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Among the many epiphanies one has had owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the spike in the knowledge or awareness of the amount of data pertaining to citizens that a Government has the ability to handle has been a common one. Though citizens are often willing participants in efforts aimed at better governance, they are also increasingly becoming wary of how they share their data. For better citizen engagement and collaboration, the Government must strive to build trustworthy, transparent and accessible models that enable the citizen to place their trust – and thereby their data in the hands of the Government.

 

Considering the increasing penetration of digital services in India, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is a well-intentioned and timely intervention on the part of the Government. Pertaining to building the trust of citizens and enhancing their engagement with the Government this framework requires work in two areas.  Firstly, in areas that deal with the Government’s ability and right to access data from citizens or businesses. Secondly, in promoting the accessibility of institutions within the framework to be accessible to all sections of the Indian society and overcome the vast digital divide present in our society. Though, the intention of the Government is to ensure better delivery of services and evidence based policy-making, an attempt to gain carte-blanche access to data from businesses would further promote an environment of mistrust between the Government and the industry. The wide exemptions provided to the Government and its agencies from this framework also add to a citizen’s skepticism and mistrust in the system. The Government being among the largest data fiduciaries in our society holds onto a treasure-trove of personal data of its citizens. In such a situation, citizens must be assured that whether it is the Government or a private entity that is handling their data, it is equally protected in the event of misuse.

 

Though trust in the Government is important, the framework will truly be able to exercise its functions and purpose based on the level of inclusion and involvement of the community. Considering India’s vast demographic profile, ensuring accessibility efficiently for all sections of society is going to be a challenge. The digital divide that presently exists in India, especially between rural and urban areas, owing to asymmetry in digital infrastructure and education will only amplify implementational challenges. India has already suffered from roadblocks in this regard while implementing the revamped GST framework and should use that as a cautionary tale while formulating the personal data protection framework.

 

Any proposed authority, institution or platform that is designed under this framework must strive to understand and cater to the cultural and regional sensitivities of the people. It is suggested that a more multilingual, less text-based approach is taken. One that is not overly dependent on literacy – both conventional and digital. The Committee of Experts, under the chairmanship of Justice Sri Krishna, had suggested the formulation of a “data protection awareness fund” that would utilise penalties generated under the framework for the purpose of generating awareness regarding data protection and rights. Unfortunately, this has been done away with in the new Bill introduced in December 2019. It is yet to be seen, however, if the latest draft which is expected to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament will have this incorporated. It is imperative that the framework facilitates the enhancement of digital literacy and awareness in addition to ensuring last mile connectivity to truly achieve its objectives.

 

For Governments, winning the trust and confidence of the people is not an easy task. It is a long drawn process, however with the Personal Data Protection Bill, the Government has been given an opportunity to begin this process. They must work to ensure that the framework achieves its true objective by ensuring that the rights of every individual receive equal protection against the exploitation and misuse of their information by any entity.


Shefali Mehta, Programme Manager, The Dialogue. She has a degree in Business and Law from Gujarat National Law University. She has also worked in short engagements in the areas of gender and caste. Her focus areas at the Dialogue include policy analysis and outreach with Parliamentarians and civil society organisations.

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In the 18th century, one of the social theorists, Jeremy Bentham, developed the concept of panopticon, which brought in an institutional design to establish control. While this shows that surveillance of any form is not a new phenomenon, recent technological developments have completely changed the surveillance architecture. It has paved the way for the development of surveillance tools that are more intrusive and damaging to our democratic safeguards.

In addition to targeted surveillance (which was debated as part of the Pegasus snoopgate controversy 1 , other forms of surveillance such as mass and lateral surveillance are performed in India, which equally curb the right to privacy and freedom of expression.

 

Surveillance as a craft has a long-standing history, with various social theorists contributing over time; thus, this article will explore recent developments in India regarding various forms of surveillance that call for robust reform.


Mass surveillance


In India, the State and non-State actors have been using various digital panoptican tools such as artificial intelligence, facial recognition, CCTV cameras, integrated database systems, social media analytics, etc., to monitor and surveil.

