UK News

 2011: Jan-March



30th March   

Update: Plodding On...


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Nominet announce group to discuss police take down of internet domains
Link Here  full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship

Nominet logo The issue group on 'Dealing with domain names used in connection with criminal activity' has been set up. It brings together expertise and experience from within and outside the domain name industry. We have a list of people [pdf] who will form the core of this issue group, chaired by Professor Ian Walden. The group's first meeting will take place on 4 April 2011.

We are also publishing a background report on this issue which has been prepared by Micheal O'Floinn, an independent PhD researcher at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Stakeholders can submit feedback on the report up until 31 March 2011 by emailing policy@nominet.org.uk .

 

23rd March   

Bike Book...


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Tommy Sheriden attempts to get biography banned
Link Here

Tommy Sheridan Hero Political Biography Tommy Sheridan is waging a battle from behind bars to prevent publication of a new biography that will allege he referred to women as bikes and faced complaints over his treatment of female members of Militant Tendency. The former MSP, who is serving three years in jail for perjury after lying about his adultery and participation in group sex, has instructed his solicitor to threaten Professor Gregor Gall, and the academic's employer, the University of Hertfordshire, with legal action over the publication of Tommy Sheridan: From Hero To Zero?

The author is a former member of the Scottish Socialist Party, which Sheridan led before stepping down to pursue a civil case against the News of the World in 2006.

Gall began researching his book in 2003 and enjoyed the initial support of Sheridan, who consented to 25 hours of interviews. However Sheridan broke contact with the academic following a split in the SSP.

Gall has said he will not provide his subject with a copy of the manuscript before publication. Gall insisted the publication was a serious academic study and said he had not received any funding for the book from the university.

 

22nd March   

Offsite: Hyper Injunctions...


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Courts gag people from even speaking to MPs
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Old Bailey It all started with the reporting of an injunction, supposedly obtained by former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive, preventing him being identified as a banker . A mildly interesting story, made marginally more so by the fact that the injunction had been breached by an MP during a Parliamentary debate.

But there is more to the story. As bloggers Anna Raccoon, Charon QC and Obiter J have reported, on a Parliamentary debate on Thursday the same Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming, revealed the details of a number of other (what he called) hyper injunctions. The common feature was that courts had ordered not only that the parties to litigation were to be prevented from revealing details of their cases to the public, but also to their MPs.

...Read the full article

Update: Not So New

22nd March 2011. See  article from  guardian.co.uk , thanks to pbr

Behold, then, a new innovation: what Hemming calls the hyper-injunction. This double-secret form of super-injunction, unveiled only recently by the MP, specifically bars a person from discussing something with members of Parliament, journalists and lawyers , except for his own defence lawyers.

Its effectiveness is clearly demonstrated by the fact that it's not new at all: the hyper-injunction Hemmings referred to -- concerning allegations to do with ships' drinking water tanks being coated with toxic paint -- dated from 2006, and we're only just hearing about it.

 

17th March   

And You Can Whipe that Smirk Off Your Face James...

Welsh Tories get a ticking off for supposedly tasteless jokes
Link Here

joel james Two Tory Welsh National Assembly candidates will be allowed to represent the party in May's election despite getting in trouble for making supposedly tasteless, sexist jokes on Facebook.

One of the candidates, Joel James posted supposedly juvenile and sexist comments on Facebook, including a reference to French pornography.

Last July James' friend Dan Saxton, the Tory candidate for Cynon Valley was also noted for posting a tasteless joke involving a little girl on Facebook and in January he posted a sexist joke about how to get a bird into bed .

An internal inquiry was launched last month after the Western Mail passed details of the internet postings to the Welsh Conservatives. The Welsh Conservative Party reported after the inquiry: The party's candidates committee met today and accepted the unreserved and sincere apologies of the candidates concerned for any offence they may have caused. They now recognise that the behaviour they engaged in is not appropriate for Welsh Conservative candidates seeking elected office.

Confirming that the two would nevertheless be allowed to stay on as candidates in May's election, the spokesman said there would be no further comment from either the party or the candidates themselves.

