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Commented: Censorship on Demand...

The Government is considering extending the TV censorship regime to Video on Demand services like Netflix and Apple TV


Link Here8th July 2021

As part of an ongoing strategic review of the UK public service broadcasting system, the government will review the ownership model and remit of Channel 4 and consider tightening regulation of video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

With a fast-evolving media landscape, increasing competition and changing audience habits posing imminent challenges, moving Channel 4 into private ownership and changing its remit could help secure its future as a successful and sustainable public service broadcaster.

The government will also consult on whether the regulation of video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime need strengthening so they are subject to similar rules as traditional "linear" broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky.

It will consider whether new rules are needed to protect viewers of video-on-demand services - such as changes to age ratings and addressing impartiality and accuracy rules for documentaries and news content - alongside measures to level the playing field so public service broadcasters can compete with international rivals.

This will help ensure the country has a diverse, free and pluralistic broadcasting landscape with high standards.

The reviews will come ahead of a broadcasting white paper due in the autumn. The white paper would consider the future of the country's broadcasting landscape with the ultimate aim of making sure it serves listeners and viewers on all platforms and across the UK.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Technology has transformed broadcasting but the rules protecting viewers and helping our traditional channels compete are from an analogue age.

The time has come to look at how we can unleash the potential of our public service broadcasters while also making sure viewers and listeners consuming content on new formats are served by a fair and well-functioning system.

So we'll now be looking at how we can help make sure Channel 4 keeps its place at the heart of British broadcasting and level the playing field between broadcasters and video-on-demand services.

Video-on-demand services

Video-on-demand services available in the UK are not regulated to the same level as "linear" television channels and some services such as Netflix and Apple TV+ are not regulated in the UK at all.

Only content on the BBC iPlayer is subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code, which includes enhanced protections to audiences from harmful or offensive material and rules on accuracy and impartiality.

Existing audience protections on UK-regulated video-on-demand services are primarily focused on children and rules preventing content which incites hatred. Some services have introduced their own voluntary procedures - such as Netflix's voluntary age ratings partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The current landscape makes for an inconsistent, ad-hoc and potentially harmful gap in regulation between video-on-demand services alongside a potential competitive disadvantage between UK broadcasters and their internationally-funded online counterparts.

It is also almost twenty years since the UK broadcast sector's regulatory framework was introduced in the Communications Act 2003, which was designed before the arrival of online companies such as Apple+, Amazon Prime and Netflix in their current form.

The government will also take forward existing commitments to legislate to strengthen public service broadcasters' "prominence" online so that their video-on-demand content can easily be found and accessed on smart TVs and other platforms and devices.

 

Update: Now the censors are coming for Netflix

8th July 2021. See article from spiked-online.com

The government wants Ofcom to regulate streaming services. This is bad news for free expression.

 

 

Updated: Censored comments...

Comments about the UK Government's new Internet Censorship Bill


Link Here28th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Comment: Disastrous

11th May 2021. See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

Mark Johnson, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch said:

The Online Safety Bill introduces state-backed censorship and monitoring on a scale never seen before in a liberal democracy.

This Bill is disastrous for privacy rights and free expression online. The Government is clamping down on vague categories of lawful speech. This could easily result in the silencing of marginalised voices and unpopular views.

Parliament should remove lawful content from the scope of this Bill altogether and refocus on real policing rather than speech-policing.

 

 

Offsite Comment: Online safety bill: a messy new minefield in the culture wars

13th May 2021. See article from theguardian.com by Alex Hern

The message of the bill is simple: take down exactly the content the government wants taken down, and no more. Guess wrong and you could face swingeing fines. Keep guessing wrong and your senior managers could even go to jail.

Content moderation is a hard job, and it's about to get harder.

 

 

Offsite Comment: Harm Version 3.0

15th May 2021. See article from cyberleagle.com by Graham Smith

Two years on from the April 2019 Online Harms White Paper, the government has published its draft Online Safety Bill. It is a hefty beast: 133 pages and 141 sections. It raises a slew of questions, not least around press and journalistic material and the newly-coined content of democratic importance. Also, for the first time, the draft Bill spells out how the duty of care regime would apply to search engines, not just to user generated content sharing service providers.

