In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 12th April 2020

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Internet traffic sees dip, surge during PM Modi’s 9pm 9 minute

During PM Modi’s 9pm 9 minute campaign on April 5, internet traffic dipped sharply as people switched their house lights off, and rose sharply again, surging past the pre-9pm levels as the lights came back on. Read it here

Skype introduces ‘Meet Now’ for quick video conference calls

Skype has introduced a conference call feature that allows users to initiate or join group calls without needing to have a Skype account, or the app. The feature, called Meet Now, comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more and more people to work from home, resulting in a surge in popularity of video conferencing platforms, especially Zoom. Read it here

HRD Ministry only sought to inform about the Aarogya Setu app; the Delhi govt took it as a data collection exercise

What happens when a government uses schools as a proxy to monitor whether parents and teachers are downloading government’s apps or not?

On Sunday, April 5, a parent whose child studies in Delhi’s Mother’s International School, shared a link to a Google Form that the school had sent them with MediaNama. Read it here

MEITY starts consultations on amending the Information Technology Act, 2000

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has started inter-departmental and industry consultations to amend the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Economic Times reported. Read it here

Parents can now set up PIN codes for individual Netflix profiles

Now parents can set up four-digit PIN codes for individual Netflix profiles so that children don’t accidentally access adult content, Netflix announced yesterday. This also means that a child will be unable to access their own profile without parental permission. Read it here

IAMAI: Social media takedown notices should be above board

In a statement on April 8, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said that social media takedown notices should be sent by the government lawfully. This comes as the government has urged social media companies to rapidly deal with misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read it here

MEITY expects to begin industry consultation on amendments to India’s IT Act by end of April or early May

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) is looking to begin industry consultations on amendments to India’s Information Technology Act by end of April or early May, S. Gopalakrishnan, Additional Secretary at MEITY, said on a private video call hosted by the Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research (C-DEP), several participants on the call told MediaNama. Read it here

Telcos urge DoT to allow online KYC for new connections

We missed this earlier: Telecom operators wrote to the Telecom Secretary on April 2 asking the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allow them to sign on new subscribers with an online KYC procedure. Read it here

MoHUA-Swachhata app accepting reports of lockdown and quarantine violations, possible COVID-19 cases

With the COVID-19 crisis escalating in India, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Swachhata app is now allowing people to report any violations of quarantine and lockdown, along with suspected COVID-19 cases. People can also report others for not wearing a mask in ‘hotspot’ areas, for breaking social distancing norms, and for unregulated disposal of COVID-19 waste. Read it here

If more subscribers should get extension, pay telcos from USO Fund: COAI

In a letter yesterday to TRAI, the Cellular Operators Association of India said telcos didn’t want to extend mobile plan validity to customers who do not need it. Telecom operators had taken steps last month to make sure that some of their poorest customers would keep access to calling and texting, following a TRAI order that told telcos to extend benefits to users due to the COVID-19 lockdown shutting shops that sell recharges down. Read it here