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25th May

  A challenge to default website blocking...

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EU net neutrality policy requires that ISPs should not block legal content without permission
Link Here
EU flag The British Government is concerned that EU measures to ensure net neutrality could impact ISPs website blocking systems that are turned on by default.

Net neutrality is the concept of not allowing states or commercial entities from hijacking the internet for their own purposes. A particular example is for large VoD companies convincing the ISPs that for a suitable fee, their video services could be given priority over other people's internet communications.

A leaked document from Brussels dated May 17 proposes to make it illegal to try to manage web traffic, including by automatically applying parental controls. Instead, EU officials want ISPs to have to ask parents or account holders to opt-in to pornography filters.

Campaigners for internet blocking by default claim that the move would endanger children by putting another barrier in the way of parents wanting to keep internet usage at home free from adult material.

The rule change is included in a document banning mobile phone companies or ISPs from restricting or managing any legal content on the internet.

John Carr, a pro-censorship campaigner said that the risk is that a major plank of the UK's approach to online child protection will be destroyed at a stroke.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: The UK government will not support any proposals that do not allow us to maintain our child protection policies or bring forward new policies.

 

25th May

 Update: Right to be Scared...

  Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

US Mainstream DVDs

Video Universe
 

Asking parents not teach their kids the truth that the police will take them off to jail, say for internet insults
Link Here  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter
police jail So in a week where the police ARE threatening to jail innocent kids for sexting, they are asking parents not to teach their kids that the police will take them away if they are naughty.

Many an exasperated parent has told their misbehaving child to be good or the police will put them in prison. But now one police force has issued a poster urging adults not to use this common threat. The poster from Durham Constabulary reads:

Parents. Please don't tell your children that we will take them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run to us if they are scared, not be scared of us. Thank You.

However the kids would be better advised to keep clear of the police lest they get locked up for sexting, bad taste jokes, or even just insulting posts on Twitter or Facebook.

For example jailing them for internet insults

25th May 2015. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

jail The number of prosecutions of internet trolls has soared eightfold in the last 10 years, according to new figures. More than 1,200 people were found guilty of offences under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 last year compared with 143 in 2004.

The law states it is illegal to send by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other material that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character .

Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show that 1,501 defendants were prosecuted under the law last year - including 70 juveniles - while another 685 were cautioned.

Of those convicted, 155 were jailed - compared with just seven a decade before- and the average custodial sentence was 2.2 months.

 

23rd May

 Offsite Article: Unknowledgeable in strategy and tactics...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
wikipedia logo Wikipedia is yet again being censored by China's Great Firewall. The Chinese-language version of the site has been blocked for the last three days

See article from forbes.com

 

22nd May

 Update: Worse than even ATVOD...

Africa's Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in South Africa...Proppsal to block all porn from South Africans
south africa film censor logo Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn't come around again. The Draft Online Regulation Policy recently issued by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of South Africa is such a regulation. It's as if the fabled prude Mrs. Grundy had been brought forward from the 18 th century, stumbled across hustler.com on her first excursion online, and promptly cobbled together a law to shut the Internet down. Yes, it's that bad.

First, the regulation applies, in the first instance, to films and games (regardless of subject matter), as well as to publications containing certain loosely-described forms of sex, violence and hate speech. As to these types of content:

5.1.1 Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.

5.1.2 In the event that such film, game or publication is in a digital form or format intended for distribution online using the internet or other mobile platforms, the distributor may bring an application to the Board for the conclusion of an online distribution agreement, in terms of which the distributor, upon payment of the fee prescribed from time to time by the Minister of DOC as the Executive Authority, may classify its online content on behalf of the Board, using the Board's classification Guidelines and the Act ...

If you are a video blogger creating films from your basement, the prospect of FPB officers knocking on your door to classify your videos probably isn't that appealing. So, being the forward-thinkers that they are, without actually providing an exception for user-generated content (or a sensible definition of it), the FPB provides an alternative system which places the burden of classifying such content onto Internet intermediaries:

7.5 In the event that such content is a video clip on YouTube or any other global digital media platform, the Board may of its own accord refer such video clip to the Classification Committee of the Board for classification.

