. ex: swecha in Andhra uses it to empower a village with such service.

  2. Eliminating the middle man in the infrastructure (network) -- just like how modern wireless mesh networks are emerging in catalonia, barcelona, germany, ireland .... by guifi, pymesh in pondy, chennaimesh etc.... however, communities in developing countries face the problem of affordable and open devices to form and test the network. In long run, this is a cooperative and sustainable way to reemerge internet.

with the state's support, it would be far more easy to scale. (that is how barcelona already consults guifi community to do it). That is how co-production works.

But it has to be seen how things go !


Karthikeyan A K Sun 23 Apr 2017 11:07AM

That's great. Lets see who will loot that state with this law.