EU Censorship News

 2016: Jan-March



 Updated: Free speech flees Germany and seeks refuge elsewhere...

Turkey demands that Germany censors satirical videos and poems about Erdogan


Link Here 18th April 2016  full story: Erdogan Insulted in Germany...Free speech finds no refuge in Germany
ndr angers erdogan video Ankara reportedly tried to pressurise Berlin into censoring a satirical clip aired by German broadcaster NDR earlier this month.

However, the show's producers decided to amplify the message and released English and Turkish subtitled versions of the video criticizing the Turkish President.

Following the broadcast of the satirical piece titled Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan on an NDR show titled Extra 3 on March 17, German Ambassador Martin Erdmann was summoned several days later to officially explain in length the reasons for the broadcaster's behavior. An anonymous Turkish diplomat told AFP:

We demanded that the programme be deleted.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Office in Berlin said that Erdmann has been called in once again. However, during the meeting the German ambassador made it clear to the Turkish side that Germany is home to freedom of speech which it will protect. Erdmann said:

The rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the protection of fundamental freedoms, including press freedom... need to be protected.

In the meantime, Extra 3 went out on a full-blown offensive against Erdogan's demand. The program's Facebook page shared an image of the request to stop showing the clip under the caption: Erdogan's idea of 'TV on demand' .

The satirical piece about The big boss from Bosporus, who is ripe for his great Ottoman Empire, starts off with criticizing Erdogan crackdown on freedom of speech. Erdogan is also criticized for the alleged shuffling of the electorate votes and cracking down on women.

The controversy inevitably added to the popularity of the video, with the English version of the video on YouTube receiving over 1.7 million views in less than 24 hours after the news first emerged of Ankara summoning the German Ambassador.

Update: Unappreciated censorship

31st March 2016. See  article from rt.com

european commission logo European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has criticized Ankara's reaction to a satirical clip about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broadcast on German TV. Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said:

The EU chief does not approve of [Ankara's] decision to summon Germany's envoy just over a satirical song. He believes this moves Turkey away from the EU rather than brings it closer to us.

She quoted the Commission chief as saying that Turkey's reaction:

Doesn't seem to be in line with upholding the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are values the EU cherishes a lot .

Update: Germany grovels to Turkish censors

7th April 2016. See  article from rt.com
See also article from thelocal.de
See video from YouTube

erdogan poem video A German prosecutor's office has confirmed that it is investigating if TV comedian Jan Böhmermann violated the law by reciting a "defamatory poem" about Turkish President Erdogan, while Chancellor Angela Merkel called the piece deliberately insulting.

Böhmermann  introduced the piece by speaking directly to the Turkish president: What I'm about to read is not allowed. If it were to be read in public - that would be forbidden in Germany, Böhmermann said, before proceeding to perform his smear poem which, among many insults, called Erdogan a goat fucker who watches child porn while kicking Kurds.

The prosecution is to determine whether Böhmermann, the host of German state broadcaster ZDF's satirical program Neo Magazine Royale, breached section 103 of the German criminal code that forbids insulting official bodies and representatives of foreign states.

Meanwhile, the German Ministry of Justice was reportedly asked by the prosecution to determine, if Turkey had launched a criminal probe in the name of its head of state. Section 104 of the German criminal code allows prosecutors to proceed with such investigations only at a foreign government's request. So far, Turkey has not initiated any public proceedings against the comedian.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted the poem as deliberately insulting in a phone conversation with Turkish Prime-Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday, according government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

In the wake of the conversation, a video recording of the poem was removed from ZDF's website. The broadcaster's spokesman, Alexander Stock, said that what was presented in the form of a poem for us have been a step too far.

Update: Bluffs are being called, is Germany now ruled by Turkey?

12th April 2016. See article from dw.com

Germany flag Turkey is now asking for Germany to prosecute a satirist who made fun of its president.

No matter how Merkel decides, experts say she can't win. She'll either offend an important diplomatic partner or alienate German supporters for being seen to be under the influence of a repressive dictator.

