Censor Watch

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 Obituary: Wes Craven...

May he rest in peace, undisturbed by Freddy Krueger


Link Here 31st August 2015
Wes Cravens New Nightmare DVD Wes Craven was an American film director, writer, producer, and actor known for his work on horror films, particularly slasher films. He was best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger character, directing the first installment and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, and co-writing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner.

Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series, and co-created the Ghostface character. Some of his other films include The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, Red Eye and My Soul to Take.

He died of brain cancer aged 76.

Filmography with links to details of those films that suffered at the hands of censors.
 
1972 The Last House on the Left
1977 The Hills Have Eyes
1981 Deadly Blessing
1982 Swamp Thing
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street
1985 The Hills Have Eyes Part II
1986 Deadly Friend
1988 The Serpent and the Rainbow
1989 Shocker
1991 The People Under the Stairs
1994 Wes Craven's New Nightmare
1995 Vampire in Brooklyn
1996 Scream
1997 Scream 2
1999 Music of the Heart
2000 Scream 3
2005
Cursed
2005 Red Eye
2010 My Soul to Take
2011 Scream 4

 

 

 Update: Insulting Free Speech...

A Quebec Bill is being debated that will establish censors on the lookout for blasphemy and crimes against political correctness


Link Here 31st August 2015  full story: Human Rights in Canada...Canada's Human Rights works against free speech
nationale du quebecThere's a debate in the Canadian province of Quebec over the future of free speech. The Quebec Parliament is currently debating whether to pass Bill 59, a bill that would grant the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) the authority to investigate so-called hate speech , even without a complaint being filed.

The Head of the QHRC, Jacques Frémont has already openly said that he plans to use such powers:

"To sue those critical of certain ideas, 'people who would write against ... the Islamic religion ... on a website or on a Facebook page'"

The legality of the QHRC asserting jurisdiction over the entire Canadian Internet-using public is under debate, but the consensus in Canada appears to be that this bill is a step backwards.  In 2013, the Canadian parliament moved to end scrutiny of Internet speech by its Human Right Commissions when it abolished the infamous Section 13 , of Canada's Human Rights Act. The elimination of the censorious clause followed a successful campaign given voice by Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant after the two were targeted for writings and publications which reportedly "offending" Muslims.

But like a zombie rising from the grave, the idea of censoring "blasphemous" speech, continues to come back, no matter how dead it may have appeared.

 

  Privacy Badger...

EFF provides a Firefox/Chrome add on to block sneaky ways of tracking your website browsing


Link Here 31st August 2015

privacy badger logo The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released Privacy Badger 1.0, a browser extension that blocks some of the sneakiest trackers that try to spy on your Web browsing habits.

More than a quarter of a million users have already installed the alpha and beta releases of Privacy Badger. The new Privacy Badger 1.0 includes blocking of certain kinds of super-cookies and browser fingerprinting -- the latest ways that some parts of the online tracking industry try to follow Internet users from site to site.

EFF Staff Technologist Cooper Quintin, lead developer of Privacy Badger said:

It's likely you are being tracked by advertisers and other third parties online. You can see some of it when it's happening, such as ads that follow you around the Web that seem to reflect your past browsing history. Those echoes from your past mean you are being tracked, and the records of your online activity are distributed to other third parties -- all without your knowledge, control, or consent. But Privacy Badger 1.0 will spot many of the trackers following you without your permission, and will block them or screen out the cookies that do their dirty work.

Privacy Badger 1.0 works in tandem with the new Do Not Track (DNT) policy, announced earlier this week by EFF and a coalition of Internet companies. Users can set the DNT flag -- in their browser settings or by installing Privacy Badger -- to signal that they want to opt-out of online tracking. Privacy Badger won't block third-party services that promise to honor all DNT requests.

 EFF Chief Computer Scientist Peter Eckersley, leader of the DNT project said:

With DNT and Privacy Badger 1.0, Internet users have important new tools to make their desires about online tracking known to the websites they visit and to enforce those desires by blocking stealthy online tracking and the exploitation of their reading history. It's time to put users back in control and stop surreptitious, intrusive Internet data collection. Installing Privacy Badger 1.0 helps build a leaner, cleaner, privacy-friendly Web.

Download Firefox/Chrome browser add on from eff.org

 

 Offsite Article: Working for the likes of Amazon...


Link Here 31st August 2015
MPAA logo MPAA Demands Extraordinary Measures to Prevent Piracy

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

  Battling the Ban of Battle for Banaras...

Indian film censors ban political documentary


Link Here 30th August 2015  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
battle for banarasThe Battle for Banaras is a 2014 India documentary by Kamal Swaroop.
Starring Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sikandar Agarwal and Aditya Bhattacharya. Youtube link IMDb

Inspired by Nobel laureate Elias Canetti's book, 'Crowds and Power', the documentary captures the excitement, the madness and the noise behind the high- octane poll battle in the holy city of Banaras, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency. And in the process, for the first time lays bare the equation and politics of democracy called India.

Indian film censors have banned a political documentary, Battle of Banaras. The film studies the high-profile electoral battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, who hasn't watched the film, later said:

My officers told me that it's a political satire. It speaks against all politicians and is pro-Kejriwal in the way it has been shot. The people who reviewed it are experienced enough to know what is right and wrong. They found the kind of language that has been used in the film absolutely unsuitable for public viewing. It is inflammatory and flouts the CBFC guidelines.

Defending his film, Kamal Swaroop said it is strictly non-political and doesn't take any sides. He said:

I have nothing to do with AAP or the BJP . It's none of my business as a filmmaker. The film follows the festivities around the elections. I have observed the candidates fighting the election as a physical phenomenon.

Swaroop still has appeal option and he has decided to take the documentary to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

 

  The Book of Mormon...

So fucking good that even the advert censor appreciates the humour


Link Here 30th August 2015

so fucking goodAn ad, in the Evening Standard, for the musical The Book of Mormon featured the quote SO F**KING GOOD IT MAKES ME ANGRY , which was attributed to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Issue

  1. Two complainants challenged that the ad was offensive and unsuitable for publication in a widely available newspaper.

  2. One complainant challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for children to see.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that F**KING was partly obscured by asterisks, but acknowledged that the intended meaning of the word was still clear. However, we considered, in the context of the ad, the word did not have a sexual meaning, but emphasised the extent to which Jon Stewart enjoyed the musical, while reflecting the adult content of the Book of Mormon and the language Jon Stewart used in his comedy. Therefore, we considered the word would be interpreted in a light-hearted context. We understood that the Evening Standard had a predominantly adult readership, and that the editorial sections reported on serious news events, while also regularly using explicit language. Therefore, we did not consider the ad would be offensive to those who were likely to see the ad. For those reasons, we concluded the ad was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the Evening Standard had a predominantly adult readership and referred to explicit language in its editorial section. We considered its content included news events about serious topics that would not be of particular interest to children. Therefore, we considered that the newspaper in which the ad was published was unlikely to appeal to children and concluded that its placement was not irresponsible.

 

 Diary: Going Clear but encrypted...

21st September 2015. Sky is set to broadcast Going Clear despite censorship pressure from the Scientology organisation


Link Here 30th August 2015  full story: Scientology Censors...Scientogists quick to litigate against critics
going clearGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 USA documentary by Alex Gibney.
Starring Lawrence Wright, Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun. IMDb

A devastating two hour documentary based on Lawrence Wright's book of the same name. Scientology is laid bare by a film that skilfully knits together archive footage, testimonials from former high ranking officials and public, and dramatic reconstructions.

Sky Atlantic is to show a documentary on Scientology, despite legal pressure from the 'church'.

Alex Gibney's Going Clear traces the origins of the organisation and profiles former members, including Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis. It has alleged abusive practices at Scientology's US headquarters, which members have denounced as one-sided, bigoted propaganda .

The film premiered to wide acclaim in the US in March and was watched by 5.5 million viewers on HBO. It also garnered seven Emmy nominations.

The Church of Scientology has previously threatened to use the UK's libel laws to challenge any false or defamatory content if it is broadcast in the UK.

Although an initial screening, in April, was postponed, Sky has now confirmed it will be shown, without edits on 21 September. A spokesman for Sky told The Guardian:

Both Sky, and the producers of the film, have sought legal advice at every stage of the process and are confident the film complies with legal requirements in the territories in which we are screening the film.

 

 Update: Cut and Paste Oppression...

Russian looks to extend censorship control of the internet to cover the written word


Link Here 30th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russian Duma logoRussia is looking to expand its control over the internet and is targeting the written word.

According to the deputy head of the Duma Committee on information politics, parliament will be considering new legislation to protect online media publications from cut-and-paste piracy. Leonid Levin said:

Indeed, there is a conversation with the journalistic community on the topic of additional changes in legislation, including for copy-paste [infringement]

We will analyze this situation and we are certainly going to look at the possibility of changes, including for the protection of media publications.

At this stage it seems likely that Levin is referring to the wholesale online piracy of complete articles and publications but no further details have yet been made public. But whatever the intent, plenty of space will be required to report news, generate analysis, express opinion and offer criticism.

 

 Updated: A persuasive plaintif...

Indian film banned in Pakistan over claims of defamation by a suspected terrorist


Link Here 29th August 2015
phantom indiaPhantom is a 2015 India action thriller by Kabir Khan.
Starring Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif and Rajesh Tailang. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Phantom is a political thriller that unfolds across various countries around the world. The plot revolves around protagonist Daniyal, whose journey to seek justice takes him from India to Europe, America and the volatile Middle East. However, he finds out that in a mission like this, there is always a price to pay, in this case, a very personal price.

The Indian movie, Phantom was set to be released on August 28 both in Pakistan and India, but its screening is now banned in Pakistani cinemas as the result of a case in the Lahore High Court. It follows the pattern of Pakistanis not being impressed by being depicted as the bad guys.

In this case, a lawyer representing a suspected bad guy wanted by the U.S., brought the case over being depicted as a terrorist who is the target of an assassination in the film. The internationally designated terrorist who was the brains behind the 26/11 attacks felt that this movie would somehow mislead the residents of Pakistan.

In the UK, the BBFC has just passed the film 15 uncut for strong violence.


Update: Aid group calls for the censorship of Phantom because they think people believe what they see at the movies

29th August 2015. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

medicins sans frontieres logoAid group Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) says it is taking legal action over a Bollywood film, claiming it could endanger its staff in conflict zones.

MSF says the film Phantom depicts an aid worker for a confusingly similar fictitious organisation using a weapon. The film does not mention MSF by name.

The group claims the film could harm its work in places where its access depends on a reputation for neutrality. A statement released by MSF said the organisation became aware of its association with Phantom after one of its actors said

Their character in the film worked for MSF. The same character was also shown holding a gun in the film's trailer, something an MSF staff member would never do.

 

  Censored Until Dawn...

YouTube video reveals cuts to cuts in Japanese version of the game Until Dawn


Link Here 29th August 2015
Sony 711719815136 Until Dawn PS4 The YouTube channel Censored Gaming has published its latest video, this one highlighting how the PlayStation 4 horror game, Until Dawn , was amended for its Japanese release.

Josh's death by saw cutscene was crudely censored for Japan by totally blanking out the video.

Until Dawn is rated M for Mature in the United States and features a good amount of blood and gore, including disembowling and decapitations, as well as a scene where a character is forced to cut off parts of his fingers.

 

 Offsite Article: Secret Affairs...


Link Here 29th August 2015  full story: Ashley Madison Website...infidelity dating website
ashley madison logo New analysis shows over 99% of the women on Ashley Madison were fake

See article from extremetech.com

 

  An Old Rap...

US rapper Tyler, the Creator banned from the UK over lyrics written many years ago and no longer performed


Link Here 28th August 2015
Goblin Creator Tyler The US rapper Tyler, the Creator says he has been banned from the UK because of the nature of his lyrics. The Odd Future co-founder recently cancelled four dates including an appearance at Reading/Leeds and tweeted that it was because the authorities were unhappy with his subject matter.

His manager, Christian Clancy, went into more detail on his Tumblr, saying

Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the UK. The letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums Bastard and Goblin , the type of lyrics he hasn't written since. Highlights from the letter include that his work encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality and fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.

Earlier this month Tyler cancelled the Australian leg of his world tour after a feminist group launched a petition to have him denied a visa to enter the country. The group, Collective Shout, cited objections to lyrics that include references to rape and violence against women, as well as historic behaviour on earlier tours.

Complaints about Tyler seem to stem largely from songs on his self-produced 2009 mixtape Bastard, which includes lines such as you call this shit rape but I think that rape's fun as well as references to raping Goldilocks and committing suicide. Most of that record was written when Tyler was a teenager and he has since written about how he's moved on from the sentiments expressed on it.

Comment: Once you start banning rappers like Tyler, the Creator, where do you stop

See  article from  theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Caligula, vampires and coping with death threats...


Link Here 28th August 2015
islam the untold story An interview with Tom Holland, who made the documentary, Islam: The Untold Story

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Place de Nana...


Link Here 28th August 2015
place de nana Paris feminists have fun substituting women for men on famous street signs

See article from thelocal.fr

 

 Offsite Article: Age Related Incapability...


Link Here 28th August 2015  full story: Internet Age Verification in UK...UK bill to mandate age verification for internet sales
trust elevate logo UK authorities and internet industry seem to be getting serious about finding a viable methods of age verification

See article from computerweekly.com

 

 Update: Rajan Zed recommends...

Women's polo suits from Hardcoresport


Link Here 27th August 2015  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
water polo ganeshaThe professionally easily outraged hindu, Rajan Zed, is whngeing about an image of the religious character Lord Ganesha that appears on women's water polo suits from the California, company, Hardcoresport.

Zed said that it was disturbing to see image of Lord Ganesha covering hips and crotch of a model in a water polo suit. Lord Ganesha was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear for mercantile greed of an apparel company.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the manufacturer Hardcoresport to immediately recall and remove from various web-outlets all swimwear which showed Hindu Lord Ganesha, and its bosses Mia Andersen and Whitney Hentzen to publicly apologize.

Zed further said that such trivialization of a Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus world over. 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.

Rajan Zed suggested Hardcoresport and other corporations worldwide to send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity.

 

 Offsite Article: GCHQ and me...


Link Here 27th August 2015
Secret Service Issues Duncan Campbell Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell recounts his experiences unmasking British eavesdroppers

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

  Making movies with no chance of a happy end...

Film director jailed for 20 years by Russia for coordinating relief efforts for Ukrainian soldiers blockaded in Crimea


Link Here 26th August 2015
Poster Gmer 2011 Oleg Sentsov Gámer is a 2011 Ukraine drama by Oleg Sentsov.
Starring Zhanna Biryuk, Alexander Fedotov and Vladislav Zhuk. IMDb

The boy's name is Alex, but in the world of gamers where he spends most of his time, he is known as Koss. The enormous amount of time he spends at the computer screen starts to pay off: in the games' clubs in his small Ukrainian village, he is the undisputed king of the shooting game Quake, admired by the 'noobs' - the younger and less experienced players he defeats digitally.

