A musician in Nigeria's northern state of Kano has been sentenced to death by hanging for supposedly blaspheming against the religious character Muhammad.
A Sharia court claimed that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, was guilty of committing blasphemy for a song
he circulated via WhatsApp in March.
The singer who is currently in detention, had gone into hiding after he composed the song. Protestors had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the
Hisbah, demanding action against him.
The song was controversial as it praised an imam from the Tijaniya Muslim brotherhood which appears to be a cult with beliefs that disagree with more orthodox islam.
The leader of the protesters that called
for the musician's arrest in March, Idris Ibrahim, told the BBC that the judgement will serve as a warning to others contemplating toeing Yahaya's path.
Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is able to appeal against the sentence.
The Chinese government has deployed an update to its national firewall, to block encrypted HTTPS connections that are being set up using the latest internet standards for encryption.
The ban has been in place since the end of July, according to a
joint report published this week by three organizations tracking Chinese censorship -- iYouPort , the University of Maryland , and the Great Firewall Report.
In particular China is now blocking HTTPS+TLS1.3+ESNI.
TLS 1.3 is the latest
encryption standard that can be used to implement https. Server Name Indication is used to specify which website is required when several websites are hosted using the same I address. By default it is unencrypted letting ISPs and snoopers know which
website is being accessed even when using https. ESNI (Encrypted Server Name Indication) closes this loophole.
Other HTTPS traffic is still allowed through the Great Firewall, if it uses older versions of the same protocols -- such as TLS 1.1 or 1.2,
or SNI (Server Name Indication). This rather suggests that these old encryption standards are now compromised.
Per the findings of the joint report, the Chinese government is currently dropping all HTTPS traffic where TLS 1.3 and ESNI are used, and
temporarily banning the IP addresses involved in the connection, for small intervals of time that can vary between two and three minutes.
Note also that this news about Chinese censorship probably informs us about snooping capabilities in the UK.
Presumably GCHQ and UK ISPs would be similarly blinded by HTTPS+TLS1.3+ESNI, whilst still being able to block and snoop on older standards.
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.
Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a
car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.
Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user
writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC News...am I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting
The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.
In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:
we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the
decision we did.
This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was
then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.
The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of
this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.
Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the
use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.
You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought:
we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was
supported by the family and the victim.
These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.
We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language
would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.
The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.
Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.
In its fortnightly bulletin, the
BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic
Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.
Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology
BBC director general Tony Hall has
apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.
The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.
Hall said he now
accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:
I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.
In his message, Hall
emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:
This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions,
I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.
The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our
guidance on offensive language across our output.
Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.
US Attorneys General from 20 different states have sent a letter urging Facebook to do a better job at censoring content. They wrote:
We, the undersigned State Attorneys General, write to request that you take additional
steps to prevent Facebook from being used to spread disinformation and hate and to facilitate discrimination. We also ask that you take more steps to provide redress for users who fall victim to intimidation and harassment, including violence and digital
As part of our responsibilities to our communities, Attorneys General have helped residents navigate Facebook's processes for victims to address abuse on its platform. While Facebook has--on
occasion--taken action to address violations of its terms of service in cases where we have helped elevate our constituents' concerns, we know that everyday users of Facebook can find the process slow, frustrating, and ineffective. Thus, we write to
highlight positive steps that Facebook can take to strengthen its policies and practices.
The letter was written by the Attorneys General of New Jersey, Illinois, and District of Columbia, and addressed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO
Sheryl Sandberg. It was cos-signed by 17 other democrat AGs from states such as New York, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
The letter proceeds to highlight seven steps they think Facebook should take to better police content to avoid
online abuse. They recommended things such as aggressive enforcement of hate speech policies, third-party enforcement and auditing of hate speech, and real-time assistance for users to report harassment.
The Beatles song A Day In The Life , taken from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was banned by the BBC following its release in 1967.
