EU Censorship News

 2014: Oct-Dec

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 Offsite Article: EU Wants to Dictate What Content Americans Can View on US-Based Websites...


Link Here 18th December 2014
first amndment coalition logo That is a big step, one that even China, the master of internet censorship, has never taken.

See article from huffingtonpost.com

 

  Caught on CCTV...

Bollox EU privacy law caught harming the people that it is supposed to be protecting


Link Here 15th December 2014
European Court of Justice Images captured on a household surveillance camera could breach data-protection rules, the European court of 'justice' (ECJ) has ruled .

By clarifying European legislation, the judgment could have significant consequences for householders in the UK who use CCTV and keep or try to use the images, according to a legal expert.

The case related to a Czech man, Frantisek Rynes, who installed a surveillance camera after he and his family were subjected to attacks by unknown individuals. The camera filmed areas including a public footpath and the entrance to the house opposite. After someone fired a catapult at his home, breaking a window, Rynes gave the recordings to the police, allowing them to identify two suspects, who were subsequently prosecuted.

However, one of the suspects challenged the legality of Rynes recording and holding the images. The Czech office for the protection of personal data, found that although Rynes had been trying to expose the perpetrators of a crime, he had infringed data-protection rules and issued him with a fine.

And of course Euro judges agreed:

The operation of a camera system, as a result of which a video recording of people is stored on a continuous recording device such as a hard disk drive, installed by an individual on his family home for the purposes of protecting the property, health and life of the homeowners, but which also monitors a public space, does not amount to the processing of data in the course of a purely personal or household activity, for the purposes of that provision.

 

 Offsite Article: Why Google should leave Europe...


Link Here 14th December 2014
Google logo The company is under relentless attack by European authorities who won't stop until they do real damage. By Mike Elgan

See article from computerworld.com

 

 Update: No Plan B...

French arts centre to defy the PC lynch mob trying to ban Exhibit B in Paris


Link Here 8th December 2014  full story: Exhbit B...Brett Bailey's art winds up the easily offended
centquartre logo The controversial performance installation Exhibit B by Brett Bailey is set to begin a seven-day run on Sunday in Paris's Centquatre contemporary arts centre.

Campaigners wanting the exhibit banned and claim that the show is racist. Galvanised by the example of the UK where protesters succeeded in getting the show cancelled at London's Barbican theatre in September, the French Collective Against Exhibit B continues to call for a boycott .

But the theatre refuses to back down to the harassment and says the show will go ahead in the name of both free speech and future dialogue over the many difficult issues the show raises.

Unfortunately, there'll be a heavy police presence, says theatre director Jose'-Manuel Goncalves: People, families, won't be able to circulate like they usually do. But the show will go on at Centquatre. He says:

This is not a racist work. If it were, there are laws in France which would ban it. It's an important work. As many people as possible have to see it.

Tickets are sold out, not just for tonight but for the week-long run.

 

  A history of censorship...

Swedish toyshop bans 2nd World War models with Nazi symbology


Link Here 7th December 2014
COBI 2447 Small World Panther A department store in western Sweden is banning toys after a few customers complained over a number of miniature soldiers bearing Nazi symbols.

The toy soldiers at the Geka*s store in Ullared are manufactured by Cobi and some bear uniforms resembling those worn by the Gestapo during the Second World War. The symbols on the toy soldiers are reported to include swastikas and eagles.

When I looked closely at the figures I saw that there are German tanks with smiling soldiers from the Nazi era, a father told the Expressen daily.

Geka*s CEO Boris Lennerhov has confirmed that the firm plans to shelve the toys.

 

 Update: Best Forgotten...

EU internet censors publish their rules about the 'right to be forgotten'


Link Here 4th December 2014
EU flag The EU has issued formal censorship rules surrounding the so-called Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF).

The formal considerations that the EU data censors want considered in evaluating any RTBF request are:

  • Does the search result relate to a natural person -- i.e. an individual? And does the search result come up against a search on the data subject's name?
  • Does the data subject play a role in public life?
  • Is the data subject a public figure?
  • Is the data subject a minor?
  • Is the data accurate?
  • Is the data relevant and not excessive?
  • Is the information sensitive within the meaning of Article 8 of the Directive 95/46/EC?
  • Is the data up to date? Is the data being made available for longer than is necessary for the purpose of the processing?
  • Is the data processing causing prejudice to the data subject?
  • Does the data have a disproportionately negative privacy impact on the data subject?
  • Does the search result link to information that puts the data subject at risk?
  • In what context was the information published?
  • Was the original content published in the context of journalistic purposes?
  • Does the publisher of the data have a legal power, or a legal obligation, to make the personal data publicly available?
  • Does the data relate to a criminal offence?