A Russian court has sentenced the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in prison after a trial described by Amnesty International as redolent of Stalinist-era show trials .

Sentsov directed the 2011 feature film Gamer , but stopped work on a new movie when Russia began to intervene in Crimea. He coordinated relief efforts for the Ukrainian soldiers who were blockaded inside their bases by Russian troops.

Sentsov and his co-defendant Alexander Kolchenko, who received a 10-year sentence, were accused of planning terrorist acts in Crimea after the peninsula was annexed by Russia last year. The trial was littered with irregularities: Sentsov said he had been tortured, while investigators dismissed the bruises on his body as being the result of a supposed penchant for sadomasochistic sex. The main prosecution witness recanted in the courtroom and said his evidence had been extorted under torture. When the judges asked the pair if they understood the verdict, they smiled and sang the national anthem of Ukraine .

Heather McGill, a researcher at Amnesty International, said:

This whole trial was designed to send a message. It played into Russia's propaganda war against Ukraine and was redolent of Stalinist-era show trials of dissidents. This trial was fatally flawed and credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment have been ignored by the court.

International film directors, including Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Wim Wenders, have signed an open letter to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, calling for Sentsov's release and an investigation into claims of torture against him.

Russian directors have also joined the appeals. Andrei Zvyagintsev , whose most recent film, Leviathan , won a Golden Globe, said on Monday that he had read the documents from the court case and found them unconvincing. He asked the Russian authorities to either release [Sentsov] or try him only for what you can prove irrefutably .

 

  Recommending Tagore's Dance Drama: Valmiki Pratibha...

Followers of Indian religion to protest against dance drama at Birmingham arts centre


Link Here 26th August 2015
tagores dance drama valmiki pratibha Followers of an ancient Indian religion are to gather outside a Birmingham theatre to protest over a play that depicts their guru as a villain.

Members of the Central Valmiki Sabha International organisation are 'outraged' that the production - Tagore's Dance Drama: Valmiki Pratibha - shows the group's guru, Bhagwan Valmiki GI, as a robber, looter and killer.

Worshippers from across the UK will demonstrate outside the Mac arts centre in Edgbaston on Sunday, the day the play is due to be performed. Representatives of other faiths, including Sikhs and Christians, are also expected to join the protest.

Jagdish Rai, general secretary of Central Valmiki Sabha UK, said:

There is a great deal of upset within our community. There has never been any evidence to suggest that our guru was a thief, he came from royalty. We will not have this and this is why we are planning this protest.

There are people from all faiths attending because they want to support our cause. If someone was saying something against their faith, they would feel the same.

This will be a peaceful protest. We are not interested in violence, we just want to get our message across. There will be a lot of people there because there is a great strength of feeling about this.

We are fine for the play to go ahead, but we want them to eliminate the part where they depict the person we worship as a thief and a thug because we do not believe this to be the case.

The play is being performed by Nrityakunj, a South Asian dance, drama and arts company based in Manchester, and choreographed by artistic director Mitali Dev. It has already been staged in London, Manchester and Liverpool.

 

  Carnival of Control Freakery...

Notting Hill Festival organisers attempt to take control of press coverage


Link Here 26th August 2015

nottiing hill carnivalPhotographers, reporters and camera crews will this weekend stage a de facto boycott of the prime locations at Notting Hill Carnival as news organisations fight back at the creeping control of media freedoms at major entertainment and sporting events.

The protest by national and international media groups follows attempts by carnival organisers to charge journalists £100 each for 'accreditation' to cover the annual free street festival. Following discussions, news groups will cover the carnival from among the crowds and without official accreditation.

The attempt by the carnival's board to charge journalists and to demand shared rights to articles, blogs and pictures is seen as part of a trend in which organisers of major sports and entertainment events seek to censor and monetise media coverage.

Andrew Moger, executive director of the News Media Coalition (NMC), an international body representing publishers and news agencies said:

I would characterise it as a creeping control and erosion of legitimate and long-held journalistic freedoms.

 

  PG-18...

Thailand proposes an advisory video games rating system


Link Here 26th August 2015
Tropico Espionage Mac Code Steam A non-binding video game ratings system has been proposed by the Thai Ministry of Culture. Six age-based ratings for games have been mooted by the Ministry of Culture that would be placed on all games released in Thailand but would not be legally binding on retailers to enforce. Pradith Posew of the Film and Video Censors Board said:

There won't be any legal effect in banning kids from playing games. It's merely a guidance for guardians to take care of their kids' video game playing, based on the appropriateness to their age.

He said it was also intended to help internet and gaming cafes to advise kids who play games at their shops.

In addition to a general audience category, the six ratings would include recommendations for minimum ages of 3, 6, 13, 15 and 18.

The ratings system has been sent to the military government for final approval, Pradith said.

On several recent occasions video games have been banned in Thailand. In 2008, the Ministry of Culture banned sales of Grand Theft Auto IV , after a 17-year-old student stabbed a taxi driver dead and blamed the game for his actions.

In August 2014, three months after the military seized power from an elected government, Thai authorities also banned sales of Tropico 5 , which allows players to assume the role of a dictator running a fictitious tropical island nation. The Film and Video Censors Board claimed the game could possibly affect the kingdom's political situation. The game creator hit back at Thailand this past June by launching a new Espionage mission tasking players with crippling the Thai tourism industry.

 

  Europe carved up to benefit the media industry...

European Commission asks whether failed Satellite TV licensing rules should be extended to the internet


Link Here 26th August 2015
european commission logoThe European Commission is considering extending failed copyright rules covering satellite broadcasters and cable companies to services carried over the internet.

The Commission says it wants to enhance cross border access to broadcasting and related online services across the EU. It wants to assess the impact of extending the Directive to TV and radio programmes provided over the internet, notably broadcasters' online services, such as the BBC iPlayer or commercial services like Sweden's TV4 Play.

Under the 1993 directive satellite rights are acquired for the EU country where, under the control and responsibility of the broadcasting organisation. Under this country of origin principle, rights cleared in one country theoretically allow the broadcasting organisations to broadcast to the whole of the EU, but in practice, don't.

Views are being sought from consumers, public authorities, broadcasters, authors, audio-visual and record producers, performers, collective management organisations, satellite and cable operators, internet and online service providers. The consultation will run through until November 16.

 

 Extract: From the Diary of a Near Retirement Age Censor...

David Cooke speaks about the 18 rating for Diary of a Teenage Girl


Link Here 25th August 2015
Diary Teenage Girl Account Pictures David Cooke, the director of the BBFC told the New Statesman that the film was classified 18 thanks mainly to its eight sex scenes, use of cocaine, LSD and marijuana, and what Cooke calls the glamorisation of drug use in the film. He added that the age gap between Minnie and Monroe, and the fact that Minnie is underage, would also have affected the decision.

He also said that the film very clearly fits into the 18 classification and wasn't a borderline case.

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Ignorant Censors...

Russia bans Wikipedia over a single page about marijuana


Link Here 25th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
wikipedia logoRussia has just banned Wikipedia over an article about marijuana. Roscomnadzor, the official internet censor, has ordered Russian ISPs to block the site. The ban is due to a specific article about charas, a form of hashish that is handmade in India. According to Roscomnadzor, the page constitutes instructions on how to make the drug, which makes it illegal under Russian laws.

Wikimedia.ru has declined to avoid the ban by removing the post.

Earlier this month, Russia briefly blocked the entirety of Reddit over a post about hallucinogenic mushrooms after Reddit similarly refused to remove the post. Reddit later accommodated the censors wishes so as to unblock the site.

The use of HTTPS, which encrypts traffic between websites and users, is having an impact on ISP level censorship as it prevents the ISPs blocking specific pages.

Update: Unblocked

1st September 2015. See article from microcapmagazine.com

Russia cancelled the ban on the Russian-language Wikipedia, which just lasted a few hours and created a stir among Russian online users.

The agency then removed Wikipedia from it's list of banned websites, quoting that the information in the article had been edited, in kind adhering to the court decision. Internet users however, noted that Wikipedia didn't seem to have changed or edited the page, but only re-titled it

 

 Offsite Article: For Such a Time...


Link Here 25th August 2015
Such Time Kate Breslin More about the politically correct censorship of a romance set in a concentration camp

See article from vice.com

 

 Offsite Article: Ghostery and Privacy...


Link Here 25th August 2015
ghostery logo If ad-blocking continues to rise, what happens to the web's business model? By John Naughton

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Commented: Abusing freedom of expression...

ATVOD censors Dreams of Spanking and 7 other website operators


Link Here 23rd August 2015  full story: ATVOD censors Pandora Blake...Dreams of Spanking websites falls foul of internet censor
dreams of spanking logoVideo on Demand censor ATVOD has taken action against 8 adult companies operating 21 websites. 6 of the services didn't abide by ATVOD's unviable and onerous age verification requirements and 2 contained spanking material, which ATVOD claims is banned under an undemocratically introduced government decree.

In fact spanking material is banned because the Crown Prosecution Service unilaterally claims that it can be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. This claim is surely not backed up by recent jury trials, but is maintained by offering attractive plea bargains to victims being prosecuted to accept a guilty rap rather than go to jury trial. The Crown Prosecution Service writes the porn censorship rules used by the BBFC, and ATVOD in turn, uses the same CPS defined rules as maintained by the BBFC.

Ultimately ATVOD and the government are making the bollox claim that spanking videos are somehow likely to 'deprave and corrupt' viewers. A claim that's provably nonsense as for all the many people that enjoy the likes of Dreams of Spanking, there simply aren't any examples of people who have been depraved and corrupted its viewing, not even ATVOD staff.

The two services which featured 'banned' material -- The Bondage Mistress Club and Dreams of Spanking are the subject of ongoing enforcement action. If they fail to become fully compliant in accordance with a strict timetable set by ATVOD, the service providers will be referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended.

The six other services -- Joybear Pictures, Sunday Sport XXXtra, UK XXX Pass, Lisa Cross, Luke's Lair and Lucy Zara -- had all failed to have in place robust mechanisms for preventing under 18s from accessing pornographic material which would be restricted to adult licensed sex shop customers if distributed on a DVD. Two of the services -- UK XXX Pass and Luke's Lair - had allowed any visitor to view such material free of charge. The remaining four restricted access to hardcore porn to paying customers only, but accepted the most common forms of payment which theoretically could be used by under 18s.

Following ATVOD's intervention, all six services acted to make changes to bring the service into compliance or closed until such action could be completed. Of these, Joybear Pictures and UK XXX Pass acted in advance of the final breach ruling, while the remaining four acted in accordance with deadlines set in Enforcement Notifications issued at the time the breach was confirmed.

ATVPD notes that two of the providers recently brought into compliance have since submitted claims -- currently under investigation - that the services have now been transferred to the control of persons based outside the UK. ATVOD has no powers in relation to services operated from abroad and on-demand services provided from outside the UK -- but accessible within the UK - are rarely required to have in place the sort of age verification and access control systems required by ATVOD.

Comment: Amongst the authoritarian, sanctimonious twats of this world

23rd August 2015. Thank to Alan

letter writingI write from a civilised country, in which material illegal under the Dangerous Pictures Act can be shown on terrestrial telly, with the kiddiwinks protected only by the late hour of broadcast. Maybe I should extend my holiday.

My first reaction to reading the ATVOD determination was laughter. How could anybody write this sanctimonious, po-faced drivel without rolling on the floor pissing his boxers (or her knickers) with uncontrollable, hysterical mirth? Among the authoritarian, sanctimonious twats of this world, Johnson has shown himself to be the Michelangelo of authoritarianism, the Leonardo of sanctimony and the Raphael of twattishnesss.

One small mercy, I suppose, is that Pandora's real name is redacted. She was seriously concerned that it might be released. (I know of only two models/actresses in the spanking field who have let their demonstrable real name be known, and a couple of others who have used the same name -- real or assumed -- for spanking and other modelling work.) The more serious aspect, of course, is that PB has had to put Dreams of Spanking on hold until she can win an appeal against this idiocy. My acquaintance with the woman is extremely limited -- confined to the exchange of a couple of emails -- but she comes across as a thoroughly likable person.

Update: Ariel's Sponsored Caning

24th August 2015. Thank to Alan

It is interesting to note that one of the films singled out for a kicking was Ariel's Sponsored Caning - produced specifically to raise money for the fight against ATVOD, and made available free under Creative Commons.

 

  Censor Strike...

Government consultation reveals plans to censor the social media use of trade unions


Link Here 22nd August 2015
David CameronStriking unions could face censorship on their use of social media, the TUC's general secretary has told the BBC. A consultation document linked to the proposed Trade Union Bill suggests unions involved in industrial action should give two weeks notice if they plan to campaign via social media.

The consultation document suggests unions taking industrial action must give notice of whether it will be using social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter, blogs, setting up websites and what those blogs and websites will set out .

Ministers said social media censorship would not apply to posts by individuals.

 

  Unforgotten Censorship...

UK internet censor orders Google to remove links to current news articles


Link Here 21st August 2015
information commissioners office logoInternet censors at the UK's Information Commissioner's Office have ordered Google to censor links to recent news articles that highlight censorship under Europe's 'right to be forgotten'.

The censors have ordered the removal of nine links to current news stories about right to be forgotten censorship that effectively re-connect to information ordered 'forgotten'.

The search engine had previously removed links relating to a 10 year-old criminal offence by an individual after requests made under the right to be forgotten ruling. Removal of those links from Google's search results for the claimant's name spurred new news posts detailing the removals, which were then indexed by Google's search engine.

Google refused to remove links to these later news posts, which included details of the original criminal offence, despite them forming part of search results for the claimant's name, arguing that they are an essential part of a recent news story and in the public interest.

Google now has 35 days from the 18 August to censor the links from its search results for the claimant's name. Google has the right to appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber against the notice.

Deputy chief censor David Smith said:

The European court ruling last year was clear that links prompted by searching on an individual's name are subject to data protection rules. That means they shouldn't include personal information that is no longer relevant.

We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google. But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant's name.

 

 Offsite Article: Political Correctness at the BBFC...


Link Here 20th August 2015
BBFC logo Podcast Episode 32: Classifying Discrimination - Part 1

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

  Bullies take control...

Major Australian supermarket bans Zoo Weekly


Link Here 20th August 2015
zoo australiaA PC lynch mob has targeted Australian shops selling lads' mags.

Laura Pintur started an online petition three months ago calling on supermarket majors Coles and Woolworths to ban Zoo Weekly from their shelves.

An employee at Coles joined the campaign, writing to her union and store manager with an official complaint claiming that selling the magazine contributed to an unsafe workplace and made her complicit in promoting rape culture .

Now the two are claiming a victory, with Coles announcing that it will withdraw the title from sale. In a brief statement, the company claimed it had made a commercial decision to delete Zoo magazine following a regular range review . Pintur crowed:

Zoo Weekly teaches boys that girls like me and my friends exist purely for their sexual use. I couldn't understand why Coles and Woolworths, which pride themselves in their corporate responsibility, family values, and care for their local communities could profit from selling this harmful product. By discontinuing Zoo , Coles has finally done the right thing for women and girls.