7.7 Upon classification, the Board shall dispatch a copy of the classification decision and an invoice payable by the online distributor within 30 days, in respect of the classification of the content in question.

A few definitions are in order here: an "online distributor" could be a South African ISP, which might have no connection with the "global digital media platform" that actually hosts the content. Nonetheless, the ISP is assumed to have the capacity to take down the original video, and to upload a new, classified, version containing the FPB's logo:

7.10 The online distributor shall, from the date of being notified by the Board in writing of the classification decision, take down the unclassified video clip, substitute the same with the one that has been classified by the Board, and display the Film and Publication Board Logo and classification decision as illustrated in clause 5.1.6.

Oh, but it gets worse. Since classification rules already apply to offline films, games and proscribed publications, the regulation purports to be doing nothing more than to be extending the classification scheme to online versions of those materials, so that anyone distributing them over the Internet also has to obtain a license to do so. But then there's this:

7.4 With regard to any other content distributed online, the Board shall have the power to order an administrator of any online platform to take down any content that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing to children of certain ages.

That's right, any online platform can be ordered to take down any content distributed online that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing . Traditional publishers are subject to no such sweeping, extrajudicial censorship power.

South Africa is one of Africa's largest and fastest growing economies, and for it to adopt such an extreme preemptive Internet censorship regulation would be a serious setback for South Africa's burgeoning online industry, as well as, needless to say, a serious blow to human rights. If you are South African, or have any friends or colleagues who are, please take action by signing the Right to Know petition, and spreading the word about this looming threat.

 

22nd May

 Update: Hand them over!...

Russia threatens to totally block the likes of Google if it doesn't hand over data or censor bloggers using their platforms
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia flag Russia's internet censor has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian repressive internet laws and a spokesman said they risked being blocked if they did not comply.

Roskomnadzor said it had sent letters this week to the three US-based internet companies asking them to comply with its censorship laws. A spokesman said:

In our letters we regularly remind [companies] of the consequences of violating the legislation.

He added that because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.

To comply with the law the three firms must hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day and take down websites that Roskomnadzor wishes to ban.

A law passed in 2014 gives Russian prosecutors the right to block, without a court decision, websites with information about protests that have not been sanctioned by authorities. Under other legislation bloggers with large followings must go through an official registration procedure and have their identities confirmed by a government agency.

 

22nd May

 Update: No bit part censorship...

US Appeals court unbans YouTube video, Innocence of Muslims
Link Here  full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

doj logo A US appeals court has overturned a controversial ruling that required YouTube to take down a video that disparaged Muslims.

One of the actresses in the film sued to take it down and won, but an appeals court has now ruled she didn't have the right to control the film's distribution.

A segment of the film titled Innocence of Muslims was released in 2012. Muslims in the Middle East responded with violent protests and death threats were made to the actors.

The latest court ruling said the order to take the movie down was unwarranted and incorrect and continued:

The appeal teaches a simple lesson -- a weak copyright claim cannot justify censorship in the guise of authorship.

Google, which owns YouTube, argued that allowing someone with a bit part in a movie to suppress the final product could set a dangerous precedent that could give anyone involved in a production the right to stop its release.

 

18th May

 Update: A private privacy settlement...

Google settles with Max Mosley over the images from the News of the World expose
Link Here  full story: Max Mosley Privacy...Max Mosley, spanking and Nazi sex

google pay logo Google has struck a private settlement deal with Max Mosley over images that show the ex-Formula One chief having private fun with sex workers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mosley and Google had agreed to end the lengthy legal row in Germany, France and the UK.

But terms of the deal between the two parties were kept secret. It's also unclear whether Google agreed to censor access to the material.