This post offers first impressions of a central issue that started to take final shape in the government's December 2020 Full Response to consultation: the apparent conflict between imposing content monitoring and removal obligations on the one hand, and the government's oft-repeated commitment to freedom of expression on the other - now translated into express duties on service providers.

The draft Bill represents the government's third attempt at defining harm (if we include the White Paper, which set no limit). The scope of harm proposed in its second version (the Full Response) has now been significantly widened.

See article from cyberleagle.com

 

 

Offsite Comment: The unstoppable march of state censorship

17th May 2021. See article from spiked-online.com

Vaguely worded hate-speech laws can end up criminalising almost any opinion.

 

 

Offsite Comment: Drowning internet services in red tape

 18th May 2021. See article from techmonitor.ai by Laurie Clarke

The UK government has unveiled sprawling new legislation that takes aim at online speech on internet services 203 stretching from illegal to legal yet harmful content. The wide-ranging nature of the proposals could leave internet businesses large and small facing a huge bureaucratic burden, and render the bill impractical to implement.

 

 

Offsite Comment: UK online safety bill raises censorship concerns and questions on future of encryption

24th May 2021. See article from cpj.org

 

 

Offsite Comment: Why the online safety bill threatens our civil liberties

26th May 2021. See article from politics.co.uk by Heather Burns

With the recent publication of the draft online safety bill, the UK government has succeeded in uniting the British population in a way not seen since the weekly clap for the NHS. This time, however, no one is applauding. After two years of dangled promises, the government's roadmap to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online sets up a sweeping eradication of our personal privacy, our data security, and our civil liberties.

 

 

Offsite Comment: Misguided Online Safety Bill will be catastrophic for ordinary people's social media

23rd June 2021. See article from dailymail.co.uk

The Government's new Online Safety Bill will be catastrophic for ordinary people's freedom of speech, former minister David Davis has warned.

The Conservative MP said forcing social networks to take down content in Britain they deem unacceptable seems out of Orwell's 1984.

Davis slammed the idea Silicon Valley firms could take down posts they think are not politically correct - even though it is legal.

See full article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Comment: On the trail of the Person of Ordinary Sensibilities

28th June 2021. See article from cyberleagle.com by Graham Smith

  The bill boils down to what a mythical adult or child of 'ordinary sensibilities' considers to be 'lawful but awful' content.

 

 

Offsite Comment: The Online Safety Bill wonít solve online abuse

 2nd July 2021. See article by Heather Burns

The Online Safety Bill contains threats to freedom of expression, privacy, and commerce which will do nothing to solve online abuse, deal with social media platforms, or make the web a better place to be.

 

 

 

 

Jumping from the privacy frying pan into the monopoly abusing fire...

Google has delayed blocking 3rd party snooping cookies in its Chrome browser until 2023


Link Here 26th June 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
Google has delayed its plan to block third-party cookies from its Chrome internet browser. These are cookies that track and analyse users' internet activity and allow digital publishers to target advertising.

They are already blocked by a number of Google's rivals, including Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Google was intending to replace third party cookies which allow subscribing companies to analyse people's browsing with a system whereby only Google did the analysis and they passed on the resulting summary of user's interests to advertisers in a supposedly anonymised format. Google clled this scheme The Federated Learning of Cohorts, or Floc.

But critics say Google's ban forces ad sellers to go direct to the tech giant for this information gave it an unfair market control advantage. Google's proposals are already under investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which investigates monopolies.

Google's cookie ban had been planned for 2022, but has now been put back until 2023. In a blog , Vinay Goel, privacy engineering director for Google's Chrome browser said:

It's become clear that time is needed across the ecosystem in order to get this right.

Farhad Divecha, founder of digital marketing agency AccuraCast, said the delay was good news for his industry. He said:

We welcome this delay and only hope that Google uses this time to consult with the CMA as well as different parties that will be affected by the changes, including advertisers, agencies, publishers, and ad-tech and tracking solutions providers.

