Internet News

 2013: May



 Update: Blocked Information...

The Australian government investigates the extent of secretive internet censorship


Link Here 30th May 2013  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

australian government logo An Australian security agency has used federal powers to block Australian access to websites, in the latest development surrounding revived fears of internet censorship.

Bureaucrats at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and the Attorney-General's Department separately confirmed at Senate estimates hearings that a total of three departments had requested that ISPs block specific websites from access within Australia.

The requests, known as section 313 notices, come under 15-year-old legal powers that require telecommunications carriers to cooperate with law enforcement in stopping unlawful use of their services. However, until recently the powers were not believed to have been widely used for the purpose of blocking websites.

DBCDE deputy secretary Abdul Rizvi said on Thursday that a total of three federal agencies were found to have used the powers to block website access, after a meeting was held on May 22 between 12 federal agencies to determine the scope of the issue.

The bureaucrats conceded they were unsure exactly how much agencies were using the notices, and whether state government departments were also requesting website blocks.

 

 Offsite Article: Burnt by Facebook...


Link Here 30th May 2013
Witch Hunts Graphic History Burning Facebook take down the page associated with the book, Witch Hunts. As usual, once the shoddy censorship is widely publicised, Facebook change their mind.

See article from witchhuntsbook.com

 

 Update: Shared Concerns...

Facebook set to require real identities for those that want to post bad taste humour


Link Here 29th May 2013  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook logo Recently there has been some attention given to Facebook's content policy. The current concern, voiced by Women, Action and The Media, The Everyday Sexism Project, and the coalition they represent, has focused on content that targets women with images and content that threatens or incites gender-based violence or hate. 

In light of this recent attention, we want to take this opportunity to explain our philosophy and policies regarding controversial or harmful content, including hate speech, and to explain some of the steps we are taking to reduce the proliferation of content that could create an unsafe environment for users.

Facebook's mission has always been to make the world more open and connected. We seek to provide a platform where people can share and surface content, messages and ideas freely, while still respecting the rights of others.

To facilitate this goal, we also work hard to make our platform a safe and respectful place for sharing and connection.  This requires us to make difficult decisions and balance concerns about free expression and community respect.  We prohibit content deemed to be directly harmful, but allow content that is offensive or controversial. We define harmful content as anything organizing real world violence, theft, or property destruction, or that directly inflicts emotional distress on a specific private individual (e.g. bullying). 

In addition, our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities  ( www.facebook.com/terms ) prohibits "hate speech." While there is no universally accepted definition of hate speech, as a platform we define the term to mean direct and serious attacks on any protected category of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease. We work hard to remove hate speech quickly, however there are instances of offensive content, including distasteful humor, that are not hate speech according to our definition. In these cases, we work to apply fair, thoughtful, and scalable policies. This approach allows us to continue defending the principles of freedom of self-expression on which Facebook is founded. We've also found that posting  insensitive or cruel content often results in many more people denouncing it than supporting it on Facebook. That being said, we realize that our defense of freedom of expression should never be interpreted as license to bully, harass, abuse or threaten violence. We are committed to working to ensure that this does not happen within the Facebook community. We believe that the steps outlined below will help us achieve this goal.

As part of doing better, we will be taking the following steps, that we will begin rolling out immediately:
  • We will complete our review and update the guidelines that our User Operations team uses to evaluate reports of violations of our Community Standards around hate speech.  To ensure that these guidelines reflect best practices, we will solicit feedback from legal experts and others, including representatives of the women's coalition and other groups that have historically faced discrimination.
  • We will update the training for the teams that review and evaluate reports of hateful speech or harmful content on Facebook. To ensure that our training is robust, we will work with legal experts and others, including members of the women's coalition to identify resources or highlight areas of particular concern for inclusion in the training. 
  • We will increase the accountability of the creators of content that does not qualify as actionable hate speech but is cruel or insensitive by insisting that the authors stand behind the content they create.  A few months ago we began testing a new requirement that the creator of any content containing cruel and insensitive humor include his or her authentic identity for the content to remain on Facebook.  As a result, if an individual decides to publicly share cruel and insensitive content, users can hold the author accountable and directly object to the content. We will continue to develop this policy based on the results so far, which indicate that it is helping create a better environment for Facebook users.
  • We will establish more formal and direct lines of communications with representatives of groups working in this area, including women's groups, to assure expedited treatment of content they believe violate our standards. We have invited representatives of the women Everyday Sexism to join the less formal communication channels Facebook has previously established with other groups.
  • We will encourage the Anti-Defamation League's Anti-Cyberhate working group and other international working groups that we currently work with on these issues to include representatives of the women's coalition to identify how to balance considerations of free expression, to undertake research on the effect of online hate speech on the online experiences of members of groups that have historically faced discrimination in society, and to evaluate progress on our collective objectives.