IWoolworths indicated there were no plans to withdraw the magazine. A spokesman said:

Zoo magazine is widely available across retailers, newsagents and many other outlets. To reduce the exposure to these magazines in our store, we have it positioned in the magazine reading centre in the aisle in the top right corner. We do not position it at the front of store or on the checkouts in recognition that some customers could be offended by the magazine's content.

 

 Update: A Last Resort...

Hilton Hotels join Marriott in banning porn on hotel room TV


Link Here 20th August 2015  full story: Nutter Friendly Hotels...Nutters campaign against hotel room adult movies
hilton hotels logoMorality in Media is wetting its pants over the fact that Hilton Hotels & Resorts has announced a policy change: They will no longer give guests the choice to watch X-rated fare on their in-room TV system.

In an emailed announcement to supporters, Morality in Media crowed:

Thanks to thousands of complaints from customers, and our leadership, Hilton has decided to make their hotels a safe environment and to no longer profit from sexual exploitation.

We want to publicly thank Hilton for its decision to create a safe and positive environment for all of its customers.

Update: Worldwide

20th August 2015. See  article from  travelweekly.com

Hilton Worldwide will phase out pornographic programming from its hotel rooms' video-on-demand inventory. The company said that it currently doesn't offer pornographic films in the vast majority of its hotels and will phase it out at the remainder of properties subject to the terms of their contracts. Hilton said in a statement:

We have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company's vision and goals moving forward.

 

  Oh God Please don't let the replacement by Pete Johnson...

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, will retire on 12 March 2016 following 12 years in post.


Link Here 19th August 2015

david cooke 2015David Cooke joined the BBFC in September 2004. Prior to this he held six government Director level posts, in the Cabinet Office, Northern Ireland Office and Home Office, working on topics such as the Northern Ireland Peace Process, devolution, asylum, criminal justice performance and broadcasting. David is also an Executive Board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

David Cooke said:

Being Director of the BBFC is a wonderful job. It comes with superb colleagues and an endlessly fascinating subject matter. The danger is that you will outstay your welcome because you cannot bring yourself to leave. That's why I decided, some time ago, that I would retire when I was 60.

The right time for reflection on my decade in post will be when I actually go, in March next year. For now I'll simply say that I've tried, with the Presidential Team and the Council of Management, to make the BBFC more open and informative, more approachable, and above all more useful to the public at a time when the proliferation of online outlets for audio-visual content means that the need for a trusted guide in support of child protection is greater than ever.

During his tenure as Director, David Cooke has overseen the day to day running of the BBFC, and two large scale public consultation reviews of the Classification Guidelines. He also helped the BBFC adapt its services in line with technology in a number of ways, including a voluntary online regulation services for Video-on-Demand content, the introduction of a classification framework for mobile network operators, and the launch of an initiative to age rate UK online music videos.

The search for David Cooke's replacement will begin immediately via open competition.

 

  Declare your sponsors...

CAP publish new rules for video bloggers


Link Here 19th August 2015
CAP logo The Committee of Advertising Practice, CAP, is the arm of Advertising  Authority, ASA, charged with producing censorship rules for advertising. ASA have issued the following press release:

CAP have produced clear new guidance for vloggers to help them better understand how and when the advertising rules apply to their vlogs so that they are upfront and deal fairly with their followers.

The new guidance comes in response to calls for greater clarity from vloggers about when material in vlogs becomes advertising and how they can make that clear. It follows a ruling last year in which several vlogs (where there was a commercial relationship between the advertiser and the vloggers) were found to be misleading because they did not make clear before consumers engaged with the material that they were ads.

The advertising rules, which apply across media including online and to social media channels, state that ads must be obviously identifiable as such. If a vlogger is paid to promote a product or service and an advertiser controls the message then it becomes an ad. When that happens, like all advertisers, vloggers must be upfront and clearly signpost that they're advertising.

The scenarios covered in the guidance are:

  • Online marketing by a brand - where a brand collaborates with a vlogger and makes a vlog about the brand and/or its products and shares it on its own social media channels
  • "Advertorial" vlogs -- a whole video is in the usual style of the vlogger but the content is controlled by the brand and the vlogger has been paid
  • Commercial breaks within vlogs -- where most of the vlog is editorial material but there's also a specific section dedicated to the promotion of a product
  • Product placement - independent editorial content that also features a commercial message
  • Vlogger's video about their own product - the sole content of a vlog is a promotion of the vlogger's own merchandise
  • Editorial video referring to a vlogger's products -- a vlogger promotes their own product within a broader editorial piece
  • Sponsorship - a brand sponsors a vlogger to create a video but has no control of the content
  • Free items -- a brand sends a vlogger items for free without any control of the content of the vlog

The advertising rules do not cover or prohibit vloggers entering into commercial relationships and the ASA does not regulate editorial opinion. In response to feedback from vloggers, however, we're also reminding brands and agencies (be they advertising, digital or PR) looking to partner with vloggers of the need to be transparent. Any advertiser or agency that asks a vlogger not to be up-front (disclose) that they're advertising are asking them to break the advertising rules and potentially the law.

Launching the new guidance, Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:

Wherever ads appear we should be confident we can trust what an advertiser says; it's simply not fair if we're being advertised to and are not made aware of that fact. Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they're sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they've built with their followers.

 

  A Safer London...

Mohammed cartoon event in London has been cancelled


Link Here 19th August 2015

safer londonAnne Marie Walters has announced that the Mohammed cartoon exhibition that she and others had planned for September in London has been cancelled. She explained:

Over the last few weeks, I have had several conversations with both Scotland Yard and counter-terror detectives. My conclusion? That the risk of running this exhibition is simply too high. When setting out to do something like this, one has to be prepared for the possibility of threats, or even violence, but it's easy to underestimate the impact such things will have on the people around you.

There's a very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed, before, during, and after the event. This, together with the fact that our venue had indicated it wanted to pull out citing security and insurance concerns, and given the fear that people were feeling generally, the only responsible thing to do was to pull back and try to learn some lessons.

 

 Updated: BBFC kindly point out the sexiest music videos...

Government announces that BBFC music video ratings will be a permanent feature on YouTube


Link Here 19th August 2015  full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos

DCMS logoThe Government is working with the UK music industry, BBFC and digital service providers like Vevo and YouTube to take further action to protect children from viewing inappropriate videos on the internet.

Many children have easy access to music videos online and some parents are rightly concerned that some of these contain imagery or lyrics not appropriate for a young audience.

In October 2014 a Government-backed pilot to introduce age ratings for online music videos was launched by the BBFC and BPI in conjunction with Vevo and YouTube, working with major UK music labels to introduce a new ratings system that would allow digital service providers to clearly display an easily recognisable age rating on videos posted on the web.

UK labels supply videos ahead of release to the BBFC, and then pass on the rating and guidance given by the BBFC when releasing their videos to the two digital service providers involved -- Vevo and YouTube - who display it when the videos are broadcast online.

Building on the pilot, the Government has now as part of its manifesto commitment agreed with the UK music industry and with the digital service providers that the measures trialled will be now be made permanent for videos produced in the UK by artists who are represented by major labels.

As well as working with Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK, the Government is also encouraging independent UK music labels to follow suit so that the digital service providers can display appropriate age ratings on their videos too. We can announce today that independent UK music labels will now take part in a six month pilot phase.

Joanna Shields, Minister for Internet Safety and Security, said:

Movies in the cinema and music DVDs are age rated to inform the viewer and help parents to make informed choices. We welcome this voluntary step from industry to bring internet services in line with the offline world.

Keeping children safe as they experience and enjoy all the benefits the Internet has to offer is a key priority for this Government's One Nation approach to help families across Britain. We will continue to work with industry to develop ways to help parents to better protect children online from inappropriate music videos with explicit adult or violent content.

Clear age ratings are the first step but initial findings of independent research commissioned by the BBFC shows that up to 60 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 are watching music videos that they do not think their parents would approve of.

To help address this, Vevo are exploring plans to link these age ratings to additional technology on their platform that can support age controls.

On YouTube, when record labels upload a UK-produced music video rated 18 by the BBFC, they are able to age-gate access to users signed in as over 18. The new age ratings also complement YouTube's existing restricted mode which helps parents screen out content they may not feel is right for their children. To date 132 music videos have been submitted by UK labels to the BBFC for certification and, of these, only one has been given an 18-rating -- Dizzee Rascal's 'Couple of Stacks'.

Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said:

Britain is a world leader in making exciting and original music, in part because our artists have a freedom to express themselves that we rightly cherish. While we must continue to uphold this principle, it is equally important that music videos are broadcast in a responsible way and that parents are given the tools to make more informed viewing decisions on behalf of their families.

UK record labels value the opportunity to work with Government to build on the pilot and, as a key next step, we encourage Vevo, YouTube and other digital service providers to look at how they can make filters available to parents so they can use age ratings to screen out any inappropriate content.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, said:

We welcome this agreement. Parents want to see clear and recognisable age ratings on online music videos and we look forward to building on the success of the pilot, in partnership with the industry, so that the public can have the trusted signposting which they seek.

Nic Jones, EVP International at Vevo, said:

Vevo have been participating in the BBFC's age ratings pilot since its inception and welcome news that that scheme is to be permanently backed by UK major labels. We are very pleased that the UK independent labels -- such an important part of the UK music landscape will now be part of this scheme. At Vevo we support artists and their creativity, however, we understand the importance and value that age ratings provide parents and music fans to help inform their viewing, enabling them to make choices about what content they wish to watch.

Vevo will be working with the BBFC as the scheme rolls out to make sure that age ratings are displayed in the most effective way on our platform, to provide the necessary guidance for audiences in a clear way. We are also committed to making the age ratings work as effectively as possible and will continue to explore how additional technology on the platform can support age controls to ensure that explicit content is watched only by age appropriate audiences.

Candice Morrissey, Content Partnerships Manager at YouTube EMEA, said:

We have been working with the participants in this pilot to help them display the BBFC's age ratings on their music videos on YouTube. These ratings are in addition to the controls we already provide on YouTube including the ability for uploaders to add age warnings to videos and a restricted mode.

Government and industry are also working together to look at how lessons learned in the UK could help international partners who share our concerns to adopt a similar approach.

Offsite Article: The Telegraph recommends the top 7 outrage generating music videos

19th August 2015. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

rihanna bitch have my money video The Telegraph has run a piece that the Daily Mail would be proud of. An article seemingly bemoaning that some of the most outrageous music videos that will escape the BBFC music censors due to them not being British. And of course the Telegraph glories in its lurid descriptions of the video with lots of illustrations of the best bits.

And for the record, the recommended music videos are:

  • Miley Cyrus:  Wrecking Ball
  • Rihanna:  Bitch Better Have My Money
  • Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines
  • Maroon 5: Animals
  • Snoop Dogg: Upside Down
  • M.I.A: Born Free
  • Nelly feat. The Lunatics: Tip Drill

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Librarians Vs Moralists...

New Zealand book censor unrestricts Into the River by Ted Dawe, but the moralists are not happy


Link Here 19th August 2015  full story: Book Censorship in New Zealand...Embarassing book bans
Into River Large Print 16pt A young person's book that has been restricted to people aged 14 and over for two years has been cleared for unrestricted release after an unusual appeal by librarians.

Deputy chief censor Nic McCully ruled the R14 restriction on Into The River, byTed Dawe, was an arbitrary and unfair breach of the right to freedom of expression.

But Bob McCoskrie, director of the morality campaign group Family First director, who originally complained about the book to the Film and Literature Board of Review, has appealed to the board again, claiming it is laced with detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking .

Dawe explained that he wrote the book for teenage boys who don't read books, who come from working-class and possibly Maori backgrounds and who don't have books that speak to them. It's told in quite a confronting language and I don't mince words in terms of what kids do.

Dawe praised librarians at Auckland City Libraries who applied for the R14 restriction to be reconsidered. He said:

Librarians - they really are the warriors for books I had not given up hope, but I didn't really believe they would succeed.

Auckland Libraries collections manager Louise LaHatte said:

The decision of the Board of Review was based on the fact that it dealt with bullying and racism, and we considered that children should be able to read about topics like that because it will help them understand and make sense of their own experiences.

The chronology of the book censorship is as follows:

2013

  • June: Into The River wins top prize in NZ Post Children's Book Awards.
  • July: Internal Affairs Department submits it to the censor after complaints from the public.
  • September: Censor classifies it M (unrestricted) with a descriptive note contains sex scenes, offensive language and drug use .
  • December: Review Board partially upholds Family First appeal and imposes R14 restriction.

2015

  • March: Auckland Libraries ask the censor to reconsider the classification.
  • August 14: Censor reclassifies the book unrestricted with no descriptive note.
  • August 18: Family First appeals to Review Board again.

 

 Offsite Article: That's Not Funny!...


Link Here 19th August 2015
naca logo Today's college students in America can't seem to take a joke. By Caitlin Flanagan

See article from theatlantic.com

 

 Offsite Article: Dating Nerves...


Link Here 19th August 2015  full story: Ashley Madison Website...infidelity dating website
ashley madison logo Huge data file of personal data hacked from Ashley Madison members published

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Sanctioned...

Jewish reggae star cancelled from music festival after pressure from a boycott Israel campaign


Link Here 18th August 2015
Youth Matisyahu The Jewish reggae star Matisyahu has been dropped by Spain's Rototom reggae festival after pressure from the boycott Israel campaign group, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). The group uses economic pressure to campaign for Palestinian rights.

Matisyahu reported on his Facebook page that Rototom organizers:

Wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people.

The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like clear pressure to agree with the BDS political agenda. Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements.

No artist deserves to be put in such a situation simply to perform his or her art, he continued. Regardless of race, creed, country, cultural background, etc, my goal is to play music for all people.

The artist was set to perform on Aug. 22 at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim, near Barcelona, before his performance was axed last weekend.

 

 Update: A baptism of intolerance...

Religious extremists vandalise sculptures at Moscow art exhibition


Link Here 18th August 2015  full story: Art Censorship in Russia...Art exhibitions winds up the nutters
megsoma mars st john the baptist 2Religious intolerants in Russia have attacked a major art exhibit in Moscow, claiming it offended their  beliefs and was therefore somehow illegal.

Members of God's Will, a Christian extremist group led by self-proclaimed missionary Dmitry Enteo Tsorionov, vandalised the Sculptures We Don't See exhibit at the Manezh, a vast exhibition space next to Red Square.

During the attack activists shouted that the works on display were offensive to people of faith and violated legislation introduced to deter protests such as that carried out by Pussy Riot.

In a video of the incident one of the activists rips a linoleum engraving of a naked Christ made by Vadim Sidur, known as the Soviet Henry Moore , off its plinth. She then throws it on the floor and stamps on it.

The group's leader Enteo targeted a work by another artist, Megasoma Mars. This sculpture was titled Beheading of St John the Baptist #2 and comprised a series of heads displayed on plates. Enteo seized one of the heads and smashed the plate it had been on.

As a result, four works by Sidur and one Mars were damaged, said a spokesperson for the gallery .

