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Naked intent...

BBFC adjudicates on adults only blocking for nudity on a naturist website


Link Here30th September 2020
The BBFC explains:

A mobile network operator contacted the BBFC for advice about the suitability of belezy.com for people under 18, following a complaint from a member of the public that it had been placed behind adult filters despite containing no material that, in the complainant's opinion, would cause access to be restricted to adults only.

The BBFC adjudicated on the website on 20 July 2020. We noted that the site promotes a French naturist campsite holiday resort. The site features illustrative photographs of nude guests, including men, women, and children interacting with the resort's facilities. None of the nudity is sexualised and genital nudity is infrequent and discreetly shot throughout the website.

As such, we found no material that we would classify 18.

 

 

Offsite Article: New online harm legislation is a threat to free speech...


Link Here 28th September 2020
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
There is a problem online and it is causing real harm, but banning language rather than engaging in education sounds like a political fix rather than an actual solution. By Ruth Smeeth, former MP and CEO of Index on Censorship

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 

Government protests...

Thailand threatens legal action against social media companies in its quest to censor criticism of the country's political system


Link Here24th September 2020
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
Thailand aggressively defends its political system that is based on nominal democracy, but in reality has a monarchy led elite that holds all of the power. In particular Thailand hands out extreme punishments for political comments that criticise the monarchy system. The country uses its lese majeste law that punish people for insulting the monarchy, but of course criticising the political system is deemed to be insulting of the king.

The system has worked effectively under the previous well respected king, but the current incumbent is not so revered. It would be a brave person that would dare to rise above the parapet in the face of a 30 year prison sentence, but a current wave of protests was initiated by school children, and it proved not so easy to start sending kids to jail for 30 years. Now the momentum has spread to university students, and the government is seeking to censor social media postings in support of the protest movement.

But Google, Facebook and co have not responded to government censorship demands, and now the Thai government is turning to law to try and get the US companies to comply.

Digital minister Puttipong Punnakanta announced the move at a news conference saying that unless the companies send their representatives to negotiate or request further information, police can bring criminal cases against them. Of course the companies have googled for lese majeste and realise that any company such representatives may be risking 30 years jail time.

The digital ministry filed complaints with cybercrime police after the two firms missed a 15-day deadline to comply with takedown orders. It appears that YouTube did indeed take down some videos but Puttipong says more takedown orders will be issued to Facebook, Twitter and Google.

 

 

Offsite Article: Censorship is the greatest online harm...


Link Here 24th September 2020
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
The UK government is planning a shocking clampdown on free speech online. By Radomir Tylecote

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Google wants to add your official ID to its surveillance database...

YouTube announces that it will require hard ID from EU viewers wanting to watch 18 rated videos


Link Here 22nd September 2020
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
Google has announced that it now going to use its AI technology to detect YouTube videos that it would like to see as restricted to adults. In addition it announced that it would be requiring hard ID to verify that EU based users are over 18. (Surely Google should be the last company on the planet where users would be willing to send there ID to). Google writes:

Today, our Trust & Safety team applies age-restrictions when, in the course of reviewing content, they encounter a video that isn't appropriate for viewers under 18. Going forward, we will build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions. Uploaders can appeal the decision if they believe it was incorrectly applied. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, we expect these automated age-restrictions to have little to no impact on revenue, as most of these videos also violate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and therefore have limited or no ads.

To make sure the experience is consistent, viewers attempting to access age-restricted videos on most third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube where they must sign-in and be over 18 to view it. This will help ensure that, no matter where a video is discovered, it will only be viewable by the appropriate audience.

Because our use of technology will result in more videos being age-restricted, our policy team took this opportunity to revisit where we draw the line for age-restricted content. After consulting with experts and comparing ourselves against other global content rating frameworks, only minor adjustments were necessary. Our policy pages have been updated to reflect these changes. All the changes outlined above will roll out over the coming months.

