Censor Watch

 2016: July



  It's just not cricket...

Pakistan, still banned from hosting international cricket, bans film about rescue of Indian cricketer kidnapped before a match with Pakistan


Link Here 31st July 2016
dishoomDishoom is a 2016 India action crime comedy by Rohit Dhawan.
Starring Nargis Fakhri, Akshay Kumar and Jacqueline Fernandez. IMDb

When India's top batsman Viraj goes missing in Middle East, two cops Kabir Shergill and Junaid Ansari from either side of Arabian Sea team for a 36-hours man hunt before the final match between India and Pakistan.

Rohit Dhawan's film Dishoom has been banned in Pakistan. According to reports, Pakistan's censor board contended that the film projected the country in a poor light. Pakistan has a bit of history of banning films where Pakistanis/muslims are the villains of the piece.

Actor Varun Dhawan said that the film does not intend to malign any country's reputation, or address any religious issues for that matter:

What we are trying to show is that for certain people money is their religion. It's not being an Indian, Pakistani, Hindu, Muslim or Christian. In the capitalistic world that we live in, money is the biggest driving force for most crimes.

Some reports state that the films have also faced censor troubles in some of the Gulf states due to inappropriate representation.

Update: Referred to government

2nd August 2016. See  article from tribune.com.pk

CBFC Chairman Mobashir Hasan said that after the refusal to award a certificate the decision has now been forwarded to the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Heritage for further guidance in the matter:

The ministry will decide the fate of the film. Technically the film is not banned but is not being exhibited in the cinemas.

 

  Inappropriate books...

Free book exchange scheme ends at Archway Tube Station after it is spoilt by people planting inappropriate religious books


Link Here 31st July 2016
transport for london logoComplaints about religious books and porn have led to the removal of a popular book swap scheme at Archway station.

The bookshelf, which appeared at the ticket area at the end of last year, allowed people to take a book for free as long as they donated one. But it was quietly removed earlier this month, leaving commuters bemused.

They said station staff had told them it was due to a daily drop off of religious books and some pornography. One commuter said:

The day before it disappeared the book exchange sign had another sign placed next to it that said 'no religious books' so this suggests someone was concerned about this.

The reticence to detail the religion means that we can safely infer that these were islamic books.

A TfLspokesman said:

Unfortunately, we have had to remove the bookshelf after we received complaints about some of the books left there repeatedly.

 

  Herculean task...

Rajan Zed whinges about the use of hindu deities to decorate a wide range of items for sale via Amazon


Link Here 31st July 2016  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Ganesh Ganesha  Tea Coffee Gift The professional complainer, Rajan Zed sets out a rather extensive complaint about Amazon, He writes on his website:

Despite removing over 60 doormats carrying images of Hindu deities last month after Hindus protested, world's largest online retailer Amazon.com continues to sell products with images of Hindu deities which upset Hindus find highly inappropriate.

Images of various Hindu deities--Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Kali, Hanuman--were seen on Mens Briefs, Legging Tights, Bedspread/Bedcover, Cigarette Case, Waist Pants and Women's Capris; when searched on its website on July 29.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged Amazon.com and its President Jeffrey P. Bezos to show some maturity, immediately withdraw the objectionable products and offer formal apology.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that it was shocking to visualize that a company like Amazon.com, for its mercantile greed, would apparently sell anything without caring for the feelings of a considerable segment of world's population.

Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more...BUT...faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.

In October 2014, Amazon.com removed the women's leggings carrying images of various Hindu gods and goddesses, and in January 2014 also, it removed the pants carrying image of Lord Ganesha, from its website after Hindus protested.

 

 Offsite Article: Cherry Falls...


Link Here 31st July 2016
Cherry Falls DVD Brittany Murphy A detailed article about US cuts to avoid an NC-17 rating for Geoffrey Wright's 2000 slasher

See article from bloody-disgusting.com

 

 Offsite Article: How good intentions paved the way to a snooper state...


Link Here 31st July 2016
Uk Supreme Court Families can heave a huge sigh of relief after Supreme Court stops disgraceful Scottish law assigning a state snoop to every child

See article from newstatesman.com

 

 Update: More extreme censorship...

UAE makes VPNs and proxy servers illegal under threat of extreme fines


Link Here 29th July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in UAE...Extreme punishments for trivial tweets
UAE flagAn edict from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has effectively made it illegal for anyone in the country to use a VPN or secure proxy service.

Those caught could face jail time and fines of between 500,000 and 2,000,000 UAE dirham (US$136,130 and $544,521). The change was announced this week by the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a proclamation that amended federal laws.

The wording is ambiguous and technologically illiterate. Essentially, it seems, you are not allowed to use systems that hide the fact that you're committing a crime or covering one up. If you're routing your network traffic through a secure VPN or proxy server, you could be breaking the law and evading the eyes of the state, and that's now a big no-no.

You could claim you were using the VPN or proxy for legit reasons, and that no criminal activity was being committed or concealed, but since your packets were encrypted, you may have a hard time proving your innocence. The updated law now reads:

Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dhs 500,000 and not exceeding Dhs 2,000,000, or either of these two penalties.

 

 Offsite Article: How campus censorship is conquering the world...


Link Here 29th July 2016
Spiked logo 'Progressive censorship' is spreading from colleges into politics. By Wendy Kaminer \

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Offsite Article: Edinburgh festival offers refunds for controversial opera before opening...


Link Here 29th July 2016
edinburgh festival così fan tutte Supporting the hype for Così fan tutte at the Edinburgh Fringe

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: PC extremists have somehow gained control of Canadian human rights...

Comedian fights back after falling victim to Canadian joke censors who fined him $42000 for a bad taste joke


Link Here 28th July 2016  full story: Human Rights in Canada...Canada's Human Rights works against free speech
Testosterone Meilleurs Moments Special Mike Canadian comedian Mike Ward has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help pay his legal costs after being fined for cracking a bad-taste joke against a disabled teenager.

Montreal's misleadingly named 'Human Rights' Tribunal ordered the comic to pay Jérémy Gabriel  $35,000 (£20,000) for the hurt caused, and another $7,000 (£4,000) to Gabriel's mother, Sylvie.

However, Ward has refused to pay, and plans to launch an appeal. He says his stance has pushed his legal costs up to $93,000 (£54,000) which he is now hoping to cover from his fans and supporters. Writing on GoFundMe, Ward said:

I told a joke. Was it in bad taste? Yes. Comedians should be allowed to tell jokes, even crass, hurtful ones. Hurt feelings shouldn't dictate what a comedian can or can not do on stage.

I've already spent 93 thousand dollars to make sure I don't have to pay 42K... I'm either really bad at math or I take free speech pretty goddamn seriously.

The jokes that landed him in trouble were aimed at Gabriel, who was born with a skull deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome. He became well-known in Quebec after he was flown to Rome to sing for Pope Benedict in 2006. One gag in Ward s'eXpose tour and 2012 special was about Gabriel getting so much attention over his condition but now, five years later, and he's still not dead! ... Me, I defended him, like an idiot, and he won't die!".

'Justice' Scott Hughes found that the French-language routine went beyond the limits that a reasonable person must tolerate in the name of freedom of expression .

Ward will perform a show at the Edinburgh Fringe next week about his freedom of speech battles.

 

  When news is more about politically correct propaganda than the facts...

French news outlets decide to censor names, images and motivations of terrorists


Link Here 28th July 2016

le monde logoLeading French media outlets pledged on Wednesday to stop publishing the names and images of attackers linked to Islamic State group to supposedly prevent individuals from being inadvertently glorified, following a spate of attacks by muslim terrorists.

The decisions, part of a wider French debate about how the news media might be contributing to the extremist threat, come as the French parliament debates whether to enshrine in law restrictions on the way the news media can cover terrorist acts.

The director of Le Monde, Jerome Fenoglio, said in an editorial that his newspaper would stop publishing photographs of attackers in a bid to prevent the possible posthumous glorifying effects and called for news media to exercise more responsibility. The newspaper already has a ban on publishing extracts of Islamic State propaganda or claims of responsibility emitted from its media wing.

Television station BFM-TV also said it will no longer broadcast images of attackers' faces.

 

  The Purge...

Turkey orders a mass shutdown of media organisations that it does not like


Link Here 28th July 2016
Turkey flagThe Turkish authorities have announced the closure of dozens of media organisations, as mass censorship continues following the failed coup on 15 July. Three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 45 papers and 15 magazines will be shut.

Separately, nearly 1,700 members of the armed forces - including 149 generals and admirals - have been discharged. The closure of the media outlets and the dismissal of the members of the armed forces were announced in Turkey's official Resmi Gazete.

The names of the media organisations have not yet been officially released, but local media suggest that while most are relatively small, provincial outlets, several dailies and agencies with a national audience have also been targeted.

Earlier on Wednesday, the authorities ordered the detention of another 47 journalists - just several days after similar warrants were issued for 42 reporters. Those on the new list were mostly members of the now defunct Zaman newspaper, Turkish officials were quoted as saying by local media.

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 55: Victim (1961)...


Link Here 28th July 2016
Victim Blu ray Dirk Bogarde Victim was an early film exploring gay issues at a time when homosexuality was illegal

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

  Impractically Targeted Ban...

Advert censor finds that Three's Blair Witch Project spoof is too scary for children


Link Here 27th July 2016

three blair witch project advert video Four ads for the mobile phone operator Three and the LG G4 handset: A YouTube video; a banner ad appearing on YouTube; and two pre-roll ads on YouTube.

  • a. A five minute YouTube video ad, seen in August 2015, opened with the following text Warning the following film contains scenes of a disturbing nature. Viewer discretion advised. Restricted. Suitable for viewers aged 15 and over . It featured the 15 classification. The ad featured a purple puppet, Jackson, in a car with his human companion, Steve, driving into the woods. The ad cut to a black screen with white writing which said In 2015, Three went into the woods to test the new LG G4. This is what they found . The ad continued to follow Steve into the woods where he saw a mysterious rusting vehicle in the overgrowth. As he approached the vehicle, a doll jumped up at the window, which in turn, made Steve jump. The doll was brandished by Jackson who laughed and said Gotcha Steve! and it's only a bit of fun . Next, Jackson was highlighting the features of the camera and viewers saw a small voodoo style doll hanging down amongst the trees to the right of the shot. Steve pointed this out to Jackson who immediately approached it with the words I love it! Ooooo! . Jackson pulled its leg in delight and said Look, it's a skellington Steve!...

  • b. A banner ad which appeared on 4 August 2015 at the top of the YouTube home page and was a shorter version of ad (a) featured Jackson and Steve. Text at the beginning of the ad stated Three went into the woods. This is what they found . The ad ended and on the left-hand side, it stated Click to watch (if you dare) and on the right-hand side, it included an embedded video link to ad (a).

  • c. & d. Two pre-roll ads on YouTube for the same product featured brief clips of ad (a) and at the end of each ad, it stated Click to watch if you dare , which was a hyperlink to ad (a).

The ASA received three complaints.

  1. One complainant, whose 12-year-old child saw either ad (c) or (d) before a YouTube video, and clicked on the link and was taken to ad (a) and subsequently became distressed by it, challenged whether ad (a) was irresponsible and likely to cause fear and distress to children who saw it.

  2. One complainant, whose 10-year-old child saw ad (b) and clicked on the link and was taken to ad (a), challenged whether ad (b) had been responsibly targeted because it was accessible to children.

  3. One complainant, whose 5-year-old child saw ad (c) before a Minecraft video and became distressed by the ad, challenged whether it had been responsibly targeted because it appeared before a video which was likely to appeal to children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the complainant's concerns and understood that their child had been distressed by the ad. We also acknowledged the ad included a warning that stated clearly that it was suitable for viewers aged 15 and over and that text underneath the video on the YouTube page highlighted that the content was scary.

Although we considered the ad did not show any acts of violence towards Jackson or Steve, it did create and maintain a heightened sense of suspense throughout. We considered Steve was presented as apprehensive and hyper-vigilant during the ad as to what Jackson and he might find in the woods. The suspense climaxed on several occasions during the ad such as when Steve reeled back from the mysterious rusting vehicle in the overgrowth when the doll jumped up at the window; the voodoo style doll dangling from a tree; the shadowy figure crossing in front of them while they were in the tent; and the girl in the bed who leapt towards the camera and then scurried away across the ceiling. We considered Steve's fear at being in the woods culminated in the final scenes of the ad when he was shown screaming while running through the woods trying to escape.

We considered the ad's content was not excessively shocking for viewers who were 15 years old and above and therefore, it was unlikely to cause distress to them. However, we considered younger viewers were likely to be distressed by some of the scenes, most notably where the girl leapt towards the camera and had blood pouring out of her mouth.

The ad included a warning to state that it contained scenes of a disturbing nature and that viewer discretion was advised. Given this, we considered that Three needed to take steps to reduce the likelihood of the ad being served and shown to younger viewers (i.e. under 15s) when they were using YouTube.

We understood that the ad had been kept away from YouTube content which was suitable for children and videos with gaming content unless they were relevant to the target audience. However, we understood from Three that the ad was subject to inferred targeting, which meant it would have been served to YouTube users whose viewing history suggested they fitted within the intended demographic: over 18s, even if they were not signed into their account. We noted the intended audience and that targeting was based on the viewing histories of YouTube users. Nevertheless, we considered there was the possibility the ad could still be served to children.

By featuring the warning in the ad, we considered Three recognised it might cause distress to younger viewers. We considered also that there could, however, be a risk that younger viewers would continue to watch the ad regardless of the warning. Moreover, we considered the ad's prolonged and heightened sense of suspense was likely to cause undue fear and distress to children. We concluded the combination of the ad's content, and the possibility that the warning would be ignored, meant that ad (a) was likely to cause distress to those younger viewers who saw it. We acknowledged the steps Three had taken to reduce the likelihood of children seeing the ad and we recognised that it was unlikely that they could take steps to prevent all under 15s from seeing the ad. However, we understood that it would have been possible for Three to limit the targeting of the ad so that it was only served to YouTube users signed into accounts belonging to those who had declared themselves to be over the age of 15. In that respect, we considered applying that additional option would have further reduced the likelihood of children being served and watching the ad. While Three had taken steps to target the ad, we concluded nevertheless that it had not been targeted appropriately.