Recently, India bagged a couple of top ranks in the Forbes list[2] of most surveilled cities globally, where Delhi stood at rank one. While Delhi CM alluded to Forbes recognition, this would have a chilling effect on privacy and freedom of expression without surveillance reform. In addition, CCTV cameras equipped with other AI-based technology such as facial recognition have been extensively used in India to tackle various social problems despite global criticism on facial recognition malfunctions, accuracy rate and innate discrimination of minorities and women. Besides, it has been reported that drones with cameras are used for monitoring purposes, but it is unclear how video footage will be used later.

On the other hand, the State has made various efforts to integrate databases and analytics tools to monitor people and their actions. For instance, the Central Government has equipped a technology called Advanced Application for Social Media Analytics (AASMA[3]); this tool will aid both Central and State Governments to monitor social media. But in 2018 Supreme Court of India stopped a similar project of the Central Government titled social media communication hub (SMCH), stating it to be a step to the surveillance State and problematic in the absence of a data protection regime.

Similarly, as citizens use Aadhaar-based authentication systems for any service enrollment or transaction, the information on the authentication process, transaction details, etc., are recorded at a central database. While the Government states that profiling citizens enable better welfare delivery, it has been criticised for its potential to cause exclusion[4] and surveillance[5], which is not accounted for. Though Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been commissioned as the custodian of Aadhaar data, it is also the regulator of Aadhaar infrastructure, which does not create any meaningful and independent accountability in case of misuse. Besides, in the Aadhaar judgment (2018)[6], while the Supreme Court provided constitutional validation to the Aadhaar scheme, it has also struck down various provisions on the grounds of proportionality, data security, and privacy. The judgment pushed for the development of a data protection regime and also struck down the provision on data sharing on national security grounds.

 


Targeted surveillance


Targeted surveillance in the form of interception has a long-standing history predating any of the recent technological developments. Under legal grounds of the Telegraph Act, 1885 [Section 5(2)] and Information Technology Act (Section 69), the Government can intercept, monitor, and decrypt any information for protecting sovereignty, national security, friendly relations with international States, public order, etc.

There are various non-State lawful interception systems[7] available in the Indian market which are installed into the networks of telecom services and internet services by the Government through the licence agreement. While most of the details on the operations of these systems are confidential, spy files[8] project by WikiLeaks, which created a revelation, revealed that the capacity of these Indian lawful interception systems is way beyond what is available publicly in terms of surveillance.

However, there are also other not entirely lawful interception mechanisms in the market, like Pegasus. The Pegasus controversy is not a new thing, and it first broke in 2019 when WhatsApp reported[9] that Pegasus targeted 1400 phone numbers of its users. While the Indian Government asserted to investigate this matter, the recent Expert Committee constituted by the Supreme Court on the Pegasus allegation[10] will be probing the steps/actions taken by the Government after reports were published.

In addition, like PRISM in the USA, in India, we have a similar system called Central Monitoring System (CMS) and it was implemented in 2015.[11] While the CMS system still relies on lawful interceptors for interception and monitoring, its operations highlight surveillance capacities as they cut the line of the process to automatically retrieve information from the network of telecom service providers or the internet without approaching them.

Besides, non-State actors like digital platforms perform targeted surveillance to promote business interest and to cater better service to the users without any legal grounds and guidelines for securing user privacy.

 


Lateral surveillance


While a traditional surveillance set-up involves two actors at different power levels i.e. the State or non-State actor can watch citizens; lateral surveillance[12] breaks this code by enabling peer-to-peer surveillance.

In response to the pandemic, the Government had resorted to various technological measures to tackle the spread of the virus and for administering the vaccination. One of the most sought out measures globally was the contact tracing app and quarantine monitoring apps. These apps can majorly cause lateral surveillance due to the high chances of data breaches[13]. In addition, at the aggregate level, these apps encourage “watch over others” culture, where the people from a particular area might watch out for the neighbouring areas, leading towards exclusion and other unintended impacts.

Contact tracing apps are new in the game; apps that stimulate lateral surveillance have been there for some time now. Some of the prominent lateral surveillance apps are HawkEye, C-Plan, RajCop Citizen, etc. Also, to monitor the digital public sphere, the cyber volunteers programme seeks citizens to report unlawful activities on the internet and social media.


Way forward


 

The Forbes list of most surveilled cities in the world shows that Indian cities have surpassed China in terms of the number of CCTV cameras installed. Being a democratic country, India surpassing/giving tough competition to an authoritarian country like China in terms of surveillance, questions the trajectory that India, as the largest democracy, wants to set for the future. Does India want to subdue its citizens or empower them?

