IFF received multiple complaints of irregular website blocking by ISPs (namely ACT and BSNL) in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The ISPs have justified a couple them as responses to directions from the Government. IFF has written to both DoT and TRAI to take up the matter
The who, what and why.
Wait, we won on net neutrality?
Yes, we won. This happened due a massive volunteer driven public campaign, several youtube videos and rounds of public consultations. First, the TRAI banned, “zero rated” services such as Free Basics. Then it made recommendations to the Department of Telecom which made changes to license agreements with companies which provide us internet access. The trouble is the enforcement. Yes, not much is happening there and we are continuing to get reports of blocking of proxy and VPN services. What’s worse there is no clear way to report this and demand remedy.
Why do I have to sign a petition when sending an email was much more fun?
We think sending emails right now will not be super effective. There is no public consultation and the legal rules to protect net neutrality are in place. What is missing right now is a clear enforcement mechanism and remedy which needs positive action from two government bodies. The first is the regulator, TRAI and the second is the ministry, the Department of Telecom. To channel these demands we have made an online petition for them to take action and ask you to sign up in support. We are also inviting members of the public to submit reports of any net neutrality violations by using this handy form.
What happens when report a violation?
By using the complaint form you can report a violation. One of the core problems we have seen come up to enforce net neutrality laws has been the lack of credible data. This is happening due to multiple reasons including that many times telecom and ISPs blame issues at the side of the users. By using the reports that you send we will be examining a range of advocacy actions. These include making representations and formal complaints. Be rest assured we will protect your personal privacy in this process but will need these details to make sure the reports we crowdsource are credible. We commit to using this information and focussing on measures which provide remedy to ordinary internet users in India like you.
How can I become a part of this campaign and what role does IFF play?
The SaveTheInternet Campaign was a historic event. Crafted by the skills, time and passion of several volunteers and organisations. We acknowledge the role played by them. Many core members of this campaign subsequently created IFF. Many remain there in leadership positions. We emphasise that by working towards enforcement and execution we are only building on the victories of the campaign. To give due prominence and credit we have modelled a homage format from the SaveTheInternet.eu website. At the same time, we are making every effort to engage and involve others. For instance we will soon publish a page with the logos of supporting organisations. We can do more together. Get in touch with us! Write to [email protected]