The legislation referred to by the religious vandals was a law making offending religious feelings a crime which was signed into law by Vladimir Putin in 2013.

 

 Offsite Article: One lawyer vs millions of people who enjoy porn...


Link Here 18th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
kamlesh vaswani jpg The BBC profiles the morality campaigner who temporarily persuaded the Indian government to block adult websites

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: This propaganda has been kindly sponsored by...


Link Here 18th August 2015
visit malaysia advert Understandable commercial pressure means that the BBC is among broadcasters repeatedly breaching Ofcom rules over funded content

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: De-Anonymisation...


Link Here 18th August 2015
economist logo The Economists asks if big databases be kept both anonymous and useful?

See article from economist.com

 

 Update: Injustice Redressed...

Stephen Gough freed after 9 years in prison for public nudity


Link Here 17th August 2015  full story: Naked Rambler...Stephen Gough imprisoned for being naked
Stephen Gough the Naked RamblerOn 14 August 2015 Stephen Gough was released from Winchester prison. At around 6:30am he got into a car inside the prison grounds and was transported from Winchester to Sussex. There were reports that he was seen wearing a blue track suit as he left prison.

 

 

 Update: 10 reasons to give it a miss...

Windows 10 set to block pirate software that it detects or refuse to allow 'unauthorised' hardware


Link Here 17th August 2015  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logoAccording to a report by PC Authority the latest update to the Windows 10 EULA (End User Licence Agreement) says that Microsoft can block you from using pirated software and unauthorised hardware peripherial devices :

Sometimes you'll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services.

And it seems that the definition of 'unauthorised' is left to the whims of Microsoft.

 

 Offsite Article: Ministry of No Sound...


Link Here 17th August 2015
ministry of sound logo How the British authorities are suffocating night clubs with oppressive and unnecessary regulation

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  Taste the Bush...

Premier Estates Wine has some unPC fun with a glass of wine


Link Here 16th August 2015
premier-estate-wines advert Premier Estates Wine has been having fun with a video advert bearing the hashtag #TasteTheBush

The ad starts off with a presenter selling the merits of Premier Estates Wine but towards the end she places a glass red wine strategically in front of her and says:

Australia practically jumps out of the glass, in fact, some say you can almost taste the bush.'

Premier Estates Wine said the slogan #TasteTheBush conveys that 'tongue-in-cheek tone that's born from classic British humour.'

A few people had a whinge on Twitter and the advert censors at ASA have received at least one complaint.

 

  Chatterley Chaste...

Daily Mail tries to hype up a nudity-free BBC version of Lady Chatterley's Lover


Link Here 16th August 2015
lady chatterleys loverA new BBC production of Lady Chatterley's Lover is set to air in September. The Telegraph notes that this will be a rather chaste production:

...The BBC's latest adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover may shock readers for another reason: its lack of female flesh.

The modern version of D H Lawrence's classic novel has been reconstructed into something very much for the ladies, with Poldark-style topless scenes to keep the women of Britain swooning.

While Richard Madden, who plays the famously gruff groundsman Mellors, is seen hammering without a shirt, Lady Chatterley herself, played by Holliday Grainger, is kept firmly under wraps for even the most delicate of scenes.

The show's writer, the Bafta-nominated Jed Mercurio, said he had deliberately chosen not to include the language and sex scenes so shocking at the time of the book's publication, claiming he preferred to focus on the emotion of the piece.

The new 90-minute BBC version, to be broadcast in September, features just two mild swear words in its entirety. And while it contains a handful of the intimate scenes so essential to the plot, none expose their young actors' bodies and only one is likely to raise an eyebrow over supper.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail seems to have adopted a somewhat different take:

The steamy DH Lawrence novel has been made into a 90-minute drama, and will show gamekeeper Oliver Mellors romping with a naked Lady Chatterley.

Producer Serena Cullen said the X-rated scenes in the one-off adaptation are so graphic that they are almost not suitable for broadcast. Steamy: Sex scenes in a new BBC adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover are so explicit it is verging on pornography, its producer has admitted +4

Cullen revealed that had the scenes, featuring Game of Thrones star James Norton and actress Holiday Grainger, been any more raunchy they would have had to air on porn channels.

I wonder which newspaper will prove to the most truthful and honest.

 

 Offsite Article: A direct line to NSA...


Link Here 16th August 2015  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
att logo The Guardian reveals that major US telecoms company has 'extraordinary', decades-long snooping relationship with the NSA

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Prince George and Section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984...

Former MP Julian Huppert reveals the aptly dated law presumably used to authorise GCHQ state snooping. And guess who's government authorised this mass invasion of privacy including all of the nation's private family baby pictures?


Link Here 15th August 2015

prince georgeFor years, many of us were concerned about how much British state surveillance was authorised under RIPA, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Access to information presented as essential for national security and preventing major crime was used, for example, to check whether people were sneaking into the wrong school catchment area. However, it wasn't until the Snowden revelations came out that the public even started to realise just how much could be scrutinised.

Even then, there was a very lacklustre reaction from within the UK, especially when compared to the response in countries like the USA and Germany. Why is this? Well, probably because whereas they have experiences of the Stasi and McCarthyism, we have James Bond.

But we have now at last reached agreement that RIPA needs to be rewritten, although many of us have a huge concern that the Home Secretary will follow the approach she tried to use in the rejected communications data bill, and seek to extend powers very widely. Last time, her efforts led a cross-party cross-House committee to describe the Home Office information as fanciful and misleading -- will she have learned her lesson this time?

But even if RIPA were fixed, to protect privacy as well as security, there would still be a gaping hole in our protections from excessive state surveillance. It's a well hidden hole. So most people are simply unaware of its existence. And appropriately enough, it dates back to 1984.

Big BrotherThe Telecommunications Act 1984 is an important, but somewhat technical piece of legislation, detailing how BT was to be privatised, and creating Oftel (now Ofcom). If you read it, you can go through 87 pages of technical language about the duties of the Director General of Telecommunications, what should happen about billing disputes and much more. And then you reach a very interesting clause, tucked away in miscellaneous, after the worthy power to provide grants to promote the interests of disabled persons. So well tucked away, in fact, that it was never even debated in parliament.

Clause 94 Directions in the interests of national security etc. is an astonishing piece of legislation. It's worth reading in full here .

It allows any Secretary of State to give to Ofcom or any providers of public electronic communications networks such directions of a general character as appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary in the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom. They can also be instructed to do, or not to do any particular thing specified, and they have to do this notwithstanding any other duty they would otherwise have under telecommunications legislation.

 That's a pretty astonishingly broad power -- such people can be ordered to do or not do anything at all, and not even just in the interests of our own national security, but if it would help relations with another country. So if the US -- or Russia or China, in theory -- asked us to make a telecoms company put US-supplied black boxes of unknown purpose on their network, the government has the power do that without even having to ask for a reason.

But there is a safeguard. The law says that the Secretary of State has to lay before parliament a copy of every such direction. This would then allow parliament to be alert to any misuse ... except that the clause goes on to say unless [the Secretary of State] is of the opinion that disclosure of the direction is against the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, or the commercial interests of any person.

So if it might risk our national security, which is fair enough, or might annoy someone else, be they another country, a company or an individual, then it is kept secret -- no one is allowed to disclose anything about it.

So if the US asked us to make BT install some spyware, or to hand over user data, no one can be told about it if that would upset either the US or BT.

And in fact there has been no scrutiny of these orders. I spent some considerable time as an MP pushing on this, trying to find out how often these extraordinary powers were used, and who checked they were appropriate. I got nowhere, with the security minister James Brokenshire saying: If the question relates to section 94 of the Telecommunications Act, then I am afraid I can neither confirm nor deny any issues in relation to the utilisation or otherwise of section 94.

This urgently needs to be fixed. Is there a place for such powers for national security? Well, maybe -- but there should be a case made for it based on evidence, and ideally a judge should approve the directions, in secret if necessary, but subject to substantial oversight -- from someone allowed to tell us if they find any problems.

As it is now, we have secret, all-powerful directions, with no reporting and no oversight. Big Brother would be proud.

Telecommunications Act 1984

See Section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 from legislation.gov.uk

arms of the british governmentjpg logoSection 94: Directions in the interests of national security etc.

  • (1) The Secretary of State may, after consultation with a person to whom this section applies, give to that person such directions of a general character as appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary in the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom.

  • (2) If it appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary to do so in the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, he may, after consultation with a person to whom this section applies, give to that person a direction requiring him (according to the circumstances of the case) to do, or not to do, a particular thing specified in the direction.

  • (2A) The Secretary of State shall not give a direction under subsection (1) or (2) unless he believes that the conduct required by the direction is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct.

  • (3) A person to whom this section applies shall give effect to any direction given to him by the Secretary of State under this section notwithstanding any other duty imposed on him by or under Part 1 or Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Communications Act 2003 and, in the case of a direction to a provider of a public electronic communications network, notwithstanding that it relates to him in a capacity other than as the provider of such a network.

  • (4) The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every direction given under this section unless he is of opinion that disclosure of the direction is against the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, or the commercial interests of any person.

  • (5) A person shall not disclose, or be required by virtue of any enactment or otherwise to disclose, anything done by virtue of this section if the Secretary of State has notified him that the Secretary of State is of the opinion that disclosure of that thing is against the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, or the commercial interests of some other person.

  • (6) The Secretary of State may, with the approval of the Treasury, make grants to providers of public electronic communications networks for the purpose of defraying or contributing towards any losses they may sustain by reason of compliance with the directions given under this section.

  • (7) There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament any sums required by the Secretary of State for making grants under this section.

  • (8) This section applies to OFCOM and to providers of public electronic communications networks.

 

  'Among the most vulgar films ever'...

Indian film censors recommend the upcoming Hollywood comedy, Vacation


Link Here 15th August 2015
vacationVacation is a 2015 USA comedy adventure by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M Goldstein.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Gillies. Youtube link IMDb

Hoping to bring his family closer together and to recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, a grown up Rusty Griswold takes his wife and their two sons on a cross-country road trip to the coolest theme park in America, Walley World. Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned.

The film has fallen foul of India's film censors at the Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC).

It has just been passed by the censors, but with major cuts. While members of the CBFC refused to comment on the cuts, an informed source said there were widespread objections within the censor board to the lewd situation and dialogues in Vacation:

Censor board members said Vacation was the American equivalent of Grand Masti . They felt it was among the most vulgar films ever . Three times it was rejected by CBFC's Examining Committee and Revising Committee. Finally Vacation was passed with an 'A' certificate but with 9-10 major visual and dialogue cuts.

Apparently the CBFC suggested that the Indian distributors Warner Brothers for Vacation should consider not releasing the film at all, as the cuts affect the plot and narration. However the distributors have elected to take the cuts and release the film.

 

 Updated: Shock Jock Shock...

BBC DJ spouts off on that most 'outrage' creating topic of them all, breast feeding in public


Link Here 15th August 2015
alex dykeThe BBC has suspended a radio DJ who said breastfeeding in public was unnatural and must be stopped .

Radio Solent DJ Alex Dyke said during a phone-in on his Wednesday morning show that only librarian-type, moustachioed women breastfed in public and men who were not repelled by breastfeeding were wimps . He also said yummie mummies wouldn't feed their children in public because they know it is not a good look and formula milk is just as good . He went on to say:

My point was fat chavvy mums with their boobs out on buses isn't a good look. A classy discreet mum is absolutely fine. It was ok in the stone age when we knew no better, when people didn't have their own teeth, but now I just think a public area is not the place for it and fellas don't like it.

A BBC spokesperson said:

Following unacceptable comments made on air yesterday, Alex Dyke has been suspended pending an investigation, so he will not be on air tomorrow.

The BBC has also removed the show from iPlayer. It is not yet  clear whether Dyke has been sacked or suspended, but given the ranking of offence on the PC list of serious crimes, then surely he will be sacked.

During his Thursday morning show, Dyke issued an apology:

Yesterday on the show I spoke about breastfeeding. The comments I made during the broadcast were unacceptable and I would like to apologise for any offence caused.

But apologies are never enough these days, and the PC lynch mob always bays for extreme sanctions. A petition calling for Dyke to be taken off air received about 6,000 signatures, whilst the Telegraph reported that Dyke's show had received hundreds of comments on social media and on parenting forums.

TV and radio censor Ofcom said it had received 14 complaints and had requested a recording of the show to assess whether to investigate. The BBC declined to say how many complaints it had received, citing a policy to withhold numbers when it suspects lobbying or media coverage has encouraged people to complain.

Update: The official BBC response

15th August 2015.  See  article from  bbc.co.uk

BBC logoAlex Dyke, BBC Radio Solent, 12 August 2015 BBC Logo

Complaint

We received complaints from listeners who were unhappy with comments Alex Dyke made during a phone-in on breastfeeding on his programme.

Response

It has been made clear to Alex Dyke that comments he made during a phone-in on breastfeeding on his BBC Radio Solent show this Wednesday 12 th August were unacceptable. He has since made the below on-air apology on Thursday 13 th August, and has not been on air today: Yesterday on the show I spoke about breastfeeding. The comments I made during the programme were unacceptable and I would like to apologise for any offence caused.

 

 Offsite Article: 'I do not advocate censorship...I am advocating for better judgment and awareness'...


Link Here 15th August 2015
Such Time Kate Breslin Anne Rice provides examples of book censorship by the PC lynch mob

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Privacy fit for a future king...


Link Here 15th August 2015
firefox logo Mozilla Makes Private Browsing More Private In Firefox

See article from techcrunch.com

 

 Update: Censoring ALL Internet Content...

South Africa continues plans for the film censors to vet all uploaded internet content with the ISPs now being forced to act as enforcers


Link Here 14th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in South Africa...Proppsal to block all porn from South Africans
south africa film censor logoMobile operators and ISPs could have their licences revoked if they fail to comply with new censorship legislation being developed to govern online content in South Africa.

In a statement, the cabinet said it had approved the submission of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill to parliament. The amendments to the Films and Publications Act of 1996 provide for:

Technological advances, especially online and social media platforms, in order to protect children from being exposed to disturbing and harmful media content in all platforms, physical and online.

Of particular concern to ISPs and telecommunications providers will be the cabinet's declaration that the companies must:

Protect the public and children during usage of their services and Icasa will not issue licences or renewals without confirmation from the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of full compliance with its legislation.

The online regulation policy proposed by government will require all individuals and organisations who upload digital content to first register with the FPB, pay a fee prescribed by the minister of communications, and either submit the content to the board for classification or self-classify in accordance with the board's classification guidelines.

Anyone who does not comply with the policy is liable to pay a fine or face a prison term of up to six months.

 

 Update: News websites put to the sword...

Saudi impose restrictive censorship requirements on news websites


Link Here 14th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Saudi...Communications under threat
Saudi flagThe Committee to Protect Journalists condemns new restrictions that Saudi authorities will impose on news websites.

Saud Kateb, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, said that the new requirements include having a commercial registration, an office space, and a municipal license. He also said that editors-in-chief should have college degrees and Saudi citizenship, among other conditions.

Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said:

With these restrictions, the Saudi government is sending a clear message that it will be almost impossible for online media to operate with any autonomy. We are deeply concerned by these measures and call on the Saudi government to stop interfering with the flow of news and information.

The requirements will be enforced in October, at the beginning of the new year in the Islamic calendar. News websites have been warned that if they do not comply, they will be shut down and/or lose their license,

 

  Is vampirism an analogy for political correctness?...

Author Anne Rice speaks of political correctness and topics that are now considered 'appropriate' subjects for modern books


Link Here 13th August 2015
Interview Vampire Anne Rice The author Anne Rice has been debating the subject of book censorship on Facebook. She concluded with the following telling post:

I want to leave you with this thought: I think we are facing a new era of censorship, in the name of political correctness. There are forces at work in the book world that want to control fiction writing in terms of who has a right to write about what. Some even advocate the out and out censorship of older works using words we now deem wholly unacceptable. Some are critical of novels involving rape. Some argue that white novelists have no right to write about people of color; and Christians should not write novels involving Jews or topics involving Jews.

I think all this is dangerous. I think we have to stand up for the freedom of fiction writers to write what they want to write, no matter how offensive it might be to some one else. We must stand up for fiction as a place where transgressive behavior and ideas can be explored.

We must stand up for freedom in the arts. I think we have to be willing to stand up for the despised. It is always a matter of personal choice whether one buys or reads a book. No one can make you do it. But internet campaigns to destroy authors accused of inappropriate subject matter or attitudes are dangerous to us all. That's my take on it. Ignore what you find offensive. Or talk about it in a substantive way. But don't set out to censor it, or destroy the career of the offending author.

 

  Mayoress of PC...

Tessa Jowell campaigns on a political correctness ticket


Link Here 13th August 2015
tessa jowellLabour's Tessa Jowell has put political correctness at the heart of her political campaign seeking election as the Mayor of London. She says she'll ban adverts that she considers 'sexist' from the tube.

She said Transport for London would be made to draw up tougher guidelines than at present:

Women ought to be able to travel in an environment which doesn't constantly demean them or present an unrealistic image of women's bodies.

 

 Update: Je Suis Over It...

Charlie and his free speech campaign is but a distant memory, and the PC lynch mob has wrested back control


Link Here 13th August 2015  full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
je suis over itBudget retailer TK Maxx has withdrawn a t-shirt from its stores after a customer was 'outraged' that it somehow made light of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

The black t-shirt emblazoned with the words Je Suis Over It was spotted by a shopper at the store's branch in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.

Tom Young claimed the garment mocked the Je Suis Charlie slogan, which became a sign of unity and defiance in the aftermath of the murderous terror attack on the offices of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Young spouted:

It's appalling that a global brand has allowed a t-shirt like this to be produced and sold in store. Even if the message did not intend to cause upset in relation to the tragic event, I am adamant it should be taken down from stores immediately.

A spokesprat from T K Maxx responded:

We take product matters very seriously and appreciate that this t-shirt has been brought to our attention. As soon as we became aware of the offensive t-shirt message, we initiated the process to remove this item from our stores and are internally reviewing how we inadvertently purchased the item. We would like to apologise to our customers for any concern this may have caused.

 

  Making a Stink...

Cheese makers consider suing PornHub over cheese references in an advert


Link Here 13th August 2015
pornhub logoThe well known adult tube site PornHub has recently moved into a premium subscription video service characterised as a Netflix for porn. The website produced an advert for the new service referencing Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

The advert depicts a middle-aged couple shopping in the supermarket, where the man asks the woman: Why don't we get this aged Parmigiano-Reggiano? They say it's the Pornhub Premium of cheeses.

An overly sensitive Italian governmental agency tasked with protecting parmesan is now considering suing PornHub over claims of the vulgar use of cheese.

The consortium strictly regulates cheese-making in Italy, meaning that only products made in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of Bologna and Mantova can legally carry the name Parmigiano-Reggiano. Lawyers working for the organisation are currently considering whether PornHub has damaged the image of the product by comparing its new service to their highly-protected cheese.

In a statement seen by The Guardian , the consortium said the advert was not only distasteful and unacceptable, but offensive for our producers and their work . It went on to accuse Pornhub of vulgarly exploiting the fame of the cheese, rather than simply using the term parmesan, which is also widely recognised in the US.

 

 Offsite Article: A window of opportunity for PC hijackers...


Link Here 13th August 2015  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logo Microsoft introduces a Windows operating system feature enabling PC makers to inject unremovable crapware or spyware. Lenovo is quick to exploit the opportunity with all their PC users forcibly reporting in to Chinese HQ

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  ASA recommends...

Generation Z Apocalypse posters kindly banned by the advert censor


Link Here 12th August 2015

generation of z  advertA poster on both the London Underground and Overground for a live zombie experience ( THE GENERATION OF Z APOCALYPSE ), showed a head of a zombie looking towards the viewer. It had sunken eyes, a pale complexion and blood stained teeth with more blood around its mouth. The ad featured text that stated THE IMMERSIVE LIVE EXPERIENCE ... THE BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL HAS BEGUN ... .

Two complainants objected that the ad was unsuitable for display as a poster in an untargeted medium where children could see it.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that The Generation of Z considered that the image of the zombie shown in the ad could be viewed as distasteful and following a rebranding of the show, a new advertising campaign was to follow.

We understood that at the time the poster appeared the show was targeted at an adult audience. We noted that the poster was highly stylised and designed to promote the horror theme of the show, which featured actors dressed up like zombies and wearing monstrous make-up. While we considered that the sinister image of the zombie would not cause distress to older children and adults, it could distress young children. Therefore, we considered that the poster was unsuitable for display in an untargeted medium where it was likely to be seen by young children. We concluded that the placement of the poster breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told The Generation of Z Ltd that they must ensure that their marketing was responsibly targeted.

 

 Updated: The people want to know...

Germany ends prosecution of journalists who revealed an extension to state snooping


Link Here 12th August 2015

Germany flagA treason investigation into two journalists who reported that the German state planned to increase online surveillance has been suspended by the country's prosecutor general following protests by leading voices across politics and media.

Harald Range, Germany's prosecutor general, said he was halting the investigation for the good of press and media freedom . It was the first time in more than half a century that journalists in Germany had faced charges of treason. Range said he would await the results of an internal investigation into whether the journalists from the news platform netzpolitik.org had quoted from a classified intelligence report before deciding how to proceed.

His announcement followed a deluge of criticism and accusations that Germany's prosecutor had misplaced priorities , having failed to investigate with any conviction the NSA spying scandal revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and targeting instead the two investigative journalists, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister.

In a scathing attack, the leading Green MP Renate Künast, who is also chair of the Bundestag's legal affairs committee, called the investigation a humiliation to the rule of law . She accused Range of disproportionately targeting the two journalists, whilst ignoring the massive spying and eavesdropping [conducted] by the NSA in Germany . Se added: If it wasn't for investigative journalism, we would know nothing.

In articles that appeared on netzpolitik.org in February and April, the two reporters made reference to what is believed to be a genuine intelligence report that had been classified as confidential, which proposed establishing a new intelligence department to monitor the internet, in particular social media networks.

Update: Prosecution of state snooping whistleblowers terminated

12th August 2015. See  article from  eff.org

Electronic Frontier FoundationAfter much public outcry, the treason investigation into German blog Netzpolitik.org was paused late last week. And now it hass been officially dropped .

This is a victory for the free press and the German public. The investigation, if permitted to continue, would have chilled and intimidated journalists from covering one of the most pressing issues of the day-- i.e ., mass surveillance of law-abiding citizens. As Netzpolitik journalist Andre Meister told EFF:

The secret services of the world need to be controlled and checked by all other pillars in society--executive, legislative, judiciary and the free press. Post-Snowden, it's undeniable that reporting on surveillance capabilities is integral for keeping those antidemocratic institutions at bay. Germany too needs a broader debate on its secret services.

After the investigation of Netzpolitik came under fire from the public, the German government scrambled to show its continued dedication to the free press. On Friday, July 31, 2015--soon after the investigation of Netzpolitik was confirmed in the press--Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the chief federal prosecutor that he doubted the leaked documents constituted state secrets whose publication would endanger the security of the country. The next day, thousands marched in Berlin to protest the investigation, and on Monday, August 3, German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement giving her full support to the Justice Minister.

But the chief prosecutor, Harald Range, doubled-down on his determination to proceed with the investigation, criticizing the Justice Minister for interfering with his investigation--a response which only further ignited public outrage. The Justice Minister ultimately fired Mr. Range over his handling of the case. At a press conference last week, the Justice Minister stated, my trust in his ability to fulfill the office has suffered lasting damage[.] And on Monday, August 10, the prosecutor's office accepted the Justice Ministry's assessment that Netzpolitik did not leak state secrets, officially terminating the investigation.

As we stated in our earlier posts, mass surveillance is a matter of public concern for which Netzpolitik should be commended--not punished--for covering. We're glad the German government recognized this.

But as Netzpolitik noted in a recent post , the investigation of its sources remains pending--an investigation that threatens to chill future whistleblowing in Germany. Meister told EFF:

It's about time [the] ridiculous investigation into us as journalists was dropped, but the investigations into our sources are supposed to go on. We demand an immediate end to all investigations into press and their whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are integral for investigative journalism and they need protection not prosecution.

 

 Update: Seeking SOPA Resurrection...

Major US internet companies unite to oppose an MPAA bid to resurrect SOPA provisions requiring ISPs to block websites under media industry orders


Link Here 12th August 2015  full story: SOPA...Internet censorship in the name of preventing piracy
MPAA logoA broad coalition of global tech firms including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo are protesting a broad injunction that would require search engines, ISPs and hosting companies to stop linking to or offering services to MovieTube. The preliminary injunction requested by the MPAA resurrects parts of the controversial SOPA bill, the tech giants warn.

In recent months there have been several lawsuits in the U.S. in which copyright holders were granted broad injunctions, allowing them to seize domain names of alleged pirate sites.

In addition, these injunctions were sometimes directed at hosting providers, search engines and social networks, preventing these companies from doing business with these sites.

Most recently, such a request came from Hollywood's major movie studios, who previously sued several MovieTube websites. The companies asked for a preliminary injunction ordering several third-party companies to stop linking or providing services to the pirate sites.

This proposal reminded some opponents of the blocking provisions that were listed in the controversial SOPA bill. Among the opposition are some of the largest tech firms in the world.

A few hours ago Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo submitted an amicus brief asking the New York federal court not to include neutral service providers in the injunction.

According to the tech giants the proposed language goes too far. An injunction should not target companies that are not in active participation with MovieTube, nor should it circumvent the rules that are outlined in the DMCA, they argue.

The tech companies suggest that the MPAA is trying to resurrect SOPA-powers through this lawsuit and ask the court to halt their efforts. The companies argue:

Plaintiffs now appear to be repackaging the excesses of SOPA into the All Writs Act. Indeed, the injunction proposed here would require the same online intermediaries targeted by SOPA to engage in the same kind of content and domain blocking that would have been required under SOPA had it been enacted.

The Court should not allow intellectual property rightsholders to obtain through the existing statutes the very sort of third-party blocking orders that failed to gain legislative approval.

 

 Update: Extreme Censorship...

Extreme sentences for political criticism handed down in Thailand


Link Here 12th August 2015  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
Thailand flagTwo military courts in Thailand have sentenced a man to 30 years in prison and a woman to 28 years for supposedly insulting the monarchy.

The sentences are the harshest ever given under Thailand's lese majeste law, which nominally prevents criticism of the king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, but is widely cast such that criticism of the political system could be construed as an insult to the monarchy.

The convictions relate to articles posted on Facebook. Tour operator Pongsak Sriboonpeng was tried in secret at a court in Bangkok. The judge sentenced him to ten years for each of the six posts he made about the monarch on social media. But the arbitrarily doubled up 60-year term was halved after he pleaded guilty.

In a separate case, a 29-year-old hotel worker and mother of two was sentenced to 56 years by a court in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Her sentence was also halved after a guilty plea.

Earlier in the week, a man with a history of mental illness was given five years in jail for tearing a portrait of the king.

Jonathan Head, BBC south east Asia correspondent, Bangkok explained that ten years ago, open criticism of the monarchy was almost unknown. But the political polarisation of Thai society since a military coup nine years ago, which was backed by the palace, has prompted some Thais to challenge the official veneration of the king, especially on social media.

Update: UN is appalled by extreme Thai censorship

12th August 2015.  See  article from  ndtv.com

UN logoThe United Nations has said it was appalled by record jail sentences -- of 30 and 28 years -- handed to two Thais for royal defamation, as prosecutions soar under the military dictatorship.

 A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement:

We are appalled by the shockingly disproportionate prison terms handed down over the past few months in lese majeste cases in Thailand.

Andrea Giorgetta from the International Federation for Human Rights, warned of growing cyber-vigilantism and decried the jailing of civilians for merely expressing their opinions.

Under the legislation anyone can launch a complaint and the police are duty-bound to investigate.

 

 Offsite Article: The UK war on porn: turning ISPs into parents...


Link Here 12th August 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
Spiked logo David Cameron has recently proposed further measures to regulate porn websites. His government plans to require iISPs to filter porn sites that do not comply with new guidance. By Stephen Beard

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Offsite Article: State Bully...


Link Here 12th August 2015
indonesian internet censor Indonesian cartoonists personify their country's internet censor as sexy young naysayer

See article from en.rocketnews24.com

 

  State Censor ATVOD...

Freedom of Information request lodged seeking to reveal ATVOD's stand on itself being subject to Freedom of Information requests


Link Here 11th August 2015
ICO logoThe following Freedom of Information request has been lodged with the Information Commissioner's Office on the 10th August 2015 about the status of ATVOD in regards to being liable to service Freedom of Information requests:

Dear Information Commissioner's Office,

Please release:

1. Minutes and records of all discussions or documents relating to the consideration of whether ATVOD should be accountable under the FoIA.

2. Representations made by ATVOD as to the process to determine their accountability under the act.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Harding

I'm not really sure why there should be a debate. ATVOD reports directly to the government and also to the official state censors Ofcom. In addition ATVOD enforces censorship rules specified directly by the two government departments: The Department of Culture media & Sport; and the Crown Prosecution Service.

ATVOD claims to be a 'co-regulator' representing both the government and the industry, but given that ATVOD has spent its entire life crucifying a large section of the UK internet trade, it seems to be a bit of a one sided co-regulation relationship.

Surely ATVOD is a state censor, and as such should be open to freedom of information requests.

 

 Updated: Tubes Unblocked...

Indian ISPs unblock porn as the government responds to widespread criticism of its censorship


Link Here 11th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
india government logoTwitter and Reddit users are reporting that state-owned ISPs MTNL and BSNL and privately-owned ISPs ACT, Spectranet, Tikona, Asianet and Hathway are blocking access to major porn websites. Mobile operator Vodafone is also blocking these websites.

While some users are just getting a This site has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority, others are seeing a message that indicates that the sites are being blocked as per directions received from Department of Telecom, Government of India. Some users are just getting blank pages or Directory doesn't exist, error message.