In most cases, it appears that more than one criterion will need to be taken into account in order to reach a decision to censor. In other words, no single criterion is, in itself, determinative.

The document asserts that successful RTBF requests should be applied globally and not just to specific country domain search results, as Google has been doing:

[D]e-listing decisions must be implemented in a way that guarantees the effective and complete protection of these rights and that EU law cannot be easily circumvented. In that sense, limiting de-listing to EU domains on the grounds that users tend to access search engines via their national domains cannot be considered a sufficient means to satisfactorily guarantee the rights of data subjects according to the judgment. In practice, this means that in any case de-listing should also be effective on all relevant domains, including .com

But any such global de-listing sets up a conflict of laws between nations that recognize RTBF and those that do not. Google had been notifying publishers that their links were being removed, causing some to republish those links for re-indexing. This has frustrated some European censors who see this practice as undermining the RTBF. Accordingly, the EU says that publishers should not be notified of the removal of links:

Search engine managers should not as a general practice inform the webmasters of the pages affected by de-listing of the fact that some webpages cannot be acceded from the search engine in response to specific queries. Such a communication has no legal basis under EU data protection law.

The EU also doesn't want Google to publish notices to users that links have been removed for similar reasons:

It appears that some search engines have developed the practice of systematically informing the users of search engines of the fact that some results to their queries have been de-listed in response to requests of an individual. If such information would only be visible in search results where hyperlinks were actually de-listed, this would strongly undermine the purpose of the ruling. Such a practice can only be acceptable if the information is offered in such a way that users cannot in any case come to the conclusion that a specific individual has asked for the de-listing of results concerning him or her.

The guidelines state that beyond external search engines (e.g., Google) they may be extended to undefined intermediaries. However they immediately go on to apparently contradict that notion:

The right to de-listing should not apply to search engines with a restricted field of action, particularly in the case of search tools of websites of newspapers.

Finally the guidelines suggest that only EU citizens may be eligible in practice to make RTBF requests.

 

  Culturally Challenged...

Sweden debates cuts to historically significant TV series from 1969 over racial terms used differently in the past


Link Here 3rd December 2014
Paramount Prints PIPPI LONGSTOCKING Classic Pippi Longstocking, a rambunctious, joyful girl strong enough to lift horses, has become a touchstone for generations of children who have read her in 65 languages worldwide.

In Sweden, Pippi is something more: a national treasure and embodiment of the country's egalitarian spirit. So when the Swedish national broadcaster announced this fall that it would edit two scenes that it considered offensive in a 1969 television series about Pippi, including one in which she says her father is king of the Negroes, using a Swedish word now viewed as a racial slur, it hit a nerve.

The series was based on the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren, the first of which were published between 1945 and 1948. Defenders of the decision, including the heirs of Ms. Lindgren, who died in 2002, said the change respected the spirit of the author. Even in 1970, she had called the term outdated and said she had not meant to offend.

But many others, influential opinion columnists and tens of thousands of people who answered a Facebook poll, said they opposed the revision, some accusing the broadcaster, SVT, of politically correct censorship.

Nils Nyman, one of Ms. Lindgren's seven grandchildren and the chief executive of the family company that oversees the lucrative rights to her work, said he was a little bit surprised that the changes had generated so much fuss. He said the family had readily agreed to allow SVT to edit two brief scenes in the program, which will air on national television on Saturday and in a newly restored DVD. He said that not making the changes risked distracting from the books' broader message of girl power before it was known as such.

In one scene, the racial slur has been removed so that Pippi now says, My father is the king! In the second, Pippi no longer pulls her eyelids upward, pretending to be Asian, yet still sings a mock Chinese song.

 

 Updated: The Art of Outrage...

Censorship campaigners call for Exhibit B be to be banned in Paris


Link Here 29th November 2014  full story: Exhbit B...Brett Bailey's art winds up the easily offended
exhibit b brett bailey Protesters in Paris are now calling for the banning of an art show featuring black actors in cages that mimic the human zoos of the 19th century. It has already been scrapped in London due to a political correctness outcry.

The white South African artist Brett Bailey says his Exhibit B , which mimics the late 19th- and early 20th-century phenomenon of the human zoo , is meant to raise awareness of the racism of Europe's colonial past.

It is due to open in the French capital later this month, but it is now raising heckles among censorship campaigners such as those behind a French petition to have it stopped and who see it as an exhibition composed of degrading representations of black people. A petition that has been signed by 14,000 people.