On Monday, the German government announced it would look into Turkey's request to prosecute jan Böhmermann for a taunting poem the satirist presented in his weekly TV show, Neo Magazine Royale . In it, Böhmermann  called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a zoophile, accusing him of sleeping with goats and beating up girls, Christians and Kurds.

The diplomatic spat between Turkey and Germany comes at an especially inopportune time. For Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey is an important partner in the refugee crisis. Merkel has already given Turkey a massively generous (and unsupported by many in Europe) carrot of an opportunity for early entry into the EU.

Critics of the deal had already complained that by entering the agreement, Merkel would make herself too dependent on Erdogan, a man whose regime has recently made news by shutting down newspapers and arresting government-critical journalists.

Even foreign politicians have entered the discussion. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has proclaimed his support for Böhmermann, despite having been the butt of his jokes many times in the past.

Spiked logo Offsite Comment: Germany's unfunny attack on the freedom to mock

15th April 2016. See article from spiked-online.com by Sabine Beppler-Spahl

Don't blame Turkey for Germany's prosecution of a satirist.

Update: Merkel grovels to Erdogan and OKs prosecution of satirist

angela merkel 2016 16th April 2016. See  article from theguardian.com

 Angela Merkel, has been criticised by members of her cabinet after acceding to a request from the Turkish president  to prosecute a comedian who read out a poem insulting Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Merkel was left with the final decision on whether Germany's state prosecutor should start proceedings against Böhmermann after Erdogan requested the comedian be prosecuted.

Under an obscure section of Germany's criminal code, prosecution for insults against organs or representatives of foreign states requires both a notification from the offended party and an authorisation from the government.

Update: German censorship victim has decided to suspend his own TV show

18th April 2016. See  article from france24.com

erdogan poem video A German comedian whose satirical poem about the new leader of Germany, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  has demonstrated the loss of freedom of speech in the country. Popular comic Jan Boehmermann has now decided to suspend his own TV show.

In light of the controversy Boehmermann said he was taking a televisual pause to allow the public to concentrate again on really important matters such as the refugee crisis, videos of cats or the love life of (German actress and model) Sophia Thomalla .

Merkel's decision to OK the persecution of Boehmermann has appalled rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch which has called on the German authorities to defend freedom of speech even if the contents of the speech are offensive to some .

 

 Update: France demands that it should be the World's internet censor...

France ludicrously claims the right to censor the World's internet and fines Google for not blocking Americans from viewing content censored in the EU


Link Here 26th March 2016  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU

France flag Europe's right to be forgotten is a nasty and arbitrary censorship power used to hide internet content such as past criminal history. Many think it tramples on the public's right to know, as quite a few examples have born out.

It seems that France and the EU thinks that such content should be censored worldwide, and have fined Google 100,000 euro for allowing non EU internet viewers to see information censored in the EU.

Since EU laws don't apply elsewhere, Google at first just deleted right to be forgotten requested results from its French domain. However, France pointed out that it would be easy to find the info on a different site and ordered the company to scrub results everywhere. In an attempted compromise, Google started omitting results worldwide as long as it determined, by geolocation, that the search was conducted from within France.

But now EU internet censors have rejected that idea (as it would be easy to get around with a VPN) and fined Google effectively for allowing Americans to see content censored in the EU. Google commented:

We disagree with the [regulator's] assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France.

In its ruling, France's CNIL censor says that geolocalizing search results does not give people effective, full protection of their right to be delisted ... accordingly, the CNIL restricted committee pronounced a 100,000 euro fine against Google.

Google plans to appeal the ruling.

 

  Fewer freedoms, the state will take care of that...

Geert Wilders on trial for inciting hatred against Dutch Moroccans


Link Here 20th March 2016
Geert Wilders Geert Wilders, the far-right politician who was acquitted five years ago of making anti-Islam remarks, goes on trial again on Friday for allegedly inciting hatred against the Dutch Moroccan minority.

