The Geo spatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016


#1

“The Geo spatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 has serious
implications for individuals and businesses who use maps for service
delivery in India. The bill is inviting responses until June 4, 2016.”
http://savethemap.in/


#2

Thanks @shijil for putting this up here. The draft bill can be found on Ministry of Home Affairs site.

There’s ongoing discussion on DataMeet and OSM India mailing list.
Several people from DataMeet, OSM India and others are collaborating on Hackpad and Documentcloud to capture comments and suggestions from all stakeholders on the draft bill.


#3

Now the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have formulated a draft National Geo-spatial Policy and is available for public consultation up to 30.05.16

The draft policy is available here.


#4

Before going thoroughly with all the points in the bill we should not take a stand to OPPOSE the draft bill. Yes, there are some threats in the proposed draft bill.There are some pro’s also in the draft bill.
And they are asking for suggestions. We have to discuss this and suggest the con’s/threat in the bill.

Pros:

  1. Many map service providers showing false geo data of India Internationally, which is unacceptable. Example : Many part of the kashmir and arunachal pradesh are shown wrongly. Which is very much wrong because it doesn’t match with the actual geo data provided by survey of India. Proposed bill says show country boundary provided by SOI, don’t show wrong data unless.

  2. Many map service provider mapped many highly secured areas that might become very prone to terror attacks. Proposed bill verifies the mapped data and authenticates none of the highly secured areas are mapped .

(This is not actually a Pros but still a debatable pro)
3. There is no authenticator for authentic map data. Proposed bill says it is going to take care of this!
(In OSM I can change Indian boundary and can say China is belongs to India. Unless some moderator identifies the issue and make the changes to it, every OSM consumer see China belongs to India )

Cons:

  1. Centralised control.
  2. Reduced number of map enthusiasts, indirectly affects high quality localised map data.
  3. Why should every map data consumer take permission just to use the data?
  4. Do SOI update map data as frequently as they build/change every geo data in every city?

Suggestion we can made.

  1. A moderate restriction on collecting map data and consuming map data.

#5

In OSM I can change Indian boundary and can say China is belongs to
India. Unless some moderator identifies the issue and make the changes
to it, every OSM consumer see China belongs to India

This is true and I agree that vandalism can happen in any open project. In OSM, community generally operates under the “on the ground” principle and OSM Foundation has formal policy on disputed territories. OSM is a database and we are free to make maps as per our needs, so custom tiles with the borders according to our existing laws was made available sometime last year at openstreetmap.in.

In the draft bill, the boundary issue is just the 6th point. But rest of the 5 points prevent most of us from storing, analysing and disseminating any kind of geodata as you have pointed in the cons.


#6

Your list of pros and cons makes it seem as though the case is a 50-50 tie with there being equal advantages and disadvantages. I think this bill is classic bureaucratic overreach. So far, I have not come across one valid benefit of this bill, and am in full support of completely trashing this bill.

The borders currently shown are the internationally accepted borders. They are not really false data. I am aware that it is currently illegal to show these “wrong” borders. But, I believe such enforcement of “correct” borders is stupid. If India were to claim all the world as its territory, why should anybody oblige to change their maps? Much better to leave these things to individual liberties, instead of enforcing draconian laws and disproportionate punishments.

Controversial, and debatable, as you rightly said.

I am sick of “terrorism” being used as an excuse for everything. An obsession with security and the need to defend against the invisible enemy are textbook characteristics of a fascist state.

I am not trading censorship for correctness of data. It’s ok if people make mistakes or vandalize. There are much better ways to control and fix those.

Bottomline: I don’t want to give up any of my liberties to this stupid bill. If you know of any advantage to this bill, please bring it up and convince me otherwise.


#7

There is no direct benefit to consumer or to the provider. But yes, there is benefit to national security by not publicizing secure data from third party geo data provider. Which is indirectly benefit to all the people in India.

There is no stupidity in legalising and enforce to show “correct/actual” border provided by survey of India.

In this scenario I would like to remember how terrorist used map data in Mumbai and other attacks.

[quote=“arunisaac, post:6, topic:286”]
There are much better ways to control and fix those.
[/quote] Proposed bill also has the same agenda, they want a much better way to deal with this . Please suggest if you have any better idea.

[quote=“arunisaac, post:6, topic:286”]
If you know of any advantage to this bill, please bring it up and convince me otherwise.
[/quote] I am not at all agree with the proposed bill. But I am also not agree with the loop holes in the existing system of collecting and providing geo data.


#8

A meetup has been scheduled to discuss and plan next steps at Centre for Internet and Society tomorrow at 4pm.


#9

I don’t care if said “terrorists” (I dislike this term – it’s conveniently vague, ambiguous and easy for the state to label anybody it disagrees with by this smear term) used any map data. If you ban Google maps in India, all you have to do is open up Tor Browser or some proxy server, and access maps from somewhere else. You could say that we’ll prevent Google mapping on the ground, but there are always satellite image providers like Google Earth, which you have no way of stopping.

