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Tech & Humanity

Apar Gupta

Demystifying tech & advancing digital rights

India currently has the second highest number of Internet users globally, after China, with close to 38% of the population actively participating online. It is also home to the world’s largest biometric identification system and its government has mandated more Internet shutdowns than any other for several years running.

The fight for democracy and civil rights has moved online and Apar Gupta’s Internet Freedom Foundation is ensuring it is led by an informed public. Born out of the SaveTheInternet.in movement for net neutrality, Internet Freedom Foundation works on a range of issues including net neutrality, free expression, privacy and innovation. They use strategic litigation as a tool to evolve public debates and center digital literacy in their efforts, using videos, comics and art to make it enjoyable for people to understand complex debates, bridging the divide between the policy experts and the public.

Impact

  • Leading 20+ strategic litigation cases in front of India's Supreme Court and regional courts, to contest Internet shutdowns, and protect privacy & press freedom.

  • Sensitizing millions of Indians about their digital rights and mobilizing them to build a fairer democracy

  • Engaged 1M+ people in a campaign that pushed India's telecom regulator to protect net-neutrality and ban differential pricing.

  • Helped shaped and pass the 2017 Protection of Speech & Reputation Bill

Interesting fact from Apar:

Though Apar jokingly refers to himself as a "recovering lawyer", the Internet Freedom Foundation would not have been born had he not gotten his start as a public interest lawyer. The case that got him hooked on re-shaping the law for the digital era involved getting the Supreme Court to strike down a section of the Information Technology Act, 2000, that being was used against a cartoonist to criminalize online dissent and threaten freedom of expression. From then on, Apar continued his involved with public interest law and eventually became a co-founder of the Save The Internet movement in India.

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Finding the answers to

How do we protect our rights? Update the law

Who makes decisions in the age of machines?