 

 

Offsite Article: Even a Guardian columnist thinks that the Government's Online Censorship Bill goes too far...


Link Here26th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
A Conservative government that boasts it is a defender of free speech against the attacks of the woke is about to impose the severest censorship this country has seen in peacetime. By Nick Cohen

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 

The government sets out new advertising restrictions to help tackle childhood obesity...

Presumably the thinking is that if the government destroys enough people's livelihoods then the kids will be starved into losing weight


Link Here25th June 2021

Following a public consultation, regulations will come into force at the end of next year to introduce a 9pm watershed for advertisements of foods high in fat, salt and sugar ( HFSS ).

The new rules apply to TV and UK on-demand programmes, as well as restrictions on paid-for advertising of HFSS foods online as part of the government's ongoing commitment to tackle unhealthy eating habits at source.

The watershed will apply from 9pm to 5.30am, meaning HFSS adverts can only be shown during these times.

In order to keep the restrictions proportional, these new regulations will apply to food and drink products of most concern to childhood obesity and will ensure the healthiest in each category will be able to continue to advertise. This approach means foods such as honey, olive oil, avocados and marmite are excluded from the restrictions.

The restrictions will apply to all businesses with 250 or more employees that make and/or sell HFSS products, meaning small and medium businesses will be able to continue advertising. The government recognises these companies may be some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and rely on online media as the sole way to communicate with their customers.

Online restrictions will be limited to paid-for advertising, ensuring brands can continue to advertise within 'owned media' spaces online; such as a brand's own blog, website, app or social media page.

Analysis from September 2019 demonstrated that almost half (47.6%) of all food adverts shown over the month on ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky1 were for products high in fat, salt and sugar, rising to nearly 60% between 6pm and 9pm. Ofcom research suggests that children's viewing peaks in the hours after school, with the largest number of child viewers concentrated around family viewing time, between 6pm and 9pm.

The measures set out today form part of our legislative response to tackling obesity. The government is committed to working alongside industry and will issue guidance to help them prepare for this transition.

Offsite Comment: The advertising industry is not impressed

25th June 2021. See article from adweek.com

Ad Industry Say UK Government HFSS Ban Is Set to Fail

The IAB, IPA, AA and ISBA all claim a ban will be ineffective in reversing childhood obesity rates

 

 

Internet Harm...

Australia's Online Censorship Bill passes in the Senate


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship

A controversial online censorship bill passed the Australian senate on Tuesday night, moving the censorship closer to becoming law.

The Online Safety Bill 2021 forces social media companies, internet and hosting providers to remove supposedly 'harmful' material within 24 hours.

The eSafety commissioner will also be granted stronger censorship powers to block access to domains and URLs where material is hosted.

A senate committee gave the bill the green light after delivering recommendations in March. The committee said the aims of the legislation were strongly supported however, expressed concerns over the commissioner's future powers.

Similar concerns were raised by Google Australia, which worried about the fast rate the legislation was moving. Google Australia added it was often impossible for a cloud provider to remove individual pieces of content, which the internet giant said the bill fails to address.

The Online Safety Bill is expected to shortly pass through the House and take effect six months later.

 

 

Hating the people...

Canada's government will a ban on politically incorrect speech enforced by a fine of up to $40,000


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Canada's ruling 'Liberal' government has announced that it plans to make online hate speech a crime punishable by as much as $20,000 ($16,250 US) for the first offense and $50,000 ($40,600 US) for the second.

The proposal would punish social media users who broke the law but exempt social media companies that host such content from fines.

Canada's Attorney General David Lametti has claimed that the proposed law would not target simple expressions of dislike or disdain during a virtual press conference. Instead, Lametti said, the law is only designed to punish the most extreme forms of hatred that expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

The government, headed by Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau, released a statement outlining the goals of the proposed legislation , known as Bill C-36, as well as other steps being taken in the name of online racial abuse. The government also notes that it will released a detailed technical discussion paper in the coming weeks to inform Canadians about the nitty gritty of this proposed law.

 

 

Iran taken down...

US authorities seize websites used by Iranian news services including the international propaganda channel Press TV


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship
The US has taken down dozens of Iranian and Iran-linked news sites which it accuses of spreading disinformation.