In January Richard Lowe, the Tory Assembly candidate for Alyn & Deeside, resigned after it emerged he had made a sick joke about the missing girl Madeleine McCann. Lowe had the Tory whip withdrawn for four months after making the supposedly tasteless joke. He was forced to apologise for inappropriate comments he posted on Facebook.

 

17th March   

Update: Below the Belt...

Scottish Parliament report whinges at low positioning of lads' mags in shops
Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

The Scottish Parliament A new Scottish Parliament report has criticised newsagents and other shops that place lad's mags for sale at a child's eye view.

Research commissioned by the Public Petitions Committee found that many shops were in breach of their own guidelines, which say that such titles should be not displayed at children's eye level or below, to ensure that they are not in the direct sight and reach of children .

However, the report by George Street Research, found 59% of 'lads' mags' observed during the fieldwork displayed at a height of 1.5m or less are being displayed with no obvious attempt to hide the front covers.

 

14th March   

Offsite: Sub Judice...

Avoiding contempt of court: Tips for bloggers and tweeters
Link Here  full story: Googling for Sub-Judicy...Sub-Judicy and associated censorship

angry judge Last week the High Court convicted two newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Sun, of contempt of court for the publication on their websites of a photograph of a man toting a gun during the ongoing criminal trial of that man. They are now likely to face large fines.

It was the first such case of contempt relating to an online publication. By way of background, Alex Bailin QC has posted an excellent comment piece on the Inforrm blog. I have also already discussed the judgment, and the ominous warning by the court that instant news requires instant and effective protection for the integrity of a criminal trial .

My post generated comments from concerned bloggers and tweeters asking what this meant for contempt and online publishing going forward. This is a hard question to answer as it mostly depends on which cases the Attorney General chooses to prosecute. But, although the following is not legal advice, reviewing the case-law on contempt provides some indication of may be to come, and common-sense ways in which publishers, including tweeters and bloggers, can avoid being prosecuted.

...Read the full article

 

12th March   

Britons Offended by Crap Policing...

Police threaten public order prosecution over jokey football sticker
Link Here

God fucked up A Manchester United fan was told by police she faced legal action unless she removed part of a car sticker which teased Manchester City.

Sarah Webb-Lee had a sticker on the rear window of her car which read: On the first day God created United then completely fucked up and created City.

A local councillor passed on to police a complaint they had received from a resident about the wording of the joke and a police officer was sent to the motorist's home.

Mrs Webb-Lee and her City-supporting husband Graham were informed that the sticker was supposedly offensive under the much abused Section 5 of the Public Order Act. They were asked to either remove it or some of the letters within the swear word, and they did the latter.

Mrs Webb-Lee told the Manchester Evening News: I couldn't believe it when the police turned up. We don't have many rights left but freedom of speech is worth hanging on to. I won't take it down. It's just a bit of banter and you hear worse on the terraces. I see lots of things about United and take it on the chin.

Inspector Stephen Gilbertson said: We received a complaint about the language contained in a car sticker that, by law, is offensive.

 

11th March   

Updated: Dangerous Recipes...

Man on trial for assembling and selling an 'Anarchists Cookbook' of information
Link Here

Anarchist Cookbook A man who published a CD that included how to make bombs is on trial on seven counts of collecting information that could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Terence Brown made CDs containing tens of thousands of pages of information from his home in Portsmouth with topics like how to make a letter bomb and how to enter countries illegally , it was claimed.

The prosecution alleges the information could have been used by terrorists to commit atrocities.

Brown called the CDs the Anarchist Cookbook and sold hundreds worldwide in yearly editions for 35 US dollars ( £ 24) each.

Brown allegedly had a now-closed website called www.anarchist-cookbook.com where the CDs could be bought from 2003 until 2008 and buyers either sent cash or used a credit card to pay for the discs.

Parmjit Cheema, prosecuting said compiling such information was illegal if it would cause a threat to people or governments, even though the CDs ran a disclaimer: For educational use only. Do not attempt any activities contained in these CD-Roms. 'Many are illegal and dangerous. She said Brown was not sympathetic to terrorists and the jury was likely to hear he did it to make money.

