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Moving into online censorship...

BBFC publishes its annual report covering 2018


Link Here 24th May 2019

BBFC releases Annual Report 2018

  • Over the past year, the BBFC has received a 65% rise in content for distribution online.

  • Video on demand (VoD) continues to receive more BBFC age ratings than any other format

  • Ratings given to Cinema have risen 62% since 2008.

  • Once again, 15 was the most common classification given for UK cinema goers

The BBFC has released its Annual Report for 2018 a year that showed another significant increase in age ratings given to online content.

Over the last year the BBFC gave 5,751 age ratings to online content. This represents a 65% over 2017's figure.

Although output from Video on Demand (VoD) providers constituted the majority of content classified by the BBFC, theatrical films still featured strongly. Since 2008 age ratings given to cinema releases have risen 62% from 639 in 2017 to 1,036 in 2018.

15 remained the most common age rating, with 392 theatrical films receiving this classification.

David Austin, BBFC Chief Executive, said:

"In a fast evolving media landscape, the BBFC's core mission continues to be to help families and young people choose films, videos and websites that are right for them. Whenever, wherever, and however they view them. In 2018 we carried out significant research - with more than 10,000 people to help us update our classification standards. This work ensures that our standards continue to stay in line with what people across the UK consider suitable, and we found that 97% of the public believe audiences benefit from having age ratings in place.

"In 2019 we will continue to make a significant contribution to the Government's objective of making the UK the safest place for children to be online. We look forward to the introduction of Age-verification in July which will improve child protection from exposure to pornography online."

In addition to providing the latest age rating information on our websites, social media accounts and free app, the BBFC in 2018 continued to provide resources for children, teachers and older learners including a regular podcast, a children's website ( cbbfc.co.uk ), case studies, classroom resources and posters.

Every film classified by the BBFC comes with detailed ratings info to help people view what's right for themselves and their family. Ratings info is available on bbfc.co.uk and the BBFC's free apps for tablet and mobile devices.

 

 

You can't say that!...

India's Most Wanted banned by film censors in UAE


Link Here 24th May 2019

India's Most Wanted is a 2019 India action thriller by Raj Kumar Gupta (as Rajkumar Gupta)
Starring Arjun Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma and Gaurav Mishra. BBFC link IMDb

India's Most Wanted is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller film directed by Raj Kumar Gupta starring Arjun Kapoor and Amrita Puri. The film is about tracking a terrorist in a secret mission and arresting him without firing bullets. It pays tribute to unsung heroes of our society.

Film censors in UAE banned India's Most Wanted when the producers declined to delete a line of dialogue saying that most terrorists are based either in Pakistan or Dubai,

The director, Raj Kumar Gupta, explained:

Yes the film will not release in Dubai. There were some issues which could not be sorted and hence this decision. Yes the said dialogue is there in the film and it is a factual one based on the research that has been conducted. So we did not want to do away with the dialogue and decided on retaining it in the film even if it entailed a non-release in Dubai.

 

 

Right out of order...

A Cardiff record shop bans Morrissey CDs after he performed wearing a badge for the For Britain Party


Link Here 24th May 2019
A Cardiff record shop called Spillers decided to permanently ban stocking Morrissey's music due to his support of Anne Marie Waters' new party called For Britain.

The owner Ashli Todd explained:

I'm saddened but ultimately not surprised that Spillers is unable to stock Morrissey's releases any longer. I only wished I'd done it sooner.

Morrissey offended when he performed for Jimmy Fallon on US TV wearing a badge featuring the For Britain party.

Anne Marie Waters was once a UKIP leadership candidate who formed her own For Britain party after her leadership bid failed.

Morrissey previously spoke of the party:

It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless.

 

 

Endangering Irish porn viewers...

Ireland considers internet porn censorship as implemented by the UK


Link Here 23rd May 2019

Ireland's Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed that the Irish government will consider a similar system to the UK's so-called porn block law as part of new legislation on online safety. Flanagan said:

I would be very keen that we would engage widely to ensure that Ireland could benefit from what is international best practice here and that is why we are looking at what is happening in other jurisdictions.