This move seems to have been somewhat unexpected, with perhaps the notable clue from July, when a Supreme Court bench responded to a request for blocking of porn websites saying:

It is an issue for the government to deal with. Can we pass an interim order directing blocking of all adult websites? And let us keep in mind the possible contention of a person who could ask what crime have I committed by browsing adult websites in private within the four walls of my house. Could he not argue about his right to freedom to do something within the four walls of his house without violating any law?

The bench asked additional solicitor general Pinky Anand why the MHA had not taken any action on the list of websites and also not filed any response to the petition as sought by the court. Anand assured the court that the needful would be done:

The ministry will soon file a response to the petition and detail the action taken. All necessary steps under the Information and Technology Act will be taken.

Update: Government confirmed to be behind the internet censorship

3rd August 2015. See  article from  thehindu.com

The Indian government has ordered a large number of porn websites to be blocked, creating an uproar among users and civil rights groups in the country.

The Department of Telecommunications has issued orders for the blocking of 857 websites serving pornography, said two persons familiar with the matter, who declined to be named.

Section 69 (A) of India's Information Technology Act allows the government to order blocking of public access to websites and other information through computer resources, though this section appears to be designed to be invoked when a threat is perceived to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order.

Pranesh Prakash, policy director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore pointed out the illegality of the censorship:

The government cannot on its own block private access to pornography under current statutes. Parliament has not authorized the government to ban porn on its own.

However, courts have in the past ordered specific websites to be blocked for specific offences such as defamation, though as far as I know not for obscenity.

Viewing pornography privately is not a crime in India, though its sale and distribution is an offence.

Some porn websites were still accessible through certain Internet service providers on Monday, as some ISPs took some time to implement the order. All the 857 websites will be blocked by all ISPs today, said a source in the ISP industry, who requested anonymity. As licensees we have to follow the orders.

Update: India plans to set up up a government porn censor

4th August 2015.  See  article from  financialexpress.com

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology has asked Internet service providers to take down 857 porn websites, an official said. The official, however, said it was a temporary measure till the final orders are pronounced by the top court.

Explaining rationale for the decision, a top government official said the government has merely complied with the Supreme Court directive asking for measures to block porn sites. He said that the government would line up for the court to hear an array of views, mostly anti-porn from NGOs, civil society, parental groups, child councillors, ISPs and government, and after hearing the views of all, let the court come with some guidelines. The official spoke of an official porn censor:

Let there be an ombudsman to take a call, like the TV ombudsman is there.

The censor could be a retired judge or somebody from the civil society. The official said all the stakeholders can give their views regarding the censorship mechanism that should be adopted for the cyber content related issues.

milind deoraUpdate: An act of Talibanisation

4th August 2015. See  article from  economictimes.indiatimes.com

 Many are not impressed by te government censorship, Milind Deora a former Minister of State with the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications tweeted:

And the government takes one more step towards the Talibanization of India,

The latest ban is not about liking or disliking porn. It's about govt hijacking personal liberties. What'll they ban next - phones and TVs?

Privacy is my inalienable, constitutional right.

Update: And the list is...

4th August 2015. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

See India's list of blocked porn [pdf] from s3.documentcloud.org

indian porn list The Indian Government has ordered local ISPs to block access to a list of 857 websites that supposedly link to adult material. The broad blocking order goes further than targeting dedicated porn sites alone though. Torrent sites kickass.to and h33t.to are listed too, as well as 9Gag, Liveleak and CollegeHumor.

The Government order is quite broad, and not just because of the high number of domain names involved. A leaked copy which list all of the affected domains reveals some unsuspected entries.

For example, the list contains two of the largest torrent sites, Kickass.to and H33t.to. The first is now operating under the new Kat.cr domain name and the latter site is down, so the effects of the blockade are minimal.

blockedcollegeWhile blocking these torrent sites may be justified as both sites do link to pornographic content, the same can't really be said for CollegeHumor and 9Gag, which are also on the blacklist.

The same goes for Liveleak, which has plenty of immoral videos but isn't really known for its vast amounts of porn. Finally, the list also includes nonvegjokes.com , a site specializing in dirty jokes.

Update: Porn unbanned

5th August 2015. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

india government logoIndia will restore open access to 857 pornographic websites, following widespread outrage over the censorship.

The department of telecoms told ISPs not to block porn URLs. The department tried to save a bit of face by bringing up the subject of child porn but of course none of the major porn websites being blocked have any.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met senior officials on Tuesday to review the ban and decided that internet service providers (ISPs) would be immediately asked not to block those sites which did not contain any child pornography.

News of the ban caused a furore on Indian social media, with several senior politicians and members of civil society expressing their opposition to the move.

Update: Still banned

7th August 2015. See  article from  independent.co.uk

Porn is still effectively banned in India, for the supposed reason that ISPs erroneously claim that there may be child porn on some of the world's best known and loved porn websites.

The government banned porn over the weekend, but after vast amounts of criticism quickly undid the block. But it came with a catch that sites that allow child porn should not be let back online. The  Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) ludicrously claimed:

ISPs have no way or mechanism to filter out child pornography from URLs, and the further unlimited sub-links.

The ISPs do not have mechanism to check the content, as the same is dynamic in nature. Hence, we request your good self to advise us immediately on the future course of action in this regard. Till your further directive, the ISPs are keeping the said 857 URLs disabled.

BBC logoUpdate: Even the BBC wants to tell the story

8th August 2015. See  How the government was forced to reverse course  from  bbc.co.uk

The debate has also sparked concern over what some see as a growing culture of intolerance promoted by a series of actions by the right-wing BJP government, many of whose members are self-professed Hindu nationalists.

...see the full article

Update: Moral policemen say they don't want to be moral policemen

11th August 2015. See  article from  firstpost.com

india government logoIndia's Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has appeared in court being quizzed about the short lived government censorship of porn websites. He now says:

How can you stop in on the privacy of your phone? The other thing is that if someone wants to watch it in the privacy of their bedroom, how can we stop that? These are now issues of 19(1).

There are many issues and we don't want to do moral policing. There is also difficulty: the websites can change their names and change their website, and it becomes difficult. We will obey court orders, but we don't want to become a moral police.

Article 19 (1) is about freedom of speech.  That's pretty much what the Chief Justice had told the porn ban petitioners in the first place.

Somebody can come to the court and say, 'Look, I am an adult and how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room?' It is a violation of Article 21.

Article 21 is about a right to personal liberty.

So if both were on the same page anyway, why did the government willfully slap egg on its own face and make itself the butt of jokes last week with its 857-site ban which Rohatgi himself admits the department went and blocked without verifying ?

 

  The music of repression...

China bans 120 songs


Link Here 11th August 2015
China flagChina has ordered 120 songs to be pulled from the Internet, including tracks titled Don't Want to Go to School and All Must Die because they supposedly promoted sex, violence or incited law-breaking , censor said.

No individual or organisation is allowed to provide the songs, which trumpeted obscenity, violence, crime or harmed social morality , the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

Most of the blacklisted tunes were by singers or bands unknown in the west but had striking titles, including No Money No Friend , Suicide Diary , Little Girl's First Time, I Want To Make Love, and This Fucking Society. However a few of the songs on the list are relatively mainstream, like rapper MC Hotdog's Ode to Taiwanese women .

Anyone who does not comply with the censorship will be punished severely according to the law , the statement said.

 

 Offsite Article: Social Media: Where free speech, snooping, extremism and political correctness collide...


Link Here 11th August 2015
hillary clinton Silicon Valley oppose Hillary Clinton's ideas about mandating that social media companies inform the government when the come across vaguely defined terrorist supporting material

See article from latimes.com

 

  Censorship Control Mechanisms...

Appeals court to hear US agency's decision to block digital imports


Link Here 11th August 2015
us international trade commission

 

  Heard the one about the copyrighted jokes?...

Twitter has started censoring tweets containing passed on jokes


Link Here 10th August 2015
twitter 2015 logoTwitter has launched a crackdown on people who copy and paste jokes from others. The company has started to remove tweets by people who copy witty one-liners replacing the offending message with a note saying it has been withheld over copyright issues.

It will come as a relief to comedians and writers who have long been frustrated over seeing their jokes shared without attribution on Twitter.

The issue emerged after a joke was posted on Twitter by writer Olga Lexell which said: Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side.   The post was a dig at the life-style of health-conscious hipsters willing to pay large amounts for detox drinks. It was soon seized upon and used by others.

In the days that followed, some of the copycat gags were later removed by Twitter and replaced with the message: This tweet has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.

People who believe their jokes have been passed on are able to submit a claim through an online form .

 

  New Zealand imposes strict new blasphemy laws...

An extreme new political correctness law bans messages offending the easily offended or insulting religion


Link Here 10th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in New Zealand...New Zealand considers internet blocking
New Zealand flagNew Zealand has imposed some of the world's strictest blasphemy laws by stealth, a humanist group says.

The new Harmful Digital Communications Act could have the effect of landing a person in jail for two years for committing blasphemy, the New Zealand Humanist Society president Mark Honeychurch:

This legislation not only flies in the face of human rights, but the introduction of yet another law that gives special privileges to religions is unfair, unpopular and unrepresentative of our society, where over 40 per cent of New Zealanders identify as not religious, making this our country's largest single belief group.

The society said the act stated digital communications should not denigrate an individual by reason of his or her colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability .

Honeychurch said the law would effectively impose some of the world's strictest penalties - including fines of up to $50,000 - on people found guilty of blaspheming, or insulting religion. He added:

We want to increase social cohesion and understanding, and by awarding privileges and protecting groups from critique we are closing the door on free speech, free inquiry and public debate. New Zealand has to abolish its blasphemy laws before they are used to censor, suppress, and silence public debate

Last month, lawyers cited in The Law Report said another possible unintended consequence of the law would be the establishment of a new legal avenue for recipients of defamatory digital content.

Justice Minister Amy Adams defended the censorship law claiming it would take a lot for someone to be charged under the act:

Not only must the perpetrator be responsible for posting the communication, they must intend to harm another person and that harm must actually occur. The offence is targeted at the very worst online behaviours, and will not censor, suppress or silence public debate.

 

  Battery Leakage...

Phone batteries can be used to spy on their owners and track them around the internet


Link Here 10th August 2015
mobile battery compatible Classic Evolve

 

 Update: Tony Bear explains UK video censorship to Lady Bear...

An amusing explanation of porn censorship in the UK


Link Here 8th August 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

tony bear explains uk video censorship to lady bear video In December 2014 the UK introduced new regulations to censor online videos. Tony Bear explains the new rules to Lady Bear. She doesn't like it.

If you don't like it either, find out more at Backlash .

 

 Update: Serial Killers...

Religious extremists in Bangladesh continue working their murderous way through a list of atheist bloggers


Link Here 8th August 2015  full story: Blasphemy in Bangladesh...Penalising disbelief

Bangladesh flagOn Friday, August 7 at approximately 1:45pm, five assailants armed with machetes entered the flat of blogger Niloy Neel and killed him brutally . When his wife and sister attempted to save him, the attackers threatened to kill them too.

Niloy is the fourth blogger to be killed in Bangladesh over the last six months. All those killed were secular and critical of extremist muslim political movements in the country. Many more have been attacked, subjected to death threats and ostracized by religious hardliners for their writing.

The blogger had written under the pen name Niloy Neel in Istishon (meaning station in Bengali) as a member of a Bengali group blog that covered political and social issues. Neel was vocal about secularism and wrote for the platform Ganajagaran Mancha , demanding capital punishment for 1971 war criminals. Neel was also writing in support of women's rights, indigenous peoples, even for all other minorities. He was critic of religious extremism that provoked bombing in mosque and killing thousands of civilians.

The names of these bloggers and others under threat appeared on a list of 84 people submitted to a special government committee by a group of extremist Muslim clerics who accused the bloggers of atheism and writing against Islam. Government officials responded by blocking critical websites and making arrests of bloggers and leaders from the religious right.

Eleven of the bloggers on the list (including Niloy) have now been killed over the past two years.

 

 Offsite Article: Actress Bel Powley tells teenage girls to get a fake ID to see her latest film...


Link Here 8th August 2015
diary of a teenage girl Star of The Diary Of A Teenage Girl claims the BBFC is scared of girls after rating it 18

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: American Book Censorship...


Link Here 8th August 2015
Mice Men Penguin Classics Are Americans falling in love with censorship?

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Copyright Takedown Abuse...


Link Here 8th August 2015
Pixels DVD Adam Sandler Anti-Piracy Group Hits Indie Creators For Using the Word 'Pixels'

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

 Update: Undeveloping Play Store...

Singapore bans a few films from the local version of Google's Play Store


Link Here 7th August 2015  full story: Film Censorship in Singapore...Media Development Authority
Boy Next Door DVD Google's Play Store has just launched in Singapore and the country's films censors of the dishonestly named Media Development Authority decided to go on a censorial purge of films on offer.

Fifty Shades of Grey was on obvious target. It is actually rated R21 uncut but films with this rating are banned from VoD and home video.

The censors also removed  Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas , J-Lo's The Boy Next Door and Stanley Kubrick's classic A Clockwork Orange.

 

 Update: Un-PC folk heroes...

Protestors kindly publicise fast selling Frankie Boyle gig in Belfast


Link Here 7th August 2015  full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
Frankie Boyle Live Last Sodom Parents of children with disabilities are planning to protest against a performance in west Belfast later by the Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle.

They claim it is inappropriate the show is taking place as part of the Féile an Phobail community festival because of politically incorrect jokes Boyle has made in the past about disabled people.

Last month, festival organisers said they were deeply sorry for any hurt or offence that had been caused by Boyle's appearance. They said they would put in place measures to avoid such a situation arising in the future .

However in a world where PC lynch mobs seem to hold sway, those that refuse to kowtow to political correctness are treated as folk heroes. From Jeremy Clarkson to Donald Trump, all capture the heart of ordinary folk, and Frankie Boyle is no exception.  Féile an Phobail reports that the Frankie Boyle show has been the fastest-selling comedy gig it has ever put on.

 

 Campaign: Say no to 10 years for file sharing...

Open Rights Group campaign against a 10 year jail sentence for online copyright infractions that have an infinitesimally small impact on the copyright holder


Link Here 7th August 2015

ipo logoNew proposals to make online copyright infringement punishable by ten years in jail risks punishing users who share links and files online more harshly than ordinary, physical theft. Prison for filesharers

In the past file sharers have been threatened with criminal charges, despite not seeking any financial gain or running a business. They may be misguided, but we have to ask whether they are really posing a risk to the public and therefore deserving a criminal conviction. Now in 2015 the Intellectual Property Office are suggesting people like them should face the possibility of a 10-year jail sentence.

The IPO has a consultation on proposals to increase the maximum prison sentence for criminal online copyright infringement to 10 years, aiming to match sanctions for online copyright infringement with physical copyright infringement. The logic being that similar offences should attract similar penalties, regardless of the platform used.

