[Event Report] India, Lets build the list

The Bachchao Project in partnership with OONI hosted an online event on 9th and 10th October 2021 to update the Citizen Lab test list for India. The event, which was called “India, Lets build the list”, was organised to help strengthen community based monitoring of internet censorship in India. The event allowed experts from different fields to contribute to a curated list of websites that are relevant to India and which are regularly tested for censorship by volunteers in India.

Censorship in India, specifically online, has been evolving steadily since the notification of the Information Technology Act of of 2000 and its associated rules. Though the Act itself offers multiple ways in which the Government can remove content and/or block access to content (including shutting down internet services), very little data is available to confirm if due process is regularly followed in these matters. This  raises serious concerns about its impact on Indian citizens’ right to freedom of expression and access to information.

While many such blocked sites may fall in the expected categories of illegal streaming, adult content, file sharing etc., research has also shown that internet censorship in India also impacts a wide variety of other sites, such as news media and human rights sites.This list building and monitoring activity is therefore crucial for us as citizens and as a community of digtal rights practioners to safeguard the essence of a free internet and uphold the rule of law.

One open software project that aims to increase transparency of internet censorship (and other forms of network interference) around the world is Open Observatory of Network Interface (OONI). To this end, the project builds free and open source software – called OONI Probe – designed to measure various forms of network interference.

A recent study used the OONI Probe testing software to measure the blocking of websites in various states in India (such as Manipur and Bangalore) from January 2019 to January 2020. It found that while 136 sites from the Citizen Lab test list for India were confirmed to be blocked, the major decrepancies in access were between ISPs rather than between regions. A large number of media outlets seemed to be targeted for blocking as well.

As of now, a relatively small community in India reviews and contributes to the Citizen Lab test list for India, which means that it’s entirely possible that we are not looking at all the possible thematic areas in which website censorship may be happening.

It therefore becomes essential that more people from varied backgrounds and fields of interest support such open source testing for censorship. By reviewing and contributing to the the Citizen Lab test list for India, you can help ensure that a broad range of relevant websites are tested, and that the censorship measurement data collected from the testing of these websites is more comprehensive, robust, and timely. This will enable citizens to ask important questions to lawmakers and even mount legal challenges when necessary.

To this end, on Day 1 of our 2-day workshop, our OONI partners facilitated a session (“Introduction to Internet censorship”) which introduced participants to key concepts around internet censorship and how website censorship is implemented, with the goal of ultimately highlighting the importance of contributing to the Citizen Lab lists of websites that are measured for internet censorship. For the purposes of this workshop, the following forms of censorship were kept out of our scope:

  • Censorship on social media platforms
  • Internet outages/blackouts/shutdowns
  • Takedown requests
  • Online trolling
  • Self-censorship

We used these two days to specifically look at websites that may have been or could be at risk of being blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) . The group discussed the recent history of internet censorship specifically related to blocking of sites under Section 69 (A) and Section 79 of the IT Act .  We also reviewed existing research and public advocacy efforts with regards to internet censorship in India.

The concept of the Citizen Lab Global Test List and India Test List, both hosted on Github, was introduced to the group. These lists are compiled and maintained as a voluntary global effort to monitor website censorship. The India test list has over 600 URLs  which fall under many of the Citizen Lab’s 30 standardized categories.

A review of this list showed that the list was not balanced in terms of URLs in each category. The list also needed an update based on recent events in the country. Our workshop was specifically aimed at rectifying this and making the list more comprehensive & inclusive of the myriad concerns of citizens of our country.

