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15th April

 Update: Pulitzer Prize Winners...

Hot Movies
Internet
Video

Free Sample Minutes

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Congratulations to the Guardain and Washington Post for reporting on NSA and GCHQ snooping
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping

pulitzer prizes For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, a gold medal.

Awarded to The Washington Post for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.

and

Awarded to The Guardian US for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.

 

14th April

 Update: People's Republic Takes On People's Porn...


Passion Secrets

Your products are our passion

Sex toys, sexy lingerie and clothing

 
PassionSecrets
.co.uk  

 

China initiates another miserable campaign against internet porn
Link Here  full story: Pornography in China...Always under the cosh
China flagChina has announced another miserable campaign against online pornography and has asked websites to remove any such links to avoid repressive punishment. The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications announced:

The campaign, Cleaning the Web 2014, will conduct thorough checkups on websites, search engines and mobile application stores, Internet TV USB sticks, and set-top boxes.

All online texts, pictures, videos and advertisements with pornographic content will be deleted. Websites, web channels and columns will be shut down or have their administrative license revoked if they are found to produce or spread pornographic information.

The campaign will last until November, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

 

14th April

 Offsite Article: Jameela Jamil's Porn Panic...

Link Here
porn whats the harm Sex and Censorship review BBC3's, Porn What's The Harm?

See article from sexandcensorship.org

 

14th April

 Offsite Article: Does Pornography Cause Rape?...

Link Here
sexual intelligence logo Imagine it's New Year's Eve, 2000. A bunch of us are sitting around with a good Cabernet, and someone wonders: what do you suppose would happen if the U.S. were flooded with free, high-quality pornography?

See article from sexualintelligence.wordpress.com

 

9th April

 Update: Snoopers Get an Ear Bashing...


Empire X

Adult Cinema Club

Huddersfield
Yorkshire

empirex.co.uk
 

The EU's requirement for ISPs to record subscribers communications is found violate the privacy for internet users
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
European Court of JusticeIn a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice has declared the EU's Data Retention directive to be a violation of Internet users' privacy.

Under the Directive Internet providers and other telecom companies were required to log and store vast amounts of information, including who their subscribers communicate with, and what IP-addresses they use.

The local authorities could then use this information to fight serious crimes, but it was also been frequently used by third parties, in online piracy cases for example.

The Court ruled that the data collection requirements are disproportionate:

The Court is of the opinion that, by adopting the Data Retention Directive, the EU legislature has exceeded the limits imposed by compliance with the principle of proportionality.

By requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.

It's now up to the individual member states to change local laws accordingly.  Meanwhile the Swedish provider Bahnhof immediately announced that it would wipe all subscriber data it stored. Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said:

Bahnhof stops all data storage with immediate effect. In addition, we will delete the information that was already saved.

 

9th April

 Offsite Article: Generation XXX: Niche pornographers feel unduly targeted by censors...

Link Here  full story: VOD censorship in UK...Excessive age restrictions an adult internet video
ucsc logo It's hard not to feel that there is witchhunt against small, independent, non-mainstream forms of pornography that often challenge assumed notions of normativity and gender roles

See article from wired.co.uk

 

8th April

 Offsite Article: Generation XXX: Why we're afraid of internet porn...

Link Here
wired logo EU Kids Online has been looking into children's online experience and education since 2006. From their various studies,it is clear nothing really happens when children encounter online pornography

See article from wired.co.uk

 

5th April

 Updated: Retweeted...

Turkey's Constitutional Court orders government to restore Twitter ruling that the illegally breached Turkey's freedom of expression
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Turkey flagTurkey's telecoms authority lifted a two-week-old ban on Twitter, after the constitutional court ruled the previous day that the block breached freedom of expression.

Turkey's Official Gazette published the court's ruling on Thursday morning, further piling pressure on the telecoms authority, TIB, to lift the ban. TIB removed court orders blocking the site from its webpage on Thursday afternoon, after which Erdogan's office confirmed the ban was no more.

YouTube however remains offline in Turkey. The TIB blocked it one week after blocking Twitter. Legal challenges are pending.

