Melon Farmers Original Version

UK Parliament Watch


2019: April-June

 1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    

 

Scottish Parliament debates violent safe spaces...

Perhaps they should debate why those protected by hate legislation so often turn out to be the biggest offenders


Link Here12th June 2019
MSPs from all parties in the Scottish Parliament have backed a motion condemning violence against women and supporting the right of universities to host controversial discussions on campus.

Scottish Labour's Jenny Marra has lodged a motion supporting a discussion on women's rights which took place at Edinburgh University last week, but which had been branded anti trans and was marred by an attempted assault on one of the speakers.

Her motion, which also states there is no place for violence or threats of violence towards women engaging in public life in Scotland has been backed by Ruth Davidson and 24 other MSPs from across the political spectrum.

The event in the university's George Square lecture halls last Wednesday evening, which was addressed by academics including Professor Rosa Freedman and Professor Sarah Pedersen as well as feminist campaigner and author Julie Bindel, was attended by around 200 people.

The university came under pressure from LGBT students and its staff Pride Network to cancel the event claiming discussing women's sex-based rights was exclusionary of transgender women. However principal Peter Mathieson refused to do so and said he believed universities must be safe places for complex and sometimes controversial discussions to take place.

A protest outside the event was held - but it was when the discussion was over that an alleged attempted assault took place on speaker Julie Bindel. Ms Bindel has described how she was verbally abused, lunged at and almost punched in the face by a transwoman as she left to catch her taxi to Edinburgh Airport. Only the intervention of security staff prevented her from being physically assaulted, she claimed. A transwoman, Cathy Brennan, later admitted on social media that she had lost her shit at Ms Bindel.

 

 

Junk politics...

Tom Watson supports call for a ban on cartoon characters on the packaging of nearly all food products


Link Here4th June 2019
In a new survey by Action on Sugar and Action on Salt based at Queen Mary University of London, in association with Children's Food Campaign , has found half (51%) of 526 food and drink products which use cartoon animations on pack to appeal to children are unnecessarily high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt. Manufacturers and retailers are accused of deliberately manipulating children and parents into purchasing dangerously unhealthy products, which can encourage pester power and excessive consumption.

Action on Sugar, Action on Salt, Children's Food Campaign and other organisations are calling for a complete ban of such marketing tactics on unhealthy products and for compulsory traffic light nutrition labelling, giving parents the chance to make healthier choices. If marketing on children's packaging were to follow the same advertising codes as set by the Committee for Advertising Practices for broadcast advertising, half would fail the eligibility criteria and therefore would not be allowed to be advertised to audiences under the age of 16. The campaigners call for this criteria to be extended to all forms of media, and to any programme watched by a child, as is currently being discussed in the Governments latest consultation on further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar

Alarmingly Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party agreed with teh call for censorship saying:

This research reveals the scale of irresponsibility in the industry. We're in the midst of a child obesity crisis and companies are using cartoons to advertise their junk foods to kids. It's unacceptable. It's time we changed the rules to get these cartoons off our packs.

 

 

Updated: A cryptic question...

Tom Watson asks in parliament about which internet browsers plan to implement censor busting DNS Over HTTPS technology


Link Here22nd May 2019
Tom Watson asked a parliamentary question about the censor busting technology of DNS over HTTPS.

Up until now, ISPs have been able to intercept website address look ups (via a DNS server) and block the ones that they, or the state, don't like.

This latest internet protocol allows browsers and applications to bypass ISPs' censored DNS servers and use encrypted alternatives that cannot then be intercepted by ISPs and so can't be censored by the state. (note that they can offer a censored service such as an option for a family friendly feeds, but this is on their own terms and not the state's).

Anyway Labour Deputy leader has been enquiring about whether browsers are intending to implement the new protocol. Perhaps revealing an idea to try and pressurise browsers into not offering options to circumvent the state's blocking list.

Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many internet browser providers have informed his Department that they will not be adopting the Internet Engineering Task Force DNS over HTTPS ( DOH ) protocol.

Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

How DOH will be deployed is still a subject of discussion within the industry, both for browser providers and the wider internet industry. We are aware of the public statements made by some browser providers on deployment and we are seeking to understand definitively their rollout plans. DCMS is in discussions with browser providers, internet industry and other stakeholders and we are keen to see a resolution that is acceptable for all parties.

Update: Speaking of government pressure

22nd May 2019. See  article from edinburghnews.scotsman.com

Here's another indication that the government is trying to preserve its internet censorship capabilities by pressurising browser companies:

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) - representing firms including BT, Virgin, and Sky - has expressed concerns over the implications the encryption on Firefox could have on internet safety.

A spokesperson said, We remain concerned about the consequences these proposed changes will have for online safety and security, and it is therefore important that the Government sends a strong message to the browser manufacturers such as Mozilla that their encryption plans do not undermine current internet safety standards in the UK.

 

 

Website blocking blocked...