Update: Jailed for 3 years

11th March 2011. See  article from  mirror.co.uk

A businessman who used the July 7 bombings as a marketing opportunity to promote a terrorists' handbook which he sold on the internet has been jailed for three years.

Terence Brown was found guilty following a trial at Winchester Crown Court of collecting and distributing material that could have led to attacks.

Brown was convicted of seven counts of collecting information which could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, two counts of selling and distributing the information under the Terrorism Act 2006 and a further count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Sentencing Brown, the judge, Mr Justice Blair, said he accepted that he was not a terrorist and acted solely out of financial motivations: Your use of the 7/7 bombings as a marketing tool and the downloading of numerous material and selling of a limited edition was not just irresponsible but incredibly cynical. It must have crossed your mind that the information you were selling could have been used in further incidents in this country or abroad.

 

10th March   

Update: We Dare...Not...

Ubisoft dare not release its flirty fun game for fear of nutter reaction
Link Here  full story: We Dare...Daring to include minor sex references in a game

UBI Soft We Dare PS3 Ubisoft has decided not to release its We Dare game in the United Kingdom.

Ubisoft said: Following the public reaction to the 12+ rating of We Dare, Ubisoft has made the decision not to sell the game in the United Kingdom.

The game was never targeted at the US but twill still be sold in other parts of Europe. No word on Australia where it was passed PG and kicked up a minor nutter stink there too.

 

10th March   

Update: Government Need to Kick their Health Kick Habit...

Looking to TV, films and the internet to extinguish the portrayal of smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

pension health warning Further curbs on the portrayal of smoking on television, in films and on the internet are to be considered by the government, which said the tobacco industry continued to find ways of promoting products despite legislation banning advertising.

The Department of Health in England promised to continue to work to reduce the depiction of smoking and tell regulators and the entertainment industry to consider what more could be done.

Guidelines produced by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, say smoking should generally not be shown before the 9pm TV watershed and should never be glamorised or condoned.

A spokesman for the BBFC said a public consultation in 2009 had asked whether portrayal of smoking should be regarded as a classification issue, concluding that the overwhelming response was, people did not believe it should be.

Action over internet controls, however, will have to be pursued at a global level, potentially through the World Health Organisation.

The government's tobacco control plan states that the way smoking is portrayed can create the false impression that tobacco use is a normal, or even glamorous, activity, and rarely shows the real life negative consequences of tobacco use .

It adds: Smoking in the media can also give a false impression that tobacco use is more common than it actually is. [Bollox! Far few smoke in the media than in real life]

We remain especially concerned about how these influences affect perceptions of social norms and how they encourage young people to take up smoking.

Update: Even the Box Office Lights Up for Rango

See  article from  blog.moviefone.com

Rango DVD Johnny Depp The unusual, hilarious and endearingly weird Rango hit US theaters last weekend, but the animated PG western is causing a stir among anti-smoking advocates who say that the number of characters who light up are unacceptable.

A lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie, said Stanton Glantz director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California.

Glantz's group and other smoke-free organizations are renewing efforts with the MPAA to slap an R-rating on any film that shows smoking.

Critics and audiences are praising Rango for being a grown-up cartoon, making references to spaghetti westerns (lots of smoking in those films ... ) and other adult-friendly movies.

A spokeswoman for Paramount said: The images of smoking in the film ... are portrayed by supporting characters and are not intended to be celebrated or emulated.

 

4th March   

An Insult to Justice...

Football fan prosecuted for mere insult over allusion to Manchester United air crash
Link Here
a message to you rooney video

  See the guy back right
in grey shirt and black cap

A Crawley Town football fan has been given a suspended jail term after he pleaded guilty to mocking victims of the 1958 Munich air crash in the background of a music video.

James Butler was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words with intent to cause harassment alarm or distress.

As there was clearly no threat or harassment then the charges must have been for mere insult. It seems hard to believe that this minor insult could have caused any real alarm or distress.

