Thomas de Maiziere, Germany's interior minister has said that Facebook should be more proactive in removing racist and violent content from its sites:
Facebook has an immensely important economic position and just like every other large enterprise it has a immensely important social responsibility.
Facebook should take down racist content or calls for violence from its pages on its own initiative even if it hasn't yet received a complaint.
The German government has been critical of Facebook in the past as it is the main medium for people to express their discontent about the government's refugee policies.
De Maiziere said he recognized Facebook's efforts to develop software that can better identify outlawed content and praised its efforts to fight child pornography. He added though:
But it's up to the company to ensure those terms are upheld. A company with a good reputation for innovation will have to earn a good reputation in this area.
Mark Wallace, a former US ambassador to the United Nations who now heads the Counter Extremist Project (CEP) in New York, a non-profit group that maintains a database of information about extremist groups, said about Facebook:
Of all the companies, Facebook has done the most, but they're all just starting to recognize that the weaponization of social media platforms is not good business and not good for society.
CEP is completing testing of a new software tool that will identify new images and videos published on social media sites by Islamic State and other extremist groups, and remove them instantly wherever they occur, much as already done with child
Ubisoft's upcoming game, South Park: The Fractured but Whole has gone missing from games distribution win Australia via Steam.
Alex Walker of Kotaku Australia reported that the game went missing from Steam for Australians. It wasn't showing up on either the the desktop version of the website, the mobile version, and even the app itself. When the folks from Kotaku Australia tried
to find the direct link from everywhere else in the world, it ended up showing a page where it said that the game is not available for Australians.
The Game has not yet been officially censored by the Australian Censorship Board and Ubisoft hasn't made any announcement about any censorship of the ttle. In fact the Ubisoft website still has the game slated for release on 6t December 2016.
Kotaku Australia already reached out to Ubisoft Australia for a confirmation regarding the status of the game's release, but so far no response has been received.
The previous 2014 game in the series also suffered censorship problems in Australia. South Park: The Stick of Truth was initially banned before suffering 5 minutes of cuts to appease the censors who then granted an R18+ rating.
China will soon enact a new film censorship law banning content relating to preaching terrorism and mandating clearance of a film by three
'experts' and also demanding that film personalities abide by morality standards.
The law is currently being reviewed by China's legislature the National People's Congress (NPC). According to the bill, people working in the movie industry, including actors and directors, should strive for excellence in both professional skills and
moral integrity, and build good public images.
The draft law also stresses that film distribution companies and cinemas should not fabricate movie screenings and ticket sales or take other improper means. This followed reports that Chinese film firms tried to inflate revenues with fake shows to
inflate box office earnings to claim success.
The new law requires that films shall not contain any content preaching terrorism and extremism, and films shall be reviewed by at least three 'experts'.
Trigger warnings should be given to viewers, if films contain materials that might cause psychological or physical discomfort to viewers, such as minors.
Iran has announced it has completed the first phase of its long running plan to operate a "national internet".
An inauguration ceremony was held on Sunday by the country's communications and censorship minister, Mahmoud Vaezi.
Iran already blocks access to overseas-based social media services - including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - many users still access them via proxy sites and virtual private networks (VPNs). So the government is trying to totally cut off access paths
to the outside world.
The government says the goal is to create an isolated domestic intranet that can be used to promote Islamic content and raise digital awareness among the public. It intends to replace the current system, in which officials seek to limit which parts
of the existing internet people have access to via filters - an effort Vaezi described as being "inefficient".
According to a report by Mehr, a Tehran-based news agency :
the first phase of the rollout involves providing access to e-government services and domestic web pages
a second phase, due in February 2017, will add domestic video content
a third phase, due in March 2017, will introduce further services and provide support for companies involved in international trade
The British human rights campaign group Article 19 has criticised the plan:
Given Iran's record in violating its human rights commitments based on civil and political (including religious and ethnic) grounds, the development of projects such as the national internet are especially concerning.
The National Internet Project could pave the way for further isolation, surveillance and information retention. [It] risks severely isolating the Iranian people from the rest of the online world, limiting access to information and constraining attempts
at collective action and public protest."
Advert censors at the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) have banned an in-store video ad for Bras N Things featuring Playboy lingerie.
The censors whinged that advertisers did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity.
The video is similar to the video shown in this post and featured a woman wearing different styles of Playboy-branded lingerie and the video camera moving over the model's body to highlight the details on the lingerie.
A complaint to the ASB claimed the ad was amateur porn :
They were not merely modelling the underwear, they were moving suggestively, gyrating and looking lasciviously at the camera, like a very amateur porn movie. It was a demeaning and embarrassing display.
The ASB claimed that the:
Manner in which the lingerie is model by the woman is sexualised. The silent, moving image draws the eye of passers-by and considered that the model is stroking her hair and her moving her body suggestively and that this amounts to a sexualised impact.
The model appearing n the banned advert, 22-year old blonde Simone Holtznagel, has unloaded in her Instagram post on those who had the ad banned. She wrote:
Shout out to the prude who complained about my 'vulgar' and 'amateur porn' advertisement for the amazing Australian brand Bras N Things, and had the clip banned.
How dare you sexualise my body. How dare-after all society's requests, you take a confident and carefree depiction of a normal, healthy womanly body, promoting women's products to women, and deem it offensive. Do not impress your insecurities on me,
whether physical or sexual.
I shall continue on in being fearlessly me and embracing my curves and my confidence, and I encourage all women to do the same -- and if that's so wrong then I don't want to be right.
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuhni is a 2016 Japan fight game
From the creators of Senran Kagura - Valkyrie Drive is an intense brawler set in a universe where girls turn into giant super-weapons when sexually aroused. Wielded by partner girls called Liberators, players must use this power to take on levels
swarming with enemies and giant bosses. Box Contains
The console games has been banned the Australian Censorship Board.
The board claims that the game promotes elements that offend standards of morality, and also uses sexuality as an incentive and reward. A major factor in the refusal of classification is due to implied sexual violence in the game, especially if
they pertain to incentives or rewards..
In the game, the girls are able to turn into weapons by kissing and touching one another. This may be part of the reason for the ban.
Politically correct accusations that Game of Thrones uses rape and violence against women as character development have been dismissed as nonsense by the head of content at broadcaster Sky.
Gary Davey, managing director of content at the channels was dscussing depictions of sex and violence in a debate between channel controllers at the Edinburgh international TV festival.
Davey noted that the violence in fantasy drama Game of Thrones, which airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK, applies just as much to male characters. He said:
Part of the issue is context... Sky Atlantic is a good example, people know what to expect. It's challenging content, whether it's story structure or indeed the sex and violence, the context matters.
It's interesting that this year with season six of Game of Thrones, which was very intense, out of the seven million households that watched, we had three complaints.
Questioned specifically about the rape of the character Sansa Stark on her wedding night, Davey denied it was used as character development.
I think that is nonsense. I think that is there is an awful lot of violence to men. For anyone who has watched the show, it can be a very violent show. I don't think the violence to women is particularly highlighted, it's just part of the story. The rape
happens, it's party of the story, it was in the book. We are now past the book and the story is evolving,
Davey also denied there were plans to move away from violent scenes and said:
Our audience knows what to expect on Sky Atlantic and we have sophisticated pin protection.
London's Metropolitan Police will trial an automated facial recognition system to identify people at this weekend's Notting Hill Carnival. According to the Met,
the AFR system at the Notting Hill Carnival:
Involves the use of overt cameras which scan the faces of those passing by and flag up potential matches against a database of custody images. The database has been populated with images of individuals who are forbidden from attending Carnival, as well
as individuals wanted by police who it is believed may attend Carnival to commit offences.
If a match is made by the system, officers will be alerted, and will seek to speak with the individual to verify their identity, making an arrest if necessary.
Speaking to The Register , the government's Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, said that:
The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice requires relevant authorities such as Local Authorities and Police Forces to ensure they use surveillance cameras effectively, efficiently and proportionately.
This is so communities can be sure that they are being protected by this technology rather than spied on. I would expect any organisation that is using tools like automatic facial recognition to do so transparently so members of the public know it is
being used and what its use is for.
The 'custody database' is a little more comprehensive than the name suggests as the police have been adding images from other sources. In response to a Parliamentary question, Baroness Williams of Trafford reported that by 15 July this year, there
Over 19 million custody images, Of these, 16,644,143 had been enrolled in the facial image recognition gallery and are searchable using automated facial recognition software.
This figure represents roughly a quarter of the UK's entire population.
A just-leaked draft impact assessment on the modernization of European copyright rules could spell the end for many online services in Europe as we know them. The
document's recommendations foreshadow new a EU Directive on copyright to be introduced later this year, that will ultimately bind each of the European Union's 28 member states. If these recommendations by the European Commission are put in place,
Europe's Internet will never be the same, and these impacts are likely to reverberate around the world.
The 182-page document identifies three general objectives--ensuring wider access to content, adapting copyright exceptions to the digital and cross-border environment, and achieving a well-functioning marketplace for copyright. In this initial article we
examine the recommendations that fall under the third of these three objectives, which are amongst the most alarming proposals, including new obligations on Internet platforms, and new copyright-like powers for news publishers.
More specifically, this article will look at two of the proposals for what the Commission calls "upstream" problems, or difficulties faced by copyright owners in extracting value from the use of content online. We'll deal with other parts of
the document in later posts.