In 2013, Google was ordered by a French court to remove links to nine images of Mosley cavorting with prostitutes, none of which were pornographic. At the time, Google claimed the ruling was troubling and argued that it had serious consequences for free expression .

And indeed the right to free speech has now given way to the right to not be offended, especially when the demand is backed up by violence. So now Google may as well give in to the demands for censorship as everyone else has anyway.

 

16th May

 Update: Hacking away safeguards from mass surveillance...

British Government sneakily enacts legislation to exempt the security services from laws against hacking
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
arms of the british governmentjpg logo The British government sneakily changed anti-hacking laws to exempt GCHQ and other law enforcement agencies from criminal prosecution, it has been revealed.

Details of the change became apparent at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal which is hearing a challenge to the legality of computer hacking by UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The Government amended the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) two months ago. It used a little-noticed addition to the Serious Crime Bill going through parliament to provide protection for the intelligence services. The change was introduced just weeks after the Government faced a legal challenge that GCHQ's computer hacking to gather intelligence was unlawful under the CMA.

Eric King, the deputy director of Privacy International, said:

The underhand and undemocratic manner in which the Government is seeking to make lawful GCHQ's hacking operations is disgraceful.

Hacking is one of the most intrusive surveillance capabilities available to any intelligence agency, and its use and safeguards surrounding it should be the subject of proper debate. Instead, the Government is continuing to neither confirm nor deny the existence of a capability it is clear they have, while changing the law under the radar.

 

12th May

 Update: Snooper Troopers...

SNP to spearhead opposition against the Snooper's Charter and the Tory abolition of our human rights
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
snp logo Scottish National Party MPs are commendably planning to oppose flagship Conservative legislation by courting Tory backbenchers, The Telegraph reveals.

Nicola Sturgeon's Westminster MPs want to block the so-called Snoopers' Charter by courting libertarian Tories who have previously opposed Theresa May's plans for internet mass snooping. The conservatives want to implement a searchable database so that the authorities will be able to more fully analyse people's internet usage and communications.

The SNP MPs also believe they can gather enough cross-party support to kill off reprehensible Tory plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a lesser British Bill of Rights.

One senior SNP MP told the Telegraph:

Both those issues fall in that tricky civil liberties space for the Conservatives where there are fault lines,

We think the mass collection of data is wrong. There is a line beyond which it is unacceptable for civil liberties can be impinged.

SNP opposition would likely be matched by Labour and the Lib Dems, meaning only a few dozen Tory rebels would be enough to block the flagship manifesto pledges.

 

11th May

 Commented: The First Letter...

The ATVOD Strangler stalks Pandora Blake's Dream of Spanking website
Link Here
dreams of spanking logo Pandora Blake has done sterling work in opposing ATVOD's nasty censorship grab of anything on the internet with video. She writes in a blog entry about the inevitable attempt by ATVOD censors to get their own back:

I thought I was going to be devastated to receive the letter, but when I opened it I just felt numb. I'd known it was coming. It was inevitable. I'm one of the most visible producers in the UK porn scene who is standing up and opposing the new laws. I've been writing blogposts, appearing on TV, distributing free protest videos and generally making a nuisance of myself. They joined my website for 5 days in January, so I already knew they were aware of me. It was only a matter of time before they sent the letter.

...Read the full article

letter writing Comment: Appalling

18th April 2015. From Alan

I'm absolutely horrified by this, especially as Pandora is so conspicuously ethical (to the extent, to be honest, of sometimes pissing off other spanking erotica producers).

Another, nasty piece of empire-building by the toxic twats of ATVOD. Pandora's probably a target because she has been so vocal in her opposition to this idiocy. Not a clever move on the part of ATVOD, since they have managed to rally to Pandora's support at least one of that class of person whom they might have expected to be porn-bashing cheerleaders for censorship, the robustly feminist Guardian journalist Zoe Williams.
 