France's black campaign group CRAN claimed it was not calling for the exhibition to be stopped ...BUT... said that while:

It might be well-intentioned it reinforces stereotypes. It shows black people as passive and as victims, CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin told The Local. It never shows the struggle by black people for their own emancipation.

The two state-funded centres where the show is to take place, the Centquatre and the Theatre Gerard Philippe, vowed in an open letter this week that the show would go ahead and that they would not cave in to protesters who had not even seen the exhibition.

Update: Censored by vandals

29th November 2014. See  article from  thelocal.fr

A divisive art show featuring black actors in cages as a portrayal of 19th century human zoos had to be halted on Thursday after more than 120 aggressive protesters smashed their way into Paris theatre where it was being held.

Journalist Gilda Di Carli who was covering the event for The Local said:

At about 6:40pm things started getting lively as protesters, who numbered around 100 started arguing with police officers. Then the metal barrier was pushed over and everyone, protesters and journalists included, rushed up the stairs toward the entrance of the theatre.

The police were lined up in front of the doors and there was a lot of shouting and chanting. The police were blowing their whistles as protesters chanted slogans such as No to racism and Cancel the show.

It took Paris police five minutes to break up the what theatre directors described as a riot, by which stage protesters had smashed one of the building's window panes and knocked over several barriers.

Two shows took place before theatre director Jean Bellorini decided to cancel other showings.

 

 Update: Collect 200 Pounds and go straight to jail...

Poland to prosecute gamblers who use unlicensed foreign websites, starting with those that have won the most


Link Here 28th November 2014  full story: Internet Censorship in Poland...In the name of dangerous gambling
Poland flag Poland has just made a decision to put online gamblers on notice that betting with unlicensed operators could result in criminal prosecution. T

Poland officially approved online sports betting in 2011. However the onerous regulatory restrictions have attracted just four Polish-licensed operators and it has been suggested that the four operators capture only about 9% of Poland's internet betting market which is estimated at approximately $1.5 billion annually by Roland Berger consulting.

Poland still doesn't allow poker or casino games within its realm but last June revamped its Gambling Act that would allow EU-based operators to just establish a Polish branch office for tax purposes and open a Polish bank account. The amendment would also require operators to supply responsible betting measures, including providing a record of player wins and losses upon request and periodically reminding players just how long they've been online with gambling.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the Polish Regulator has information about more than 24,000 players who have been participating in overseas gambling. The Regulator has already initiated more than 1,100 criminal investigations in this area, and further proceedings will be initiated against the players who have received the highest winnings.

 

 Update: Forgotten Freedoms...

EU internet censors want to prevent Europeans from accessing censored links via google.com


Link Here 27th November 2014
EU flag Google is under fresh pressure to expand censorship under the right to be forgotten to its international .com search engine.

A panel of EU censors claimed the move was necessary to prevent the law from being circumvented.

Google currently de-lists results that appear in the European versions of its search engines, but not the international one. At present, visitors are diverted to localised editions of the US company's search tool - such as Google.co.uk and Google.fr - when they initially try to visit the Google.com site. However, a link is provided at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen offering an option to switch to the international .com version. This link does not appear if the users attempted to go to a regional version in the first place. Even so, it means it is possible for people in Europe to easily opt out of the censored lists.

 

  Outrage Light...

Having fun with beer from the Austrian town of Fucking


Link Here 21st November 2014
fucking hell beer A beer, which its creators claim is named after the town of Fucking in Austria has created a little 'outrage' after its promotional ad appeared on the website of the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party.

The beer in question is a light beer, so because the German word for light is hell , the beer has been named accordingly.

In 2010 the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union said that it had thrown out a complaint after people brought it to their attention that the trademarked name Fucking Hell was upsetting, accusatory and derogatory, reported the Austrian Times. The release from the office concluded:

The word combination claimed contains no semantic indication that could refer to a certain person or group of persons. Nor does it incite a particular act. It cannot even be understood as an instruction that the reader should go to hell.

 

  Censorship Body...

Police censor living artwork in Helsinki


Link Here 17th November 2014
not my body The Baltic Circle contemporary theatre festival in Helsinki has been asked by police to censor its latest work. The exhibit should feature an 83-year-old, naked woman in a glass case, but Helsinki police have demanded that she cover up.

Dries Verhoeven's work Ceci n'est pas mon corps deals with approaches to ageing. The original version has the older lady sitting naked in the glass case, wearing the mask of a younger woman. Organisers say Helsinki is the ninth city they've toured with the show, and the first in which nudity has been a problem.

Tuomo Tuohimaa of Helsinki police claims that families with children might have been offended by the nakedness on show in the work.