The Irish communications minister Richard Bruton said there are also issues around privacy laws and this has to be carefully dealt with. H said:

It would be my view that government through the strategy that we have published, we have a cross-government committee who is looking at policy development to ensure online safety, and I think that forum is the forum where I believe we will discuss what should be done in that area because I think there is a genuine public concern, it hasn't been the subject of the Law Reform Commission or other scrutiny of legislation in this area, but it was worthy of consideration, but it does have its difficulties, as the UK indeed has recognised also.

 

 

Flailing about in law...

Nunchukas become legal in New York and Arizona


Link Here 23rd May 2019
When Bruce Lee was handed his first pair of nunchucks in the mid-1960s, he called the weapon a piece of junk, his training partner, Dan Inosanto, recalled recently.

Lee said the nunchucks were not as effective as sticks -- too fancy and too showy. Then he goes, This might be good for the movies.

And indeed they were good for the movies. But their popularity alarmed the authorities, in what many now see as a hysteria that echoed other racist fears of Asians. The police began arresting people for carrying what some called deadly weapons. In four states, lawmakers banned them.

This month, after more than 40 years on the books, Arizona's ban, which one lawmaker called antiquated, was repealed. In December, a federal judge struck down New York's decades-long ban , saying it violated the Second Amendment, despite arguments from officials that the weapons were dangerous and unusual.

The remaining state bans are in Massachusetts and California.

 

 

Married to homophobia...

Alabama Public Television bans an episode of children's cartoon Arthur that featured a gay wedding


Link Here 23rd May 2019
Alabama Public Television (APT) has banned a TV cartoon which shows a same-sex wedding.

The first episode of the 22nd series of children's programme Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his aardvark partner, Patrick.

But APT instead ran an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere. Programming director Mike McKenzie claimed that broadcasting it would break parents' trust in the network. He said in a statement:

Parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision, and that children younger than the 'target' audience might watch without parental knowledge.

Show creator WGBH and broadcaster PBS reportedly alerted local stations in April about the episode, and McKenzie said this was when they decided not to air the show.

APT previously refused to broadcast a 2005 episode of the series which depicted Buster, a rabbit, visiting a girl who had two mothers.

 

 

Offsite Article: Do you want to be identified as a refusenik?...


Link Here 23rd May 2019
Full story: Online ID in the UK...UK scheme to verify online id
The government is quietly creating a digital ID card without us noticing

See article from news.sky.com

 

 

Updated: A cryptic question...

Tom Watson asks in parliament about which internet browsers plan to implement censor busting DNS Over HTTPS technology


Link Here 22nd May 2019
Full story: DNS Over Https...A new internet protocol will make government website blocking more difficult
Tom Watson asked a parliamentary question about the censor busting technology of DNS over HTTPS.

Up until now, ISPs have been able to intercept website address look ups (via a DNS server) and block the ones that they, or the state, don't like.

This latest internet protocol allows browsers and applications to bypass ISPs' censored DNS servers and use encrypted alternatives that cannot then be intercepted by ISPs and so can't be censored by the state. (note that they can offer a censored service such as an option for a family friendly feeds, but this is on their own terms and not the state's).

Anyway Labour Deputy leader has been enquiring about whether browsers are intending to implement the new protocol. Perhaps revealing an idea to try and pressurise browsers into not offering options to circumvent the state's blocking list.

Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many internet browser providers have informed his Department that they will not be adopting the Internet Engineering Task Force DNS over HTTPS ( DOH ) protocol.

Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

How DOH will be deployed is still a subject of discussion within the industry, both for browser providers and the wider internet industry. We are aware of the public statements made by some browser providers on deployment and we are seeking to understand definitively their rollout plans. DCMS is in discussions with browser providers, internet industry and other stakeholders and we are keen to see a resolution that is acceptable for all parties.

Update: Speaking of government pressure

22nd May 2019. See  article from edinburghnews.scotsman.com

Here's another indication that the government is trying to preserve its internet censorship capabilities by pressurising browser companies:

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) - representing firms including BT, Virgin, and Sky - has expressed concerns over the implications the encryption on Firefox could have on internet safety.

A spokesperson said, We remain concerned about the consequences these proposed changes will have for online safety and security, and it is therefore important that the Government sends a strong message to the browser manufacturers such as Mozilla that their encryption plans do not undermine current internet safety standards in the UK.

 

 

Offsite Article: A reminder that age verification for porn is an unnecessary risk that is easily avoided...


Link Here 22nd May 2019
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
Proposed controversial online age verification checks could increase the risk of identity theft and other cyber crimes, warn security experts

See article from computerweekly.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Unplanned banned...