He appeared before Crawley magistrates, where he was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Butler was also told to pay £ 85 costs and given a 12-month supervision order.

Sentencing him, chair of the bench Rosemary Scott claimed he had offended wide sections of the footballing community: This was a deliberate and planned action targeted at a wider audience and considered grossly offensive to both Manchester United FC and Crawley Town FC and the public in general .

The video was posted on YouTube and Crawley Town's official website. It was a reworking of The Specials' hit, A Message To You, Rudy , adapted by musician Mike Dobie with the new title A Message To You, Rooney .

Club officials failed to realise that in the background Butler was dancing by the stage making aircraft gestures. In the video, he also held his fingers up to show one, nine, five and eight to symbolise the year of the air crash.

Butler was arrested after a Manchester United fan complained.

Magistrates were told that police would apply separately for Butler to be handed a football banning order.

 

4th March   

Update: 15 Man Years to Review...

Man jailed for 5 years for posting terrorist propaganda on the internet
Link Here  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Old Bailey A law student who posted Islamic terrorist propaganda on the internet after becoming radicalised has been jailed for five years.

Mohammed Gul was pouring petrol on the fire and his actions could have spurred others to commit acts of terror, the Old Bailey heard.

Gul was found guilty of five counts of disseminating terrorist publications following a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Judge David Paget said his sentence had to be a deterrent to others and reflect the seriousness of the crime.

The judge praised the anti-terrorist police who, he said, had a Herculean task in reviewing the huge amount of material found on Gul's laptop. It had involved the biggest review of data ever undertaken by the anti-terrorist branch of Scotland Yard and involved 30 officers over a period of six months, he said.

 

25th February   

Update: Tourist Visa Denied...

British court refuses to hear Ukrainian libel case
Link Here  full story: Libel Tourism...UK prosecutions of books published abroad

libel tourists not welcome An attempt by a billionaire Ukrainian businessman to sue a Ukrainian newspaper in the High Court in London has been rejected by a judge.

John Leslie dismissed the case brought against the Kyiv Post by businessman Dimitry Firtash, saying that the link to the English jurisdiction was tenuous in the extreme .

Firtash had sought to sue the newspaper over an article it published about his gas company, RosUkrEergo AG, which he says suggests corruption.

He wanted to bring the case in London even though the Kyiv Post article was thought to have been downloaded from the internet by only 21 people in the United Kingdom.

Dismissing the case, Leslie said: There is no substantial connection to this jurisdiction.

Solicitor Mark Stephens, who represented the newspaper, said: This is one of the worst cases of libel tourism I've encountered in recent years. This is a dispute between a Ukrainian oligarch and a Ukrainian paper about matters in the Ukraine. It has no connection with the UK and the learned Master Leslie quite rightly threw the case out.

 

24th February   

Offsite: Bullshit Meter into the Red...

The Irrationality of the Anti-Sex Lobby
Link Here

freedom in a puritan  age logo When it comes to the public discussion of sex there's a lot that's wrong. The main problem is misinformation, with biased sources spreading information that is at best poorly researched and at worst completely incorrect.

The main themes in this loosely-united area of public disapproval include pornography and adult entertainment, sex trafficking, the rights of people in sex work, and the possible sexualisation of children by exposure to all of the above.

It's known that there is no credible research tying adult entertainment to crime and violence against women. It's clear that the numbers surrounding the trafficking claims don't add up. The fact that sex workers deserve protection, not persecution, is self-evident. And to the critical reader, it's apparent that the people pushing an anti-sex agenda are ignoring vast swathes of ethical and commendable research into sexuality.

Sexualisation of children, in particular, is a lightning rod for many of the public anxieties surrounding sex. I'm particularly interested in this topic for a few reasons. First, because the claims surrounding it bear little relationship to demonstrable reality; second, because both the right and the left appear to have reached consensus on the topic. Last, because so many people are parents, it's an issue that has more power to influence the voting population than, say, what a few misguided feminists think about pornography they never watch anyway. Now maybe I read The Handmaid's Tale just a few times too often as a girl, but when the feminists and the bible-bashers agree on something, my bullshit meter goes into the red.