"Sharing of Value" Proposal Exposes Rightsholder Greed
The assumption that copyright owners should be entitled to share in any value created by online platforms is never really examined by the Commission. The theory is that because online platforms are doing rather well in the digital environment, and
because traditional publishing industries are doing less well, this gives the publishers some kind of claim to share in the profits of the platforms. It's a questionable starting point, and as we'll see, the recommendations that flow from it are
ill-considered and harmful.
The first of the two problems that copyright owners supposedly face in extracting such value is that there is a large amount of user-generated content uploaded by users to sharing platforms, and that European law does not place an obligation on platforms
to proactively police this content for possible copyright infringement, but instead relies on the latter to identify that the material has been uploaded without authorization and to request its removal. That existing law strikes a reasonable balance,
similar to Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S.
Major entertainment companies characterize this as a problem because it means that copyright owners have less ability to ask online platforms to pay licensing fees for their content. In the case of user-generated content platforms (think YouTube and
Soundcloud), the platform can simply offer to remove a copyright-owner's content rather than paying for it--or, in practice, to voluntarily offer a compromise such as YouTube's Content ID that automatically scans uploaded content and shares ad revenues
for content identified as the copyright owner's.
As for platforms that offer access to their own library of content (think Netflix and Spotify), rightsholders contend that they may be willing to pay less in order to remain competitive with the user-generated content platforms. In either case, major
copyright holders contend that platforms should be paying them more for the content that the platforms make available online.
The European Commission's proposed solution, however, is worse than the supposed problem. The Commission is proposing that user-generated content platforms should be forced to seek, in good faith, to conclude private agreements with copyright owners and
to put in place "appropriate and proportionate content identification technologies". In short, the use of something like YouTube's Content ID system is being made compulsory.
This is a treacherous idea for many reasons, but just to give two:
Automated systems, no matter how technically sophisticated, can never replace human judgment about whether user generated content infringes copyright. This is because copyright exceptions that exist in the United States (such as fair use) and in various
forms across Europe (such as quotation, parody, and news reporting), mean that not every act of copying is an infringement. As a result, Content ID-type systems will inevitably misflag content, and wrongly allow a copyright claimant to monetize it or
take it down.
Content ID-type systems are extremely expensive. YouTube reportedly spent $60 million on the development of Content ID, but even if a new entrant would have to spend a small fraction of that on a similar system, that would still be an insurmountable
obstacle to the majority of small and medium enterprises, and to non-profit organizations and users ranging from Wikipedia, all the way down to your brother who hosts a fanart messageboard on a desktop PC in his bedroom.
More broadly, this kind of insidious regime of private agreements pushed by government is the kind of cop-out from good lawmaking that EFF calls "Shadow Regulation"; a concept that we'll be introducing in more depth in subsequent Deeplinks
posts, where we will give some other examples of the same. But in short, such agreements can embody the worst of all possible approaches, by combining the coercion of government regulation, with the lack of accountability of corporate self-regulation.
A Link Tax in Favor of News Publishers
The European Commission doesn't stop there, but also has a similarly ham-fisted proposal to address the declining revenues of news publishers from their print publications, which leaves them with fewer resources to continue to invest in journalism.
We have previously agreed that this is a real problem . But where the Commission errs is to pin responsibility for this problem on the reuse of news content by Web platforms under exceptions to copyright; and it compounds this error by seeking to limit
their use of such copyright exceptions going forward.
The Commission's proposal is to award publishers a new copyright-like veto power, layered on top of the copyright that already exists in the published content, allowing them to prevent the online reuse of news content even when a copyright exception
applies . This veto power may last for as little as one year, or as many as 50--the Commission leaves this open for now.
This kind of veto power has been described as a link tax --notwithstanding the Commission's protestations that it isn't one--because when the publisher controls even the use of small snippets of news text surrounding a hyperlink to the original article,
it essentially amounts to a tax on that link. The result, as seen in Spain, will be the closure of online news portals , and a reduction in traffic to news publishers .
A new wrinkle on this link tax proposal is that the Commission also proposes that publishers who have received a transfer of copyright from authors should also be entitled to collect revenue from whatever copyright levies member states may impose to
"compensate" authors for use of their content under copyright exceptions. The notion that "compensation" is needed for users exercising their rights under copyright is a thoroughly perverse one, as we have previously explained . This
addition to the link tax proposal is a gift to copyright collecting societies that will further increase the cost and complexity of lawfully reusing content.
What Happens Now?
The impact assessment is not yet a draft law, but it is a crystal clear indication from the European Commission about the content of the law that is is proposing to develop as a draft for approval by the other European institutions, namely the European
Parliament, and the Council of the European Union. Users will have further opportunities for input into the proposals when they reach that stage.
But we'll have the best chance of stopping these misguided proposals if European officials are alerted to our concerns right away. They need to understand that Internet users won't accept the "Shadow Regulation" of intermediaries by requiring
them to enter into expensive and error-prone arrangements with copyright owners for the automating flagging of user content. Neither will they accept a new "link tax" for news publishers that could stifle the dissemination of news online.
The UK's data protection agency has announced it is looking into Facebook's plans to use WhatsApp phone numbers and customer data to
generate leads and for personalised advertisng on Facebook.
Mirroring the concerns of many Brits, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said it will monitor how WhatsApp data is shared with the Facebook. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement :
We've been informed of the changes. Organisations do not need to get prior approval from the ICO to change their approaches, but they do need to stay within data protection laws. We are looking into this.
Denham said ICO planned to pull back the curtain and ensure both Facebook and WhatsApp were providing users with the requisite transparency.
Plenty of users have objected to the plans, with many choosing to opt out and not to share the details with Facebook.
Banks, governments, credit card companies and tech evangelists all want us to believe a cashless future is inevitable and good. But this isn't a frictionless utopia, and it's time to fight back. By Brett Scott.
A TV ad for Amazon Prime promoting a horror drama series called Fear the Walking Dead, broadcast on Channel Four on Sunday 10 April during the film Rango at 5.35pm and 6.40pm.
The ad included a voice-over taken from the drama, which stated, Good morning Los Angeles. Hope you got your flu shot. Reports that a strange virus is going around. If you're not feeling well go home and take care of yourself.
The ad showed scenes taken from the drama series, which included posters of a missing woman, a shadowed figure, an unwell man falling down, people running in distress, police and ambulance sirens, people in bio-hazard suits and a frightened woman in a
plantation field holding onto a fence. During these scenes, one of the female characters from the drama stated, What the hell is happening?
The ad also featured on-screen text that stated EVERY HORROR ... HAS A BEGINNING FEAR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1 FEAR BEGINS HERE ... . Towards the end of the ad was a male voice-over that stated, Fear the walking dead season one. Watch and
download with Amazon Prime and take the fear with you.
Three complainants, one of whom reported that their child was distressed by the ad, objected that it had been inappropriately scheduled during a children's film.
ASA Assessment Complaint Upheld
The ASA understood that the ad complained about was for a horror drama series based on a zombie apocalypse. It featured a voice-over that referred repeatedly to the title of the programme and scenes of social disorder and people in distress. The sound
effects and music became louder and more intense throughout the ad.
We considered that the overall content of the ad created a build-up of suspense that could be distressing to younger children, but that would not be unsuitable for older children to see. The ad therefore needed to be sensitively scheduled, as required by
the BCAP Code.
The ad had been cleared by Clearcast with no timing restriction that prevented it from being shown in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children. They had, however, applied a code that advised broadcasters that they might want
to view the ad to determine its acceptability for transmission in programmes appealing to children under 9 years of age. We noted that Channel 4 stated that their internal system should have automatically flagged up the presentation code and that a
member of staff would then have manually applied the appropriate timing restriction. We acknowledged that Channel 4 was now taking steps to improve how they applied timing restrictions and such advice in their future scheduling of ads.
However, broadcasters had a general responsibility to ensure that they exercised responsible judgement on the scheduling of ads. Also they should operate internal systems capable of identifying and avoiding unsuitable juxtapositions between advertising
material and programmes, especially those that could distress or offend viewers.
We noted that the ad was shown during an animated film that would have strong appeal to young children. Furthermore, it was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon, which we considered was likely to be seen as family viewing time. Viewers would have expected ads
to be scheduled with the family audience in mind and were unlikely to expect to see ads that would be frightening to younger children. The BARB data showed that children made up 218,000 of the 927,000 viewers and that the majority (150,000) were between
4 and 9 years of age. As outlined above, we considered that the ad could be distressing to younger children and concluded that it had been inappropriately scheduled.
We told Channel Four Television Corporation to ensure that ads which were suitable for older children, but could distress younger children, were sensitively scheduled in future
David Lowery, the director of the new Disney live-action remake of Pete's Dragon has been interviewed by
. He spoke of a new contractual clause with Disney that prohibits the inclusion of scenes depicting tobacco smoking. He said:
And you can't have smoking anymore! The scene in that movie that had the biggest impact to me was Pinocchio smoking a cigar and turning red. When you sign a contract with Disney, the things it says your film cannot have are beheadings, impalement or
smoking. Those are literally the three things you are not allowed to put into a Disney film.
...But yeah, they literally have those words in the contract as things you're not allowed to do and that rules out Pinocchio , which has the smoking.
The Jeremy Kyle Show is a popular daytime talk show broadcast on ITV, hosted by Jeremy Kyle, in which members of the public discuss relationship problems in a frank and often confrontational manner in front of a studio audience.