2. Upheld

We understood the complainant's 10-year-old child had become distressed by ad (a), having watched ad (b) and clicking through to ad (a. It was our understanding from Three that ad (b) could not be subjected to any means of targeting and was served to all YouTube users (regardless of whether or not they had signed into their account) on the day it appeared. Therefore, we understood that ad (a), which had been embedded at the end of ad (b), was also available to all YouTube users.

While the content of ad (b) included scenes from ad (a), we considered that its content was milder. However, ad (b) included an invitation for viewers to click here - if you dare and an embedded version of ad (a), which played if clicked on. From the information and content presented in ad (b), we considered children were unlikely to understand that ad (a) might be unsuitable for them, given that they had been able to access and watch ad (b). Ad (a)'s warning appeared after the user had clicked on the embedded video and as noted above, we considered that made clear that its contents were not suitable for under-15s. Notwithstanding that, ad (b) was available to all YouTube users, including those who were not signed into their account. In those particular circumstances -- where all YouTube users were served ad (b) and could click through to ad (a) -- we considered the phrase click here if you dare and the warning which appeared after users clicked through to ad (a) were insufficient to prevent YouTube users under the age of 15 from continuing to watch ad (a). For those reasons, we concluded that ad (b) had not been responsibly targeted and therefore, it breached the Code.

3. Upheld

One complainant's child saw ad (c) before a YouTube video featuring the Minecraft character I am Goldenpants . We noted Three's comments that YouTube did not regard Minecraft to be children's content and we understood that depending on the edition of the game, PEGI (Pan European Gaming Information) had given it various age ratings from 7 to 12. Although it was our understanding that the game Minecraft did not have an audience that comprised exclusively of children, we also understood that it was, nevertheless, very popular among them. Given that, we considered YouTube videos that featured Minecraft gaming content were likely to be of particular interest to children.

We noted ad (a) could be accessed via ad (c) by way of hyperlinked text that stated click to watch if you dare . As stated above in point 2, we considered young children were unlikely to interpret that statement as a warning about ad (a)'s content or properly acknowledge it, given they had been served and had been able to watch ad (c), which featured much milder content.

While we recognised Three had identified and restricted content before which ad (c) should not be shown, the ad still appeared before a video that we considered went beyond broad appeal to YouTube users and was highly likely to be of appeal or interest to children. In that context, we considered that ad (c) had not been targeted appropriately and therefore, it was in breach of the Code.

Action

We told Three to ensure that future ads which were unsuitable for viewing by children were appropriately targeted.

 

  EU Cryptotrackers...

European Commission proposes a database of known Bitcoin usage to limit the anonymity associated with the currency


Link Here 27th July 2016
european commission logoThe unelected but all powerful European Commission is proposing the creation of a database that will hold information on noted users of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. Available data on the users' real-world identity, along with all associated wallet addresses will be maintained.

the draft proposal was officially put forward in February 2016 and later approved at the start of July 2016. The proposal is a reform of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) which will extend existing measures to include the concept of virtual currencies. It is intended to limit the anonymity associated with Bitcoin.

Besides recognizing crypto-currencies as another form of money, the draft also includes a set of regulations that would provide FIUs (financial intelligence units) with the tools needed to keep track of digital currencies, in the same way they do with fiat currencies.

The database will be updated with available data on Bitcoin users from payment providers etc, but users will also be allowed to register on their own, as a sign of good faith. The current AMLD draft reads:

The report shall be accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals, including, where appropriate, with respect to virtual currencies, empowerments to set-up and maintain a central database registering users' identities and wallet addresses accessible to FIUs, as well as self-declaration forms for the use of virtual currency users.

Digital currency exchanges and wallet providers operating in Europe will most likely have to abide by the reformed AMLD and force EU users to register with their real information so that FIUs could track down individuals behind suspicious operations.

It is expected that the proposals will reach the European Parliament for a final vote later in the year.

 

 Update: Vulgar and offensive censorship...

Indian film censors ban gay film, Ka Bodyscapes


Link Here 27th July 2016  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Ka Bodyscapes 2016 Jayan Cherian Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian.
Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi. IMDb

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

India's Central Board of Film Classification (CBFC), taking umbrage at what it decided are vulgar and offensive scenes in it, has banned the Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes produced and directed by New York-based film-maker Jayan Cherian.

In a rejection letter sent to the maker of the film, A. Prathibha, regional officer of the CBFC in Thiruvananthapuram, wrote:

The revising committee felt that the entire content of the Malayalam feature film Ka Bodyscapes is ridiculing, insulting and humiliating Hindu religion, in particular portraying Hindu Gods in poor light. Derogatory words are used against women. The Hindu God 'Hanuman' is shown as coming in the books titled 'I am Gay' and other homosexual books. The film has also references to lady masturbating, highlighting 'gay' by many 'gay' posters. The film offends human sensibilities by vulgarity, obscenity and depravity.

The CBFC regional office had earlier referred the film, which is woven around a gay love story, to the review committee. It transferred the review screening to Chennai and postponed it on the eve of the screening scheduled for July 5. Finally, as the maker accused the board of dragging its feet on certifying the film, the review committee watched it on July 15.

Cherian accused the board of suffering from homophobia:

Their basic attitude towards and idea of same sex love is that it's vulgar and obscene.

He said he will move the High Court of Kerala for relief.

 

  Call the Emergency Outrage Extinguishing Service...

Fireman Sam called over ludicrous accusation that unrecognisable text was a page from the Qur'an


Link Here 27th July 2016
fireman sam with generic page of arabicAn episode of Fireman Sam in which a character appeared to tread on a page of generic unreadable Arabic-like script has been removed from Channel 5's streaming site, the TV network said.

In episode seven, series nine of the popular children's cartoon, a character carrying a tray of hot drinks slips after tripping on some paper on the floor of the fire station. Several sheets fly into the air, one of which looks to be covered with Arabic script.

HIT Entertainment, which produced the show, quickly apologised:

It has been bought to our attention that in an episode of Fireman Sam (Series 9, Episode 7), an image of the Qur'an is briefly depicted. The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused.

We will no longer be working with the animation studio responsible for this mistake. In addition, we are taking immediate action to remove this episode from circulation and we are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again. Again, we apologise unreservedly to our viewers.

The episode has been pulled from Channel 5's online streaming platform and the broadcaster said it had no plans to show it on TV.

It is not clear how an unreadable page of Arabic-like script got identified as a page from the Qur'an.

 

 Commented: UK's press censor considers world domination...

IPSO announces review of the way its regulations should apply to global digital publishers


Link Here 26th July 2016

ipso 2016 logoPress regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), has announced a review of the way its regulations should apply to global digital publishers. The review has been triggered by concerns that IPSO's original regulations may no longer be adequate to deal with some of the issues thrown up by new models of global publishing.

IPSO Chief Executive, Matt Tee said:

When the current regulations were drafted nearly four years ago, it was difficult to imagine the developments that would take place in digital publishing, with some publishers having numerous editorial bureaux across the world focused on different audiences in different time zones. This is already an issue for some IPSO members and is bound to affect others in future. It may also be a disincentive to other global digital publishers joining IPSO. We want a solution that enables IPSO to be an effective regulator for relevant consumers and provides a definition that is intuitive and workable for publishers.

The review will be carried out by IPSO's Board as expeditiously as possible. The terms of reference for the review will be to:

Consider how best to define the content, published online by a global publisher, that should fall under IPSO's remit consult with global digital publishers on a proposed definition examine the experience of overseas press regulators as well as regulators in other areas of communication, such as broadcast or video on demand seek advice on how a revised definition would best be implemented.

Until the review is concluded, IPSO may exercise its discretion not to consider new complaints which relate specifically to articles and other content about events in overseas jurisdictions, and which are not primarily targeted at a UK audience.

IPSO will be contacting relevant parties in the next week inviting them to make submissions to the review, however submissions are welcome from any person or group. Submissions should be sent to digitalreview@ipso.co.uk. The closing date for submissions is midday on Friday 19 August 2016.

Offsite Article: Censors from every country claim dominium of the world

26th July 2016. See  article from theguardian.com

The GuardianThe Guardian asks:

Can Ipso apply in countries with strict press regulation -- and with none.

 

 Offsite Article: Uncensored Lies...


Link Here 26th July 2016
uncensored lies Serbian government sets up exhibition of political cartoonery to show that it does not censor the media, but then goes on to label all the criticism as lies

See article from rferl.org

 

 Offsite Article: A Picture of Carelessness...


Link Here 26th July 2016
Daily Mail logo Porn star sues the Daily Mail for randomly using her picture to illustrate an article about a a totally unconnected porn star with HIV

See article from business.avn.com

 

  Premium rates phone censor...

PhonepayPlus decides to change its name


Link Here 25th July 2016
phonepayplus logo The UK's premium rate services regulator, PhonepayPlus , is changing its name to the Phone-paid Services Authority , and adopting a new statement of purpose:

The UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

The name change will be implemented in autumn 2016.

Also PhonepayPlus' new 14th Code of Practice for premium rate services comes into force, providing increased transparency and fairness and streamlining of our investigations, adjudications and appeals procedures.

David Edmonds CBE, Chairman of PhonepayPlus, said:

As we introduce the latest edition of our Code of Practice, I'm pleased to announce PhonepayPlus' new name: the Phone-paid Services Authority.

We've worked closely with industry stakeholders, consumers and our staff on this project, listening to them on how we can explain our role clearly for consumers while reflecting and supporting competition, innovation and investment in the market that we regulate.

As the Phone-paid Services Authority, we will continue to put consumers and the industry at the heart of our work as UK's regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

 

 Updated: Government Pests...

Australian game censors ban The Bug Butcher video game


Link Here 24th July 2016  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban
bug butcherBug Butcher is a fun shoot 'em up computer game from Awfully Nice Studios.

It has just been banned by the Australian Censor Board for reasons which are not yet apparent. The censors have provided just an uninformative stock statement on the website noting the game as 'Refused Classification'.

The description of the game does not really make the game sound very bannable:

You play Harry, an exterminator who gets tasked with slaughtering bugs in a futuristic research facility, in order to buy the surviving scientists time until the total decontamination process is complete. It's a simple game where you face wave after wave of enemies, picking up new weapons and power-ups in order to enhance your slaying skills.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

24th July 2016. See  article from refused-classification.com

Awfully Nice Studios explained a little more about the ban:

We have been in the age rating process for our upcoming console release in Australia. Seem like this triggered the ban from Steam as well. The reasoning behind is, is sad but at the same point also funny. We have a powerup called Speed powerup where Harry injects himself a syringe. Looks like the combination of the injection with the word Speed someone could assume that it's a drug. We are shocked but are trying to get in touch with Australia to see if we can fix this.

 

  Another Peace TV banned...

This time in Thailand where the 'red shirt' political channel is banned for criticising the military government


Link Here 24th July 2016
peace tv thailand logoThailand's PEACE TV has been banned for 30 days at midnight on Thursday on the orders of government TV censors of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

When the fate of the station was uncertain on Thursday, hundreds of red-shirt supporters gathered at the Imperial World department store in Lat Phrao to give moral support.

The red-shirt satellite channel was suspended for criticising the military's ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and supposedly instigating conflicts that caused divisions in society.

The station will remain off the air for a month unless the Supreme Administrative Court grants an injunction against the NBTC order.

In the meantime, Peace TV executives including UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan will televise shows online including via Facebook Live.

 

 Offsite Article: Whistling for finance...


Link Here 24th July 2016
snowden Oliver Stone's new movie Snowden had a predictably tough time getting finance from corporate America

See article from bangkokpost.com

 

 Offsite Article: Porn in Russia...


Link Here 24th July 2016
Russia flag XBiz tales a look at porn under Putin

See article from xbiz.com

 

  Tens more TV censors at Ofcom...

Ofcom boss plans on extra staff for the upcoming extension of remit to cover censorship of the BBC


Link Here 23rd July 2016
sharon whiteA new BBC charter will come into force next year which hands over much of the censorship and complaints handling to Ofcom.

Commenting on the plans for this new job, Ofcom's chief executive Sharon White says the new unitary board at the BBC must be strong enough to act as the first port of call for any complaints so that the regulator could be the backstop for the most serious issues: It will be for the BBC to deal in the first instance with accuracy and impartiality.

That means that despite the BBC attracting 10 times as many complaints as the total for the public service rivals currently overseen by Ofcom -- 250,000 v 25,000 -- White only expects investigations handled by her organisation to roughly double to about 500 a year. She is planning to appoint tens more people to cover the expanded role.

White also says she is opposed to making the regulation of its online content a statutory duty and that the BBC will simply be integrated into its current responsibilities for regulating all other public service broadcasters. She said:

We recognise that the BBC has special status, but we are not planning to give it special treatment. The advantage of [this] is it has to to be consistent and fair with the decisions we would take on ITV, Sky or C4.

White says she was personally very wary about new legislation to give Ofcom greater power to regulate the BBC's online content. Currently, it is regulated by the trust while there is no formal oversight of written content from other broadcasters. While the government white paper stressed that there would be no diminution in the degree of oversight on website text , White is keen to avoid statutory oversight, which would make Ofcom the first government-appointed regulator in the UK to regulate written content online.

 

 Update: The Hidden Economy...

Another issue of the Economist has been withdrawn from Thailand


Link Here 23rd July 2016  full story: Thai Coup 2014...Media censorship prominent in Thai Coup
economist july 2016The Economist magazine won't distribute its next issue in Thailand, according to a note sent Friday to subscribers.

