Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media would back the creation of an internet censor to set out a framework for internet
companies in the UK, the House of Lords Communications Committee was told.
The three major UK ISPs were reporting to a House of Lords' ongoing inquiry into internet censorship. The companies' policy heads pushed for a new censor, or the expansion of the responsibility of a current censor, to set the rules for content
censorship and to better equip children using the internet amid safety concerns .
At the moment Information Commissioner's Office has responsibility for data protection and privacy; Ofcom censors internet TV; the Advertising Standards Authority censors adverts; and the BBFC censors adult porn.
Citing a report by consultancy Communications Chambers, Sky's Adam Kinsley said that websites and internet providers are making decisions but in a non structured way. Speaking about the current state of internet regulation, Kinsley said:
Companies are already policing their own platforms. There is no accountability of what they are doing and how they are doing it. The only bit of transparency is when they decide to do it on a global basis and at a time of their choosing.
Policy makers need to understand what is happening, and at the moment they don't have that.
The 13-strong House of Lords committee, chaired by Lord Gilbert of Panteg, launched an inquiry earlier this year to explore how the censorship of the internet should be improved. The committee will consider whether there is a need for new laws
to govern internet companies. This inquiry will consider whether websites are sufficiently accountable and transparent, and whether they have adequate governance and provide behavioural standards for users.
The committee is hearing evidence from April to September 2018 and will launch a report at the end of the year.
A campaign group of anti-sex works MPs comprising of feminists and religious moralists have just published a biased campaign document claiming all the usual bogies about trafficking, organised crime and so on.
The group misleadingly calls itself the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade, as if it was an official committee of parliament. It is not, it is just a self appointed campaign group with no
attempt to include MPs independent of the campaign nor to represent the wider views of Parliament.
Of course sex workers are definitely not party to the report., and in fact have been protesting against the report to highlight its lack of independence and representation of sex worker input.
A roughly 200-strong collection of sex workers and activists came out to Parliament Square on Wednesday to make their case, with banners such as "Decriminalise sex work, for safety's sake."
The report titled Behind Closed Doors targets technology based tools used by modern sex workers, such as pop-up brothels using Airbnb, and internet platforms like Vivastreet and Adultwork, claimed to be the most significant enablers
of sex-work and sex trafficking.
The Labour MP Sarah Champion iused the report to call for internet censorship along the lines of the US FOSTA internet censorship. By making internet platforms liable to penalties for content posted by their users, they end up censoring and
blocking large swathes of related content just in case something prohibited gets through. In America the law makers specifically prohibit material that aids sex trafficking, but because there is no obvious way of checking whether an advert is
for a legal sex worker or for a trafficked sex worker, then the companies have to take down the legal stuff too. In fact the effects are so wide spread that even dating services have been taken down just in case traffickers are lurking
somewhere amongst the dating couples.
But the campaigners don't stop there, comments to the media suggests a push for the UK to adopt The Nordic Model, a legal framework in which the selling of sexual services is legal but the purchase of those services is criminalised. The model
has been largely panned by sex workers, activists and researchers as ineffective and unsafe.
Furthermore in light of the publicity for the report, Jeremy Corbyn was asked by Sky's Sophy Ridge about the subject and he came out in favour of the #Nordic model model of criminalising men buying sex.
So, as usual from the 'progressive' left are enjoying a good sneer at men, and will happily see them imprisoned and fined just for wanting to get laid.
Comment: Disappointed by Corbyn
8th July 2018. Thanks to Alan
I'm disappointed to hear Jeremy Corbyn apparently backing the Nordic Model. In the past, he has favoured
decriminalisation, to loud squeals from the pointless and reliably mouthy Jess Phillips. John McDonnell, by contrast, has always been on the side of sex workers.
I am baffled by the behaviour of nominally Labour politicians who prattle about sex work while ignoring sex workers. I can't imagine Champion or Phillips spouting about railways without talking to the RMT and ASLEF or about higher education
without consultation with the UCU. I think the organizations representing sex workers should hammer this point home at every opportunity.
Google, Facebook, YouTube and other sites would be required by law to take down extremist material within 24 hours of receiving an
official complaint under an amendment put forward for inclusion in new counter-terror legislation.
The Labour MP Stephen Doughty's amendment echoes censorship laws that came into effect in Germany last year. However the effect of the German law was to enable no-questions-asked censorship of anything the government doesn't like. Social media
companies have no interest in challenging unfair censorship and find the easiest and cheapest way to comply is to err on the side of the government, and take down anything asked regardless of the merits of the case.
The counter-terrorism strategy unveiled by the home secretary, Sajid Javid, this month, said the Home Office would place a renewed emphasis on engagement with internet providers and work with the tech industry to seek more investment in
technologies that automatically identify and remove terrorist content before it is accessible to all.
But Doughty, a member of the home affairs select committee, said his amendment was needed because the voluntary approach was failing. He said a wide variety of extremist content remained online despite repeated warnings.
If these companies can remove copyrighted video or music content from companies like Disney within a matter of hours, there is no excuse for them to be failing to do so for extremist material.
Doughty's amendment would also require tech companies to proactively check content for extremist material and take it down within six hours of it being identified.
The proactive check of content alludes to the censorship machines being introduced by the EU to scan uploads for copyrighted material. The extension to detect terrorist material coupled with the erring on the side of caution approach would
inevitably lead to the automatic censorship of any content even using vocabulary of terrorism, regardless of it being news reporting, satire or criticsim.
A row over Tory MP Christopher Chope blocking a backbench attempt to ban people from taking lewd photographs up women's
skirts has spurred the government to adopt the bill.
Speaking in PMQ's this week, Theresa May confirmed the Government was taking on the upskirting campaign. She said:
Upskirting is a hideous invasion of privacy.
It leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.
We will adopt this as a Government Bill, we will introduce the Bill this Thursday with a second reading before the summer recess.
But we are not stopping there. We will also ensure that the most serious offenders are added to the sex offenders register, and victims will be in no doubt their complaints will be taken very seriously and perpetrators will be punished.
And now extremist feminists are attempting to massively extend the bill to cover their own pet peeves.
Feminist campaigner and academic Clare Ms McGlynn, claimed the draft law created an opportunity to tackle so-called deepfake pornography. She said:
It would be easy to extend the bill so that it covers images which have been altered too and clearly criminalise a practice that victims say they find incredibly distressing.
And Labour MP Stella Creasy demanded misogyny is made a hate crime to ensure the law keeps up with abuse of women. She claimed outlawing hatred of women - by bringing it in to with race and equality laws - would be more effective than one-off bans
for offences like upskirting.