news Wednesday, April 08, 2015 - 05:30
After taking part in an ‘Ask me anything’ (A.M.A) on the social networking site Reddit, BJD MP from Odisha Tathagata Satpathy has endeared himself again to the online space by shooting a letter to TRAI in support of Net Neutrality. Satpathy, the MP from Dhenkanal has written a letter expressing his dissent to Rahul Khullar, the chairman of TRAI, on the body’s purported move to allow the violation of the principle of Net Neutrality.  Citing the move by TRAI as a “threat to my functioning as a representative” the MP has weighed in on the debate which has dominated the online space with many internet activists also raising concerns regarding the freedom of the internet. In his letter, Satpathy writes that he uses messaging applications to communicate with his staff, cloud services to work on documents and video calling to get in touch with experts who are far away. He also adds that the usual functions such as email and messaging applications allow him to stay in touch with people from his constituency.    With regard to inviting suggestions from people Net Neutrality as had been done by TRAI, Satpathy sent a attachment which contained responses crafted by Reddit users. “They worked on this document over and over”, he writes, adding that charging for OTT (over-the-top) services is “a detrimental move that is putting conditions on the access of internet”. He further goes on to write that the PM’s dream of a Digital India will falter if this happens, comparing the Internet with electricity, which can’t be on a chargeable basis based on the appliances we use.  Also a journalist, the BJD MP also writes about how India has quickly embraced mobile internet adding that small start-ups will die out if charged for OTT services, defeating the purpose of ‘Make In India’ if TRAI allows “big companies to form monopolies over the mobile web”. Finally, the 59-year-old complains of the archaic Information Technology Act and says that the information technology laws in the country required a complete overhaul.  “The Internet is no more a ‘network that connects computers’. It is now a social network that will help bridge social, economic and regional divides”, he writes. Here is the letter in full:         Dissent Letter to TRAI by SriramSharma  

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