Ofcom was alerted by a complainant to an episode, broadcast on Easter Sunday1 morning, which, in the complainant’s view, featured inappropriate content for broadcast at that time.
The 60-minute episode included three separate items. The first item lasted for approximately the first 36 minutes of the programme, and centred on an individual called Sarah, her ex-friend, Kat, and Sarah’s partner, Carlos. The item
also focused on the paternity of Kat’s baby and revealed the results of DNA tests involving three men (Carlos, Kat’s ex-partner David, and Luke, another man with whom Kat had had sex) one of whom might be the father of Kat’s child.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:
Children must ... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 13
In our view, taken as a whole, the cumulative effect of: various sexual themes; examples of violent confrontations between contributors; and the significant number of examples of the sound being dipped to mask offensive language,
produced content that was unsuitable for children. We have set out our reasons for this view below.
There were a number of sexual references from the very outset of the programme:
the first item was introduced by the following caption: “Did you sleep with my boyfriend and is he your baby’s dad?”;
a clip from a previous episode was broadcast in which Jeremy Kyle asked Kat: “Have you had sex with Luke? ...Have you had sex with Carlos?...Have you had sex with David?”.
Jeremy Kyle was shown asking Sarah if her partner Carlos had had sex with Kat. Sarah said Carlos could not remember and Jeremy Kyle replied: “He can’t remember having sex? How can you not remember?... You can’t remember having sex?
[Addressing the audience] Can anybody in this audience, have you ever forgotten about having sex?”; and
Sarah referred to Kat smelling of “fish” and “raw sex” and having “a really bad smelly fishy smell”.
Sarah described watching Kat having sex, during which the bed made a “creaking noise” (at which point Jeremy Kyle imitated the sound of a creaking bed), and Sarah said she had heard “orgasm noises”. At this point Jeremy Kyle asked
one of the programme’s security guards “do you know your average orgasm noise for a woman? I’ve got to ask you this, they’ll probably cut it out, have you got an orgasm face?”.
We acknowledged ITV’s argument that “the discussion of sexual matters in the editorial context of the attempted resolution of relationship issues is a very regular feature of the show”. However, we did not agree with the Licensee
that the sexual references were “in no way a detailed or explicit description of sexual behaviour”. In our view, at various times the language and actions used by Jeremy Kyle and his guests gave a level of detail descriptive of sexual behaviour which
would be unsuitable for children. We did not consider that the use of humour by Jeremy Kyle would have materially lessened the unsuitability of the sexual references to any children in the audience. Rather, at times we considered Jeremy Kyle underlined
the detail in the discussion of sexual themes, for example, by imitating the creaking noises of a bed when referring to a couple having sex, and also asking one of the programme’s security guards whether he knew the “average orgasm noise for a woman” and
whether the security guard had “an orgasm face”.
Given all the above we did not agree with ITV’s argument that taken together the sexual references were “suitably limited in terms of explicitness”. We took the view that the cumulative effect of all the above references throughout
the episode rendered the material unsuitable for children.
European ministers are debating restrictions on the use of encryption and a further increase in mass snooping. Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister is due
to meet his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizere, to discuss possible laws to limit the use of encrypted communications across the EU.
Of course the ministers note that the increase in muslim terrorism as the reason for their actions. But as they don't seem so concerned about this in any other policy areas, presumably they want the mass snooping capabilities for more general reasons.
Governments and law enforcement services view apps that come with end-to-end encryption -- such as Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage -- as a potential barrier in investigations.
Over-the-top mobile services such as WhatsApp are currently outside the scope of the EU's e-privacy directive, which covers how customer data is handled, including in response to law enforcement requests.
New Zealand's government is set to introduce a Digital Convergence Bill which will extend the Broadcasting Act to cover on-demand content.
That will have implications for the way services such as Spark internet television service Lightbox and Netflix classify their programmes. The classification of broadcast and on-demand content would be handled the same way under the Broadcasting Act,
with complaints handled by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).
The new censorship regime will not extent to news and current affairs or to user-generated content such as videos uploaded by the public.
The bill will also introduce an exclusion to the current blanket ban on TV advertising between the hours of 6am and noon on Sundays. Adverts will soon be allowed but only during special events s uch as the Rugby World Cup.
The theory behind the Sunday morning ad-ban has been that it encourages broadcasters to show low audience special interest programming such as religious programmes without concern that they may be missing out on larger audiences that would be of
interest to advertisers.
Despite near universal condemnation from Pakistan's tech experts; despite the efforts of a determined coalition of activists, and despite numerous
attempts by alarmed politicians to patch its many flaws, Pakistan's Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) last week passed into law. Its passage ends an eighteen month long battle between Pakistan's government, who saw the bill as a flagship
element of their anti-terrorism agenda, and the technologists and civil liberties groups who slammed the bill as an incoherent mix of anti-speech, anti-privacy and anti-Internet provisions.
But the PECB isn't just a tragedy for free expression and privacy within Pakistan. Its broad reach has wider consequences for Pakistan nationals abroad, and international criminal law as it applies to the Net.
The new law creates broad crimes related to cyber-terrorism and its glorification online. It gives the authorities the opportunity to threaten, target and censor unpopular online speech in ways that go far beyond international standards or
Pakistan's own free speech protections for offline media. Personal digital data will be collected and made available to the authorities without a warrant: the products of these data retention programs can then be handed to foreign powers without
PECB is generous to foreign intelligence agencies. It is far less tolerant of other foreigners, or of Pakistani nationals living abroad. Technologists and online speakers outside Pakistan should pay attention to the first clause of the new law :
This Act may be called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.
It extends to the whole of Pakistan.
It shall apply to every citizen of Pakistan wherever he may be and also to every other person for the time being in Pakistan.
It shall also apply to any act committed outside Pakistan by any person if the act constitutes an offence under this Act and affects a person, property, information system or data location in Pakistan.
Poorly-written cyber-crime laws criminalize these everyday and innocent actions by technology users, and the PECB is no exception. It criminalizes the violation of terms of service in some cases, and ramps up the penalties for many actions that would be
seen as harmless or positive acts in the non-digital world, including unauthorized copying and access. Security researchers and consumers frequently conduct unauthorized acts of access and copying for legitimate and lawful reasons. They do it to
exercise of their right of fair use, to exposing wrongdoing in government, or to protect the safety and privacy of the public. Violating website terms of service may be a violation of your agreement with that site, but no nation should turn those
violations into felonies.
The PECB asserts an international jurisdiction for these new crimes. It says that if you are a Pakistan national abroad (over 8.5 million people, or 4% of Pakistan's total population) you too can be prosecuted for violating its vague statutes. And if a
Pakistan court determines that you have violated one of the prohibitions listed in the PECB in such a way that it affects any Pakistani national, you can find yourself prosecuted in the Pakistan courts, no matter where you live.
Pakistan isn't alone in making such broad claims of jurisdiction. Some countries claim the power to prosecute a narrow set of serious crimes committed against their citizens abroad under international law's passive personality principle (the U.S.
does so in some of its anti-terrorism laws). Other countries claim jurisdiction over the actions of its own nationals abroad under the active personality principle (for instance, in cases of treason.)
But Pakistan's cyber-crime law asserts both principles simultaneously, and explicitly applies them to all cyber-crime, both major and minor, defined in PECB. That includes creating a sense of insecurity in the [Pakistani] government (Ch.2, 10),
offering services to change a computer's MAC address (Ch.2, 16), or building tools that let you listen to licensed radio spectrum (Ch.2, 13 and 17).
The universal application of such arbitrary laws could have practical consequences for the thousands of overseas Pakistanis working in the IT and infosecurity industries, as well for those in the Pakistan diaspora who wish to publicly critique Pakistani
policies. It also continues the global jurisdictional trainwreck that surrounds digital issues, where every country demands that its laws apply and must be enforced across a borderless Internet.
Applying what has been described as the worst piece of cyber-crime legislation in the world to the world is a bold ambition, and the current Pakistani government's reach may well have exceeded its grasp, both under international law and its own
constitutional limits. The broad coalition who fought PECB in the legislature will now seek to challenge it in the courts.
But until they win, Pakistan has overlaid yet another layer of vague and incompatible crimes over the Internet, and its own far-flung citizenry.
Poland's government has passed a new law outlawing terms such as Polish death camps as references to Auschwitz and other concentration camps run by
Nazi Germany when it occupied the country during World War II.
Anyone convicted under the bill, which still needs to be approved by parliament, could be sent to jail for up to three years.
Lawmakers drafted the legislation in an effort to stop people from referring as the concentration camps as Polish - an error that has been made by foreign media outlets and even US President Barack Obama.
The legislation has been approved by Prime Minister Beata Szydlo's cabinet and is expected to pass easily in parliament, where the nationalistic right-wing Law and Justice party has a majority.
The Justice Ministry says that prison terms of up to three years would be reserved for those who intentionally slander Poland's good name by using terms like Polish death camps or Polish concentration camps. Those who use such language
unintentionally would face lesser punishments, including fines.
Moira Knox, who died on 4th August aged 85, was an Edinburgh councillor who became almost a cult figure at the city's
annual festival, supplying suitably outraged quotes to accompany the latest newspaper report on any Fringe production that might offend public decency with nudity, blasphemy, bad language or even bad manners; she became known as Edinburgh's Mary
Moira Knox never needed to see a show before pronouncing judgment. She explained a little how she got caught up in newspaper fuelled 'outrage':
A girl from the Sun telephoned and told me that they had received lots of calls from irate ratepayers in Edinburgh complaining about the nudity, she said. The girl from the Sun has seen it and she explained exactly what was going on... I do not need to
go and see it to know what it looks like.