 

  Bonded Propaganda Slaves...

Singapore introduces state licensing and censorship scheme for news websites


Link Here 29th May 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Singapore...Heavy handed censorship control of news websites

Singapore flag The Singapore government is stepping up censorship control of local online news sites which report regularly on the country and have significant reach.

From 1 June, 10 websites will be subjected to an individual licence, just like traditional media platforms.

Once the affected sites come under the individual licensing regime, they will have to fork out a performance bond of S$50,000. They will also have to comply with any take-down notice from authorities within 24 hours. The authorities can ban content including tha which solicits for prostitution, undermines racial and religious harmony, or goes against good taste.

Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim also hinted that the rule may in future apply to overseas news sites reporting on Singapore. He said the Broadcasting Act will be amended next year, with the view of including overseas news sites reporting on Singapore. Yaacob said:

Our mainstream media are subjected to rules, you know... Why shouldn't the online media be part of that regulatory framework? I don't see this as a clamping down, if anything, it is regularising what is already happening on the Internet and (making sure) that they are on par with our mainstream media.

Online news sites which fulfil two specific criteria will be subjected to this latest censorship scheme.

  1. Sites which publish at least eight articles on Singapore over a period of two months.
  2. They must also have been visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month, over the same period.

So far, 10 such sites have been identified. All belong to mainstream media, with the exception of Yahoo news.

The 10 websites are: asiaone.com businesstimes.com.sg channelnewsasia.com omy.sg sg.news.yahoo.com stomp.com.sg straitstimes.com Tnp.sg todayonline.com zaobao.com

 

 Update: A Cold War...

Gender extremists vow to fight on to ban internet porn in Iceland


Link Here 27th May 2013

Iceland In Iceland a battle against people who enjoy porn is under way. Gender extremists are calling on the new government to introduce ways to block online pornography.

Defenders of the internet were given a boost at the end of April when the left-leaning politically correct administration was ousted by a centre-right coalition. However, gender extremists argue that, despite the setback, a debate has been started that will not go away.

Ogmundur Jonasson, the former interior minister, who proposed the censorship, remains adamant the issue must be tackled. There are people who want to silence this discussion, but it is a discussion that will not be silenced, he said:

People want to confuse this with an argument about freedom of expression, but I would say it is those who are trying to silence the debate who are not respecting freedom of expression

Guðrún Jónsdóttir, a spokeswoman for the campaign Stigamot said:

It would make my life so much easier not to fight porn but I have to. Why should we allow unfettered misogyny, images of rape? The argument is that we need to ban porn because it hurts our children, and that is true, but it also needs to be stopped because it is hate speech and violence against women and affects people's relationships.

She said the group planned write to all new MPs to talk to them about the porn ban. Of course the fight will continue, she said.

 

 Offsite Article: Could the snooper's charter stop terror attacks?...


Link Here 25th May 2013  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences
index logo Some UK politicians have said the murder of a soldier in Woolwich, London this week demonstrates the need for greater surveillance of communications data. But would a snooper's charter really have made a difference?

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Update: Basically Porn is Everywhere...

So why are crime rates falling? And why is life continuing pretty much as before?


Link Here 24th May 2013  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

porn is everywhere The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England is calling for urgent action to develop children's resilience to pornography following a research report it commissioned which found that: a significant number of children access pornography; it influences their attitudes towards relationships and sex; it is linked to risky behaviour such as having sex at a younger age; and there is a correlation between holding violent attitudes and accessing more violent media.

The report published today by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Basically... porn is everywhere: A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People also found that:

Children and young people's exposure and access to pornography occurs both on and offline but in recent years the most common method of access is via internet enabled technology Exposure and access to pornography increases with age Accidental exposure to pornography is more prevalent than deliberate access There are gender differences in exposure and access to pornography with boys more likely to be exposed to and deliberately access, seek or use pornography than girls.

It concludes that there are still many unanswered questions about the affect exposure to pornography has on children: a situation the Office of the Children's Commissioner considers requires urgent action in an age where extreme violent and sadistic imagery is two clicks away.

The report is based on a review of published evidence led by Middlesex University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent, supplemented by a focus group of young people. The researchers identified 41,000 items of academic literature about pornography undertaking an in-depth analysis of 276 to draw its conclusions.