Expanding Age-verification in Europe

In line with upcoming regulations, like the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), we will also be introducing a new age verification step over the next few months. As part of this process some European users may be asked to provide additional proof of age when attempting to watch mature content. If our systems are unable to establish that a viewer is above the age of 18, we will request that they provide a valid ID or credit card to verify their age. We've built our age-verification process in keeping with Google's Privacy and Security Principles.

We understand that many are turning to YouTube at this time to find content that is both educational and entertaining. We will continue to update our products and our policies with features that make sure when they do, they find content that is age-appropriate.

 

 

The Social Dilemma...

New Zealand film censor addresses a Netflix documentary that includes extracts from a film banned by the censor


Link Here20th September 2020
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
David Shanks, the New Zealand Chief Censor, writes:

There's a new documentary out on Netflix which is trending on social media and making headlines around the world.

Social Dilemma looks at how social media companies are exploiting human psychology and using surveillance and data mining to keep people addicted, all to make a huge profit. It explores impacts like the declining mental health of populations, the rise of fake news and conspiracies, and giving terrorists a platform to promote hate and livestream their crimes.

It was the part about livestreaming that brought it to my attention. We received a complaint from a member of the public last week -- just after the documentary was released -- saying that it contains excerpts from the Christchurch terrorist's video which he livestreamed on Facebook on 15 March 2019.

I had banned that same video in New Zealand days after the attacks. I classified it as an unlawful (objectionable) publication in New Zealand for its promotion of terrorism and extreme violence.

So was it illegal for Netflix to stream this documentary in New Zealand?

The answer is no. As we detailed in guidance we issued at the time , classification of the livestream video in its entirety doesn't mean that every excerpt from the livestream is unlawful, although we had urged media to demonstrate extreme care in the treatment of this material.

The clips that are used in Social Dilemma support the documentary's narrative, yet it's important to remember that they show a real-life atrocity in New Zealand, that happened only last year, and they show real people. The timing couldn't be worse. Survivors and relatives of those who were subject to the attacks have only recently worked through the sentencing process.

I watched the documentary, and I was deeply concerned about this.

I asked Netflix to change their age rating for this documentary from 7+ to 13+ and to add a warning for Violence, including brief images from the Christchurch terror attacks, suicide references and content that may disturb. I also offered other options - to put up a warning screen at the start of the documentary or remove the footage of the attacks altogether but those options weren't taken up.

Netflix has since updated their rating and warning, which I appreciate.

The good news is that this type of situation is less likely to come up in the future. A recent law change means that from late next year, Netflix and other streaming services will be required by law to display New Zealand age ratings and content warnings on all films, shows and documentaries.

If you plan to watch Social Dilemma, I recommend that you watch with care and consider those around you that may be triggered by the content.

 

 

Offsite Article: Ex-UK cyber chief warns of Chinese data grab...


Link Here20th September 2020
Full story: TikTok Snooping...Chinese App comes under fire for snooping on users
Ciaran Martin on Huawei, TikTok and the real danger facing Europe.

See article from politico.eu

 

 

EFF Urges Senate to Stop EARN IT Act...

Bill curtails Section 230 which will lead to state regulation of online adult content, as well as other censorship


Link Here19th September 2020

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the 30-year-old advocacy group that has been a pioneer in defending digital civil liberties, sent a letter this week to the United States Senate, opposing the controversial EARN IT Act -- which the EFF says will result in online censorship that will disproportionately impact marginalized communities, will jeopardize access to encrypted services, and will place at risk the prosecutions of the very abusers the law is meant to catch.

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, or EARN IT, is designed to roll back protections for online platforms under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Section 230 is widely considered the First Amendment of the Internet. As AVN reported last month, the law is not only the backbone of open online communications, but for adult content online as well.

Efforts to roll back Section 230 protection will have a significant adverse impact on the adult entertainment industry if passed, First Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters told AVN in August. Any change to Section 230 could result in restrictive content moderation rules or elimination of the platforms themselves.

Platforms would be required to earn the protections currently afforded by Section 230 by following a set of vaguely defined best practices to prevent illegal activities, specifically sex trafficking and Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM), if EARN IT passes.

Under EARN IT, states will be free to impose any liability standard they please on platforms, including holding platforms liable for CSAM they did not actually know was present on their services, EFF warned in its letter to the Senate. Nothing in the bill would prevent a state from passing a law in the future holding a provider criminally responsible under a 'reckless' or 'negligence' standard.

In other words, under EARN IT, state governments could punish online platforms for almost anything that could be broadly interpreted as CSAM or Sex trafficking, even bringing criminal charges against site operators. The dangers for the adult industry are clear if states are allowed to define a wide range of sexual content as promoting sex trafficking.

But sex worker advocacy groups have also warned that the EARN IT law could lead to increased surveillance of workers in the sex industry. EFF also addresses the surveillance threat in its letter to the Senate.

End-to-end encryption ensures the privacy and security of sensitive communications such that only the sender and receiver can view them, the group wrote. But the EARN IT Act threatens to undermine and disincentivize providers from providing strong encryption.

The EFF compares EARN IT to a previous sex trafficking law, FOSTA/SESTA, which is the only law so far passed that actually curtails Section 230 protections, in cases when sites are deemed to promote online sex trafficking. But that law had the opposite effect from its stated intention.

Instead, it has forced sex workers, whether voluntarily engaging in sex work or forced into sex trafficking against their wills, offline and into harm's way, EFF wrote. It has also chilled their online expression generally, including the sharing of health and safety information, and speech wholly unrelated to sex work.

In the letter, EFF urges the Senate not to fast track the EARN IT bill -- and to vote it down if or when it finally comes before the entire Senate. The bill passed through the Judiciary Commitee in July.

 

 

Time is ticking away for TikTok...

US authorities require that TikTok should no longer be available for download from this weekend


Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: TikTok Snooping...Chinese App comes under fire for snooping on users
Computer security investigators have long held that the TikTok app is a Trojan horse in that it offers a popular platform for sharing short videos whilst aggressively snooping on its users. For instance it was recently found to be grabbing passwords for other applications as they pass through the paste buffer from password managers to apps.

President Trump's administration had set a deadline that the Chinese app be sold to a US company that can sort out the security issues.

TikTok's owners ByteDance have indeed done a deal to partner with the US company Oracle. However the deal does not allow Oracle to get to see or control the app's software and to address US security concerns,

So the US has announced that beginning Sunday, it will be illegal to host or transfer internet traffic associated with WeChat and TikTok. The Trump administration is currently weighing a proposal involving ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent, and Oracle, designed to resolve the administration's national security concerns related to TikTok; the deadline for a deal is Nov. 12.

 

 

Extract: Why is the government pushing unprecedented online censorship?...

Official plans are an authoritarian threat to our freedom of speech, and would prove a nasty surprise to most internet users. By Radomir Tylecote


Link Here 18th September 2020
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media

The UK Government's 'Online Harms' plans will lead to sweeping online censorship unprecedented in a democracy. Some of the harms the plans describe are vague, like unacceptable content and disinformation. The new regulations will prohibit material that may directly or indirectly cause harm even if it is not necessarily illegal.

In other words, the regulator will be empowered to censor lawful content, a huge infringement on our freedoms. The White Paper singled out offensive material, as if giving offense is a harm the public need protection from by the state. In fact, the White Paper does not properly define harm or hate speech, but empowers a future regulator to do so. Failure to define harm means the definition may be outsourced to the most vocal activists who see in the new regulator a chance to ban opinions they don't like.

The government claims its proposals are inspired by Germany's 2017 NetzDG law. But Human Rights Watch has said the law turns private companies into overzealous censors and called on Germany to scrap it. NetzDG's other fans include President Lukashenko of Belarus, who cited it to justify a 2017 clampdown on dissent. Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party cited NetzDG as the model for its internet law. So did Venezuela. Chillingly, the plans bear a striking similarity to some of Beijing's internet censorship policies. The Cyberspace Administration of China censors rumours because they cause social harms.