State prosecutors say Wilders asked a crowd of supporters in March 2014 whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, triggering the chant Fewer! Fewer! Fewer! , to which a smiling Wilders responded: We'll take care of that.

It seems a bit of weak case, with for example, many in Germany calling for fewer Syrians without this suggesting anything threatening or hateful to Syrians. But of course there is probably more to the case than the headlines report.

 

 Commented: Brought to Book...

Irish book censor bans book for the first time in 18 years


Link Here 16th March 2016

ireland dept of justice logo A book has been banned in Ireland on the grounds of obscenity for the first time in 18 years because of the nature of its content.

The Censorship of Publications Board banned all editions of The Raped Little Runaway , written by Jean Martin.

The book was brought to the attention of the board who banned it because it contains numerous explicit descriptions of the rape of a child.

Board chairman Shane McCarthy said the decision was unanimous among the five board members. He said:

It was the only resort. We either ban it or allow it. It isn't like a film where you can put in an age restriction. It is black or white.

Offsite Comment: The tyranny of censorship: Ireland's war on evil books

16th March 2016. See  article from spiked-online.com by Brendan O'Neill

Spiked logo The Irish state has just banned an obscene novel. That is outrageous. As if it isn't bad enough that Ireland still has a Censorship of Publications Board, at the weekend we discovered that this archaic outfit is still active.

 

 Update: Supporting the EU's disgracefully arbitrary 'right to be forgotten' censorship...

Google starts censoring google.com for countries affected by EU censorship demands


Link Here 5th March 2016  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Google logo If you use Google in Europe, your search results will be censored under the EU's's disgraceful 'right-to-be-forgotten'.

Until now if you used Google.com rather than, say, Google.de, you could still find results that have been arbitrarily removed based on how loud people shout.

The censorship has been implemented as follows. Assume that someone in Germany files a Right To Be Forgotten request to have some listing censored for their name. If granted, the censorship will work like this for searches on that person's name:

  • Listing censored for those in Germany, using ANY version of Google.
  • Listing censored for those in the EU, using a European version of Google.
  • Listing NOT censored for those outside Germany but within the EU, using non-European versions of Google.
  • Listing NOT censored for those outside the EU, using ANY version of Google.

Google's Peter Fleischer explained the reasons for the censorship:

We're changing our approach as a result of specific discussions that we've had with EU data protection regulators in recent months.

We believe that this additional layer of delisting enables us to provide the enhanced protections that European regulators ask us for, while also upholding the rights of people in other countries to access lawfully published information.

 

 Update: From the man with the annotated face...

Annotated version of Hitler's long banned Mein Kampf becomes a best seller in Germany


Link Here 24th February 2016  full story: Mein Kampf...Censorship issues with Hitler's book
Kampf Illustrated German Adolf Hitler ebookHitler's autobiography Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was long banned in Germany where it was considered too dangerous for people to read. Now, it's a German best-seller.

An annotated version currently ranks second in nonfiction on the German weekly Der Spiegel's authoritative bestseller list,

It's almost certainly not because of anything German bookstores are doing: In fact, most had virtually hidden the book from customers, according to a BBC report in January. Some had refrained from advertising it, while others ordered only a single copy. But online sales picked up, and in-store sales soon followed.

Critics have claimed that banning the book from being reprinted has added to the mystery surrounding it and did more harm than good.

However, the book that is currently topping the German bestseller lists is far different from Hitler's original version. The new 2,000-page edition is heavily annotated with remarks by experts to help put Hitler's comments into context.

 

 Update: Extreme Ratings...

Court reduces rating for movie Salafistes from 18 to 16


Link Here 21st February 2016  full story: Salafistes...Courts overrule French film censors
salafistesSalafistes is a 2016 France documentary by François Margolin and Lemine Ould M Salem (as Lemine Ould Salem)
Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen. IMDb

French film censors at the country's culture ministry had issued an unprecedented, and commercially unviable, 18 rating for  François Margolin's Salafistes. France's 18 rating had previously been reserved exclusively for hardcore porn films. Salafistes is a documentary featuring interviews with North African jihadists.