...Read full article

 

23rd February   

Update: Lads Mags Go Top Shelf...

Supermarkets set to implement display restrictions on lads mags
Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

loaded gemma Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, the Co-op group and BP petrol stations have agreed to put the magazines behind plain covers or on the top shelf following nutter pressure.

But WHSmith said the measures went too far. The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has also refused, saying it is not in a position to tell independent corner shops how to operate.

The moves come after on going campaigning, most recently by Mumsnet, which found 'enormous' unease in a survey of mothers about the publications and their images of scantily-clad women.

But WHSmith said its existing restrictions were sufficient to protect children. We have a strict display policy in place that requires men's lifestyle magazine titles be displayed at minimum height of 1.2 metres, equivalent to the average adult chest/shoulder height, a spokesman said.

The policy requires men's lifestyle magazines to be displayed away from children's or women's magazines, and away from other product ranges which children may be shopping for, e.g. toys and stationery.

Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, which is running the Let Girls Be Girls campaign against the sexualisation of children through advertising, clothing and music, said the store's stance was frustrating . It's great that so many retailers are supporting Mumsnet's campaign. But it's frustrating that WHSmith are arguing that shelf height of 1.2m, that of an eight-year-old child, is a sufficient barrier.

Asda has ordered compulsory modesty boards for the magazines and changed its policy so publishers can no longer pay to have magazines displayed at the front of stores. Tesco is rolling out nationwide a trial in which the titles are put at the back of the top shelf.

 

18th February   

Human Rights in Politically Challenged Times...

Suddenly rights become relative in judgement of public order offence appeal
Link Here

Old Bailey Judges staunchly defended the rights of the majority as they threw out an appeal by a group of Muslims against their conviction for hurling hate-filled abuse at soldiers.

The High Court ruled that the men were not acting within their human rights when they heckled and jeered members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment as they marched through Luton after returning from Afghanistan.

After the Luton protest, five Muslim men were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to cause harassment, alarm of distress. They appealed against their convictions at the High Court, arguing that they were legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to protest under European human rights laws.

But in their ruling two judges said the men's actions had gone well beyond legitimate expressions of protest . Tellingly, they added that the focus on minority rights should not result in overlooking the rights of the majority .

Lord Justice Gross said: There was all the difference in the world between expressing the view that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal or immoral and that British forces should not be engaged in them and the abusive and insulting chants of the appellants. To attend a parade of this nature and to shout that this country's soldiers were "murderers", "baby killers", "rapists all of you" who would or should "burn in hell" gave rise to a very clear threat to public order.

Lord Justice Gross added that freedom of expression was not an unqualified right and the justification for invoking the criminal law is the threat to public order .

In striking the right balance when determining whether speech is "threatening, abusive or insulting", the focus on minority rights should not result in overlooking the rights of the majority , he added.

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker described yesterday's dismissal of their appeal as a victory for common sense : Describing our servicemen and women as baby killers and rapists is incendiary and was deeply distressing.

 

17th February   

Update: Offended by Human Rights...

Appeals to be allowed against long term sex offenders registration
Link Here

Uk Supreme Court People who have been put on the sex offenders register for life are set to be given the right to challenge that decision.

It follows last year's Supreme Court ruling that - under human rights laws - offenders in England and Wales should have the opportunity to prove they had reformed and have their names removed from the list.

Home Office officials are examining how a review system would work. Details are expected to be published in the next few months.

Sex offenders are required to register in person at their local police station within 72 hours of being convicted or cautioned. They must give their name, date of birth, home address and national insurance number - if applicable. It may also be a condition of registration that an offender notify the police if he or she is intending to travel abroad.

Anyone getting a jail term of 30 months to life is subject to an indefinite term of registration - currently there are about 24,000 such offenders in England and Wales. Even a conviction for possessing adult porn under the Dangerous Pictures Act could attract a lifetime registration requirement.

A sentence of six months to 30 months is accompanied by 10 years on the register and a sentence of under six months requires registration of up to seven years. This includes those cautioned or given a community rehabilitation order.