A few of the participants shared their own experience with state censorship and their work on these issues. One of them presented a list that they had compiled by testing for DNS hijacking of sites specifically on the ACT Fibernet. Another participant found that many official government websites are not accessible to people outside the nation and shared their own work on creating a proxy to allow researchers and others to access Indian government websites from other countries.Geo-blocking prevents archival by the Internet Archive, which many researchers depend on. Participants also shared their experience of studying the issue of internet access in conflict zones in India and that even though access to the internet is recognized as a human right, it is often on the very bottom of the priority list for communities who are facing very intense threats on the ground. They also shared that being able to help these communities understand that the role the internet can play in responding to some of the other threats they face (and the tools to enable this, while foregrounding their safety needs) had been a very positive, empowering experience for all involved.

To end Day 1, we dove into the methodology of list building and list pruning which was developed and presented to the group by our friends at Netallitica. This session was specifically aimed to prepare us for Day 2 during which we (the organizers and the attendees) split into groups and co-worked on updating the India test list.

We started Day 2 with practical inputs on how to make changes to this list, important points to remember so that anyone who looks at this list later to test or to clean it understands what changes have been made and why. Our partners from OONI also showcased their beta tool which will make updating the Citizen Lab test lists much easier (through a web platform, without requiring GitHub accounts), once it’s launched.

A total of 10 participants split into two online co-working groups and selected a single theme to work on for 30-minute hands-on sessions each. The participants selected themes based on their area of knowledge and interest and also on how much information the list for that theme already contained. The focus was to make each theme list cover a wider base making it representative of platforms/ sources of information/ interaction that are currently important in our country.

In each group there were discussions to decide which sites need to be added and/or removed, and how websites should be categorized . An important part of this exercise was to ensure that we are including sites that cater to various schools of thought so that the list is not skewed in its representation. This is important to do so that we can measure censorship across the board and not only of target sites that may be important to the world view of the people building and testing these lists.

Day 2 of the workshop resulted in the follow changes to the India test list :

Category Code (Name) New URLs added Updated to

HTTPS

Moved to Global list Recommended for deletion Domain Updated Category Updated
ECommerce 7 1 0 3 1 0
LGBT 15 0 0 1 0 0
Human Rights 8 0 0 0 0 0
Environment 31 1 0 0 0 1
Public Health 26 1 0 1 0 0
News Media 11 0 0 0 0 0
Terrorism & Militancy 0 0 0 1 0 0
Culture 19 1 0 0 1 1
Hate Speech 0 0 0 0 0 0
Political Criticism 4 0 0 1 0 1
Government 1 0 0 0 0 0
Pornography 5 0 0 0 0 0
Total 127
4
0
7
2
3

The participants were able to significantly add to the categories of LGBT, Environment , Culture and Public Health which were very sparsely polluted earlier.

Accomplishing this took time and effort to ensure no sites were repeated, URLs were added correctly, and that existing URLs in the list were still relevant. Our workshop focused specifically on contributing new URLs and we did not specifically set out to prune the existing list (though some of us took the initiative to look at this aspect too). Here is the pull request for this update: https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/864

At the end of workshop, participants and us as organizers were enthused by the amount of understanding built about the importance of community based monitoring of internet censorship and a huge role that people from all walks of like can (and in our opinion, should) play to help technologists and digital rights advocates around the world to stand guard over a free Internet.

We hope that this effort will give impetus to more people to engage in these sort of open source list building and testing activities that will enable the generation of in-depth and representative data on the true nature of the Internet that citizens in India get to experience.

Report on Telecom Consumer Rights Education Program (2018-2019)

Authors: Chinmayi S K and Rohini Lakshané*
The “Report on Telecom Consumer Rights Education Program (2018-2019)” presents the highlights from a year-long education program for women telecom consumers conducted by
the The Bachchao Project in Manipur from December 2018 to August 2019. This program was made possible with support from Internews.
This program was conceived as a result of our experiences and observations from the study “Of Sieges and Shutdowns”. This report elucidates on the objectives of the program, the programmatic activities we conducted, the curriculum and design of the consumer education workshops, and our lessons and challenges. We hope that this report will benefit similar endeavours in Manipur and in the field of
consumer education.

