China called on Saturday for a worldwide crackdown on the use of the Internet by religious extremists and terrorists to stamp out their ability to communicate their ideas and raise funds.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks during the annual gathering of the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly in New York. he said:
As new developments emerge in the global fight against terrorism, the international community should take new measures to address them.
In particular, it should focus on combating religious extremism and cyber terrorism, resolutely eliminate the roots and block channels of spreading terrorism and extremism.
Theresa May responded on Tuesday for the British government.
She announced policies for new Extremist Disruption Orders. Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public
events if they represent a threat to the functioning of democracy , under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people.
The Home Secretary will also introduce banning orders for extremist groups, which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to 10 years in
Russia's State Duma (parliament) has approved a bill to accelerate a new set of Internet restrictions that will provide for the banning of such web services as Facebook, Booking.com and Amazon.
A law requiring all online companies to store users' personal data on Russian territory was passed last July and was set to enter into effect in September 2016, but then awmakers submitted a bill to move the deadline forward by more than a year. The bill
to set the deadline to Jan. 1, 2015, has now passed the crucial second reading.
Lobbying group the Information & Computer Technologies Industry Association said in an open letter on Monday that the rule would cripple Russia's IT industry. Russia simply lacks the technical facilities to host databases with users' personal data,
and setting up the infrastructure within the remaining three months is impossible, the letter said. , The group said on its website:
Most companies will be forced to put their operations on hold, inflicting untold damage on the Russian economy
But their appeal failed to sway lawmakers, who fast-tracked the bill --- a procedure that, most political pundits say, implies endorsement from the Kremlin.
China started blocking the popular photo-sharing app Instagram on Sunday, as part of its efforts to censor any mention of the use of tear gas on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Instagram had until then remained one of the few U.S. social networking apps still accessible in china known for its extreme censorship of political topics.
Presumably the block on Instagram is an attempt to stop photos of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests from spreading into mainland China. On Sunday, police in Hong Kong used tear gas to disperse large protesting crowds, with video and photos of the
clashes immediately going online.
Hong Kong protests against a mainland attempt to deny democracy in Hong Kong have been widely blocked in Chinese local media and internet too.
For the first time ISPs are being asked to block websites on the basis of alleged trade mark (rather than copyright) infringement. Whilst ORG takes no view on the merits of the trade mark claims in the current case, we believe the outcome of this case
will have implications for future trade mark blocking applications, which could potentially threaten the legitimate interests of third parties.
Legal Director, Elizabeth Knight said:
As the court is being asked to extend the circumstances in which blocking orders are granted, it's vital that the wider public interest is taken into account. We hope that our intervention will help ensure that future claimants cannot use blocking orders
to restrict legitimate activity or free speech.
David Allen Green, lawyer at Preiskel & Co LLP, is acting for ORG pro bono. He said:
In our adversarial system it is hard for the voices of third parties to be heard by a judge, even when the court will be developing remedies which can affect the legitimate rights of people who are not parties to a particular case. In this case the High
Court has kindly permitted the ORG to intervene so as to make detailed submissions on how this novel jurisdiction should not be abused.
The case has been brought by luxury brands Cartier International and related companies. They are calling for BSkyB, BT, EE, TalkTalk and VirginMedia to block a number of websites that they claim have been using the brands' trade marks for counterfeiting
In its submission to the Court, ORG stresses that it is neutral about the details over this particular case. The organisation's concerns are that if the claimants are successful, the ruling could be used as a basis for applications for blocking orders
that are contrary to the public interest - for example, if the judgment was used to try and block websites that use trademarks to legitimately criticise or parody well known brands. Court blocking orders may also affect commercial third parties who have
no involvement in any alleged infringement - for example law abiding businesses whose products appear on websites alongside those of companies involved in infringing activity. ORG is not opposing the current application, but has submitted to the court a
test that should be adopted so that blocking orders are only granted in circumstances where they are proportionate, effective and contain safeguards against abuse.
ORG is campaigning for more transparency around websites blocked for legal reasons through its Error 451 project . ORG is calling for ISPs to show an error 451 message when material has been blocked by a court order and to provide more information to the
Facebook has decided to move forward with deleting all profiles who do not change their personal profile names to their legal names during a two week grace period.