Her words of opprobrium would often be reprinted on the posters and fliers of visiting companies helping to raise public interest and increase ticket sales. One promoter even launched an award, called the Moira, which was given to the Fringe production
that prompted the fiercest criticism
There were suggestions that some performers would contact her directly to alert her to the nature of their shows, while pretending to be offended members of the public.
By the end of the 1990s she had rather twigged that her 'outrage' was being exploited. She announced that she was going to retire from her self-appointed mission to clean up the Fringe:
I've realised that they want me to castigate them. I'm not falling for that again.
One of the key creative figures behind the popular video game Tekken 7 , Katsuhiro Harada has been speaking of the PC bullies who seem to determine how Japanese games are censored for the western world. In an interview with Eurogamer Harada
fires back against what he sees as ill informed Western critics who judge Japan by their own cultural standards. He explained:
The swimsuits was a good example. People who don't even play the game, they maybe just hear that there are swimsuits in it and then they say, 'Woah, you have these girls in sexy swimwear, what's wrong with you? You're such male chauvinists etc.'
But what they don't know is that it started off in the arcade and it's a season line, like you do for Christmas, Halloween or whatever. And it's not just the women. Robots have them, Kuma, Panda, the male characters have swimwear. It's not like we're
trying to sexualize the female characters at all. But they don't go and look for that info before they criticize. So that is pretty frustrating.
Censorship is a legitimate problem when Japanese games come to the West. For example, the much-lauded Tokyo Mirage Sessions suffered a number of bizarre minor changes to desexualize the female characters.
Asked about disappointed gamers who just want to play a game the way the original creators intended, Harada said:
Well, I guess people forget that the game goes through very strict ratings in various countries, and the level of severity kind of changes depending on the country.
But Tekken has cleared those and been released. So people who actually look into the game content have seen it and it is fine. And so, as such, as long as it passes those kind of censorship or whatever for that country, as judged by their government or
an official organization and not some random guy on the Internet, then obviously we want to release the content so as many people can enjoy it as possible.
Several thousand New Zealand families have signed up to use an internet blocking service that is designed to prevent access to a wide range of
websites with adult content.
Vocus, which owns the Slingshot, Orcon and Flip internet brands, began offering its network level family filter a few weeks ago. Stuff Fibre has announced it will also offer a blocking service, called Safe Zone, which its managing director Sam
Morse said would be more flexible.
Vocus consumer manager Taryn Hamilton said parents often eschewed parental control software that they could install on individual computers and other devices, as it was complex, possible to circumvent and often did not cater well for smartphones.
Hamilton said that the Vocus Family Filter instead blocks content at the network level so that the same level of censorship applies to all devices in a household. He added that parents could easily switch the filter on and off, if they chose, using their
Vocus plans to provide the filter free for a year, after which it will charge $5 a month. Hamilton said Vocus' filter was being provided by United States company Fortinet and was designed to screen out:
websites about hacking, the dark web and other illegal activities
sites that promote self harm or suicide and known infected or hacked sites
Stuff Fibre managing director Sam Morse said its Safe Zone service would be more flexible. Rather than only having a single on/off switch , Safe Zone would come with a range of pre-configured profiles . Not long after launch, it would let
customers configure settings differently for devices on a network so you will be able to decide what set-up you want for Johnny's iPhone ..
A UK advocacy group says that a new Maltese law criminalisig the possession of extreme pornography risks criminalising sexual minorities.
While criminalising pornography depicting bestiality or necrophilia, the new regulations also make it illegal to possess images which portray non-consensual sexual activity or acts that could result in severe injury , even if the images are staged
and all the participants are consenting adults. Anyone convicted under the new law will be liable to up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 6,000 euro.
Backlash has warned that the British law on which the regulations are based has led to several convictions for possession of pornography depicting BDSM (bondage and dominance, sadism and masochism), rough sex and other common, albeit non-mainstream,
sexual preferences. Nick Cowen of Backlash told the Times of Malta:
There is a wide range of material that could be covered by the law's language, but it is unclear whether or how it could be used by prosecutors
This means people face a lot of uncertainty as to what is illegal, which is potentially very damaging to the rule of law. The law can harm anyone experimenting with alternative sexual acts that can be as safe (or safer) than intercourse.
The lawyer who drafted the regulations has argued that there is a legitimate aim to criminalise pornography which might induce certain people to copy what they are seeing but admitted that there was a bit of a grey area as to what could be
Love Camp 7 is a 1969 USA war horror thriller by Lee Frost.
With Bob Cresse, Maria Lease and Kathy Williams.
Banned as a video nasty in 1985, then banned by the BBFC in 2002. Uncut elsewhere but there have only been a few obscure releases until the promised 2017 US DVD and Blu-ray.
The US distributor Bue Underground has announced that it is releasing the pioneering Naziploitation classic Love Camp 7 to Blu-ray & DVD early next year in its complete Uncensored Version.
It is one of the original video nasties banned in the UK and will feature a brand-new 4K scan from the recently discovered original camera negative!
The BBFC were gushing with praise for the film when it was banned in 2002. The BBFC explained the ban saying:
The film contains numerous scenes of women prisoners being abused, tortured and humiliated by their Nazi captors. Indeed the whole purpose of the work is to invite male viewers to relish the spectacle of naked women being humiliated
for their titillation. LOVE CAMP 7 contains both eroticised depictions of sexual violence and repeated association of sex with restraint, pain, and humiliation. These sequences were in clear contravention of the Board's strict policy on depictions of
sexual violence, which prohibits scenes that eroticise or endorse sexual assault. The possibility of cuts was considered. However, because the sexual violence runs throughout the work cutting was not considered to be a viable option.
Amural of Vladimir Putin snogging Donald Trump engaged in a passionate embrace was apparently too much for some in the
Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
The internationally famous mural was covered over with white paint. The work of local artist Mindaugas Bonanu went viral on social media after it was unveiled in May, and has since become a popular backdrop for selfies.
The miural covers a wall of the Keulė Rūkė restaurant whose owner Dominykas Ceckauskas said that the censorship was more than simple vandalism but a terrorising attack on freedom of speech in Lithuania . He said on facebook:
The purpose of the attack was to remind us, the people of the free world, that there are still active advocates of authoritarianism in our society.
Ceckauskas has promised to reinstall the artwork which he describes as a world famous symbol of liberty and defiance .
It's not yet clear who was responsible for the attack but it seems unlikely that it is the work of Trump supporters.
A magazine ad for Hippo Masking Tape from Tembe DIY Products Ltd seen on 16 April 2016, featured a model
painting a wall while dressed in a short dress, stockings, suspenders and white high-heels.
One complainant objected that the ad was offensive because it was sexist and objectified women.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA noted that Tembe DIY Products wanted to portray the model in the ad as a 1940/50s style pin-up girl to attract the reader's attention. However, we noted that the ad was marketing masking tape which bore no relevance to the image of the model,
whom we considered was depicted in a sexualised way. We noted that she was wearing white high-heels and dressed in a short frilly dress that showed all of her stockings with the attached suspenders and that her bottom was slightly arched outwards while
she had a happy look on her face.
We considered that, by using a sexualised image of a woman that bore no relationship to the advertised product, the ad objectified women and was likely to cause serious offence.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Tembe DIY Products Ltd that their future advertising must not cause offence by objectifying women.
US presidential nominee Donald Trump and the secret service demanded changes be made to two songs by rapper YG on his latest album released in June 2016 for anti-Trump lyrics, reported entertainment news outlet Vulture.
The two censored songs, FDT (Fuck Donald Trump) and Blacks and Browns, feature political lyrics that directly reference Trump and his actions and statements during the American presidential race. In the censored version of FDT there are now
"awkward pauses" in the rapper's flow for the lines that he and the label were forced to remove. Entertainment news Vibe featured an online radio interview by YG who explained:
The Secret Service called in on Universal and was like, 'Send me the lyrics to YG's album because we gotta see what he's talking about'. They did the whole album. That's why on 'FDT' on the album, it's parts of the song that I had to blank out. Then on
the next song 'Blacks & Browns', when Sad Boy's spitting his shit -- he said some shit towards Donald Trump too -- they heard that, and we had to either change it or blank it out, so we put the static noise on top of that. But yeah, it was a real
situation going on... Ever since John F. Kennedy got assassinated, they can't have no people promoting kill Trump, shoot Trump, pop Trump, all that. And we had those types of lines up in the song.
You wouldn't bat an eyelid if the front cover of an art magazine featured Manet's famous Olympia , a naked woman reclining on a bed.
But Vault Magazine , a contemporary art magazine published in Melbourne, say they've had to censor a painting of a nude woman on the cover of their latest issue.
Brood (2005-2006), a blonde, bare-breasted pregnant woman in pastel tones, was painted by renowned New York painter Lisa Yuskavage--one of the few female artists whose paintings can fetch over a million dollars on the market.
In newsagents around Australia, however, the work is obscured by two yellow circles stuck to the cover of the magazine, which hide the woman's nipples from public view.
Vault's editor, Neha Kale, says the magazine was told by their distributor, Gordon & Gotch, that the stickers--or an opaque sleeve--were required for the issue to be distributed. Kale says she accepts that the distributor may have faced a backlash
from newsagents, but believes the decision is symptomatic of broader problems in Australian culture.
The Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission is to proposing the introduction of special SIM cards for
mobile or smart phones used by foreign tourists while they are staying in Thailand.
NBTC secretary-general Thakorn Tanthasit pointed out that normally foreign tourists were required to inform immigration officials where they stay while in Thailand. With the introduction of special SIM cards, he said that the visitors would be tracked
more easily in case some of them might engage in illegal activities.
Thakorn said he would invite representatives of mobile phone service providers for consultations, especially the technical aspect for the system. He claimed that this is a matter of national security and it should not be deemed as a violation of the
right to privacy of individuals.
A plan to require all foreigners in Thailand to use a special SIM card that can track their location will be reviewed by authorities Tuesday afternoon.
The plan would require anyone, not just tourists but everyone who doesn't hold a Thai passport, to use the new SIM card which would enable the authorities to track its owner's location at any time, said Takorn Tantasith, the Secretary General of the
Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. No exceptions would be made for resident aliens on long-term visas such as those for employment, marriage or retirement. Takorn said:
We will separate SIM cards for foreigners and Thais. The location will always be turned on in this SIM card for foreigners. And it cannot be turned off.
Foreign tourists would be able to continue to use SIM cards brought in from other countries under roaming service and would not be required to turn their location on.
Takorn said he was unconcerned about any rights or privacy issues raised by the system. He expects the policy to come into effect in six months.
Update: Invasion of privacy approved by military junta
Thailand's plans to force foreigners to use SIM cards specially made to enable location tracking have made the world's press with the BBC
reporting that the plans have been approved by the military government.
The plans have been approved in principle by Thailand's telecommunications authority and have been backed by other parts of Thailand's military government.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said the special Sim cards would come with tracking enabled, which the user could not turn off. The commission said that the facility will be used to track visa overstayers and people on
the run from the police.
The basis of the idea is that the tracking information of either GPS or the less accurate signal triangulation is already available to carriers, but the Thai Government would prefer perhaps to have an immediate realtime update without asking carriers for
the data. The Government would then effectively operate as the carrier for these designated foreigner sims.
While the proposal has been approved by the NBTC, Secretary General Takorn Tantasith said the organisation would consult with police, tourism authorities and tour operators before deciding whether to implement it.
I don't suppose that many visitors will be keen on the police being able to have a 24 hour realtime display of their locations as they check out the upstairs rooms of bars and GoGos.
Sausage Party is a 2016 USA animation comedy adventure by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd.
An animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence.
The film was cut to avoid an MPAA NC-17 rating. On Howard Stern's Sirius XM show, Seth Rogen discussed what he and his colleagues had to do to avoid an MPAA NC-17 rating. Among other things:
Scale back plans to depict a pita with a hairy scrotum during the movie's spectacular eight-minute long orgy scene.
We submitted it and we first got an NC-17 rating back. Our fear was that it would create this big negotiation process where we had to butcher the whole thing...we probably added six things into the orgy that we were like, okay, these are our sacrificial
lambs, they are the chips that we're willing to lose, and we lost like, an eighth of one of them.
There is a pita bread, and you see his ball sack in the end of the orgy, and it had hair on it, and they asked that we remove the hair from the pita bread's ball sack. So we digitally shaved the pita bread's ball sack and removed the hair from it.
TV presenter Chris Packham is being investigated by the BBC Trust after describing those involved in hunting and shooting as the
nasty brigade .
The Springwatch host made the comments in an article in last October's edition of BBC Wildlife magazine.
The Countryside Alliance complained that he was breaking rules by using his position to spread propaganda . Chief executive Tim Bonner said:
It is bad enough that a BBC magazine should print such blatant political propaganda, but worse that it comes from the pen of one of its high-profile employees.
Packham responded by accusing his critics of trying to neutralise him and others who oppose grouse shooting. In the monthly column, the naturalist wrote that conservation groups were hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the 'nasty brigade' and
can't risk upsetting old friends in the rural and shooting communities.
A spokesman for the BBC Trust confirmed an investigation was launched in July He said:
The editorial standards committee considered a complaint in July and we expect to publish a decision in September.
The BBC Trust has has cleared a column in BBC Wildlife magazine by presenter Chris Packham that the Countryside Alliance claimed breached corporation
guidelines on bias.
In his monthly column in the BBC magazine, the Springwatch host said that some wildlife charities were hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the 'nasty brigade' and can't risk upsetting old friends . The column specifically named the RSPB and
the Wildlife Trust for not speaking out against what he said was the UK government's attempt to make hunting foxes with packs of dogs in England and Wales ... easier.
Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner subsequently accused Packham of blatant political bias over the article and called on the BBC to sack him. The Countryside Alliance lodged a complaint with the BBC which was considered by the
trust's editorial standards committee.
In its ruling the trust said Packham was a freelancer and did not count as staff or a regular BBC presenter or reporter, nor was he working in news or current affairs, and thus was not bound by strict rules against expressing opinions on public policy
It also said the piece had been clearly labelled as opinion, that the publication's new editor would not have used the term nasty brigade and that both the organisations named by Packham had been given the right to reply prior to publication.
Protests have been held across London this weekend against public spaces protection orders (PSPOs), whicg give blank-cheque powers to local authorities to ban all kinds of activities in public spaces.
In London, abusive council PSPOs include:
Hillingdon council bans standing in groups of two or more unless waiting at a designated bus stop
Brent Council has an order banning offering casual work or running minibuses which stop in restricted area.
Havering Council has an order banning parents from parking outside schools.
Kensington & Chelsea has an order 'banning revving of engines, using abusive language, sounding horns, repeated sudden or rapid acceleration (so as to cause public nuisance) .
Other protests included
Street theatre performers were scheduled to bring back to life the Cambridgeshire Witch Finders of the 17th Century, who having landed in 2016 find that the PSPO laws are just as effective as witch ducking for the bad behaviour of local society.
They will pay homage to the Cambridge PSPO banning punt touting.
FOREST OF DEAN
Members of the sheep Commoners Association were due to deliver a petition against the council's plan to ban sheep from village of Bream.
A protest opposed the council's ban on chalk pavement art.
The Legend of Michael Mishra is a 2016 India comedy drama by Manish Jha.
Starring Aditi Rao Hydari, Boman Irani and Arshad Warsi.
The CBFC-certified film The Legend of Michael Mishra, released on Friday, has been banned by two state governments. The film cannot now be screened in Punjab and Haryana.
The Punjab government banned the film following protests over a dialogue in the film referring to Maharishi Valmiki. On Saturday, cinema chains and halls in Haryana received first a phone call, and then a letter issued by the state government, banning
the film for eight weeks. The letter was dated Friday, but was received only on Saturday afternoon, following phone calls apparently made that morning by entertainment tax officials to cinema halls, asking them to cancel the film's shows in Gurgaon and
The two governments issued the order to ban the film because, as the Haryana government's letter says:
Tthere are strong reasons to apprehend that if the film is screened in the State, there could be protests by different organizations/individuals which may cause damage to private as well as to public property resulting in serious law & order
situation in the State. It has the potential to endanger the peace and social harmony in the State.
The Haryana letter was issued even after the film's producers had voluntarily removed the dialogue, despite the CBFC having certified it. On Friday, the film's publicist issued a statement quoting Kishor Arora, producer, Eyecandy Films, saying:
We have a valid Censor certification and voluntarily removed the objectionable matter as we do not wish to hurt anyone's sentiments. It's very sad that in spite of all this, we are facing difficulties in exhibiting the film. Where do we go seek redressal
Computer games censors from USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle) have banned Criminal Girls 2: The Party's Over, a 2016 Japan RPG adventure game. The USK is self regulating trade group rather than an official state censor.
siliconera.com also reports that the game wont be distributed in Australia but there is no indication that this is due to the official state censors, Australian Classification Board.
Criminal Girls 2 has previously been in the media spotlight as the content has been censored for western releases when compared with the original Japanese release. NIS America explained the changes made prior to submission to the US Entertainment
Software Ratings Board,.
Some artwork, especially during the motivation scenes, were altered over their explicit nature. It seems NIS America worried the ESRB would take issue with women tied up against the their will.
Swapping the term punishment for motivation. In the Japanese version of the game, the motivation scenes are actually punishment.
There won't be any English voice overs. All of the text will be displayed in English, but the voice tracks are staying Japanese.
All dialogue has been removed from the motivation scenes.
The stated ages of some the girls have been changed
The games is et for UK release on 23rd September 2016
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI is a 1986 US slasher by Tom McLoughlin.
With Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke and David Kagen.
Tommy goes to a graveyard to get rid of Jason's body, but he accidentally brings him back to life. Jason wants revenge! Tommy must defeat Jason once and for all!
Heavily cut for a US R rating. The same version was passed 18 and later 15 without further BBFC cuts
Director Tom McLoughlin said in an interview marking the 30th Anniversary of the films release:
I'm hoping someone will come across a film vault one day and see a reel for some movie like Flashdance, put it in, and realize it's all Jason kill footage. I found a VHS tape years later containing footage I know was cut
from the movie. The MPAA fucked my film, as they did most of the Friday movies. We sent our film back to the MPAA 9 times before they finally approved it. Paramount just wanted to get it out and said to keep trimming to avoid an X rating.
