Asia Pacific Censorship News

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  Banned words...

Papua New Guinea chief censor penalises local musicians by banning their songs from radio and TV


Link Here 10th January 2018
jaro localThe Papua New Guinea Office of Censorship has banned three local songs with lyrics deemed as inappropriate for listeners.

Chief Censor Steven Mala revealed that the three songs are Sigarapim saksak, Private Nangu and Meri Sunam by Jaro local.

The ban follows complaints on social media regarding the song Sigarapim saksak and the other two songs.

Chief Censor Steven Mala's description of the songs was harmful and not listener friendly, especially to the younger audience.

The Chief Censor has invited the concerned artists behind the banned songs to have an open dialogue with his office if they feel the need to justify why their songs should not be banned. We don't want be seen as we are just there to penalize any musicians, we want to work together with them in becoming professionals in the Music Industry and not just allowing them to produce something that is offensive to the public

 

  Ten cent snitches...

Chinese internet company hires an army of snitches and snoopers for a pittance


Link Here 6th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
tencent logoChina's social media giants are ramping up efforts to get their users to snitch on people circulating taboo content.

China's tech giant Tencent said it was hiring 200 content censors to form what the company is calling a penguin patrol unit, after the company's penguin mascot. The brigade, made of 10 journalists, 70 writers who use Tencent's content platforms, and 120 regular internet users, will flag content that transgresses China's repressive censorship rules.

Reviewers will be required to make at least 300 snitch reports each month about transgressive information, including porn, sensational headlines, plagiarism, fake news, or old news. Those who complete the mission will get 30 virtual coins which can be used to purchase items on Tencent's QQ chat app. Those who fail to meet the reporting quota three times will be booted from the unit.

 

  The case for gay sex in the media...

A Chinese court has accepted a case challenges the media censor's claims that gay sex is abnormal


Link Here 5th January 2018  full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
chinese courtChina's media censor is being taken to court over its view that homosexual activities are abnormal.

Following a crackdown on showing homosexuality in the country's media, a Beijing court has made the unusual move of accepting a legal challenge brought by a member of the public.

In the unlikely event that Fan Chunlin wins his case, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) would be forced to publicly clarify a regulation banning gay sex.

With China's courts, the media and the SAPPRFT all controlled by the ruling communist party, the chances of Fan winning the case are small. However, Fan's lawyer, Tang Xiangqian, said that he hoped that the legal challenge will raise awareness of rights for homosexual people in the country.

A decision on the case is expected within six months.

 

  Perhaps with an eye to being able to sell films to the west...

Chinese film censors seem to be relaxing their requirements for highly sanitised storylines


Link Here 5th January 2018  full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

hanson and the beastFor a long time in China there have been numerous censorship rules about storylines that could or could not appear in films. Stories with magical elements were strictly limited to taking place during ancient times, modern horror films depicting seemingly supernatural elements had to explain by the end of the film that the ghosts were just hallucinations or tricks setup by crazed killers, exceedingly bloody or violent scenes were nowhere to be seen.

The entire process of getting a film made was also once strictly supervised at every step of the way from the beginning of production all the way to right before a film hit theaters. But 2017 provided some hints that things are relaxing in the Chinese mainland.

In March of 2017, the government introduced the China Film Industry Promotion Law. One aspect of this new law has been to make it easier for films to start production. According to new regulations films that do not touch upon national security, diplomacy, ethnic minorities, religion, the military and other sensitive subjects, no longer need to hand in their scripts for approval prior to shooting.

A few example storylines have already surfaced that would not have been made a couple of years ago. In Hanson and the Beast , for example. The film takes place in modern times, yet tells the story of a zoo keeper who encounters and falls in love with a fox spirit. Many Chinese filmgoers were surprised to see spirits and demons straight out of Chinese legends depicted as living in modern China. The film does spend a few minutes of sci-fi hand-waving to explain why these fantasy creatures from Chinese legends actually exist.

Another example is the upcoming animated dark comedy Have a Nice Day , contains explicit violent imagery in its depiction of criminal gang activity. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Bear Award at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival last year, but many moviegoers in China thought that the film wouldn't see a release in its original form since it depicted the dark side of Chinese society. The film wasn't quite in its original form though as a few lines of dialogue were censored.

Perhaps China has realised that highly sanitised films are no good for selling to the west.

 

  Radiance of Resistance...