The sites were replaced on Tuesday with notices saying they had been seized as part of a law enforcement action. They included Iran's state-run English-language propaganda channel, Press TV.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that it had seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and another three run by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq in violation of US sanctions. The sites had been used by components of the Iranian government disguised as news organizations or media outlets to target the US with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations, it alleged.

Several were back online within hours with new domain addresses.

Iran criticised the seizures and warned that they were not constructive for talks aimed at reviving a nuclear deal.

 

 

Porn portal...

Russia proposes a portal through which all local access to internet porn is funnelled


Link Here23rd June 2021
Full story: Porn in Russia...Russia considers new pornography laws
Russian broadcasting censors, the General Radio Frequency Centre, which is a subsidiary of the internet censor Roskomnadzor has published new proposal which would see X-rated material shuttered away in an adults-only area on the internet.

RT.com explained that Russian lovers of adult content could soon be forced to ask their government for permission before they can access saucy snaps and spicy clips online, with a public services portal acting as the gateway to all legal pornography.

The report indicates that under the new proposal the government will grant itself the power to decide what content is illegal (e.g., featuring minors and depicting 'clearly offensive' themes such as rape) and what are permitted pictures and videos, which would be defined as naturalistic images or descriptions of the genitals of an adult and/or sexual intercourse or comparable sexual activity of a sexual nature involving adults with their consent.

The government proposal would also create a state-run age verification system implemented through a public services portal.

 

 

The crown jewels of cenorship...

The UK government is set to extend the TV censorship regime to cover internet streaming services


Link Here21st June 2021
Full story: UK Internet TV censorship ...UK catch-up and US internet streaming
The British government is set to extend the remit of UK TV censorship to cover major streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, is due to set out the proposal this week, with other streaming giants including Amazon Prime and Disney+ also brought under the UK's TV censorship framework. The plans will be set out in a broadcasting white paper.

Ofcom will then be able to censor content on the streaming channels and apply Ofcom rules on bias and accuracy.

The Telegraph suggests that a reason for the move was in part down to last year's row over the accuracy of scenes in The Crown , the historical drama based on the Queen and the Royal Family. Amazon Prime was also picked up for hosting anti-vaccination documentaries in the US that it later removed.

Under current rules, Netflix does not fall within Ofcom's jurisdiction because it is based in the Netherlands. Instead, it is subject to Dutch regulation even on its English language programmes tailored to the UK version of its site.

 

 

If you build it...they will follow...

Nigeria is attempting to set up a state internet censor and notes that it is following the lead of the likes of the UK


Link Here21st June 2021
A recent government move in Nigeria to establish a state internet foundered after public opposition.

However the Nogerian government is undaunted and has now plotted another route to censor the media.

Information minister Lai Mohammad earlier in the week told the parliament to empower the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission by extending the agency's power to censor the media to include all online media through the ongoing amendment of the agency's Act currently being considered. Mohammed explained that the regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice saying:

Most countries have come to terms with the power wielded by the tech giants and how governments are vulnerable to such powers. Hence, the need for regulation

He said that Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey censor social media and noted that Australia is about to be added to the list/ He added:

The UK had initiated a new law that places a fine up to 18 million pounds (about N10.8 billion) on social media companies if they failed to stamp out online abuses.

 

 

Offsite Article: All the ways Amazon tracks you and how to stop it...


Link Here 21st June 2021
Full story: Privacy an Amazon...Privacy issues with Amazon services
Amazon has huge amounts of information about you. Is its convenience worth your personal data?

See article from wired.co.uk

 

 

Cease moralising...

A new anti porn campaigner proposes to take legal action against the ICO for failing to keep children's data safe from porn sites


Link Here18th June 2021
CEASE (Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation) is a new morality group campaigning against porn and sex work in the UK.

The group was founded in 2019 and describes itself on its website:

We shine a light on what sexual exploitation is, where it occurs and how it contravenes our human rights. We campaign for new and better laws, advocate for policy change and hold the global sex industry to account.