This particular period of time arrived during The group's well-documented LSD period. The
band received a letter from BBC director of sound broadcasting Frank Gillard on May 23rd, 1967, detailing his reasoning for banning the song which opened with the line:
I never thought the day would come when we would
have to put a ban on an EMI record , but sadly, this is what has happened over this track.
We have listened to it over and over again with great care, and we cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that the words 'I'd love to turn
you on,' followed by that mounting montage of sound, could have a rather sinister meaning.
The recording may have been made in innocence and good faith. But we must take account of the interpretation that
many young people would inevitably put upon it. Turned on is a phrase which can be used in many different circumstances, but it is currently much in vogue in the jargon of the drug addicts.
Hungary's Data Protection Chief has proposed new legislation which would enable social media platforms to ban people from their services only with a compelling reason, while also granting the right to Hungarian authorities to review the decisions.
head of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH), requested a regulation on social media at a meeting of the Digital Freedom Working Group, according to which community profiles can only be suspended for compelling reasons. Also, according to
Attila Péterfalvi, Hungarian authorities should have the right to review these decisions.
The justice ministry's digital freedom committee aimed at improving the transparency of tech firms has penned a letter to the regional director of Facebook
asking whether the company's supervisory board complied with the requirements of political neutrality and transparency in its procedures, Justice Minister Judit Varga said:
I made the suggestion of
establishing a Hungarian authority procedure in which the Hungarian authorities would oblige Facebook to review unjustified suspensions so that freedom of expression would remain free indeed.
The Chinese government has begun rolling out its real-name identification system for video games nationwide, while also removing over 15,000 unlicensed games from the Chinese App store.
The law includes the extension of an existing social media
real-name requirement, where everybody has to provide a form of valid identity information. Both Tencent and NetEase reportedly begun using their own verification systems.
The authentication system aims to be rolled out in September.
Chinese developers were further compounded by 15,000 unlicensed games being removed from the Chinese App Store since July 1st, in preparation of an August 1st deadline. This was due to those games lacking permission from the Chinese National Press and Publication Administration.
One of the drivers behind the latest moves is that in-game messaging and voice systems in more obscure have enabled people to evade the country's repressive censorship stranglehold on communications.
The BBC has defended itself following complaints about airing a teenage same-sex kiss in a CBBC show.
About 100 viewers objected to a scene in which two girls share a kiss following a dance. It was shown in an episode of Canadian kids' TV show The Next Step
which was broadcast in July.
The BBC confirmed online that complaints had been received about the storyline. The BBC explained that the kiss was part of its morality campaign to 'educate' kids in its progressive values. The BBC said:
This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be,
We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was
handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship. And I'm afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age.
CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing. And it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.
relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.
One grey morning in October 1970, in a crowded, tizzy-pink courtroom on the corner of Melbourne's Russell and La Trobe Streets, crown prosecutor Leonard Flanagan began denouncing a novel in terms that were strident and ringing.
When taken as a whole, it is lewd, he declared. As to a large part of it, it is absolutely disgusting both in the sexual and other sense; and the content of the book as a whole offends against the ordinary standards of the average
person in the community today -- the ordinary, average person's standard of decency. Scribe
The object of Flanagan's ire that day was the Penguin Books Australia edition of Portnoy's Complaint . Frank, funny, and profane,
Philip Roth's novel -- about a young man torn between the duties of his Jewish heritage and the autonomy of his sexual desires -- had been a sensation the world over when it was published in February 1969.
Greeted with sweeping
critical acclaim, it was advertised as the funniest novel ever written about sex and called the autobiography of America in the Village Voice. In the United States, it sold more than 400,000 copies in hardcover in a single year -- more, even, than Mario
Puzo's The Godfather -- and in the United Kingdom it was published to equal fervour and acclaim.
But in Australia, Portnoy's Complaint had been banned.
Politicians, bureaucrats, police, and judges
had for years worked to keep Australia free of the moral contamination of impure literature. Under a system of censorship that pre-dated federation, works that might damage the morals of the Australian public were banned, seized, and burned. Bookstores
were raided. Publishers were policed and fined. Writers had been charged, fined and even jailed.