Whilst we agree with the IPO's logic, their proposals are problematic. The existing offence they are referring to, as outlined in section 107 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, can be brought against both:

  • Criminals who deliberately infringe copyright by operating filesharing services; and

  • People who share links and files so that they affect prejudicially the copyright owner.

This second offence is not only vague and broad in definition, but also requires no consideration of the intent of the offender.

It would be easy for a few misguided people to be caught up in this law. For those who share their karaoke songs with no criminal intent, to be threatened with the kind of lengthy sentence that hardened thieves and violent offenders often escape is just inappropriate. It also places excessive power in the hands of copyright enforcement organisations, who can claim to such individuals that their estimations of financial damage could result in a possible jail sentence.

Similarly, businesses who operate legitimately may be worried or threatened because of this strict liability offence. They cannot argue that they have no intention to harm. The stakes are very high.

ORG believes that if the IPO want to change the sentencing, they have to reform the underlying offence.

The question we have to ask is, are these people a risk to the public?

See call to respond to government consultation from openrightsgroup.org

 

 Offsite Article: It's getting worse: China's liberal academics fear growing censorship...


Link Here 7th August 2015
China flag Professors are being banished from the classroom apparently for subscribing to mistaken ways of thinking, as Xi Jinping shatters hopes of political reform

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Recommended by Moralists...

Hard right Catholic group persuade French court to demand an 18 rating for Gaspar Noe's Love


Link Here 6th August 2015
Love BR Blu ray Aomi Muyock July Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar Noé.
Starring Gaspar Noé, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Youtube link IMDb

A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It's a love story, which celebrates sex in a joyous way.

The film complete with extensive, non-simulated sex scenes in 3D, seems fated to become the cause célèbre for an alleged new wave of prudishness in France.

After a complaint by a right-wing pressure group, a panel of judges ruled this week that the movie should be given an 18 age restriction, a rating in France that is reserved for pornography.

The director and the producer of Love say that the decision reflects the increasing, censorious influence of the Catholic hard right in France.  They have appealed to the state watchdog, the Conseil d'Etat .

After the Paris administrative court ruled that its over-16 classification should be withdrawn, the movie's producer, Vincent Maraval, tweeted: "In France it is now forbidden to love if you are under the age of 18."  In an interview with the newspaper Libération , he said:

We must now wait for the ruling of the Conseil d'Etat . We will then know what kind of country France has become.

The legal challenge was made by a right-wing pressure group Promouvoir, which works to "promote Judeo-Christian values in all areas of social life". A panel of judges decided this week that the "repetition" and "prominence" of non-simulated sex scenes was "likely to disturb the sensibility of minors".

They ordered that the film's classification be raised to over 18.

Another French director, Jean-Paul Salomé, said that the ruling overturned France's traditionally liberal-minded system of film classification and left it open to "second guessing" by right-wing groups and the courts.  He added:

The decision is absurd at a time when anyone, minor or not, can easily find on the internet images far more traumatic than anything in Gaspar Noé's film.

 

 Shopping: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition...

Peter Jackson fantasy set for UK DVD and Blu-ray release on 16th November 2015. The Extended Version has just been given an R rating in the US compared with the Theatrical PG-13.


Link Here 6th August 2015
Hobbit Battle Armies Extended Blu ray The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition is a 2014 New Zealand / USA fantasy adventure by Peter Jackson.
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: BBFC details not yet published for:

  • 2015 Whv [3D + 2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015
  • 2015 Whv [2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015
  • 2015 Whv R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 16th November 2015
Versions

Exists as a Theatrical Version and an extended version.

BBFC details are not yet published but in the US the Extended Version has a high MPAA R rating for some violence, compared with the Theatrical PG-13 rating for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Promotional Material

Extended version of the last of three epic instalments in director Peter Jackson's prequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Set in Middle-Earth 60 years before events in 'The Lord of the Rings', the story follows the adventures of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, at the instigation of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), suddenly finds himself co-opted into joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to help reclaim the lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of Smaug the dragon (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch). In this film, Bilbo, Thorin and the other Dwarves have unintentionally released Smaug from the Lonely Mountain and endangered the residents of Lake-town. Bilbo has to make a difficult decision when Thorin puts his desire to find the royal jewel Arkenstone before his loyalty to his friends. Meanwhile, Gandalf discovers that the evil Sauron has returned, commanding a horde of Orcs to attack the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo and his friends must fight for their survival as five armies meet in battle. The rest of the cast includes Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Christopher Lee.

 

  Bangistan...

Indian film banned in Pakistan, Singapore and UAE


Link Here 6th August 2015
BANGISTAN BOLLYWOOD MUSIC NEW RELEASE Bangistan is a 2015 India comedy by Karan Anshuman.
Starring Jacqueline Fernandez, Rajesh Sharma and Riteish Deshmukh. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Two blundering terrorists with lofty ideologies, but ordinary talent, on a mission to change the world.

Pakistan: Banned

The film has been banned in Pakistan with the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Censors, Mobashir Hasan, saying:

The film has not been certified and given a complete ban, primarily because it is offensive to Muslims and Hindus living in Pakistan.

The problem with the film is that it's a religious satire, which leaves very little room for any lenience.

The central board has also requested all the provincial boards to put a complete ban on the film, since there is no way in which the film can be edited to suit the audiences.

Singapore: Banned

Banned by the film censors but there is still the possibility of an appeal to the reviewing committee.

UAE: Banned

A day before its grand opening in Dubai, Karan Anshuman's directorial debut, Bangistan, has been banned in United Arab Emirates.

The reason for the ban may be to do with religious sensitivities. In Inida protestors cited an 'objectionable' scene in which a character is dressed up as the Hindu God, Hanuman, and later seen indulging in terrorist activities.

The film has just been passed 12A uncut by the BBFC for moderate innuendo, threat, violence.

 

  Mandatory Reporting of User Content Chills Speech and Violates Privacy Rights...

US law is proposed to make internet companies report any vaguely defined 'terrorist activities' that they come across


Link Here 6th August 2015
US SenateThe EFF has joined a broad coalition of 31 organizations in sending a letter to Senate leadership opposing an unconstitutionally vague law that would require Internet companies to report to the government when they obtain actual knowledge of any facts and circumstances related to terrorist activity. Section 603 of the Intelligence Authorization Act 2016 (S. 1705), which does not define terrorist activity, raises significant First and Fourth Amendment concerns, including the chilling of protected speech and the warrantless search and seizure of private electronic content.

The most obvious flaws in Section 603 are its vagueness and overbreadth: it will chill wholly legal speech and conduct. The key reason is that there is no clear agreement in U.S. society about what counts as terrorism (and triggers mandatory reporting). The single, tiny island of clarity in the term terrorist activity is one non-exclusive reference to 18 U.S.C. § 842(p), which makes it unlawful for a person to distribute information relating to explosives if the person has knowledge that the recipient intends to use the information to commit a violent crime.

Because Section 603 leaves both companies and users uncertain as to what exactly triggers the mandatory reporting requirement, this vague obligation to report will encourage service providers to broadly implement the law and will, in turn, encourage users to self-censor to avoid being reported to the federal government as possible terrorists. Without further clarification, the law will likely put innocent political activists, journalists, engaged citizens, professors and students participating in wholly lawful debate and research under a cloud of suspicion. For many, the risk of being put on a mysterious government watch list will more often than not outweigh the benefit of speaking.

With limited context for, say, a tweet or private direct message, service providers will err on the side of over-reporting and submit First Amendment-protected speech through content-flagging or automated monitoring systems.

 

  Reddit Eddited...

Reddit censors its more extreme unpolitically correct communities


Link Here 6th August 2015

reddit logoReddit, a website that has traditionally pushed the boat out in support of free speech and not censoring even its most strident posters has made a few tweaks to its rules. Redditor Spez announced:

Today we are releasing an update to our Content Policy. Our goal was to consolidate the various rules and policies that have accumulated over the years into a single set of guidelines we can point to.

Thank you to all of you who provided feedback throughout this process. Your thoughts and opinions were invaluable. This is not the last time our policies will change, of course. They will continue to evolve along with Reddit itself.

Our policies are not changing dramatically from what we have had in the past. One new concept is Quarantining a community, which entails applying a set of restrictions to a community so its content will only be viewable to those who explicitly opt in. We will Quarantine communities whose content would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor.

Today, in addition to applying Quarantines, we are banning a handful of communities that exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else. Our most important policy over the last ten years has been to allow just about anything so long as it does not prevent others from enjoying Reddit for what it is: the best place online to have truly authentic conversations.

I believe these policies strike the right balance.

update: I know some of you are upset because we banned anything today, but the fact of the matter is we spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with a handful of communities, which prevents us from working on things for the other 99.98% (literally) of Reddit.

...

Today we removed communities dedicated to animated CP and a handful of other communities that violate the spirit of the policy by making Reddit worse for everyone else: /r/CoonTown, /r/WatchNiggersDie, /r/bestofcoontown, /r/koontown, /r/CoonTownMods, /r/CoonTownMeta.

 

  Extreme Intolerance...

UAE introduces new blasphemy law with 10 years jail for insulting religion...and of course professing atheism is considered an insult to religion


Link Here 6th August 2015
UAE flagThe United Arab Emirates has passed an anti-hatred law which outlaws insulting religion.

Gulf News reports that the legislation makes illegal any acts that stoke religious hatred and any form of expression that insults religion.

The law, passed by decree at the end of July, prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, His prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards.

Punishments include 10 year jail terms and substantial fines. Provisions in the legislation include a prohibition on expressing doubt about the existence of God.

The UK's National Secular Society president Terry Sanderson commented:

The UAE are using anti-discrimination legislation as a cover to criminalise all manner of dissent- including blasphemy. It is dispiriting, and sadly unsurprising to see yet another crackdown on religious freedom and freedom of speech in the Islamic world.

As with the recent comments from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Islamic Affairs , the language of human rights, freedom and tolerance are subverted in order to further an Islamist agenda, in this case under the guise of an anti-discrimination statute. In fact, this legislation insults the concept of equality by creating discrimination against non-believers.

It's important that attention is drawn to laws like these, particularly given that so many Islamist regimes are intent on enacting global laws against the 'defamation of religion'.

These attempts often cynically hijack the vocabulary of human rights, something which we also see from many groups and activists in the West who lobby for de facto blasphemy legislation.

 

  Government repeals the only good law that it has ever enacted...

UK Intellectual Property Office clarifies the current legal situation about copying your own CDs


Link Here 6th August 2015
ipo logoThe High Court recently overturned private copying exceptions introduced last year by the UK Government, once again outlawing the habits of millions of citizens. The Intellectual Property Office now explains that ripping a CD in iTunes is no longer permitted, and neither is backing up your computer if it contains copyrighted content.

Late last year the UK Government legalized copying for private use, a practice which many citizens already believed to be legal. The UK Intellectual Property Office noted that the changes were in the best interest of consumers and that they would bring copyright law into the 21st century.

However, the new regulation was short-lived. Fearing a loss of income several music groups objected at the High Court, which subsequently agreed that the new legislation is unlawful .

As a result the changes were overturned last month and the previous limitations were reinstated. To find out what the public can and can't do under the law, TorrentFreak reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office, which provided some very clear answers. A spokesperson explained:

It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder -- this includes format shifting from one medium to another

The IPO specifically notes that copying a CD to an MP3 player is not permitted. This means that iTunes' popular ripping feature, which Apple actively promotes during the software's installation, is illegal. Also, under the current law iTunes is actively facilitating copyright infringement by promoting their CD-ripping functionality. This means that the company could face significant claims for damages.

There is more though, as the law affects much more than just ripping CDs. Simply copying a song in an automated computer backup or storing a copy on a private cloud hosting service is also against the law.  The Government spokesperson said:

...it includes creating back-ups without permission from the copyright holder as this necessarily involves an act of copying,

Strictly speaking this means that UK citizens are not allowed to make a backup of their computer. After all, pretty much every computer contains copyrighted media. Needless to say, this turns almost the entire country into outlaws .

The Government is not happy with the High Court decision but it hasn't decided whether it will propose revised private copying exceptions in the future. Copyright holders previously suggested allowing private copying in exchange for a tax on blank CDs and hard drives. The spokesperson said:

As this is a complex area of law, the Government is carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options, before deciding any future course of action.

 

 Offsite Article: Could Cameron's porn blockade really work?...


Link Here 6th August 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
David Cameron The Prime Minister wants porn site visitors to prove their age. Experts says it will never work

See article from expertreviews.co.uk

 

 Updated: Swearing support for Indian film...

Film censors vote to end a ban on strong language in all films


Link Here 5th August 2015  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
CBFC logoIndia's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has withdrawn its controversial list of swear words after a majority of members voted against the list at a meeting on Friday.

It was in February this year when the crazed chairman Pahlaj Nihalani issued a list of swear words to all regional officers in the certification body and directed that films with innuendo, profanities, those glorifying bloodshed or violence against women would not get certification.

The decision did initiate uproar by the film-makers and even the board members against CBFC chairman for his dictatorial approach .

Reportedly, CBFC board members stated that swear words should be seen in the context of the entire film rather than in an isolated manner and the decision be left to the examining committee.

Whilst the list was in operation many films like Highway, NH10 and many others suffered cuts because of the list.

However, in a meeting held on Friday, 12 out of 15 members of the CBFC stood in favour of withdrawing the list. Reportedly, the members also insisted in recording the minutes of the meeting and circulating it within two weeks so as to make the decision official.

CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani refused to comment on the issue.

Update: Chief censor contradicts his team

5th August 2015. See  article from  dnaindia.com

pahlaj-nihalaniIndia's chief film censor Pahlaj Nihalani refutes reports that his infamous list of 28 banned cuss words have been withdrawn. He said in no unclear terms that the list stays put.  Nihalani calls claims to the contrary as irresponsible and damaging. He raged:

First of all, the proceedings of the Board meeting were highly confidential and not meant to be given out to the public. Censor Board members are giving out wrong information to the press.

There was no question of banning the banned words. It is not up to the Board members to make policy decisions. They can only discuss change. They cannot decide or implement changes.

 

  Homegrown censorship...

A National Youth Theatre production about jihadi brides has been abruptly cancelled


Link Here 5th August 2015  full story: Homegrown...Youth theatre production censored
nyt-homegrown logoA play exploring the motives behind radicalised young people joining Islamic State has been cancelled less than a fortnight before its opening night, with the creators claiming the voices of the young cast have been silenced .

Homegrown , a National Youth Theatre (NYT) production, was closed down with the creators saying they were given no prior warning. Director Nadia Latif and playwright Omar El-Khairy believe the production was cancelled due to external pressures, claiming both local authorities and police got involved during the development of the play. Latif said:

There was no warning. We got an email on Thursday night saying the show was cancelled, rehearsals are done, and the cast were told on Friday morning. And that was really a sucker punch, not least because we didn't see it coming at all. There must have been some extraordinary external pressure to cancel the production to justify that emotional trauma on a cast of 112 young people.