Now a Paris court has overturned the 18 rating and replaced it with a 16 rating. The French 16 is the usual certificate awarded to the most violent mainstream films.

Director François Margolin said:

They {French film censors] said that we were apologists for terrorism, that we were playing the jihadists' game. But the judges agreed that we were doing exactly the opposite.

 

  Blacked Out...

French cinemas refuse to show Black, a Romeo and Juliette tales set in Brussels


Link Here 21st February 2016
Poster Black 2015 Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah Black is a 2015 Belgium action drama by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.
Starring Sanaa Alaoui, Martha Canga Antonio and Aboubakr Bensaihi. Youtube link IMDb

A 15-year-old girl in a black gang in Brussels must choose between loyalty and love when she falls for a Moroccan boy from a rival gang. The city of Brussels, plagued by high rates of youth unemployment, is home to nearly forty street gangs, and the number of young people drawn into the city's gang culture increases each year.

A film about gangs set in the tough Brussels suburb where a jihadi cell planned the Paris terror attacks, has been pulled from French cinemas.  A spokesman for Paname Distribution said:

due to the reluctance of cinemas to show Black in the current climate, we took the decision to cancel its cinematic release.

Black was a hit in Belgium despite some cinemas refusing to show it after the violence and an over-16 certificate which its makers condemned as "unjust" given characters were mostly teenagers. France adopted the same 16 rating.

Black will now be released online.

 

 Update: Fallout 3 unbanned...

A fallout with Germany's games censors has been patched up


Link Here 17th February 2016  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3
Fallout Game Year GOTY Essentials German game censors have officially lifted their ban on the popular post-apocalyptic RPG, Fallout 3.

Germany originally banned Bethesda's Fallout 3 in 2009 citing its overly violent content, and eventually ended up offering gaming fans in the country a censored version of the open world title. Now, however, as IGN Germany has reported, with just three years left before the end of the statutory ten-year sentence for its banning, it seems as if the development studio "initiated a difficult and rarely-successful trial" with the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors (BPjM) in order to get Fallout 3 delisted from the banned list.

The censors hearing the appeal said in a statement that Fallout 3 will be removed from the list because its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today's perspective.

Indian and Australian games censors also banned Fallout 3. The games censorship regime in Australia has changed since the ban so perhaps if the Bethesda appeal was initiated by plans for some sort of re-release then perhaps the ban will be overturned in Australia too.

 

  Captain Crocbuster...

Ludicrous Swedish censorship rules ban beer labels


Link Here 13th February 2016
banned captain crocbusterA Swedish microbrewery has told The Local how its new labels were banned by the state-run alcohol monopoly Systembolaget.

Three labels were banned, including a super-heroine hunting a massive sea beast and a police officer wrestling a ferocious crocodile.

The sea beast label was rejected citing a censorship rule banning anything perilous whilst the policeman advert was banned over a rule banning the depiction of professional jobs on drinks labels

As a background point, it should be noted that Systembolaget is tasked with the job of keeping alcohol sales down rather than encouraging it. So the censorship rules are very repressive with no extravagant advertising allowed, no two-for-one deals and no overly creative labels.

The brewers are now waiting to see if their fourth version gets the go-ahead. It shows the super-heroine standing in safety on the beach, looking for the Lake Storsjön monster somewhere in the distance.

 

 Update: Searching for 'Brexit'...

Google to censor all EU searches under the disgraceful 'right to be forgotten'


Link Here 12th February 2016  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Google logoGoogle says it will remove links, censored under the right to be forgotten, from all versions of the search engine when viewed from countries where the censorship was invoked.

Now, removed results will not appear on any version of Google, including google.com. Until now, search results removed under the right to be forgotten were only omitted from European versions of Google - such as google.co.uk or google.fr.

EU internet censors previously asked the firm to do this. The French data protection authority had threatened the company with a fine if it did not remove the data from global sites, such as google.com, as well as European ones.

