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EU Censorship News

2024: Jan-March

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AI porn sniffing censor...

German Government Now Exporting Anti-Porn Surveillance Tool

Link Here14th February 2024
Full story: Age Verification in Germany...Requiring age verification for adult websites
A moral campaigner who has been waging a one-man War on Porn in Germany, and who developed an AI tool that scans online content to identify porn images, has now exported that technology for use by a Belgian media censor.

Tobias Schmid, director of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced the tool after supervising its development himself. He named it KIVI, a word play referencing surveillance.

A spokeswoman for the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed to NetzPolitik that there were exploratory talks taking place regarding expanding the use of KIVI across Europe. Last week, it was confirmed that Belgium's Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) is also automatically searching the Internet, looking for freely accessible pornography, among other things.

KIVI was developed for Schmid by Berlin-based Condat AG and is currently being used by all 14 state media authorities in Germany. In addition to pornography, KIVI is also trained to detect categories like extremism, hate speech, swastikas or the glorification of drugs.

Belgium's CSA is now scanning for adult content, Meineck reported, noting, From September to December 2023, around 5,000 suspicious activity reports were collected. Examiners viewed around a fifth of it, and around 90% of this content was 'clearly' pornographic, and thus should not be accessible without strict age controls.



Followers of repression...

Italy decides to censor social media influencers as if they were publishers

Link Here16th January 2024
Full story: Internet Censorship in Italy...Censorship affecting bloogers and the press in Italy
In an attempt to restrict the freedoms and rights of social media influencers, the Italian Regulatory Authority of Telecommunications (AGCOM) has announced that people with a following exceeding 1,000,000 will now be legally considered as producers of audio-visual content within the law, placing them on the same legal footing as publishers.

This drastic change was revealed in the aftermath of an investigation conducted into Chiara Ferragni , a notable adversary of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Italy's most prominent social media influencer, regarding alleged fraudulent activities tied to a holiday cake charity event.

Currently, influencers within Europe implementing influencer-marketing strategies are perceived not as media organizations but as sellers or traders. However, AGCOM intends to widen this viewpoint, likening these influencers to TV, marketing agencies, and publishers, thereby imposing greater responsibility for all kinds of content they produce.

This new classification increases the legal and reputational hazards influencers face when publishing material. Under the new regulations, influencers are compelled to clearly distinguish sponsored content and ads, with penalties reaching up to a quarter-million euros for non-compliance. Violations concerning child protection could warrant penalties exceeding half a million euros. Even non-commercial content produced by influencers must adhere to anti-discrimination regulations and uphold various standards currently imposed on traditional media creators, such as abstention from disseminating misinformation, hate speech, or promotion of harmful behavior like excessive alcohol consumption.



EU headquartered censorship...

Irish internet censor announces list of websites subject to censorship

Link Here11th January 2024
Full story: Internet Censorship in Ireland...Ireland considers the UK's lead in censoring porn and social media
The Irish internet censor, Coimisiún na Meán, has published the list of 10 'video-sharing platform services', that will be subject to censorship under the new Online Safety Code.

Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter, are among the websites that will be subject to its new Online Safety Code. Alongside these sites, the designated platforms also include YouTube, Udemy, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

In an explanatory document explaining the code, the regulator said:

Content which is intended to incite violence or hatred is covered by the draft code (as it is illegal content which is harmful to the general public). Platforms will be obliged to prohibit the uploading or sharing of this content. Platforms will also have to provide effective media literacy measures and tools for users. These tools can help users to recognise misinformation and disinformation.

Last week, the Irish Examiner revealed people may soon be required to upload their passport details or a selfie to certain websites if they want to view pornography. The provisions, which Coimisiún na Meán said would apply to platforms with their European headquarters based in Ireland, are contained in this code which remains out to public consultation until the end of the month.

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