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I received this email from Change.org - it was Women and Child Minister for India - Maneka Gandhi petitioning for policy ideas! Whacky, but this is a government for the absurd. I delted the email and forgot about it, till Swarna Rajgopalan asked about it on Twitter. Someone had forwarded the email to her. She couldn't find the link to the petition. So I dug it out of the trash, and went through the email. This is it. As it is. There is no petition it is a carefully crafted promotion of a government form that looks like a notification for a new petition. Additionally, the sender for the change.org email is "Maneka Gandhi" and not "Change.org" as for usual petitions.

change.org email notification from Maneka Gandhi
change.org email notification from Maneka Gandhi

As a bonus, thelink to the privacy policy from their email gives a 404 error - page not found. Obviously it is a broken link, but what a poetic metaphor for their actions contained in their own email!

Dear Vidyut,

I am writing to you to see if you have a new idea for women safety and empowerment.

We at the Ministry of Women & Child Development have formulated the National Policy for Women. It has been a 2 year process with several stakeholder consultations.

This transformative policy will address the needs of women in the New India and also guide the functioning of the Government in decades to come.

We have a draft ready and before we conclude it, I am seeking some out-of-the-box ideas and suggestions from you that could be incorporated into the policy.

Vidyut, I have been happy to take action on Change.org petitions supported by you. We have taken steps to ease the passport rules for children of single parents and control the alarming rates of caesarean section births.

I would now like to hear your suggestions for this policy by the 15th May 2017. Click on this link to submit your suggestion.

You can also send your suggestions on Twitter and on the Facebook page of the Ministry. Don’t forget to add#NationalPolicy4Women on all your suggestions.

Thank you for participating in developing this Policy for Women.

Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Minister For Women and Child Development

Want to change something?
Start a petition.


The person (or organisation) who started this petition is not affiliated with Change.org. Change.org did not create this petition and is not responsible for the petition content.

Unsubscribe   ·   Contact us   ·   Privacy policy

This email was sent by Change.org to wide.aware@gmail.com.

Change.org   ·   548 Market St #29993, San Francisco, CA 94104-5401, USA


So I made a suggestion:

Misuse of subscription lists by Indian government
Misuse of subscription lists by Indian government

This is the end of the road for supporting causes on Change.org for me. I had never figured out why anyone needs a special website to create petitions, but given that a majority of petitions are made to the government, a site that gives the government access to its most loyal readers is clearly not one that can be trusted.

So fuck you, Change.org. Bye!

Making this quick and painless.

Today, supporters of two Indian political parties claimed to be the first political party to have crowd sourced manifestos. Aam Aadmi Party and Congress.

Just want to say that this is not true. I have no idea if it was the first, but to the best of my knowledge, it seems the Pirate Party of Sweden was the first party to have a crowd sourced manifesto.

A moment of irony, because if it had patented this political party manifesto making method, they would have had the fastest rising political party in India and the biggest political party in India using their intellectual property. :p

For those who don't know, Pirate Party believes that ideas must be free and holds copyright reform as among its core goals.

The notification of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011 in April 2011 has resulted in the creation of a mechanism whereby intermediaries (such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc) receive protection from legal liability in return for trading away the freedom of expression and privacy of users.

The Rules demand that intermediaries, on receiving a complaint that any content posted online is considered grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner, have to disable the content within 36 hours of receipt of complaint. The rules also require the intermediaries to provide the Government agencies information of users without any safeguards.

Under these Rules intermediaries will be forced to disable any and all content that falls foul of the incredibly broad and ambiguous criteria laid above, as non-compliance with such requests will result in their losing the liability protection afforded to intermediaries. In short, the Rules will result in private policing of the internet.  Any content that is critical of state policy, any organization or even any individual could run the risk of being censored, thanks to the Rules.  The Rules violate the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to privacy of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

There is no due process of law, any attention to principles of natural justice or a redressal mechanism for the aggrieved victim, whose content is taken down.  The Rules are also ambiguous and arbitrary, disjointed, legislate on disparate areas and are beyond the rule-making power of the Government.

After the Avnish Bajaj case, the Legislature wanted a safe harbor for intermediaries with safeguards and not a system of back door censorship for the Government.  In view of the possible deleterious effects of the Rules, the Honorable Member of Parliament, Shri P. Rajeeve has moved a statutory motion to get the aforesaid Rules annulled. This motion has been admitted and will be coming up before the Rajya Sabha during the second half of the Budget session of the parliament that starts on 24th of April, 2012.

We urge all MPs to support the annulment motion. We also request the Government to draft new rules, that will protect our freedom and  privacy, after holding consultation among all stakeholders.

Further Material:
There is an online petition in favor of the annulment motion at:
http://www.it2011.in

FAQ's of SFLC
http://softwarefreedom.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:faq-on-intermediary-rules&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtA194jig3s

Names of Organisations

Knowledge Commons
Software Freedom Law Center, India
Delhi Science Forum
Save Your Voice Campaign
Internet Democracy Project
Center for Internet and Society
Free Software Movement India
IT for Change
Alternative Law Forum