This censorship will be applied whenever a European IP address is detected but all users outside Europe, will still see a set of unedited results. Hopefully European VPN users operating via non European countries will also be unaffected by Google's geo-blocking.

The BBC understands that the change will be in effect from mid-February.

 

 Update: California is not the Origin of the World...

French court rules that Facebook is accountable to French law and a case protesting Facebook censorship will now be heard in France


Link Here 12th February 2016  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
gustav courbet lorigine du mondeA judge at the French Supreme Court has ruled that Facebook is accountable to French law.

The ruling was made after a teacher sued the website for banning an image that he had posted of Courbet's The Origin of the World which contravened Facebook's censorship rules on nudity. The court ruled that the case comes under its jurisdiction and it is now due to be heard by a civil court in France on 21 May.

Facebook's lawyers had argued that all users agreed to use the courts in California for litigation when they joined the site. Le Journal des Arts said that the judge called this clause abusive , while the teacher's lawyer noted that if it were enforced, none of France's 22 million Facebook users would have recourse to French legal jurisdiction in the event of a dispute .

Facebook has also announced a change to its censorship rules to permit Photographs of paintings, sculptures and other art that depicts nude figures .

 

 Updated: Antichrist Banned in France...

Religious censors get court to revoke 16 rating for Lars Von Trier's film. Then they turn their attention to The Hateful Eight


Link Here 7th February 2016  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir
Antichrist DVD Willem Dafoe Antichrist is a 2009 Denmark/Germany/France/Sweden/Italy/Poland drama by Lars Von Trier.
With Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

The film was banned in France in February 2016

Promouvoir, an extremist Catholic pressure group initiated a court case some time ago claiming that the films local 16 rating was incorrect and that the film should be restricted to adults only. The moralists won the case and the court agreed that the film is unsuitable for under 18 and revoked the film's 16 certificate.

Until the film can be re-rated, it is banned from cinema and TV.

The BBFC explained some of the censorship issues when issuing an uncut 18 rating:

At '18', the BBFC's Guidelines state that the more explicit images of sexual activity are unlikely to be permitted unless they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work'. A 'sex work' is defined as a work whose 'primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation'. It is clear that ANTICHRIST is not a 'sex work' but a serious drama exploring issues such as grief, loss, guilt and fear.

The brief images of explicit real sex (sight of a penis penetrating a vagina during a consensual sex scene and sight of the man's penis being masturbated to climax) are exceptionally justified, in this context, by the manner in which they illustrate the film's themes and the nature of the couple's relationship. Their relationship is depicted throughout in a graphic and unflinching fashion, both psychologically and physically.

The BBFC has permitted comparable explicit images in a number of previous features at the '18' level (eg L'EMPIRE DES SENS, 9 SONGS, SHORTBUS and Lars von Trier's earlier film, THE IDIOTS) where it has been clear that the purpose of the work - and the individual images in question - is not simply to arouse viewers but to illustrate characters, relationships and themes.

Update: Hateful moralists

7th February 2016. See  article from news.yahoo.com

Hateful Eight DVD Samuel Jackson Buoyed by their success in getting the 16 age rating for Antichrist overturned, religious extremists at Promouvoir (Promote) are now setting their sights on Quentin Tarantino's 12 rated The Hateful Eight .

The Catholic group is now threatening to have Quentin Tarantino's new film pulled from cinemas. They claim that the film  had been granted its certificate illegally .

It also threatened to take action against the French teen film Bang Gang , one of the hits of this year's Toronto film festival.

The French 12 rating for Blue is the Warmest Colour was withdrawn in December 2016 over its extended lesbian scenes. This was the result of court case issued by the religious campaign group Promouvoir (Promote). Abdellatif Kechiche's film is currently banned from cinema and TV and as the film has not yet received a revised certificate.

 

 

 Update: Germany bans far right website...

And also worries about the grey zone where the not so far right citizens criticise refugees


Link Here 28th January 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
altermedia deutschland logoGermany has banned a far-right website for spreading racist, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic content and arrested two people in a clampdown on hate crime.