Update: Tube Unblocked

5th April 2013. See article from digitalspy.co.uk

YouTube logoYouTube has been unblocked in Turkey after a court ruled that blocking the video service violates freedom of expression.

The country's national telecoms authority censored the platform after an audio recording of Turkish officials discussing possible military action against Syria leaked onto the website.

However, the court declared that 15 YouTube videos must remain blocked in the territory.

Update: Tube Not Unblocked

7th April 2013. See article from todayszaman.com

Turkey flagYouTube remains blocked even after the court that initially ordered the ban reversed its ruling.

However, the Golbasi Prosecutor's Office challenged the liberal ruling on the grounds that the video that was the subject of the YouTube ban had not yet been removed.

The Golbasi Criminal Court of First Instance, a higher court, ruled to keep the block in place until the criminal content is removed form the site.

 

1st April

  List Sharing...

City of London police organise list of copyright infringing websites so that these can be avoided by advertisers
Link Here

police city of london logoAn initiative that hopes to cut off advertising revenues from websites offering illegal copyrighted material has been launched. It will see the creation of an online database of websites verified as being illegal. It is hoped that firms that handle advertising will use the resource to make sure they do not serve advertising on those sites, cutting off revenue.

The Infringing Website List (IWL) will be an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites that can be cross-referenced by third party advertising systems, in the hope that they will pull their advertising from those sites.

But Ernesto Van Der Sar, editor of Torrentfreak, a news site that covers issues around online piracy, said there could be worrying implications that arise from the IWL. He told the BBC:

As with all blocklists there is a serious risk of overblocking. Without proper oversight perfectly legal sites may end up losing good advertising opportunities if they are wrongfully included.

The City of London police said any sites listed would be notifiied in advance - but it was unable to tell the BBC how many sites would be on the list at launch.

 

31st March

 Updated: But Don't Bother Searching for 'Free Speech'...

US court finds that search engines can impose political censorship if they want too
Link Here
baidu logoA U.S. judge has ruled that the Chinese search engine Baidu has the right to block pro-democracy works from its query results, dismissing a lawsuit that sought to punish the company for Internet censorship.

The lawsuit against Baidu, originally filed in 2011 by eight activists in New York, claimed that the Chinese search engine had violated U.S. laws on free speech. This was because Baidu had been censoring pro-democracy works on its search engine for not only its users in China, but also for those accessing the site from New York.

But U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled against the activists, and said requiring Baidu to include pro-democracy works in its search results would run afoul of the U.S.'s free speech laws.  In his ruling, Furman compared Baidu's blocking of pro-democracy works to a newspaper's right to exercise editorial control to publish what it wants. In Baidu's case, the company has created a search engine that favors certain political speech.

Update: Appeal

31st March 2013. See article from pcworld.com

A group of activists are hoping to appeal a U.S. judge's ruling that treated the censorship on Chinese search engine Baidu as free speech.

In making the ruling, District Judge Jesse Furman equated the censorship to a newspaper exercising its editorial right to publish what it wants. But Stephen Preziosi, lawyer for the eight pro-democracy activists, said in an email Saturday that the comparison was wrong, and that the court had a fundamental misunderstanding of how search engines work.

The appeal is planned to be filed later this week, Preziosi wrote.

 

31st March

 Commented: ATVOD: Phisherman's Friend...

Internet censor wants us to type credit card details and personal ID information into dodgy foreign porn websites
Link Here  full story: VOD censorship in UK...Excessive age restrictions an adult internet video
ATVOD with award for service to foreign industryUK Video on Demand censor ATVOD has called for the law to be changed to require pornography sites to carry out age checks before granting access.

It said credit and debit card operators would be forbidden from processing payments from British customers to sites that did not comply. It claimed that the matter was so urgent that it was critical the legislation is enacted during this Parliament .

To back up its demand, the body commissioned market research firm Nielsen Netview to install equipment that monitored the online habits of 45,000 desktop PC and laptop users over the course of a month. The survey indicated that over the period:

  • 6% of children aged 15 years or younger had accessed an adult website
  • 5% of visitors to such sites had been under-18
  • One website alone - Pornhub - had been visited by 112,000 boys in the UK aged between 12 and 17-years-old Of the wider population,
  • 23% of those who had used the net over the month had visited an adult site Visitors to adult sites spent an average of 15 minutes looking at them during each visit and typically clocked up two-and-a-half hours of time in total over the month

Atvod added that the survey probably underestimated the scale of the issue since smartphone and tablet use was not included in the figures.