We're building a UK-wide movement of campaigners against sexual exploitation, and we're amplifying the voices of the very best advocates for change: survivors.

Its latest cunning plan is to hold the Information Commissioners Office (the UK data protection censor) as responsible for failing to prevent the world's porn sites from obtaining usage data from under 18s. The group writes on its website:

We are threatening to take legal action against the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for failing to protect children's data from misuse by porn sites.

The excuses the ICO has given for its failure to fulfil its regulatory duties are legally and factually flawed. What's more, it has left children exposed to a profit-hungry industry which is intent on drawing children back again and again to watch violent and abusive pornographic material for its own financial gain.

The group quotes long time porn campaigner John Carr:

I was shocked and dismayed by the Information Commissioner's reply to me in which they refused to act against porn sites which were collecting and processing children's data on a large scale. If the data protection laws weren't designed to protect children ... I am sure a lot of parents will wonder just what they were designed to do.

 

 

Presumably the name Internet 'Safety' Bill was coined by Dominic Cummings...

Internet organisations write to MPs pointing how dangerous it will be for internet users to lose the protection of End to End Encryption for their communications


Link Here15th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media

To Members of Parliament: end-to-end encryption keeps us safe

68 million of your constituents are at risk of losing the most important tool to keep them safe and protected from cyber-criminals and hostile governments.

End-to-end encryption means that your constituents' family photographs, messages to friends and family, financial information, and the commercially sensitive data of businesses up and down the country, can all be kept safe from harm's way. It also keeps us safer in a world where connected devices have physical effect: end-to-end encryption secures connected homes, cars and children's toys. The government should not be making those more vulnerable to attack. The draft Online Safety Bill contains clauses that could undermine and in some situations even prohibit the use of end-to-end encryption, meaning UK citizens will be less secure online than citizens of other democracies. British businesses operating online will have less protection for their data flows in London than in the United States or the European Union. Banning end-to-end encryption, or introducing requirements for companies to scan the content of our messages, will remove protections for private citizens and companies' data. We all need that protection, but children and members of at-risk communities need it most of all.

Don't leave them exposed.

With more people than ever before falling prey to criminals online, now is not the time for the UK to undertake a reckless policy experiment that puts its own citizens at greater risk. We, the undersigned, are calling on the Home Office to explain how it plans to protect the British public from criminals online when it is taking away the very tools that keep the public safe. If the draft Online Safety Bill aims to make us safer, end-to-end encryption should not be threatened or undermined by this legislation.

Sincerely, *Members of the Global Encryption Coalition

 

 

Offsite Article: Is government preparing to censor discussions about migration?...


Link Here 13th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
And will the Online Safety Bill enable political censorship by the government?

See article from openrightsgroup.org

 

 

Chinese apps...

Joe Biden issues decree to review the security and privacy issues of foreign based apps


Link Here12th June 2021
President Joe Biden has issued an executive order mandating a vast review of apps controlled by foreign adversaries in order to assess national security and privacy issues.

The executive order extends and replaces an earlier order by Donald Trump that only specifically targeted China's TikTok and WeChat.

Biden revoked that narrow order and expanded the scope of the analysis to include all foreign-based companies, which include many in the adult space.

According to the White House, Biden's Commerce Department was authorized to begin that review immediately.

The executive order's wording targets apps developed, manufactured or supplied by persons that are owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including the People's Republic of China, that may present an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the American people.

It also directs the Department of Commerce, in consultation with other U.S. departments and agencies, to make recommendations to protect against harm from the sale, transfer of, or access to sensitive personal data, including personally identifiable information and genetic information to persons owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, foreign adversaries.

 

 

A date with repression...

Apple bans sexy dating apps


Link Here11th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
Apple on Monday updated its App Store Review Guidelines to emphasise some existing policies and add new requirements for apps. One of those changes, guideline 1.1.4, bans 'hookup' apps that include pornography or are used to facilitate prostitution.

The revised guidelines, as Pink News noted, would ban overtly sexual or pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

Apple's new rules around dating apps won't affect non-sexy platforms like Grindr and Scruff.

 

 

Age of miserableness...

