Friday, May 1, 2009

What's wrong with Indian Regulations?

Ok, it's been a while since I last posted - I've been quite busy setting up SapnaSolutions.
But there was this one email I just received from TataCommunications today, which completely outraged me, and made me think ' What are the people in the Indian Government thinking'?

In a nutshell, they apparently issued some directive whereby the use of Wifi routers has to be regulated / controlled (registered) in the interest of national security.

Ok, I understand, there are lots of challenges India is facing, but the solutions some of these Government Officials seem to come up with seem... surprising. Maybe the mail I received was a hoax - I can only hope so?

I invite comments, and further discussion on this topic - I'm not an expert here, but all I can think is 'wtf'!

Here the email I received:


Dear Customer,

As you are aware it is our constant endeavour to continuously offer services that ensures utmost satisfaction of our customers.

While doing so, we have designed, implemented and are constantly reviewing our processes to safeguard national security interests while we carry out our business of licensed services. In this process we are also committed to extend all our support and cooperation to the Government, as and when required.

You would no doubt be aware of recent cases of misuse by the anti-social and anti-national elements, of internet access provided to the customers by various ISPs particularly when internet access using W-iFi technology.

In order to overcome this problem, Department of Telecom has recently issued a directive dated 23-02-09 to ensure secured use of Wi-Fi based internet access under the delicensed frequency band(Directive attched)

Under this directive, any usage of Wi-Fi connectivity including deployment of Wi- Fi Routers by the customers themselves needs to get registered with us to meet compliance of DoT guidelines and instructions.

Therefore, if you are using a Wi-Fi router to access your broadband connection kindly register with us by filling in the attached format and mailing to us at within 30 days of receipt of this communication.

Please note, Tata Communications Internet Services Limited will not be in any way held responsible or answerable in case any unauthorized usage of WiFi technology resulting into the non-compliance of DoT directive is detected within your Premises/Location by the Authorities concerned.

Please note that any liability including civil and criminal liability for such unauthorized use and any resulting event connected thereto will be your sole responsibility. We would also be constrained to withdraw our services without any further notice in such an eventuality and without any liability on our part.

Continued usage of Wi-Fi connectivity or deployment of router without registration shall amount to unauthorized usage of Wi-Fi technology.

We would request for your immediate response and co-operation on this issue of importance in the interest of the national security.

Click here to download the Wi-Fi Security Registration Format.
Click here to know the Instructions of DoT- Wi-Fi Security.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
For Tata Communications Internet Services Ltd.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going to HeadStart in Bangalore with EnTrip

EnTrip was named one of the Top 5 Consumer Product Technology Startups in Indai, by the HeadStart foundation!


So how did this all happen? is an annual conference that showcases Indian Startup Innovations, and brings together the all the stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem in India - EnTrepreneurs and startups, researchers from industry and academia, early adopters of new products as well as investors.

Out of nowhere, we received an inivtation to demo and showcase our product, and be part of HeadStart 2009. Awsome! I was unfamiliar with the HeadStart conference format, and soon learned that it was akin to an Indian model of TechCrunch50 - but at a different level, of course, and not focusing on web, but technology startups in general.

In a last-minute renegade style fashion, we (Akshay, Anthony, Shardul and Subh) produced banners, presentations and handouts on monday, hopped on a train from Pune to Bangalore, and had a great Conference-TeamBuilding-Road-Trip to Bangalore.

What we've been focusing on in the last few weeks and months was to build (and 'launch') our first product: a Map-Based TravelBlog. EnTrip as a concept has finally received it's first incarnation as one tangible product. Now, for the first time, we would be demonstrating it in person to a large (mostly tech) audience at HeadStart, and subject ourselves to public and personal scrutiny.

We used this opportunity to yet again use EnTrip ourselves, and have blogged about our experiences on EnTrip itself on our trip EnTrip at HeadStart. Please get the full story there.

In a nutshell, it was a great experience:

  • It was a areat opportunity for team building

  • It was great to get some direct user and techie feedback, in person

  • We could finally showcase to people, in person, some of what we've been working on in the last few months - something most software/web developers don't ever get to do in their respective (large) companies

  • It was great to interact with other Stakeholders of the industry

  • And most importantly... it was lots of Fun!

That's the bottom line :-)

Some pictures here, more stuff on our trip itself.

Here is our Embedded TripMap: