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Datacom watchdog set up in INDIA



Datacom watchdog set up in India
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The Forum for Rights to Electronic Expression (FREE) has been formed
in India as a body dedicated to extending fundamental rights to the
electronic domain.

FREE owes its creation to an attack on Indian datacom by the Indian
government, in the form of exorbitant licence fees (a minimum Rs. 1.5
million = US$50,000 each year for a BBS, much higher for e-mail). The
Indian government also dug up the 1885 Indian Telegraph Act, a legacy of
our British colonial masters, and used it to reserve for itself the
right to uplink to a satellite, as well as to require the provider of
any telecom value-added service to ensure that no objectionable or
obscene messages are carried on the network. Value added services
covered under these guidelines include e-mail, voice mail, BBSes, video
conferencing, etc. Any specially authorised officer of the government,
"if satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so" in the
interests of security of the State, friendly relations with foreign
states, or for preventing incitement to the commission of an offence,
may also tap into the system.

As yet, FREE does not have any office bearers or staff. All discussions 
are carried out by the entire membership on the FidoNet echo FREE.
Posting to the echo makes you a member of FREE, unless you specifically
ask not to be made one. Decisions on what may be published as a FREE
document are taken by consensus.

The first document that FREE published was a letter to the Indian
government making suggestions relating to telecom policy.

All published FREE documents and related material are available by
Gopher to mahavir.doe.ernet.in and will soon be available at the EFF
Gopher/Web/FTP site:
    gopher://gopher.eff.org/1/Groups/FREE
    http://www.eff.org/pub/Groups/FREE/
    ftp://ftp.eff.org/pub/Groups/FREE/

To get the FREE echo on FidoNet or for any other correspondence with FREE, 
send mail to [email protected]






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Rishab Aiyer Ghosh             "Clean the air! clean the sky! wash the wind!
[email protected]                   take stone from stone and wash them..."
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