 

 

Miserable copyright...

TuneIn worldwide free radio app blocks UK internet users from listening in to foreign channels


Link Here16th September 2020
In 2019, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that by offering an index of non UK-based or unlicensed radio stations to UK residents, radio aggregator service TuneIn breached copyright.

In response the service has now geo-blocked thousands of stations leaving UK customers without their favorite sounds. Unless they use a VPN, then it's business as usual.

TuneIn is one of the most prominent providers of radio content in the world. Available for free or on a premium basis, its site and associated app provide access to more than 100,000 stations and podcasts. Unless you happen to live in the UK, which is now dramatically underserved by the company. Sued by Labels in the UK For Mass Copyright Infringement

In 2017, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group sued the US-based radio index in the High Court of England and Wales, alleging that the provision of links to stations unlicensed in the UK represented a breach of copyright.

One of the most interesting aspects of the case is that TuneIn is marketed as an audio guide service, which means that it indexes stations that are already freely available on the web and curates them so that listeners can more easily find them.

When stations are more easily found, more people listen to them, which means that TuneIn arguably boosts the market overall. Nevertheless, the labels claimed this was illegal and detrimental to the music industry in the UK on licensing grounds.

In response to the apparent decimation of its offering, TuneIn took to Twitter to address the complaints:

Due to a court ruling in the United Kingdom, we will be restricting international stations to prohibit their availability in the UK, with limited exceptions. We apologize for the inconvenience, the company wrote.

See further details in article from torrentfreak.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Best to banish kids from the grown up internet...


Link Here 15th September 2020
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
A good summary of some of the unexpected consequences of internet censorship that will arise from ICO's Age Appropriate Design Code.

See article from parentzone.org.uk

 

 

Surveillance backdoors...

The European Commission decides that EU privacy regulations will not apply to the surveillance of internet users when this is aimed at preventing child abuse


Link Here14th September 2020
The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of the ePrivacy Directive as regards the use of technologies by number-independent interpersonal communications providers for the processing of personal data and other data for the purpose of combatting child sexual abuse online .

A growing number of online services providers have been using specific technological tools on a voluntary basis to detect child sex abuse online in their networks. The law-enforcement agencies all across the EU and globally have been confronted with an unprecedented spike in reports of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, which go beyond their capacity to address the volumes now circulating, as they focus their efforts on imagery depicting the youngest and most vulnerable victim. Online services providers have therefore been instrumental in the fight against child sexual abuse online.

MEP David Lega commented:

I welcome this legislative proposal that allows online services providers to keep making use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, as a step forward in the right direction to fight against child sexual abuse online. The cooperation with the private sector is essential if we want to succeed in eradicating child sexual abuse online, identifying the perpetrators and the victims. It is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that online services providers are held responsible and prescribe a legal obligation for them to make use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, therefore enabling them to ensure that their platforms are not used for illegal activities.

 

 

Offsite Article: Embedded repression...


Link Here14th September 2020
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
In advance of an EU court decision, the Advocate General gives his opinion that hot linking to another websites content requires copyright holder permission. By Andy Maxwell

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

 

Class action...

Privacy campaigner takes Google to court claiming illegal use of children's data


Link Here13th September 2020
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
Privacy campaigner Duncan McCann has filed a legal case accusing YouTube of selling the data of children using their service to advertisers in contravention of EU and UK law The case was lodged with the UK High Court in July and is the first of its kind in Europe.

It is understood that Google will strongly dispute the claim. One of its arguments is that the main YouTube platform is not intended for those under 13, who should be using the YouTube Kids app, which incorporates more safeguards.

Google is also expected to point to a series of changes that it introduced last year to improve notification to parents, limit data collection and restrict personalised adverts.

The case seeks compensation of £500 payable to those whose data was breached. But crucially it would set a precedent, potentially making YouTube liable for payouts to the estimated five million children in Britain who use the site as well as their parents or guardians.