 

Download the report here:

Report on Telecom Consumer Rights Education Program (2018-2019)

*in alphabetical order

Submission on “Draft model rules on live-streaming and recording of court proceedings”

The Bachchao Project submitted comments on the “Draft model rules on live-streaming and recording of court proceedings” released by the e-Committee, Supreme Court of India. A PDF copy of the submission can be accessed here: http://thebachchaoproject.org/wp-content/uploads/Submission-on-“Draft-model-rules-on-live-streaming-and-recording-of-court-proceedings”-by-The-Bachchao-Project.pdf

This submission was prepared by Rohini Lakshané and Mythri Prabhakara.

“The Gendered Impact of Intentional Internet Shutdowns”: Panel at the Global Digital Development Forum 2021

Rohini Lakshané‎ moderated a session entitled “The gendered impact of intentional Internet shutdowns” at the Global Digital Development Forum (GDDF) on 5 May 2021. The speakers were Felicia Anthonio (Access Now), Sandra Aceng (Women of Uganda Network), Deborah Brown (Human Rights Watch) and Zaituni Njovu (Zaina Foundation).

Description: Women, gender-diverse persons, and marginalised sections of society have been using the internet to overcome the obstacles posed by an imbalance of power and social restrictions. Internet shutdowns, a tool increasingly used by governments across the world, are depriving these populations of access to the ways in which the internet acts as a leveller. Our panelists represent researchers, advocacy, and policy groups exploring the impact of intentional internet shutdowns on women and gender-diverse persons in communities across Africa. They will speak from the perspectives of free and fair elections, cybersecurity, freedom of speech, and expression and digital rights, and discuss coping strategies these populations use when they are digitally disconnected.

Click here for the GDDF 2021 agenda.

A recording of the session is available at: https://digitaldevforum.course.tc/t/2021/events/the-gendered-impact-of-intentional-internet-shutdowns-edXz4h26pBmDUJokkFGRXN

Privacy and security based blocker browser add-ons: A hands on experience

Editors Note: The Author wrote this piece while they were exploring a blocker for their use. This piece speaks about the various considerations that the author took into account based on their use and how they made a decision on what they might use.

Disclaimer: This is an experiential piece not general advice. While the text might serve as a guide for you to choose a browser plugin we do not recommend this verbatim for everyone. The add-ons one choose varies for each person based on their circumstance. Please do write to us at theteam@thebachchaoproject.org if you would like specific advice or would like to explore what might suit your needs.

There are a lot of adblockers and scriptblockers available to use today. Among these, there are several open source ones for free, that are currently being actively developed. I tried out five highly recommended ones, and judged them on features and ease of use. The purpose was to find an ad blocker that worked well for my personal use. For this post, I ran the extensions on a Firefox browser across a mix of sites, and noted how they responded. I used a mix of sites ranging from videoconferencing to news to social media and entertainment;

1. News: The Hindu, Times of India, Indian Express, Washington Post and Al Jazeera

2. Videoconferencing: Jitsi, Google Meet

3. Entertainment: Youtube, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar

4. Social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram

1. Adblock Plus (ABP)

Available on: Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox

Ease of use: Very easy, no customization needed

By default, right after installing, it starts blocking ads and certain elements that it find malicious or sees as tracking behaviour. However, it maintains a whitelist of acceptable ads, which comply with do not track requests and fall under the criteria specified by the Acceptable Ads committee.

The extension interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can turn off the ad blocking on specific pages if needed, and if a site appears broken. While running the extension, I noticed that ads within videos (on Youtube and Dailymail for example) disappeared, but I still found sponsered ads in Google searches. It is possible to block these ads and also turn off additional tracking and social media tracking, but these are turned off by default. The extension blocks ads on the basis of filter lists that are community maintained. There is an option for user user created filter lists as well.

While visiting news sites, most did not allow me to proceed till I disabled the extension on the page- there didn’t seem to be a workaround for this via the extension alone.