The decision comes after Facebook agreed to meet with a group of drag queen activists on Wednesday to discuss Facebook's recent campaign to delete hundreds of drag queen profiles who are using their stage names or chosen names on their Facebook
Facebook's policy stipulates that a name displayed on a personal account must be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, driver's license or student ID. Facebook spokesperson Andrew Souvall in a statement:
We had a good discussion with the group about their perspectives on our real name standard, and we stressed how the standard helps prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment.
We've decided to temporarily reactivate the profiles of several hundred members of the LGBT community whose profiles were recently deactivated. This will give them a chance to decide how they'd like to represent themselves on Facebook. Over the next two
weeks, we hope that they will decide to confirm their real name, change their name to their real name, or convert their profile to a Page.
Activists have raised s imilar concerns for transgender users who could be at risk if they no longer identify with the names they were given at birth and use chosen names on their Facebook profiles. Many transgender people, especially transgender youth,
may not be able to legally change their names and provide proof of the name they identity with if asked by Facebook. And for some transgender users, being outed by having to use their legal names could be dangerous, the activists said.
A Change.org petition reads:
This issue is discriminatory against transgender and other nonconforming individuals who have often escaped a painful past. They've reinvented themselves or been born again and made whole, adopting names and identities that do not necessarily match that
on their driver's license.
One has also to wonder if the requirement for real names is being pushed by the authorities. It must make their life very easy for snopping especially as people post such intimate details about their life.
The consultation, carried out on behalf of the IPO by Inngot is based around the following question:
Today, there is a significant difference between the penalties for offline and online copyright infringement. If convicted, criminals can serve up to ten years for the first -- but only a maximum of two years for the second. Do you think the law should
In our response , we have outlined why we believe that it is is misleading to suggest that online and physical copyright infringement are comparable offences and should therefore carry the same penalties. It is relatively easy to distribute large numbers
of digital copies of a work online, while doing the same in the physical world would involve infrastructure clearly beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. We believe that there is a risk that members of the public could be unwittingly in criminal online
infringement -- even if they are not making any money.
Changing the law could even lead to harsher sentencing for online infringement than for offline infringement. The difficulty in making evidence based assessments of the actual values involved in online infringement tends to generate estimates of very
high economic harms, easily in the millions. This could make non commercial online infringers end up with much higher sentences than hardened criminals dealing with physical goods.
ORG also believes the consultation is flawed because it doesn't seek the opinions of ordinary internet users but assumes that respondents, generate income from the copyright of their works. We do not believe this policy should be considered but if
it is, we will mobilise our supporters and the rest of civil society to oppose it.
Boodigo bills itself as an adult-oriented search engine. On the surface, it looks like a regular search engine, aside from the pop-up message that warns you must be at least 18 years old to access it.
Boodigo lets you do a regular web search or target it exclusively to Tumblr sites -- as that photo blog platform is often used for pornographic content. All the results from any search should be links to porn. And these searches won't be cached in the
history or tracked so you can be more discrete about your fetishes. Boodigo explains:
interested in building a 'profile' on our users; our core mission is simply to help you find what you're looking for in a way that's as efficient, effective and enjoyable as possible. In other words, using Boodigo means finding what you're looking for
without having to worry about what someone else might be finding out about you.
But, at least so far, Boodigo doesn't even really seem to measure up to Google. Daily Dot gives some comparisons in its article gave examples of searches in both Google and Boodigo and the results were mixed. Boodigo provides links to individual
performer websites and pay porn sites and so touts itself as being more ethical than porn search engines, such as Search.xxx and PornMD, which provides links to pirated content.
This Bill was presented to Parliament on 10 September 2014. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.
This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on 7 November 2014.
This Bill is a Private Member's Bill. These are often not printed until close to the second reading debate.
So far the only available information is the smmary:
A Bill to prohibit the distribution of sexually explicit images via the internet and text message without the consent of the subjects of the images; to provide that mobile phones and other devices capable of connection to the internet be set by
manufacturers as a default to deny access to pornography; and for connected purposes
According to Reuters, European internet censors say they've agreed on a uniform set of EU-wide rules and criteria that will be used to evaluate appeals under the disgraceful Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) law announced earlier this year by the
Luxembourg-based European Union Court of 'Justice'.
Google has received in excess of 120,00 censorship requests since May. Many have been granted but many have not. Google is hardly in a position to research the merits of the case, so the decisions are essentially arbitrary.