The report welcomes the work being done by Claire Perry, MP on internet controls, in her role as advisor to the Prime Minister. It makes a series of recommendations in addition to carrying out further research as follows:

  1. The Department for Education should ensure that all schools understand the importance of, and deliver, effective relationship and sex education which must include safe use of the internet. A strong and unambiguous message to this effect should be sent to all education providers including: all state funded schools including academies; maintained schools; independent schools; faith schools; and further education colleges.

  2. The Department for Education should ensure curriculum content on relationships and sex education covers access and exposure to pornography, and sexual practices that are relevant to young people's lives and experiences, as a means of building young people's resilience. This is sensitive, specialist work that must be undertaken by suitably qualified professionals, for example, specialist teachers, youth workers or sexual health practitioners.

  3. The Department for Education should rename sex and relationship education (SRE) to relationship and sex education (RSE) to place emphasis on the importance of developing healthy, positive, respectful relationships.

  4. The Government, in partnership with internet service providers, should embark on a national awareness-raising campaign, underpinned by further research, to better inform parents, professionals and the public at large about the content of pornography and young people's access of, and exposure to such content. This should include a message to parents about their responsibilities affording both children and young people greater protection and generating a wider debate about the nature of pornography in the 21st century and its potential impact.

  5. Through the commitments made to better protect girls and young women from gender-based violence in the ending violence against women and girls action plan, the Home Office and the Department for Education should commission further research into the safeguarding implications of exposure and/or access to pornography on children and young people, particularly in relation to their experiences of teenage relationship abuse and peer exploitation.

  6. The Home Office should incorporate the findings of this report into the ongoing teen abuse campaign. Future activity on this workstream should reflect young people's exposure to violent sexualised imagery within their peer groups and relationships.

  7. The Youth Justice Board should include questions on exposure and access to pornography within the revised ASSET assessment tool, to better inform understanding of possible associations with attitudes and behaviour and improve the targeting of interventions for young people displaying violent, or sexually harmful, behaviours.

 

  Is that Ohio in Iran?...

Ohio Senate passes bill to ban all internet cafes in the state


Link Here 24th May 2013

Ohio state seal The Ohio Senate has okayed a bill that would eliminate internet cafes in the state. It now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign the measure.

There are more than 600 of the businesses in the state. Supporters say eliminating them will cost six to eight thousand people their jobs. They favor regulation instead.

Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine claims that many of the businesses are fronts for organized crime. Patrons buy cards for phone and internet which include chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.

Senator John Eklund generalises that internet cafes are nothing more than illegal gambling operations.

 

  Down the Tubes...

Major tube sites hit by a change of Google's search algorithm


Link Here 24th May 2013

Google logo Google has launched its fourth 'Penguin' update affecting the search visibility for websites.

The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company, SearchMetrics, found eight of the top 25 sites affected were porn sites, according to searchengineland.com. The eight porn sites on the list of 25 included pornhub.com, tube8.com, xhamster.com, largeporntube.com, bangyoulater.com, extremetube.com, 4bang.com and kporno.com.

Between them, the porn sites will lose between 25 and 40-percent of their previous SEO visibility at least for the keywords that SearchMetrics tracks, the report said.

In general the effects of Google's updates were less than expected, but there could be more to come.

 

 Update: Insulting Religious Bla-Bla...

Turkish blogger jailed for a year for blasphemy


Link Here 23rd May 2013  full story: Blasphemy in Turkey...Blasphemy repressing Turkish people

Turkey flag An Istanbul court has sentenced Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 58 weeks in prison for an alleged insult to the religious character Muhammad in a blog post. The charges were insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the society.

Nisanyan was charged with blasphemy after writing a blog post titled:

[We] need to fight hate speech. Making fun of an Arab leader who claimed he contacted Allah hundreds of years ago and received political, financial and sexual benefits is not hate speech,

On May 22, the day of the sentencing, Nisanyan bravely retweeted his blog post, writing:

Let's share the article that was sentenced to 13-and-a-half months at the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court for insulting religious bla-bla.

 

 Update: Facebook Prudery Has Few Friends...

Facebook censors French protest against its censorship of nudity


Link Here 22nd May 2013  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

facebook nude protest Day of Nude on Facebook , a French protest aimed at challenging Facebook's unnecessary censorship of photos was censored when Facebook took down the event page and suspended the accounts of some involved in the online demonstration.

Launched by French photographer Alain Bachellier, the Facebook event asked its 8,000-plus participants to publish a nude picture on Monday, Le Huffington Post reports. While some chose to post of a photo of their own creation, most instead shared copies of famous nude works of art.