The periodical, which over the years has been censored and withheld in Thailand, said its July 23 edition would not be available, presumably due to an article about Thailand's monarchy and its military government. The magazine wrote:

Due to sensitive content in this week's issue and the resulting potential risk to our distributors, we will not be distributing the July 23rd 2016 print edition of The Economist in Thailand.

 

  No peace for the wicked...

India and Bangladesh ban Peace TV


Link Here 23rd July 2016
peace tv logoFollowing recent Islamic terror attacks in Bangladesh, India has banned Zakir Naik's Peace TV . Its neighbour, Bangladesh, then imposed a similar ban.

Peace TV is a 24-hours Islamic International TV Channel that broadcasts Naik's inflammatory and rather extreme viewpoint.

The Islamic proselytizer, rising to fame for his pedantic knowledge of the world's religion, can and has been described as everything ranging from 'an authority on comparative religion to a radical Islamic televangelist, perhaps an equivalent of the US's Ted Haggard.

The Dhaka terror attacks were said to have been inspired by Naik's teachings, leading to an analysis of his programme and and an evaluation of its place in Indian television. The Maharashtra government has ordered a probe to be conducted into his sermons, the contents of which officials have described as a security hazard .

The government has indicated its intention to check the contents of Naik's teachings, from his TV programme to his writings, and and also the sources of the funds for his channels.

 

  Censorship spittle...

Horror Channel in a spot of bother as the BBFC requires cuts for the pre-cut version of I Spit On Your Grave shown by the channel which then attracted complaints to Ofcom


Link Here 22nd July 2016
Spit Your Grave Region NTSC I Spit on Your Grave is a 2010 USA crime horror thriller by Steven R Monroe.
Starring Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson and Andrew Howard. BBFC link IMDb

A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

UK: A pre-cut version was passed 18 for sexual violence, bloody violence after 53s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:

  • 2016 AMC Networks International UK [Material also pre-cut by company.] video
The BBFC commented:
  • Cuts were required during scenes of sexual violence in order to remove potentially harmful material (in this case shots of nudity that tend to eroticse sexual violence and shots of humiliation that tend to endorse sexual violence by encouraging viewer complicity in sexual humiliation and rape). The cuts were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

The BBFC confirmed in an email to Glenn that the Horror Channel Version contained additional material to the cut UK version, and so had to be cut to bring it in line with the cut UK version:

This version of I Spit on Your Grave is a re-edited, reduced version compared to the submission classified in 2010. These changes were made by the films distributor prior to the film being submitted to the BBFC. The BBFC required that footage that was previously cut from the 2010 submission, but that had not already been removed by the films distributor, to also be removed.

Background to this version

Earlier this year in May, Ofcom announced that it was investigating a complaint about a broadcast of the remake of I Spit on Your Grave on the Horror Channel in March. The sequel to the remake I Spit on Your Grave 2 was being shown at the same time and it was noted that maybe this could be involved in the complaint too.

schnittberichte.com also pointed out that a January showing of I Spit on Your Grave wasn't actually a BBFC approved version. The website concludes that the Horror Channel did its own edit, which although cut, was stronger than the BBFC version.

Surely this complaint, and the possibility of interim versions, is behind this week's BBFC new classification of  I Spit on Your Grave and I Spit on Your Grave 2, submitted by AMC Networks International, owners of Horror Channel.

The BBFC passed this latest version of I Spit on Your Grave as 18 after 53s of BBFC cuts for sexual violence, bloody violence.

So perhaps these leaves the Horror Channel in the lurch with Ofcom. Ofcom will no doubt find that the channel should have shown the BBFC cut version. The channel will now be in breach of the rules of the land explicitly requiring  that TV channels show BBFC approved versions (or versions where the BBFC have given the nod that they would no longer require cuts if resubmitted).

Comment

Thanks to Glenn who disagrees with the BBFC claims that cuts are required. He wrote to the censors saying:

Being in possession of a full, uncensored version, I have been fortunate to bear witness to the director's intended vision. The board should not be cutting this film. It is incredibly insulting and hypocritical that the board are more than happy to pass "Baise Moi" uncut (and rightly so!) but insist on censoring a film that will have appeal to the masses, rather than just the middle class art brigade. Of further insult is the blatant ignoring of public opinion that you, ever so proudly, claim to shape your guidelines. On this very site, the previous public consultation undertook by the BBFC is there for all to read. However, some of the viewers felt that the film could easily pass uncut given the second half of the film and her retribution to the culprits. This clearly counterbalances the graphic scenes of rape. You seemed to have ignored the advice of the general public and proceeded to do as you wish.

Your claims of "eroticised sexual violence" is worrying to say the least. I've yet to meet, or speak to, anybody who found any of the films erotic or eroticised. This is something that obviously only the board is seeing. No one else is. Sorry? Who are you protecting, again?

It is also worth noting that the OFLC, the Australian censorship body, has passed all the films uncut and their guidelines are stricter than yours! Plus, there is NO recorded evidence that any harm has come to anybody as a result of these films being available uncut anywhere in the world. And the majority of people in Britain have seen the uncut versions of them. Still no reports of harm.

 

  Guilt by association...

Press censor bans Daily Mail headline linking honour killings with islam


Link Here 22nd July 2016

ipso 2016 logoMiqdaad Versi, assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain but acting in a personal capacity, complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Mail Online breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice in an article headlined Mother of four stabbed to death while her family were at a funeral 'may have been murdered in Islamic honour killing' , published on 25 May 2016.

The article reported that a woman had been found dead in her home and the police were investigating the circumstances of her death.

The complainant said that the reference in the headline to an Islamic honour killing was inaccurate: honour killings have no basis in Islam. He noted the difference between the words Islamic , meaning relating to Islam as a faith, and Muslim meaning relating to a Muslim individual. He said that honour killings are rooted in culture, not religion.

The publication did not believe that the headline was inaccurate, and noted that the possibility that the woman had been murdered in an honour killing was not in dispute. It said that the phrase complained of had been used to indicate that the killing may have been related to the religion of those concerned. The publication did not accept that the phrase Islamic honour killing would have suggested to readers that honour killings are approved of by Islam. It said that the article was not an in-depth discussion of honour killings , and the phrase had just been used a shorthand reference to the religion of the individuals involved. It noted that honour killings are particularly prevalent in Muslim countries.

Nonetheless, the publication offered to remove the word Islamic from the headline and from the article, and to publish the following footnote:

An earlier version of this article said that the police were investigating whether Mrs Khan may have been murdered in an Islamic honour killing . We are happy to make clear Islam as a religion does not support so-called honour killings .

Relevant Code provisions:  Clause 1 (Accuracy)

(i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

(ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and, where appropriate, an apology published.

Findings of the Committee

The phrase Islamic honour killing suggested that the killing had been motivated by Islam, when there was no basis for saying that religion had played a role in this killing. The Committee did not accept the publication's explanation that, in this context, Islamic had simply referred to the religion of those involved. There was a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article, in breach of Clause 1 (i).

The publication had offered to remove the word Islamic from the article, and append an explanatory footnote. This footnote stated the original error, and made clear the correct position. It was offered in the publication's first response to IPSO's investigation of the complaint, which was sufficiently prompt. Further, the placement constituted due prominence under the Code. There was no breach of Clause 1 (ii).

The complaint was upheld under Clause 1 (Accuracy).

Remedial action required

The publication had already offered to amend the article and publish a footnote. In light of the Committee's findings on the matter, these actions should now be taken without delay

 

 Offsite Article: A 'referendum' where campaigning is banned...


Link Here 22nd July 2016  full story: Thai Coup 2014...Media censorship prominent in Thai Coup
global voices logo As Constitutional Referendum Nears, Thailand Intensifies Censorship. By Mong Palatino

See article from advox.globalvoices.org

 

 Update: An expensive joke...

Queensland resorts to making up a new law just to deal with supposedly offensive slogans on Wicked Campervans


Link Here 21st July 2016  full story: Wicked Campervans...Un polictically correct adverts wind up Australian and New Zealand authorities
queensland government logoThe Palaszczuka? government has found an expensive way to get Wicked camper vans' offensive slogans off Queensland roads. Make up a new law.

Yvette D'Ath, Queensland's Attorney-General, will introduce legislation which will see commercial registration holders who fail to comply with determinations by the Advertising Standards Bureau face having the registration of those vehicles cancelled. D'Ath said:

I understand clearly the level of community concern about the vulgar, crass and offensive slogans that have been displayed on some commercial vehicles in Queensland and other parts of Australia.

They have been subject to frequent complaints to the Advertising Standards Board. When the ASB has deemed those slogans to be offensive, the typical response from the holders of those commercial vehicle registrations has been deafening silence.

Now if they refuse to remove the offensive slogans, their vehicles will be off the road.

Working in conjunction with the Department of Transport and the ASB, D'Ath said the solution allowed the advertising watchdog to maintain its power, but gave any adverse finding teeth.

The government hopes to have the legislation in front of the parliament by the end of the year.

 

 Update: Woeful disregard for user privacy...

France tells Microsoft to sort out its Windows 10 data grab of users private data


Link Here 21st July 2016  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
cnil logoNagware makers Microsoft have come under fire from France's National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) over Windows 10 collecting too much data about users.

CNIL has ordered Microsoft to comply with the French Data Protection Act within three months. The company has been ordered to stop collecting excessive data and tracking browsing by users without their consent .

In addition to this, the chair of CNIL has notified Microsoft that it needs to take satisfactory measures to ensure the security and confidentiality of user data . The notice comes after numerous complaints about Windows 10, and a series of investigations by French authorities which revealed a number of failings on Microsoft's part.

The CNIL particularly notes Windows 10's telemetry 'service' which gathers information about the apps users have installed and how long each is used for. The complaint is that these data are not necessary for the operation of the service .

The company is also criticized for its lack of sufficient security -- such as the four-digit PIN used to protect payment information which does not have a limit on the number of guesses that can be made. The CNIL's list of complaints does not end there. It also took exception to the activation of an advertising ID for tailored advertising without user consent, the lack of cookie blocking options, and the fact that data is being transferred out of Europe to the US.

 

 Update: The European Court is listening...

A preliminary judgement of the European Court of Justice suggests that mass snooping data should be restricted only to those fighting serious crime


Link Here 20th July 2016
European Court of JusticeThe Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has published his Opinion on data retention by EU member states. The subsequent judgment will have implications for the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) and the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP BIll).

In his Opinion, the Advocate General said that data retention may be compatible with EU law only if data is being retained to fight serious crime and if there are strict safeguards in place. The Opinion confirmed that he believes that EU law should apply when it comes to data retention and that member states should limit their interference with our fundamental rights to what is strictly necessary.

Executive Director of Open Rights Group, Jim Killock responded:

The Advocate General has stated that data retention should only be used in the fight against serious crime, yet in the UK there are more than half a million requests for communications data each year. These do not only come from police but also local councils and government departments. It is difficult to see how the Government can claim that these organisations are investigating serious crimes.

The Opinion calls for strict safeguards yet in the UK, there is currently no judicial authorisation in the UK - police, local authorities and government departments can get internal sign off to access data. If the IP Bill is passed, data will be able to be analysed without a warrant through an intrusive tool known as the request filter.

It may be too late to end data retention under DRIPA, which expires at the end of the year, but the Government has the opportunity to ensure that the IP Bill complies with EU law. In particular, they should end the extension of mass data retention proposed in the Bill, which would see the UK become one of the only democracies to record its citizens' web browsing history and provide a police search engine to scour it.

Tory Drad Davis and Labour's Tom Watson originally took their case to the British High Court claiming that DRIPA sections 1 and 2 were incompatible with the public's right to respect for private life and communications and for protection of personal data under Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter.

The court found for Davis and Watson in July 2015 but the ruling was not upheld on appeal, so Davis and Co. took their case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Drad Davis has now been promoted into Theresa May's cabinet and has inevitably dropped his criticism of mass snooping. So he has now withdrawn from this legal case.

 

 Update: A war on words...

Media companies thwarted in their legal attempt to get the word 'torrent' banned from search engines in France


Link Here 20th July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection
torrent wordThe High Court of Paris has decided there's a limit to France's unpopular anti-copying regime: Google and Bing can't be required to block the word torrent from their search results just because BitTorrent is sometimes used for piracy.

The case was brought by the Syndicat National de l'édition Phonographique, France's record industry association, nominally on behalf of several artists. SNEP wanted to use Article L336-2 of France's intellectual property law to force Google and Microsoft to delete searches that included both 'torrent' and any of the artists' names.

The High Court in Paris didn't think filtering torrent in all of France, the Wallis and Futuna islands, New Caledonia and the French Southern and Antarctic territories was appropriate.

In a case against Google, the court found that SNEP was acting on behalf of only three artists, rather than for all of its members:

The case would not protect the interests of the entire profession, but ensure the protection of individual interests of members who produce these three artists.

In a case against Microsoft, the court stated the requests made by SNEP were too broad:

They do not concern an identified site, but all sites accessed by the requested terms, regardless of the identification and even determining the content of the site ... The measures sought are similar to general surveillance measure and could cause the blocking of legitimate sites.

The judgements award costs against SNEP in both cases.

 

  Taboo words...

Suicide Squad gets a BBFC 15 rating in the UK, a higher rating than most countries


Link Here 20th July 2016
Poster Suicide Squad 2016 David Ayer Suicide Squad is a 2016 USA action crime fantasy by David Ayer.
Starring Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne and Will Smith. BBFC link IMDb

A secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, named A.R.G.U.S creates a task force comprising super villains, the "Suicide Squad". They are assigned to execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences.

Even the word 'suicide' is a bit much for our film censors. Having a belief that viewers are affected by the films they see, then 'suicide' in films appealing to children, conjures up the need to be ultra sensitive and cautious. It's probably not possible to edit it out of the title, so perhaps it was always inevitable that the film would be at least 15 rated in the UK.

And indeed that is the case, the BBFC have passed Suicide Squad as 15 uncut for sustained threat, moderate violence for 2016 cinema release in 2D and 3D versions.

