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UK Internet Censorship

2021: Oct-Dec

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Offsite Article: Co-censor...

Link Here16th December 2021
The Internet Watch Foundation petitions for a place in the UK's upcoming internet censorship regime

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Endangering adults...

The Sunday Times reports that the Government is preparing to require ID verification for all internet porn

Link Here26th November 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Sunday Times is reporting that UK government inisters are preparing to introduce mandatory ID verification for adults to be able to access internet porn.

Plans to bring in ID verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 2019 over their failure to include data protection for porn users, are now being looked on with approval by Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, and Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary.

Their support follows an intervention by Dame Rachel de Souza, the children's commissioner, who has sent a report to ministers recommending that age verification becomes compulsory on all porn sites, not just those with user uploaded content as proposed under the draft Online 'Safety' Bill.



Snowflakery on steroids...

Government will define crimes in its Online Censorship Bill as those causing 'likely psychological harm'

Link Here1st November 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has accepted recommendations from the Law Commission for crimes under its Online Censorship Bill to be based on likely psychological harm rather than just indecent or grossly offensive content.

This widens the purview of the law, and the proposed change will focus on the supposed harmful effect of a message rather than the content itself.

A knowingly false communication offence will be created that will criminalise those who send or post a message they know to be false with the intention to cause emotional, psychological, or physical harm to the likely audience.

The move is justifiably likely to be met with resistance from freedom of speech campaigners.



Online Censorship Bill...

The UK government steps up internet censorship whilst Twitter asks for clarity on what legal but supposedly harmful material needs to be censored

Link Here20th October 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The government has decided to counter terrorist knife murders by censoring the internet and taking away everyone's rights to (justifiably) insult their knee jerking MPs.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital Censorship Culture, Media and Sport said:

Online hate has poisoned public life, it's intolerable, it's often unbearable and it has to end.

Enough is enough. Social media companies have no excuses. And once this bill passes through Parliament, they will have no choice.

She also said the government had decided to re-examine how our legislation can go even further to ensure the biggest social media companies properly protect users from anonymous abuse.

Twitter is not impressed and has aired its concerns that the bill gives too much influence to the culture secretary over Ofcom.

The current draft bill would allow Dorries to change the Ofcom code of practice that would be used to regulate the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking to Radio 4's Westminster Hour programme, Katy Minshall,  the head of policy in the UK for Twitter, said the bill gave the minister unusual powers, leaving Ofcom to muddle through.

She also rejected the idea of stronger rules around online anonymity -- something some MPs have campaigned for. Minshall argued that clamping down on anonymous accounts would fail to deal with the problems of online abuse and could damage people who rely on pseudonymity. She said:

If you're a young person exploring their sexuality or you're a victim of domestic violence looking online for help and for support, pseudonymity is a really important safety tool for you.

She added that users already had to provide a date of birth, full name and email address when signing up, meaning that the police could access data about an account, even if someone had used a pseudonym.

Minshall said the bill had thrown up all sorts of really important questions, such as how do we define legal but harmful content and what sorts of exemptions should we make for journalistic content or content of democratic importance.



Offsite Article: Kitchen sink bill...

Link Here12th October 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Ex-DCMS minister Ed Vaizey predicts huge battleground over UK's plan to set internet censorship rules

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