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Dragonfly Eyes...

China demands cuts to translated Chinese novel being published in German


Link Here25th October 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Dragonfly Eyes is a novel written by Cao Wenxuan, a well-known Chinese author of children's and young adult books. The book was licensed for translation into German, but the original Chinese publisher was not happy with the translation and is demanding small cuts and edits to show Chinese characters in the book in a better light.

The Chinese publisher told Nora Frisch, the German publisher of the translation, to take the book off the market pending edits.

Dragonfly Eyes tells the story of a French woman married to a Shanghai entrepreneur. During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the woman - by then a grandmother -- is accused of being a spy. She is captured by the Red Guards paramilitary movement, who shave off her hair and parade her through the streets. When infighting breaks out between various factions, she is able to escape.

The corrections which the Chinese publisher demanded from Frisch concerned a few passages in the last chapter. In the original version, the French woman asks one of the Red Guards, an 18-year-old girl, to lend her a scarf so she can cover her head. In the revised version, it's the girl who offers the scarf to the old woman.

As Chinese authorities have begun paying more attention to how China is perceived abroad in recent years, censorship has increased. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that he expects Chinese media and publishers to contribute to the country's soft power by telling China's story well.

The impact of this policy recently became apparent in Germany, when Thalia, a large chain of bookstores, suddenly designated an unusual amount of shelf space to Chinese literature in some of its stores. Clients quickly noticed that the shelves lacked any literature critical of the Communist Party. Instead, speeches by Xi Jinping were front and center.

Thalia later admitted that the display had been curated by China Book Trading, a German subsidiary of China International Publishing Group, which is owned by the ruling Communist Party.

 

 

The e-Commerce Directive...

The EU's next round of strangulation of European internet businesses via red tape and censorship


Link Here23rd October 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law

The European Union has made the first step towards a significant overhaul of its core platform regulation, the e-Commerce Directive .

In order to inspire the European Commission, which is currently preparing a proposal for a Digital Services Act Package , the EU Parliament has voted on three related Reports ( IMCO , JURI , and LIBE reports), which address the legal responsibilities of platforms regarding user content, include measures to keep users safe online, and set out special rules for very large platforms that dominate users' lives.

Clear EFF's Footprint

Ahead of the votes, together with our allies , we argued to preserve what works for a free Internet and innovation, such as to retain the E-Commerce directive's approach of limiting platforms' liability over user content and banning Member States from imposing obligations to track and monitor users' content. We also stressed that it is time to fix what is broken: to imagine a version of the Internet where users have a right to remain anonymous, enjoy substantial procedural rights in the context of content moderation, can have more control over how they interact with content, and have a true choice over the services they use through interoperability obligations .

It's a great first step in the right direction that all three EU Parliament reports have considered EFF suggestions. There is an overall agreement that platform intermediaries have a pivotal role to play in ensuring the availability of content and the development of the Internet. Platforms should not be held responsible for ideas, images, videos, or speech that users post or share online. They should not be forced to monitor and censor users' content and communication--for example, using upload filters. The Reports also makes a strong call to preserve users' privacy online and to address the problem of targeted advertising. Another important aspect of what made the E-Commerce Directive a success is the "country or origin" principle. It states that within the European Union, companies must adhere to the law of their domicile rather than that of the recipient of the service. There is no appetite from the side of the Parliament to change this principle.

Even better, the reports echo EFF's call to stop ignoring the walled gardens big platforms have become. Large Internet companies should no longer nudge users to stay on a platform that disregards their privacy or jeopardizes their security, but enable users to communicate with friends across platform boundaries. Unfair trading, preferential display of platforms' own downstream services and transparency of how users' data are collected and shared: the EU Parliament seeks to tackle these and other issues that have become the new "normal" for users when browsing the Internet and communicating with their friends. The reports also echo EFF's concerns about automated content moderation, which is incapable of understanding context. In the future, users should receive meaningful information about algorithmic decision-making and learn if terms of service change. Also, the EU Parliament supports procedural justice for users who see their content removed or their accounts disabled.

Concerns Remain

The focus on fundamental rights protection and user control is a good starting point for the ongoing reform of Internet legislation in Europe. However, there are also a number of pitfalls and risks. There is a suggestion that platforms should report illegal content to enforcement authorities and there are open questions about public electronic identity systems. Also, the general focus of consumer shopping issues, such as liability provision for online marketplaces, may clash with digital rights principles: the Commission itself acknowledged in a recent internal document that "speech can also be reflected in goods, such as books, clothing items or symbols, and restrictive measures on the sale of such artefacts can affect freedom of expression." Then, the general idea to also include digital services providers established outside the EU could turn out to be a problem to the extent that platforms are held responsible to remove illegal content. Recent cases ( Glawischnig-Piesczek v Facebook ) have demonstrated the perils of worldwide content takedown orders.

It's Your Turn Now @EU_Commission

The EU Commission is expected to present a legislative package on 2 December. During the public consultation process, we urged the Commission to protect freedom of expression and to give control to users rather than the big platforms. We are hopeful that the EU will work on a free and interoperable Internet and not follow the footsteps of harmful Internet bills such as the German law NetzDG or the French Avia Bill, which EFF helped to strike down . It's time to make it right. To preserve what works and to fix what is broken.

 

 

The Chinese Empire...

China censors French Museum over wrong think about Genghis Khan


Link Here14th October 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
A history museum in western France has postponed an exhibition about the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan for three years, citing censorial interference by the Chinese government.

The Château des ducs de Bretagne in Nantes says that it decided to pause the production after Chinese authorities asked that names and terms like "Genghis Khan," "empire," and "Mongol" not be used in the exhibition. The museum also alleges that the Chinese government asked to oversee the exhibition's brochures, legends, and maps.

The museum further detailed that the collaboration was hampered by the interference of the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage, which requested changes that included notably elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favour of a new national narrative.   The museum noted that censorship underscored the hardening ... of the position of the Chinese government against the Mongolian minority.

 

 

Big guns vs big tech...

EU arms up against US internet giants


Link Here12th October 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
The European Commission is beefing up its weapons to take on Big Tech.

Under Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, the commission is planning to merge two major legislative initiatives on competition into a single text.

One is the so-called New Competition Tool, a market investigation tool that would allow competition enforcers to act more swiftly and forcefully. The other is a part of the Digital Services Act , a new set of rules due to be unveiled in December for companies like Google, Apple and Amazon. Combined, the new powers would be known as the Digital Markets Act.

The act will include a list of do's and don'ts for so-called gatekeeping platforms -- or those who are indispensable for other companies to reach consumers online -- to curb what it sees as anti-competitive behavior.

 

 

Offsite Article: Challenging UK state snooping...


Link Here11th October 2020
The CJEU has ruled to prevent national legislation from ordering telecommunication companies to transfer data in a general and indiscriminate manner to security agencies, even for purposes of national security

See article from ukhumanrightsblog.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Twitting on users...


Link Here5th October 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Politico reports on German moves to force social media platforms to proactively report hate speech to the government

See article from politico.eu


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