The US MPAA had previously rated the film PG-13 for s equences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.

And the world censors seem to have mostly sided with the American film censor. Australia (M=PG-15), Netherlands (12), Norway (12) , Singapore (PG-13) and Ireland (15A) all being lower than the UK. Russia opted for a higher 16 rating though.

 

  Adapting to Netflix...

Singapore media censors decide to allow the likes of Game of Thrones to be shown uncut on internet TV


Link Here 20th July 2016
singapore ratiing symbolsThe arrival of a worldwide version of Netflix has been challenging the censorship rules for TV and internet in many a nation used to being able to censor its local media.

Singapore has relaxed local rules a little to accommodate internet TV. Singapore has 2 adult ratings that are pitched such that for example, Game of Thrones is uncut at R21 but must be cut for an M18.

Singapore's TV and internet censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA) have decided that R21 content can be shown on internet TV provided that it is protected with an age verification system.

The new rule says that if you are an online content provider (Netflix, iTunes or Google Play, or any number of players offering K-drama or Bollywood movies), you must provide age-check firewalls for R21 content.

Until the rule change Netflix, which started in the country in January 2016, had an advantage over local providers. It offered R21-rated shows such as the comedy, Orange Is The New Black and period drama Marco Polo  available with PIN protection. Local providers had to cut their shows for an M18 rating.

 

  Blocking Leaks...

Turkey blocks Wikileaks after it published 300,000 emails from Erdogan's party HQ


Link Here 20th July 2016
Wikileaks In times of trouble t is pretty standard procedure for repressive countries to close down the internet or block people communicating through social networks. And Turkey was no exception when its leaders were challenged in an attempted coup.

But now Turkey is suffering an even more urgent need to censor the internet. Turkey has ordered Wikileaks to be blocked in the country after it released 300,000 emails from Erdogan's AK Party HQ.

The internet censors of the Telecommunications Communications Board called the move an administrative measure, which is a term commonly used by the organization when blocking access to websites.

WikiLeaks managed to publish the 294,548 emails on Tuesday, despite its website being subject to a massive cyberattack. WikiLeaks has moved forward its publication schedule in response to the [Turkish] government's post-coup purges, WikiLeaks said in the release:

We have verified the material and the source, who is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup, or to a rival political party or state.

All emails which were released were attributed to akparti.org.tr , the primary domain of the main political force in the country, and cover a period from 2010 up until July 6, 2016, just a week before the failed military coup

 

 Update: Store everything, report everything, decrypt Everything...

Russian mass snooping law is impossibly extensive


Link Here 20th July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

vladimir putinIt's been a rough month for Internet freedom in Russia. After it breezed through the Duma, President Putin signed the Yarovaya package into law--a set of radical anti-terrorism provisions drafted by ultra-conservative United Russia politician Irina Yarovaya, together with a set of instructions on how to implement the new rules. Russia's new surveillance law includes mandatory data retention and government backdoors for encrypted communications.

As if that wasn't scary enough, under the revisions to the criminal code, Russians can now be prosecuted for failing to report a crime. Citizens now risk a year in jail for simply not telling the police about suspicions they might have about future terrorist acts.

But some of the greatest confusion has come from ISPs and other telecommunication companies. These organizations now face impossible demands from the Russian state. Now they can be ordered to retain every byte of data that they transmit, including video, telephone calls, text messages, web traffic, and email for six months--a daunting and expensive task that requires the kind of storage capacity that's usually associated with NSA data centers in Utah. Government access to this data no longer requires a warrant. Carriers must keep all metadata for three years; ISPs one year. Finally, any online service (including social networks, email, or messaging services) that uses encrypted data is now required to permit the Federal Security Service (FSB) to access and read their services' encrypted communications, including providing any encryption keys.

Opposition to the Yarovaya package has come from many quarters. Technical experts have been united in opposing the law. Russia's government Internet ombudsman opposed the bill. Putin's own human rights head, Mikhail Fedotov , called upon the Senators of Russia's Federal Council to reject the bill. ISPs have pointed out that compliance would cost them trillions of rubles .

But now the law is here, and in force. Putin has asked for a list of services that must hand over their keys. ISPs have begun to consider how to store an impossibly large amount of data. Service providers are required to consider how to either break unbreakable encryption or include backdoors for the Russian authorities.

It is clear that foreign services will not be spared. Last week, the VPN provider, Private Internet Access (PIA), announced that they believed their Russian servers had been seized by the Russian authorities . PIA says they do not keep logs, so they could not comply with the demand, but they have now discontinued their Russian gateways and will no longer be doing business in the region.

Russia's ISPs, messaging services, and social media platforms have no such choice: because they cannot reasonably comply with all the demands of the Yarovaya package, they become de facto criminals whatever their actions. And that, in turn, gives the Russian state the leverage to extract from them any other concession it desires. The impossibility of full compliance is not a bug--it's an essential feature.

Russia is not the only nation whose lawmakers and politicians are heading in this direction, especially when it comes to requiring backdoors for encrypted communications. Time and time again, technologists and civil liberties groups have warned the United States, France , Holland , and a host of other nations that the anti-encryption laws they propose cannot be obeyed without rewriting the laws of mathematics. Politicians have often responded by effectively telling the Internet's experts don't worry, you'll work out a way. Let us be clear: government backdoors in encrypted communications make us all less safe, no matter which country is holding the keys.

Technologists have sometimes believed that technical impossibility means that the laws are simply unworkable -- that a law that cannot be obeyed is no worse than no law at all. As Russia shows, regulations that no one can comply with aren't dead-letter laws. Instead, they corrode the rule of law, leaving a rusting wreckage of partial compliance that can be exploited by powers who will use their enforcement powers for darker and more partial ends than justice.

Russians concerned with the fall of Internet freedom, including the Society for the Protection of the Internet (IPI), have planned a protest in cities across the country on July 26. EFF will continue to follow the situation closely as it develops.

 

  A frightful cock-up...

Virgin media make a mistake and broadcast the 15 rated Stage Fright during the day without PIN protection.


Link Here 19th July 2016

Stage Fright DVD Minnie Driver Stage Fright
Sky Movies Premiere1 and Virgin Media EPG, 26 March 2016, 13:00

Stage Fright was classified as a 15-rated film by the BBFC in 2014 due to strong bloody violence, strong language, sex references .

15 rated films are allowed to be shown during the day on encrypted subscription channels providing that children are protected by a mandatory PIN entry system.

The film was shown on Sky Movies Premiere via the Virgin Media cable platform but unfortunately a Virgin Media worker got the classification wring for a daytime showing. The rating was incorrectly entered into the system as PG rather than 15. This PG rating was then advertised to viewers via the Virgin EPG and also allowed viewers to watch the film without being bothered by the mandatory PIN entry. Ofcom wrote:

Sky and Virgin Media confirmed that the film Stage Fright had been available on Sky Movies Premiere on the Virgin Media platform between 25 March 2016 and 28 March 2016 with the following description on the Virgin Media EPG: Stage Fright PG Blood begins to spill after the daughter of a Broadway diva wins the lead in the summer showcase at a performing arts camp . The Licensees confirmed that during this period it was possible for a proportion of its viewers to view Stage Fright without mandatory restricted access on the Virgin Media platform.

Virgin Media said that although the Virgin Media EPG is not a broadcast channel, we apologise to any viewers who inadvertently viewed the movie based on the incorrect EPG PG rating . It added that this was caused by human error due toâ?¦exceptional circumstance[s] . Virgin Media said that while it had processes and systems in place which identified the errorâ?¦it was just highly unfortunate that [an] editor mistook the 2014 film with the 1950's film of the same title which was rated PG, To our knowledge this issue has never arisen previously . Virgin Media also commented that, although its third party supplier did have safeguards in place to prevent unverified [films] being played out, this required manual action. Unfortunately, on this occasion despite several prompts requesting verification of the [film] this was not actioned which resulted in the film being broadcast.

Sky commented that this i15 rating nformation for Stage Fright was correct on all of the Sky systems and therefore any metadata that was exported with the content should have automatically ensured that this was a '15' if it used our Information .

Ofcom censured Virgin for the mistake but considered that for Sky the matter was resolved.

 

 Updated: Ban it or else we will send a few angry tweets!...

ITV2 show Love Island gets a few complaints


Link Here 19th July 2016
love-islandThere have been a handful of whinges about a couple having sex on the TV show, Love Island.

Viewers were supposedly shocked when contestants Emma-Jane Woodham and Terry Walsh openly had sex in a segment broadcast ten minutes after the 9pm watershed.

A spokesman for ITV said the scenes in question are inexplicit and that their focus was on the other islanders reactions. The spokesman added that ITV were not aware of any viewer complaints and that the scenes were fully compiled for broadcast.

However the Telegraph dragged up a few angry tweets and sound bites. Eg Rachael Gifford tweeted:

Can't believe Emma and Terry had above the cover sex in front of the whole villa #wtf #LoveIsland #Disgusting

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for the moralist campaign group Mediawatch-UK complained that:

Sex in the context of Love Island is being sensationalised and demonstrates nothing of real loving committed relationships.

She added that both broadcasters and participants should take more responsibility for what is shown and its impact on younger viewers.

A spokesman for Ofcom, the UK TV censor, said the body had received six complaints in relation to the show, four regarding sexual content and two others to do with bullying.

Update: Ofcom to stick its oar in too

19th July 2016. See  article from metro.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom have confirmed that they will investigate ITV's hit reality dating show Love Island after it aired a non-explicit sex scene 1- minutes after the watershed..

Ofcom said they received eight complaints. A spokescensor said:

This programme included sexual material shortly after the watershed. We're investigating whether the transition to more adult content was unduly abrupt.

 

 Updated: Four old jokes...

BBC ticks itself off for rude royal jokes on the Queen's 90th birthday


Link Here 19th July 2016
radio 4 comedyComic Russell Kane's gag about Her Majesty's private anatomy on the Radio 4 panel show Don't Make Me Laugh wound up a few listeners. There were also jokes about the monarch using the toilet.

Host David Baddiel later apologised for the jokes and blamed the BBC for rescheduling it to go out on the Queen's birthday. He said the pre-recorded comedy had been lined up for next week, but bungling schedulers moved it forward to the day the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday.

One round of the panel game, broadcast at 6.30pm challenged guest comics to speak on the subject: There's nothing funny about the fact the Queen must have had sex at least four times. Kane said:

For me this is just a quadruple representation of why inherited power is so dangerous.

Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty's vulva.

The Queen having had sex at least four times is no laughing matter whatsoever because we're forced to imagine Prince Philip and his work in the creation of those children.

BBC executives soon after the broadcast apologised, cancelled repeat broadcasts and moved the show to a light night slot at 11pm.

The BBC Trust have now investigated the programme and have just published their report saying:

The programme attracted a significant number of complaints from listeners concerned both about the content and the timing of the output and the BBC published an apology on its Corrections and Clarifications page the following day. The Executive was asked whether it considered the output was a serious breach of the Editorial Guidelines. The Executive confirmed that it did and provided the Trust with a written report into the breach. This found there had been a failure of editorial judgement and of compliance.

Trustees considered that this output included personal, intrusive and derogatory comments which had exceeded the expectations of the audience. The offence felt was compounded by the date of the programme's transmission. They agreed with the BBC Executive that the date and timing of the broadcast had heightened the offence caused but, while accepting that they could reach a judgement only on the specific circumstances of this case, they found it hard to imagine circumstances in which this broadcast at any time or on any day would not have given rise to significant unjustified offence.

Trustees considered this was a serious breach of the Editorial Guidelines for Harm and Offence.

Update: Ofcom to stick its oar in too

19th July 2016. See  article from chortle.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom is to investigate Radio 4 panel show Don't Make Me Laugh over jokes about the Queen.

Eleven listeners complained to the broadcasting watchdog over the episode which aired on the Queen's 90th birthday in April and asked the comedian panellists to speak on the topic: The Queen must have had sex at least four times.

 

 Offsite Article: Counting 'fucks' and counting sheep...


Link Here 19th July 2016
Adjuster DVD Elias Koteas What It's Like Watching Porn and Rating Movies For the Ontario's Government

See article from vice.com

 

 Offsite Article: Campaigning for ludicrously silly film ratings...


Link Here 19th July 2016  full story: Smoking in the Moviews...Ludicrous calls fo an adult rating for films with smoking
doj logo Report from legal case against the MPAA by anti smoking campaigners who claim that showing smoking in PG-13 ratings is somehow responsible for people taking it up

See article from hollywoodreporter.com

 

  Making up the law...

When Nottingham police join up with feminists and define a politically incorrect gesture or comment as a 'hate crime'


Link Here 18th July 2016
police nottinghamshire logoUninvited sexual advances and unwanted verbal contact with a woman, including catcalling or wolf-whistling in the street, are considered to be hate crimes by Nottinghamshire police.

The police force has expanded its categories of hate crime to include misogynistic incidents, characterised as behaviour targeted towards a victim simply because they are a woman. This means incidents ranging from street harassment to unwanted physical approaches can be reported to and investigated by the police.

The Nottinghamshire force defines a hate crime as just about anything:

Any incident which may or may not be deemed as a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred.

Misogyny hate crime is classed under the new policy as:

Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.

 

  Massively disrupting the release schedules...

Distributors withdraw the movie Bastille Day from French cinemas


Link Here 18th July 2016
bastille dayThe new movie Bastille Day , has been pulled from cinemas in France in the wake of the terrorist attack in Nice. The film involves a terrorist plot to bomb Paris.

StudioCanal pulled adverts for Bastille Day a day after the attack and have now asked cinemas to stop showing it altogether, according to Variety.

The film's release dates in the UK and Germany were previously delayed in the aftermath of the Paris attacks .

 

 Update: Internet Censors Blocked...

Pakistan's internet censors wonder why their website blocking doesn't seem to apply to mobile phones


Link Here 18th July 2016
pakistan telecommunication authority logoAfter blocking more than 400,000 websites for supposedly objectionable material, now Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is considering to restrict porn sites on mobile handsets also.