 

While these monitoring mechanisms are instituted by State and non-State actors for different purposes, in the absence of surveillance reform and data protection, these new technological means subdue citizens by causing unaccountable surveillance, infringing citizens’ freedom of expression and privacy.

The Supreme Court of India delivered its judgment on K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India[14], declaring privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Therefore using this judgment as a substratum, comprehensive surveillance reform should be constituted, which gets India into the path of empowered citizenry where the right to privacy is secured from the interference of surveillance.

As the Expert Committee formed by the Supreme Court will recommend enactment/amendment to existing laws[15] around surveillance to secure privacy, it is important to have a separate/new surveillance legislation that is clearer, purposive, proportionate, and comprehensive (covering all forms of surveillance). The surveillance legislation should bring both State and non-State actors under its purview and demand a robust accountability mechanism that involves both parliamentary and judiciary oversight.

 


† Senior Research Associate at The Dialogue.

[1]The Pegasus Project (nd). Retrieved from The Guardian: See HERE.

[2] Delhi, Chennai Among Most Surveilled in the World, Ahead of Chinese Cities (2021). See Forbes India: HERE.

[3] Ranjini (2020), The Government of India is Monitoring our Social Media. See Logically: HERE.

[4] Falling through the Cracks: Case Studies in Exclusion from Social Protection (2021). See Dvara Research: HERE.

[5] Parthasarathy, S. (2018), Aadhaar: Enabling a Form of Super-surveillance. See The Hindu: HERE.

[6] K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2019) 1 SCC 1.

[7] ​​SFLC (2019), Communications Surveillance in India. See SFLC: HERE.

[8] WikiLeaks (2011), The Spy Files. See WikiLeaks: HERE.

[9] Chishti, S. (2019), WhatsApp Confirms: Israeli Spyware was Used to Snoop on Indian Journalists, Activists. See The Indian Express: HERE.

[10] Ojha, S. (2021), BREAKING: Supreme Court Constitutes Independent Expert Committee to Probe Pegasus Snooping Allegations. See HERE.

[11] Centre for Internet and Society (2014), India’s Central Monitoring System (CMS): Something to Worry About? HERE.

[12] Andrejevic, M. (2005, Surveillance & Society), The Work of Watching One Another: Lateral Surveillance, Risk, and Governance. Retrieved from Surveillance & Society: HERE.

[13] Swaminathan, M. and Saluja, S. (2020), Essay: Watching Corona or Neighbours? Introducing “Lateral Surveillance” during COVID-19. Retrieved from Centre for Internet and Society: HERE.

[14] (2017) 10 SCC 1.

[15] AK, A. (2021), Pegasus: Members and Terms of Reference of the Committee Appointed by the Supreme Court. See HERE.

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The Government in June 2021 released the proposed amendments to Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (hereinafter “proposed amendments”), with a view to regulate the e-commerce space more closely from a consumer protection perspective. The proposed amendments seek a substantial increase in compliances and liabilities, along with a broader scope of the term “e-commerce”. In addition to these, the proposed amendments are not in alignment with existing regulatory frameworks. One such significant overlap is with the competition law framework, and the role of the Competition Commission of India (hereinafter CCI).

 

E-commerce in India has been a beacon of competition, not just from the retailing perspective, but also various other services that have been made possible. It is a visible sign of a thriving platform economy, and has significantly changed the conduct, and content of commerce.

 

The burgeoning nature of the e-commerce market in India can be witnessed from multiple projections all of which point to an upward trajectory, and hover around an expectation of a $200 billion size by 2025[1]. This growth must also be seen in the context of Covid-19 in India, where platforms contributed to a sense of resilience and normalcy during the peak of the pandemic.

 

However, digital markets have brought with them plenty of issues concerning the jurisprudence of competition law, not just in India, but in various other countries. Matters related to non-price aspects of competition, unique selling practices of e-commerce platforms, and the ambiguous understanding of “level playing field”[2] between traditional and online businesses, have significantly challenged the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) oversight. These new challenges have also been formally acknowledged by CCI[3], in its January 2020 report on e-commerce in India. With most of the issues yet to see completion of detailed investigation, any interim legislation may end up hampering this investigation.

