Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) Profile picture
Born out of #SaveTheInternet. IFF advances democratic freedoms in a digital society. Projects: @PanopticIndia @PatrakarClinic. 👀:
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Nov 28 14 tweets 4 min read
IFF submitted its comments to @NITIAayog on the 3rd draft discussion paper in their Responsible AI series on the use of facial recognition technology. This response was co-authored with Prof. @Anupam_Guha.
Read our submission 👇 1/14… First, the problems.
1️⃣ The discussion paper fails to assess the harms caused by the use of FRT by law enforcement, including how it violates the right to life, rights to dignity, to autonomy & to be forgotten, which all flow from the right to life. 2/14
Nov 18 10 tweets 4 min read
Short Statement: MeitY has released the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 (DPDPB) for public consultation. We encourage wide public participation and welcome any efforts to legally recognise data protection but have wide-ranging concerns. 1/n The DPDPB has shrunk previous drafts of data protection proposals from 90+ to 30 clauses. As per the explanatory memorandum this is to achieve simplicity in drafting, however has made the present version bereft of first principles at several places (eg. Clause 17). 2/n Image
Nov 18 6 tweets 3 min read
Transparency Time! In October, IFF filed 3 Right to Information applications & 1 first appeal. Read all about it in this month’s transparency report 👇 1/6… We received a significant response from @MLJ_GoI stating that they do not keep copies of the legal opinions sought from them. This is BIG. Basically, the ministerial equivalent of not keeping ANY of the receipts. 2/6…
Oct 11 11 tweets 5 min read
If you’ve been surfing on @Twitter in the past 24 hrs, you know that it has been quite a day for @Meta. From takedowns of @\cringearchivist content, Meta’s controversial XCheck programme, to “censor privileges” for BJP’s Amit Malviya, we cover it all in this 🧵.1/10 Let’s recap:

Instagram took down a video minutes after it was posted by the account, 'Superhumans of Cringetopia'. The grounds?: It violated Instagram's nudity & sexual content' guidelines.…

Oct 10 8 tweets 4 min read
Truecaller’s true colours revealed?

A report by @viceroyresearch alleges that @Truecaller (“TC”) isn’t as “privacy-focused” as it claims to be. It accuses TC of, among other things, collecting user data without obtaining their explicit consent. 1/8… TC seeks permission to access our contact list when we download it. This entire list of contacts, which could include you, is then put in an address book available to others. Thus, even if you haven’t downloaded TC, your data could still end up on their database. 2/8
Sep 22 5 tweets 2 min read
We promised you a quick explainer on the Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 yesterday & we’re here to deliver! It represents a missed opportunity for legislative reform to bring the Indian telecom sector into the 21st century. 1/5… Now every telecom service, including OTT communication services, will have to obtain a licence from the Central Govt. This includes WhatsApp, Signal, Jitsi, G-Meet etc.! A win for large telecom companies, a huge loss for user rights. 2/5
Sep 22 9 tweets 4 min read
Q: When did you last download an app with any idea of its impact on your privacy? (no cheating)
If you aren’t worried, you should be. Downloading apps can be like opening a can of worms

Here are 5 questions we think you need to ask to avoid the worms👇1/9… 1️⃣ Location. Location. Location.

It’s important to know where you’ve downloaded an app from. While the Google & Apple app stores have standards & regulations in place to ensure safety to an extent, 3rd party app stores may not & thus need greater scrutiny. 2/9
Sep 21 6 tweets 3 min read

The House Committee, constituted by the Andhra Pradesh (AP) State Assembly, formed to probe if the Telugu Desam Party (@JaiTDP) govt. used Pegasus, submitted its report yesterday. However, the report makes no reference to the spyware. 1/6… Per the Committee on ‘Unlawful Interception of Communications, Data Theft & Illegal Transmission, causing infringement of citizens rights during 2016-2019’, a large volume of data was transmitted from 18 State Data Centres (SDC) servers to external & unknown servers. 2/6
Sep 21 7 tweets 3 min read
During #HarGharTiranga, 5 Cr. Indians geotagged their homes & shared phone numbers. 6 Cr. uploaded their photos.

The campaign is over, but what will happen to the data?
Read about (surprise!) the lack of data protection & our demand for deletion 👇1/7… After writing to the @MinOfCultureGoI on Aug 12, we sent a follow up letter on Sep 21, urging them to delete all data. We've also filed an RTI application asking whether the data has been deleted.
Sep 20 11 tweets 3 min read
STATEMENT: The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Rules, 2022 have been notified.

They provide the procedure by which CPIA, 2022 will be enforced & have not provided sufficient safeguards to mitigate the risks and harms to the right to privacy caused by the CPIA (1/11) ImageImage As a recap - CPIA, 2022 considerably expanded:

👉The kind of data which could be collected (even blood samples!)
👉The people from whom it could be collected (anyone arrested under any law)
👉The period for which it would be stored (upto 75 years!) (2/11)
Aug 24 9 tweets 4 min read
Today marks the 5th anniversary of the landmark SC Right to Privacy judgement that changed digital rights history & finally recognised privacy as a fundamental right.