The extension works in several Indian languages as well (via an IndianList filter), but adding too many languages will cause the webpage to load slower.

Final word: By default, blocks almost all ads, but sponsered suggestions do show up in search engines.

2. Disconnect

Available on: Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox

Ease of use: Has more content to show in the extension window, but still easy to use. Allows for some customization if needed.

This extension is similar to ABP in how it blocks only those ads it considers privacy-invasive. It also unblock ads that respect user Do Not Track requests. During my use of the extension, I encountered fewer ads, but unlike ABP, there were more frequent in-video ads. There does not seem to be a way to disable this feature, or to block all ads entirely.

While using Disconnect, it is possible to visit news sites without the site asking you to disable extensions.

Disconnect has a very interesting visual feature, where it breaks down where the trackers are from, and what categories they fall under (content tracking being enabled by default). This can be accessed as a list, or as a map. On sites such as newyorker.com, the number of tracking sites go above a hundred for a single webpage. The purpose of showing the trackers is so that users get more control over the individual tracking requests. This is especially useful in case of a broken site.

Currently, there does not seem to be language support, or any attempts at localizing the extension.

Final word: The visualization element sets it apart from the other contenders.

3. NoScript

Available on:Chrome, Firefox, SeaMonkey and Tor Browser

Ease of use: Definately has a steeper learning curve. Allows for a lot of personalization, but needs a little time to get used it.

NoScript is a bit different from the previous extensions in terms of how it works. While Adblock Plus and Disconnect focus on blocking trackers and ads, NoScript pre-emptively blocks scripts, which can sometimes break the page you’re trying to visit. If a site uses JavaScript, Java or plug in executions, it will be disabled until the page or feature is whitelisted (either temporarily or permanently). What this means for functionality is that some sites heavily dependent on plug ins will appear broken, till these scripts are enabled from the extension. Other sites may appear different as well, even if they continue to function similarly. When I tried to run Jitsi Meet, for example, I had to choose to allow plug ins, even if temporarily. On certain news sites, pictures appearing alongside articles did not show up, along with videos.

There is a lot of scope for user customization- one can whitelist trusted sites and control their entire browsing experience. Having said that, NoScript is not an adblocker, and does have the same features Adblock Plusand Disconnect do. It can act as an additional level of security for a power user, but should not be used as an alternative for a tracker blocker or ad blocker.

Currently, there seems to be no language support for NoScript outside of English.

Final word: This extension will break a lot of sites. It’s important to know how to allow scripts and also balance risks at the same time.

4. Privacy Badger (PB)

Available on: Chrome, Edge Opera and Firefox

Ease of use: Ready to use out of the box, and does not need additional customizations for the average user.

Privacy Badger was created to be a single solution to the problem of non consensual trackers. As it was initially set up, PB took a little time to learn- it observed tracker behaviour across different sites, and if it found the same one across three different sites, it would block it. This allowed it to not rely on any one third party list, but instead learn from user experience.

In the latter half of 2020, PB changed this mechanism based on Google Security Disclosures. It turned off ‘local learning’ by default, relying instead on “Badger Sett”, an automated list of tracking domains. This list is not user generated, as is the case with most other similar extensions. Users can turn on local learning again, but theoretically, this can put them at risk of fingerprinting.

PB also has an option to enable preventing WebRTC from leaking IP addresses.

There is an open translation project for PB on Transifex, but so far, there is no localization done for any Indian languages.

Final word: The changes made to the extension in the last year make it rely on a list instead of individual user trackers. This made PB like a lot of other adblocker extensions.