The organisers plan to appeal the police decision in the administrative court system.

 

 Update: The right to have free speech forgotten...

Pianist attempts to censor bad reviews via the 'right to be forgotten'


Link Here 2nd November 2014
Schumann Brahms Liasons Dejan Lazic Dejan Lazic, a concert pianist from Croatia, has demanded that a bad review of a 2010 concert he gave be removed from internet search results under the European right to be forgotten law.

Lazic wrote to the Washington Post, which published the review by classical music writer Anne Midgette, to have the article removed from search results. He claimed that the review was: Defamatory, mean-spirited, opinionated, one-sided, offensive [and] simply irrelevant for the arts , despite the fact that the original piece is in many places complimentary.

In the original article, Midgette said that his performance was lackluster given his huge talents, and prone to grandiloquence .

Lazic also claimed that his request was nothing to do with censorship ...BUT... a response to the fact that newspaper reviews are too far from the truth .

 

 Offsite Article: The worst thing about censorship is...


Link Here 2nd November 2014
Left 4 Dead Xbox 360 A report about German censorship inflicted on the video game Left 4 Dead

See article from destructoid.com

 

 Offsite Article: When does making fun of religion cross the line?...


Link Here 30th October 2014
Dieter Nuhr Ich bin nuhr A comedian might say it's his job to make fun of everything and everybody under the sun - the more wicked, the better. In Germany, a debate has broken out after a Muslim citizen filed suit over a comedian's jokes.

See article from dw.de

 

  Chucky Reincarnate...

Annabelle pulled from French cinemas after troubles break out amongst the audience


Link Here 18th October 2014
Annabelle plus bonus features Wallis Annabelle is a 2014 USA horror by John R Leonetti.
Starring Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis and Alfre Woodard. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong horror, bloody violence

MPAA: Rated R for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror.

A string of French cinemas have cancelled showings of new American horror form Annabelle after violence has repeatedly broken in the audience. The managers of cinemas in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier have ceased showing the film until further notice for security reasons.

General chaos and fights have broken out among audience members during the screenings of the film, which is a prequel of the film The Conjuring and tells the tale of the murderous puppet Annabelle terrorising an unsuspecting family.

The trouble seems to stem from teenagers getting rowdy during the screenings. BFMTV film critics Alain Grasset said:

It's a very young audience, for whom the screening is a time to let loose, they go to see it as a joke, but it's a pretext to go a little wild.

 

 Offsite Article: Open Case...


Link Here 15th October 2014
European Court of Justice European Court to consider who is responsible for copyright infringement via open WiFi

See article from techdirt.com

 

 Update: The right for the rich and powerful to have their misdemeanours forgotten...

Disgraceful Eurocrats put privilege above free speech


Link Here 11th October 2014
EU flag European ministers are moving in favour of censorship in the form of the right to be forgotten rules, following discussions on the drafting of new Data Protection laws.

A ludicrous ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links from its search results that went to outdated or irrelevant information even though Google are in no position to be able to consider the facts of the case.

However, even though this right is included in the draft of the new law, most ministers argued for the final inclusion to be a watered-down version of the ECJ ruling. The UK argued there must be a balance between freedom of expression and the right to be forgotten, and that can only be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Netherlands agreed, and said that it was best left to the courts.

The UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czechs all agreed that they want a broader wording than the court ruling gave, and said there was no need to copy the ECJ text into the new law. Germany's representatives argued that freedom of expression has better protection under current laws. Meanwhile, Estonia argued the Data Protection Regulation wasn't the right place to try to regulate free speech. Austria said there must be some sort of control as questions of privacy and free speech should not be left to Google.

However, the Council's legal service intervened to point out that the ECJ ruling effectively said the right to be forgotten trumps free speech, despite national ministers arguing for balance. In fact, to some extent, the ECJ ruling is treaty law, and the Council can't really draw up a regulation that goes against that.

 

 Update: Every Country Rules the World...

French court demands that Google blocks searches world wide, not just on French Google


Link Here 9th October 2014  full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection
palais de justice In one of the first rulings of its kind, a French court last month ordered Google to remove links to defamatory information from its search results globally .

Up to now, most rulings have limited themselves to the local top level domain -- such as Google.fr. However, the decision of the High Court in Paris was that this would be insufficient because even in France users can search using the Google.com domain.

If Google does not comply, it will face daily fines of 1,000 euros.

 

 Offsite Article: Disgraceful...


Link Here 3rd October 2014
conservative party logo Tories promise policy to withdraw human rights from British people

See article from theguardian.com

 

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