 

Flash sales, as defined in the proposed amendment[4] (along with the proviso), aim to reduce the advantage that e-commerce platforms may give to certain sellers, or groups of sellers. But what must be considered is that flash sales, through discounts, and reduced prices, have the effect of greater benefit for consumers (one of the objectives of competition law), and greater competition (particularly, interbrand competition among products) across platforms. Further, while such flash sales also involve an element of special distribution arrangements, the CCI has not yet pronounced on the legality of such arrangements.  These arrangements may in fact, create an efficient supply chain. These issues are currently being explored by the CCI as part of its investigation into non-horizontal agreements under Section 3(4) of the Competition Act, 2002. This would be complemented with a better understanding of appreciable adverse effects on competition, under Section 19(3) of the Act; in terms of flash sales being perceived as an aggravating or mitigating factor, for competition.

 

While these involve a more traditional understanding of competition in India, contemporary developments around data and privacy, are newer determinants of competition[5]. The proposed amendment recognise this, when it says no e-commerce entity shall engage in abuse of dominant position[6], as per Section 4 of the Competition Act. However, the Consumer Protection Act might be a misplaced legislative framework to talk about dominance of e-commerce platforms, and rather, must be addressed on a case-to-case basis by the CCI. Competition within, and between e-commerce platforms is based on efficiencies in the supply chain, with data about consumer preferences shaping production planning and distribution channels. By reiterating the need to not engage in “abuse of dominance” in a consumer protection framework, it prematurely shapes the jurisdiction of Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) in matters of data collection, sharing, preferential selling, search indexes and rankings, and cross-selling; leading to possible jurisdictional overlaps with CCI and other regulators therefore, giving opportunity for forum shopping. Similarly, under Section 6(6)(a) of the proposed amendment (liabilities of platforms), platforms need to ensure that it does not use any information collected through its platform for unfair advantage of its related parties and associated enterprises. This is an issue under platform neutrality, with CCI now taking cognizance of a gamut of such instances[7].

 

Finally, under Rule 7(1)(b) of the proposed amendment, it has been mandatory for e-commerce platforms to identify, and highlight the “country of origin” of goods, while adding the need for providing filtering options, and suggesting domestic alternatives. This, even though well intentioned in its idea of promoting Make in India and encouraging small Indian manufacturers, may end up distorting the notion of level playing field. It may discriminate against imports, and overlook the complex process of value addition or assembly that may happen in the destination country.

 


Conflicts beyond the Competition Law


The proposed amendment reiterate many provisions listed in the FDI policy for e-commerce, such as mandatory registration, scope of related parties, country of origin, etc. However, while the FDI norms do not make a mention of platform liability[8], the proposed amendment clearly enunciate the need for one.

 

Going further, the proposed amendment have a jurisdictional overlap between the proposed Data Protection Authority (DPA) (under the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019), and the Consumer Protection Authority. Section 5, clause 14(a) of the proposed amendment venture into aspects of data sharing and processing (based on consent), whose nuances can best be dealt with only a DPA, and an overarching data protection law.

 

Lastly, the overlap with competition law explored above, also brings the CPA in conflict with CCI, possibly contributing to more “forum shopping” and delaying strategies.

 


Conclusion


Post feedback to the draft Rules, the expectations would consist of a softer regulatory touch for e-commerce until more important legislations are passed, and of CCI developing greater expertise in digital markets. Any focus on consumer protection must be exclusive, and consumer-centric. This may draw from the EU’s the New Deal for Consumers[9], a legislation on consumer protection in e-commerce. It focuses on transparency in marketplaces and advertisements, terminability of online contracts, robust grievance redressal and compensation, and uniformity in quality.

 

As for the regulation of e-commerce as a whole, relying on consumer protection alone takes a parochial view of supply side dynamics. Another EU model might serve as a reference for e-commerce regulation in this regard, with the proposed Digital Services Act package[10]. While the Digital Services Act regulates all online intermediaries and places strict obligations for large players, the Digital Markets Act emphasises on limiting the economic power of the major players, or “gatekeepers”. Thus, with 2 distinct laws, the package aims to empower consumers, foster greater transparency and accountability, and create equitable competition.


 

[1] Invest India, Retail and E-Commerce, available HERE .

See also Saritha Rai, P.R. Sanjai, Bhuma Shrivastava, 2020, “Asia’s Richest Man Takes on Amazon in India’s Booming Online Market” HERE (posted on 11-11-2020).