Besides, that article you cited vaguely talks about “terrorists (who) were highly trained and used technologies such as satellite phones, and global positioning systems”. And, the same article clearly states “The information available to the terrorists on Google Earth about the locations they attacked is also available on printed tourism maps of Mumbai.” So what do you propose we do next – ban tourist maps, tourist guides, etc? Terrorists also used roads, cars, etc. Do we ban these as well? Or perhaps, it would be a good idea to implement draconian checkposting and id checking rules in every other corner of the road?

My point is that measures like the GIR Bill provide very debatable improvements in security at great cost to individual liberty. If, as an organization, FSMK/FSMI tries to “be nice” and take all these compromised stands, we’ll be digging our own graves. We should take the “correct” stand, even if it is radical. That’s important. Whether or not the government and the people listen to us is irrelevant. We should stand by our principles.

When I said that, I was referring to what @yogi said about how the OSM community handles vandalism. I think such techniques are good enough and there is no point in the government getting involved.

I disagree, but since this matter is not central to the issue at hand, I’ll not pursue it further.


#10

When I said “terrorism/terrorist” that was just an example of how an open data can be misused in those situation(shouldn’t we monitor the open data in a proper manner? We can demand an open platform to do it rather than censored monitoring as proposed in bill). Consider the more suitable word if I was wrong by saying terrorism/terrorist as an example.

[quote=“arunisaac, post:9, topic:286”]
If you ban Google maps in India, all you have to do is open up Tor Browser or some proxy server, and access maps from somewhere else. You could say that we’ll prevent Google mapping on the ground, but there are always satellite image providers like Google Earth, which you have no way of stopping.
[/quote]Correct me if I am wrong. Are you saying "anyways data misusers will get the data by any of the other sources, so why should we regulate it? If you want to regulate it regulate all the sources? ".

My point is why should we completely oppose the bill? when we can suggest and implement a much better way to solve the problem.


#11

Everything can be misused – even a knife. So we ban/regulate knives? We don’t, because the adverse effects on the legitimate use of knives (cutting vegetables, etc.) is just not worth the added security you would get by banning knives.

Knowledge can be misused. The simple skill of programming can be misused. So we stop teaching programming or establish licenses and procedures for people to be allowed to learn programming?

Free software can be misused because there is no one company whom you can control and make them put whatever you want in the software. So ban free software or establish licences for the same?

What you say simply does not make sense. Please reconsider your opinion.

How can you do this without, say bugging everybody’s computer? And, if you take that route, is it worth the cost to individual liberty?

I am not saying we should regulate all the sources. I am saying we should regulate none of the sources.

Like it or not, the correct solutions to problems like “terrorism” are not within the realm of software or data (maps). The real long term solutions to terrorism don’t even lie in strong security (though strong security could possibly have some short term benefits). The real solutions lie in resolving the underlying social and political problems that cause terrorism in the first place. How do we do that? – I don’t know. I can do no justice to the question by attempting to give one line answers. So, if the government (or for that matter, we the people), have any intention of really tackling the problem of terrorism, we will do better research and focus on the real problems of society – not come up with farcical laws like these.

Do I not care about security?

A terrorist’s intention is to terrorize. If we succumb to this terror, and get rid of our liberties, we have already lost. But, IMO, terrorism is just an excuse brought up by politicians all the time (even in pre-modern times – please read World War II history about the rise of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy) all over the world to justify all sorts of tyranny.

Ultimately, I’d rather die a free man victim to a terrorist attack than give up my basic freedoms and live a slave. In any case, it’s far more likely I’ll die of a road accident, cancer or some other reason.


#12

Vow how did I missed such deliberation ???

i was going through the content of the discussion and found that @arunisaac has pretty much said from liberty stand point.

I would like to addup, based on quotes, bcos, i think people still might not get satisfied with critical thinking, unless some quotes are added :smirk:.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power

  • Benjamin Franklin

@dharshan, one has to think why the regulation as so far stated in the clauses of the proposed bill are vectoring towards Home affairs. Personally i felt that as draconian.

Le me add another point, even though i am so much late here. Indian government has severe regulation over the usage of amateur radio, even there home affairs has nothing to do with regulation. There is a separate organ of government (WPC) that takes care of.

You know it is about communication. Most of us in HAM community feel that we are all regulated for the sake of security which nobody knows what it is about(no gov. will be transparent on nat. sec. statements). We compromise still on the basis - not to get interfered in neighboring countries affairs while communication OTA.

Regulations must not hinder liberty expansion in a democracy. If it is, then we are no more living in a democratic republic that defends the constitution. All the faults will be attributed to the people who are responsible to defend the constitution (you and me). Remember regulation and control and governance are completely different.

For those ignorance filled minds, who have still doubts : read this discussion too…