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Consent in the digital age

One of the hardest parts about working in tech policy is explaining to people what the work entails. Recently, I met a long-lost friend from high school. Like most people who you meet after a while, he ended up asking me what I was working on these days. It was one of those...

The regulation of social media can be an opportunity for India

This article was originally published in The Mint China gives us an estimate of how many people you need to effectively monitor content on the internet. The Great Firewall employs over 100,000 people to prevent around a billion Chinese internet users from accessing content Beijing considers undesirable. That is one censor...

Algorithmic audits are necessary to protect India’s gig workers

In the past few weeks, anonymous Twitter accounts such as Swiggy DE and DeliveryBhoy have made allegations regarding issues faced by delivery partners of food delivery apps. These include low payouts, opaque payout calculations and alleged cheating, unexplained differences in surge rates, order clubbing and assignments to avoid incentive pay,...

Takshashila Issue Paper – India and the Artemis Accords

Download the Issue Paper as a PDF Executive Summary  The United States has signed bilateral agreements, called the Artemis Accords, with 11 other states. The Accords lay down norms for space exploration and are a prerequisite for states seeking to join NASA’s Artemis programme, which envisages a new wave of...

Takshashila Working Paper – Governance of DCNs I: Categorisation of Harms

This working paper is the first in a series of papers that will explore the governance of Digital Communication Networks (DCNs).  DCNs have been defined in the paper as composite entities consisting of: Capability: Internet-based products/services that enable instantaneous low-cost or free communication across geographic, social, and cultural boundaries. This...

Technopolitik #3 Of Myths and Delusions – Mirage of high-tech self-sufficiency,Porous Censorship,Emerging tech and risk reduction, 5GW, and Game of drones

Read the full edition and subscribe here Matsyanyaaya #1: High-Tech Self-Sufficiency is a Delusion — Pranay Kotasthane (An edited version of this article first appeared in Times of India Plus on 22nd June 2021) The near-daily cadence of reports highlighting China’s growing technology prowess has set the cat among the pigeons in many democracies....

MisDisMal-Information 45: Of crisis disciplines, breaking and fixing algorithms and democracies

This is an excerpt from Edition 45 of MisDisMal-Information For the complete edition, go to: Of crisis disciplines, breaking and fixing algorithms and democracies – MisDisMal-Information ( In this edition The impact of digital communication networks on collective behaviour as a ‘crisis discipline’. The idea of ruining and fixing personal algorithms. Exporting...

Technopolitik #2 Fog of War – DARPA wannabes, Autonomous Weapons, Influence Operations,and Japan’s Siliconpolitik move

Read the full edition and subscribe here Competitive Advantage: Everyone Wants to DARPA — Pranay Kotasthane Japan. The UK. Germany. Even the US. These countries are now attempting their own versions of the original Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The success of DARPA’s 2013 grant to Moderna for using m-RNA...

Unshackle e-commerce for COVID recovery

This article was first published in The Hindu Business Line. Views are personal. While e-commerce is still in a nascent stage in India, it has been a key driver for growth. It has laid the foundation for India to adopt technology and withstand the effects of a global pandemic As...

MisDisMal-Information 44: Of Unbundling social media, fake news, importing conspiracies

This is an excerpt from Edition 44 of MisDisMal-Information For the complete edition, go to: Of Unbundling social media, fake news, importing conspiracies – MisDisMal-Information ( In this edition Various proposals to ‘unbundle’ social media platform features. Fake engagement and its negative externalities … Meanwhile, in India – Twitter’s travails, Conspiracy theories,...
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