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.
There'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.
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.
The Battle for Banaras is a 2014 India documentary by Kamal Swaroop.
Starring Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sikandar Agarwal and Aditya Bhattacharya.
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
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).
An 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
Two complainants challenged that the ad was offensive and unsuitable for publication in a widely available newspaper.
One complainant challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for children to see.
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.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 USA documentary by Alex Gibney.
Starring Lawrence Wright, Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun.
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
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.
Russia 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.
Phantom is a 2015 India action thriller by Kabir Khan.
Starring Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif and Rajesh Tailang.
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
Aid 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.
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.
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
The 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
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
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.
Gámer is a 2011 Ukraine drama by Oleg Sentsov.
Starring Zhanna Biryuk, Alexander Fedotov and Vladislav Zhuk.
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 .
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.
Photographers, 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Russia 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.
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
Video 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
I 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.
Striking 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.
Internet 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.
A 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
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.
Morality 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.
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.
David 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
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.
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.
Anne 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.
The 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
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
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Religious 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.
On 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.
According 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.
A 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.
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?
For 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
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.
The 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.
Section 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.
Vacation is a 2015 USA comedy adventure by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M Goldstein.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Gillies.
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.
The 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.
Alex Dyke, BBC Radio Solent, 12 August 2015 BBC Logo
We received complaints from listeners who were unhappy with comments Alex Dyke made during a phone-in on breastfeeding on his programme.
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.
Mobile 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.
The 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,
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.
Labour'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.
Budget 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.
The 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.
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
A 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.
A 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
After 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.
A 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
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.
Two 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
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.
The 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,
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.
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.
Twitter 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
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
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.
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.
India 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
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.
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
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.
India'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 ?
China 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.
Twitter 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 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
On 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
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.
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.
New 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?
Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar Noé.
Starring Gaspar Noé, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin.
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.
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.
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 is a 2015 India comedy by Karan Anshuman.
Starring Jacqueline Fernandez, Rajesh Sharma and Riteish Deshmukh.
Two blundering terrorists with lofty ideologies, but ordinary talent, on a mission to change the world.
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.
Banned by the film censors but there is still the possibility of an appeal to the reviewing committee.
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.
The 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. Â§ 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, 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,
The 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
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.
The 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.
India'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
CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani refused to comment on the issue.
India'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.
A 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.
China 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
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.
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.
Commenting 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.
Adult 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.
One 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.
Google 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.
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.
The 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.
The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland have defended their prosecution of James McConnell, the Christian preacher who called
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.
About 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.
India'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
CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani refused to comment on the issue.