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2022: January

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Upper Class Twit of the Year...

The Earl of Erroll spouts to Parliament that anal sex and blowjobs are not how to go about wooing a woman

Link Here27th January 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The House of Lords has given a second reading to the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL] which is attempting to resurrect the failed law requiring age verification for porn websites. The bill reads:

Commencement of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017

The Secretary of State must make regulations under section 118(6) (commencement) of the Digital Economy Act 2017 to ensure that by 20 June 2022 all provisions under Part 3 (online pornography) of that Act have come into force.

The full reasoning for law to come into force have never been published but this is most likely due to the law totally failing to address the issue of keeping porn users' data safe from scammers, blackmailers and thieves. It also seems that the government would prefer to have general rules under which to harangue websites for not keeping children safe from harm rather than set to an expensive bunch of film censors seeking out individual transgressors.

The 2nd reading debate featured the usual pro-censorship peers queing up to have a whinge about the availability of porn. And as is always the case, most of them haven't been bothered thinking about the effectiveness of the measures, their practicality and acceptability. And of course nothing about the safety of porn users who foolishly trust their very dangerous identity data to porn websites and age verification companies.

Merlin Hay, the Earl of Erroll seems to be something of a shill for those age verification companies. He chairs the Digital Policy Alliance ( ) which acts as a lobby group for age verifiers. He excelled himself in the debate with a few words that have been noticed by the press. He spouted:

What really worries me is not just extreme pornography, which has quite rightly been mentioned, but the stuff you can access for free -- what you might call the teaser stuff to get you into the sites. It normalises a couple of sexual behaviours which are not how to go about wooing a woman. Most of the stuff you see up front is about men almost attacking women. It normalises -- to be absolutely precise about this, because I think people pussyfoot around it -- anal sex and blowjobs. I am afraid I do not think that is how you go about starting a relationship.



Shooting the messenger...

German internet censors get wound up by the encrypted messaging app Telegram

Link Here27th January 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
The German government has recently made it clear that it will impose fines and sanctions on the social messaging app Telegram if it continues to ignore the authorities' requests.

In April 2021, the federal government sent two letters to the social media company, demanding that Telegram appoints a contact person in Germany and make it easier for users to report illicit content. More recently, the German police sent multiple requests to Telegram, to try and get them to comply with the NetzDG censorship law. Telegram has yet to respond to these requests.

Now, politicians in Berlin have made it clear that they plan to get tough with Telegram. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said: Telegram, like everybody else, has to adhere to our laws.

Technology experts have warned that banning Telegram would be difficult, both technically and constitutionally. On the one hand we are celebrating Telegram's lack of censorship and its importance for democratic movements in Belarus and Iran, and on the other, we are then disabling the service here, said digital journalist Markus Reuter.



Onion tears...

Tor appeals against blocking by the Russian internet censor

Link Here24th January 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
US-based Tor Project and Russian digital-rights protection org RosKomSvoboda are appealing a Russian court's decision to block access to public Tor nodes and the project's website.

The Tor Project operates the Tor decentralized network, which runs on top of the Internet, allowing users to bypass censorship, access websites anonymously, and visit special Onion URLs (.onion) accessible only over Tor.

In December, the Tor Project announced that Russia blocked their website and various public Tor nodes used to connect to the decentralized network in regions of Russia.

RosKomSvoboda and Tor believe that the court's decision to block the Tor Project's website and infrastructure is illegal for the following reasons:

  • The case was considered without the participation of the representatives of Tor, which violated their procedural rights and the adversarial nature of the process;
  • The decision violates the constitutional right to freely provide, receive and disseminate information and protect privacy.
For now, Russian users can bypass the country's censorship of the website using a mirror site hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation at . Volunteers have also contributed over 1,000 additional Tor bridges that are not currently blocked, allowing Russian people to access the Tor network and counter government censorship.



A fake campaign...

The Home Office sets up propaganda website opposing end to end encryption whilst pretending it to be a grass roots campaign group

Link Here18th January 2022
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
The UK Government believes that British people should sacrifice protection against internet scammers, spammers and thieves in the name of being able to scan people's messages looking for child porn.