McCann said:

It cannot be right that Google can take children's private data without explicit permission and then sell it to advertisers to target children. I believe it is only through legal action and damages that these companies will change their behaviour, and it is only through a class action that we can fight these companies on an equal basis.

The case, which focuses on children who have watched YouTube since May 2018 when the Data Protection Act became law, is backed by digital privacy campaigners Foxglove, and the global law firm Hausfeld. The case is not expected to come to court before next autumn and has been underwritten by Vannin Capital, a company which will take a cut of any compensation that remains unclaimed. The action will also depend on the outcome of another data and privacy case against Google which does not cover children.

 

 

Insulting law...

The Law Commission is consulting on changing the much abused 'malicious communications' law that is used to prosecute internet insults


Link Here11th September 2020
Full story: Trivial Insults and Jokes...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

Reform of the law is needed to protect victims from harmful online behaviour including abusive messages, cyber-flashing, pile-on harassment, and the malicious sharing of information known to be false. The Law Commission is consulting on proposals to improve the protection afforded to victims by the criminal law, while at the same time provide better safeguards for freedom of expression.

In our Consultation Paper launched on 11 September 2020, we make a number of proposals for reform to ensure that the law is clearer and effectively targets serious harm and criminality arising from online abuse. This is balanced with the need to better protect the right to freedom of expression.

The proposals include:

  • A new offence to replace the communications offences (the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (MCA 1988) and the Communications Act 2003 (CA 2003)), to criminalise behaviour where a communication would likely cause harm.

    • This would cover emails, social media posts and WhatsApp messages, in addition to pile-on harassment (when a number of different individuals send harassing communications to a victim).

    • This would include communication sent over private networks such as Bluetooth or a local intranet, which are not currently covered under the CA 2003.

    • The proposals include introduction of the requirement of proof of likely harm. Currently, neither proof of likely harm nor proof of actual harm are required under the existing communications offences.

  • Cyber-flashing -- the unsolicited sending of images or video recordings of one's genitals -- should be included as a sexual offence under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This would ensure that additional protections for victims are available.

  • Raising the threshold for false communications so that it would only be an offence if the defendant knows the post is false, they are intending to cause non-trivial emotional, psychological, or physical harm, and if they have no excuse.

The consultation period will run until 18 December 2020.

 

 

Let go of filters!...

The EFF reports on what it has learnt about how the EU will implement its new internet censorship law in the name of copyright


Link Here11th September 2020
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

During the Article 17 (formerly #Article13) discussions about the availability of copyright-protected works online, we fought hand-in-hand with European civil society to avoid all communications being subjected to interception and arbitrary censorship by automated upload filters. However, by turning tech companies and online services operators into copyright police, the final version of the EU Copyright Directive failed to live up to the expectations of millions of affected users who fought for an Internet in which their speech is not automatically scanned, filtered, weighed, and measured.

EU "Directives" are not automatically applicable. EU member states must "transpose" the directives into national law. The Copyright Directive includes some safeguards to prevent the restriction of fundamental free expression rights, ultimately requiring national governments to balance the rights of users and copyright holders alike. At the EU level, the Commission has launched a Stakeholder Dialogue to support the drafting of guidelines for the application of Article 17, which must be implemented in national laws by June 7, 2021. EFF and other digital rights organizations have a seat at the table, alongside rightsholders from the music and film industries and representatives of big tech companies like Google and Facebook.

During the stakeholder meetings, we made a strong case for preserving users' rights to free speech, making suggestions for averting a race among service providers to over-block user content. We also asked the EU Commission to share the draft guidelines with rights organizations and the public, and allow both to comment on and suggest improvements to ensure that they comply with European Union civil and human rights requirements.

The Commission has partly complied with EFF and its partners' request for transparency and participation. The Commission launched a targeted consultation addressed to members of the EU Stakeholder Group on Article 17. Our response focuses on mitigating the dangerous consequences of the Article 17 experiment by focusing on user rights, specifically free speech, and by limiting the use of automated filtering, which is notoriously inaccurate.