🧵sharing the issues since then & a story of how its implementation went haywire. 1/n… There has been some hope in Courts, where the judgement has formed the basis for decriminalizing same-sex relationships. It was also cited to incrementally advance jurisprudence on criminal investigations.

But India's data privacy under Puttaswamy remains under grave threat. 2/n
Aug 24 7 tweets 4 min read
URGENT: As the alarming exercise of linking #aadhaarwithvoterid gains momentum throughout the country, here's a🧵+ shareable infographic with some steps you can take if a Booth Level Officer (BLO) comes to your door. Read on and share the right information now! 👇 1/n 1⃣Ask the BLO the following questions:
-Why are you asking me for my Aadhaar Number?
-I am already in the voter list and I have voted before. Why do you want to verify my identity?
-Is it compulsory for me to provide my Aadhaar Number?

(Contd. 2/n)👇
Aug 19 9 tweets 4 min read
🚨ALERT: Hey train travellers, your data will soon be monetised by the govt. & that too, in the absence of a data protection legislation! @IRCTCofficial has uploaded a tender to appoint a consultant for digital data monetisation.🧵on what this means. 1/8… The stated objective behind this move is to generate revenue for the IRCTC, approximately up to INR 1000 crores. The consultant will be expected to study the data of Passenger, Freight & Parcel business as well as any vendor-related data from applications of Indian Railways. 2/8
Aug 18 7 tweets 4 min read
BREAKING: A Booth Level Officer (‘BLO’) called an IFF Staffer today, directing them to give their Aadhaar Number or else they'll be deleted from the electoral roll. On digging deeper, the BLO provided the IFF Staffer with a letter that we're making public in this exclusive🧵1/7 The letter we received from the BLO refers to a previous letter dated August 16, 2022 that asked BLOs to start house-to-house visits for ‘voluntary’ collection of Aadhaar details. But clearly, our Staffer's experience shows that this process is not voluntary at all.

Aug 18 5 tweets 3 min read
#KeepItOn: @CMOfficeAssam announced internet suspensions in Assam to prevent cheating in exams.

🧵on our representation to the Hon’ble CM asking:
👉to refrain from suspending internet, and
👉consider less intrusive means to conduct the exams

(1/5)… The Issue:
The Government of Assam intends to suspend mobile internet services for 4 hours each on Aug 21 and Aug 28 to ensure ‘smooth conduct of government exams’. As of now, a copy of the suspension order (if there is one) has not been published. (2/5)…
Aug 17 6 tweets 4 min read
In response to our RTI request, @DelhiPolice revealed they deem facial recognition tech results over 80% similarity as positive, even using it in Kisan Rally riots & other cases!🧵on why this is dystopian but first an appeal to help us fight such use:
1/n The information we got raises concerns as:
👉80% is a vague threshold
👉there are no proper regulations to prevent misuse
👉use of FRT in sensitive investigations leaves the door open for targeting minorities 2/n…
Aug 17 7 tweets 4 min read
The #MonsoonSession of the Parliament concluded on August 8 and was the 17th Parliamentary session to be cut short. Read how this session fared for your digital rights in terms of productivity, unanswered questions posed by MPs & key legislations. 🧵1/7… Last month we identified 2 legislation pieces to be debated in this Session:
1⃣Competition (Amendment) Bill, '22
2⃣Draft Data Protection Bill, '21
The former was introduced in the Lok Sabha & the latter, shockingly withdrawn.

How does this impact you? 2/7…
Mar 29 9 tweets 2 min read
Short statement: The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was introduced yesterday in the Lok Sabha. It was done without any public consultation and tremendously undermines the privacy of ordinary citizens and undertrials. 1/n It as per it’s objectives and reasons repeals the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, due to, “modern techniques to capture and record body measurements”. It further states, “it is necessary to expand the, “ambit of persons” whose measurements can be taken. 2/n
Mar 29 4 tweets 2 min read
Want to register a domain? NIXI wants to store your Aadhaar through EKYC details in a “perfect manner and a decent way”. It does provide alternatives like PAN Card, Passport and Election Cards. Bonus? Re-verification on renewals. 1/4 Harmless? There have been proposals for linking social media accounts with Aadhaar. This may be cited as a precedent. Further, such linking is without a clear legal basis and violates the Supreme Court’s privacy decision. 2/4
Mar 2 4 tweets 2 min read
💰 Financial Disclosure for February:
We raised Rs. 2,36,353 through one-time & recurring donations from our community members. All contributions go into protecting your digital liberties!

You can find the financial disclosures for 2021 here👇🏽…
(1/4) We received Rs. 12,400 from @FranklyWearing as an organisational donation as proceeds from the sale of the IFF x SanitaryPanels t-shirt. If you are an organisation that wants to support our work, please reach out to us at
Mar 1 5 tweets 2 min read
Since our last #TransparencyReport, IFF has filed 36 RTI requests and 3 first appeals in February!
In response received from NIXI, we discovered that there was no legal basis for their undated notice for cap on [dot]in domains! 1/n… ➡️ We filed RTIs with 30 Indian states and Union Territories over internet shutdown orders issued by them and their compliance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Anuradha Bhasin v. UoI! 2/n…