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Progressive justice...

US judge suspends Texas internet law intended to stop social media companies from censoring right leaning opinions

Link Here3rd December 2021
A us judge has banned a Texas state internet law that banned large internet companies from censoring user content on the basis of political bias.

Texas' HB 20 law, passed a few months ago, bans online platforms with over 50 million monthly active users from censoring content based on a users' viewpoint. The law focuses on restricting social platforms' ability to censor content, although it contains some provision to get illegal content removed faster.

Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction filed by NetChoice and CCIA to put HB 20 on hold until the case is complete. The judge argues that the law violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies.

The judge insisted that the government cannot dictate what content a social media company is allowed or not allowed to publish.

Private companies that use editorial judgment to choose whether to publish content -- and, if they do publish content, use editorial judgment to choose what they want to publish -- cannot be compelled by the government to publish other content.

According to the court, viewpoint discrimination can be deemed editorial discretion, which is a principle protected by the First Amendment.

The law also requires large social media companies to provide detailed reports of their content moderation decisions. The court ruled that requirement is inordinately burdensome given the unfathomably large numbers of posts on these sites and apps.



Toxic proposals...

Russian proposals to treat all the depictions of gay relationships as restricted pornography

Link Here3rd December 2021
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A powerful Russian MP known for homophobic statements and projects has proposed a bill that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography.

Vitaly Milonov -- a member of Vladimir Putin's governing United Russia party, and deputy chairman of the Federal Assembly's Committee on Family Affairs, Women and Children -- said that people should have the right to ask the state's regulator to not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content.

The announcement coincided with another Russian official's disclosure that he had prepared a catalogue of toxic content, using a system that labels content from completely banned to simply undesirable. Igor Ashmanov, a member of Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, revealed that he had developed a catalogue to mark so-called 'toxic content' on the internet.

The resource, Ashmanov said, would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] 'child-free' lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality.



Age of censorship...

German internet censors get legal backing to block Cyprus based porn sites that do not require age verification

Link Here30th November 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
A German court has ruled that authorities are justified in banning three unnamed porn websites based in Cyprus from operating in Germany due to rules requiring age verification.

The Duesseldorf administrative court said it had rejected complaints by the sites' two unnamed operators, who argued that the age verification regulations in Germany didn't apply to them because they were based in another European Union country.

The court said the decision taken by the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia state to ban the sites in Germany didn't breach national, European or international law.

The names of the sites weren't released by the court. The ruling can be appealed.



Freedom tanks in Hong Kong...

Netflix censors a Tiananenmen episode of The Simpsons

Link Here30th November 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
An episode of The Simpsons that refers to the Tiananmen Square massacre is reported to be missing from Disney's streaming service in Hong Kong.

Customers noticed that episode 12 of season 16 is missing from Disney +, which launched in the city this month.

Firms serving Hong Kong are now forced to abide by the same repressive media censorship rules that apply to mainland China.

The episode, named Goo Goo Gai Pan , sees the cartoon family visit China. During their trip to Beijing, they visit Tiananmen Square where a sign reads: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened - a nod to censorship of the deadly crackdown on protesters there that year.

In another part of the episode, the Simpsons also visit the embalmed body of former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, whom Homer refers to as a little angel that killed 50 million people.



Endangering adults...

The Sunday Times reports that the Government is preparing to require ID verification for all internet porn

Link Here26th November 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Sunday Times is reporting that UK government inisters are preparing to introduce mandatory ID verification for adults to be able to access internet porn.

Plans to bring in ID verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 2019 over their failure to include data protection for porn users, are now being looked on with approval by Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, and Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary.

Their support follows an intervention by Dame Rachel de Souza, the children's commissioner, who has sent a report to ministers recommending that age verification becomes compulsory on all porn sites, not just those with user uploaded content as proposed under the draft Online 'Safety' Bill.



Offsite Article: UnsafeToSnoop...

Link Here26th November 2021
Child protection app that uses AI to surveil incoming messages finds that this is illegal without the consent of the sender

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