Our main recommendations are:

  • Produce a non-exhaustive list of service providers that are excluded from the obligations under the Directive. Service providers not listed might not fall under the Directive's rules, and would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis;

  • Ensure that the platforms' obligation to show best efforts to obtain rightsholders' authorization and ensure infringing content is not available is a mere due diligence duty and must be interpreted in light of the principles of proportionality and user rights exceptions;

  • Recommend that Member States not mandate the use of technology or impose any specific technological solutions on service providers in order to demonstrate "best efforts";

  • Establish a requirement to avoid general user (content) monitoring. Spell out that the implementation of Art 17 should never lead to the adoption of upload filters and hence general monitoring of user content;

  • State that the mere fact that content recognition technology is used by some companies does not mean that it must be used to comply with Art 17. Quite the opposite is true: automated technologies to detect and remove content based on rightsholders' information may not be in line with the balance sought by Article 17.

  • Safeguard the diversity of platforms and not put disproportionate burden on smaller companies, which play an important role in the EU tech ecosystem;

  • Establish that content recognition technology cannot assess whether the uploaded content is infringing or covered by a legitimate use. Filter technology may serve as assistants, but can never replace a (legal) review by a qualified human;

  • Filter-technology can also not assess whether user content is likely infringing copyright;

  • If you believe that filters work, prove it. The Guidance should contain a recommendation to create and maintain test suites if member states decide to establish copyright filters. These suites should evaluate the filters' ability to correctly identify both infringing materials and non-infringing uses. Filters should not be approved for use unless they can meet this challenge;

  • Complaint and redress procedures are not enough. Fundamental rights must be protected from the start and not only after content has been taken down;

  • The Guidance should address the very problematic relationship between the use of automated filter technologies and privacy rights, in particular the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing under the GDPR.

 

 

Updated: Less Cuties...

Turkey's TV censor says it will block the movie Cuties from showing on the local Netflix service


Link Here10th September 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties ( Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. BBFC link IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

The Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie Cuties. The country's TV censor claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey's Family Ministry had previously said the film may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development.

Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film's international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. Netflix quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film was lynched on social media.

Update: BBFC rated

10th September 2020.

The Netflix UK release has been BBFC 15 rated uncut for rude humour, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence.

Update: New Zealand rating

20th September 2020. See article from classificationoffice.govt.nz

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification recommended Netflix make Cuties 16+ with a warning note: Violence, sexual references, bullying and offensive language.

 

Update: Questions in the Egyptian House

24th September 2020. See article from al-monitor.com

Egyptian member of parliament John Talaat submitted Sept. 5 a parliamentary question to Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem in regard to the role of the Censorship of Works of Art (CACWA) in the content broadcast on Netflix.

Some of these works carry transgressions and abuses that the Egyptian society does not accept, and the censorship standards must be strictly applied to any artwork that is allowed to be broadcast in Egypt, Talaat said in a Sept. 5 statement.

In an Aug. 25 article in Al-Masry Al-Youm , journalist Suleiman Joudeh called on the Ministry of Culture and official bodies to review the works broadcast on Netflix .

Netflix's works have sparked controversy time and again, the latest of which was the film Cuties that topped Egypt's Google search list on Sept. 13, after it arrived at the platform and was criticized for depicting children in a sexual and inappropriate way.

 

 

Offsite Article: Censorship in Sudan...


Link Here10th September 2020
Moderating harmful content online in Sudan: Policies and measures. By Mohamed Suliman

See article from advox.globalvoices.org

 

 

Dating banned...

Pakistan bans major dating apps including Tinder and Grindr


Link Here9th September 2020
Pakistan authorities have blocked Tinder, Grindr and three other dating apps for not adhering to local laws, its latest move to curb online platforms deemed to be disseminating immoral content.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it has sent notices to the management of the five apps, keeping in view the negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming. PTA said the notices issued to Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi sought the removal of dating services and moderation of live streaming content in accordance with local laws.

Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower shows Tinder has been downloaded more than 440,000 times in Pakistan within the last 12 months. Grindr, Tagged and SayHi had each been downloaded about 300,000 times and Skout 100,000 times in that same period.