Censors said that the authority has received complaints that porn sites are accessible on internet. Whether you access internet through personal computer or mobile phone the law is same; objectionable sites are banned in country, a censor said. He said authority has received complaints that adult content is accessible on almost all the major telecom networks:

We are investigating why it is available on mobile phones, but I think mobile service providers are using VPN.

According to sources in industry, telecom service providers are not blocking porn content due to business considerations. Browsing websites may only consume some megabytes but if you download or watch some movie the data consumption is in gigabytes, a source said.

According to experts, PTA will direct all the telecom operators to establish Internet Exchange Point (IXP) to facilitate the local internet traffic to remain local and block the supposedly objectionable sites.

 

 Update: Oversensitive...

Rajan Zed whinges about a Devi character in the computer game Overwatch


Link Here 17th July 2016  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
devi in overwatchPerennial hindu whinger, Rajan Zed, has complained about a hindu inspired character in the Overwatch computer game. He wrote on his website:

Hindus are urging Blizzard Entertainment to withdraw Devi (Goddess) skin of Symmetra character in its Overwatch video game, calling it inappropriate.

Skins are said to be alternate appearances that players can apply to characters in video games.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that in a video game set-up, the player controlled the movements of Devi, while in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their goddesses. Moreover, Devi and its movements depicted in Overwatch did not match with characterization of the goddesses in the scriptures, Rajan Zed noted.

Rajan Zed indicated that reimagining Hindu scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it created confusion. Controlling and manipulating Devi with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration. Devi was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be reduced to just a character in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground.

Zed further said that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people, Zed added.

 

  Transforming the West...

Are there any censorship/political influence issues with Chinese company taking over Odeon Cinemas?


Link Here 17th July 2016
wanda logoChinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group will purchase Europe's largest movie theater operator, expanding its already vast cinema network in China and the U.S.

American unit AMC Entertainment Holdings, the second largest movie theater operator in the U.S, said it will acquire Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group of the U.K. for £921 million. Wanda's cinema network is already the biggest in the world, with more than 7,500 screens.

The group is also extending its reach in film production. This year, it acquired U.S. studio Legendary Entertainment, which produces popular titles like the Godzilla movies. Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin has openly declared his ambition to break the dominance of the six major global film studios including Walt Disney and to make his company the king of movies.

There have been concerns about censorship or promotional opportunities now available to China. It was noted for example that  Transformers: Age of Extinction, released in 2014 by Paramount Pictures received significant advertising income from product placement of Chinese products. Nikkei.com comments about the possibilities for political influence:

Wanda likely will be able to wield heavier influence on film production and distribution with its expanded cinema network. But if it tries to censor anti-Chinese content or promote overly pro-China content, audiences in mature, advanced economies would not tolerate that, says Kent Wertime of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather.

Scripts for movies are sometimes altered to reflect Chinese interests. But if movies are exploited as a political tool, that would obviously drive away consumers in Europe and the U.S. Should that happen, Wanda's massive spending on acquisitions would be in vain. As Wanda's involvement in movie businesses deepens, the group has to manage its operations with Western values in mind.

 

 Offsite Article: International Pixellisation...


Link Here 17th July 2016
Learning Hard Way Hentai Anime How Japanese censorship screwed up the international market for Hentai

See article from animenewsnetwork.com

 

 Update: Federal revenge...

US bill proposes a federal offence of distributing nude images without obtaining consent


Link Here 16th July 2016
US SenateUS Representative Jackie Speier ha brought to the House of Representatives floor a four-page bill that, if passed and signed into law, would make it a crime to distribute revenge porn defined as

A visual depiction of a person who is identifiable from the image itself or information displayed in connection with the image and who is engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or of the naked genitals or post-pubescent female nipple of a person, with reckless disregard for the person's lack of consent to the distribution.

Basically, all of that is a fancy way of saying that anyone posting NSFW images of another person without their consent, regardless of whether it's done with malicious intent or not, can be charged with a federal crime and, if convicted, serve up to five years in prison.

Speer explained the delay between her original announcement and actual introduction of the bill as follows:

It's a complex issue and we wanted to get it right. There were plenty of laws passed in states around the country that were problematic in nature. We wanted it to pass constitutional muster.

The bill allows for distribution of some specific types of naked photos without the subject's consent, such as in cases of public interest, or if the images are taken voluntarily in public or a commercial setting.

While many states have their own versions of revenge porn laws, advocates and victims have asked for a federal law that can send a stronger message and help in the prosecution of cases involving persons in different states.

 

 Update: Parents TV Council recommend...

Dating Naked on US VH1


Link Here 16th July 2016  full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
dating nakedThe US morality campaign group, Parents Television Council, has had a whinge at a new VH1 series, Dating Naked. Of course viewers never get to see anybody naked, only pixellisation.

The Parents TV Council is attacking the show via its advertisers and write:

The Parents Television Council is urging its members and the public to contact Samsung and Sprint to reconsider advertising support for a sexually-explicit dating show that's rated for children as young as 14.

Both companies sponsored the first two episodes of VH1's Dating Naked, a reality show in which the contestants are completely naked all the time. VH1 rated the episode TV-14, meaning that VH1 execs believe that it is acceptable for 14-year-olds to watch. PTC President Tim Winter said:

Most parents would be shocked to find their young teenagers watching this sexually-explicit nude dating show. But VH1, in all its wisdom, believes this kind of content is appropriate for middle school and high school aged children. Samsung and Sprint must agree, given their ad buys on the first two episodes and despite our warnings about the content ahead of time. Surely, parents will take pause at these companies for sponsoring 'Dating Naked,' and at VH1 for marketing this nude reality show to their children.

Most of the sponsors from last week's episode chose not to return this week, and for that we are grateful. But companies like Samsung and Sprint chose to align their corporate brands with the loathsome content on Dating Naked. Teen-targeted explicit programming would not exist but for corporate sponsors that support them with their ad dollars. As such, we are urging our members and public to contact these companies to express their concerns.

Later Parents Television Council scored a further wind when advertisers pulled out. Mondelez, Hhgregg and Henkel told VH1 to stop running their ads during the reality show.

Mondelez said in an email to the PTC

We have specific guidelines in place to help steward our media spend, which should prevent our ads from appearing in this type of programming Mondeleez International did not purchase this program specifically and has not previously aired ads on the program. In keeping with our policy, we have directed our media partner to ensure that we do not run advertising for any of our brands on this program in the future.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have also requested a programming schedule for rotation buys to ensure that the specific programs are acceptable to Mondeleez International.

Hhgregg chipped:

Our buying guidelines are very specific in terms of program content, precluding the inclusion of shows that feature the kind of gratuitous sexuality in 'Dating Naked.' Unfortunately, errors do occasionally occur and our spot mistakenly ran within the program. We have informed VH1 that this program, and all similar programming on their network, is to be specifically eliminated from all current and future hhgregg television buys.

 

 Updated: Junked Principles...

McDonalds cedes to censorship pressure and filters its WiFi service


Link Here 16th July 2016
mcdonalds logoMcDonald's executives this week made the decision to filter its free WiFi service for customers. The headline reason is to block porn but no doubt thousands of useful, non-porn, websites will be caught up in the censorship.

McDonald's joins a number of fast-food chains to block customers' ability to view websites with adult topics; others on the list include Subway and Chick-fil-A.

The censorship is attributed to a hassle by a use morality campaign group called Enough is Enough.

Not every nationwide chain has given in to pressure from the group, Starbucks has not issued any response to numerous requests from Enough Is Enough to filter wi-fi in their locations.

Update: Enough Coffee

16th July 2016. See  article from business.avn.com

You can cross Starbucks off your list of WiFi hangouts. The coffee shop has now joined McDonald's and has caved into puritanical pressure from Enough Is Enough.

 

  Censorship unblocked...

Norway adopts website blocking as a permanent option to counter pirate websites


Link Here 16th July 2016
Norway flagWeb-blocking is now fully up and running as an anti-piracy tactic in Norway, following a court ruling that orders ISPs in the country to block their customers from accessing eight piracy websites.

Norway actually joined the web-block party with an initial ruling last year. The courts later made the initial injunction permanent confirming this is now a readily available option for copyright owners in Norway seeking to limit access to piracy sites.

 

  New state censor...

Karen Bradley appointed as Culture Secretary


Link Here 15th July 2016
karen bradleyThe former Home Office minister Karen Bradley has been named as the new culture secretary in Theresa May's first cabinet, succeeding John Whittingdale.

The Guardian took a look at her CV to date but there is little that shows much relevance to censorship. Perhaps that is a good thing.

 

 Update: Forcing hate offline...

German police raids targeted at right wing extremism on social media


Link Here 15th July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering

bundeskriminalamt logoGerman police have carried out a series of raids, targeting people suspected of posting alleged hate content on social media. The co-ordinated raids on 60 addresses were the first time the authorities had acted on this issue in such an extreme way.

Police comments on the issue suggest that the target of the raids were for comments that were considered right-wing extremism. However it is difficult to interpret the background when both the police and newspaper statements are contorted by the politically correct requirement to not mention islam.

Holger Munch, president of Germany's federal criminal police authority, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) said: Today's action makes it clear that police authorities of the federal and state governments act firmly against hate and incitement on the internet. He said politically motivated hate crime on the internet had increased significantly in the wake of the European refugee crisis.

Under pressure from the German authorities, Facebook, Twitter and Google agreed at the end of last year to delete such speech from their services within 24 hours. Facebook also agreed to a series of further measures including:

Partnering with a German group of multimedia service providers to solve the problem

Launching a task force to deal with hate speech on the internet

A propaganda campaign to promote counter speech in German, drawing in experts to develop ways to combat racism through discussions on social media.

 

 Offsite Article: UK government are still intent on banning strong encryption...


Link Here 15th July 2016  full story: Snooper's Charter Plus...2015 Cameron government expands the Snooper's Charter
house of lords red logo But continue to spout double-speak to try and hide this

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  Tradebusters...

Cinema group decides to not to release Ghostbusters in China due to the county's film censors banning the depiction of ghosts


Link Here 14th July 2016
ghostbusters 2016China's film censorship rules ban the depiction of ghosts under the restrictions that movies must not promote cults or superstition. The rule is a euphemism for banning movies depicting, or promoting, religion, but nevertheless it is used to ban anything more widely supernatural.

Obviously Hollywood was considering the possibility of a Chinese release of Ghostbusters as it had generated publicity under a new local tile without the word 'ghost', Super Power Dare or Die Team. However the China Film Co., the dominant state-owned film body that handles the import and release of all foreign movies in the country, has decided not to release Ghostbusters.

An executive of the group covered for the Chinese censorship, with a propaganda statement claiming:

Most of the Chinese audience didn't see the first and second movies, so they don't think there's much market for it here.

Sony isn't commenting, but a Hollywood source with knowledge of the situation says the film hasn't been officially submitted for approval by Chinese film censors.

 

  Go Away...

NSPCC whinges about Pokemon Go


Link Here 14th July 2016
pokrmon go logoThe NSPCC has demanded that the makers of Pokemon GO introduce child safety features before the game is released in the UK. Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the children's campaign company, whinged:

Given Pokemon's already massive popularity with children, the NSPCC is concerned that basic safety standards appear to have been overlooked.

I urge you to urgently reassess your app and its security and safety features.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that children are protected and as creators of a game with substantive reach, you have a weighty responsibility to protect your young users.

The game lets players capture virtual cartoon animal-like creatures on their phones, as they wander around the real world.

There have been scare stories, though, of criminals using the game to lure players to remote locations and to rob them. In another instance, players following digital trails were directed to a sex shop.

 

  Taking a spin at Quebec's government...

Consumer rights group fights Quebec law mandating internet censorship so as to protect its monopoly on gambling


Link Here 14th July 2016

public interest logo   Quebec's plans to force ISP's to block gambling websites not approved by the province is being put to the test by a federal consumer rights group. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) this week filed an objection to a law, passed by the Quebec legislature earlier in the year.

The bill's supporters claim that its aim is to improve public health by forcing state residents to play on the Quebec's monopoly gaming site, Lotto-Quebec's Espace-jeux.

But critics, which include net neutrality advocates , technology lawyers, and the ISPs themselves, have accused the Quebec government of setting a dangerous precedent by putting commercial gain above the freedom of the internet.

The plans, which were drawn up in the provinces March 2015 budget predict the scheme will boost government revenues by $13.5 million in 2016-2017 and $27 million in subsequent years. These gains will come at the huge expense of ISP companies, which have said that the disruption to their infrastructures would be enormous as they would have to redesign their networks from the ground up. The cost of this would be passed onto consumers.

The PIAC filing states that Quebec is in direct conflict with the1993 Federal Telecommunications Act, which prohibits a communications provider from control[ing] the content or influence[ing] the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public, unless it has approval from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

 

 Update: Thank Christ for that!...

Malta's parliament passes bill at 3rd reading that repeals blasphemy laws and decriminalises adult consensual porn (except 'extreme' porn)


Link Here 13th July 2016  full story: Blasphemy in Malta...Malta prosecutes many for villifying the chruch
Malta flagThe Maltese parliament has approved, at the third reading stage, amendments to the Criminal Act that repeal legislation that censured the vilification of religion, decriminalises pornography and criminalises revenge porn.

The law punishing the vilification of the Roman Catholic religion had been in place since 1933 and was used by the authorities to censor works of art, theatre productions and prevent films from being screened.

When he originally presented the proposed amendments in February, justice minister Owen Bonnici sought to allay fears that the law would not allow people to incite religious hatred, noting that the incitement of hatred based on religion, gender, race, sexuality, gender identity or political belief was already illegal as per a more recent law and would remain so. He said:

In a democratic country, people should be free to make fun of religions, while not inciting hatred.

The Nationalist opposition had been opposed to the proposed amendments and had accused the government of political atheism , and of adopting policies of forced secularisation .