Offsite Update: ATVOD out and out nasty

10th May 2015. See  article from  dreamsofspanking.com by Pandora Blake

dreams of spanking logo There are a few factors that make this whole thing particularly stressful which I haven't mentioned yet. The most significant is this: if and when ATVOD issue their Determination against me (that is, the final step of their investigation process), they are likely to out me. The way they are likely to do this is by publishing my legal name as the Service Provider of the site Dreams of Spanking on the list of 2015 Determinations on their website. Nearly all of the providers ATVOD have targeted so far this year have been listed by their legal name.

...Read the full article

letter writing Comment: Protecting children twaddle

11th May 2015. From Alan

This is depressing. It looks very much as if they're going after Pandora because she's had the bottle to stand up to these idiots. I very much hope that Jackman resolves the issue for her.

The whole thing seems ridiculous. This protecting children twaddle (where the children are adolescents aged 14-17) is a complete nonsense. Is the average modern young man REALLY so technically inept that he can't beat parental controls ?

 

11th May

 Offsite Article: Should You Be Worried About The Snoopers' Charter?...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
snoopers charter flowchart The Huffinton Post provides a handy flowchart to find out

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

9th May

 Update: First victims of new Tory internet censorship rules...

ATVOD internet censors act against BDSM material on two VoD websites
Link Here  full story: UK Internet Porn Censorship...2014 law censors content and mandates age verification for porn
ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry ATVOD has announced actions against two adult services breached new Tory censorship laws banning material on UK video on demand services which would be banned on DVD under the police censorship rules implemented by the BBFC.

Two providers of on-line porn have fallen vicyim of new regulations banning on a UK video on demand ( VOD ) service material which would be banned on DVD. The service providers also failed to keep strong fetish videos and hardcore porn images behind unviable and onerous age verification requirements.

Banned pornographic material made available on the UK based services included videos of whipping likely to cause more than trifling harm, and the infliction of pain on a person who 'appears' unable to withdraw consent, even if filmed under totally consensual and safe conditions. Also repeated strong kicks to the genitals which appear to draw blood. Such material has been prohibited on UK based VOD services since 1 December 2014 under new censorship rules introduced by the Tory government.

The findings by the Authority for Television On Demand ( ATVOD ) are the first it has made under the new prohibited material rule introduced by Government in December and comes as ATVOD issues new guidance on the statutory rules it enforces following a three month consultation.

The two online video on demand victims are Glasgow Mistress Megara Furie and Mistress R'eal were held to be in breach of statutory requirements incorporated into ATVOD's censorship rulebook as Rule 11 (age verification) and the new Rule 14 (following BBFC R18 rules for VoD).

The UK based services allowed under 18s access to explicit hardcore and strong fetish porn videos which could be viewed on-demand. Yet the content of the videos was equivalent to, and in some cases went beyond, that which could be sold only to adults in licensed sex shops if supplied on DVD.

Both services allowed any visitor free, unrestricted access to hardcore pornographic video promos or still images featuring strong fetish material and real sex in explicit detail. Access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee. As the services accepted the most common payment methods, such as debit cards, which can be theoretically used by under 18's. However nobody seems to have actually documented any cases of any under 18s actually paying for porn with a debit card.

The operator of Glasgow Mistress Megara Furie closed the service within three days of the breaches being brought to their attention.

Enforcement action regarding the Mistress R'eal service is ongoing. If it fails to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD, the service provider will be referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended, as happened in relation to the service Jessica Pressley.

ATVOD has also published determinations that three further UK based adult websites - Lads Next Door, Panties Pulled Down and Montys POV , failed to keep hardcore porn videos and images beyond the reach of children.

Following enforcement action by ATVOD, the operator of the Lads Next Door service acted to bring the website into compliance with the relevant Rule. The operators of Panties Pulled Down and Montys POV failed to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD. The service providers have therefore been referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction.

The latest rulings come as ATVOD publishes new guidance on the rules it enforces. Publication of the new guidance follows a three month consultation which began when the new censorship rules came into force.

