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Nikhil Pahwa

7 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Nikhil Pahwa on freedom of internet and India's ban on Chinese apps

Use Case

“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather……You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.”John Perry BarlowA Declaration of the Independence of CyberspaceDavos, SwitzerlandFebruary 8, 1996What many call a rhetorical dartboard for Internet libertarians and a dot-com era hubris of mis-founded optimism, the document “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” still remains relevant in a world of data surveillance and increasing nationalization/ regulation of the internet.More than 20 years have passed since Barlow first first typed it out as an email in his hotel room at Davos to some 600 odd friends after being pissed with President Bill Clinton for signing the Communications Decency Act into law, empowering the FCC to ban the transmission of "obscene" material on the Internet.Now, I wouldn’t call Nikhil Pahwa the John Perry Barlow of India, for his stance, is almost always balanced between the libertarian ideals of freedom and the practical implications of leaving the internet unchecked, but he has done much for the freedom of internet in India, which both you and I often take for granted. You’d remember when Facebook decided to bring Free Basics to India, it led to a huge outpour of criticism against the move and a cry for net neutrality led to the birth of the “Save the Internet” campaign. Nikhil was one of the key people behind the movement. As the founder of Medianama, Nikhil has spent more than a decade working in and for the internet space in India and I can’t stress enough, how informative listening to him talk about the legal, ethical, and market implications of restrictions on the internet is - the most recent restriction being the app ban that Indian imposed, for which justification can be made, but it raises serious questions. For example, if code is speech then is imposing a ban on code a ban on Freedom of Speech? We talk about everything ranging from the hypocrisy founders show while sucking up to the government and taking foreign money to the geo-political implications of banning Chinese apps, what is likely to happen to them as they appeal against the order in the judiciary ++ much more! It’s a very informative discussion that personally opened my mind up and I have to urge you to check it out as well!You could listen to the show on the audio above or listen to it on your favorite podcasting app:Apple/Google Podcasts: http://link.chtbl.com/yj6meSpkSpotify: http://spoti.fi/2n4elReNEW SECTION ALERT: We’re calling it “HOW TO SOUND SMART DURING A DINNER PARTY” where we will try to give you fodder for interesting conversations.New Non-Personal Data Governance Framework released by the Government, which would impact the competitive advantages of some startups if enforced (clarity awaited). Our country’s policymakers and legal experts view data in 2 types. Personal and Non-Personal Data. While an individual’s own location would constitute as personal data; the information derived from multiple drivers’ locations, which is often used to analyze traffic flow, is referred to as non-personal data. So far, India’s regulation of its citizens’ data and their privacy online was governed under the Information Technology Act, 2000 but last year the Personal Data Protection Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha. It was sent to a Joint Committee for review and is yet to be passed by both houses. The bill brings several laudable changes to the powers vested with the Indian consumer (“data principal”) on how their data can be used by startups and companies (“data fiduciary”). You could find the details of that the bill and how it would likely impact your business here.Meanwhile, in important news this month - even as the PDP Bill was being considered by both houses, a nine-member panel, headed by former Infosys vice-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan, released a draft of the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework. Under this framework, as Anirudh Burman writes in the Indian Express:“the draft report proposes an expansive regulatory regime that would mandate data-sharing by anyone collecting data above a certain threshold, and require registration with another new data regulatory body for anyone collecting or deriving benefits from non-personal data.” This means that if as a startup you are collecting non-personal data above this threshold you’d be required to register with a regulator and share this data. Which in the draft’s own words:Factual information will mandatorily need to be made available for free, but data where there is value-add might be available to your competitors by the government, for a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” price. Many including Nikhil, as he outlined it in this op-ed, are calling it India’s Nationalisation of Data while some like to draw comparisons to the license raj days. While it is laudatory that an open data regime exists where the barrier to entry for new startups is reduced with open data sets, the question is if it is fair to those who were innovators and tapped the first-mover advantage in collecting and owning that data. This could be a nightmare scenario for founders and investors who define valuation for several young AI startups based on the data they own. We’ll be sure to watch this space closely in the coming days on this newsletter. Till then, if you haven’t already, do forward this email to your friends! Maybe this will be a fun way for you to connect with friends during these times and chat about something interesting! Get on the email list at turnaround.usecasepodcast.com

1hr 1min

4 Aug 2020

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Pandemic Privacy with Nikhil Pahwa

WIF Vichaar

For the first episode of WIF Vichaar, we have Mr Nikhil Pahwa with us. Mr Pahwa is the founder of MediaNama.com, a TED Fellow, and the co-founder of SaveTheInternet.in. In 2015, he partnered with AIB to help spread the message of the importance of Net Neutrality for India. He has since been a leader in digital rights activism in India.   Today, he has joined Aryan Aneja to have a conversation about Contact Tracing in India and how apps such as Aarogya Setu can be more harmful than beneficial in the fight against COVID-19.