Strident Scottish feminist MSP tables motion calling for the resurrection of failed UK law requiring age verification for porn


Link Here11th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Rhoda Grant is a campaigning MSP with a long and miserable history of calling for bans on sex work and lap dancing. She has now tabled a motion for consideration by the Scottish Parliament expressing concern the UK government's reported failure to implement Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 seeking to impose age verification for porn but without any consideration for the dangers to porn users of having their personal data hacked or abused.

Grant's motion has received the backing of Labour and SNP MSPs and notes that a coalition of women's organisations, headteachers, children's charities and parliamentarians want the government to enforce Part 3 without further delay. Grant said:

How we keep our children safe online should be an absolute priority, so the failure to implement Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 is a terrible reflection on the UK government.

 

 

Ofcom's mentor...

Russia's internet censor fines Twitter for not locally storing details of Russian tweets


Link Here11th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russia's internet censor the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has fined Twitter four million rubles ($55,840) for non-compliance with Russian internet censorship laws. In particular Twitter did not localize the databases of its Russian users.

An official  specified that since 2015, the social network stored more than 6,000 prohibited pieces of content. After the application of measures to slow down the traffic of the social network, 490 pieces [of prohibited content] remain undeleted.

 

 

Lords of Dreams...

House of Lords Private Members Bills seek the restoration of failed age verification for porn and another that demands more perfect age assurance methods


Link Here9th June 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Members of the House of Lords are clamouring for more red tape and censorship in the name of protecting children from the dangers of the internet. Of course these people don't seem to give a shit about the safety of adults using the internet.

Maurice Morrow is attempting to revive the failed age verification for porn in his bill, Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL]. The original bill failed firstly because it failed to consider data protection for porn user's identity data. The original authors of the bill couldn't even be bothered to consider such security implications as porn users handing over identity data and porn browsing data directly to Russian porn sites, possibly acting as fronts for the Russian government dirty tricks dept.

Perhaps the bill also failed because the likes of GCHQ don't fancy half the porn using population of the UK using VPNs and Tor to work around age verification and ISP porn blocking.

See Morrow's bill progress from bills.parliament.uk and the bill text from bills.parliament.uk . The bill had its first reading on 9th June.

Meanwhile Beeban Kidron has proposed a bill demanding accurate age assurance. Age assurance is generally an attempt to determine age without the nightmare of dangerously handing over full identity identity data. Eg estimating the age of soical media users from the age of their friends.

See Kidron's bill progress from bills.parliament.uk and the bill text is at bill text from bills.parliament.uk . The bill had its first reading on 27th May

 

 

For sale, a dodgy panacea for all internet ills...

Parasitic age and identity verification companies are lobbying parliament calling forfull identity verification for all open interaction on the internet


Link Here 7th June 2021
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The Digital Policy Alliance is a campaign group most notably lobbying parliament in support of the age and identity verification trade.

The group has just published a lobbying paper sent to parliamentarians calling for full identity verification requirements to use any internet service offering open interaction with other users.

The group writes:

Neither banning anonymity nor absolute anonymity are fit for purpose. The risks posed by anonymity, and requirements for verification, are different for different use cases. Different types of online activity require different levels of accountability and/or different attributes to be verified.

Regulation therefore shouldn't impose a one size fits all approach on all businesses. Instead, it should set minimum standards to ensure that platforms can't just wash their hands of the challenges of ensuring accountability or the risks associated with anonymity. If a platform fails to take an effective know your user approach, or ensure that its users can be held accountable for their behaviour or their content, then the platform should be held accountable instead.

 

 

Verified dangers...

Canada's Privacy Commissioner warns of inadequate privacy protection for a proposed porn age verification law


Link Here5th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Legislation that would require Canadians to verify their age before they could look at online pornography could result in a number of privacy concerns, the country's federal privacy commissioner has said.

Bill S-203, introduced by Senator Julie Miville-DechÍne, doesn't specify what that verification would look like. Options under consideration include presenting some type of ID to a third-party company or organization, or the use of technologies such as biometrics or artificial intelligence to estimate age.

If adequate privacy measures aren't taken, the age verification process could increase the risk of revealing adults' private browsing habits, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said.