For those under 18, the length of time on the register is usually half that of the adult term.

The Scottish government has already implemented a scheme to give adults offenders an automatic right of appeal for removal from the register after 15 years - those placed on the register when under 18 years old can appeal after eight years.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said she is appalled by the Supreme Court ruling that sex offenders should have the right to seek to remove their names from the register. She told MPs that the government would make only the minimum possible changes to meet its human rights obligations. May added that public protection must come first .... [even before justice!]

 

13th February   

No Pooftas...

Village nutters wound up by sandwich board whimsy
Link Here

bruces no pooftasjpg Mike Saqui has been livening up his New Forest hotel by writing fun, comical messages on a sandwich board outside his building.

But the latest in the series caused nutter 'uproar' in his village with a sign saying: Poofters welcome here .

Mike Saqui, owner of The Penny Farthing Hotel, meant the sign to be a pointed reference to the case where a Cornish B&B owner refused to let in gay couples.

Chairman councillor Mark Rolle told the parish council meeting this week that he had been offended by the slogans. He said: There have been some amusing signs occasionally. But last weekend I found one that incensed me. The realms of decency were overstepped - we could be branded a village of bigots.

However, other councillors disagreed. Leonard Cornell said: It's not offensive, it's a fact. On its website it is listed as gay friendly.

Saqui said:

This is a just a storm in a teacup and the parish council has overreacted. I've been writing fun, comical messages on the A-board for the last 10 years and no harm is meant by them. We have a small minded parish council who have their knickers in a twist and I just want to get on running a business. This is the political correctness culture gone mad. The latest message is not homophobic, we welcome gays, lesbians or whoever.

After we did receive a complaint and I took the board in - and then I received complaints from people saying 'don't let the naysayers win.

I can't believe the police were sent round to have a word either, it's a ridiculous waste of their time. A few bad apples on the parish council will not stop me writing my messages.

 

12th February   

Update: Debate in the Public Domain...

Debating police and Nominet powers to shut down websites at the domain registry level
Link Here  full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship

Nominet logo Police plans to shut down web domains are to be debated in public.

In November, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) tabled a plan to give such powers to Nominet, which oversees the .uk domain.

SOCA wants the power formalised as Nominet has no obligation to shut domains found to be used by criminals.

Those who want to take part are being asked to put their names forward by 23 February at the latest.

Nominet said earlier that it wanted to create a balanced group of stakeholders that would talk over the policy and its implications. A decision on who will be in the group will be taken by 2 March, said Nominet, and it is expected to have its first meeting later that same month.

 

4th February   

Yes to Fairer Society, No to Fairer Votes Campaign...

More easily offended people calling for harsh punishments over a minor bad taste joke
Link Here

tweets logo A voting reform campaigner was disowned after posting an 'outrageous Islamophobic' joke on Twitter. Ben Donnelly was dismissed from his volunteer post for the Yes To Fairer Votes campaign after his comments provoked the easily offended.

The campaign, which wants a switch from first-past-the-post to the alternative vote (AV), moved quickly to axe Donnelly after details of his tweet were leaked to the Standard. The tweet read: Says in the Holy Qu'ran Mohammad used to get his neighbours to vote by AV which of his 4 wives he'd shag each night.

Muslim groups were 'outraged', with Labour MP Khalid Mahmood calling for Mr Donnelly to be referred to the police. This is outrageous and totally Islamophobic, Mahmood said. What has Islam got to do with AV?

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, described the joke as disgusting .

A Yes campaign spokesman said: These comments were utterly disgraceful. Conduct like this will not be accepted by the campaign. We apologise for any offence taken and are as offended by these appalling comments as any other right-thinking person.

Donnelly issued a statement through the Yes campaign saying sorry for the tweet, which has been deleted from his account: I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused . My comments were thoughtless and I bitterly regret them.

 

3rd February   

Update: Stoners Stand Down...