Coinciding with the final day of the European Festival of Nude Photography, the Facebook event sought to fight against the ridiculous censorship that flouts the basic rules of our freedom of expression in the name of Puritanism or the moral rules of another age,

A spokesman for Facebook France told the Agence France-Presse that page was closed in the early afternoon.

Facebook authorizes users to mobilize around common causes, included cultural ones, but it can't authorize the cause itself to encourage users to disrespect their conditions of use.

 

 Update: Violence is Fine as Long as it's Against Men...

Feminists call on Facebook to censor 'hate speech' and violence against women


Link Here 22nd May 2013  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook logo We, the undersigned, are writing to demand swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook. Specifically, we call on you, Facebook, to take three actions:

  1. Recognize speech that trivializes or glorifies violence against girls and women as hate speech and make a commitment that you will not tolerate this content.

  2. Effectively train moderators to recognize and remove gender-based hate speech.

  3. Effectively train moderators to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men, in part due to the real-world pandemic of violence against women.

To this end, we are calling on Facebook users to contact advertisers whose ads on Facebook appear next to content that targets women for violence, to ask these companies to withdraw from advertising on Facebook until you take the above actions to ban gender-based hate speech on your site.

Specifically, we are referring to groups, pages and images that explicitly condone or encourage rape or domestic violence or suggest that they are something to laugh or boast about. Pages currently appearing on Facebook include Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus, Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won't make you a Sandwich, Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs, Raping your Girlfriend and many, many more. Images appearing on Facebook include photographs of women beaten, bruised, tied up, drugged, and bleeding, with captions such as This bitch didn't know when to shut up and Next time don't get pregnant.

These pages and images are approved by your moderators, while you regularly remove content such as pictures of women breastfeeding, women post-mastectomy and artistic representations of women's bodies. In addition, women's political speech, involving the use of their bodies in non-sexualized ways for protest, is regularly banned as pornographic, while pornographic content - prohibited by your own guidelines - remains. It appears that Facebook considers violence against women to be less offensive than non-violent images of women's bodies, and that the only acceptable representation of women's nudity are those in which women appear as sex objects or the victims of abuse. Your common practice of allowing this content by appending a [humor] disclaimer to said content literally treats violence targeting women as a joke.

The latest global estimate from the United Nations Say No UNITE campaign is that the percentage of women and girls who have experienced violence in their lifetimes is now up to an unbearable 70 percent. In a world in which this many girls and women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes, allowing content about raping and beating women to be shared, boasted and joked about contributes to the normalisation of domestic and sexual violence, creates an atmosphere in which perpetrators are more likely to believe they will go unpunished, and communicates to victims that they will not be taken seriously if they report.

According to a UK Home Office Survey, one in five people think it is acceptable in some circumstances for a man to hit or slap his wife or girlfriend in response to her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothes in public. And 36 percent think a woman should be held fully or partly responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped whilst drunk. Such attitudes are shaped in part by enormously influential social platforms like Facebook, and contribute to victim blaming and the normalisation of violence against women.

Although Facebook claims, not to be involved in challenging norms or censoring people's speech, you have in place procedures, terms and community guidelines that you interpret and enforce. Facebook prohibits hate speech and your moderators deal with content that is violently racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic every day. Your refusal to similarly address gender-based hate speech marginalizes girls and women, sidelines our experiences and concerns, and contributes to violence against us. Facebook is an enormous social network with more than a billion users around the world, making your site extremely influential in shaping social and cultural norms and behaviors.

Facebook's response to the many thousands of complaints and calls to address these issues has been inadequate. You have failed to make a public statement addressing the issue, respond to concerned users, or implement policies that would improve the situation. You have also acted inconsistently with regards to your policy on banning images, in many cases refusing to remove offensive rape and domestic violence pictures when reported by members of the public, but deleting them as soon as journalists mention them in articles, which sends the strong message that you are more concerned with acting on a case-by-case basis to protect your reputation than effecting systemic change and taking a clear public stance against the dangerous tolerance of rape and domestic violence.

In a world in which hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted daily and where intimate partner violence remains one of the leading causes of death for women around the world, it is not possible to sit on the fence. We call on Facebook to make the only responsible decision and take swift, clear action on this issue, to bring your policy on rape and domestic violence into line with your own moderation goals and guidelines.