Material on the website included banned Nazi slogans and the denial of the Holocaust as well as incitement of violence against foreigners, the prosecutors' office said.

The ban on the Altermedia Deutschland platform came as raids were carried out in homes in four German states as well as in the northeastern Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.

The two arrested people were the administrators of the Altermedia website and therefore responsible for its content that was served from a hosting company in Russia. German officials have asked Russia to take down the website.

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence, Hans-Georg Maassen, told reporters that:

There is the danger of a gray zone developing between far-right extremists, right-wing conservatives and citizen protesters with significant potential for violence.

Meanwhile Dutch far right website speaks of police taking action against people who tweet too much

28th January 2016. See  article from neurope.eu

Dutch police have been visiting the homes of people critical of asylum centres on Twitter, urging them to delete posts.

In recent months, police have visited the homes of many more people that criticised the plans for asylum centres. In October 2015, in Leeuwarden about twenty opponents of the programs received police visits at home. It happened in Enschede, and in some places in the Brabant, where, according to the Dutch media, people who had been critical of the arrival of refugees and ran a page on social media on the topic were told to stop.

A spokesman for the national police acknowledged to Handelsblad that there are ten intelligence units of digital detectives monitoring in real time Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and looking for posts that go too far .

 

  Salafistes...

France film censors award rare 18 rating to film about religious extremism


Link Here 27th January 2016  full story: Salafistes...Courts overrule French film censors
france interdit-18-ansThe French ministry of culture will allow cinemas to show the controversial film Salafistes , which features interviews with North African jihadists, but have banned it for anyone under 18 in a rare move for a documentary in France.

The over-18 rating is normally only given to pornographic films, although it has featured for mainstream films when politicians have got themselves involved in the process.

According to the filmmakers, the 18 rating will kill the film , as it effectively bans it from being aired on public TV and means cinemas will be reluctant to show it.

Salafistes, whose title refers to the ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam that drives movements such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group, drew accusations of promoting terrorism by showing frank interviews with jihadists bent on attacking Western, and in particular French, targets.

It was also accused of being an attack on human dignity in that it shows the murder of French policeman Ahmed Merabet during the January 2015 attacks on the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Merabet was shot at point blank range on the street outside the magazine's offices.

Filmmakers François Margolin and Lemime Ould Salem said they had removed the offending scene, but insist that the film should be given as wide an audience as possible. According to the filmmakers, the violence itself serves as the best counterpoint to the interviewees' Salafist philosophy. Margolin said:

We are reporters. We tell people what is happening and what people are saying, we want viewers to hear the [jihadists'] arguments from their own mouths Reporting on what they say is not the same thing as promoting their ideas. When making the film, we worked on the principle that our audience is intelligent.

 

  Gambling on censorship...

Sweden seeks effective methods to censor the internet in the name of blocking unapproved gambling sites


Link Here 26th January 2016
bahnof sweden logoAn ISP in Sweden is sounding the alarm over the government's plan to IP-block unauthorized online gambling sites.

Over the weekend, leading Swedish ISP Bahnhof released a statement saying it had received an email from an investigator hired by the Swedish government to consider ways to efficiently prevent unauthorized online gambling operators from offering services to Swedish gamblers.

Sweden's government is in the process of revising the country's legal landscape for gambling, which will see the end of state-owned operator Svenska Spel's online betting monopoly and the licensing of independent online operators.

As part of this process, specifics of which won't be made public until March 2017, steps would be taken to ensure that operators who lack a new Swedish license are unable to serve Swedish punters. Bahnhof says the government investigator has asked for a meeting in which to discuss the ISP's role in this plan.

Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung  said his concern was the government's attempt to censor the internet  and that gambling sites will be used as a precedent for future clampdowns.

 

 Offsite Article: Mass Snooping and Human Rights...


Link Here 23rd January 2016  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
European court buildings Did the European Court of Human Rights Just Outlaw 'Massive Monitoring of Communications' in Europe?