India's Central Board of Film Classification has issued an adults only A certificate for the Malayalam movie Kathakali
. The censor previously demanded cuts for a lower category on grounds of alleged nudity and vulgarity, but the decision was changed following the intervention of the Kerala High Court.
The director of the movie, Saijo Kannanaikkal had approached the High Court in June after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) officer here insisted on removal of some scenes from the film for issuing the certification.
The filmmaker had alleged that the board's move was an infringement on his creative freedom. CBFC regional officer A Prathibha said an A certificate was given to the movie according to an High Court's directive. S he told PTI:
The High Court directed us to give an appropriate certification for the film. So we issued an A certificate to it. As it is an A certificate, the controversial scenes have been retained.
The two hour long feature film revolves around the life of a man, an orphan, who tries to create a space and identity of his own in the society around. In the climax, the protagonist removes his Kathakali attire and crosses a river as a symbolic mark of
protest against the society.
Indonesia's Child Protection Commission has called for a ban on a rice noodle snack called Bikini whose
packaging features a cartoon image of a woman in a bikini and a label which says squeeze me . The commission's Maria Ulfah Anshor whinged:
There is no relation between rice noodles and bikini. Regardless of the producer's intention, it creates an improper situation for children and triggers pornographic thoughts. The producers could have offered something more relevant rather than
sex-related content on its packaging.
The snack, which has been on sale for about a year, has caused frenzied debate on social media and was labelled immoral by the mayor of Bandung, where it is believed to be manufactured. The name Bikini is made up of letters from bihun kekinian ,
which means trendy rice noodles.
Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency, which typically monitors ingredients, said it had launched an investigation and believed the snack should never have been allowed to be sold. The agency's Penny Lukito, whinged:
It's clear that with such porn nuances there is no way we would let them go into the market.
According to a report in The Jakarta Post, the Bikini snack ban was part of a growing moral panic .. The newspaper explained:
The [food agency's ]reactionary move is the latest example of government support for a conservative agenda, clamping down on anything it deems hazardous to the nation's 'moral fibre'.
After such good publicity, the snack has inevitably proven popular online.
The BBC is to spy on internet users in their homes by deploying a new generation of Wi-Fi detection vans to identify those illicitly watching its programmes
online. BBC TV detector vans will capturie information from private Wi-Fi networks in homes to sniff out those who have not paid the licence fee.
The corporation has been given legal dispensation to use the new technology, which is typically only available to crime-fighting agencies, to enforce the new requirement that people watching BBC programmes via the iPlayer must have a TV licence.
However, the BBC claims that its inspectors will not be able to spy on other internet browsing habits of viewers.
The disclosure causes justifiable concerns about invasion of privacy and follows years of criticism of the BBFC for its heavy-handed approach towards those it suspects of not paying the licence fee, even when innocent. The BBC routinely sends out
threatening and bullying letters to properties without a licence regardless of whether there is any suggestion of licence evasion.
The existence of the new strategy emerged in a report carried out by the National Audit Office (NAO). It shows that TV Licensing, the BBC's licence-fee collection arm, has developed techniques to track those watching television on laptops, tablets, and
Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the BBC is entitled to carry out surveillance of suspected licence-fee dodgers. However in reality the BBC isn't expected to provide any evidence to backup its suspicions.
Dr Miguel Rio, a computer network expert, said that licence-fee inspectors could sit outside a property and view encrypted packets of data -- such as their size and the frequency with which they are emitted over the network -- travelling over a
home Wi-Fi network. This would allow them to establish if devices at homes without television licences were indeed accessing BBC programmes online. Dr Rio said:
They actually don't need to decrypt traffic, because they can already see the packets. They have control over the iPlayer, so they could ensure that it sends packets at a specific size, and match them up. They could also use directional antennae to
ensure they are viewing the Wi-Fi operating within your property.
Privacy campaigners described the developments as creepy and worrying . A spokesman for Privacy International, the human rights watchdog, said:
While TV Licensing have long been able to examine the electromagnetic spectrum to watch for and investigate incorrect usage of their services, the revelation that they are potentially developing technology to monitor home Wi-Fi networks is startlingly
South Africa's department of trade and industry (dti) has
announced that it will open public discussions about the idea of giving the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) control over all advertising.
The current industry funded solution is cash-strapped and litigation-entangled. themediaonline.co.za
It is probably time that the ASA was given statutory status because right now it is still constituted as an ad industry self-regulatory body that has no power to pronounce on advertising from non-members. It is pretty much toothless and moneyless.
The only time advertising agencies take notice of the ASA is when one of their own ads comes under fire and then they cackle like hens and beat their breasts for a while before retreating back into their self-serving shells.
If the ASA becomes a statutory body or government agency, the ad industry only has itself to blame.
But in its present form , the ASA cannot possibly become a statutory body, mainly because some of its regulations are unconstitutional. It will also have to change its revenue model. With so many former funders having bailed out and leaving them facing
bankruptcy only a few months ago, the ASA has been forced to seek revenue from their adjudication process -- charging a considerable amount of money for advertisers to appeal.
In addition, the ASA will also have to bring a lot more balance to the process of advertising regulation. Right now a single consumer can complain about an advertisement and this is enough for the ASA to start their processes. There has been any number
of instances over the years of individuals complaining rather flippantly and often downright stupidly about advertisements, resulting in the advertisers having to spend an awful lot of money defending themselves. The cost is enormous and even bigger when
one takes into account lost opportunities.
The ad industry is in a mess. Certainly, regulation is needed for advertising that is dishonest or untrue. But, when it comes to advertising that might be perceived by a few consumers to be offensive, this requires adjudicators to play god. And there is
absolutely no way a few lawyers or even advertising experts on ASA panels can possibly determine whether something that is offensive to one person is equally offensive to millions.
Ofcom has appointed Kevin Bakhurst, a former BBC news executive and currently the deputy director-general of Ireland's public service broadcaster,
RTÉ, as its new content group director.
He will join the communications watchdog in October as it prepares to assume responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the BBC .
Bakhurst spent 23 years with the BBC after joining as a researcher in 1989. He went on to hold a series of key jobs in the news division, including editor of the 10 O'Clock News, deputy head of the BBC newsroom and controller of the News Channel.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are at the center of a proposed bill in the Australian parliament, which would define the titles as gambling and could potentially see them banned or mandatorily 18 rated .
Introduced by independent Senator Nick Xenophon, a veteran politician in Australia, he told the Sydney Morning Herald that the bill is looking to curtail what he considers to be the Wild West of online gambling that is actually targeting kids.
The concept of skin betting is a nominally no-cash betting entertainment where the stakes are game commodities eg skins, hides, cases, chests. Presumably the skins are made available in the games. The skins betting sites are quite professionally
presented along the lines of cash sports betting sites. And several have been linked to games producers. Of course even if skins are nominally not cash, the fact that they are scarce resources makes them suitable for trading and purchases somewhere along
Skin betting has been controversial of late with CS:GO and Dota 2's developer, Valve, eventually responding to the controversy by sending cease and desist letters to 23 of the most prolific third-party gambling sites, asking them to cease
Xenophon argues that the in-game commodities known as cases (or chests in Dota 2) is gambling in and of itself, due to the differing value of the rewards players receive from them.
Should the bill become law, games providing such betting opportunities will be 18 rated, regardless of the level of content in terms of sex and violence etc. Furthermore if games become classified as gambling, Valve would find itself in breach of
Australian law as only companies registered in the country are allowed to offer gambling services, meaning the games could get pulled from sale in Australia altogether.
Nick Xenophon's bill will be introduced to the senate next month as Australian Federal Parliament resumes.
Nick Xenophon plans to introduce a bill to Parliament that could stipulate a minimum age for playing first-person shooter games which include payment for mystery items. This is a feature of games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive , Overwatch
and indeed many mobile games that get revenue through micro-transactions.
News reports have inevitably represented the issue according to the same media effects model Xenophon has adopted. That is, first-person shooters groom kids for gambling and video games expose unsuspecting children and young people to
danger and risk. It is the kind of half-story often told, one that reflects our tendency as a society to reductively demonise every new medium, to blame them for our problems, and turn them into scapegoats for our bad habits and antisocial behaviour.
For instance, book-reading was once considered a lazy, indulgent or reclusive activity, TV gave our children square eyes and being online all the time prevented young people from learning how to behave appropriately in face-to-face contexts. Oh,
and video games turn high school kids into mass murderers (think Columbine or Sandy Hook), or at the very least make our children obese, more aggressive and lacking in empathy. They also have been said to cause learning difficulties, behavioural problems
and now, according to Xenophon, early-onset gambling addiction.
Having nude photos on mobile devices in Uganda can land you in jail for up to 10 years under the country's nasty
anti-pornography law, which parliament passed in 2014.
Arch moralist Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister of 'ethics', told state-owned media that the country has bought an $88,000 pornography-detection machine from a company in South Korea. It will arrive in Uganda next month, he said.
Lokodo reportedly says it will be able to detect, control, and scrutinize porn on mobile handsets and other electronic devices.
The irony of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a pornography-detection machine in the face of competing needs that are arguably much more urgent was not lost on everyone. In particular, Uganda at one point earlier this year had no working
radiotheraphy machines for cancer patients. A tweeter called Payizus tellingly commented:
The gov't of Uganda bought a porn detecting machine. The same gov't is still looking money to buy a cancer Machine. #Mbarara #CancerCharity
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is dropping all lawsuits against those charged with insulting
him. Speaking at an event in Ankara Erdogan said he was withdrawing all the lawsuits for insults against his person:
For one time only, I will be forgiving and withdrawing all cases against the many disrespects and insults that have been levelled against me.
