Airing imperium: A historiography of radio governance in South Asia

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Decolonizing Open Science: Southern Interventions

A collaborative paper published in association with eminent scholars in the field, in the ICA flagship Journal of Communication:

Abstract: Hegemonic Open Science, emergent from the circuits of knowledge production in the Global North and serving the economic interests of platform capitalism, systematically erase the voices of the subaltern margins from the Global South and the Southern margins inhabiting the North. Framed within an overarching emancipatory narrative of creating access for and empowering the margins through data exchanged on the global free market, hegemonic Open Science processes co-opt and erase Southern epistemologies, working to create and reproduce new enclosures of extraction that serve data colonialism-capitalism. In this essay, drawing on our ongoing negotiations of community-led culture-centered advocacy and activist strategies that resist the racist, gendered, and classed structures of neocolonial knowledge production in the metropole in the North, we attend to Southern practices of Openness that radically disrupt the whiteness of hegemonic Open Science. These decolonizing practices foreground data sovereignty, community ownership, and public ownership of knowledge resources as the bases of resistance to the colonial-capitalist interests of hegemonic Open Science.

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Challenge Grant by the Association for Progressive Communications

I will be working on the project, ‘Hated Speech and the Costs of Freedom in India’, wherein I will be theoretically and ethnographically mobilising the concept of ‘Hated Speech’. This project is funded by the “Challenging hate narratives and violations of freedom of religion and expression online in Asia” Grant of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). This will culminate in a report, besides academic writing.

BOOK CHAPTER OUT! — COVID-19 and Non-Personal Data in the Indian Context: On the Normative Ideal of Public Interest

The southwestern Indian state of Kerala has been in the news for flattening the curve in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the bar for public health interventions through proactive and informed policy stances. However, another storm was brewing for a few weeks in April and early May that had implications for the larger public health crisis. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala questioned the state government upon entering into a contract with a private firm, Sprinklr, which would be granted full access to citizens’ health data. This led to petitions being filed in the Kerala High Court, and the judge ordering that the data of COVID-19 patients with Sprinklr be anonymised. Several days before the original post from which this chapter is drawn was written, the Kerala government told the High Court that the data had been transferred to a State-owned cloud space. While this incident, in the midst of a global pandemic, speaks to ongoing discussions on the data privacy and healthcare cybersecurity, it also highlights what is emerging as an important domain in data governance: Non-Personal Data.

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Governance of Non-Personal Data in India: Early Reflections from Digital Ethnography

Even as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to put in place measures for human safety, one thing that has been pronounced during this time is the public health reliance on Data. From contact tracing apps to the building of databases, the pandemic has revealed the very current turn to Datafication that is beginning to occur in a big way, across countries. India is no exception. Over the last half a decade, we have seen numerous policy shifts that prove that this is a new reality that we must contend with, and study better. This short reflection presents an analysis of the discourse and key analytical aspects of Data Governance in India.

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COVID-19 and Non-Personal Data in the Indian context: On the Normative Ideal of Public Interest

Even as activists and ethical technologists have been writing about and working on Personal Data and Privacy, the newer arena of Non-Personal Data (NPD) is very under-explored. What is the role of NPD in the face of a global pandemic like COVID-19? How do we deal with the possible economic exploitation of NPD, without any ethical bindings? This post looks at recent developments in dealing with Non-Personal Data in India, and the possible opportunities it provides in light of COVID-19. It argues for embedding public interest in working with NPD in India, a very urgent mission for activists and ethical technologists.

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