Councillor escapes prosecution after offending Yasmin Alibhi-Brown with a jokey tweet
Link Here  full story: Twitter Twits...Police overreact to trivial insults via Twitter and Facebook

yasmin alibhai brown The authorities will take no further action will be taken against a Birmingham Conservative councillor who joked that a journalist to be stoned to death.

Councillor Gareth Compton made the remark about Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on his Twitter page in November after he took issue with what she said on a radio debate. Compton, who remains suspended from the Tory party, later apologised.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped the case after Ms Alibhai-Brown refused to make any complaint. The member of the public who initially reported the incident to police also failed to provide a statement, the CPS said.

Alibhai-Brown appeared on Radio 5 Live's breakfast show discussing human rights in China. Afterwards, Compton tweeted: Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really.

Speaking at the time, Alibhai-Brown said she had been upset that somebody felt it was OK to say such things: If I, as a Muslim woman, had said about him what he said about me then I would be arrested in these times of the war against terror .

 

26th January   

Update: Screwed by Repressive Policing...

A Serbian Film allegory extends to Northampton Blockbuster
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

A Serbian Film DVD On Friday 21st January 2011 the Police raided an unsuspecting Blockbuster in Northampton upon receiving a complaint from a 'distressed' viewer and seized copies of the film despite the BBFC rating on the front and the content warning in large letters on the back.

The police with their usual, the complainant is always right, attitude didn't check with the BBFC before raiding the store for a perfectly legal film.

Blockbuster has now withdrawn the film from it's catalogue pending consultation with their lawyers.

Northamptonshire police sent dogatemywookie.co.uk the statement:

We received information from a member of the public that a copy of The Serbian Film at a branch of Blockbusters in Northampton contained images of child abuse.

We have a duty to investigate such claims and in agreement with the manager of the shop took a copy away to view and check that it was the edition that has been approved by the British Board of Film Classification for distribution.

It has been established as a legitimate copy of the film that has been approved for distribution by the BBFC and so is being returned to the shop.

 

25th January   

Update: People's Court...

Jon Gaunt continues his legal battle to liken excessive political correctness to Nazism
Link Here  full story: Jon Gaunt and Talksport Nazis...Talksport sack radio presenter over Nazi jibe

Old BaileyThe radio presenter Jon Gaunt who called a councillor a Nazi live on air has won the right to appeal a High Court decision which branded his interview offensive and abusive.

Gaunt launched the appeal after an earlier judicial review failed to overturn a decision made by Ofcom that he had breached the broadcasting code.

The broadcast regulator upheld complaints against Gaunt after he called Redbridge councillor Michael Stark a Nazi and an ignorant pig during an interview on his TalkSport radio show in November, 2008. Gaunt, who was in care as a child, was angry as he felt that the chance of finding a foster home would be lost under the new policy.

Gaunt then sought a judicial review claiming the broadcast regulator unlawfully interfered with his freedom of expression. However, Sir Anthony May and Justice Blair dismissed his judicial review proceedings at London's High Court in July last year saying that: the essential point is that the offensive and abusive nature of the broadcast was gratuitous, having no factual content or justification.

Lord Justice Thomas, granting permission to appeal, said Gaunt should be entitled to argue whether the High Court had followed the correct principles.

 

22nd January   

Updated: Gateshead Dinner Party...

Koran burners not prosecuted as there was no evidence that anyone was actually upset by the stunt
Link Here  full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

Crown Prosecution ServiceSeven men accused of burning a copy of the Koran in a Gateshead pub car park will face no further action.

The men were detained in September after a video appeared on the internet.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was not sufficient evidence for a realistic chance of conviction.

It said it had looked at a number of areas for possible prosecution but there was insufficient evidence.

The CPS said it could not identify who had recorded and posted the video online, there was no evidence threatening behaviour was used and there was no evidence anyone present was upset by what they saw.

 

18th January   

Nanny Mark...

Kitemark launched for internet filtering software
Link Here

child safety online kite mark logoA new symbol has been launched which aims to help consumers identify internet filtering software that has been designed to a high standard and which is both effective and easy to use.

The BSI Kitemark for child safety online is only awarded to filtering software that is easy to install, easy to use and effective in blocking online content such as pornography, violence and racism.