Seminal novels and political tracts from overseas had been kept out of the country. Where objectionable works emerged from Australian
writers, they were rooted out like weeds. Under the censorship system, Boccacio's Decameron had been banned. Nabokov's Lolita had been banned. Joyce's Ulysses had been banned. Even James Bond had been banned.
There had been opposition to this censorship for years, though it had become especially notable in the past decade. Criticism of the bans on J.D. Salinger's
The Catcher in the Rye and Norman Lindsay's Redheap had prompted an almost complete revision of the banned list in 1958.
The repeated prosecutions of the Oz magazine team in 1963 and 1964 had attracted
enormous attention and controversy.
Outcry over the bans on Mary McCarthy's The Group and D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover had been loud and pronounced, and three intrepid Sydney activists had exposed the federal
government to ridicule when they published a domestic edition of The Trial of Lady Chatterley , an edited transcript of the failed court proceedings against Penguin Books UK for the publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover in Britain in 1960.
Penguin Books Australia had been prompted to join the fight against censorship by the three idealistic and ambitious men at its helm: managing director John Michie, finance director Peter Froelich, and editor John Hooker.
In five years, the three men had overhauled the publisher, improving its distribution machinery and logistics and reinvigorating its publishing list. They believed Penguin could shape Australian life and culture by publishing
interesting and vibrant books by Australian authors.
They wanted Penguin's books to engage with the political and cultural shifts that the country was undergoing, to expose old canards, question the orthodox, and pose
Censorship was no small topic in all this. Those at Penguin saw censorship as an inhibition on these ambitions. We'd had issues with it before, in minor ways, Peter Froelich recalled, and we'd have drinks we'd say,
'It's wrong! How can we fix it? What can we do? How do we bring it to people's attention, so that it can be changed?'
The answer emerged when they heard of the ban placed on Portnoy's Complaint. Justifiably famous, a bestseller
the world over, of well-discussed literary merit, it stood out immediately as a work with which to challenge the censorship system, just as its British parent company had a decade earlier.
Why not obtain the rights to an
Australian edition, print it in secret, and publish it in one fell swoop? As Hooker -- who had the idea -- put it to Michie, Jack, we ought to really publish Portnoy's Complaint and give them one in the eye.
The risks were
considerable. There was sure to be a backlash from police and politicians. Criminal charges against Penguin and its three leaders were almost certain. Financial losses thanks to seized stock and fines would be considerable. The legal fees incurred in
fighting charges would be enormous. Booksellers who stocked the book would also be put on trial. But Penguin was determined.
John Michie was resolute. John offered to smash the whole thing down, Hooker said, later. When he was
told what was about to happen, federal minister for customs Don Chipp swore that Michie would pay: I'll see you in jail for this. But Michie was not to be dissuaded. 'People who took exception to it at the time are mostly dead,' Roth said, some 40 years
and 30 books after Portnoy's Complaint was published. A stampede
In July 1970, Penguin arranged to have three copies of Portnoy smuggled into Australia. In considerable secrecy, they used them to print 75,000 copies in Sydney and
shipped them to wholesalers and bookstores around the country. It was an operation carried out with a precision that Hooker later likened to the German invasion of Poland.
The book was unveiled on August 31 1970. Michie held a
press conference in his Mont Albert home, saying Portnoy's Complaint was a masterpiece and should be available to read in Australia. Neither he nor Penguin were afraid of the prosecutions: We are prepared to take the matter to the High Court.
The next morning, as the trucks bearing copies began to arrive, bookstores everywhere were rushed. At one Melbourne bookstore, the assistant manager was knocked down and trampled by a crowd eager to buy the book and support Penguin.
It was a stampede, he said later. A bookstore manager in Sydney was amazed when the 500 copies his store took sold out in two-and-a-half hours.
All too soon, it was sold out. And with politicians making loud promises of
retribution, the police descended.