Link Here 22nd May 2019
Canada's film distributors decide not to release anti-abortion movie, perhaps preferring to avoid getting involved in a rather toxic religious debate

See article from dailywire.com

 

 

TOSsedOut...

An EFF project to show how people are unfairly censored by social media platforms' absurd enforcement of content rules


Link Here 21st May 2019

Users Without Resources to Fight Back Are Most Affected by Unevenly-Enforced Rules

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched TOSsed Out, a project to highlight the vast spectrum of people silenced by social media platforms that inconsistently and erroneously apply terms of service (TOS) rules.

TOSsed Out will track and publicize the ways in which TOS and other speech moderation rules are unevenly enforced, with little to no transparency, against a range people for whom the Internet is an irreplaceable forum to express ideas, connect with others, and find support.

This includes people on the margins who question authority, criticize the powerful, educate, and call attention to discrimination. The project is a continuation of work EFF began five years ago when it launched Onlinecensorship.org to collect speech takedown reports from users.

Last week the White House launched a tool to report take downs, following the president's repeated allegations that conservatives are being censored on social media, said Jillian York, EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression. But in reality, commercial content moderation practices negatively affect all kinds of people with all kinds of political views. Black women get flagged for posting hate speech when they share experiences of racism. Sex educators' content is removed because it was deemed too risqu39. TOSsed Out will show that trying to censor social media at scale ends up removing far too much legal, protected speech that should be allowed on platforms.

EFF conceived TOSsed Out in late 2018 after seeing more takedowns resulting from increased public and government pressure to deal with objectionable content, as well as the rise in automated tools. While calls for censorship abound, TOSsed Out aims to demonstrate how difficult it is for platforms to get it right. Platform rules--either through automation or human moderators--unfairly ban many people who don't deserve it and disproportionately impact those with insufficient resources to easily move to other mediums to speak out, express their ideas, and build a community.

EFF is launching TOSsed Out with several examples of TOS enforcement gone wrong, and invites visitors to the site to submit more. In one example, a reverend couldn't initially promote a Black Lives Matter-themed concert on Facebook, eventually discovering that using the words Black Lives Matter required additional review. Other examples include queer sex education videos being removed and automated filters on Tumblr flagging a law professor's black and white drawings of design patents as adult content. Political speech is also impacted; one case highlights the removal of a parody account lampooning presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.

The current debates and complaints too often center on people with huge followings getting kicked off of social media because of their political ideologies. This threatens to miss the bigger problem. TOS enforcement by corporate gatekeepers far more often hits people without the resources and networks to fight back to regain their voice online, said EFF Policy Analyst Katharine Trendacosta. Platforms over-filter in response to pressure to weed out objectionable content, and a broad range of people at the margins are paying the price. With TOSsed Out, we seek to put pressure on those platforms to take a closer look at who is being actually hurt by their speech moderation rules, instead of just responding to the headline of the day.

 

 

It can't be that hard, just sell 'em what they like...

ASA is exploring ways to monitor the ad targeting algorithms used when logged into social media


Link Here 21st May 2019
Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) chairman, David Currie, said the group was in talks with platforms such as Facebook and Google, adding that they could be more open about their systems for handling and monitoring irresponsible and inappropriate ads.

The advert censor is also exploring the potential for monitoring exposure to online ads for junk food and alcohol when users are logged-in environments such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. He said:

We need to find a way of working closer with the online platforms on this issue, said Lord Currie. We've had conversations with them. We've got to work closely with them. They have their own systems of taking down or blocking inappropriate ads.

It's not as transparent as we'd like. We'd like to understand it much better. I think probably they could be a bit more open about how they do it, he added. I think, given all the concerns that parents and others have, they recognise that they need to take action.

 

 

Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave...

A documentary about the original video nasty by Meir Zachi's son Terry


Link Here 21st May 2019
Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave is a 2019 USA documentary by Terry Zarchi.
Starring Camille Keaton, Meir Zarchi and Gunter Kleemann. IMDb
There are no censorship issues with this release.
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Reviews

Promotional Material

For the First time ever, explore the myths behind the controversial 1978 film, I Spit On Your Grave with the all new and only feature-length documentary, Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave. Five years in the making, Terry Zarchi's exhaustive analysis of the history of the film, packed with never before seen footage and exclusive interviews, is what every I Spit On Your Grave fan and cinephile has been waiting for! As director Meir Zarchi himself once said of I Spit On Your Grave, this movie is indestructible!