Sincerely, Laura Bates, The Everyday Sexism Project Soraya Chemaly, Writer and Activist Jaclyn Friedman, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) Angel Band Project Anne Munch Consulting, Inc. Association for Progressive Communications Women's Rights Programme Black Feminists The Body is Not An Apology Breakthrough Catharsis Productions Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation Collective Action for Safe Spaces Collective Administrators of Rapebook CounterQuo End Violence Against Women Coalition The EQUALS Coalition Fem 2.0 Feminist Peace Network The Feminist Wire FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World Hollaback! Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Jackson Katz, PhD., Co-Founder and Director, Mentors in Violence Prevention Lauren Wolfe, Director of WMC's Women Under Siege Media Equity Collaborative MissRepresentation.org No More Page 3 Object The Pixel Project Rape Victim Advocates Social Media Week SPARK Movement Stop Street Harassment Take Back the Tech! Tech LadyMafia Time To Tell The Uprising of Women in the Arab World V-Day The Voices and Faces Project The Women's Media Center Women's Networking Hub The Women's Room.

 

 Extract: Everything Is Offensive (Including David Bowie)...

David Bowie's The Next Day and Nine Inch Nails' Broken both censored


Link Here 20th May 2013

Broken EP Nine Inch Nails David Bowie's rather brilliant promo video for The Next Day was briefly pulled from YouTube a few days ago.

...

Funnily enough, in that very same week another offensive music video finally surfaced after 20 years underground. A notoriously tough-to-watch short made by Nine Inch Nails (along with Peter Christopherson) to accompany their Broken EP in the early 90s popped up on Vimeo after 20 years of incomplete versions being traded on the black market. Despite the official sanction of the band, it lasted mere hours before Vimeo removed it on the grounds of it being really really horrible and yucky and nasty and putting them right off their tea (well, violating guidelines , but I'm pretty sure that was the gist).

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Wasting Space...

After years of wasting money proposing internet censorship, the government is now crowing about how much will be saved by dropping the idea


Link Here 18th May 2013  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Stephen Conroy The axing of Stephen Conroy's other pet project, the controversial mandatory internet blocking scheme, will save the government more than $4 million.

According to Budget 2013 papers, the government will achieve savings of $4.5m over three years by not proceeding with mandatory filtering legislation, a move announced in November.

The plan would have forced ISPs to filter web pages that contain refused classification-rated content based on a government blacklist.

Instead, major internet service providers will be required to block child abuse websites on Interpol's worst of child abuse list, and anything else banned by government bodies such as the financial regulator.

Senator Conroy mooted the ea in the lead up to the 2007 election but it has been fraught with delays ever since. The methods employed by the government were deemed impractical and seen as an attempt to censor the internet.

 

 Offsite Article: Bea Arthur's Boobs Got Us Booted From Facebook...


Link Here 17th May 2013  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
bea arthur naked It was an innocent story about the art market, that happened to include a nude image of everyone's favorite Golden Girl. Facebook disagreed. Brian Ries on an unjust ban.

See article from thedailybeast.com

 

  Linked in to Moralism...

LinkedIn business networking website bans sex workers


Link Here 16th May 2013

linkedin logo Business networking site LinkedIn has banned sex workers from creating profiles or using the platform to promote their services.

LinkedIn has advised its 225 million members of changes to its terms of service in a post on its site. The revised terms of use state that users are not to create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.

The updated User Agreement says members are not to undertake the following:

Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that ... Even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.

LinkedIn previously prohibited the advertising of unlawful services on its site but prostitution is legal in some of the jurisdictions where the website's users are based.

 

 Update: Fools...

Saudi religious leaders throw a few trivial insults at Twitter users


Link Here 16th May 2013  full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves

Saudi religious police logo The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh made up a few nonsense claims and pronounced that anyone using social media sites - and especially Twitter - has lost this world and his afterlife .

The sheikh's comments echo those of the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in April who used his sermon - seen by millions on TV - to warn that Twitter was a threat to national unity, a BBC correspondent said.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, the kingdom's most senior Muslim cleric, had unimaginatively dismissed Twitter users as fools .

Saudi authorities have mooted moves that could inhibit Twitter users by linking their online accounts to their Saudi ID numbers.

 

 Offsite Article: Shameful Australian Censorship...


Link Here 16th May 2013
asic logo Incompetent internet blocking coupled with a politician's bollox denials and secret unchallengeable implementation leaves a thousand websites unfairly censored for several weeks

See article from theaustralian.com.au

 

 Update: Reputation Management...

Google told to censor search suggestions when they are complained about


Link Here 15th May 2013  full story: Scientology Censors...Scientogists quick to litigate against critics

Germany flag A German federal court has told Google to censor the auto-complete results that its search engine suggests.

The court said Google must ensure terms generated by auto-complete are not contrary to the wishes of those that complain.