The play had a cast of 112 people aged between 15 and 25 who were mostly from ethnic minorities. It was originally due to take place in a school in Bethnal Green linked to the case of schoolgirls Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase who travelled to Syria to become jihadi brides. The play looked at this emotive issues of jihadi brides and attitudes towards Islam in the UK.

 

 Update: Beady Eyes...

China to set up censorship offices in major internet companies


Link Here 5th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

China flagChina is planning to set up censorship offices in major internet companies and for websites so authorities can move more quickly against internet content that it does not like, the ministry of public security said in a statement. The deputy minister, Chen Zhimin, told a conference:

Police should take a leading role in online security and work closely with internet regulators. We will set up network security offices inside important website and internet firms, so that we can catch criminal behaviour online at the earliest possible point.

The government published a draft cybersecurity law last month consolidating its control over data, with significant potential consequences for internet companies and multinational firms doing business in the country. The law will strengthen user privacy protection from hackers and data resellers but elevates the government's powers to obtain records on, and block dissemination of, private information deemed illegal.

 

  A bit behind the times...

Pippa Smith argues that because the Co-op has banned lads' mags it should also stop selling Fifty Shades of Grey


Link Here 5th August 2015

Fifty Shades Trilogy Boxed Set Moralist campaigner Pippa Smith is belatedly whingeing to a Co-op store selling EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey novel.

Smith is complaining that shops are stocking the EL James novel, which features explicit sexual content, near children's products. Smith wrote to Waitrose and the Co-operative to complain that they were selling Grey, the latest novel from EL James, along with the DVD of the movie adaptation of the book series from promotional stands in their Crewkerne branches in Somerset.

In letters to both supermarkets, Mrs Smith spouted:

These pornographic books are not about a love story, but all about sexual abuse. They bring bondage, domination and sadomasochism into the mainstream and thereby glamorise and normalise it. By selling such books in your stores it appears to put a stamp of respectability on the content and condones and normalises the message it sends.

It may be legal but it is not right and is part of the process of pushing boundaries which shows how weak and ineffective our laws have become.

Smith also referenced the Co-op's decision to stop selling the Daily Sport newspaper and so-called lads' mags in 2013 following a barrage of complaints from customers about their content.

A response on behalf of Co-operative chief executive Richard Pennycook responded:

We do try to give our customers the option to purchase what they desire but also giving our customers the opportunity to make an informed choice as to whether to purchase the Grey merchandise in our stores.

On review, the Co-operative's stance on the Daily Sport is solely in response to those members and customers who have expressed concerns that children may see overt sexual images when visiting our stores.

This doesn't apply to the Grey merchandise, as no sexual images are visible.

 

  UK adult industry told to the solve the problem of open access foreign porn...

ATVOD issues a worthless copy and paste press release about government consultation on censoring porn


Link Here 5th August 2015

ATVOD with award for service to foreign industryCommenting on the announcement [of a government consultation of ways to censor internet porn], ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

ATVOD welcomes the government's ongoing commitment to protecting children from online pornography...

ATVOD urges the adult industry to take this opportunity to develop its own robust proposals to address the problem of offshore adult websites...

ATVOD will continue to discuss with policy makers further options for reducing the exposure of children to pornography and other potentially harmful VOD material on websites based both inside and outside the UK.

 

  Legal Terms...

Copyright Troll Asks Court to Ban the Term 'Copyright Troll'


Link Here 5th August 2015

malibu media logoAdult movie studio Malibu Media has asked the Indiana federal court to ban negative terms during an upcoming trial against an alleged BitTorrent pirate. According to the copyright troll, descriptions such as copyright troll, pornographer and porn purveyor could influence the jury.

Malibu Media, the Los Angeles based company behind the X-Art adult movies, is one of the most active copyright trolls in the United States. This year alone they have filed a 1,104 individual cases against alleged downloaders.

The main goal of the company is to demand settlements of a few thousand dollars, without going to trial. However, defendant Micheal Harrison decided to fight back and wants to have his case heard before a jury.

The lawsuit in question dates back to 2012 and both sites are now gearing up to present their arguments in court. This is new territory for the porn company, and recent motions reveal that the copyright troll is worried about its image.

 

 Offsite Article: Broken Windows Theory...


Link Here 5th August 2015  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logo An even better article on protecting your self from Microsoft Windows 10 snooping

See article from slate.com

 

  0 out of 10...

Another Windows 10 warning as it searches through your best porn pics and displays them to all as a screen saver


Link Here 4th August 2015  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logoOne Reddit poster was in for a nasty surprise after he installed Windows 10 and woke up the next day to discover pictures from his porn collection scrolling across his desktop.

Those who have used Windows Phone will be familiar with their photos appearing in the scrolling tiles on the phone's home screen, but those who are new to Windows 10 might not be prepared for the exposure the operating system will give their snaps.

Redditor FalloutBoS posted his warning:

Loaded up WIN 10 last night and left it on to do its thing. Woke up to wife asking why I set it to rotate all my porn images right on the desk top view. I have no idea how to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do. Free windows and a free trip to the doghouse. Thanks Microsoft!!!

Don't make my mistake, keep your private pictures out of My Pictures, no matter how deep you hide them in sub folders.

 

 Offsite Article: Giving Cameron a 4 billion to 1 chance of being able to block porn...


Link Here 4th August 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
boing boing logo Let's start by saying that this will be totally, absolutely ineffective at preventing kids from seeing porn. Never underestimate the power of a kid who is cash-poor and time-rich.

See article from boingboing.net

 

 Offsite Article: The Origins of Mass Snooping...


Link Here 4th August 2015  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
NSA logo Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last, by leaked Snowden files

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Update: Unforgettable Euro Censorship...

Google stands up against Europe and appeals against court order to implement EU censorship worldwide


Link Here 3rd August 2015
Google logoGoogle has refused to comply with a French order that would apply the right to be forgotten to all worldwide domains, and not just European ones.

Google had responded to a European Court decision that seems to have made a law that says people can arbitrarily demand that information that they do do not like should be hidden from Google Search.

Google applied this law by blocking searches on country specific URLs like google.fr in France and google.de in Germany, and not google.com.

Now Google has refused a court order demanding that the EU censorship be applied worldwide and appealed, calling the French court ruling a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the Web. Google explained, that complying with the court risks encouraging other countries to tighten their grip on what users can and cannot view, beginning a race to the bottom in which the Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place.

Another legal argument is about proportionality. Some 97%, of French searches use google.fr, not google.com or other non-EU domains. In other words, forcing Google to apply this rule beyond European domains would accomplish very little, and potentially risk a great deal.

The Washington Examiner noted:

This is an important development in a critical case. The scrutinizing of Google isn't an isolated phenomenon, and American firms (and politicians) concerned about legal and regulatory challenges abroad would do well to pay attention as Google navigates the implementation of the right to be forgotten.

 

  Super Tor...

India's newly censored internet users will be interested to know there is a faster version of Tor on the way


Link Here 3rd August 2015
tor logo A high-speed anonymous way to browse the web has been developed by security researchers. The team, based in Zurich and London, say they have found a way to mask data that does little to slow it down.

Many anonymising systems are slow because data is encrypted many times as it travels. But the new high-speed encryption system, Hornet, could theoretically move data around at speeds up to 93GBps, its creators say.

Hornet is conceptually similar to The Onion Router (Tor) network that many people currently use to disguise from where they are browsing the web. Tor encrypts data as it hops randomly between the servers or relays that make up the network. However, encrypting and decrypting data many times adds a processing overhead, which means browsing the web via Tor can be slow and frustrating.

Tor's design suffers from performance and scalability issues: as more clients use Tor, more relays must be added to the network , said the researchers in a paper describing their work.

Hornet avoids some of the problems that limit how many users a Tor-like system can handle by changing the way it handles information about where data is going. By removing some of this administrative overhead, it is possible to speed up the passage of data through the network's anonymising core.

In addition, they wrote, these changes made Hornet less susceptible to some of the attacks that have been used to unmask people who use Tor.

 

 Offsite Article: Windows 10 spying...


Link Here 2nd August 2015  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logo How to opt out of Microsoft's intrusive terms of use

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 Update: Recommended by family...

Victoria Hearst and Morality in Media campaign to get Cosmopolitan magazine covered up in US stores


Link Here 1st August 2015  full story: Morality in Media...Misreable campaigners for censorship
cosmolpolitan aug 2015The US morality campaign group, Morality in Media (now misleading calling itself the National Center for Sexual Exploitation), is campaigning for US retailers to cover up the magazine. The group whinges:

Cosmopolitan Magazine glamorizes things like public, anal, group, or violent sex in nearly all of their issues. We are asking that Cosmo be sold to adults only and have the cover wrapped like all other porn magazines in retail shops.

This staple of the supermarket checkout line is as pornographic as Playboy magazine. While it may not have many nude pictures (though they have started throwing them into recent issues), this publication has steadily declined from a somewhat inspirational women's magazine to a verbally pornographic how-to sex guide. Cosmo is leading the way in further desensitizing young women and girls to accept and participate in the pornified and sexually violent culture around them.

Pornography desensitizes and entices the user to try harder and more deviant material. Cosmo, like Playboy, Hustler and other mainstream porn, is trying hard to keep up with this fact by writing even more provocative and explicit articles. Common themes of the last year include repeatedly inviting women to participate in anal, oral, public, and violent torture sex and each issue tauts that it has more and better sex tips than the previous issue.

In recent years, Cosmo has started to blatantly target young girls to expand their audience and increase profits. Many of their covers feature teen idols, meant to entice young girls into buying the magazine. They include feature stories from Disney stars and teen icons. A search of #MyCosmo or #CosmoGirl on social media yields pictures, tweets and comments from teen girls around the world gushing about trying Cosmo's tips and trying to be like women of Cosmo Magazine.

Join us in the fight to get supermarkets and other family-oriented stores to put wrappers on Cosmo Magazine and to stop selling it to children and teens.

In response a few US retailers agreed to cover up Cosmopolitan. All stores owned by Rite Aid and Delhaize America (Food Lion and Hannaford Stores) agreed to censor the latest issue of the magazine.

The campaign was initiated in April by Victoria Hearst, the born-again Christian granddaughter of the Hearst Corporation founder. The campaign aims to force all retailers to censor the publication, and also stop selling it to under 18s. And bizarrely Cosmopolitan is owned by the Hearst Corporation.

 

 Update: State censors defend their stance...

Northern Ireland's PPS explains the prosecution of a preacher for criticising islam


Link Here 1st August 2015  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress

pps logoThe Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland have defended their prosecution of James McConnell, the Christian preacher who called Islam Satanic.

In a letter sent to the National Secular Society, the PPS have doubled-down on their decision to take the case to trial, after the NSS warned that their actions had created a chilling effect on free speech. A Christian organisation warned that many churches will be wary of what they place on the internet until this case is heard and the law is clarified.

Pastor McConnell is being prosecuted under the Communications Act 2003 for sending a grossly offensive message. The Pastor said during a sermon that Islam was a doctrine spawned in hell and that while there may be good Muslims in the UK, he didn't trust Muslims generally.

In response to a letter of concern written by the National Secular Society urging the PPS to reconsider its course of action, the Prosecution Service have claimed that their controversial decision is in the public interest , and have vowed to press on despite a raft of criticism from Christian groups, the National Secular Society and an imam, Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, who said he strongly upholds the moral right of Pastor McConnell and myself, as Christian and Muslim, to disagree about matters of doctrine and belief.

The PPS added in their response to the National Secular Society that they had balanced the relevant public interest considerations in their treatment of the case, but that due to the gravity of the preacher's sermon and the circumstances of the offence and the offender they were right to deal with the matter by way of an informed warning.

Pastor McConnell rejected this warning, which would have remained on his criminal record for 12 months, and this led to the case proceeding to trial at the PPS's insistence.

Extraordinarily, the complaint about McConnell's sermon reportedly came from Dr Raied Al-Wazzan, who recently praised the Islamic State and said that Mosul had become the most peaceful city in the world under IS rule. You can go from east to west of the city without fear, he claimed. Al-Wazzan is now described as the main prosecution witness in the case against McConnell.

There has been widespread condemnation of the PPS's actions, but Assistant Director Michael Agnew wrote that he remained of the view that the evidence Test for Prosecution is met and that a prosecution was justified given that McConnell has refused to accept the warning.

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans said:

This baffling decision to persist with the prosecution of Pastor McConnell represents a reckless and grievous encroachment upon his - and everybody else's - fundamental right to free expression.

In our view Pastor McConnell was well within his rights to refuse a warning that would have remained on his criminal record for a year, particularly given that he clearly did not incite violence in his sermon and the PPS do not even appear to claim that he did. Given that, the PPS's behaviour seems even more extraordinary.

Whatever the outcome of this case, the actions of the Public Prosecution Service are likely to have a chilling effect on everyone's freedom to speak openly about their beliefs.

In an open and free society, we should all feel able to express our beliefs and opinions without fear of criminal sanction - regardless of how unpalatable others may find them.

The weapon of 'offense' is increasingly being used to stifle free expression. The desire to live in a harmonious and tolerant society is a noble one, but will not be achieved by the suppression of fundamental freedoms.

We again urge the PPS to drop this case and issue a full apology to Mr. McConnell.

 

 Update: Whingeing bastards...

A few complaints about the word 'bastard' being used on EastEnders


Link Here 1st August 2015  full story: Eastenders...Eastenders TV programme complaints
Eastenders logoAbout 30 EastEnders viewers have whinged after a character used the word 'bastard' before the watershed. The character Carol Jackson called her brother Max Branning a bastard at 7.58pm during the latest episode of the BBC1 soap.

A spokesman for Ofcom said it had received 29 complaints and will look into it.

And of course there were the inevitable trivial tweets. Eg Cameron Jolley tweeted:

Can someone tell me why Carol called Max a bastard on EastEnders tonight? It's meant to be a family soap.

A spokeswoman for EastEnders said:

We are always mindful of the time slot in which we go out. As our regular viewers will know, Carol has been pushed to her limits by her brother and her unusual outburst reflected her frustration.

 

 Update: Swearing support for Indian film...

Film censors vote to end a ban on strong language in all films


Link Here 1st August 2015  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
CBFC logoIndia's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has withdrawn its controversial list of swear words after a majority of members voted against the list at a meeting on Friday.

It was in February this year when the crazed chairman Pahlaj Nihalani issued a list of swear words to all regional officers in the certification body and directed that films with innuendo, profanities, those glorifying bloodshed or violence against women would not get certification.

The decision did initiate uproar by the film-makers and even the board members against CBFC chairman for his dictatorial approach .

Reportedly, CBFC board members stated that swear words should be seen in the context of the entire film rather than in an isolated manner and the decision be left to the examining committee.

Whilst the list was in operation many films like Highway, NH10 and many others suffered cuts because of the list.

However, in a meeting held on Friday, 12 out of 15 members of the CBFC stood in favour of withdrawing the list. Reportedly, the members also insisted in recording the minutes of the meeting and circulating it within two weeks so as to make the decision official.

CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani refused to comment on the issue.

 

 Offsite Article: Cryptic Government Messages...


Link Here 1st August 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
BBC logo Does the government really want to ban WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype?

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

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