 

 

Ramping up the encrypted internet to protect against the dangers of age verification...

Firefox has a research project to integrate with TOR to create a Super Private Browsing mode


Link Here 21st May 2019
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
Age verification for porn is pushing internet users into areas of the internet that provide more privacy, security and resistance to censorship.

I'd have thought that security services would prefer that internet users to remain in the more open areas of the internet for easier snooping.

So I wonder if it protecting kids from stumbling across porn is worth the increased difficulty in monitoring terrorists and the like? Or perhaps GCHQ can already see through the encrypted internet.

RQ12: Privacy & Security for Firefox

Mozilla has an interest in potentially integrating more of Tor into Firefox, for the purposes of providing a Super Private Browsing (SPB) mode for our users.

Tor offers privacy and anonymity on the Web, features which are sorely needed in the modern era of mass surveillance, tracking and fingerprinting. However, enabling a large number of additional users to make use of the Tor network requires solving for inefficiencies currently present in Tor so as to make the protocol optimal to deploy at scale. Academic research is just getting started with regards to investigating alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols, such as Tor-over-QUIC, employing DTLS, and Walking Onions.

What alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols would offer acceptable gains in Tor performance? And would they preserve Tor properties? Is it truly possible to deploy Tor at scale? And what would the full integration of Tor and Firefox look like?

 

 

Offsite Article: Bumblebee...


Link Here 21st May 2019
Distributor cuts for a PG rated cinema and video release

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Why opinion polls keep getting it wrong...


Link Here 21st May 2019
The more we demonise certain opinions, the less likely people are to express them. By Frank Furedi

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Actionable Insights...


Link Here 21st May 2019
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Thanks to Facebook, Your Cellphone Company Is Watching You More Closely Than Ever

See article from theintercept.com

 

 

ASA releases its Annual Report covering 2018...

But what it doesn't tell us what proportion of the work is nannyism, enforcing political correctness, and treating people as easily led simpletons


Link Here 20th May 2019

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Annual Report 2018 have been published revealing that more ads have been censored or banned than ever befor. And, in a year when online cases* outnumbered television cases by almost 3:1, it also highlights the new, proactive and innovative projects ASA and CAP are undertaking as part of a new five year strategy focused on having more impact online.

In a record year, the ASA resolved 33,727complaints about 25,259 ads Of those, 16,059 complaints (41% increase on 2017) were about 14,257 online ads (38% increase) 10,773 complaints (14% increase) were about 5,748 TV ads (23% increase) Resolved 27,014 own-initiative compliance cases Overall, the ASA secured the amendment or withdrawal of 10,850 ads (a 53% increase on 2017)

The report also reviews the actions that have been taken to tackle consumer harms and to protect the financially vulnerable; including projects on:

Secondary Tickets -- rulings against the main operators in the secondary ticketing sector for misleading pricing claims on their websites, including enforcement action against viagogo (facing the prospect of prosecution, viagogo came into compliance with our rules) Parcel Delivery Charges -- Enforcement Notice issued to retailers across the UK making clear that a definitive claim about UK delivery should apply wherever a consumer lives, including Northern Ireland and northern Scotland Superimposed text - research published into whether TV viewers can read and understand superimposed text (supers). Subsequently, CAP toughened the standards we require for supers, while the ASA announced it will take a stricter approach to ensure qualifications are presented clearly.

The ASA has already taken its first steps to strengthen further the regulation of online advertising through its recent use of new monitoring technology in the form of child avatars - online profiles which simulate children's browsing activity - to identify ads that children see online. This has enabled the ASA to take swift action to ban ads from five gambling operators which were served to child avatars on children's websites. The ASA is planning to extend this avatar work, as well as to explore how other new technologies can help it better protect the public.

The ASA don't seem to have broken out statistics that the Melon Farmers would like to know:

  • What proportion of the ASA's workload is enforcing political correctness?
  • What proportion of the ASA's workload is nannyism telling us for example what food is 'good' for us?
  • What proportion of the ASA's workload is treating people as simpletons that are likely to become alcoholics just because an attractive 21 year old appeared in an ad

 

 

The church does its bit for unfair elections...