Perhaps a little like unacceptably asking people not to use door locks so that the police can always drop in to people's homes to check for child abuse.

Now it seems that the government is going to extremes to forward their beliefs by setting up a fake campaign website to pretend that people are calling for the removal of their basic internet security of end to end encryption used in several messaging apps.

Rollin Stone magazine has revealed:

The Home Office has hired the M&C Saatchi advertising agency -- a spin-off of Saatchi and Saatchi, which made the Labour Isn't Working election posters, among the most famous in UK political history -- to plan the campaign, using public funds.

A Home Office spokesperson said in a statement.

We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organisations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe/

In response to a Freedom of Information request about an upcoming ad campaign directed at Facebook's end-to-end encryption proposal, The Home Office disclosed that, Under current plans, 534,000 is allocated for this campaign.

Offsite Comment: Why we need End To End Encryption

...And why it's essential for our safety, our children's safety, and for everyone's future

18th January 2022. See article from by Alec Muffett



Monetising censorship...

80 'fact checker' organisations call on Google to buy their services to censor YouTube

Link Here15th January 2022
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
80 internet 'fact-checking' organizations have signed an open letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, calling on the company to buy their services to censor 'wrong think' on YouTube. The letter reads:

YouTube is allowing its platform to be weaponized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organize and fundraise themselves. Current measures are proving insufficient. That is why we urge you to take effective action against disinformation and misinformation, and to elaborate a roadmap of policy and product interventions to improve the information ecosystem -- and to do so with the world's independent, nonpartisan fact-checking organizations.

The spread of falsehoods on YouTube is a global problem. They range from videos encouraging unproven methods of treating COVID-19 to false allegations of electoral fraud.

The  International Fact-Checking Network is a trade group promoting 'fact checking' organisations worldwide. In its letter, IFCN outlines 'solutions' to help reduce the spread of misinformation and promote their businesses. One of them is to promote fact-checked information and provide context and debunks alongside videos.

The fact-checkers are also calling on YouTube to disclose its moderation policy regarding disinformation and misinformation, prevent its algorithms from promoting content creators who repeatedly produce false information and strengthen its efforts to fight misinformation in languages other than English.



Government vs the people...

The German government considers banning Telegram to silence opposition to covid restrictions

Link Here15th January 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
The German government are considering banning the encrypted Telegram messaging app that has been used by conservative groups and groups opposing Covid restrictions.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that Telegram could be banned if it continues being used by groups opposing Covid measures to organize. She told Die Zeit weekly:

We cannot rule this out. A shutdown would be grave and clearly a last resort. All other options must be exhausted first.

Faeser said that Germany was discussing with other European Union Members how to regulate Telegram, noting:

As a German nation-state, we cannot do it alone.

Telegram is a messaging app with social media-like features. Through groups and channels with an unlimited number of members and subscribers, messages, news, and other information can be shared among like-minded people. The private messages can be protected from snooping through end-to-end-encryption, although this is not the default.



Legal anlysis...

Several EU countries are investigating the legality of Google Analytics within the GDPR

Link Here15th January 2022
Full story: EU GDPR law...Far reaching privay protection law
The legal basis of the statistics service Google Analytics is proving shaky across the EU. The Austrian data protection censor has determined that the use of Google Analytics' on websites in the European Union is not compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now the Dutch Authority for Personal Data (AP) has warned: Please note: The use Google Analytics' may soon be banned.

Google Analytics is a free service providing websites with detailed information about usage such as key information about how many users a site has and which pages they are reading. The websites allow Google to place cookies on their behalf that allow Google to track websites visits. It is that tracking that may transgress GDPR rules and note that it also one of the reasons for those silly cookie consent pop-ups that merely serve to train web users to mindlessly click on any pop-up that impedes their viewing.

The Dutch data protection censor has updated its Google Analytics privacy-friendly setup guide and has announced that it is investigating two complaints about the use of Google Analytics in the Netherlands.  The AP would like to conclude this investigation in the near future, namely early 2022. Then itwill be able to say whether Google Analytics is allowed or not.

Meanwhile Germany and Austrian data protection censors are also wrestling with a related case. A complaint about data usage by an Austrian website spilled over to Germany when the website withced to Germany. The censors are now debating both the data complaint and the jurisdiction issues.