Those whose censorship requests are turned down will be able to appeal the decision and that's where these censorship criteria will be applied.
The specifics of the rules won't be finalized until November. However Reuters suggests they will primarily take into account factors such as the public role of the person, whether the information relates to a crime and how old it is. There's still
considerable ambiguity in some of these areas.
Google has adopted a practice of notifying publishers when RTBF links are removed. Apparently EU censors don't like this practice (probably because it puts political pressure on them amid cries of censorship or objections from the publishers).
Google currently only removes the subject links and material from the individual country Google site where the request was made (e.g., Google.fr, Google.de) but not from Google.com. Johannes Caspar, Germany's internet censor, reportedly believes that
these RTBF removals should be expunged globally. He spewed:
The effect of removing search results should be global. This is in the spirit of the court ruling and the only meaningful way to act in a global environment like the Internet..
Hopefully this won't occur as the US is a bit more keen on freedom than the PC extremists of the EU.
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) describes itself as a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.
The group meets quarterly and the last published minutes reveal discussions about:
Common Media Censorship Standards
Ofcom has begun work to develop a common framework for media standards as set out in last year's Connectivity, Content and Consumers paper. Audiences continue to wish for certain fundamental protections and the safeguarding of critical freedoms.
Protection of children should be the starting point of any debate about protections across media. Future protection frameworks should include a mix of regulation, self-regulation and self-imposed standards and measures that empower people to manage their
and their families' access to media. Ofcom is planning to carry out research and analysis and develop options for Government
Over Blocking is presumably making it impractical for parents to opt for website blocking
The over blocking reporting process will be accessed via Internet Matters and web site owners can use this single location to reach BT, BskyB, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Details about how it will be publicised will be discussed on 11th July.
Members of the public are already able to report when they think a website has been unfairly blocked - when they attempt to access a blocked site, a splash page comes up explaining that it has been blocked and there is a link allowing the user to report.
This is currently in place with all four ISPs.
Rachel O'Connell, UKCCIS lead on age verification, poke about the age verification working group and her recent briefing paper, Age Verification: New Possibilities. E-ID provides a method to verify age and is starting to be introduced across Europe.
There is an opportunity to revisit age verification, it is a big commercial opportunity and could provide an opportunity for big savings. Age is an attribute of ID, if you've proven your age with your bank, or your mobile phone company for instance, you
should be able to use this so you only have to verify your age once. Rachel recommended fostering children's participation without stifling innovation.
Rachel continued that there is a strong assumption that mobile, and mobile payments will drive demand for E-ID. Vocalink for example, is introducing an app that will check age. Rachel recommended that banks are asked to start collecting data on the age
of those 17 and under with bank cards - when a user makes a card payment, as well as checking that the money is available in their account, the system should also check the user's age is appropriate to purchase the product or service. Rachel felt that
this would also be a priority for retail, as age verification is a fundamental need for development of online lockers, and the potential for federated age verification token would cut costs phenomenally.
ATVOD supports existing initiatives to improve take up of parental controls and the legislation to remove any doubt that material that would be rated R18 by the British Board of Film Classification must be put behind access controls on regulated UK-based
services. There is work to be done at an EU and international level. The payments industry have made clear that they would prevent UK payments to foreign websites which allow children to view hard-core porn if it was clear that such websites were
operating in breach of UK law
A blogger has fallen victim to extreme censorship in Iran and has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting the religious character Mohammad on Facebook.
According to an informed source , speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Soheil Arabi, had kept eight Facebook pages under different names and admitted to posting material supposedly insulting to a religious character.
Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting Mohammed carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death
sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.
The anonymous source claims:
Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence. They didn't even take any notice of Soheil's statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor
[psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful.
Arabi will be able to appeal against the decision until 20 September.
One of the biggest web censorship services in the world has announced they are scrapping blocks on gay and lesbian content.
Symantec, the online security firm behind Norton, has routinely been censorsing out LGBTI websites offering news, charity and support. The lifestyle-sexual orientation category will now be removed from its databases. Fran Rosch, executive vice
president for Norton products said:
Making this change was not only the right thing to do, it was a good business decision. Having a category in place that could be used to filter out all LGBT-oriented sites was inconsistent with Symantec's values and the mission of our software.