He told the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee that current digital age verification systems are all different, but what they have in common is that the user will ultimately be required to provide some amount of personal information. That brings up questions about how secure that information is.

On the other hand, the use of biometrics or facial recognition to verify or estimate a user's age raises unique privacy concerns, Therrien said, noting biometric technology is generally very intrusive and how accurate it is in verifying an individual's age still hasn't been proven. He said there's a considerable margin of error, and an error of two to three years could be significant depending on the age of the person.

The bill would also introduce fines for those who make available sexually explicit material on the internet to a young person. Individuals could be fined up to $20,000 and face six months in jail, while fines for corporations would range from $250,000 to $500,000. The way to avoid the fine would be to put in place an unspecified prescribed age-verification method.

 

 

Unfriending democracy...

Facebook decides to censor Donald Trump for at least 2 years


Link Here5th June 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'

Last month, the Oversight Board upheld Facebook's suspension of former US President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6. But in doing so, the board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension, stating that it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. The board instructed us to review the decision and respond in a way that is clear and proportionate, and made a number of recommendations on how to improve our policies and processes.

We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump's accounts. Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump's suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols. We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.

At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.

 

 

Offsite Article: Unconstitutional demands...


Link Here3rd June 2021
The FBI demanded that the newspaper USA Today hand over records on who had read an online news article about the killing of two FBI agents.

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 

In an evil place...

US court documents reveal that Google has deliberately made it difficult for Android users to opt out of location snooping


Link Here1st June 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
Court documents show Google admits privacy is almost impossible on Android

Last year, the Arizona Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the tech giant of unlawfully collecting Android users' location data, even for users that have opted out. Last week, a judge ordered Google to unredact some sections of documents submitted in court.

The documents revealed not only Google's objectionable data collection policies, but also its employees admitting the policies are confusing and should be changed. Documented employee comments include:

So there's no way to give a third party app your location and not Google? This doesn't sound like something we would want on the front page of the [New York Times.]

Even after a user turned off location in the settings, Google still collects location data, the unredacted documents revealed.

In fact Google tested versions of its OS that made privacy settings easy to find. It saw the popularity of those settings as a problem and solved the problem by burying the settings deeper in Android's settings menu, and even pressured phone manufacturers, such as LG, to make those settings harder to find.

 

 

Echoes of Big Brother...

US Amazon organises its 'smart' snooping devices to be always connected, even when you turn off your internet


Link Here1st June 2021
Full story: Privacy an Amazon...Privacy issues with Amazon services
US Amazon customers have one week to opt out of a plan that would turn every Echo speaker and Ring security camera in the US into a shared wireless network.

The network called Amazon Sidewalk, involves the company's devices being used as a springboard to build city-wide mesh networks that enables the devices to stay online even if they're out of range of the user's home wifi. The network will also extend the range of tracking devices such as those made by Tile.

The feature works by creating a low-bandwidth network using smart home devices such as Amazon Echoes and Ring security cameras. At its simplest, it means that a new Echo can set itself up using a neighbour's wifi, or a security camera can continue to send motion alerts even if its connection to the internet is disrupted, by piggybacking on the connection of another camera across the street. Other devices lower bandwidth devices, such as smart lights, pet locators or smart locks, can use Sidewalk all the time.

Sidewalk has come under fire for the lack of transparency with which Amazon has rolled out the feature, as well as the limited time available for users to complete the tricky process required to opt out.

Users can disable Sidewalk in the settings section of the Alexa or Ring apps, but have until 8 June to do so. After that, if they have taken no action, the network will be turned on, and their devices will become Sidewalk Bridges.

 

 

Offsite Article: Adtech: let's get rid of cookie banners...


Link Here1st June 2021
Full story: EU ePrivacy Law...The Cookie Law: EU regulate consent for tracking cookies
Open Rights Group campaigns against a nuisance that is troubling the Internet and the digital life of Europeans: the consent or cookie banner.

See article from openrightsgroup.org

 

 

Offsite Article: Spending controls...


Link Here1st June 2021
EU developing online wallet and identity verification system

See article from engadget.com


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