On his part, Archbishop Charles Scicluna tweeted his dismay at news that MPs had, as expected, successfully passed Bill 133:

Demeaning God and man indeed go hand in hand. A sad day for Malta. Lord forgive them: they do not know what they do.

 

  US TV series Shooter postponed over Dallas shooting...

How political correctness works... exaggerated shows of sensitivity and sympathy whilst shutting down conversation about things that could actually make a difference, like gun control


Link Here 13th July 2016
shooterShooter , a US TV drama about a sniper has been postponed after the Dallas sniper attack.

The series, which stars Ryan Phillippe as an expert marksman, was due to start on 19th July. But a spokesperson for the USA Network told the Hollywood Reporter:

In light of recent tragic events and out of respect for the victims, their families and our viewers, we have decided to postpone the premiere date for the upcoming USA Network series Shooter to July 26.

Phillippe, who is also a producer of the show, plays Bob Lee Swagger, an expert marksman, who is persuaded to return to work for a clandestine operation by his former commanding officer played by Omar Epps.

 

  Going nowhere...

50 cent arrested in St. Kitts after a performance featuring 'indecent language'


Link Here 13th July 2016
Going No Where 50 Cent Local police in the Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis arrested US rapper 50 Cent on 25 June 2016 for using indecent language onstage during one of his songs.

The rapper later pleaded guilty to the offence, paid a fine of USD $1,100 and was released, reported Rolling Stone on 26 June 2016.

According to the nation's Small Charges Act it is illegal to use profane language in public places.

 

  Dial a Song...

Irish private members bill attempts to restore the Irish national anthem to state control


Link Here 12th July 2016
Houses of the OireachtasThree Fianna Fáil senators introduced a private member's bill to the Irish parliament intended to restore the state's copyright to Ireland's national anthem

A Soldiers' Song was composed in 1907, with words by Peadar Kearney and music by Kearney and Patrick Heeney. The song was adopted as the national anthem in 1926 and was protected under government owned copyright until the end of 2012, 70 years after the writer's death.

Since then the anthem has not been under any copyright and Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly feels this needs to be rectified, saying:

Having copyright in place is the only way that we can protect our national anthem from being used in an inappropriate manner.

For example, the opening line of the national anthem was used on a range of Dunnes Stores clothing designed by former Kerry footballer Paul Galvin. Senator Daly has said that such commercial use was inappropriate .

The legislation suggest that the copyright can somehow be renewed but opponents point out that copyright is not meant to be a form of censorship. UCD law professor Eoin O'Dell said:

The function of copyright is to incentivise the production of cultural value and to reward the production of cultural value so that we all get the benefit of the things that are produced by the authors, poets and musicians, and then when it falls out of copyright we can all use it.

And the second thing is that, it's not just attempting to legislate respect by means of copyright, he's actually trying censorship by means of copyright, which is not what copyright is about.

 

 Offsite Article: Theresa May, the new PM, is a grave threat to freedom...


Link Here 12th July 2016
Theresa May Beneath the managerial exterior beats the heart of an authoritarian. By Blair Spowart of Spiked

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Censors and taxmen join forces...

Polish government to introduce internet censorship to maintain revenue from its state gambling monopoly


Link Here 11th July 2016

poland ministry of finance logoThe Polish ministry of finance has announced an amendment to risk and hazard legislation, with plans to create a registry of illegal websites, as well as blocking websites with illegal content. According to the official announcement, the law is supposedly ntended to protect [online] gamblers to a high standard by eliminating grey zones .

In Gazeta Wyborcza, the bills authors explained that the project is actually designed to increase revenue from the state gambling monopoly.

Watchdog NGO Fundacja Panoptykon, warned that:

The idea to block websites containing illegal content raises many doubts. Just the mere creation of the tools to filter and block content of particular sites is dangerous. The Polish constitution prohibits preventive censorship.

According to the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, the government expects the law to take effect in January 2017.

 

  'There was no censorship, merely an excess of modesty'...

Italian state broadcaster makes excuses about a cutting a gay scene in the TV show, How to Get Away With Murder


Link Here 10th July 2016
cut scene in how to get away with murderItalian stete broadcaster, RAI, cut hot scenes between two men when showing the American legal TV thriller How To Get Away With Murder ( HTGAWM).

The cuts were revealed in a side-by-side comparison shared on Twitter by an Italian viewer. Rai 2 had edited out the flashback cutaway that revealed how Connor came to possess, via his very first hook-up with Oliver, some documents Annalise needed for a court case.

Upon learning of the edit, HTGAWM programme maker Pete Nowalk expressed on Twitter that he was shocked and disappointed, then set out to share a clip of the scene as it was meant to be seen.

Ilaria Dallatana, director of Rai 2 made excuses and explained that a female editor made the edits without his supervision, and that the episode would be rebroadcast in its entirety on Sunday night. She said in a (translated) statement:

There was no censorship, merely an excess of modesty due to individual sensitivity of those involved to package the edition of the series for the first time. I understand the irritation...These controversies help us to take the right steps for the future. As demonstrated by the choices made for the new schedules, RAI-2 will be increasingly sensitive to the complexities of the contemporary world

 

  Primary legislation to follow...

Dublin Council accepts a motion to ban new sex shops from within 250m of a primary school


Link Here 10th July 2016
dublin city council logoThere was a little 'outrage' in 2015 in response to the opening of a new sex shop, PlayBlue in Drumcondra. This resulted in a council motion asking for new sex shops to be banned from opening within 3km of a primary school.

Somewhat belatedly, the motion finally came up for debate this week. It was noted that a 3km exclusion zone would effectively ban all new shops. A concept enthusiastically accepted by some councillors.

Others opposed the ban. Social Democrat Gary Gannon said:

I was aware that there was a backlog of motions, but this seems to be backlogged from the 1950s.

He said he'd be eager to talk about displays and sex positivity, healthy body images, and consent. But not casting those who go to sex shops as somehow disturbed, adding: I don't think it supports who we are as a modern republic.

A compromise position of a 250m exclusion zone was accepted and the change would now need to be incorporated into the city development plan, at a later stage.

 

 Update: Preaching to the unconvinced...

Much as street preachers' nonsensical ramblings can be annoying, should they be censored through a supposed threat to public order


Link Here 10th July 2016  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress
cross encounters logoA group of christian street preachers were arrested after refusing to stop addressing shoppers in Bristol. Four men were held on suspicion of public order offences after officers attended Broadmead shopping centre, an area known for open-air preaching.

A video on the Bristol Post website appeared to show a preacher being told he was not welcome before refusing to leave and being led away by police. A crowd of shoppers cheered after he was moved away.

The four were bailed until later this month after the incident on Wednesday.

A Facebook post from US-based Cross Encounters Ministries, which the men are believed to be affiliated with, said the men had been rejoicing and singing hymns in their cell(s) .

 

 Offsite Article: British Grand Prix 1976: How a condom manufacturer forced F1 off TV...


Link Here 10th July 2016
Surtees TS19 No Vern Schuppan Classic Hunt and Lauda tussle censored by the BBC to avoid broadcasting the Durex advert on Surtees cars. By Alan Jewell

See article from bbc.com

 

  Distressing jokes...

Man fined for a bad taste Hillsborough joke on his T-shirt


Link Here 9th July 2016

HM Courts ServiceA man who wore a bad taste T-shirt mocking Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster has been fined £795.

Paul Grange admitted a public order offence and told Worcester magistrates that he was ashamed of what he had done and had deservedly lost his home, job, friends and relationship.

Grange pleaded guilty to a charge of displaying abusive writing likely to cause distress. His T-shirt had the slogan: Hillsborough, God's way of helping Rentokill.

Images of the shirt, which Grange wore in a pub beer garden in May, had been said to have caused 'outrage' on social media.

 

 Update: Live issues...

Facebook comment on video censorship rules for its live video streaming service


Link Here 9th July 2016  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
facebook-live logoFacebook commented about issues related to showing violence, or its aftermath, on the live video streaming service, Facebook Live:

Live video allows us to see what's happening in the world as it happens. Just as it gives us a window into the best moments in people's lives, it can also let us bear witness to the worst. Live video can be a powerful tool in a crisis -- to document events or ask for help.

We understand the unique challenges of live video. We know it's important to have a responsible approach. That's why we make it easy for people to report live videos to us as they're happening. We have a team on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dedicated to responding to these reports immediately.

The rules for live video are the same for all the rest of our content. A reviewer can interrupt a live stream if there is a violation of our Community Standards. Anyone can report content to us if they think it goes against our standards, and it only takes one report for something to be reviewed.

One of the most sensitive situations involves people sharing violent or graphic images of events taking place in the real world. In those situations, context and degree are everything. For instance, if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it. However, if someone shared the same video to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting, we would remove the video.

Live video on Facebook is a new and growing format. We've learned a lot over the past few months, and will continue to make improvements to this experience wherever we can.

 

  If music be the food of love, snuff it...

Most populace region of Saudi Arabia makes music illegal in public places


Link Here 9th July 2016
makkah saudiSaudi Emir, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, of the eastern region of Makkah has banned the playing and carrying of musical instruments, headphones and speakers in public places within all governorates in the region.

The directive included strong instructions to carry it out strictly and to firmly punish violators, and came after reports were issued concerning inappropriate behaviours and activities in the Jeddah Corniche, a Red Sea coastal area in the city of Jeddah. Makkah is Saudi Arabia's most populous region, whose capital is Mecca.

The ban covers public places, such as public parks, jogging areas, walkways, and sports facilities, and also includes the banning of obscene behaviour, wearing indecent clothes, walking pet animals, the smoking of tobacco and shisha, and the lighting of firewood or charcoal.

 

  Too much fun...

French cinemas ban The Conjuring 2


Link Here 8th July 2016
Conjuring 2 DVD The Conjuring 2 has proven to be a hit amongst audiences with an impressive box office return. However, it hasn't gone down too well in France, resulting in the film being banned from many theaters across the country.

Le Parisien reports that 262 French theatres had initially planned to show the sequel but the majority have now removed it from their listings due to loud laughter and hysterical yelling in screenings. Some Parisian theatres banned it on its release day following disruptive conduct in screens and to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

400 UGC cinemas also didn't show the film, following anti-social behaviour. Marc-Olivier Sebbag, executive director of National Federation of French Cinemas, said:

Horror films attract a young audience who come in groups to have fun. Cinemas are aware of this and have learnt how to handle these situations. For The Conjuring 2, the problem is limited to some showings in cinemas.

 

 Update: Didn't we have the same news last year?...

Sky Broadband announces that it has turned on default website censorship for all customers with a change to when the question is asked


Link Here 8th July 2016  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
sky logoLyssa McGowan, Brand Director, Communications Products announced on the Sky Blog:

From today, Sky Broadband Shield will be automatically switched on the moment a new customer activates their Sky Broadband. At the end of last year, we said that we wanted to do even more to help families protect their children from inappropriate content. The first time someone tries to access a filtered website, the account holder will be invited to amend the settings or turn it off altogether. It ensures a safer internet experience for millions of homes, while still giving account holders the flexibility to choose the settings most appropriate for their households.

Our experience has shown that this Default On or as we call it Auto On approach leads to much greater use of filtering. Last year, we adopted Auto On with some of our existing customers which we found delivered much higher engagement and usage of Sky Broadband Shield. Around two thirds of customers we rolled it out to have continued to make use of the software. This is much higher than anyone else in the industry using other approaches. Customers are typically just asked whether they want to switch on filtering when they activate their broadband. It means take up rates are between only 5 and 10% because customers ignore the choice put in front of them or automatically click no without considering the implications.

This is why we decided to make Auto On standard practice for all our new Sky Broadband customers including our soon to be launched new NOW TV Combo service. Furthermore over the coming months we will be contacting millions more Sky Broadband customers who haven't yet made a decision about Sky Broadband Shield. If they don't respond, we will switch it on for them and invite them to amend or switch it off themselves.

 

 Update: Who pays for expensive designs?...

ISPs lose court case and so must continue blocking websites offering pirate copies of designer goods


Link Here 8th July 2016  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block
Old BaileyIn 2014, the High Court ordered Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media and EE to block websites dealing in counterfeit luxury products.

The ISPs appealed the case on a number of grounds, including that the court had no power to order the injunctions. That appeal has now failed.

In their appeal, the ISPs complained that they are innocent parties and that the Court had no jurisdiction to hand down a blocking order. However, even in the event that it did have jurisdiction, the ISPs said that certain thresholds required for an injunction had not been met.

Continuing, the ISPs said that the judge had failed to apply the correct principles in deciding whether or not to hand down an order, and that the orders made were disproportionate. Finally, the judge should not have ordered the ISPs to foot the bill for blocking the infringing sites.

This week the Court of Appeal handed down its long awaited decision and it's almost completely good news for the brand owners.

Dismissing the ISPs' appeal, the Court said that High Court did indeed have the power to issue the blocking injunctions and that all the legal thresholds for doing so had been met.

Interestingly, on the issue of who would pay for the site-blocking to be carried out, the Court of Appeal had some sympathy for the ISPs. Justice Briggs wrote:

In my judgment the cost burden attributable to the implementation of a particular blocking order should fall upon the rightsholder making the application for it.

In circumstances where valuable intangible rights of this kind need to be protected from abuse by others, I regard it as a natural incident of a business which consists of, or includes, the exploitation of such rights, to incur cost in their protection, to the extent that it cannot be reimbursed by appropriate orders against wrongdoers.

But that doesn't mean that the ISPs are completely off the hook. Justice Briggs said that while the ISPs wouldn't have to pay the costs associated with implementing a blocking order, they would still have to foot the bill for designing and installing the software with which to do so whenever ordered.

 

 Offsite Article: Top adverts in Australia...


Link Here 8th July 2016
we love our lamb advert Australian advert censor reveals its most complained about ads

See article from smartcompany.com.au

 

 Offsite Article: Triple locks with skeleton keys...


