LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

It is wrong to try to shoehorn big data into a private property-rights framework

Today I spoke at a session on Big Data for Development: Privacy Risks and Opportunities organized by UN Global Pulse and SIDA at Internet Governance Forum 2015. My presentation that sought to set the stage is here. Many interesting questions were raised, but I will here focus on one particularly uninformed one. The questioners (this […]

Infrastructure services enabling Maritime Silk Road

I spent Nov 5-6 in Shanghai at the invitation of the Pathfinder Foundation as part of a Track 2 discussion with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. The focus of my presentation was on how the MSR could serve Sri Lanka’s economic advancement. It was not limited to research undertaken by LIRNEasia. However, the section […]

Freedom house latest report on “Freedom on the Net 2015” is released

Freedom house report on Internet freedom was released last week. This report was developed by Freedom house with 70 researchers and advisers around the world. Globally over 3 billion people have access to internet. This report covers 65 countries which has 88% of worlds internet population. Over 40% of worlds internet users live in China, the United States, […]

Instagram ad platform reveals user statistics


Instagram facilitates photo/ video sharing and social networking. Instagram community consists of over 400 million and is one of the largest ad platforms in the world. Access to this ad platform provides access to Instagram user data. Based on this, we acquired Instagram user data on Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. When comparing these […]

Market consolidation in India, now it’s a threefer (or is it a fourfer?)

It was expected. So I ignored the news that RCom and Sistema were in merger talks. What got my attention was the Aircel angle. People have been talking about collaboration between the Ambani brothers (Jio and RCom). Now that get’s real interesting. I guess the Competition Authority is watching now. The main motivation for RCom […]

Is physical infrastructure actually necessary for globally competitive cities in the 21st Century?

The original plan was that we would showcase our big data for urban development research at the LBO-LBR Infrastructure Summit that started today. But it was not to be. Neither I nor Sriganesh Lokanathan could be present on the second day and our work was considered too nitty-gritty for the “high-level” discussion on Day 1. […]

Multilingualism in cyberspace

As a result of the introduction of new gTLD (generic Top-Level Domains) initiative to promote competition in the domain name market while ensuring Internet security and stability by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) there are now almost 300 million domain names around the world. It is said that this will encourage multilingualism in cyberspace, […]

Talking big data at IDRC Asian Regional Office

Today I had the pleasure to talk about LIRNEasia’s ongoing multi-disciplinary big data for development research at the IDRC Asian Regional Office in Delhi. The work that we have been doing in this space has been funded primarily by IDRC. It was engaging talking to experts with interests in different domains (agriculture, health, governance, climate change adaptability, urban […]

IBM vertically integrates into weather data

It’s a little odd to use a concept like vertical integration but that seems to best explain what IBM is doing. IBM calls what Watson does “cognitive computing,” heralding an age of machines that supposedly think. What the company has not figured out is how to make this into an engine of growth. The tech […]

Sri Lanka ICT sector governance: Freedom House report exemplifies shoddy research or success of opacity?

There is no debate that the laws governing the telecom/ICT sector in Sri Lanka are among the most convoluted. So I have some sympathy for the people who write about it. But I assume they are paid for their work and they have a duty to check their facts. The excerpt below is just one […]

Free basics in the Maldives

Dhiraagu tends to respond to these kinds of things strongly. Should be interesting. Ooredoo Maldives and Facebook have partnered to connect more people to the internet with the launch of Free Basics in the Maldives. Free Basics, a Facebook-led initiative, is aimed at making internet access available to the two thirds of the world’s population […]

LIRNEasia big data team lead to talk at IDRC India

As part of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) distinguished lecture series, Sriganesh Lokanathan, Team Leader- Big Data Research at LIRNEasia will be giving a talk in Delhi (Ramalingaswami Conference Hall, International Development Research Centre, 208 Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110003) on Monday, 2nd November 2015. Sriganesh will be speaking on the topic of “Leveraging mobile network […]

Vulnerability of undersea cables comes to fore

The problem of sabotage of undersea cables was brought to the attention of UN ESCAP and the senior government officials who attended the ICT and DRR Committee meeting by LIRNEasia as far back as November 2010 (see slide 20). Now it’s headline news. Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea […]

Two days debating big data privacy

I spent two challenging days at the first face-to-face meeting of the Privacy Advisory Group of UN Global Pulse in Den Haag. BIt was challenging because it was scheduled adjacent to a privacy commissioners’ conference and because the location was in Europe where privacy protection has been elevated to quasi-religious status. We as researchers are […]

LIRNEasia unconference at Stockholm Internet Forum 2015 on Zero Rating.

At the 2015 Stockholm Internet Forum that just completed, I moderated one of the best attended unconference sessions titled “Zero rating violates net neutrality. So what?“. The discussion I moderated was heated, with a spectrum of opinions being expressed.  Some said that zero rated content simply creates a ghetto-ized version of the Internet for the poor and […]


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