Electronic Transaction Act #Clause47 & Journalism

On Monday, 30 September, news came through that yet another journalist has been arrested under Clause 47 of Electronic Transaction Act 2008. Dinesh Acharya, editor-in-chief of Share Bazaar Weekly, was arrested as a case against him was filed by Nirvana Chaudhary, a heir of Chaudhary Group of industries and son of Nepal’s only Forbes billionaire.

At the Kathmandu District Court, where he was to be brought that day, I saw police bringing in people handcuffed together. A thought of a journalist being handcuffed alongside those accused on cases of drugs and violence horrified me for a few seconds. But Acharya was not among those dozen who were brought in an open truck. A police van later brought him – handcuffed but alone and in a better way.

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Internet Intermediaries & Freedom of Expression

(This post is a result of my participation in the South Asia Meeting on the Freedom of Expression and the Internet in Kathmandu, 2-4 November. This is my personal opinion but I owe to participants of the meeting whose comments may have helped me to shape this.)

By Internet intermediaries, I mean those companies or people who has a role in providing internet services to the people including, but not limited to, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), webhosts, web service providers, website owners, and also cyber cafes and telecommunication companies.

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Online Anonymity: Is it necessary?

(The idea for the following post came during the South Asia Meeting on the Freedom of Expression and the Internet in Kathmandu, 2-4 November. Anonymity was discussed during a session on first day along with surveillance, security and data protection. The following post, however, is only my thoughts, not the summary of what was discussed during the meeting.)

Before jumping into my views, let define anonymity clearly. Anonymity is derived from the Greek word meaning “without a name” or “namelessness”, according to Wikipedia. In colloquial use, anonymity typically refers to the state of an individual’s personal identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown.

It’s important to distinguish anonymity from privacy, which means individuals’ ability to seclude them by revealing only selective information. Normally, anonymity is hiding oneself completely while privacy is hiding selective information about oneself.

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