 

 

Scratch scratched...

China bans website of coding language for kids


Link Here8th September 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
According to Greatfire.org, a site that monitors internet censorship in China, internet users in China cannot access Scratch's website anymore.

Scratch programming language was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. There are around 60 million kids who use Scratch's interactive programming features to learn how to make games, animated stories, and more. A total of 5.65% or 3 million Scratch users reside in China.

The censorship seems re lated to a Chinese news report about the projects on Scratch on August 21. It claimed that the platform harbored a great deal of humiliating, fake, and libelous content about China, that included placing Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan in a dropdown list of independent countries.

The report says that any service distributing information in China has to comply with the local regulations. It also suggested that Scratch's website and user forum had been banned in the country.

It is unclear whether the ban is temporary or a permanent one. In any case, if the ban is proven permanent then China will probably whip up a home-baked alternative.

 

 

Sharing censorship...

Ofcom is consulting on updated EU censorship arrangements for video sharing platforms that are stupid enough to be based in the UK


Link Here6th September 2020
Full story: ATVOD Censorship on Demand...ATVOD appointed as internet TV censors
Ofcom commissioned research has identified (but not named) 2 adult video sharing sharing platforms that are based in the UK. It will be interesting to see how age verification requirements will effect these UK services trying to compete with the rest of world with no such requirements (for the moment).

Ofcom writes:

We are seeking evidence and information related to the new requirements that will apply to video-sharing platforms.

Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos. VSPs allow users to engage with a wide range of content and social features and are particularly popular among young people. 90% of adults and 98% of children aged 8-15 who use the internet have used a VSP in the past year.

Ofcom will be given new powers this autumn to regulate UK-established VSPs. This will include a duty to ensure that VSPs have in place appropriate measures to protect young people from potentially harmful content and all users from illegal content and incitement to hatred and violence. Services will also need to ensure standards around advertising are met.

This call for evidence sets out the background and legislative context to forthcoming VSP regulation in the UK and an overview of the VSP regulatory framework. It also sets out Ofcom's approach to VSP regulation based around some core principles: protection and assurance; freedom of expression; adaptability; transparency; enforcement; independence; and proportionality.

 

 

Improvements peeled back...

Apple delays privacy changes designed to restrict advertiser tracking people's web history


Link Here5th September 2020
Apple has delayed the implementation of new privacy measures designed to stop apps and websites tracking people online without their consent. The proposed policy means that apps will have to ask a user's permission to access the ad-tracking ID on an iPhone or iPad. This permission will be set to off be default.

In addition, apps will have to declare what data they collect and how they track people in Apple's App Store. Another new security feature will highlight when an app accesses information on the user's clipboard. (TikTok for instance has been caught continually scanning the paste buffer, even when in background and hence being able to capture other apps' passwords held in password managers).

The measures were due to arrive in the latest iOS 14 update in the autumn. But Apple said the changes were being delayed until the start of 2021 to give app developers and websites more time to adapt their services.

Facebook has warned that Apple's privacy plan could make one of its advertising tools so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.

 

 

Offsite Article: Facebook's purge of left-wing radicals...


Link Here4th September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Having abandoned free speech, the left is in no position to defend itself from censorship. By Fraser Myers

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Battlegrounds...

India bans118 Chinese apps


Link Here3rd September 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government has banned 118 mobile apps including PUBG Mobile.

This is the third wave of the ban after the government previously banned Chinese apps like TikTok and others in the first two waves that were announced in June and July respectively.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said:

 ....in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.

The friction between India and China over border disputes is coupled with the realisation that many Chinese apps are snooping on Indian users and relaying sensitive user data back to base.