Exeter Cathedral no platforms UKIP on the basis of a PC no-np rape joke, whilst conveniently forgetting just how many church clergy have proven to be actual child rapists


Link Here 20th May 2019
Exeter Cathedral has banned a Ukip candidate from taking part in hustings for Thursday's European elections.

Carl Benjamin, blogging as Sargon of Akkad, is the focus of a PC lynch mob after making a rape joke referencing Jess Phillips.  He had been due to speak at the event alongside other candidates for the South West England region on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, Exeter Cathedral justified the censorship supposedly being concerned about milk shakes being thrown. The church said:

Under the rules of the Electoral Commission, we may exclude candidates from a non-selective hustings for a number of reasons, including concerns about public order.

In this case, the cathedral believes that the presence of one particular candidate may cause a risk to public order, given a number of incidents over the last few weeks. Ukip has been invited to send another candidate from its list of six candidates standing for election in the South West region.

Ukip's Devon chair, Margaret Dennis, said the move was outrageous and an affront to democracy. She told DevonLive :

The hustings are either open for the public to discuss and debate or it is an attempt to censor and restrict an opportunity to hear a range of views at this election.

She said Benjamin was an articulate and intelligent advocate not only for our party but for free speech.

 

 

Ale ails...

Amsterdam brewery promises to remove hindu character from its IPA branding


Link Here 19th May 2019
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Amsterdam based Friekens Brewery (Friekens Brouwerij) has apologized and removed Hindu deity Lord Ganesh's image, associated with its I.P.A beer, from its website, ins response to comments from the perennial whinger RajanZed.

Friekens Brewery wrote:

We would like to apologise for the use of the image of Ganesh on the label of our I.P.A. beer. We never meant to offend anyone. Our apology. All reference to Ganesh and his image have been removed from our website, and we will develop a new brand identity for our I.P.A.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Friekens Brewery for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought image of Lord Ganesh on such a product was highly insensitive.

Rajan Zed suggested that companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.

 

 

Offsite Article: If there's one thing worse than surveillance and snooping being tagged as a 'smart' city...


Link Here 19th May 2019
its when the scheme is run by commercial interests with the privacy failings of Google

See article from bbc.com

 

 

Anti European People...

The next monstrosity from our EU lawmakers is to relax net neutrality laws so that large internet corporates can better snoop on and censor the European peoples


Link Here 18th May 2019

The internet technology known as deep packet inspection is currently illegal in Europe, but big telecom companies doing business in the European Union want to change that. They want deep packet inspection permitted as part of the new net neutrality rules currently under negotiation in the EU, but on Wednesday, a group of 45 privacy and internet freedom advocates and groups published an open letter warning against the change:

Dear Vice-President Andrus Ansip, (and others)

We are writing you in the context of the evaluation of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and the reform of the BEREC Guidelines on its implementation. Specifically, we are concerned because of the increased use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology by providers of internet access services (IAS). DPI is a technology that examines data packets that are transmitted in a given network beyond what would be necessary for the provision IAS by looking at specific content from the part of the user-defined payload of the transmission.

IAS providers are increasingly using DPI technology for the purpose of traffic management and the differentiated pricing of specific applications or services (e.g. zero-rating) as part of their product design. DPI allows IAS providers to identify and distinguish traffic in their networks in order to identify traffic of specific applications or services for the purpose such as billing them differently throttling or prioritising them over other traffic.

The undersigned would like to recall the concerning practice of examining domain names or the addresses (URLs) of visited websites and other internet resources. The evaluation of these types of data can reveal sensitive information about a user, such as preferred news publications, interest in specific health conditions, sexual preferences, or religious beliefs. URLs directly identify specific resources on the world wide web (e.g. a specific image, a specific article in an encyclopedia, a specific segment of a video stream, etc.) and give direct information on the content of a transmission.

A mapping of differential pricing products in the EEA conducted in 2018 identified 186 such products which potentially make use of DPI technology. Among those, several of these products by mobile operators with large market shares are confirmed to rely on DPI because their products offer providers of applications or services the option of identifying their traffic via criteria such as Domain names, SNI, URLs or DNS snooping.

Currently, the BEREC Guidelines3 clearly state that traffic management based on the monitoring of domain names and URLs (as implied by the phrase transport protocol layer payload) is not reasonable traffic management under the Regulation. However, this clear rule has been mostly ignored by IAS providers in their treatment of traffic.