[2] Chawdhry, Mohit, 2021. Levelling the Playing Field between Traditional and Digital Businesses, Report Issue 009, New Delhi: Esya Centre. Available HERE.

[3] Competition Commission of India, 2020, Market Study on E-Commerce in India: Key Findings and Observations, New Delhi: Competition Commission of India. Available HERE .

[4] Cl. 3(1)(e), Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

[5] Competition Commission of India, 2020, Market Study on the Telecom Sector in India: Key Findings and Observations, New Delhi: Competition Commission of India. Available HERE .

[6] Cl. 5(17), Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

[7] The Hindu BusinessLine, 2021, “Anti-Competitive Practices: NRAI Files Plaint against Zomato, Swiggy” HERE .

[8] Consolidated FDI Policy, 2020, Chapter 5.2.15.2 E-Commerce Activities, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

[9] European Commission, 2019. Factsheet: New Deal for Consumers. Available HERE .

[10] Allen and Overy, 2020, “The Digital Services Act Package is Here”. Click HERE.

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The pro-democracy protests of Hong Kong and Belarus where citizens congregated using mobile apps are evidence of the political power of social media. This significance of the internet ecosystem amplified further during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic when social media played a major role in tackling the demand and supply gaps by amplifying requests for oxygen cylinders, life-saving drugs and other essential resources. However, while on one hand, the internet has provided new platforms for civic mobilisation and dissemination of information, on the other hand emerging online challenges have led to calls for digital surveillance and online censorship. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) that envisages a new regime for governing the internet ecosystem is an apt example in this regard.

 

While appropriate regulation is critical for preserving rule of law in the digital realm, such actions need to be cautiously scrutinised owing to their ability to impinge upon the fundamental right to free speech, privacy and anonymity of the users especially women and other marginalised groups.

The feasibility of internet shutdowns

The last few years have witnessed Governments around the world increasingly resorting to internet shutdowns in times of crisis due to concerns of public safety or to curb the spread of misinformation. A shutdown is an intentional disruption of the internet-based services rendering it inaccessible for a specific location or population. Countries including Sudan, Benin, Malawi, India and Egypt amongst many others have witnessed internet shutdowns at alarming rates since 2015. The reasons are manifold but usually range from legitimate national security concerns to those around elections and pro-democracy protests where shutdowns are used as a tool for curbing dissent.

 

Such sweeping measures are like a collective punishment and not a strategic response. When the internet is off, the ability of people to freely express themselves gets limited[1], journalists struggle to upload photos and videos[2], students are cut off from their classes, accessing health care services gets difficult[3] and the economy suffers[4]. In all, such actions lead to skewing the development of a population, widening the socioeconomic disparity between them and other States of the same country, and other countries.

App bans: Can national security be ensured at the cost of fundamental rights?

 

Restricting one’s access to digital applications has been a novel way of online censorship. Various apps, including social media are used to widen one’s platform of expression. It allows one to have better access to information and ensure creation of a more inclusive space considering that the internet transcends borders. Social media apps were even used by people during the initial days of the pandemic last year to develop businesses and to increase awareness of discrimination or injustices faced by the vulnerable and minority communities. Further, they also served as a powerful tool during the 2020 United States elections,[5] where people used platforms to disseminate relevant information for voters.

 

Despite the advantages, Governments commonly justify the actions around banning internet applications by citing concerns for national security and public safety. For instance, with over 140 apps banned in India last year, the reasons for the same included dangers posed to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India. However, experts across regimes have noted that such actions are most often counterproductive where they result in severely restricting people’s freedom of expression and right to information.

They also signal towards the deep-rooted regulatory incapabilities in a country’s cybersecurity infrastructure that forces it to rely upon such emergency blocking orders and bear the ensuing economic and geopolitical implications.

Online censorship: How much can a democracy withstand?

Censorship, for decades together, has been a tool used to curtail free speech and suppress dissent. In India, Section 69-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 authorises the Central Government to block public access of any information online. Similar to all other fundamental rights, free speech is also subject to certain reasonable restrictions like national security amongst others and the mandate under Section 69 is in pursuance of the same. However, the non-disclosure of the orders for public scrutiny leading to disabling the citizens and the higher judiciary to meaningfully exercise their right to constitutional remedies and the power of judicial review respectively is a concern.

