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 Update: 9 months left to download enough free porn to last a lifetime...

DCMS announces that UK internet censorship of adult websites will start in April 2018


Link Here 18th July 2017  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
purevpn banner UK Government internet censors at the Department of Censorship, Media and Sport have announced a timetable for banning UK adult businesses from operating unless they sign up for currently economically unviable age verification services. Foreign adult websites will simply end up getting blocked.

Minister of State for Digital Censorship, Matt Hancock MP writes:

Mandatory age verification to view online pornography, a crackdown on ticket bots, and new subtitling requirements for video on demand services are are among the measures being taken forward today as work begins on implementing the new Digital Economy Act

Digital Minister Matt Hancock has signed the commencement order for the Digital Economy Act 2017 which achieved Royal Assent in April. The Act places the consumer at its heart and will be a vital piece of legislation in making sure the rights and interests of the individual are protected and strengthened in an increasingly digital society.

Following the signing of the commencement order today, work will now begin on the following areas:

  • introducing a new age verification process for accessing online pornography, expected to be in place by April 2018, a milestone in the Government's work to make the UK the safest place in the world for children to be online

  • requiring catch-up TV and video on demand services to provide subtitling and audio description on their programmes

  • cracking down on ticket touts by making it a criminal offence for those that misuse bot technology to sweep up tickets

  • measures to improve digital connectivity for consumers right across the UK, cutting the costs for new infrastructure and simplifying planning rules which will see greater coverage in some of the hardest to reach places in the UK

Comment: Age verification plans put web users' privacy at risk

See  article from openrightsgroup.org

open rights group 2016 logo Open Rights Group has responded to the announcement that the Government has initiated plans for the age verification of porn websites.

Executive Director Jim Killock said:

Age verification could lead to porn companies building databases of the UK's porn habits, which could be vulnerable to Ashley Madison style hacks.

The Government has repeatedly refused to ensure that there is a legal duty for age verification providers to protect the privacy of web users.

There is also nothing to ensure a free and fair market for age verification. We are concerned that the porn company MindGeek will become the Facebook of age verification, dominating the UK market. They would then decide what privacy risks or profiling take place for the vast majority of UK citizens.

Age verification risks failure as it attempts to fix a social problem with technology. In their recent manifestos, all three main political parties called for compulsory sex and relationship education in schools. Sex education would genuinely protect young people, as it would give them information and context.

 

 Offsite Article: 9 months left to download enough free porn to last a lifetime...


Link Here 16th July 2017  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
purevpn banner The Daily Mail reports that UK internet censorship of adult websites will start in April 2018

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Concerns about the Queen's Speech and Freedom of Speech...

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won't help


Link Here 26th June 2017
National Secular Society logo

 

  Threats to privacy and free speech...

Open Rights Group comment on the Queen's Speech


Link Here 23rd June 2017

open rights group 2016 logo There are references to a review of Counter-terrorism and a Commision for Countering Extremism which will include Internet-related policies. Although details are lacking, these may contain threats to privacy and free speech. The government has opted for a "Digital Charter", which isn't a Bill, but something else.

Digital Charter

This isn't a Bill, but some kind of policy intervention. Perhaps the Digital Charter will be for companies to voluntarily agree to, or a statement of government preferences. It addresses both unwanted and illegal content or activity online, and the protection of vulnerable people. The work of CTIRU and the IWF are mentioned as examples of work to remove illegal or extremist content.

At this point, it is hard to know exactly what harms will emerge, but pushing enforcement into the hands of private companies is problematic. It means that decisions never involve courts and are not fully transparent and legally accountable.

Counterterrorism review

There will be a review of counterterrorism powers . The review includes "working with online companies to reduce and restrict the availability of extremist material online".

This appears to be a watered down version of the Conservative manifesto commitment to give greater responsibility for companies to take down extremist material from their platforms. Already Google and Facebook have issued public statements about how they intend to improve the removal of extremist material from their platforms.

Commission for Countering Extremism

A Commission will look at the topic of countering extremism, likely including on the Internet.

This appears to be a measure to generate ideas and thinking, which could be a positive approach, if it involves considering different approaches, rather than pressing ahead with policies in order to be seen to be doing something. The quality of the Commission will therefore depend on their ability to take a wide range of evidence and assimilate it impartially; it faces a significant challenge in ensuring that fundamental rights are respected within any policy suggestions they suggest.

Data Protection Bill

A new Data Protection Bill , "will fulfil a manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has a data protection regime that is fit for the 21st century". This will replace the Data Protection Act 1998, which is in any case being removed as the result of the new General Data Protection Regulation passed by the European Parliament last year. Regulations apply directly, so the GDPR does not need to be 'implemented' in UK law before Brexit.

We welcome that (at least parts of) the GDPR will be implemented in primary legislation with a full debate in Parliament. It is not clear if the text of the GDPR will be brought into this Bill, or whether it supplements it.

This appears to be a bill to at least implement some of the 'derogations' (options) in the GDPR, plus the new rules for law enforcement agencies, that came in with the new law enforcement-related Directive and have to be applied by EU member states.

The bulk of the important rights are in the GDPR, and cannot be tampered with before Brexit. We welcome the chance to debate the choices, and especially to press for the right of privacy groups to bring complaints directly.