5. uBlock Origin (uBO)

Available on: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and releases of Safari prior to 13

Ease of use: There’s a lot of scope for a power user to made personal lists, or to set rules for the extension to work, but this is not enough to intimidate a curious beginner.

uBlock Origin is not an ad blocker, it is meant to block specific content that is broader than just ads. However, while using it, I found no ads, and no loss of webpage functionality. The extension does not make an exception for the category of ‘Acceptable Ad’, which removes sponsored ad content from Google searches as well. There is a very active reddit community which reports on bugs found, and since the extension is in active development, these are handled quickly.

I ran the extension on Enhanced Easy mode, which keeps most of the default filters and settings and adds a few other settings to further reduce the number of trackers. You can further customise the extension to disable plug ins, similar to what NoScript does.

It is clear that the extension is very powerful, and heavily customizable. Still, this does not make it unapproachable to the casual user. There is a comprehensive wiki on all parts of the extension, with additional reading on how to use it best for a power user.

uBO prides itself on how light it is, and it definately did not slow down my browsing experience. However, there wasn’t a significant difference in the speeds I encountered in these five extensions. Perhaps the difference is more evident on further browsing.

There is translation support for a few Indian languages (including Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu) with translation still in progress for others.

Final word: The extension is very powerful, while still being light on the system itself.

 

Panel on Digital Speech, Disinformation, Censorship: Social Media and Democracy

Rohini Lakshané was a panelist at the event “Digital Speech, Disinformation, Censorship: Social Media and Democracy” organised by Tufts University and held on 23 February 2021. The panel was a part of the “Critical Times, Critical Thinkers” series of talks held by Tufts Global Education.

Details about the session: https://students.tufts.edu/digital-speech-disinformation-censorship-social-media-and-democracy

Description: “This panel will explore the role of digital technology as social experimentation, the controversial role of Big Tech in policing and censoring speech, and provide a dynamic discussion about EU regulation of Big Tech and the lack of it in the US. Special attention will be paid to exploring differences in the impact of these practices in the Global North and Global South, particularly the ways in which these practices may support rather than challenge authoritarian regimes in the Global South (e.g. India and Myanmar). Each speaker will offer 5 minute introductory remarks followed by a moderated discussion among all participants. Questions from the public are welcome!”

Speakers:
Rohini Lakshané, Director, Emerging Research, The Bachchao Project, Mysuru, India
Manuela Kasper-Claridge, Editor in Chief, Deutsche Welle, Berlin, Germany
Adam Moe Fejerskov, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Moderator: Josephine Wolff, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Policy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Click here for a video recording of the session

[Event Report] India Localization Sprint 2020

 

Early this summer The Bachchao Project contacted Localization Lab to propose a localization sprint (with the support of DataMeet and Random Hacks of Kindness India) to address the language accessibility needs of users in India, particularly those of women and marginalized groups. With regular occurrences of online harassment, censorship, surveillance, internet throttling and all out shutdowns regularly occurring in India, The Bachchao Project selected a set of four tools to localize which would provide everyday users and human rights defenders alike with a basic digital security suite:

    • Safe Sisters (developed in Uganda by Defend Defenders and Internews for women and girls) was selected because it is one of few digital safety guides developed for women in the Global South, by women in the Global South. The guide was developed not only with a focus on the unique needs and concerns of internet users who are women, but also with an understanding of the different circumstances and constraints faced by users outside of Europe and North America.
    • Signal was chosen as an easy-to-use and already widely adopted messaging tool whose adoption could be increased through being made available in more local Indian languages (other than Hindi).
    • Psiphon was chosen as a secure and reliable circumvention tool which The Bachchao Project has successfully used in many environments (including low-bandwidth) in India and which is easy-to-use for new users.
    • Tella was selected as one of the only secure, open source and easy-to-use mobile documentation tools available. Human rights documenters in India are in need of an straight-forward tool that will allow them to document quickly from a mobile device and will work well through internet shutdowns and in low-bandwidth environments.