The nature of DPI necessitates telecom expertise as well as expertise in data protection issues. Yet, we observe a lack of cooperation between national regulatory authorities for electronic communications and regulatory authorities for data protection on this issue, both in the decisions put forward on these products as well as cooperation on joint opinions on the question in general. For example, some regulators issue justifications of DPI based on the consent of the customer of the IAS provider which crucially ignores the clear ban of DPI in the BEREC Guidelines and the processing of the data of the other party communicating with the subscriber, which never gave consent.

Given the scale and sensitivity of the issue, we urge the Commission and BEREC to carefully consider the use of DPI technologies and their data protection impact in the ongoing reform of the net neutrality Regulation and the Guidelines. In addition, we recommend to the Commission and BEREC to explore an interpretation of the proportionality requirement included in Article 3, paragraph 3 of Regulation 2015/2120 in line with the data minimization principle established by the GDPR. Finally, we suggest to mandate the European Data Protection Board to produce guidelines on the use of DPI by IAS providers.

Best regards

European Digital Rights, Europe Electronic Frontier Foundation, International Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, Europe Article 19, International Chaos Computer Club e.V, Germany epicenter.works - for digital rights, Austria Austrian Computer Society (OCG), Austria Bits of Freedom, the Netherlands La Quadrature du Net, France ApTI, Romania Code4Romania, Romania IT-Pol, Denmark Homo Digitalis, Greece Hermes Center, Italy X-net, Spain Vrijschrift, the Netherlands Dataskydd.net, Sweden Electronic Frontier Norway (EFN), Norway Alternatif Bilisim (Alternative Informatics Association), Turkey Digitalcourage, Germany Fitug e.V., Germany Digitale Freiheit, Germany Deutsche Vereinigung f3cr Datenschutz e.V. (DVD), Germany Gesellschaft f3cr Informatik e.V. (GI), Germany LOAD e.V. - Verein f3cr liberale Netzpolitik, Germany (And others)

 

 

Securely connected to government servers...

International VPNs decline to hook up to Russian censorship machines


Link Here 18th May 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
In March, the Russian government's internet censor Roskomnadzor contacted 10 leading VPN providers to demand they comply with local censorship laws or risk being blocked.

Roskomnadzor equired them to hook up to a dedicated government system that defines a list of websites required to be blocked to Russian internet users.

The VPN providers contacted were ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, HideMyAss!, TorGuard, Hola VPN, OpenVPN, and Kaspersky Secure Connection. The deadline has now passed and the only VPN company that has agreed to comply with the new requirements is the Russia-based Kaspersky Secure Connection.

Most other providers on the list have removed their VPN servers from Russia altogether, so asn ot to be at risk of being asked to hand over information to Russia about their customers.

 

 

Magic apps...

South African government considers reams of new law to protect children from porn


Link Here 17th May 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in South Africa...Proppsal to block all porn from South Africans
The South African Law Reform Commission is debating widespread changes law pertaining to the protection of children. Much of the debate is about serious crimes of child abuse but there is a significant portion devoted to protecting children from legal adult pornography. The commission writes:

SEXUAL OFFENCES: PORNOGRAPHY AND CHILDREN

On 16 March 2019 the Commission approved the publication of its discussion paper on sexual offences (pornography and children) for comment.

Five main topics are discussed in this paper, namely:

  • Access to or exposure of a child to pornography;

  • Creation and distribution of child sexual abuse material;

  • Consensual self-child sexual abuse material (sexting);

  • Grooming of a child and other sexual contact crimes associated with or facilitated by pornography or child sexual abuse material; and

  • Investigation, procedure & sentencing.

The Commission invites comment on the discussion paper and the draft Bill which accompanies it. Comment may also be made on related issues of concern which have not been raised in the discussion paper. The closing date for comment is 30 July 2019.

The methodology discussed doesn't seem to match well to the real world. The authors seems to hold a lot of stock in the notion that every device can contain some sort of simple porn block app that can render a device unable to access porn and hence be safe for children. The proposed law suggests penalties should unprotected devices get bought, sold, or used by children. Perhaps someone should invent such an app to help out South Africa.

 

 

Energy sapping Brexit...