Bookstores were raided. Unsold copies were seized. Court summons were delivered to Penguin, to Michie, and to booksellers the whole country over. A long list of court trials over the publication
of Portnoy's Complaint and its sale were in the offing. A stellar line-up
So the trial that opened on the grey morning of October 19 1970, in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, was only the first in what promised to be a long
Neither Michie nor his colleagues were daunted. They had prepared a defence based around literary merit and the good that might come from reading the book. They had retained expert lawyers and marshalled the cream of
Australia's literary and academic elite to come to their aid.
Patrick White would appear as a witness for the defence. So too would academic John McLaren, The Age newspaper editor Graham Perkin, the critic A.A. Phillips, the
historian Manning Clark, the poet Vincent Buckley, and many more. They were unconcerned by Flanagan's furious denunciations, by his shudders of disgust, and by his caustic indictments of Penguin and its leaders.
confident in their cause. As one telegram to Michie said:
ALL BEST WISHES FOR A RESOUNDING VICTORY FOR LITERATURE AND LIBERTY.
A Cambodian proposal to ban girls wearing short skirts and men's shirtless has been tabled in parliament. MPs supporting this proposal have claimed that this will not only stop the increasing sexual violence in society but also strengthen Cambodian
culture. If this resolution is passed in Parliament, the local police will get the right to take legal action against those wearing such clothes.
If the proposal gets approval from many Cambodian government ministries and the national parliament, it
will be implemented from early 2021. After this, if a man appears shirtless in public places or a woman / girl in short skirt, then they will be fined.
Blood and Guts Bundle is a 2020 trilogy of arena fight games from Digerati
The Blood and Guts Bundle for Nintendo Switch has been banned in Australia under the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system. Decision
was in March, but has only recently been added to the National Classification Database.
The automated system is pretty much a random rating generator, so perhaps the delay is down to going back to the old manual way of rating games.
US the game is M (17) rated by the ESRB for blood and gore, use of drugs, violence.
The Promotional Material gives a flavour of the game:
Satisfy your lust for carnage with three gloriously gratuitous games!
This bundle contains:
Slain: Back from Hell . A heavy metal inspired arcade combat game with stunning pixel art visuals, challenging old school gameplay and gore galore. Plus the most metal soundtrack you've ever heard!
Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut : A killer puzzle game and darkly comic homage to 80s horror movies where you control Skullface, a homicidal slasher hell-bent on revenge.
Super Blood Hockey : Arcade
sports gaming gets a shot of adrenaline in this violent homage to classic 8- and 16-bit ice hockey games. Use fast-paced skills and bone-crunching brutality to dominate.
President Donald Trump has said that he will ban the popular short-form video app TikTok from operating in the United States. Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order.
Earlier on Friday, it seemed that the President was
set to sign an order to force ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the social media platform, to sell the US operations of TikTok to Microsoft. The move was aimed at resolving policymakers' concerns that the foreign-owned TikTok may be a national
The US government is conducting a national security review of TikTok and is preparing to make a policy recommendation to Trump.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Ofcom have announced the launch of a new forum to help ensure online services work well for people and businesses in the UK.
The Digital Regulation Cooperation
Forum strengthens existing collaboration and coordination between the three regulators. It aims to harness their collective expertise when data, privacy, competition, communications and content interact.
An ad for tampons has been banned in Ireland for supposedly causing widespread offence.
The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) has advised that Tampax's Tampons and Tea ad should not air again in the same format, after receiving 84
The ad saw a TV presenter in a chat show set-up asking the audience: Tell me, how many of you ever feel your tampon? After her guest raises her hand, she says: You shouldn't. It might mean your tampon isn't in far enough.
You've gotta get 'em up there, girls.
A number of complainants argued that the ad was demeaning to women because it suggested that women did not know how to use the tampons or read the instructions. Complaints of sexual innuendo argued that the
phrase get 'em up there, girls had sexual connotations and that the Tampax ad was sexualising the wearing of tampons, while other complaints claimed the ad was over-descriptive, inappropriately expressed and with excessive detail.