The regulator already forces UK-based sites to carry out onerous and impractical age verification checks before explicit photographs and videos can be viewed. This can be done by requiring valid credit card details (sorry debit card holders, these simply wont do)  or other personal information that can be cross-referenced with the electoral roll or another ID database. (or used for phishing or identity theft)

Sex and Censorship,  a free speech campaign group, - said the move would prove ineffective.

It won't make any difference to the sites that give all their videos away for free and sell advertising because they don't need credit card processing, said Jerry Barnett.

And some sites are already accepting bitcoin and other anonymous online payment systems. A clampdown on card payments would just accelerate this trend.

Even if implemented, this measure would have no effect on the range of content available to British consumers.

It seems strange that ATVOD aren't considering the far more practical solution of a central verification authority that is a bit more trustworthy (but not much with NSA and GCHQ snoopers) than a foreign porn site. Then for adult websites to enforce this external age verification without being able to monitor people's personal details.

Perhaps ATVOD are happier to see websites suffocated by their impractical and dangerous rules than be allowed to thrive under a more efficient age verification scheme.

In the ATVOD press release ATVOD chair and censorship advocate Ruth Evans claimed:

We do not advocate censorship.There is nothing in the ATVOD Rules which interferes with the right to provide sexually explicit material to an adult online.

[ ...UNLESS... of course that person doesn't hold a credit car. ..OR doesn't want to provide credit card details for a quick look round. ..OR... Doesn't want to risk ID theft or phishing by typing in dangerous ID details...]

Offsite Article: Empire Building

31st March 2013. See article from wired.co.uk

wired logoATVOD censoring porn to keep itself in a job, says campaigner

... Read the full article

Update: As if this measure would really prevent young men from gaining access to porn

letter writing31st March 2013. Thanks to Alan

Where does ATVOD recruit idiots to work for it?

This idiocy about protecting children really pisses me off. When I was a hormonal post-pubertal lad, more than half a century ago, I had no problem finding back-street newsagents with no qualms about selling me a mucky magazine. Are today's media-savvy young men and women going to be prevented from gaining access to porn, whatever ATVOD or control-freak parents say?

In any case, how would ATVOD ban payments? I've never yet encountered a porn site which asks you to pay directly to Filthy Films Inc. Payments are through processors like CC Bill, which guarantee discretion, so that if your vanilla other half happens upon your Barclaycard bill he/she doesn't know that you're subscribing to Burning Bums Spanking. If they do somehow ban CC Bill, Verotel, etc. it will just be a gift to pirates with no interest in prohibiting access by young people.

 

28th March

 Offsite Article: The internet censorship programme you're not allowed to know about...

Link Here  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
Home Offie logo The secretive development of a process to censor websites associated with terrorism. By Jane Fae

See article from politics.co.uk

 

28th March

 Updated: Silencing the Twittering...

Twitter blocked in Turkey over leaked evidence of alleged government corruption
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Twitter logoTurkey has blocked Twitter after its prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, threatened to "root out" the social media network where wiretapped recordings have been leaked. These records were reported to reveal government corruption, hardly what the government needs ahead of local elections.

Twitter as blocked by Turkey's telecommunications censor (TIB) with a statement citing court orders relating to the recordings. But the Internet Technologies Board, BTK claimed nonsense about it being to avoid the possible future victimisation of citizens.

Erdogan had made repeated threats to shut down social media sites after audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption were leaked. Two weeks ago he suggested that a total ban on sites like Facebook and YouTube were in his thoughts. The point was dismissed days later by the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, but Erdogan then repeated his claims. We will wipe out all of these, Erdogan told thousands of supporters at a political rally.