Comment: ATVOD, the self appointed Pornfinder General

9th May 2015. See  article from  independent.co.uk

backlash logo Critics of the new rules have long argued online viewers of niche pornography are still able to access content banned in the UK by watching videos filmed abroad, and new rules amounts to arbitrary censorship , while Myles Jackman, a British obscenity lawyer said that the case showed regulators were making up their interpretation of obscenity laws as they go along .

A spokesperson for Backlash UK, which is campaigning to defend freedom of sexual expression, added:

Atvod have erected themselves - pun intended - as the UK's Pornfinder General.... The sole purpose of this new puritanism is mass control and surveillance, under the pretence of protection.

Megara Furie, who describes herself as a professional dominatrix, said that she had taken her site down immediately after she was informed by the censor. She now uses a more robust third-party operator to host her videos. She said:

The banned material, as far as I am aware was one ball kick, which resulted in the equivalent of a shaving cut and lots of blood because it was a testicle. I was happy to take that down. It was an eye-opener and I'll now be more selective about my content. I wasn't aware I was breaching the rules.

Comment: Mistress R'eal appeals against ATVOD censorship

9th May 2015.  See  article from  xbiz.com

mistress real logo Mistress R'eal, the dominatrix whose scenes on Clips4Sale.com were the subject of a recent ATVOD probe and determination, has appealed the U.K. video-on-demand regulator's decision that she breached Rule 14.

With her appeal, Mistress R'eal also is challenging the legitimacy of the AVMS 2014 law. Currently, she faces a £10,000 fine and a ban on streaming online.

The videos that breached Rule 14 are:

  • A Bullwhipping in the Woods, parts 1 and 2,
  • Double Domme CBT and Pegs.

The scenes are explicit in the films, but they are like most BDSM content shown on a countless number of websites. For example, in Double Domme CBT and Pegs, a man is retrained against a cross and has weights attached to his bound scrotum, several pegs attached to his body, and a violet wand played over his genitals,. While his arms appear to be free initially, it's implied (and seems to be the case) that his wrists are restrained quite early in the clip. He is also gagged (and appears to be unable to speak with any real clarity) and has his legs bound. Hence his means of clearly indicating a withdrawal of consent is not apparent.

Mistress R'eal yesterday appealed against ATVOD's ruling that her site is in breach of regulations on the basis that the AVMS 2014 is not valid. Her appeal, according to SexAndCensorship.org , says the following:

I submit that the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, which introduced sections 368E(2) and (3) into the Communications Act 2003, were made ultra vires the Secretary of State's power to pass secondary legislation under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. Section 2(2) gives the Secretary of State the power to pass secondary legislation for the purpose of implementing any EU obligation or for the purpose of dealing with matters arising out of or related to EU obligations. I note that the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) imposes an obligation on Member States to prohibit hate speech on ODPS (Art. 6); by contrast, it does not contain any obligation to ban content that may be harmful to minors from ODPS, only an obligation to ensure that access to such content is appropriately restricted (Article 12). In the premises, I fail to see how the 2014 Regulations (and, by extension, section 368E(2) & (3) of the 2003 Act), could be said to implement an obligation in the AVMS Directive or to deal with matters arising out of related to that Directive. The 2014 Regulations plainly go well beyond the scope of the directive -- and, in doing so, subvert the appropriate democratic process for dealing with an important human rights (free speech) issue. In light of the foregoing, I submit that the 2014 Regulations and sections 368E(2)-(3), CA2003 are void -- as so, by extension, is ATVOD's Rule 14, which is based solely on the aforementioned sections of the Communications Act 2003.

 

9th May

  Save The Link...

A campaign against internet censorship via banning linking
Link Here
save thelink logo For those seeking to censor information online, the weakest link is often precisely that--the humble hyperlink. Censoring or imposing costs or conditions on linking to information can be just as effective, and often easier, than controlling the information at its source. But without the freedom to link, the World Wide Web falls apart into a mass of disconnected threads.