Singapore film censors ban a documentary about a Palestinian child's protests against Israeli soldiers


Link Here 4th January 2018  full story: Banned Films in Singapore...To Singapore with Love
radiance  of resistanceSingapore film censors have banned a documentary about Palestine from screening at film festivals.

Government censors at the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) claimed that the film has a skewed narrative which could cause disharmony in Simgapore.

The 2016 film, Radiance of Resistance, tells the story of Ahed al-Tamimi, then 14, and her 9-year-old friend Janna Ayyad, often called the youngest journalist in Palestine. The pair join protests in Palestine against heavily armed Israeli soldiers.

The one-hour documentary, directed by Jesse Roberts, an American humanitarian and filmmaker, was scheduled to be screened at the Singapore Palestinian Film Festival 2018 on Thursday.

But on Tuesday, the IMDA cancelled the screening, saying that the documentary explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the eyes of the two young protagonists, without a counterbalance. The censors said in a statement:

The skewed narrative of the film is inflammatory and has the potential to cause disharmony amongst the different races and religions in Singapore.

The film was rated as  'not allowed for all ratings (NAR)'.

Adela Foo, the festival's organiser, told local journalists that she was disappointed, but wouldn't appeal the IMDA's decision given time constraints.

An Israeli military court charged Ahed al-Tamimi, the film's main subject, with assault, for slapping an Israeli soldier. Since her arrest, politicians, royals, and celebrities have spoken out for Ahed, now 16. Her father has said that his daughter's actions caught on video happened after Israeli soldiers shot her 14-year-old cousin, Mohammed al-Tamimi, with a rubber bullet in his face.

 

  Fake blame...

China follows Europe's lead and steps up the censorship of Facebook-like news feed


Link Here 30th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
phoenix news logoChina's internet censor has ordered two top news feed sites to temporarily suspend parts of their platforms for broadcasting supposedly vulgar content and failing to implement censorship measures.

Toutiao and Phoenix News, which hosts news feeds similar to Facebook will suspend current affairs and Q&A sections from Friday evening for up to 24 hours, as ordered by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

The censor claimed that the two platforms broadcast pornographic and vulgar information, had serious issues of misguiding people, and had an evil influence on the ecosystem of online public discourse.

China recently upped internet recently be demanding that internet that internet news providers had to appoint state-approved editors. The censors claim the measures are designed to maintain social stability as well as stamp out violence, nudity and fake news.

 

  Alarming the public...

Malaysian government bans book on the Islamisation of Malaysia


Link Here 30th December 2017  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
zaid assalamualaikumMalaysia's Home Ministry has banned a book written by lawyer and DAP politician Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

A Federal Government gazette said the book, Assalamualaikum : Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia , was banned.

The order, citing the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, was signed by the Home Minister. The order said the book was likely to be prejudicial to public order as well as public interest and is likely to alarm public opinion.

A review of the book published two years ago said it explores the nature of political Islamisation, its origins, its chief personalities, how it has grown and what it means for Malaysia.

 

  What goes around comes around...

BBC Burma, which has always refused to use the country's preferred name of Myanmar, falls out with a partner TV channel which refuses to use the word Rohingya


Link Here 27th December 2017
bbc burma logoThe BBC's Burmese language service is pulling a broadcasting deal with a popular Myanmar television channel citing censorship, with insiders saying the partners had clashed over coverage of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Since April 2014, BBC Burmese broadcast a daily news programme on MNTV with 3.7 million daily viewers. Now the BBC said it was ending the deal after MNTV censored or pulled multiple programmes since March this year.

The spat seems to be that the local channel objected to the BBC's use of the word Rohingya in their reports. Myanmar's government -- and most local media -- call them Bengalis, portraying them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite many living in the country for generations.

 

  Chaos online...

Vietnam hires an army of internet censors to seek out 'wrong' views


Link Here 27th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Vietnam...New law requiring websites to delete content
Vietnam flagVietnam's regime has revealed that it has hired an enormous 10,000 people to work in a new cyber warfare unit, known as Force 47. Its main aim is to battle 'wrong' views being spread online.

The announcement came in a speech on Christmas Day given by Nguyen Trong Nghia, a senior lieutenant-general in the Vietnam Communist Party's People's Army. According to state-run media outlets, Lt Gen Nguyen claimed that enemies of the Communist party were currently able to create chaos online.