Offsite Article: Turkey's Twitter Ban Collapse Fueled By VPNs and DNS Tricks

23rd March 2013. See article from torrentfreak.com

torrentfreak logo Friday's news that the Turkish government had banned its citizens from accessing Twitter was depressing but an opportunity to be embraced. Forewarned is forearmed, and the fact that Turks are learning how to beat censorship with VPNs and DNS tricks better prepares them for the future.

...Read the full article

Update: Deeper blocking

24th March 2013. See article from theguardian.com

Turkey has stepped up its efforts to block access to Twitter after many users found ways to flout its ban. Internet service providers in the country are now blocking the addresses used by the site, making it significantly more difficult to get around the restrictions, analysts have said.

Initially, Turkish internet service providers (ISPs) were simply redirecting traffic to a government webpage by forcing the DNS servers, which send to the correct IP addresses for the site they are trying to access, to redirect away from Twitter's homepage.

Now, however, ISPs have begun blocking the IP addresses used by Twitter themselves, according to an analysis carried out by internet monitoring firm Renesys. And a Turkish government webpage confirmed the block, citing court orders.

Update: Court overturns government censorship

27th March 2013. See article from theguardian.com

Turkey flagTurkish Twitter users are expected to regain access to the website after a local court issued a stay of execution on last week's decision by a local telecommunications authority to ban the website.

According to some local media reports, the ban will be lifted as soon as the administrative court in Ankara informs Turkey s Telecommunications Authority of the ruling.

In a first official remark, deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc, said the Turkish government would implement the court ruling:

We will implement the court's decision. We might not like the court decision, but we will carry it out.

Update: YouTube blocked

28th March 2013. See article from theguardian.com

YouTube logoThe Turkish government reinforced its heavily criticised censorship of social media by blocking YouTube a week after it restricted access to the micro-blogging platform Twitter. The latest curbs came hours after an audio recording of a high-level security meeting was leaked on the video-sharing website.

Several similarly incriminating recordings, allegedly showing massive government corruption and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's direct influence on the media, have been leaked on social media in recent weeks. Erdogan has dismissed the allegations as lies and blackmail, accusing the opposition of trying to undermine the success of his Justice and Development party (AKP) ahead of critical local elections on Sunday.

Update: Tor website blocked

28th March 2013. See article from eff.org

tor logo Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an continues to double down on Internet censorship. A week after Turkish ISPs blocked Twitter Turkey's telecommunications authority has blocked YouTube . The block began to be rolled out hours after a leaked recording published anonymously on YouTube purported to show a conversation in which Turkey's foreign minister, spy chief, and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against militants in Syria.

The fallout from the Erdogan government's censorship spree has not been limited to platforms that host embarrassing political content. When Turkish Internet users handily circumvented the original Twitter block by using Google's DNS servers, Google's DNS was itself blocked. Now it appears that just as Turkey's ISPs are rolling out a block on YouTube, they are also blocking access to the Tor Project's website , where users can download the Tor Browser Bundle. The Tor browser is a powerful tool in the censorship circumvention toolbox because it is exceptionally difficult to filter Tor traffic . Mirror Mirror

For users in Turkey who have already downloaded the Tor Browser Bundle, censorship circumvention should continue without a hitch. And for the users who have not yet done so, it's not too late. The Tor project's website has many mirrors:

https://tor.eff.org/

https://tor.spline.inf.fu-berlin.de/

https://tor.myrl.net/

https://www.tor.lu/

https://tor.crazyhaze.de/

Update: TV station closed down

29th March 2013. See article from en.cihan.com.tr

kanalturk logoThe Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTU K) has suspended the national broadcast license of Kanaltu rk TV, citing an administrative decision from years ago, a legal controversy that adds to concerns that state agencies are stepping up a clampdown on any voice critical of the government.

The decision came as the government dragged its feet on lifting the Twitter ban, which was deemed illegal and unconstitutional by both an Ankara court and the Constitutional Court. The government's tightening grip on any form of media is of serious concern ahead of local elections.

RTUK cited a 2010 decision of an administrative court which states the TV station cannot broadcast nationally but is allowed to broadcast regionally.

