EU Censorship News

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Balancing Act...

CPJ Report: Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values

Link Here 29th September 2015

The European Union strives to be a global leader in press freedom but faces challenges from member states that have criminal defamation and blasphemy laws, and have introduced counterterrorism measures, including mass surveillance.

The EU has made press freedom imperative in negotiating with candidate countries, but has been accused of failing to take strong action when member states renege on their press freedom commitments. Journalists working in the region are also affected by EU laws and policies, such as the trade secrets directive and access to information regulations.

A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists



Update: Europe Implodes...

France set to take action requiring Google to operate the 'right to be forgotten' across the world

Link Here 22nd September 2015
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The French internet censor has responded to a Google statement which explains why European internet censorship cannot be applied across the world.

This summer, France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) sent Google an order to not merely delist links from European Google searches but search results around the world, too. Google responded:

This is a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.

CNIL's president did not find this persuasive, rejecting Google's appeal of the order. In a statement released today, CNIL claimed that:

Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, because if this right was limited to some extensions, it could be easily circumvented: in order to find the delisted result, it would be sufficient to search on another extension and this would equate stripping away the efficiency of this right.

CNIL pointed out that delisted info remains directly accessible on the source website or through a search using other terms than an individual's name and:

In addition, this right is not absolute: it has to be reconciled with the public's right to information, in particular when the data subject is a public person, under the double supervision of the CNIL and of the court.

Google must now comply with the formal notice or face CNIL's sanctions committee.

There's no further opportunity to appeal the decision at this stage under French law. But if Google refuses to comply, it could later appeal any sanctions levied by CNIL. Fines would likely start at around 300,000 but could increase to between 2-5% of Google's global operating costs. The search engine could then go to the Conseil d'Etat, the supreme court for administrative justice, to appeal the decision and fine.



Offsite Article: Ghosts of Censorship...

Link Here 17th September 2015
Article about a gay stage performance touches on the subject of censorship in Ireland

See article from



Seeking refuge in censorship...

Germany pushes Facebook to censor criticism of the country's refugee policy

Link Here 15th September 2015
Facebook has announced that it is undertaking steps to counter racist postings by users in Germany after criticism by the Justice Ministry.

Facebook made the announcement just before a meeting with Justice Minister Heiko Maas to discuss the topic. Facebook  were 'invited' them to the meeting to discuss what he saw as a failure to act against violent and xenophobic comments which had proliferated due to the way the refugee crisis is being handled.

Facebook has unveiled several censorship measures including signing up with the 'Voluntary' Self-censorship Service Provider (FSM) a group Facebook describes as a leading organization in the realm of internet security,

Facebook is also setting up a task force to find solutions to the problem of racism on the internet. Thirdly Facebook are taking a few ideas from China with a campaign for counter speech , an Orwellian euphemism which means censoring criticism through propaganda postings on internet forums.

Facebook Germany's policy manager Eva-Maria Kirschsieper said in a statement.

We have seen how many groups have been organised on our platform aiming to help refugees. But a very small minority have been spreading opinions that cross the line of acceptable behaviour.



Updated: Envying a politician who actually fights for free expression...

France's culture minister notes the ascendancy of the far right and catholic extremists and so takes action to oppose an 18 rating for Gaspar Noe's Love

Link Here 11th September 2015