The ASAI did not
uphold complaints that the ad demeaned women, contained sexual innuendo or was unsuitable for children. However, they did uphold the complaints of general offence.
The Department of Commerce, as directed by President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, filed a petition to clarify the scope of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The petition requests that the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) clarify that Section 230 does not permit social media companies that alter or editorialize users' speech to escape civil liability.
The petition also requests that the FCC clarify when an online
platform curates content in good faith, and requests transparency requirements on their moderation practices, similar to requirements imposed on broadband service providers under Title I of the Communications Act. President Trump will continue to fight
back against unfair, un-American, and politically biased censorship of Americans online.
a. The first ad, seen in the BBC Good Food Guide app on 13 April 2020, featured images including a naked mannequin wearing a cape, a woman shown from the neck down wearing a corset that partially exposed her breasts and revealed
nipple tassels, and an image of a reclining woman from the waist down wearing fishnet stockings and underwear.
b. The second ad, seen in the Google News app on 22 April 2020, featured images including a woman wearing a jacket
that partially exposed her cleavage and midriff, and a woman shown from the neck down wearing a corset that partially exposed her breasts and revealed nipple tassels.
c. The third ad, seen in the Google News app on 1 May
2020, featured the same images as ad (b), and an image of a prosthetic penis alongside the text Dildo + Ass Sex Cup + Penis Sleeve ... 6cm Longer ... 4cm Bigger.
d. The fourth ad, seen in a Solitaire game on Google Play on 1
May 2020, featured the same images as ad (c), and an image of a reclining woman from the waist down wearing fishnet stockings and underwear. Issue
The ASA received three complaints:
1. three complainants, who considered that the content of the ads was sexually graphic, objected that the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence; and
2. two complainants challenged whether ads (b), (c) and (d) had been responsibly targeted because they were likely to be seen by children.
Context Logic Inc trading as Wish.com said that their ads were
comprised of content from listings provided by third-party sellers on the Wish marketplace. Wish.com used techniques to identify and remove potentially objectionable content, which included filtering based on keywords in listing titles and tags applied
to the listing. Wish.com worked with an ad partner who used filtering and other measures to prevent Wish ads from appearing in inappropriate forums.
Regarding the ads complained of, the keyword filters and image analysis used by
their ad partner was not sufficient in preventing the ads from being displayed in general audience forums. Wish.com halted UK campaigns with the ad partner in May 2020. They said that they were not currently advertising through the ad partner until they
had more confidence in their ability to identify mature content and prevent it from being shown in general audience forums. Wish.com agreed that the ads may not have been appropriate for all forums, such as those where the audience were likely to be
comprised of a large number of minors, and they were taking action to address the issue. However, they did not agree that the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
All four ads depicted a range of garments, including nipple tassels shown on exposed breasts and a cape displayed on a nude mannequin, and ads (c) and (d) depicted a sex toy. These were all available
on the Wish.com website. While the images were relevant to the products sold, the ASA considered they were overtly sexual and contained explicit nudity.
We considered that consumers using apps for recipes, the news and playing
solitaire would not expect to see sexually explicit content. We therefore concluded that in those contexts the ads were likely to cause both serious and widespread offence.
As referenced above, we
considered that the ads were overtly sexual and contained explicit nudity. We considered they therefore were not suitable to be seen by children. Ads (b) and (c) were seen in the Google News app and ad (d) was seen in a Solitaire game. We considered
that, given the content of the apps, they were likely to have a broad appeal to all ages including children, and therefore any ads that appeared within the apps should have been suitable for children.
While Wish.com and their ad
partner had used measures such as keyword filters and image analysis to try to target them to a suitable audience, it had not prevented the ads being shown in mediums where children were likely to be part of the audience. Because the ads contained
explicit sexual images and had been placed in apps that were likely to be used by children, we concluded that the ads had been placed irresponsibly and breached the Code.
The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We
told Context Logic Inc t/a Wish.com to ensure that their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence and to ensure their ads were appropriately targeted.
More censorship legislation is needed to protect people online after social media giants' failure to tackle hate speech on their websites, claims the Labour Party.
Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, claimed
the UK desperately needed legislation forcing platforms to act because self-regulation isn't working.
The Labour party is accusing the Government of delaying the introduction of an online harms bill to protect Internet users. It comes after
politicians and campaigners condemned Twitter for being too slow to remove anti-Semitic tweets by rapper Wiley.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he has written to Instagram and Twitter to make it clear that they need to act immediately to
remove social media posts that Labour does not like.
China's new censorship laws effectively ban film content that portrays the life of Jesus Christ.
The broad new guidelines to make films fit the Communist party line include 20 categories that will now be outlawed. The categories include any
content that promotes contentious history -- and film-makers believe this includes the life of Jesus . Other banned categories include the depiction of sacred relics and demonic possessions and content showing miracles and healing.
The guidelines almost entirely ban such content. If we film the life of Jesus, avoiding the content banned by the guidelines, we will only be presenting Jesus as an ordinary person. This is unacceptable to
Of course it may not be wise for Christians make too much of a fuss lest the government decides that religious re-education may be in order for Christians as well as Muslims.
Australia's competition regulator has launched court proceedings against Alphabet's Google for allegedly misleading consumers about the expanded use of personal data for targeted advertising.
The case by the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) in Federal Court said Google did not explicitly get consent nor properly inform consumers about a 2016 move to combine personal information in Google accounts with activities on non-Google websites that use its technology.
regulator said this practice allowed the Alphabet Inc unit to link the names and other ways to identify consumers with their behaviour elsewhere on the internet .
A public consultation has closed on changes to Scotland's hate crime laws that will diminish free speech even further.
The plans to make it a criminal offence to stir up hatred, criticise or insult anyone based on their age, disability, religion,
sexual orientation or transgender identity.
The bill will massively step up the definitions of what people are not allowed to stay lest it be considered insulting to easily offended identity groups, particularly sensitive religions. The bill also
extends from people's words into the possession of material that might be considered critical of sensitive identity groups.
The disgraceful bill has been opposed by many particularly the most effected, like newspapers.
Opposition to the
bill has united the Catholic Church and the National Secular Society in opposition to the plans - along with academics, playwrights and newspaper columnists who all say they fear the proposed legislation will pose a threat to their freedom of speech. For
example comedians could become too frightened to dare make a joke about a Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman walking into a bar.
The public were invited to make their views known to the Scottish parliament's justice committee before midnight
on 24 July.
Amanda Millar, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said:
It was right that laws provide a clear message that hatred should have no place in our society. However, we have significant
reservations regarding a number of the bill's provisions and the lack of clarity, which could in effect lead to restrictions in freedom of expression, one of the foundations of a democratic society. We have real concerns that certain behaviour, views
expressed or even an actor's performance, which might well be deemed insulting or offensive, could result in a criminal conviction under the terms of the bill as currently drafted.
Scottish Labour criticised the offence of stirring up
hatred and accused ministers of failing to learn the lessons of the repealed Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. The party's justice spokesman James Kelly said:
There is a significant divergence from similar law in
England and Wales where intent is required for a person to be criminalised for behaviour which another finds insulting. Under the current proposals, the law here would not require this intent to be present - which sets an alarming legal precedent and
could result in the criminalisation of expressions of religious views.
In its submission to Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Scottish Newspaper Society warned that it contained highly dangerous measures which pose a serious threat to
freedom of expression in its broadest sense. The organisation's director, John McLellan, said it had the potential to provoke a string of vexatious complaints against journalists and columnists, which could then lead to police investigations. He raised
further concerns about provisions against communicating insulting material:
It would also be an offence to distribute it, which potentially could see newspaper delivery boys and girls, or shops, fall foul of the law.
Allowing courts to direct the destruction of material had echoes of darker times and could lead to the banning of books or censorship of the internet, he warned.
He added that JK Rowling, who has recently faced a
deluge of criticism from transgender rights activists after she expressed her views online, would almost certainly have seen her subjected to a police investigation had the proposed law been in force.