The EU Intellectual Property Office refused a trademark for a 'Brexit' drinking claiming it would be found offensive


Link Here 17th May 2019
A pair of entrepreneurs have been refused European trademark protection for their energy drink named Brexit after an EU body labelled it offensive.

Pawel Tumilowicz and Mariusz Majchrzak had attempted to register their product Brexit with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) after they launched the drink in October 2016.

But they were denied on the grounds that EU citizens would be deeply offended by the appropriation of the word. Euipo claimed:

Citizens across the EU would be deeply offended if the expression at issue was registered as a European Union trade mark.

The pair then appealed before Euipo's Grand Board of Appea which rejected Euipo's judgement that the word was offensive. However it ruled that Brexit could not be trademarked because it was not distinctive enough under EU law and would be confusing.

The high-caffeine drink - which is described on its website as the only reasonable solution in this situation - is branded with the Union Jack and was only named after the contentious political event for a laugh, the Telegraph reports.

 

 

Updated: Have I Got News for You...

In an age of quick resource to political censorship, all sides think that it is being unfairly targeted


Link Here 17th May 2019
The Change UK partly leader Heidi Allen has accused the BBC of inconsistency after the broadcaster pulled an episode of Have I Got News For You at the last minute claiming that it would breach election guidelines.

The Change UK leader was due to appear in a pre-recorded episode of the popular quiz show on Friday night, only to be notified an hour beforehand that it would not be broadcast.

The BBC said it was inappropriate to feature political party leaders on the programme ahead of the European parliament elections on 23 May to ensure equal representation of views.

Allen questioned why former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was allowed to appear on the programme ahead of similar elections in 2014 and said her party was not getting a fair crack of the whip. Change UK has now written to the BBC director general Tony Hall about the decision.

Of course she did not mention the even more flagrant pre-election censorship where by candidates Carl Benjamin and Tommy Robinson have been totally banned from social media, the major communication platforms of the modern age.

Update: The BBC explains its case for censorship

17th May 2019. See article from bbc.co.uk

Have I Got News for You,
BBC One, 10 May 2019 BBC Logo

We received complaints from people unhappy with the decision to drop the billed episode. Some people felt this was biased in favour of Brexit.

BBC Response

The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods which mean it would be inappropriate to feature a single party leader on a weekly programme such as Have I Got News for You during the short time available if other parties are not also represented on the programme during the same period. When the fact of Heidi Allen's appearance on the show was brought to our attention, we took the decision to withdraw the show. We can assure you this would have been the case whichever party was involved.

A number of our viewers have referred to 2014, when Nigel Farage also appeared on the programme in the period before the European Parliamentary elections. Those episodes of Have I Got News for You were planned in the run-up to the election to ensure an appropriate range of guests from different political parties were represented. In the circumstances of this year's election, a similar approach was not practical. We refute any suggestions that the BBC has favoured Mr Farage.

In contrast, Question Time is a political debate programme and, in accordance with the guidelines, will feature representatives from a range of political parties throughout the election period. The 9 May edition, for example, featured Anna Soubry MP (Change UK), Amber Rudd MP (Conservatives), Jonathan Reynolds MP (Labour), and Nigel Farage MEP (Brexit Party). Other parties will have appeared on different editions of Question Time during the course of the election period. Similarly, the Andrew Marr Show ensures that over the course of the campaign, an appropriate range of party representatives appear on the programme.

Senior editorial staff within BBC News keep a close watch on programmes to ensure that standards of impartiality are maintained. We consider that the BBC continues to report Brexit impartially and features a wide range of different perspectives across our news coverage.

The team are sorry for the disappointment to viewers that this episode featuring Ms Allen was pulled at short notice. Have I Got News for You will return to our screens this week, and we will look to broadcast the episode featuring Ms Allen at a later date.

 

 

Recognising the face of repression...

Man fined on trumped up charges for covering face from police facial recognition cameras


Link Here 17th May 2019
A man was fined 90 for refusing to show his face to police trialling new facial recognition systems.

The man pulled his jumper up above his chin as he walked past Met Police officers trialling Live Facial Recognition software in east London.

BBC cameras filmed as officers swooped on the man, told him to wind his neck in then handed him the hefty penalty charge.

A campaigner from Big Brother Watch -- who were protesting the use of cameras on the day -- was also filmed telling an officer: I would have done the same.

 

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