Often the assumption is that localization into Hindi or English will suffice for users across India. Most users do in fact access tech in Hindi or English, however neither is the first language of the majority of the population. While users are able to generally navigate mobile phones and desktops in a second language, they do not necessarily understand how these technologies work, the privacy and security risks associated with them, and tactics for accessing the open internet. To address this, the India Localization Sprint focused on localization into local languages other than Hindi, however not fully excluding it from the event.

While India and the rest of the world continue to struggle through a global health crisis, there is a need to collaborate, convene and build networks in safe ways. In order to achieve the lofty goals of localizing 4 digital security resources into a number of languages, The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab organized a virtual localization sprint to take place over the course of 2 weekends. The India Localization Sprint was hosted in 7-hour blocks with tool demos, localization discussion and collaboration as well as feedback and Q&A sessions with the developers and creators of the resources.

The sprint was widely advertised throughout November and received a total of 26 signups.

 

The Sprint

The first weekend of the India Localization Sprint launched on the last weekend of November with localization of the Safe Sisters Digital Safety Guide for Women and Girls and Psiphon for Android.

The first day of the event focused on the localization of Safe Sisters into Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Konkani, Tamil, Manipuri and Assamese with a group of 13 attendees. Safe Sisters was highlighted for localization by The Bachchao Project (a techno-feminist collective serving women and gender minorities) because not only is it a guide developed by women for women, but it is one of the very few guides developed by women in the “Global South” and not form a European or North American perspective. The digital safety guide not only addresses women and girls and their unique digital safety needs, but originally developed for a Ugandan and East African audience, it keeps regional constraints in mind, many of which overlap with those faced by Indian users.

Helen Nyinakiiza from Defend Defenders joined us from Kampala, Uganda to start the sprint with an introduction to Safe Sisters and an overview of the unique approach used to create the guide – engaging a group of about 10 regional collaborators to communally develop the resource. The attendees then read through the full Safe Sisters guide in small groups, keeping an eye out for elements of the guide that would need to be added/removed/changed to make it most relevant for Indian audiences. Once consensus was reached over any changes and the groups had reviewed and solidified translation of key terminology used throughout the guides, participants dove into translating the guides in small groups by language. By the end of the event the Safe Sisters Guide was fully translated into Marathi, and Malayalam, with Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Tamil, Manipuri and Assamese translations still in progress.

The second day of the sprint focused on localization of Psiphon for Android into Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam with a group of 9 attendees. The event began with a presentation and Q&A with Keith McManamen of Psiphon who overviewed Psiphon, how it works and differs from other circumvention tools and most importantly, how Psiphon has been used in India in a period of increasing internet throttling and censorship. Psiphon was selected by The Bachchao Project for localization because a secure circumvention tool that is easy-to-use is essential in today’s India, a country which has had over 450 individual internet shutdown events in addition to long-term regional internet throttling. The Bachchao Project wanted a tool that would be usable and free for users in India, but would also be open source, not log identifying user information, and would actually work in India with differing regional internet connectivity.

After a meaningful presentation and Q&A with Psiphon, the day’s participants spent an hour overviewing a long list of technical terminology used throughout the Psiphon application. Prior to localizing the Psiphon Android app itself, participants worked in small groups – using resources like the Microsoft Terminology, Fuel terminology and Localization Lab Glossaries – to ensure all of the technical terms were understood and had agreed upon translations. By the end of the day, Psiphon for Android had been fully translated into Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam.

The second weekend of the India Localization Sprint focused on localization of Tella and Signal, both for Android.

Day one launched with an in-depth live demo of Tella from Raphael Mimoun of the Horizontal team (developers of Tella), sharing how Tella has been useful for defenders around the world. Tella has the capability of securely collecting and storing audio, video and forms for documentation and reporting. Raphael overviewed all of Tella’s features and then fielded questions from participants about how Tella would work in an Indian context. The Bachchao Project chose Tella because it is a useful documentation tool for defenders and journalists alike and participants were particularly pleased to hear about Tella’s icon “camouflage” feature and ability to work offline and with low-bandwidth. Raphael also shared more in-depth information about how form templates can be created using tools like KoBoToolbox in order to deploy surveys with Tella.