House of Lords: Questions about DNS over HTTPS


Link Here15th May 2019
At the moment when internet users want to view a page, they specify the page they want in the clear. ISPs can see the page requested and block it if the authorities don't like it. A new internet protocol has been launched that encrypts the specification of the page requested so that ISPs can't tell what page is being requested, so can't block it.

This new DNS Over HTTPS protocol is already available in Firefox which also provides an uncensored and encrypted DNS server. Users simply have to change the settings in about:config (being careful of the dragons of course)

Questions have been raised in the House of Lords about the impact on the UK's ability to censor the internet.

House of Lords, 14th May 2019, Internet Encryption Question

Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 2:53 pm, 14th May 2019

To ask Her Majesty 's Government what assessment they have made of the deployment of the Internet Engineering Task Force 's new " DNS over HTTPS " protocol and its implications for the blocking of content by internet service providers and the Internet Watch Foundation ; and what steps they intend to take in response.

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

My Lords, DCMS is working together with the National Cyber Security Centre to understand and resolve the implications of DNS over HTTPS , also referred to as DoH, for the blocking of content online. This involves liaising across government and engaging with industry at all levels, operators, internet service providers, browser providers and pan-industry organisations to understand rollout options and influence the way ahead. The rollout of DoH is a complex commercial and technical issue revolving around the global nature of the internet.

Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Answer, and I apologise to the House for this somewhat geeky Question. This Question concerns the danger posed to existing internet safety mechanisms by an encryption protocol that, if implemented, would render useless the family filters in millions of homes and the ability to track down illegal content by organisations such as the Internet Watch Foundation . Does the Minister agree that there is a fundamental and very concerning lack of accountability when obscure technical groups, peopled largely by the employees of the big internet companies, take decisions that have major public policy implications with enormous consequences for all of us and the safety of our children? What engagement have the British Government had with the internet companies that are represented on the Internet Engineering Task Force about this matter?

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for discussing this with me beforehand, which was very welcome. I agree that there may be serious consequences from DoH. The DoH protocol has been defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force . Where I do not agree with the noble Baroness is that this is not an obscure organisation; it has been the dominant internet technical standards organisation for 30-plus years and has attendants from civil society, academia and the UK Government as well as the industry. The proceedings are available online and are not restricted. It is important to know that DoH has not been rolled out yet and the picture in it is complex--there are pros to DoH as well as cons. We will continue to be part of these discussions; indeed, there was a meeting last week, convened by the NCSC , with DCMS and industry stakeholders present.

Lord Clement-Jones Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Digital)

My Lords, the noble Baroness has raised a very important issue, and it sounds from the Minister 's Answer as though the Government are somewhat behind the curve on this. When did Ministers actually get to hear about the new encrypted DoH protocol? Does it not risk blowing a very large hole in the Government's online safety strategy set out in the White Paper ?

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

As I said to the noble Baroness, the Government attend the IETF . The protocol was discussed from October 2017 to October 2018, so it was during that process. As far as the online harms White Paper is concerned, the technology will potentially cause changes in enforcement by online companies, but of course it does not change the duty of care in any way. We will have to look at the alternatives to some of the most dramatic forms of enforcement, which are DNS blocking.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara Opposition Whip (Lords)

My Lords, if there is obscurity, it is probably in the use of the technology itself and the terminology that we have to use--DoH and the other protocols that have been referred to are complicated. At heart, there are two issues at stake, are there not? The first is that the intentions of DoH, as the Minister said, are quite helpful in terms of protecting identity, and we do not want to lose that. On the other hand, it makes it difficult, as has been said, to see how the Government can continue with their current plan. We support the Digital Economy Act approach to age-appropriate design, and we hope that that will not be affected. We also think that the soon to be legislated for--we hope--duty of care on all companies to protect users of their services will help. I note that the Minister says in his recent letter that there is a requirement on the Secretary of State to carry out a review of the impact and effectiveness of the regulatory framework included in the DEA within the next 12 to 18 months. Can he confirm that the issue of DoH will be included?

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Clearly, DoH is on the agenda at DCMS and will be included everywhere it is relevant. On the consideration of enforcement--as I said before, it may require changes to potential enforcement mechanisms--we are aware that there are other enforcement mechanisms. It is not true to say that you cannot block sites; it makes it more difficult, and you have to do it in a different way.

The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

My Lords, for the uninitiated, can the noble Lord tell us what DoH means --very briefly, please?

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

It is not possible to do so very briefly. It means that, when you send a request to a server and you have to work out which server you are going to by finding out the IP address, the message is encrypted so that the intervening servers are not able to look at what is in the message. It encrypts the message that is sent to the servers. What that means is that, whereas previously every server along the route could see what was in the message, now only the browser will have the ability to look at it, and that will put more power in the hands of the browsers.

Lord West of Spithead Labour

My Lords, I thought I understood this subject until the Minister explained it a minute ago. This is a very serious issue. I was unclear from his answer: is this going to be addressed in the White Paper ? Will the new officer who is being appointed have the ability to look at this issue when the White Paper comes out?

Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

It is not something that the White Paper per se can look at, because it is not within the purview of the Government. The protocol is designed by the IETF , which is not a government body; it is a standards body, so to that extent it is not possible. Obviously, however, when it comes to regulating and the powers that the regulator can use, the White Paper is consulting precisely on those matters, which include DNS blocking, so it can be considered in the consultation.

 

 

Extract: Lords of Censorship...

Lords debate about Online Harms sees peers line up as supporters of internet censorship and each adds their own little pet suggestions for even more censorship


Link Here1st May 2019
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
The House of Lords saw a pre-legislation debate about the governments Online Harms white paper. Peers from all parties queued up to add their praise for internet censorship. And don't even think that maybe the LibDems may be a little more appreciative of free speech and a little less in favour of state censorship. Don't dream! all the lords that spoke were gagging for it...censorship that is.

And support for the internet censorship in the white paper wasn't enough. Many of the speakers presumed to add on their own pet ideas for even more censorship.

I did spot one piece of information that was new to me. It seems that the IWF have extended their remit to include cartoon child porn as material they work against.

Elspeth Howe said during the debate:

I am very pleased that, since the debates at the end of last year, the Internet Watch Foundation has adopted a new non-photographic images policy and URL block list, so that websites that contain these images can be blocked by IWF members. It allows for network blocking of non-photographic images to be applied to filtering solutions, and it can prevent pages containing non-photographic images being shown in online search engine results. In 2017, 3,471 reports of alleged non-photographic images of child sexual abuse were made to the IWF; the figure for 2018 was double that, at 7,091 alleged reports. The new IWF policy was introduced only in February, so it is early days to see whether this will be a success. The IWF is unable to remove content unless that content originates in the UK, which of course is rare. The IWF offers this list on a voluntary basis, not a statutory basis as would occur under the Digital Economy Act. Can the Minister please keep the House informed about the success of the new policy and, if necessary, address the loopholes in the legislative proposal arising from this White Paper?

Anyway read the full debate from hansard.parliament.uk

 

 

More like China, Russia or North Korea...

Tory MPs line up to criticise their own government's totalitarian-style internet censorship proposals


Link Here 14th April 2019
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media

Ministers are facing a growing and deserved backlash against draconian new web laws which will lead to totalitarian-style censorship.

The stated aim of the Online Harms White Paper is to target offensive material such as terrorists' beheading videos. But under the document's provisions, the UK internet censor would have complete discretion to decide what is harmful, hateful or bullying -- potentially including coverage of contentious issues such as transgender rights.

After MPs lined up to demand a rethink, Downing Street has put pressure on Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright to narrow the definition of harm in order to exclude typical editorial content.

MPs have been led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, who said last night that while it was obviously a worthwhile aim to rid the web of the evils of terrorist propaganda and child pornography, it should not be at the expense of crippling a free Press and gagging healthy public expression. He added that the regulator could be used as a tool of repression by a future Jeremy Corbyn-led government, saying:

Sadly, the Online Harms White Paper appears to give the Home Secretary of the day the power to decide the rules as to which content is considered palatable. Who is to say that less scrupulous governments in the future would not abuse this new power?

I fear this could have the unintended consequence of reputable newspaper websites being subjected to quasi-state control. British newspapers freedom to hold authority to account is an essential bulwark of our democracy.

We must not now allow what amounts to a Leveson-style state-controlled regulator for the Press by the back door.

He was backed by Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the Tory Party's powerful backbench 1922 Committee, who said:

We need to protect people from the well-documented evils of the internet -- not in order to suppress views or opinions to which they might object.

In last week's Mail on Sunday, former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale warned that the legislation was more usually associated with autocratic regimes including those in China, Russia or North Korea.

Tory MP Philip Davies joined the criticism last night, saying:

Of course people need to be protected from the worst excesses of what takes place online. But equally, free speech in a free country is very, very important too. It's vital we strike the right balance. While I have every confidence that Sajid Javid as Home Secretary would strike that balance, can I have the same confidence that a future Marxist government would not abuse the proposed new powers?

And Tory MP Martin Vickers added:

While we must take action to curb the unregulated wild west of the internet, we must not introduce state control of the Press as a result.


 1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    

melonfarmers icon

Home

Top

Index

Links

Search
 

UK

World

Media

Liberty

Info
 

Film Index

Film Cuts

Film Shop

Sex News

Sex Sells
 
 

 
UK News

UK Internet

UK TV

UK Campaigns

UK Censor List
ASA

BBC

BBFC

ICO

Ofcom
Government

Parliament

UK Press

UK Games

UK Customs


Adult Store Reviews

Adult DVD & VoD

Adult Online Stores

New Releases/Offers

Latest Reviews

FAQ: Porn Legality
 

Sex Shops List

Lap Dancing List

Satellite X List

Sex Machines List

John Thomas Toys