That's why EFF is joining the Save the Link network, a new, broad, cross-sector coalition of groups, convened by Canada's OpenMedia.ca ( press release here ). Together we are concerned about mounting threats, from various sources, to our freedom to build the strong, interlinked Web that has become the greatest knowledge repository in history.

One of the most pressing threats, and the reason for the launch of the network now, are proposals for limitations on freedom to link in Europe, in the context of debate over Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Julia Reda's report on the revision of the European copyright directive. Julia's original report contained this strong affirmation of freedom to link:

Stresses that the ability to freely link from one resource to another is one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet; calls on the EU legislator to make it clear that reference to works by means of a hyperlink is not subject to exclusive rights, as it does not consist in a communication to a new public.

But amongst more than 500 proposed amendments to the report that other MEPs have put forward and which are currently under debate, are some pernicious proposals to limit this freedom. One example is an amendment proposed by French MEP Virginie Rozière and Luxembourgish Mady Delvaux, which would add a proviso that:

this option must be strictly limited to links which lead to freely available content; [and] observes that the online intermediaries liability regime applicable to links to illicit content should be tightened up, particularly by revising the e-commerce directive;

Another proposal by British MEP Mary Honeyball would curtail the right as follows:

but stresses that under certain circumstances, embedding and linking may be prejudicial to the rights of the creator;

And a third by Bulgarian and UK MEPs Angel Dzhambazki and Sajjad Karim:

highlights the importance of enhanced user information regarding obligations for anyone who knowingly provides hyperlinks to unauthorised content or links that circumvent paywalls ...

Such proposals, even if they make it into the European Parliament's final report, will not in themselves make any change to European law. But nevertheless, they send the wrong message to the European Commission which will be preparing the next revision of the EU Copyright Directive. That false message is that Internet intermediaries such as search engines and Web hosts are enemies, rather than partners of content creators.

Although these European developments provided the stimulus for the launch of the Save the Link network this week, the site also highlights threats to our freedom to link from three other continents, and will enable participants to publicize and mobilize against new censorship threats as they arise. Social media outreach resources like the one shown above are available on the Save the Link website for you to spread the word and tell policymakers that you stand in solidarity with other users in upholding our freedom to link.

 

9th May

 Update: Lord forgive us for what we have done...

Giving the Tories a majority lets them quickly move to resurrect the snooper's charter
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May The Conservatives are already planning to introduce the huge surveillance powers known as the Snoopers' Charter, hoping that the removal from government of the Liberal Democrats that previously blocked the controversial law will allow it to go through.

The law, officially known as the Draft Communications Data Bill, is already back on the agenda according to Theresa May. It is expected to force British internet service providers to keep huge amounts of data on their customers, and to make that information available to the government and security services in a searchable format.

The snoopers' charter received huge criticism from computing experts and civil liberties campaigners in the wake of introduction. It was set to come into law in 2014, but Nick Clegg withdrew his support for the bill and it was blocked by the Liberal Democrats. Theresa May, who led the legislation as home secretary, said shortly after the Conservatives' election victory became clear that she will seek to re-introduce it to government. With the re-election of May and the likely majority of her party, the bill is likely to find success if the new government tries again.

David Cameron has suggested that his party could introduce even more wide-ranging powers if he was re-elected to government. Speaking in January, he said that there should be no form of communication that the government was unable to read -- likely causing chaos among the many internet services that rely on encryption to keep users' data safe .

 

8th May

  Chalked up as censorship...

Comic book character based on chalk hillside figure is emasculated
Link Here
chalk man censored A comic character based on Dorset's Cerne Abbas Giant has had to be censored because it showed his genitalia.

Eco Comics said it had been forced to alter the ancient naked chalk hill figure in its online comic because some outlets had refused to release it. The comic said the Cerne Giant's rather renowned region would be fully concealed in an alternative version.