After the demo and Q&A, participants again reviewed the glossary to be sure that relevant technical terms were first understood and translated and then the group of 8 attendees dove into translation of Tella for Android into Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil. By the end of the event Tella was translated fully into Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil with translations into Marathi and Hindi in progress.

The Last day of the India Localization Sprint was focused on Signal. Signal is a popular secure communication application used all over India and the Signal team has recently focused on translations into Indian Languages. The Bachchao Project wanted to support this effort further by updating and contributing to existing translations. As for other tools, the first goal for the Signal sprint was to review key technical terms and make sure that they were solidified in the glossary. Unlike with other projects which had no prior translations, the participants utilized features in the Transifex (the translation platform) to review existing translations and make sure the glossary was consistent with prior translations and highlight inconsistencies. Overall, 11 translators joined to contribute to Singal Android translations into Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil and by the end of the day, significant progress had been made updating the Android app across all of the languages with Malayalam and Tamil almost 100% updated.

To end the day and the India Localization Sprint, Riya from Signal Group joined the event to answer questions from the attendees about Signal Groups and other upcoming new features, and – maybe most importantly – Signal’s plans for increasing outreach and adoption of Signal in India.

The Outcomes

Image courtesy: Localization Lab

Safe Sisters

Hindi

Words Translated: Approx. 250

Kannada

Words Translated: Approx. 1,875

Konkani

Words Translated: Approx. 625

Malayalam

Words Translated: Approx. 2,500

Marathi

Words Translated: Approx. 2,500

Tamil

Words Translated: Approx. 1,250

Signal

Hindi

Words Translated: 713

Words Edited: 178

Kannada

Words Translated:1547

Words Edited: 272

Malayalam

Words Translated:2469

Words Edited: 321

Marathi

Words Translated:736

Words Edited: 243

Tamil

Words Translated:1982

Words Edited: 32

Grand Total

Words Translated:7447

Words Edited: 1046

Tella

Hindi

Words Translated: 1071   

Words Edited: 177

Kannada

Words Translated: 2207

Words Edited: 507

Malayalam

Words Translated: 2192   

Words Edited: 606

Marathi

Words Translated: 244   

Words Edited: 12

Tamil

Words Translated: 2181   

Words Edited: 431

Grand Total

Words Translated: 7895   

Words Edited: 1733

Psiphon

Hindi

Words Translated: 730   
Words Edited: 305

Kannada

Words Translated: 1237

Words Edited: 306

Malayalam

Words Translated: 2072

Words Edited: 414

Marathi

Words Translated: 1268   

Words Edited: 1270

Grand Total

Words Translated: 5307   

Words Edited: 2295

Glossaries

Tamil: 139 words translated

Hindi: 221 words translated

Malayalam: 230 words translated

Marathi: 172 words translated

Kannada: 227 words translated

Next Steps

After four days of collaboration contributors fully translated or made significant progress across all four projects, and we are now looking for volunteers to help us finish the effort. Are you interested in helping translate or review one of the following projects? Contact us!

Safe Sisters

The Bachchao Project is looking forward to using Safe Sisters to train its partners. As a part of that effort they are looking to share the completed guides in 2021 in open access and set up training calls for its partners. The Safe Sisters guides need some more translations for this to be possible.

Translation Needed: Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Tamil, Assamese, Manipuri, Kashmiri

Review Needed: Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil

If you are an organisation which works with women on grassroots issues. Please contact Chinmayi (The Bachchao Project) if you would like a training.

Psiphon

The Psiphon team will be deploying the translations that are ready in Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, and Kannada with a forthcoming update of Psiphon Android (date TBA). In the meantime, translators and reviewers can also sideload this version to be able to check the translations in-context, by selecting the relevant language under Options > More Options > Language or by setting their device language accordingly. Language setting instructions can be found here.