Link Here 8th July 2016  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
arms of the british governmentjpg logo The interception of communications commissioner's office reveals 15 previously secret 'directions' that enable mass snooping without having to bother with warrants

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Revenge via a nasty suffocation with red tape?...

Horror Channel edit of I Spit on Your Grave 2 submitted to the BBFC and passed 18 uncut


Link Here 7th July 2016

Spit Your Grave DVD Earlier this year in May, Ofcom announced that it was investigating a complaint about a broadcast of the remake of I Spit on Your Grave on the Horror Channel in March. The sequel to the remake I Spit on Your Grave 2 was being shown at the same time and it was noted that maybe this could be involved in the complaint too.

schnittberichte.com also pointed out that a January showing of I Spit on Your Grave wasn't actually a BBFC approved version. The website concludes that the Horror Channel did its own edit, which although cut, was stronger than the BBFC version.

Surely this complaint, and the possibility of interim versions, is behind this week's BBFC new classification of I Spit on Your Grave 2, submitted by AMC Networks International, owners of Horror Channel.

The BBFC passed this latest version as 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and sexual violence. The BBFC noted it as a pre-cut version. Assuming a PAL speed up, the running time is about half way between the uncut version and the cut UK version ( which is also the cut US Rated version). If the pal speed up theory is not correct, then the new cut was 3 minutes shorter than the cut UK version.

So perhaps the Horror Channel did indeed find an alternative version, and now in the light of investigation by the TV censor, has submitted that version to the BBFC for their opinion. Hopefully the BBFC passing this version uncut will help their case.

I wonder how much money been wasted by Horror Chanel execs, lawyers, Ofcom and now the BBFC, pursuing what was probably a single complaint on grounds of morality.

 

  Are you listening Gove, Leadsom and May?...

The United Nations passes a non-binding resolution that people's internet access should not be disrupted by any government


Link Here 7th July 2016
UN logoThe United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has passed a non-binding resolution that states that public access to the Internet should not be disrupted by any government or government agencies. Specifically, the statement says the same rights that people have offline, including freedom of expression, should also be protected online.

The resolution doesn't quite come out and say that open access to the Internet is a basic human right but it serves as a slap on the wrist for some of the worst abusers of people's rights.

While the resolution had overwhelming support from most countries, the usual suspects opted to vote no. In addition to Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, South Africa and India also failed to offer their support.

The no voters even had the nerve to ask the UNHRC to strike a passage that condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to our dissemination of information online. That effort was thankfully rejected by at least 70 other nations.

No one is expecting a non-binding resolution to make any real difference in some of the countries where public Internet access is often censored, but at the very least this sends a message that most of the world is against such practices.

 

 Update: Solidarity amongst dictatorships...

Twilight Over Burma is banned by the Thai film censor from showing at a film festival


Link Here 7th July 2016  full story: Censored Films in Thailand...Thai censors hack away
twilight over burmaTwilight Over Burma is a 2015 Austria TV drama by Sabine Derflinger.
Starring Zoe Addams, Sahajak Boonthanakit and Daweerit Chullasapya. IMDb

The U.S. scholarships Austrian student Inge and young mining student from Burma Sao Kya Seng fall in love. But it's only at the lavish wedding ceremony that Inge discovers her husband is the ruling prince of the Shan state of Burma. After a coup staged by the Burmese military, Sao is imprisoned. Inge does everything she can to free him. Base on the true story of Inge Sargent.

Burma: Banned from June 2016 film festival

An Austrian TV movie, Twilight Over Burma, has been banned from a Burmese human rights film festival by the local film censor.

Burma's Film Classification Board's deputy director general Daw Thida Tin told the BBC that the film had been banned for the sake of national unity and also the stability of the country and of our people .

the film festival organisers say they were also told that the censors saw the film as damaging to the image of the army.

Thailand: Banned from July 2016 film festival

The film was banned by the Thai film censor from a film festival of films made in Thailand.

The reason was attributed to solidarity amongst dictatorships. Though the organisers have not issued any official statement, the reason behind the withdrawal is said to be related to bilateral ties between Thailand and Burma.

The film, known in Thai as Singsaengchan and was mainly shot in Chiang Mai province and at Inle Lake in Shan State's capital Tongyi.

 

  The Digitally Restricted Economy Bill...

Introduces 10 year jail terms for only copyright infringement


Link Here 7th July 2016

House of Commons logoThe UK Government's Digital Economy Bill, which is set to revamp current copyright legislation, has been introduced in Parliament.

One of the most controversial changes is the increased maximum sentences for online copyright infringement. Despite public protest, the bill increased the maximum prison term five-fold, from two to ten years.

The current maximum of two years is not enough to deter infringers, lawmakers argued. The plan followed a recommendation put forward in a study commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) a few months earlier. This study concluded that criminal sanctions for online copyright infringement could be increased to bring them into line with related offenses, such as counterfeiting.

Before implementing the changes the Government launched a public consultation, asking for comments and advice from the public. But, even though the vast majority of the responses urged the authorities not to up the prison term , lawmakers decided otherwise.

Executive Director of Open Rights Group, Jim Killock said:

The Government is proposing that people who breach copyright online should receive up to ten years in prison to bring sentencing in line with physical copyright theft. Copyright needs to be protected but the proposals could mean that individuals who share or link to files could receive custodial sentences -- even if they have not made any financial gain. This would be excessive and could mean that sharing a file online would lead to a greater custodial sentence than physical theft.

 

 Update: You have 9 months to amass a collection of free porn before the government bans it...

UK Government sets out new law to create an internet porn censor


Link Here 6th July 2016  full story: UK Governments Consults on Age Checks for Porn...Government proposes censoring porn websites that are not age verified

Result of Government Consultation

child safety online The Government has published a document summarising responses to its proposals to mandate restrictive age validation requirements for porn websites. 48% of responses opposed the proposals whilst 44% agreed with the proposals. However the government made clear that they will proceed with the proposed censorship law. The consultation document reads:

It is clear from our analysis of the consultation responses that this is an issue which tends to polarise opinion, with strongly held views on either side. Overall, there was a roughly even split between those supporting age verification (44%) and those not in favour (48%). Responses from individuals made up the vast majority of those which were submitted via our online questionnaire (94%). Over half of the individuals were men, the majority of whom were between 18 and 34 years old.

Crucially, however, many of the key organisations we work with in the online child protection sphere children's charities, support and advice groups, the BBFC, internet service providers, and payment service firms and credit card companies indicated their support for the proposals, and the overriding policy goal of protecting children online.

Over a quarter (26%) of the individuals who responded indicated that they are parents or carers, and 23% of individuals said that they work with children (in the education and health sectors, working in or with churches, in voluntary roles, mentoring, and as researchers). In both groups, a majority supported the Government's approach.

Notably, pornography providers who responded to the consultation also stated their support for the protection of children online, and (with caveats) the introduction of age verification controls to protect children from content which is not appropriate for them.

As was set out in our consultation, the Government's preferred approach to delivering this commitment is to establish a new law, requiring age verification (AV) controls for online pornography this was the manifesto commitment, and following consideration of the consultation responses, remains the Government's intention.

To underpin this, we will also establish a new regulatory framework, and we will ensure a proportionate approach by enabling the regulator to act in a sufficiently flexible and targeted way.

Following analysis of the responses to the consultation, Government will now take several next steps. We will:

  1. Bring forward legislation, in the Digital Economy Bill, to establish a new law requiring age verification for commercial pornographic websites and applications containing still and moving images, and a new regulatory framework to underpin it

  2. Continue to work with payments firms and ancillary companies to ensure that the business models and profits of companies that do not comply with the new regulations can be undermined

  3. Maintain ongoing engagement with pornography providers, age verification providers, and other parts of the industry, to ensure that the regulatory framework is targeted and proportionate, to achieve maximum impact and to enable compliance

  4. Continue to work on broader internet safety issues, including work led by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and raising awareness and resilience

Digital Economy Bill

See Digital Economy Bill progress page from services.parliament.uk
See Digital Economy Bill [pdf] from publications.parliament.uk

House of Commons logoAnd indeed the new censorship law is included in the Digital Economy Bill introduced on 5th July 2016. Section 3 outlines the setting up of an internet porn censor and the remainder sets out website censorship options and financial penalties for contravening websites, their payment providers and advertisers.

The government is planning on passing the bill into law in spring 2017.

Section 3

  • 15 Internet pornography: requirement to prevent access by persons under the age of 18
  • 16 Meaning of pornographic material
  • 17 The age-verification regulator: designation and funding
  • 18 Parliamentary procedure for designation of age-verification regulator
  • 19 Age-verification regulator's power to require information
  • 20 Enforcement of sections 15 and 19
  • 21 Financial penalties
  • 22 Age-verification regulator's power to give notice of contravention to payment service providers and ancillary service providers
  • 23 Exercise of functions by the age-verification regulator
  • 24 Requirements for notices given by regulator under this
  • 25 Interpretation of this Part

 

  Consulting everyone but the viewers...

New Zealand film censors outline a consultation about sexual violence in entertainment media


Link Here 6th July 2016

OFLC New Zealand logoNew Zealand's film censors are to consult with community about sexual violence in entertainment media

How are young people affected by depictions of sexual violence in entertainment media? What are the potential harms? What do young people think sexual violence is?

These and other questions are being asked in an extensive consultation process with young New Zealanders, carried out by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

This forms part of a wider research and consultation programme the Classification Office is conducting to assist them when classifying movies, television shows (on DVD and online) and video games. It will also serve to respond to the wider NZ public discourse regarding the harms and impacts of sexual violence on our community.

The first part of the qualitative research involved focus groups with teenagers, conducted by Colmar Brunton. A report on the findings from this initial survey is expected to be released in the coming months*.

In addition, the Classification Office is conducting individual interviews with young people of different ages and backgrounds from all over New Zealand. The interviews will take place throughout a 12-month period.

The Classification Office also plans to consult with social workers, teachers, and community organisations working with young people -- along with academics and other experts.

Project leader Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana says that the findings will inform the Classification Unit when making decisions on appropriate restrictions and warnings for particular depictions of sexual violence:

We're also wanting to find out the sorts of things in entertainment media that might mitigate these impacts and harms. Can certain depictions of sexual violence be positive or empowering for young people?

The impact on young people of sexual violence in entertainment media has not been well documented so we are very keen to share our findings with other groups and organisations working in the field of sexual violence awareness and prevention.

Chief Censor Andrew Jack explains that the Classification Office takes into account academic research for the purposes of classification, however it is just as important to understand the public's views about the potential harms of certain material and how that material should be classified.

In this way we can best serve the public good by providing guidance about, and protection from, harmful content -- as identified by New Zealanders. As with people in other countries, we have our own views about what might or might not be harmful, and our national classification system allows these views to be heard.

 

 Offsite Article Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful?...


Link Here 6th July 2016
ASA logo Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive, opines that there is absolutely no chance that his advertising censorship code can be made to apply to politicians and political advertising

See article from asa.org.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Right Charlies at the BBFC...


Link Here 5th July 2016
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret October The latest BBFC case study explains how the censors ludicrously ended up cutting sausages when used as chain sticks in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

  But its tough for software to distinguish pro and anti from balanced news...

Israel calls on Facebook to be more proactive in its censoring of 'inciteful' content


Link Here 5th July 2016
Israel flagIsraeli Government ministers have accused Facebook of failing to tackle inciteful posts against the country.

Public security minister Gilad Erdan said Facebook had set a very high bar for removing inciteful content .

Justice minister Ayelet Shaked wants social media companies to pre-emptively remove content which Israel considers to be a security threat. She said:

We want the companies... to remove posts by terrorist groups and incitement to terrorism without us having to flag each individual post, in just the same manner, for example, that they today do not allow posts and pages with child pornography, she told Israel's Army Radio.

Facebook said it worked closely with Israel to tackle threatening content.

 

 Offsite Article: Unbalanced...


Link Here 5th July 2016  full story: Russia Today Propaganda TV...Russia Today, English language international propaganda channel
rt going undeground Ofcom censures Russian propaganda channel for not seeking Turkish propaganda as balance

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Europol's online censorship unit is haphazard and unaccountable says NGO...


Link Here 5th July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU proposes mandatory cleanfeed for all member states
europol internet referral untt The Internet Referral Unit has now been politely asking for online terrorism content to be removed for a year

See article from arstechnica.com

 

 Offsite Article: Deep River: Reasons for Picking Up a Censored Lenzi Classic...


Link Here 4th July 2016
Man From Deep River Blu ray An interesting debate about the morality of animal cruelty censor cuts. By Dave Wain

See article from zombiehamster.com

 

 Update: Australian Censors Overreach...

When banning video games. By Matthew Sainsbury


Link Here 4th July 2016  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban
meiq labyrinth of death

 

 Obituary: Robin Hardy dies aged 86...

The Director of The Wicker Man finds his Summerisle


Link Here 3rd July 2016
Wicker Man Directors Cut DVD Film director Robin Hardy has died at the age of 86, a family friend has confirmed.

He was best known for cult British film The Wicker Man . Edward Woodward was perfect as the  dour and uptight policeman taken for a ride by Christopher Lee and the colourful folks of Summerisle.

Hardy, who went on to make follow-up The Wicker Tree in 2011, died on Friday. The Wicker Man was Hardy's feature debut, and he went on to direct only two more feature-length films. The second, The Fantasist , came 13 years after his debut.

In 2010, the Guardian named The Wicker Man the fourth-best horror film of all time.

 

 Update: Ban it or else the Armenians will get it!...

Erdogan continues his quest to get insulting poem banned in Germany


Link Here 3rd July 2016  full story: Erdogan Insulted in Germany...Free speech finds no refuge in Germany
recep tayyip erdoganTurkish President Erdogan's lawyer said that he has filed a complaint in a bid to get Jan Boehmermann's satirical poem mocking Erdiogan banned in its entirety. Previously a German court banned just the six verses suggesting Erdogan engaged in bestiality and watched child pornography.

