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LIVE on September 22: Techno-authoritarianism in India

Categories: India, South-Asia, Advocacy, Censorship, Disinformation, Free Expression, Human Rights, Law, Legal Threats, Regulation, Tech & Tools, Unfreedom Monitor
Graphic for technauthoritarinism in Indian webinar

In public and appearances and speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared this present decade India’s “Techade” [1] — a digital revolution at the grassroots level, touching all people and “refining” all aspects of politics, economy, and society.

Yet even as the leader of the world’s largest democracy urges citizens to harness digital capacity to drive the country to a brighter future, India's rapid digitization has been accompanied by an array of digital authoritarian practices that curtail citizens’ liberties. Alongside the arrest, on trumped-up charges, [2] of journalists and critics of the state for what they post on social media, are investigations alleging that the Indian government has used Pegasus spyware [3] on its opponents. Twitter and the Indian state are in a legal battle [4] over takedown requests. And all of this happens in the absence of a data protection law [5] to uphold core freedoms such as the right to privacy.

In our recently released India country report [6] as part of Global Voices Advox's Unfreedom Monitor project [7], we draw from our research to highlight incidents of digital authoritarianism in India and how they are discussed in a number of media spaces, including social media.

Join us on YouTube live [8] on September 22 at 11 am GMT/43opm IST for a discussion about the findings of this report and how civil society actors are pushing back against these authoritarian practices. The session is free and open to the public. Register below to receive a reminder about the event:

Register for free on Eventbrite [9]

The event will be moderated by Setu Bandh Upadhyay, technology policy and digital rights researcher and researcher for Global Voices’ Civic Media Observatory, and feature the following panelists:

We look forward to having you join us [8] on Thursday, September 22 at 11am GMT/430pm IST (click here [15] to convert to your local time zone).


The Unfreedom Monitor

Authoritarian regimes have long had a complicated relationship with media and communications technologies. The Unfreedom Monitor is a Global Voices Advox [17] research initiative examining the growing phenomenon of networked or digital authoritarianism.

Download a PDF of the briefing document. [16]

Access the public database. [18]