Arun: net issues in India


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995
>From: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: USIS teleconference

On December 20, 1995, there was a WorldNet Dialog organised by
the United States Information Service, in which Bruce
McConnell, Chief of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office
of Management and Budget, and Lisa Kimball of Meta Systems
Design Group, joined panelists from Bombay and New Delhi in
discussing  "Electronic Democracy: The Global Information

Here are some interesting points:

Bruce mentioned that the US government plans to wait 2 years
before starting to regulate electronic cash. Any further info
on that? Seems like a window of opportunity to me...

Dr Seshagiri, a panelist, who is Director General of the National
Informatics Center and Special Secretary to the Government of India,
mentioned that at a recent conference, the French and the Canadians were
talking about starting a rival or parallel Internet, since this one is so
English dominated. Does anyone know more about this?

IBM runs EDI as a closed user group, not part of the Internet,
said he. Is that correct, and have the implications of this
been discussed somewhere?

Seshagiri also mentioned, in the context of copyrights, that
source codes of several commercial packages had been illegally
posted on the Net. Anyone know further?

My question to Bruce asking how the US government planned to implement the
censorship mandated in the new Telecom Bill, and what it was going to
cost, started to get asked when we ran out of time (sigh). However, we did
get to discuss it locally afterwards.  Robert Garfias from the UCI,
Irvine, California, took over, said many thought it was unconstitutional,
and how serious it was. Seshagiri said the US was setting a bad example
that others would emulate.

I used that opportunity to ask what he as one of the few ISPs
in India, was doing about the corresponding Indian law, which
held *him* liable for anything obscene or objectionable I
might send out via his network. He said they put out a
disclaimer (ho, ho, ho!)

I'm chairman of the Information Technology Committe of the Delhi
Management Association, and I used this opportunity to announce that we
were going to hold a seminar in February '96 on Indian Telecom Policy, and
lots of people including Seshagiri, Rajendra Pawar (head of NIIT, India's
leading IT training institute) and Prasanto Roy, Editor of the Indian
computer magazine PC Quest, immediately agreed to come. It would be nice
to get international participation. Ideas?

We are starting a mailing list to discuss Indian telecom,
particularly policy and regulatory issues. I'm asking Marsha
if cpsr will host it. If they are unable to, who else might?
What should the list be called? Intelreg? Or indcom-l?


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland

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