While Symantec will allow customers to set their search to block adult oriented websites, there will no longer be an option to block websites just because they have LGBTI content.
The European court of human rights (ECHR) is to investigate British laws that allow GCHQ and police to secretly snoop on journalists.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
has gone to Strasbourg in a bid to get a finding that domestic law is incompatible with provisions in European law which give journalists right to keep sources confidential from police and others.
The application has been accepted by the ECHR, which has indicated in the past it will expedite cases on surveillance through its legal system.
A second actor has sued Google over a movie called Innocence of Muslims that mocked the religious character Mohammad. Segments of the film were released on YouTube and violent protests were initiated in response in the muslim world.
Gaylord Flynn said he has received death threats and fears for his life while Google continues to provide its users with access to the film, according to his lawsuit, filed in a California federal court.
Flynn, who is also suing the film-maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula , said Google had refused to block access to the movie, even though a ninth US circuit court of appeals panel last February ordered it taken off Google's video-sharing website, YouTube. In
that case, actor Cindy Lee Garcia sued Google for an injunction, claiming she owned the copyright of her performance.
Google argued at the time that an injunction amounted to restricting speech in violation of the US constitution. The company is demanding a rehearing from the full appeals court.
Flynn said the film-maker concealed the true nature of his production. He said he thought he was hired for a movie called Desert Warrior and never consented to be in a religiously oriented film nor in one that propagates hate speech . Flynn, like
Garcia, said he did not sign a release and his own copyright interests remain intact, according to the complaint.
A federal appeals court will reconsider a decision to order YouTube to take down an anti-Muslim film clip. Muslims in the Middle East responded violently resulting in death threats to the actors over claims of blasphemy.
An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena will hear arguments by Google, which owns YouTube, disputing the court's decision to remove Innocence of Muslims from the popular video sharing service.
Alex Lawrence, a copyright and intellectual property lawyer in New York not connected with the case, said he thinks the court will reverse the earlier ruling because the judges reached a decision to give Garcia some relief on thinly grounded law:
There's a lot of sympathy for Miss Garcia, Lawrence said. She got paid $500 and received death threats. Everyone feels sympathy for her, but using copyright in this way is a real problem for a lot of industries.
The first scraps of information about the government's upcoming internet censorship laws have been reported in the Sunday Times.
The Government seems to be drafting a law to apply the BBFC/Crown Prosecution Service censorship R18 rules to Bristish adult websites.
The Sunday Times writes:
FILMS that glamorise sexual violence and abuse are to be banned from British-based websites as the government prepares to impose the same standards on the internet as on cinemas and shops selling DVDs.
Under legislation due later this autumn, British services will be prohibited from showing material that would be refused an age rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
However it is yet clear how this can be implemented, as some of the BBFC prohibited content is very vague as what is to be banned with such material as squirting, breath constriction and narrative allusions to under 18s sex. Is a couple of seconds of
cuts enough to make a film totally illegal to show on a British website? It seems so, the article notes:
Currently films with scenes removed by the BBFC for consumption in cinemas or on DVD can be shown online in their original form without penalty.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Video on Demand censor, Peter Johnson said there would be significant fines for websites breaching the new rules that will be imposed by Ofcom. Adding that if necessary services would be removed.
Roy Greenslade in the Guardian has written of a fascinating example of the 'right to be forgotten' being clearly abused.
The Worcester News was told by Google that it was removing from its search archive an innocuous article in praise of a young artist.
Although Google does not say who complained, the paper's editor, Peter John, is confident that Roach himself made the request because he had previously approached the News to remove the piece from its website. Apparently, Roach is now a professional
artist and, in the belief that he is now a much better painter than he was in 2009, he thinks the painting of a Walnut Whip which accompanies the article might damage his artistic reputation.
The Worcester News editor notes:
An artist wanting to remove part of his back catalogue did not strike us as the sort of principle that the European court of justice had in mind when it came up with the right to be forgotten ruling.
We are trying to appeal, but have not yet been able to find out if Google have an appeals procedure.
Google is to fight back against the European Union's inane right to be forgotten ruling. Following a ruling from the European Union Court of Justice under which, Google must remove personal information from search results upon requests without
being in the position to ascertain that the request is justified.
In order to oppose against the ruling, Google is planning public hearings in seven different European cities starting in Madrid on September 9.