The court case was started by an unnamed German businessman who found that Google.de linked him with scientology and fraud . Google must now remove certain word combinations when told about them, said the court.

A person's privacy would be violated if the associations conjured up by auto-complete were claimed to be untrue, the federal court said in a statement about the ruling. However, it added, this did not mean that Google had to sanitise its entire index. The operator is, as a basic principle, only responsible when it gets notice of the unlawful violation of personal rights.

The ruling on auto-complete overturns two earlier decisions by lower German courts.

 

  Dangerous Insult...

Azerbaijan introduces repressive criminal offences aimed at internet censorship


Link Here 15th May 2013

Azerbaijan flag Azerbaijan's parliament has legalized more repressive Internet controls in a move the country's opposition groups fear could be used to curb online dissent.

The parliament on voted on May 14 to make online libel and abuse criminal offences.

The new law allows for cases of slander deemed to be particularly serious to be punishable by up to three years in jail. The previous maximum sentence was 15 days.

 

 Offsite Article: Devilish Details...


Link Here 14th May 2013  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Houses of Parliament UK's New Defamation Law May Accelerate The Death Of Anonymous User-Generated Content Internationally. Forbes points out that UK's new libel law has some impossibly nasty clauses for webmasters

See article from forbes.com

 

 Offsite Article: The authorities really really don't like the idea of untraceable internet cash...


Link Here 14th May 2013
Bitcoin logo Taxmen, police and spies look at bitcoin 'threat'

See article from ft.com

 

  Humiliation by YouTube...

South Australia enacts a law against filming or distributing humiliating or degrading images


Link Here 12th May 2013

South Australia flag A new law with jail sentences for filming or distributing humiliating or degrading images of people has come into effect in South Australia. However people who film an offence for the purpose of assisting police are protected from prosecution. Presumably this covers CCTV.

State Attorney General John Rau said the law carrying up to two years' imprisonment was a response to bad behaviour in the digital age.

The Government shares the community's concerns regarding the practice of people being deliberately humiliated via the internet.

Whether it be distributing a private image or video of an ex-partner, or the filming of an assault, you can now expect up to two years in prison.

The law is a reaction to an incident in 2011 where school children at Craigmore High arranged for an unsuspecting student to be king hit which was filmed and put on the internet. Several students were subsequently suspended.

 

 Update: Transatlantic Ludicrous Demands...

Media industry set out to criminalise temporary copies of internet media, as required to read websites or view images and video


Link Here 11th May 2013  full story: TTP Trade Restrictions...Trans Pacific Partnership

TPP coverage map The biggest global threat to the Internet. That's how legal experts describe the controversial international agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP agreement threatens to criminalize the use of your favourite websites -- including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, your favourite blog -- and even your online comments.

Provisions in leaked drafts of the TPP could prohibit use of temporary copies , which according to policy experts at InternetNZ, are crucial to how the Internet works. As the EFF explains, this means that, anyone who ever views content on their device could potentially be found liable of [copyright] infringement . Legal experts are now warning that under the TPP, normal online activities could lead you to be cut off from the Internet, have your computer seized, be fined up to $150,000, or even land you in prison.

 

 Update: Living On to Fight Another Day...

Google lose test case appealing against Russian internet censorship


Link Here 10th May 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

Google logo A test-case brought by Google to challenge Russian internet censorship has failed.

The case related to a video clip uploaded to Google-owned YouTube, which portrayed, using a blunt razorblade and fake blood, a woman cutting her wrists.

Russian regulators demanded the clip be removed, saying it provided information about how to kill oneself. Google complied, but filed an appeal, which has now been rejected by a Moscow court.

Google argued the clip was intended as entertainment rather than to promote actual suicide. In response to the ruling, Google said:

We do not believe the goal of the law was to limit access to videos that are clearly intended to entertain viewers.

The clip, entitled Video lesson on how to cut your veins , was deemed by Russian regulators to break strict new rules on web content thought to be harmful to children.

Perhaps it is relevant to note that the UK film censors of the BBFC used to cut sight of a particularly effective method of cutting veins when it was felt that not many people knew of this. The policy has now been adapted after the technique became more well known.

 

 Updated: Back the Next Day...

David Bowie's interesting knock at priests gets temporarily banned for YouTube


Link Here 10th May 2013

david bowie next day video David Bowie's latest music video featuring him as a Christ-like figure surrounded by women in skimpy outfits and priests in a bar has been pulled from YouTube.

The video for the single The Next Day was temporarily removed from the video-sharing website with a screenshot saying it had been taken down because its content violated YouTube's terms of service, the singer's publicist said.