 

Likewise, the IT Rules, 2021 were promulgated to tackle the legitimate cybersecurity threats grappling the internet and ensure better protection of user interest. However, certain provisions like the stringent timelines for takedown and information assistance, personal liability of compliance officers, originator traceability, proactive monitoring, extended time period for data retention and enhanced scope of “actual knowledge” requiring intermediaries to take down content on the behest of users have led to concerns regarding the successful implementation of the new regime owing to their legal and technical infeasibility. Though enacted with the purpose of creating a more inclusive ecosystem, the overarching nature of these mandates pose concerns like a chilling effect on free speech, unreasonable restrictions on privacy and disproportionate censorship.

The road ahead: Laying the foundation for a free and inclusive internet

 

The future of free expressions, privacy and democratic governance rests on the decisions we make today. The importance of preserving right to free speech and access to information for creating an empowering online space has been observed by constitutional courts across the world.

 

Similar observations have also been made by several internationally acclaimed bodies including the UN Human Rights Council[6] and the ITU-UNESCO Commission[7].

 

A study conducted by The Dialogue on the American and Indian platform regulation regime shows that privacy and safety can and should be achieved together.[8] In fact overarching restrictions on civil rights lead to a deleterious impact on user safety and national security as well. Accordingly, with the past experiences and evidence-based research proving that measures like rampant internet shutdowns, app bans and online censorship are not sustainable, it is crucial to adopt a multi-stakeholders approach to tackle the perennial law and order challenges on the internet.

 

To this end, Governments should ensure that social media companies continue to benefit from the safe harbour protections unless they have an “actual knowledge” regarding the illegality of any content. Overarching regulations around content takedown, proactive monitoring, originator traceability and personal liability of platform’s employees should be resisted and implementable standard operating procedures should be developed with the help of legal and technical experts to ensure the feasibility of the norms governing the digital space.

 

Likewise, platforms must prioritise the user’s right to free speech and expression by ensuring that their terms of service and community guidelines align with their obligations under Pillar II of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights[9]. Aligning the content moderation policies with the Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability[10] and the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation[11] which are the global standards on progressive platform regulation is also crucial.

 

Moreover, given that protection of rights is impossible without appropriate awareness regarding their existence and importance, initiatives around propagating digital literacy and awareness must also be prioritised. Civil society organisations should work towards educating users about appropriate behaviour in digital space and the ways to protect oneself from online harms through training around ways to detect misinformation or to flag and report inappropriate content on the prominent platforms.

 

Only with the users, Government, platforms, and civil society working together towards finding meaningful solutions can a free and inclusive internet that is crucial for living a life in this digital age be ensured for all.


† Research Associate (Platform Regulation) at The Dialogue.

[1] Freedom of Expression on the Internet, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 15-12-2011 <https://www.osce.org/fom/80723>.

[2] Lungelo Ndhlovu, Facing Internet Restrictions, Journalists Turn to VPNs, 26-3-2015 <https://ijnet.org/en/story/facing-internet-restrictions-journalists-turn-vpns>.

[3] Meenakshi Ganguly, “Kashmir Shutdown Raises Healthcare Concerns”, Human Rights Watch, 30-8-2019 <https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/30/kashmir-shutdown-raises-healthcare-concerns>.

[4] “The Economic Costs of Government Internet Interruptions”, 7-5-2019 <https://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/the-economic-costs-of-internet-interruptions/>.

[5] Rosamund Hutt, ​​”What are your Digital Rights?”, World Economic Forum, 13-11-2015 <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/what-are-your-digital-rights-explainer/>.

[6] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom, A/ HRC/ 17/27, 16-5-2011 <https://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/17session/A.HRC.17.27_en.pdf>.

[7] Cannataci Joseph, Privacy, Free Expression and Transparency: Redefining Their New Boundaries in the Digital Age, UNESCO Series on Internet Freedom, <https://en.unesco.org/unesco-series-on-internet-freedom>.

[8] Shreya and Tiwari, Analysing the American Safe Harbour Regime: Takeaways for India, The Dialogue, Dec 2020 <https://thedialogue.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Analysing-the-American-Safe-Harbour-Regime_Takeaways-for-India_The-Dialogue.pdf>.

[9] Pillar II, “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”, OHCHR <https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/guidingprinciplesbusinesshr_en.pdf>.

[10] Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability, <https://www.manilaprinciples.org/>.

[11] “The Santa Clara Principles: On Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation” <https://santaclaraprinciples.org>.