Update: ...But Erdogan still gets the country's support in elections

1st April 2013.  See article from jewishpress.com

Turkey flagErdogan's increasingly Islamist and imperialist AKP won a solid majority in voting across Turkey on Sunday, in what is seen as a referendum on his rule

In Sunday's vote across Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an's increasingly Islamist and imperialistic Justice and Development AK party appeared to receive an overwhelming majority of the votes cast.

 

27th March

 Commented: Crimes Against Political Correctness...

Government supports amendment to increase the penalties for internet insults
Link Here  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter
House of Commons logoThe government is supporting calls for harsher penalties for internet insults. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has backed Conservative MP Angie Bray's demands for changes to the law.

According to the Evening Standard , Grayling agreed that the legislation needed to be tightened to protect victims from malicious comments being directed at them via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Offences under the Malicious Communications Act currently only carry prison sentences that are no longer than six months, because such cases are heard at magistrates' courts. The proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, which will be discussed in Parliament on Thursday, could change that, presumably by allowing Crown Court scale punishments.

Comment: If we want to live in a society without offence we will live in a society without free speech

27th March 2013. See article from indexoncensorship.org

Kirsty Hughes, CEO of Index on Censorship, said:

Index is deeply concerned at the government's apparent intention to deepen the criminal penalties for grossly offensive communications sent through the internet or social media. Just last year, the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer put out a very sensible set of guidelines to limit the number of arrests for social media posts that may be offensive to some but did not constitute a criminal offence. Now we are going backwards. Offence is a subjective concept and if we want to live in a society without offence we will live in a society without free speech.

Offsite Comment: Free speech will suffer if politicians get tough on offensive tweets

27th March 2013. See article from theguardian.com by Robert Sharp

Thanks to online abuse, MPs may be about to remove our right to be offensive. But giving offence is a vital part of democracy

...Read the full article

 

27th March

  Google Takedown Notices Surge 711,887 Percent in Four Years...

The increase can be credited to a few copyright holders and industry groups such as the RIAA, who started an avalanche of takedown requests after the SOPA and PIPA bills died in Congress.
Link Here
Google logo

 

26th March

  Complainants Are Always Right...

New Zealand planning news laws to allow bullies to censor the internet
Link Here

New Zealand flagNew Zealand's biggest telecommunications company says proposed laws to clamp-down on online abuse will inevitably abused for malicious censorship.

Speaking before MPs, John Wesley-Smith from Telecom said under the proposed laws internet firms that hosted websites or social media forums would end up removing content as soon as someone complained, to avoid potential penalties. The complaints system would also effectively give censorship power to complainants who might be acting maliciously themselves. He said:

We are concerned that this will create unhealthy sensitiveness for online content hosts to remove any content that is complained about. This raises questions about censorship and freedom of speech.

For content that it did not control, such as third-party websites, the problem would be more pronounced and Telecom's only recourse would be to shut them down entirely, he said.

Telecom was speaking before the justice and electoral select committee which is considering a bill that would criminalise harmful digital communication . It would also create a new authority to consider complaints and issue take-down notices, including against internet service providers.

 

26th March

 Update: Rumours of Repression...

China to initiate a new training programme for 2 million propaganderists and 'opinion monitors'
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

China flagThe Chinese government has revealed an expansion of internet censorship with a new training programme for the estimated two million opinion monitors Beijing organised last year.

Training will target the whole range of state workers including law enforcement, academia and state businesses.

The training course will reportedly cost 6,800 yuan ($1,108) and graduates will receive a certificate according to one of five levels -- assistant analyst, analyst, senior analyst, manager and senior manager. The test will take three hours and participants will be required to take a refresher course at a later date.

Once trained, monitors will supervise the posting of social media messages, deleting those that are deemed harmful. Beijing claims to have deployed advanced filtering technology to identify problematic posts, and will need to rapidly filter out false, harmful, incorrect, or even reactionary information, according to state press agency Xinhua.

Alongside the announcement about the training course, the government emphasised its concern over the spreading of rumours, which have recently become a euphemism for political discussion, including possible corruption of senior officials online. Those who spread rumors would be severely punished, the statement confirmed.

 

25th March

 Offsite Article: The NSA is burning down the web, but what if we rebuilt a spy-proof internet?...

Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
NSA logo To realize what we've given away, imagine going totally offline. Better yet, believe in what a truly secure online life might look like. By David Byrne

See article from theguardian.com

 

23rd March

 Update: Searching for Privacy...

Google encrypts all mail to restrict mass surveillance by NSA and GCHQ
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
gmail logoAmid revelations that the US National Security Agency has the ability for the mass interception of data going between servers and other computers, tech giant Google now says it will encrypt all messages sent through its Gmail email service to restrict prying eyes from looking at private messages.

In a blog post made by head Gmail security engineer Nicolas Lidzborski, Google said that every time a user checks or sent email, it will be encryped as the data goes to and from Google's servers.

Although Google has given Gmail users the ability to sign into their accouints through an encrypted connection (known as HTTPS) since 2010, Gmail will now automatically default users to the more secure network.

In addition, every single email message you send or receive---100 percent of them---is encrypted while moving internally, the post reads. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers---something we made a top priority after last summer's revelations.

However, Google hasn't NSA-proofed Gmail completely. The agency still has the ability to send out National Security Letters compelling a company to release information. And the federal government hasn't been shy requesting data from Google. In a transparency report , Google said that for the first half of 2013, it received 25,879 requests for user information from government agencies and courts.

 

21st March

 Commented: Suffocating the Adult Industry...

Culture Media Sport Committee calls for the prosecution of adult websites viewable by children
Link Here
Culture, Media and Sport select committeeThe cross party Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published a report on Online Safety.

Conservative MP John Whittingdale, chair of the committee and pro-censorship sound bite provider for the tabloid press, said the current relatively unfettered access to adult pornography online represented a failure to protect children. While more regulation is not necessary, he said:

Those who profit from the internet must demonstrate the utmost commitment to protecting children and should be prosecuted and penalised if they don't.

The report particularly concurs with ATVOD's suggestion that adult websites that can be viewed by children should be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act on the grounds that such material depraves and corrupts children. But given that millions of kids have already viewed such content, and there is no real sign of any mass child depravity, then this legal contention is provably bollox.

A selection of the committee's recommendation relating to censorship are:

  • 8. We welcome the Government's decision to include pornographic depictions of rape in the definition of extreme pornography. It has been illegal to publish such images for many years; outlawing their possession is long overdue.

  • 9. There is clearly a need to obtain wider international consensus and cooperation in relation to combating criminally obscene adult material and terrorist material and we urge the Government to use all the influences it can bring to bear to bring this about within a transparent, legal framework.

  • 10. We believe that the existing obscenity laws already proscribe the publication of adult material in ways that make it readily available to children. However, we are concerned that no prosecutions have been brought despite the proliferation of pornography sites which make no attempt to restrict access by children. We welcome the Government's declared intention to legislate to clarify the law in this area. However, in the meantime, we urge the prosecuting authorities to use the existing law to crack down on the worst offenders in order to put pressure on all suppliers of hardcore pornography to make greater efforts to ensure that such material is accessible only by adults.

  • 11. The Government should seek agreement with other European Union Member States to ban on demand programme services that make pornography readily available to children. We further urge the Government to engage with other international partners, particularly the USA, with the aim of securing a similar outcome more widely.

  • 12. We believe that, as part of its existing media literacy duties, Ofcom has an important role in monitoring internet content and advising the public on online safety. However, we are anxious to avoid suggesting a significant extension of formal content regulation of the internet. Among the unintended consequences this could have would be a stifling of the free flow of ideas that lies at the heart of internet communication.

  • 13. Providers of adult content on the internet should take all reasonable steps to prevent children under 18 from accessing inappropriate and harmful content. Such systems may include, but will not necessarily be restricted to, processes to verify the age of users.

  • 14. We have no reason to suppose that Nominet has either the resources or inclination to police the internet. Age verification, while ideal, is not the only way of preventing children from accessing unsuitable content. However, we believe that no .uk site should offer unimpeded access to adult pornography to children. This should be made a condition of registration.

  • 15. Site blocking is highly unlikely to be a suitable approach for adult pornography or violent material much of which is legal (at least if it is unavailable to minors) and which is prevalent on the internet. However, blocking should be considered as a last resort for particularly harmful adult websites that make no serious attempt to hinder access by children.