Translation Needed: Kannada

Review Needed: Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi

Tella

Tella will be deploying the translations in four languages – Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi – once all strings are translated and reviewed in these four languages.

Translation Needed: Hindi, Marathi

Review Needed: Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi

Signal

The translations provided for Signal are automatically included in bi-weekly (sometimes less frequent) builds. There are more strings that need translation in Signal. The Signal team has also created teams for Assamese and Manipuri in Transifex which were previously unavailable for translators.

Translation Needed: Hindi, Marathi

Review Needed: Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi

Note: This blog post has been jointly written and published by The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab

Roundtable on Internet Shutdowns, Technology and Society Series, 11 November 2020

Rohini Lakshané was one of the speakers at the Roundtable on Internet Shutdowns organised by the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) and Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) on November 11, 2020. The roundtable was a part of Technology and Society Series hosted by SFLC and the Centre for Software & Information Technology Management at IIM-B. Details of the event: https://www.iimb.ac.in/index.php/iimb-csitm-host-internet-shutdowns

The other speakers at the roundtable were Prof. Rajeev Gowda, former Member of Parliament and former faculty, IIM Bangalore; Anuradha Bhasin, Editor, Kashmir Times; and Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director, SFLC. Prof. Neena Pandey, faculty, IIM Visakhapatnam moderated the session.

[Event announcement] India Localization Sprint 2020

While working with various communities in India we have identified a number of unmet needs when it comes to basic security tools and practices. The language barrier is key access issue for users across India, particularly those who are parts of marginalized groups.

Often the assumption is that localization into Hindi and/or English will suffice for users across India. Most users do in fact access tech in Hindi or English, however neither language is the first language of the majority of the population. While users are able to generally navigate mobile phones and desktops in a second language, they do not necessarily understand how these technologies work, the privacy and security risks associated with them, and tactics for accessing the open internet.

In order to ensure broader adoption of basic security tools and practices – and as importantly, to ensure individuals fully understand the “why” and “how” of these tools and practices – The Bachchao Project has chosen to localize:

  • one basic digital hygiene guide : We are localizing Safe Sisters, developed in Uganda by Internews and Defend Defenders for female internet users. This guide provide a simple necessary steps that can be taken by women human rights defenders, journalists and activists to safeguard themselves.
  • two tools for secure messaging and uninhibited internet access: Signal is an highly recommended secure messaging application used by people across the globe and Psiphon is a reputed virtual private network software that works towards uninhibited internet access.
  • one tool for secure documentation : (Tella) is a secure documentation software for human rights workers, journalists and activists.

While India and the rest of the world continue to struggle through a global health crisis, there is a need to collaborate, convene and build networks in safe ways. In order to achieve the lofty goals of localizing tools and/or resources The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab propose a virtual localization sprint to take place over the course of 2 weekends (28th and 29th November, 5th and 6th December). Hosting 4-5 hour blocks of training, localization discussion and collaboration as well as feedback sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, with offline or chat localization collaboration before and after sessions.

This sprint will be held by The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab and is supported by Random Hacks of Kindness India and DataMeet.

If you are a translator or are simply interested to contribute to the localization of these tools and practices in your language. Please sign up for this event here
https://forms.gle/RM7CisegsJWMveNSA

Here is the wikipage for the event with more details : https://wiki.localizationlab.org/index.php/India_Localization_Sprint_2020

 

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves.
Website: http://thebachchaoproject.org
Twitter:  @bachchaoproject

About Localization Lab

Localization Lab builds bridges between developers, organizations, end users, and communities in need. Our crowdsourced localization results in more accurate and timely translations, and unlocks access to the internet for users all over the world

Website: https://www.localizationlab.org/
Twitter: @L10nLab

Contact

For inquiries about this event please write to  Chinmayi S K: chinmayi@thebachchaoproject.org