A spokeswoman for Google-owned YouTube said:

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call, she said. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. [albeit with a deserved 18 rating].

Update: Christian's recommend The Next Day by David Bowie

10th May 2013. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk . See also article from  contactmusic.com

The Next Day David Bowie David Bowie has incurred the wrath of America's Catholic League over his religious-themed new video.

Bowie appears in the video dressed in Christ-like robes, while Gary Oldman plays a beer-swilling priest and Marion Cotillard is a hooker who transforms into a saint.

The video has riled Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who claims the clip is a mess :

The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women.

The video is strewn with characteristic excess: one priest bashes a homeless man, while others are busy hitting on women; self-flagellation is depicted; a dancing gal with bleeding hands makes a stigmata statement; and a customer is served eyeballs on a plate... In short, the video reflects the artist - it is a mess.

Meanwhile ex-archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey said:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.

I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.

Frankly, I don't get offended by such juvenilia - Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language although I hope Bowie will recognise that he may be upsetting some people.

Jack Valero of the Catholic Voices group said:

I wouldn't give him the time of day, it is just desperate. He used to be famous, why does he need to do this?

Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, added:

 It is actually just a bit sad -- what is he seeking to achieve?

Strangely none of the Christians seem to recognise that that the amount of abusive priests may be something to do with the justified criticism of the church.

 

  Ethically Challenged YouTube...

Disability campaigners disappointed that YouTube will not waive its nudity ban even for a good cause video


Link Here 10th May 2013

come4 advert video The makers of an online commercial advertising Come4 , a not-for-profit website promising a new vision of sex , have expressed disappointment after it was withdrawn from YouTube because the video-hosting site judged that its content violated its terms of service .

The provocative film opens with an unseen narrator relating an early episode of unrequited love before going on to talk about his experiences with prostitutes. As the imagery becomes increasingly explicit, the mystery voice describes visiting brothels with his father and reveals that together they take time to choose the right one and explains that he loved his first time so much, he decided to come back with his friends .

This frank series of admissions is being provided by disability rights campaigner Asta Philpot, who is describing a trip he made to a Spanish brothel with a group of disabled virgins, the subject of a 2007 documentary broadcast by the BBC.

Philpot describes YouTube's decision as pretty disgusting and feels that if they'd seen beyond the naked breasts and recognised the message behind the film, they'd have realised that it's actually ethical. A friend of mine died without ever having a [sexual] experience and I don't ever want to let that happen again.

 

 Update: UK's Snooper's Charter Lite...

Snooper's Charter absent from Queen's speech but there is a reference to new legislation to more accurately record and correlate users with their internet activity


Link Here 9th May 2013  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

UK Government arms This session's Queen's speech did not contain any explicit mention of the Communications Data Bill, but did make reference to proposals aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to match IP addresses to individuals.

My government will continue to reduce crime and protect national security. Legislation will be introduced to reform the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in England and Wales.

Legislation will be brought forward to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, cut crime and further reform the police.

In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace.

The government provides more details in the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech:

[IP] addresses are generally shared between a number of people. In order to know who has actually sent an email or made a Skype call, the police need to know who used a certain IP address at a given point in time. Without this, if a suspect used the internet to communicate instead of making a phone call, it may not be possible for the police to identify them.

The Government is looking at ways of addressing this issue with CSPs. It may involve legislation.

Commentators have linked these proposals to comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in April, suggesting that the government could be considering some sort of intervention relating to IPv6 adoption.

Right now, there are not enough IP addresses to go round for all of the devices being used. Temporary addresses are attached to computers and phones while they are online, but the records of these are patchy, which means they cannot easily be matched back to individuals.

The police say a clearer picture would be a huge help in their investigations and we should explore how that can be done. --- Nick Clegg, writing in The Telegraph

 

  Likely Government Internet Shutdown...

Syrian internet comes back online after about a day of downtime


Link Here 9th May 2013

Syria flag Syria's Internet links to the outside world were restored almost 20 hours after e-mail, websites and other services became inaccessible across much of the country, Google and other Web companies said.

Bakr Bakr, director general of the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, a government-related company, claimed that the Web outage was a malfunction in a fiber-optic cable, according to an earlier report by the Middle East News Agency. Maintenance teams were working to restore access, Bakr was cited as saying.

The reason for the disruption wasn't immediately clear and may be due to a government-ordered shutdown of the Internet, according to Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer at Umbrella Security Labs and OpenDNS. Damage to infrastructure or cyberattack also are possibilities, though unlikely, he said.