I feel that if we do not make use of this opportunity correctly, then it will give the people the right to hold us by the throat. So I feel that all factions of society, politicians first and foremost, will behave accordingly with this new reality, this
new sensitive situation before us.
Hundreds of people have been charged with insulting the president, including on social media.
Erdogan also lashed out at the west for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over a failed coup and said countries who worried more about the fate of the perpetrators than Turkey's democracy could not be friends. He commented on a European lack of
support against the recent coup:
Not a single person has come to give condolences either from the European Union ... or from the west.
Erdogan's reconciliatory gesture did not receive instant goodwill for the dictatorial president. A German satirical magazine mocked Turkish President's post-coup crackdowns by publishing a cover showing a sausage photoshopped over his groin area. The
front page reads:
Erdogan's stressed: Even his penis is staging a putsch.
On its Facebook page, the magazine has advised fans to buy the August issue before the Chancellor Tayyip Merkel bans Titanic.
Political censorship has also reared its head in the west due to the shear number of Turks living in Europe. Turkey has condemned a German court decision banning president Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing his supporters by video link at a rally of
tens of thousands of Cologne.
Tensions have been running high among Germany's three million-strong Turkish population in the wake of last month's failed coup and authorities deployed 2,700 police officers on the streets of the Rhineland city on Sunday to keep the peace. Amid fears
that the crowds could be riled by live screenings of speeches from Turkey by politicians including Erdogan, Germany's constitutional court banned an application for such broadcasts.
A statement from the Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the ban was unacceptable .
More than ever before, Turks all over the world have seen their diaspora communities divided between supporters and critics of Erdogan.
At around half a million people, the Netherlands has one of the largest Turkish communities in Europe. In the days after the coup, thousands of Dutch Turks took to the streets in several cities to show their support for the Turkish president. Turks
critical of the Erdogan government had told media that they're afraid to express their opinions due to rising tensions.
People suspected of being supporters of the opposition Gulen movement, led by Erdogan's US-based opponent and preacher Fethullah Gulen, which has been accused of being behind the coup attempt, have been threatened and physically assaulted in the streets.
The mayor of Rotterdam, a city with a large Turkish community, urged Dutch-Turks to remain calm and ordered increased police protection of Gulen-aligned Turkish institutions.
Offsite Article: President Erdogan's attempts to silence Turkish satirists not working
"The legal assault on cartoonists in Turkey has really been unprecedented over the past few years under Erdogan. One cartoonist, Musa Kart , was sued by Erdogan for a 2004 drawing that portrayed the Turkish president as a kitten and for another
cartoon that portrayed him as a bank robber. "[Kart] told me that's there's no serious journalist or cartoonist who doesn't who doesn't have a case against him or her in the country.
Until June 23 Poland was a green island on the European black sea of internet filtering. Once, back in 2010, the Polish government considered this popular
yet ineffective form of preventing cybercrime. But as a result of eager public debate the then Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, was advised against introducing a list of forbidden websites and services . The usual arguments used by freedom of
expression advocates in other countries proved successful in Poland: Tusk decided against the costly operation, having been persuaded that even with internet filtering in place, undesirable content would still be accessible. The infrastructure and
manpower costs would surmount the limited benefits of the few lay internet users actually believing the misleading 404 error message or complying with the automated ban.
Yet only six years later that debate and all relevant arguments seem to have been forgotten. As the Warsaw NATO summit dawns, and in the face of the growing threat of terrorism in other European countries, the Polish law on anti-terrorist measures, authored by the right wing Law and Justice government, has introduced the first ever Polish procedure on internet filtering, raising serious concerns about privacy, freedom of expression and other human rights.
Vague definition -- vast authority
The new Polish act on anti-terrorist measures came into force on June 29. It was approved by the Parliament without debate, less public consultation and within a week the President signed it into law. Despite calls from civil society there was no public
hearing on the draft, one kept classified until the final parliamentary vote, and the President, the acting guardian of the Constitution and the values it stands for, decided against vetoing it although the act itself raises fundamental constitutional
The critics have rightfully, yet unsuccessfully, indicated that the very notion of a terrorist threat, crucial to the implementation of this act, is vast and unclear. An event of a terrorist character , focal to the act, is defined as a situation which is suspected to have resulted from a terrorist crime
, making direct reference to the Polish Penal Code. In its definition of a terrorist crime the Penal Code reflects to some extent the existing international law consensus on the notion of terrorism when it stipulates that an offense of a terrorist
character is any offense committed to result in serious intimidation of many people, compel a Polish public authority or that of any other state or the authority of an international organization to perform or abstain from certain activities, or cause
serious disturbances in the economy of the Polish Republic, another state or an international organization.
Regardless of the reference to the existing law, the new definition of terrorist event strikes one as bluntly overbroad brushstroke, in particular since it directly reflects on the scope of human rights to be exercised. It seems a mirror image of
the infamous three hops FISAA rule , allowing them to restrict the right to share and access any information relating to a situation which is suspected to have resulted from a terrorist crime, and allowing a broad interpretation of any
activity as possibly connected with what might be considered a terrorist offence. It is this broad interpretation that prompts most criticism. The law remains silent on the procedures applicable in making such decisions and the bodies competent to decide
whether the suspicion is justified. The actual link between the terrorist crime and the introduction of special measures could be dangerously loose and vague.
The other argument made by the critics of the new law is that it is discriminatory - most of the antiterrorist measures are aimed at foreigners, including those from EU countries and applicable to all non-Polish persons (a vague resemblance to the US
FISAA logic of applying constitutional privacy and civil liberties guarantees only to US-persons can be traced here). For example the conversations of foreigners (regardless of the nationality of the person on the other side of the line) may be
eavesdropped and recorded by the Internal Security Agency without a court order.
The third point of contention is the right granted to the authorities to limit the freedom of assembly in circumstances perceived as entailing a terrorist threat -- a provision viewed as a possible way of curtailing public protests, ones which Poland
seems to have indulged in regularly of late. Luckily no official reference to online assemblies has yet been made, but one is left to wonder whether Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leading the governing PiS party, will follow in the footsteps of another
authoritarian leader and take Erdogan's example by applying the law on assembly to online gatherings on e.g. Facebook or Twitter, resulting in country-wide blocking of those services for all country users.
With regard to the application of human rights online, the introduction of a court-ordered blocking seems particularly alarming. In 2010 there was a debate on a list of forbidden sites and services in the context of enforcing Polish gambling law.
Its provisions required anyone operating a gambling service, both off-line and online, to register with the local Ministry of Finance. The reason for this was primarily a tax concern -- the government wanted to ensure that gambling revenue fuelled the
budget. The authorities quickly realized that the gambling law would be unenforceable against online services and in consequence there was much talk of introducing a list of gambling sites to be blocked unless registered. The usual arguments
(ineffectiveness of blocking, risk of unauthorized censorship etc.) resulted in Donald Tusk's government abandoning this idea.
While the debate in 2010 proved to be vocal and public, the 2016 law was rapidly passed, with few civil society organizations expressing any concern. Unlike in 2010 there was no roundtable debate with the government. Unlike with the ACTA protests there
were no protests in the streets. The official reasons presented briefly by the government referenced broadly increasing terrorist risks, in particular in the face of planned high-level meetings and mass events to take place in Poland this summer. Should
such terrorist threats appear online, whether it involved the inciting of a terrorist attack or instructing how to assemble a bomb, the power to curtail free speech and block such threatening content for the purposes of terrorism prevention rests with
the ABW. As explained by the government, this new instrument relates to information and communication systems and its purpose is the prevention and detection of terrorist offences as well as prosecuting the perpetrators of such
crimes. These measures are directed at terrorist organizations that use the internet to promote their ideology, instruct on carrying out terrorist attacks or to communicate with followers. Yet rumor has it that in the works is also a list of gambling
sites to be blocked. While there is no talk of copyright violations as of yet, the UK example indicates that those avenues will be explored next.
While the ABW authority is broad, there is a sense of judicial supervision present in the new act. It grants courts the power to issue an order for the ABW to install blocking or require the system administrator to block specific data or data
communication services available in the ICT system that they manage. This court order is to follow a written request from the ABW chief, made after having received written consent from the Attorney General. The data or services to be blocked need to be
related to an event of terrorist nature and they are to be blocked for a specified period not longer than 30 days . In undefined urgent cases however the decision to block or to have the ISP block data or services related to an event
of terrorist nature can be made by the head of the ABW after obtaining a written consent from the Attorney General. Once consent is granted, the ABW chief must refer to Warsaw District Court with a written request for a decision on the matter. The
court may then decide on blocking the relevant data for no longer than three months, unless the circumstances justifying the blocking have ceased. The court has five days to consent to the blocking or its continuation and unless a court decision is in
place, the blocking is to stop. The relevant court decisions are subject to appeal as per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but the right to appeal has not been granted either to the ISP or to the individual whose data has been blocked.
The political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly calling for a TV ban on famous Japanese anime series Doraemon.
The cartoon revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon and a young boy Nobita. It is aired on various cartoon channels and has been dubbed in Hindi for viewers in Pakistan and India.