The banned apps are:

1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
6. Cut Cut -- Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
7. Baidu
8. Baidu Express Edition
9. FaceU - Inspire your Beauty
10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
11. CamCard - Business Card Reader
12. CamCard Business
13. CamCard for Salesforce
14. CamOCR
15. InNote
16. VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing
17. Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
18. WeChat reading
19. Government WeChat
20. Small Q brush
21. Tencent Weiyun
22. Pitu
23. WeChat Work
24. Cyber Hunter
25. Cyber Hunter Lite
26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27. Super Mecha Champions
28. LifeAfter
29. Dawn of Isles
30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
31. Chess Rush
32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
33. PUBG MOBILE LITE
34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
36. Dank Tanks
37. Warpath
38. Game of Sultans
39. Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos
40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
43. AppLock
44. AppLock Lite
45. Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
46. ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online
47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
48. Music - Mp3 Player
49. Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
51. Cleaner - Phone Booster
52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
53. Video Player All Format for Android
54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
55. Photo Gallery & Album
56. Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download
57. HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
59. Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
60. Gallery HD
61. Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
62. Web Browser - Secure Explorer
63. Music player - Audio Player
64. Video Player - All Format HD Video Player
65. Lamour Love All Over The World
66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
67. MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community
68. MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
75. Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
76. GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
78. Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style
79. Tantan - Date For Real
80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
81. Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
83. Alipay
84. AlipayHK
85. Mobile Taobao
86. Youku
87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
88. Sina News
89. Netease News
90. Penguin FM
91. Murderous Pursuits
92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
94. HUYA LIVE -- Game Live Stream
95. Little Q Album
96. Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords
97. Hi Meitu
98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
99. VPN for TikTok
100. VPN for TikTok
101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
103. iPick
104. Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
105. Parallel Space Lite - Dual App
106. "Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
108. AFK Arena
109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
111. Mafia City Yotta Games
112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
117. Soul Hunters
118. Rules of Survival

 

 

Election notices...

Facebook announces that it will censor content to protect itself against being prosecuted under local laws


Link Here1st September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook has announced changes to its Terms of Service that will allow it to remove content or restrict access if the company thinks it is necessary to avoid legal or regulatory impact.

Facebook users have started receiving notifications regarding a change to its Terms of Service which state:

Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.

It is not clear whether this action is in response to particular laws or perhaps this references creeping censorship being implemented worldwide. Of course it could be a pretext to continuing to impose biased political censorship in the run up to the US presidential election.

 

 

Price war...

Facebook says that if Australia forces social media to share news stories then Facebook will ban its users from sharing news articles


Link Here1st September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook explains in a blog post:

Australia is drafting a new regulation that misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect. When crafting this new legislation, the commission overseeing the process ignored important facts, most critically the relationship between the news media and social media and which one benefits most from the other.

Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram. This is not our first choice -- it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia's news and media sector.

We share the Australian Government's goal of supporting struggling news organisations, particularly local newspapers, and have engaged extensively with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that has led the effort. But its solution is counterproductive to that goal. The proposed law is unprecedented in its reach and seeks to regulate every aspect of how tech companies do business with news publishers. Most perplexing, it would force Facebook to pay news organisations for content that the publishers voluntarily place on our platforms and at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers.

The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us. Still, we recognize that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we offer free tools and training to help media companies reach an audience many times larger than they have previously.

News organisations in Australia and elsewhere choose to post news on Facebook for this precise reason, and they encourage readers to share news across social platforms to increase readership of their stories. This in turn allows them to sell more subscriptions and advertising. Over the first five months of 2020 we sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook's News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge -- additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers.

We already invest millions of dollars in Australian news businesses and, during discussions over this legislation, we offered to invest millions more. We had also hoped to bring Facebook News to Australia, a feature on our platform exclusively for news, where we pay publishers for their content. S ince it launched last year in the US, publishers we partner with have seen the benefit of additional traffic and new audiences.

But these proposals were overlooked. Instead, we are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.

Facebook products and services in Australia that allow family and friends to connect will not be impacted by this decision. O ur global commitment to quality news around the world will not change either. And we will continue to work with governments and regulators who rightly hold our feet to the fire. But successful regulation, like the best journalism, will be grounded in and built on facts. In this instance, it is not.


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