Google is looking for a robust debate over the ruling and its implementation criteria, as said by a top lawyer, David Drummond. Google is not the only company to criticize the ruling and Wikipedia Founder , Jimmy Wales, has called the ruling to be
deeply immoral and even said that ruling will lead to an internet riddled with memory holes.
Drummond and Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, will highlight the implications of this ruling. Furthermore, the company will outline ideas for handling requests related to criminal convictions.
Facebook Messenger censors your private messages should you link to porn sites.
Cleveland comedian and self-described whistleblower Walter Hemmelgarn posted on Facebook: Apparently you aren't allowed to share links to porn via Facebook Messenger.
Xvideos is a world class website ranked as the 45th most popular site in the US. But if you try to send someone a link to Xvideos, Facebook refuses to deliver the message and informs you that the content you're trying to share includes a link that our
security systems detected to be unsafe. Please remove this link and continue.
Of course it is bollox that Xvideos is unsafe. According to MacAfee's SiteAdvisor security report, Xvideos is totally safe .
Thankfully the market provides plenty of better alternatives. Free, encrypted, non-invasive messenger apps like CryptoCat fill the void that Facebook leaves.
SHere's a list 10 popular sites blocked by Facebook.
US internet firms were prepared this week to quickly ban the video of an Islamic State militant beheading an American journalist after a previous video by the same group showing the death of James Foley ricocheted through social networks in what was seen
by some as a propaganda coup for the extremists.
The video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff was first uploaded onto a different website and quickly deleted when copied onto YouTube, slowing the spread of posts linking to it.
Family Online Safety Institute CEO Stephen Balkam, commented:
It's been very interesting, with this second beheading, how very little of those images have been passed around. It's very difficult to find them unless you know of some darker places on the web.
Pakistan's government is formulating a policy for online media, incorporating all restrictive provisions of the recently approved National Broadcast Policy.
Like the broadcast policy, the draft online policy seeks a ban or more or less everything. In particular:
Publishing inconsistent and misleading information and data. No information and data can be published or broadcast demeaning the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and government officials who can sentence people for criminal offences.
The online media cannot publish information and data that may spark separatism and unrest or create hatred among people of different castes, creeds and religions, or may satirise national ideals, undermine people and harm the unity and solidarity of the
country, intrude on privacy, impede state security and hurt religious values and non-communal spirit.
The draft seeks a ban on publishing anything indecent that might affect children's psyche or something that might encourage harassment and violence against women and children.
The online media is not allowed to publish photographs and footage of murders and dead bodies that hurt human feelings. Besides, there will be a ban on publishing abusive and terrorising photographs and videos of local and foreign films which militate
against the culture of the country, according to the draft.
The conditions and restrictions relating to advertisements in the draft online policy are also similar to those of the broadcast policy:
It puts restrictions on online publication of any information or advertisements that might hamper friendly relations with foreign countries or may cause conflict with a friendly state.
Moreover, the online media will not be allowed to publish any advertisements, containing language and scenes that may hurt political and religious sentiment. No photographs or video footage of mosques, temples and churches can be used in advertisements
for commercial purposes.
At present, anyone can launch a website and put information, photographs, video or audio clips there. Many government officials, especially deputy commissioners (DCs), have been pressing for a policy to impose restrictions on such online media workings.
LinkedIn executives said Tuesday that they are reconsidering their policies, after seven months of censoring content from China deemed too sensitive. Hani Durzy, a company spokesman told Bloomberg:
We do want to get this right, and we are strongly considering changing our policy so that content from our Chinese members that is not allowed in China will still be viewed globally.
LinkedIn, however, thought it could make it work. In February, the company launched its Chinese-language Web site and set up operations in China. In return, it promised to follow Chinese government rules and started self-censoring content.
Then, in June, came the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. LinkedIn users reported posts about Tiananmen being blocked even in Hong Kong, which lies outsides China's censorship firewall. LinkedIn claimed at the time that it was an accident.
And it said that although such content was self-censored in China, it would remain accessible elsewhere in the world. But some users pointed out that this wasn't true.
Rob Schmitz, a radio journalist for Marketplace whose story about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown was blocked in China, wrote recently that LinkedIn blocked his report not only in China but also globally.
Content posted from China IP addresses will be blocked globally to protect the safety of our members that live in China, LinkedIn admitted in an e-mail to Schmitz .