33mins

24 May 2020

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Episode 9: Nikhil Pahwa - MediaNama, Technology and Internet Policies in India, Privacy vs. Surveillance

The NULLCON Podcast

In the ninth episode of The NULLCON Podcast, Founder and Editor of MediaNama, Nikhil Pahwa spoke about the future of technology and internet policies in India, the role of media and tech community in the policymaking. He further recommended Why a "Rights first" approach should be there in the policymaking process.Nikhil also shared the story of how he started MediaNama, which provides information and analysis on Digital and Telecom businesses in India.After listening to this episode, if you feel like exploring more on the future of internet policy in India then read this article by Nikhil on MediaNama: http://bit.ly/2kQNgjN.

17 Sep 2019

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Nikhil Pahwa, Medianama and Kiran

AroundStartups

This episode of aroundstartups is really important for each one of us. Facebook has come up with a project called freebasics.com & according to them they are helping poor india's which is far away from the reality. What is facebooks free basic? [In reality] A separate Internet pipe, which has limited number of websites for access. It is insecure and un-encrypted so technically anyone can sniff your conversation. Facebook will keep copy of all the data [& will run analysis for our usage pattern] All the competing facebook products are not part of it. They can change terms & conditions anytime they want. I  have known Nikhil & Kiran for long and they have been one of the  few leaders who stood against this Facebook FUD and launched campaign  called save the internet, to make us all aware what is really happening.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/aroundstartups/message

26mins

28 Apr 2019

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Ep. 12: The Freedom Struggle For The Internet with Nikhil Pahwa

The Filter Koffee Podcast

On the 4th anniversary of the net neutrality campaign, founder of Medianama.com, Nikhil Pahwa joins Karthik Nagarajan to decode the campaign and they discuss the future of internet technology and the challenges associated with it. Tweet to Karthik Nagarajan @The_Karthik and follow his WordPress handle here. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

53mins

3 Apr 2019

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Ep. 12: The Freedom Struggle For The Internet with Nikhil Pahwa

The Filter Koffee Podcast

On the 4th anniversary of the net neutrality campaign, founder of Medianama.com, Nikhil Pahwa joins Karthik Nagarajan to decode the campaign and they discuss the future of internet technology and the challenges associated with it. Tweet to Karthik Nagarajan @The_Karthik and follow his WordPress handle here. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

53mins

3 Apr 2019

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Ep 65: Nikhil Pahwa on fighting India’s internet battles, being an angry young man

Outliers

Nikhil Pahwa is an angry young man. But that doesn’t make him an outlier. Pahwa, 37, channelises that anger to build and scale mainstream movements such as the net neutrality campaign against Facebook’s FreeBasics in India more than two years ago. So what’s the source of all the anger and sense of activism? It’s Pahwa’s deep need for freedom of the internet. “The need for freedom led me to activism, entrepreneurship...I don’t know where it will take me next but freedom is central to everything I do,” he says. “My mission is to build an internet ecosystem which is open, fair and competitive.” Pahwa’s journey as a media entrepreneur has been filled with existential crisis because of the battle he fights. But then, those battles are also the reason why his venture, Medianama, lives today. “I’m what I’m today because of the fact that internet is open and this freedom exists. Medianama has turned 10 today because of that. I want that for everyone.” Before he committed fully to the net neutrality campaign, he knew it could mean a near death experience for Medianama. “I told the Medianama team that we could die because of what I’m going to do, but this is worth fighting for because we wouldn’t exist if internet wasn’t free and open.”There are some great lessons in this podcast with Pahwa. These lessons aren’t just about rightful activism but also offer insights on fighting battles larger than your own, personal existence. The net neutrality campaign, for instance, had its own moments of existential crisis. “Nothing was budging, no one was participating. And Facebook simultaneously began this massive “support Free Basics” campaign, putting hoardings all over the country. And we were losing.”Pahwa is next readying for another challenge in his life: his wedding is coming up soon.

57mins

27 Jul 2018