Parents TV Council recommends...

Euphoria Season 2 on HBO

Link Here9th January 2022
Full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) is warning parents about the new season of HBO's Euphoria, to be released on January 9, as it may contain content that is harmful to children. Media outlets have reported that the second season promises to be darker than the first season. PTC President Tim Winter said:

When the dark, depraved, degenerate and nihilistic program Euphoria first premiered, its creator, Sam Levinson, proudly proclaimed that there are going to be parents who are going to be totally fucking freaked out. His omen was correct, and unsurprisingly so because Euphoria centers on the lives of high school children, and features a Disney Channel starlet as the lead actress. Given the explicit content in the program's first season, we are issuing our strongest warning to parents about the premiere of the new season and its imminent threat to the health and well-being of children.

Just how explicit is this show? Content from just the first two episodes included the full-frontal nudity of more than 30 high-school-aged boys; an adult male putting a condom on his erect penis as he prepares to engage in anal sex with a teenager; the main female character -- a high school teenager -- offering to perform oral sex on an adult male; and more than 80 uses of the 'f-word,' as well as other obscenities.

The show frequently depicts characters, both teens and adults, engaged in sex, some scenes of which depict statutory rape; and it normalizes pornography and promotes underage drinking, smoking, drug use, among other dangerous behavior. AT&T/HBO have arrogantly claimed they have 'creative freedom' to show sexual violence involving children. And while Euphoria is rated TV-MA, suggesting it is intended only for mature audiences, the program has been marketed directly to children via social media, including instructions on how to view it on the HBO streaming app for free.

We urgently call on parents to take swift measures to protect their children from this extremely explicit program. And we implore AT&T/HBO to put a halt to Euphoria and other content that not only sexualizes children, but that sexually-exploits them, Winter said.



Searching for consent...

France's data protection censor hands out massive fines on Google and Facebook for failing cookie consent requirements

Link Here5th January 2022
France is being very aggressive over enforcing the silly EU cookie law that nags and trains internet users to blindly click on website popups.

By announcing fines of euro 150 million for Google and euro 60 million for Facebook, the French privacy watchdog CNIL went much further than other EU data protection censors have gone to rein in the trackers, which allow advertisers to target people with tailored ads as they move around the internet.

Under the e-Privacy Directive, the CNIL is free to take direct action against companies that otherwise would be overseen by the Irish Data Protection Commission, because the GDPR gives prime enforcement power to the country where the company is legally established. Many tech companies have their EU bases in Dublin.

The French data protection censor has so far zoned in on two key violations: failing to allow users to refuse cookies as easily as it is to accept them, and automatically placing cookies on people's devices before they even have a chance to accept or refuse them. These are widespread violations across the web, but so far only the CNIL seems serious about tackling them.



Offsite Article: How Signal is playing with fire...

Link Here5th January 2022
Full story: Internet Encryption...Encryption, essential for security but givernments don't see it that way
Encrypted messaging app Signal is set to enable untraceable crypto payments. Will governments allow this? By Casey Newton

See article from



Ukranian offensive...

Ukraine's minister of censorship culture is offended by the Netflix show, Emily in Paris

Link Here2nd January 2022
Emily in Paris is a 2020 US/France comedy romance by Darren Star
Starring Lily Collins, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Ashley Park IMDb

Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company - and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily's new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.

Ukraine's minister of culture has been watching Netflix series Emily in Paris -- and he's not happy. Oleksandr Tkachenko shared his frustration about what he considers offensive in the way in which Petra, a Ukrainian character, is portrayed in season 2 of the show.

Tkachenko described Petra, played by Daria Panchenko, as a "caricature." Petra makes a bad impression on Emily when she unapologetically steals clothes from a local mall and encourages her to do the same, before sprinting off onto the streets of Paris.

'Unacceptable' and offensive Tkachenko condemned the storyline. In 'Emily in Paris' we have a caricature of a Ukrainian woman, which is unacceptable. On the other hand, it is also offensive. Will Ukrainians be seen as such abroad? Who steal, want to get everything for free, be afraid of deportation? That should not be the case, he wrote in a post on his official Telegram channel.

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