Lawyer Michael-Hubertus von Sprenger said he had filed the complaint to a court in Hamburg and wanted to get a full injunction to replace the preliminary one as well as get unbanned sections prohibited.

 

  Ban it or else the horse will get it!...

Delhi High Court petitioners call for the banning of Godfather beer


Link Here 3rd July 2016
godfather beerA legal case has been registered at the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain manufacture, supply and sale of Godfather beer in the city, claiming it hurts religious sentiments.

The plea by a civic organisation claims that sentiments and emotions of the public at large of every religion would be affected as the word God is used by everyone to refer to the almighty power . Devinder Singh, president of Jan Chetna Manch, whinged:.

The Godfather (beer) manufacturers are against humanity and the principle of natural justice as they are intentionally harassing and damaging religious emotions.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.

 

  Discouraging adult content...

Kenya introduces a TV watershed and programme code


Link Here 3rd July 2016
communications authority of kenya logoKenya's new TV censorship code for free-to-air radio and television broadcasting services in Kenya came into force at midnight on 1st July 2016.

Radio and TV broadcasters were now required to transmit programming appropriate for family audiences from 5am to 10pm.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) director general Francis Wangusi said in a statement the new code set standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by licensees. He said:

Licensees are therefore discouraged from airing content that depicts or contains scenes that are rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board as adult, or are of a language intended for adult audiences during the watershed period.

The code also set out the minimum amount of airtime to be devoted to local content with TV broadcasters expected to meet the 40 percent local content quota within the first year, and 60 percent within the fourth year of commencement of operations.

The code equally required broadcasters to take specific steps to promote the understanding and enjoyment of programmes transmitted by their stations by persons with disability in line with article 54 of the constitution that guaranteed persons with disability the right of reasonable access to information.

Other key provisions of the code included protecting the rights to privacy and safeguarding intellectual property rights of content producers. It also facilitated access to balanced and unbiased news and other programming.

A complaints handling procedure sets out steps in resolving broadcast content-related complaints. The procedure required consumers to lodge complaints with the offending broadcaster first and only escalate complaints that had not been adequately addressed by licensees to the authority.

 

 Update: Causing a stir...

Indian film censors ban another film, Salagto Sawal Anamat


Link Here 2nd July 2016  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
salagto sawal anamatThe Gujarati film Salagto Sawal Anamat (Burning Question Reservation), has formally been banned by the Centre Board of Film Certification (CBFC). For now, it will not be released in theatres anymore.

The producers of the movie were informed that the CBFC claimed that the movie may pose a threat to the integrity and sovereignty of India .

Giving reasons for denial of certification, a CBFC letter states that the film on Patidar quota stir consists of visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitude. It further states that the movie shows visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups and that the security of the State is jeopardized."

Now the filmmakers may be forced to court to contest the CBFC's denial of certification.

The director of the film Rajesh Gohil said:

CBFC officials had agreed on an A' certification only if we removed certain scenes that it considered objectionable including two songs glorifying the Patidar community for their struggle.

Gohil said that if they had edited the film the way the CBFC wanted then the length of film would have been reduced to 80 minutes from the current 150 minutes.

 

 Offsite Article: Could social media be tearing us apart...


Link Here 2nd July 2016
The Guardian The Guardian investigates why nobody is listening to its politically correct extremism anymore

See article from theguardian.com

 

  BBFC Annual Report 2015...

A few more films, a few more complaints, and a few more pitches for new work


Link Here 1st July 2016
bbfc annual report 2015 The BBFC wrote in a press release:

In 2015 the BBFC classified 983 films for theatrical distribution, a rise of 2.7% compared to 2014. For the second year in a row, more films were classified 15 than 12A, with 383 films classified at 15 and 321 at 12A.

As well as an age rating, every film classified is given detailed BBFCinsight guidance, available on the BBFC website and free apps, which enables the public (particularly parents) to know when a film is suitable for them and their family. This is particularly helpful at the advisory categories of U, PG and 12A, where 2015 saw a number of high profile releases including Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) and Inside Out (U).

David Austin, Chief Executive, BBFC said:

In 2015 we saw our range of services continue to diversify, reflecting public expectation for the same trusted guidance available for film and DVD/Blu-ray, to be similarly available online. We worked closely with the digital home entertainment industry to bring even more age ratings to VoD platforms and expanded our work with Mobile Network Operators in a new partnership with EE. Mobiles are useful for families that need to keep in touch and the EE 'Strict' setting, based on our PG rating, gives parents peace of mind that the mobile device they give to their child is safe and that protections are in place to help prevent their child seeing unsuitable content.

Alongside cinema releases, 1,143 hours of online content was classified for exclusive VoD release, with the BBFC receiving 74.5% more submissions in 2015 compared to 2014. This rapid growth demonstrates an appetite for BBFC classification guidance online. BBFC research reflected this expectation among families for BBFC age rating guidance when choosing a film or series to watch on major VoD platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. In 2015 85% of parents said it was important to have consistent classifications both online and offline, while three quarters of parents want to link parental controls to BBFC classifications and for more platforms to carry age ratings and trusted BBFC content advice.

A key improvement in protecting younger children online during 2015 was the appointment of the BBFC in March 2015 as the voluntary regulator of EE's Strict setting. Under this new service, the BBFC determines what website content accessed via EE's mobile network, is suitable for younger children, in line with the BBFC's PG standard. Using the Strict setting, parents are able to restrict their children's viewing to safe and appropriate content, suitable for under 12s. The BBFC also provides a free appeals and adjudication service in relation to individual cases of purported over- and under-blocking.

 

  The best films of 2015...

As judged by the amount of wound up whingers complaining to the BBFC


Link Here 1st July 2016
Spectre DVD Daniel Craig There's not a lot in the BBFC Annual report covering 2015 that has mass appeal to newspaper readers so the last of films with the most complaints is the pick of the crop.

Perhaps most notably all but one of the complained about films are those that were cut for a lower category. As the cuts were suggested by the BBFC, then by definition, all these films sit exactly on category boundaries. And of course, set themselves up for the inevitable 'handful' of complaints.

Spectre was top with 40 complaints. The BBFC commented:

Complaints about Spectre focussed on scenes of violence. During postproduction, the distributor sought advice on whether it could secure a 12A classification and if so, how. One scene involving an eye-gouging was slightly too strong for the company's preferred 12A classification. We therefore suggested reductions to this scene. What remains in the classified version of the scene is a brief implication of what is happening, with only limited visual detail.

There is also a torture scene. Although the idea is unpleasant there is limited detail depicted. Given the lack of detail in the scene and the context of an action film featuring a larger-than-life hero character who always defeats his enemies, this moderate violence is acceptable at 12A. Another scene, showing the bloody aftermath of a suicide, was similarly reduced.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was next best with 38 complaints:

One of the issues raised by the public with regards to Kingsman: The Secret Service was the level of violence at 15, particularly in regards to a fight scene in a church.

The BBFC saw a version of the film before it was complete and offered advice as to how the film distributor's desired 15 rating could be achieved. Otherwise, the film would have been classified 18. The distributor chose to make changes before formally submitting the film for classification. While there are some strong moments of violence in the film, they are relatively brief and do not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury to the extent they require an 18 classification. The BBFC therefore classified the film 15.

Other complaints focussed on a scene involving a crude sex reference which is unexpected but intended to be funny. In part thanks to the comic context, this line did not require the entire film be restricted to an adult audience only by way of an 18 classification. [The BBFC are being a bit coy here, but presumably are referring to the Swedish princess offering anal sex as a reward for her rescue].

Absolutely Anything offended 22 for it's 6 'fucks' in a 12 rated film:

Absolutely Anything attracted complaints because of strong language and sex references. The distributor reduced the frequency of strong language in the film following advice prior to the film's submission to the BBFC for formal classification. The film originally contained over 20 uses of strong language.

The 12A version of the film contains six uses of strong language (f**k) and some moderate and mild bad language. The language in Absolutely Anything was therefore within the Guidelines at 12A. Nevertheless, 22 members of the public complained about the number of uses of the F word as well as some references to sex.

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials received 21 complaints:

There were 21 complaints about violence and threat in The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Scenes include gangs of people operating in a lawless environment, and infected zombie-like people attacking other characters.

The distributor sought advice on how to secure the classification it was aiming to achieve. The BBFC advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but a 12A classification could be achieved by making some changes, including reducing moments of threat and horror involving zombie-like characters, and reducing the focus on injury in a scene in which a man is beaten for information. When the film was formally submitted for classification, these changes had been made and, consequently, the film is within the Guidelines at 12A where moderate physical and psychological threat is permitted, as long as horror sequences are not too frequent or sustained and the overall tone is not disturbing.

Whilst Minions , the only film on the list not cut, received 16 complaints:

Minions received 16 complaints, mainly focussing on a scene set in a medieval-style torture dungeon. The Minions are stretched on a rack, where it is apparent that they do not come to any harm, and this develops into them slipping unharmed through a noose and playing with the gallows. The scene takes place in an unrealistic, comic and slapstick manner which is likely to be familiar to young viewers, who expect the Minions to survive. The realistic risk of harmful imitation is very low indeed.

Some of the Minions complaints concerned a chase scene involving a pale-faced man holding a chainsaw, and a clown juggling bombs. At U, scary or potentially unsettling sequences should be mild, brief and unlikely to cause undue anxiety to young children. The outcome should be reassuring. The fantastical and animated context significantly distances the scenes from real life. Within the wider context, Minions is a well-known franchise which plays off the idea of villains , so images of villainous characters are to be expected. Furthermore, the Minions remain unfazed and unthreatened. They instead appear to have lots of fun working together, adding to the comic tone which runs throughout. After careful consideration the BBFC classified the film at U.

 

 Update: Soliciting the decriminalisation of soliciting...

UK Parliament Committee recommends an immediate end to laws prohibiting soliciting and brothel keeping (when adult and consensual)...but will then consider whether men should be criminalised for buying sex


Link Here 1st July 2016  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in England and Wales...A selfish campaign to lock up men
home affairs sex work june 2016 If the committee realises that current prohibitions endanger sex workers then it seems unlikely that they can recommend the criminalisation of men. Even if the crime of soliciting is repealed, then instead of soliciting, the sex workers will be guilty of inciting men to commit a crime.

The Committee introduces an interim report saying:

The Home Affairs Committee publishes an interim report on prostitution, saying that soliciting by sex workers, and sex workers sharing premises, should be decriminalised.

Home Office should change legislation

The Committee says the Home Office should immediately change existing legislation so that soliciting is no longer an offence and brothel-keeping laws allow sex workers to share premises, without losing the ability to prosecute those who use brothels to control or exploit sex workers. There must be zero tolerance of the organised criminal exploitation of sex workers.

The Home Office should also legislate to delete previous convictions and cautions for prostitution from the record of sex workers, as these records make it much more difficult for people to move out of prostitution into other forms of work if they wish to.

Key facts

  • Around 11% of British men aged 16--74 have paid for sex on at least one occasion, which equates to 2.3 million individuals.

  • The number of sex workers in the UK is estimated to be around 72,800 with about 32,000 working in London.

  • Sex workers have an average of 25 clients per week paying an average of £78 per visit.

  • In 2014--15, there were 456 prosecutions of sex workers for loitering and soliciting.

  • An estimated 152 sex workers were murdered between 1990 and 2015. 49% of sex workers (in one survey) said that they were worried about their safety.

  • There were 1,139 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2014 and 248 in April to June 2015 (following implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015).

Prostitution inquiry

With regards to changing the laws on buying sex, this inquiry will continue. The Committee will be seeking further evidence on the impacts of the recently introduced sex buyer laws in Northern Ireland and France, and the model of regulation used in for example New Zealand, to make a better assessment for its final report. The laws on prostitution need ultimately to be reconsidered in the round, not least to give the police much more clarity on where their priorities should lie and how to tackle the exploitation and trafficking associated with the sex industry.

Trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is an important and separate issue from prostitution involving consenting adults. It is too early to assess the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 on levels of trafficking, but the Crown Prosecution Service identified 248 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in the first three months of the Act's operation, compared to 1,139 in 2014.

Research on prostitution

Despite the obvious difficulties involved in getting data on an essentially covert industry, the Committee is "dismayed" at the poor quality of information available about the extent and nature of prostitution in England and Wales. The figures cited above must be considered in this context.

Without a proper evidence base, the Government cannot make informed decisions about the effectiveness of current legislation and policies, and cannot target funding and support interventions effectively. The Home Office should commission an in-depth research study on the current extent and nature of prostitution in England and Wales, within the next 12 months.

Chair's comments

Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

This is the first time that Parliament has considered the issue of prostitution in the round for decades. It is a polarising subject with strong views on all sides. This interim report will be followed by final recommendations, when we consider other options, including the different approaches adopted by other countries.

As a first step, there has been universal agreement that elements of the present law are unsatisfactory. Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.

The current law on brothel keeping also means sex-workers can be too afraid of prosecution to work together at the same premises, which can often compromise their safety. There must however be zero tolerance of the organised criminal exploitation of sex workers, and changes to legislation should not lessen the Home Office's ability to prosecute those engaged in exploitation.

The Committee will evaluate a number of the alternative models as this inquiry continues, including the sex-buyers law as operated in Sweden, the full decriminalised model used in Denmark, and the legalised model used in Germany and the Netherlands.

 

 Update: Career blockers...

China gets a new internet censor


Link Here 1st July 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
cyberspace administration of china logoChina has replaced its internet censor, Lu Wei, the hard-liner responsible for an effectively oppressive censorship system.

Lu wielded expansive powers as head of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs since 2014, dictating what 700 million Chinese Internet users may view online and acting as gatekeeper for technology companies wishing to do business in China.

His successor will be his deputy, former propaganda official Xu Lin, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported. Lu will keep his concurrent position as deputy head of the party's propaganda department.

Observers believe that the general direction of Chinese technology policy will not change under the Xi administration.