See article from cdt.org

 

 Update: Germany Unfriends Facebook...

Facebook launches undetailed censorship scheme in Germany in response to government pressure about criticism of refugees and immigration


Link Here 20th January 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Facebook logoFacebook has launched a censorship campaign designed to silence hate speech, extremism and racism in Europe.

It unveiled its Online Civil Courage Initiative following months of pressure from the German government.

Although Facebook insists its strategy is about combating extremism, it does not make it clear whether this means Islamic terrorism, right wing racism or both.

Announcing the launch of the initiative, Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said:

The best cure for bad ideas is good ideas. The best remedy for hate is tolerance. Hate speech has no place in our society - not even on the Internet. Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.

 

 Offsite Article: Germans must be free to read Mein Kampf...


Link Here 7th January 2016  full story: Mein Kampf...Censorship issues with Hitler's book
mein kampf german 2016 The ban on Hitler's tome was dankly elitist. By Sabine Beppler-Spahl

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Update: One year on and the assassin is still amongst us...

Charlie Hebdo releases a special edition to note the anniversary of the terrorist attack


Link Here 4th January 2016  full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
hebdo sepecial A special edition of Charlie Hebdo will mark a year since brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi burst into Charlie Hebdo's offices in eastern Paris and killed 12 people, including eight of the magazine's staff.  Included in the special edition will be a collection of cartoons by the five Charlie Hebdo artists killed in the 2015 attack as well as several external contributors.

Cartoonist Laurent Sourisseau, who took over the management of the weekly after the attack, also wrote an angry editorial in defence of secularism. It denounces:

Fanatics brutalised by the Koran as well as those from other religions who hoped for the death of the magazine for daring to laugh at the religious.

7.5 million people bought the first post-attack issue and 200,000 people signed up for a subscription. However, the magazine's staff feel unsupported in their struggle, said financial director Eric Portheault, who escaped death by hiding behind his desk when the gunmen stormed in, said:

We feel terribly alone. We hoped that others would do satire too. No one wants to join us in this fight because it's dangerous. You can die doing it.

Commemorative plaques will be unveiled at the sites of the January attacks, including at the weekly's former offices, in modest ceremonies attended by families and government officials, a City of Paris spokesman said.

On 10 January, a more public ceremony will take place on the Place de la Republique, the square in eastern Paris which became an informal memorial. President Francois Hollande will preside over the ceremony.

Update: Protests

6th January 2016. See  article from theguardian.com
See  article from theguardian.com

A Turkish state-run news agency said a court ordered the telecommunications authority to ban access to websites showing the cover. Anadolu Agency said the ban was ordered by a court in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir. A lawyer in Diyarbakir filed a petition saying the websites were a danger to public order .

In the Philippines, police said about 1,500 people protested in the Muslim-majority city of Marawi, with local politicians and teenage students packing the main square and some raising their fists in the air as a Charlie Hebdo poster was burned. T he organisers said in a statement:

What happened in France, the Charlie Hebdo killing, is a moral lesson for the world to respect any kind of religion, especially the religion of Islam. Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the noble and the greatest prophet of Allah.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain advised Muslims to react with dignified nobility . Its advice sheet says:

Our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the prophet (peace be upon him). Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.

The Vatican's newspaper has criticised French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for a front cover portraying God as a gun-wielding terrorist. In a commentary, the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said treatment of this kind towards religion is not new -- and stressed that religious figures have repeatedly condemned violence in the name of God. The newspaper said:

Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat to reject violence in the name of religion -- using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy, as pope Francis has said several times

In Charlie Hebdo's choice, there is the sad paradox of a world which is more and more sensitive about being politically correct, almost to the point of ridicule, yet does not wish to acknowledge or to respect believers' faith in God, regardless of the religion.

 

 Offsite Article: Double Trouble...


Link Here 4th January 2016  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
censored little mermaid Copenhagen's Little Mermaid falls foul of Facebook censors and then Denmark's copyright extortionists

See article from thelocal.dk