As a result, it claimed it was necessary that in every hour, minute, and second we must be ready to fight proactively against the wrong views. The new Force 47 has already been compared to the so-called 50-cent army employed by the Communist regime in neighbouring China, who are paid 50 cents for every website they highlight that breaches regulations.

 

  All revved up...

Indonesia set to fire up an internet censorship machine in January 2018


Link Here 27th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill
Indonesia flagThe Indonesian government is set to use a 'censorship machine' starting next year to surf the net to block porn.

The machine would begin operations in January after a handover process on Dec. 29, Communications and Information Ministry's information applications director general Samuel Abrijani said.

The censorship machine uses a crawling system to automatically analyze inappropriate content based on inputs and categories set by the ministry. Samuel said the system was different to surveillance.

The ministry acquired the machine worth Rp 211 billion (US$15.6 million) through a tender process in August.

 

  Censors with battering rams...

Singapore considers giving more film censors powers to smash down doors in the pursuit of films or videos transgressing censorship rules


Link Here 23rd December 2017  full story: Film Censorship in Singapore...Media Development Authority
Singapore flagFifty film-makers In Singapore have signed call for the authorities to reconsider proposed changes to the Films Act.

A key concern is the expanded powers that film censors of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will have in investigating breaches.

Currently, only a few IMDA officers - a censor, a deputy or assistant censor, or an inspector of films - can enter premises without a warrant, and conduct search and seizure over unlawful films, such as obscene or party political films, the paper noted.

With the changes, these powers extend to any classification or licensing officer, who may enter property by breaking doors and windows, and may do so in investigating any breach of the Films Act - not just over unlawful films.

IMDA have claimed its officers have to act quickly to secure evidence of the contraventions while minimising the chances of the suspected offender fleeing the scene. It added that its enforcement officers are adequately trained to carry out investigations in a way that stands up to scrutiny in a court of law.

Public consultation on the proposed changes is due to end on Dec 30 after two extensions. But the 50 film-makers called on IMDA to extend the consultation by another four weeks.

Other proposed amendments include a new scheme allowing some video companies to classify video titles up to a PG13 rating, and a new video games class licence.

Another proposed change gives the government minister responsible for media sole discretion - after consulting a panel - over the outcome of appeals for films that are refused classification for undermining national security. Film-makers want the current framework retained - where appeals are made to a Films Appeal Committee, consisting of citizens.

 

  Virtually repressive...

Chinese man falls victim to the state's internet censorship and is jailed for 5.5 years for selling VPNs


Link Here 23rd December 2017
China flagA Chinese businessman selling VPNs has fallen victim to China's censorship regime and has been jailed for 5.5 years.

Wu Xiangyang, from Pingnan county in Guangxi autonomous region received the long jail sentence alongside a fine of 500,000 yuan (£57,000).

According to a report in the Procuratorate Daily, a newspaper for the Chinese prosecution and inspection agency, he was found to be operating a VPN without the proper license. Of course the authorities would never license a censorship evading VPN).

Under reent laws, no VPN is allowed to operate in China without a license. Licenses can only be obtained from VPN systems that implement China's extreme censorship policies and block just about everything.

Wu Xiangyang is reported to have been running his VPN, called TeeVPN since 2013.

 

  Insulting free speech...

Cambodian legislators debate the introduction of a lese majeste censorship law


Link Here 21st December 2017
CambodiaCambodia's Minister of Interior, Sar Kheng, held a meeting with other high ranking ministry officials to discuss introducing a legal amendment banning insults to the King, similar to the disgracefully repressive lèse-majesté laws in Thailand.

The move comes against the backdrop of a tense political atmosphere that has seen the summary dissolution of the country's only viable opposition party, the jailing of its leader , heightened scrutiny of NGOs and the shuttering of numerous often-critical media outlets.

A statement on the Interior Ministry website claimed the meeting was focused on protecting the King, and ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak confirmed an amendment is in the works.

Inevitably social media posts that the government doesn't like have triggered the new censorship law. Recently a 'fake' Facebook page representing the Khmer-Vietnamese Association made public posts insulting the King and was subsequently bloacked.

In Cambodia, the Prime Minister is symbolically endorsed by the king, so a broad reading of lese majeste could mean that courts could go after anyone critical of the prime minister and lock them up for several years because of purported violations of a lese majeste code

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship may sometimes be good...


Link Here 20th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
chinese firewall China's banning of VPNs may make it harder to work around internet censorship but it is also causing China's business community significant hardship

See article from vpncompare.co.uk

 

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