PTI legislator Malik Taimoor Masood urged Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to impose a ban on Doraemon or limit its airtime as he claimed it contains explicit content which has a bad impact on children. He argued that 24-hour
cartoon channels are adversely affecting the educational and physical growth of children.
The resolution, which will be discussed in the next assembly session, claims the language used in cartoons run on channels is damaging societal norms.
An Indian educationalist. Ashish Chaturvedi, is also seeking a ban of Doraemon citing media reports highlighting supposed mental abuse and other serious adverse impact of cartoons on kids. He said that dubbed violent cartoons are grappling a whole
generation of kids across India and the world.
Publicity for a Sydney strip pub has generated lots of 'outrage' and publicity for its sexist promotion
offering free meals for hot women.
The Petersham Inn, in Sydney's inner west, has recently transformed into an American-style sports bar, including an adult entertainment venue featuring strip shows. The Petersham Inn is offering free meals for hot women hitting a nerve with a
local women's group.
The Strip Inn is accessible through a separate entrance to the public bar, featuring topless waitresses and strip shows.
A poster, depicting an attractive woman seductively eating a slice of pizza, is plastered outside the venue, advertising a promotion where hot girls eat free .
Members of The Inner West Mums Facebook group kindly whinged about the promotion calling it degrading to women and say it is sending the wrong message to their children.
But the venue owner Bianca McDonald, who took over the establishment in late June, said the campaign was was supposed to be a creative and funny attempt to attract more ladies to the pub.
Ms McDonald told the paper the promotion encouraged staff to have a little fun with women who ask about the free meal offer, with bar staff instructed to um and ah about whether the woman is hot enough for a few seconds, before offering
them a free meal with any drink purchased.
She said she had only received one formal complaint over the poster, and she said she was disappointed that only three women have taken up the free meal promotion so far. She didn't comment on the worldwide free publicity attracted to her venue.
Ireland's 'Justice' Minister Frances Fitzgerald says she will not decriminalise brothel-keeping as part of new
prostitution laws as she fears criminals would 'exploit a legal loophole', which is obviously more important to her than keeping the women safe.
A section of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, which has still not been signed into law, criminalises the purchase of sex but decriminalises the person offering sexual services.
The minister was asked by Green Party TD Catherine Martin for her views on the way sex workers will be decriminalised while still retaining sanctions for a person working together with another for safety .
Fitzgerald confirmed it is a provision of the law that it is an offence to keep or manage a brothe and tried to explain why this is more important than women's safety:
While I understand that this provision can prevent persons offering sexual services from working together with others, I am particularly concerned that any decriminalisation of brothel-keeping would create a legal loophole ripe for exploitation by the
organised crime gangs involved in the trafficking and exploitation of women in prostitution.
Women would come under pressure to claim they were working independently when that is not the case and the Gardai would be limited in the actions they could take to close brothels and disrupt the activities of criminal gangs. For this reason I have no
plans to amend provisions relating to brothel- keeping at this time.
Martin also asked Fitzgerald about the Government's decision to criminalise solicitation under the Public Order Act. The minister tried to explain that although women were supposedly being decriminalised for prostitution they would actually still be
subject to prosecution under public orders laws:
People who solicit the sexual services of others, that is the buyers and pimps, remain subject to prosecution for the solicitation and loitering offences under the 1993 Act. This did, however, give rise to concerns that the Gardai would be left
with no means of combating any public nuisance if sexual services were to be offered, for example, in a residential area. There was also concern the provision could be exploited by criminal gangs.
Failing to comply with [police] direction can give rise to an offence. Loitering for the purpose of offering sexual services has now been added to the behaviours covered by Section 8. The effect of the proposed amendments will be that on-street
prostitution will not be an offence, but the gardaĂ will still have the power to move persons offering sexual services on from a public place, when necessary.
Update: MP John Halligan argues for decriminalisation
Independent Irish MP John Halligan says prostitution should be legalised. The Waterford TD says Garda funding and resources would be better spent on preventing human trafficking. Deputy Halligan says regulating prostitution would help to prevent the
exploitation of sex workers:
You're not going to stop prostitution, you're never going to stop it. Why could it not be regulated? The Government and the Gardai? should consider doing that,
We should be trying to find a solution that would take prostitution out of the hands of the pimps, and also, if we have money available, rather than taking up the GardaĂ?'s time trying to find the people who avail of prostitution we should be trying to
deal with the pimps and deal with the women that are being exploited and forced into prostitution.
Offsite Comment: Making prostitution legal simply means allowing adults to spend their time and money as they see fit
Donald Trump has signed up with an anti-porn group moralist camp group called Enough Is Enough . In a populist move he
has endorsed various child protection measures but amongst the good stuff he has promised to aggressively enforce existing obscenity laws. He said he would appoint an Attorney General who'll make such prosecutions a top priority.
Other parts of his pledge would have Trump giving serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture.
The Daily Mail runs with the headline: Can TV Sink Any Lower? and continues:
It claims to be progressive and truthful. In fact, Channel 4's new naked dating show is stupid and degrading voyeurism from what's meant to be a public service broadcaster.
From Big Brother to Sex Box, the world of TV is always looking for new lows. And this week Channel 4 succeeded.
Thousands of viewers complained on Twitter and media guardians branded Naked Attraction -- an uncensored nude dating show -- the worst programme ever shown on TV . Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has already received 24 complaints about nudity.
A spokesman for MediaWatch UK said:
This has to be the worst programme ever shown on television, there is nothing to recommend it.
Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, accused Channel 4 of
Grossly irresponsible broadcasting and viewers labelled it creepy and a new low for British TV .
In each two-part programme, a pair of contestants get to appraise the six people vying in their birthday suits for approval. Each date stands stark naked in a box, while a screen is gradually raised to reveal them front and back bit by wobbly
bit , as presenter Anna Richardson puts it.
The contestants then reject the dates one by one for purely physical reasons mainly attached to their genitalia. When only two potential dates are left, they parade naked while the contestant runs the rule over them, and while this doesn't quite happen
literally, in Monday's opening programme one aspiring suitor was rejected because his penis was too big.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 responded to the whinges explaining:
This is a light-hearted and appropriately scheduled series which aims to demystify the rules of sexual attraction for the Tinder generation.
At the time of writing, 45 viewers had complained to the TV censor Ofcom who will no doubt reject them out of hand.
Despite the complaints, Naked Attraction has proved a hit with an average of 1.4 million viewers tuning to the series opener.
Naked Attraction airs Monday nights at 10PM on Channel 4.
Never before have programme-makers shown such blatant contempt for basic standards, with record levels of explicit nudity serving no particular purpose. It's not even like the programme was any good to compensate.
Offsite Article: Naked Attraction unzipping the history of male full-frontal nudity on TV.
The first penis was shown on British television in 1957 during an episode of the documentary series Out of Step. Presenter Daniel Farson visited a nudist
colony and, perhaps unsurprisingly, some naked chap wandered past in the back ground. While this did make the front page of The Daily Herald, only one viewer called Television House -- and that was to praise the programme.
Moralist campaigners are now whingeing that the Channel 4 dating show, Naked Attraction , is available to view by youngsters anytime on its catch-up service. It can be easily accessed by children if parental controls haven't been set.
Norman Wells, director of Family Education Trust, whinged:
Although it's broadcast after 10pm, many young teenagers will be aware of it and will be able to access it online without too much difficulty.
Sexually explicit programmes like this one are sending out mixed messages to children and young people. On the one hand, parents and teachers are warning them about the dangers of sexting and encouraging modesty and restraint, while on the other hand
sexual exhibitionism is being promoted as a legitimate form of entertainment by a public service broadcaster.
Sam Burnett, acting director of Mediawatch UK, whinged:
We're concerned that programmes like Naked Attraction are freely available via on-demand apps with barely more than a
box-ticking effort to ensure the person watching is over 18.
As programme-makers chase publicity and controversy they're encouraging young people to seek out inappropriate content to keep up with playground gossip.
We have an anything-goes culture in television production. Just because a programme is on late at night with fewer viewers doesn't mean that standards should be thrown out of the window. That record-breaking nudity is no longer as bad as it once was
isn't because we are more enlightened, it's a sad reflection of a society grown dull through over-exposure to pornography.
Meanwhile in the US, moralist campaigners are a bit green with envy about there being actual nudity on TV to complain about. Americans usually have to put up with their nudity being censored by pixelation.
In recent years, Americans have been bombarded by ever-more sleazy concepts for reality shows, from Walk of Shame Shuttle and The Seven Year Switch to
Sex Box and Dating Naked . But British TV proves that there's always something more depraved waiting in the wings.
Naked Attraction is a new program on Britain's Channel Four which premiered this week. On the show, a contestant chooses a date from a panel of six eligible singles. How does the contestant make her choice? By viewing all six potential partners
completely in the nude. Unlike Dating Naked , nothing is blurred; the show features full-frontal nudity, in shocking close-up.
And when Channel Four says naked, [they] mean NAKED. There are no modesty blurs like those found on VH1's Dating Naked or the Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid . About 50 percent of the screen time on this show is dedicated to extreme close ups of
vaginas, penises, six-packs, love-handles, nipples, boobs and butts. The camera seems to linger on every hair, pimple and stretch mark, as well as the curves and protrusions, notes an article about the show .
American TV history is rife with concepts borrowed from British television, from All in the Family and Sanford and Son to MTV's Skins and The In-Betweeners . American viewers can only hope that this is one case where American
media decides NOT to imitate their cousins across the ocean.