 

  Sharing Names...

Norway proposes law requiring ISPs to block file sharing websites and identify downloaders and website owners


Link Here 6th May 2013

Norway flag Norway is taking steps against online copyright infringement by amending the Copyright Act. The revisions are popular in parliament and if passed will grant authorities the right to block sites at the ISP level.

The proposed amendments also will require ISPs to hand over information to identify both website owners and end-users of unauthorized material online.

The new legislation would allow rights-holders to take to court site owners involved in illegal content sharing and order the internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent or impede access to sites that have extensively made available material that clearly violates copyrights , Torrenfreak quotes the amendments.

Norwegian internet campaigners have said that the draconian measures would lead to widespread censorship. Blogger Morten told Bikyanews.com:

It is simply wrong and we will not put up with this and if that means holding massive protests to do so it will happen.

We understand that there is tension right now in the government, but action must be taken by us young people to make certain our freedom of speech is not attacked.

 

  An Internet Suitable for Mary Whitehouse...

Government wants to block anything vaguely adult from public Wi-Fi


Link Here 4th May 2013

David Cameron Anything judged to be adult content is to be banned from public wi-fi networks by the end of the year, according to David Cameron's Mary Whitehouse.

Claire Perry said the move was supposedly to prevent children from stumbling across adult material when using wireless internet networks in places such as cafes and railway stations, or seeing others who may be looking at it.

But one of the country's largest internet providers has threatened to throw a spanner in the works by warning that ministers' plans to block porn from public wi-fi could be against the law. BT says that blocking adult material from stores which use BT public wi-fi could breach 2000 legislation which bans the interception of electronic communications.

Anne Heal, the representative from BT Openreach, said: There is considerable nervousness that filtering content could be regarded as intercepting data, and which could put providers in breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Act allows certain public bodies to intercept data for national security reasons, but bans everyone else from doing so. BT's argument is that filtering web use without the user's express permission could be regarded as the interception of data.

However the six largest providers of public wi-fi have agreed to put adult content block in place. High Street companies offering free wi-fi from one of the six companies will be 'encouraged' to put the block in place to restrict browsing by children using mobile phones and tablets like iPads. These shops would be able to display a kid's internet logo so parents know their children will be safe.

Perry said:

I'm really pleased that the internet industry is committed to providing public wi-fi that is free of adult content. It is entirely appropriate and means that children can surf the web safely in thousands of different places.

Now we need to move fast in introducing family-friendly home internet filtering to make sure that our young people are not accessing violent and pornographic images.

 

  Daily Fun...

Chinese internet censors block twitter titters about the new People's Daily News building


Link Here 4th May 2013

peoples daily Chinese censors have been working overtime on social network Weibo after users noticed that the new headquarters of state propaganda sheet the People's Daily News looked somewhat phallic.

According to the South China Morning Morning Post, Weibo searches for People's Daily and building appear to show that the terms have been blocked.

 

 Offsite Article: Everything you wanted to know about the Instagram Act...


Link Here 4th May 2013
the register logo More on changes to UK copyright laws

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  Heads Roll at Facebook...

Facebook take down videos of decapitations


Link Here 2nd May 2013

CARRY DONT Charles Hawtrey LOBBY Facebook has said it will delete videos of people being decapitated which had been posted on its site:

We will remove instances of these videos that are reported to us while we evaluate our policy and approach to this type of content..

The social network had previously refused to ban the clips. It had said people had a right to depict the world in which we live . But the US's Family Online Safety Institute (Fosi) said the violent nature of the material had crossed a line .

The controversy arose when a one-minute long video was uploaded to the site last week showing a woman being beheaded by a masked man.

A second video clip showing the execution of two men has also been shared on the network after being posted last Wednesday. The victims say they are drug smugglers for a Mexican cartel before being attacked with a chainsaw and knife.

John Carr UK of Council for Child Internet Safety said he had flagged the material with Facebook as being inappropriate, but was sent the following reply:

Thanks for your report. We reviewed the video you reported, but found it doesn't violate Facebook's Community Standard on graphic violence, which includes depicting harm to someone or something, threats to the public's safety, or theft and vandalism.

An online petition calling for Facebook to remove decapitation videos had attracted 289 likes at time of writing.

 

 Update: No Votes in Banning Porn...

Iceland's PC extremists kicked out of office


Link Here 1st May 2013

Iceland Iceland's PC extremist government that proposed a ban on internet porn has been booted out of office.

An election victory on Saturday for the center-right opposition win probably means the planned ban will be no more. But you never know.