  • 16. We welcome the introduction of whole home filtering solutions that prompt account holders with a choice to apply them. We encourage all internet service providers to offer their customers this valuable service. Ofcom should monitor the implementation of this filtering and report back on its level of success and adoption.

  • 18. We agree that the availability and performance of filtering solutions must be closely monitored, both for efficacy and the avoidance of over-blocking. It should also be easy for websites inadvertently blocked to report the fact and for corrective action to be taken.

  • 19. Websites that provide adult content should signal the fact clearly to enable filters better to take effect. A failure on the part of the operators of such sites to do so should be a factor in determining what measures should be taken against them.

  • 20. Filters are clearly a useful tool to protect children online. Ofcom should continue to monitor their effectiveness and the degree to which they can be circumvented.

  • 21. We welcome the introduction of ParentPort but believe Ofcom should seek to promote and improve it further. For example, more use could be made of it to collect data on complaints concerning children's access to adult material.

  • 22. We further recommend that Ofcom regularly reports on children's access to agerestricted material, particularly adult pornography and the effectiveness of filters and age verification measures. Ofcom is well-placed to fulfil this role given the work it does on its Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report.

  • 23. We note comments on the state of, and access to, sex and relationships education. We are aware this is a politically contested subject but believe the Government should take into account the views of the young people who gave evidence to us of the value and importance of good quality mandatory sex and relationship education as policy develops. In the mean time, teachers have many opportunities to use their professional judgement in advising children both on online safety and on respect for each other. We believe there is scope for providing teachers with clearer signposting of the advice and educational resources that are already available.

  • 31. Ofcom should monitor and report on complaints it receives, perhaps via an improved ParentPort, regarding the speed and effectiveness of response to complaints by different social media providers.

Offsite Comment: A barrister also asks whether hardcore porn really depraves and corrupts

comment20th March  2013. See article from wired.co.uk

The government would need to establish that viewing ordinary adult pornography is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt its audience. Whatever your views about pornography, this is a high threshold and would need to be backed up with reliable evidence -- for example, from child psychologists and teachers.

...Read the full article

Offsite Comment: MPs, stop bundling child abuse in with pornography

comment21st March  2013. See  article from wired.co.uk by Liat Clark

Every time the government rampages about legal online pornography in the same breath as online child abuse content, it is damaging

...Read the full article

 

21st March

 Update: Moving to healthier Climes...

Theresa May tries to persuade Yahoo not to flee her snooper's wonderland
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
yahoo logoTheresa May summoned internet giant Yahoo to an urgent meeting to raise security concerns after the company announced plans to move to Dublin where it is beyond the reach of Britain's snooping free-for-all.

By making the Irish capital rather than London the centre of its European, Middle East and Africa operations, Yahoo cannot be forced to hand over information demanded by the police and security agencies through warrants issued under Britain's controversial anti-terror laws.

Yahoo has had longstanding concerns about securing the privacy of its hundreds of millions of users -- anxieties that have been heightened in recent months by revelations from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. The company said this represented a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy .

The Guardian reported that it had been told that Charles Farr, the head of the office for security and counter-terrorism (OSCT) within the Home Office, has been pressing May to talk to Yahoo because of anxiety in Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command about the effect the move to Dublin could have on their inquiries.  A Whitehall source explained:

There are concerns in the Home Office about how Ripa will apply to Yahoo once it has moved its headquarters to Dublin. The home secretary asked to see officials from Yahoo because in Dublin they don't have equivalent laws to Ripa. This could particularly affect investigations led by Scotland Yard and the national crime agency. They regard this as a very serious issue.

The move to make Dublin will take effect from Friday.

 

19th March

  YoungYouTube...

YouTube to build version spefically for under 10s
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YouTube logoYouTube is said to be working on a version of its site designed specifically for children aged 10 and under, according to new reports.

The new site would feature content specifically created for children free from inappropriate videos or comments they may stumble across on the full version.

The Information has reported the new version could help to set parents' mind at ease, according to three insiders briefed on the new development. The report states that Google has already approached developers and creators about the generation of new child-orientated videos.