It been developed through collaboration between the British Standards Institution (BSI), the Home Office, Ofcom and representatives from ISPs and application developers.

The first BSI Kitemark for child safety online was this week awarded to web security service Netintelligence, which was vigorously tested to ensure that it met the required standards.

 

13th January   

Update: Spanking Brand New Law...

Max Mosley petitions European court for privacy protection from the press
Link Here  full story: Max Mosley Privacy...Max Mosley, spanking and Nazi sex

European court buildingsMax Mosley, the former president of Formula One, was in a European court on 10 January hoping to secure a new law barring newspapers from publishing details of people's private lives without forewarning.

Mosley is asking the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to make it illegal for a newspaper to publish intrusive material without prior notification. He claimed that it was a great fallacy to think this would inhibit press freedom.

But campaigners have warned that a prior notification rule could damage valid investigative journalism as well as suppressing kiss and tell journalism, by giving anyone who does not like what is about to appear about them in the press time to seek an injunction to prevent publication.

The UK Government opposes Mosley's application.

It's really a very simple thing that if a newspaper is going to write something about your private life, or something you might reasonably wish to keep reasonably private, that they should tell you beforehand, Mosley told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: The fact of the matter is, in 99 cases out of 100, if they are going to write something about someone of any real interest, they will approach the person.

But Geoffrey Robinson QC warned: The vast scope of the new law which is contended for is so vague as to be unworkable.

 

11th January   

Offsite: That's Life...

Is modern life too sexy for our children?
Link Here

BBC Panormama logoThe coalition government has begun a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children which will explore, among other things, whether rules should prevent companies marketing the likes of Porn Star T-shirts and padded bras for little girls.

So what is really out there? I trawled the High Street in search of some of these products and I struggled to find very many. There were a few T-shirts with slogans like Future Footballer's Wife, but are they sexualising children or just a matter of taste?

What did make me uncomfortable was what felt like a strong undercurrent of sexuality and glamour that seems to run through many girls' clothing ranges now - mini-versions of adult trends that included strapless or low-cut dresses, sequins, frills and lace.

But who decides what's sexualised and what's trendy? Who gets to be the fashion police?

...Read the full article

 

6th January   

Police Censors...

Police ban ITV News reporters from press conferences over supposedly unfavourable reporting
Link Here

police avon and somerset logoITV News has been allowed back into press conferences about the murder of Joanna Yeates, after Avon & Somerset police lifted a ban on the broadcaster.

The force prohibited ITV News reporters from attending a press briefing on the murder case, after broadcasting what it deemed an unfair, naive and irresponsible report on ITV1's News at Ten .

According to ITV's head of home news, Toby Castle, police said the broadcaster was allowed to attend future press conferences after accurate and counterbalanced reporting at lunchtime .

However, the constabulary said it would not hesitate to adopt similar tactics if the media hampers our investigation .

 

2nd January   

Press TV Pressure...

Iranian news channel Press TV claims that it is being censored by Britain
Link Here

Press TV logoThe head of an Iran Broadcasting organization has claimed that Britain is censoring Press TV by freezing their bank accounts.

Banks cannot block the accounts of the media which operate within the regulations of the host country without a reason, head of the IRIB World Service Mohammad Sarafraz said.

Sarafraz who also heads Press TV news channel said Press TV Ltd. in London is a company, which is registered according to Britain's law and operates within that framework. He said the London-based Press TV Ltd. is not directly affiliated with Press TV news channel based in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

Sarafraz added that British bank managers have never issued an official response as to why they have blocked the accounts only suggesting that they have been under pressure by those in the positions of authority .

British officials are also said to have tried to block Press TV from broadcasting through pressuring satellite operators especially French companies.

Meanwhile whistle blower website WikiLeaks has recently released documents from secret U.S. Department of State cables which show Britain Foreign Office told the U.S. embassy in London back in February that it is exploring ways to limit the operations of… Press TV . The disclosures, according to Sarafraz, seemed to be connected to the bank accounts closures by the British government.