The giant features in the comic's Englishman series. A spokesperson for the comic said:

It seems a sad indictment of the times when a legendary landmark like the Cerne Giant - which any man, woman or child can visit any day of the week - must be covered up in a comic book.

Through pressure, our hand has been forced. Outlets, particularly in the US, refuse any form of nudity in comic books.

 

5th May

  Seeking an early knockout...

Broadcasters complain about Periscope for allowing sharing of Game of Thrones and boxing
Link Here

periscope logo Rights-holders to Saturday's Mayweather v Pacquiao boxing match have been manoeuvering to oppose low quality recordings of the bout shared via the new video streaming app, Periscope. Streamed footage is often poor quality, but sufficient to follow what is going on.

But for the moment, TV networks HBO and Showtime were unable to prevent the action being streamed live. The firms had charged the public a record $89.95 to watch the fight in standard definition and an additional $10 in high definition. The fight was screened by Sky Box Office for the cheaper price of £19.95 in the UK.

Unlike other live streaming services, such as YouTube and UStream, Periscope does not provide tools to let content owners force the removal of copyright-infringing content in near-real time. Instead, it requires that they file individual takedown requests, which take longer to process.

HBO has previously expressed its displeasure following reports of Periscope being used to rebroadcast the opening episode of the latest series of Game of Thrones:

In general, we feel developers should have tools which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring on their apps and not be solely reliant upon notifications.

Periscope is owned by Twitter, from whom a spokesman commented:

Broadcasting content that is protected by copyright is a clear violation of our content policy. We received 66 reports from rights-holders and took action against 30 broadcasts in response to the reports. The remaining broadcasts had already ended and were no longer available. We were able to respond within minutes.

 

4th May

 Offsite Article: Technolgy comes of age...

Link Here  full story: Internet Age Verification in UK...UK bill to mandate age verification for internet sales
UK ID Card 2009 Internet age verification technology discussed from an Irish perspective

See article from irishtimes.com

 

2nd May

 Offsite Article: Manifesto Horrors...

Link Here
conservative party logo Conservative Party promises to ban all international internet adult porn, on the grounds that it can't and wont sign up to overly restrictive and unviable age verification requirements. And inevitably the Labour Party agrees.

See article from wired.co.uk

 

1st May

 Offsite Article: 2015 Election Candidates Surveillance Survey...

Link Here
org surveillance Find out where your parliamentary candidates stand on surveillance. From the Open Rights Group

See article from election.openrightsgroup.org

 

30th April

 Update: Website blocking expands...

The MPAA convinces UK court to block websites distributing software used to infringe copyright
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block
popcorn time logo The Motion Picture Association has obtained a High Court order requiring UK ISPs to block access to five sites that offer the popular Popcorn Time software. In addition, the Internet providers must block several more torrent and streaming sites.

More than 100 websites have been blocked in recent years and now the court has issued the first injunction against domains that offer no direct links, but only software.

The order, obtained by Hollywood's Motion Picture Association (the overseas arm of the MPAA), targets five popular Popcorn Time forks: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to.

In his order Judge Birss notes that the Popcorm Time software has little to no legal use. Instead, he mentions that it's mostly used to download and stream pirated movies and TV-shows:

It is manifest that the Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the internet and indeed it is also manifest that that is its purpose. No-one really uses Popcorn Time in order to watch lawfully available content. The point of Popcorn Time is to infringe copyright. The Popcorn Time application has no legitimate purpose.

Over the past year Popcorn Time has become a major threat to Hollywood so it doesn't come as a complete surprise that the applications are now being targeted. Previously the movie studios took down code repositories on Github, for example.

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: Internet 'filtering' was always the thin edge of the wedge...

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geo pinch Mistress Geo Pinch reports on the arrest of webmaster of dominatrix directory website

See article from geopinch.co.uk

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: The censorship end game of Australia's piracy site-blocking Bill...

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australian government logo Discussion of an internet censorship bill initially aimed at copyright issues but campaigners are already looking to widen its remit

See article from zdnet.com