US Censorship News

2018: Jan-March

US News ESRB
MPAA FCC
2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec   Latest  


 

The Trump Slump...

Don't dis the Donald if you are planning a trip to the US


Link Here 31st March 2018

America has been working hard to make itself an unpleasant place to visit and has come up with a new idea to make it even worse. Apparently a significant decrease in international visitors to the USA has been termed the Trump Slump.

Of course some of the slump is considered a positive thing as Trump banned visitors from several terrorist prone nations. But the US also introduced a measure to investigate a wider set of not so desirable visitors, presumably muslims, from other nations beyond the list of rogue states. The US now demands that 'selected' visa applicants are asked to hand over details of all their social media accounts and emails. Note that this measure was introduced under Obama rather than Trump.

Now, it seems that the Trump administration is intent on putting even more people off visiting the country. The government's latest bright idea is to ask basically everyone who wants to enter America for five years' worth of their social media history.

According to a state department proposal filed on Thursday, most visitors would be asked for their social media identifiers. It's expected to affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants.

Of course  anyone who does want to still visit America, then perhaps you had better be a bit more careful about what you say online, and perhaps you had better tidy up your reputation too, lest the US visa vetters think you are better off staying away.

 

 

Offsite Article: A New Bill Claims to Fight Sex Trafficking...


Link Here 31st March 2018
Full story: FOSTA US Internet Censorship Law...Wide ranging internet cesnorship law targetting sex workers
But it is ending up censoring everything and anything to do with sex

See article from time.com

 

 

It's Google's party and it can censor who it likes...

Judge sides with Google over the censorship of alt-right YouTube videos


Link Here 28th March 2018
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Google filed by the conservative site PragerU whose YouTube videos had been censored by Google.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her decision that PragerU had failed to demonstrate that age restrictions imposed on the company's videos are a First Amendment violation.

PragerU filed its lawsuit in October, claiming that Google's decision to shunt some of its videos into the dead zone known as restricted mode, was motivated by a prejudice against conservatives.

The list of restricted videos included segments like The most important question about abortion, Where are the moderate Muslims? and Is Islam a religion of peace?

In her decision, Koh dismissed the PragerU's free speech claims, arguing that Google is not subject to the First Amendment because it's a private company and not a public institution. She wrote:

Defendants are private entities who created their own video-sharing social media website and make decisions about whether and how to regulate content that has been uploaded on that website.

 

 

Gullible lawmaker realises he has been taken for a ride...

Rhode Island senator removes bill calling for $20 charge for internets users to access adult material


Link Here 28th March 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
Rhode Island state Senator Frank Ciccone has pulled his bill that would have charged users $20 to unblock online porn, citing that dubious origins of the people who suggested th ebill to him.

Ciccone said he made the decision to shelve SB 2584 , which would have required mandatory porn filters on personal computers and mobile devices, after Time.com and the Associated Press published stories on the main campaigner, Chris Sevier, who has toted his ideas to several states.

Sevier had publicized that language in his template called the legislation the Elizabeth Smart Law after the girl who was kidnapped from her Utah home as a teenager in 2002.  But Smart wanted nothing to do with Sevier idea, and she sent a cease-and-desist letter to demand her name be removed from any promotion of the proposal.

Ciccone later found out about Smart's letter and learned another thing about Sevier: He had a history of outlandish lawsuits, including one trying to marry his computer as a statement against gay marriage. Besides filing similar lawsuits targeting gay marriage in Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky, Sevier was sentenced to probation after being found guilty four years ago of harassment threats against country singer John Rich.

 

 

US heads in the clouds act...

US Congress passes an unscrutinised bill to allow foreign countries to snoop on US internet connections, presumably so that GCHQ can pass the data back to the US, so evading a US ban on US snooping on US citizens


Link Here 25th March 2018
Full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Snooping continues after Snowden revelations

On Thursday, the US House approved the omnibus government spending bill, with the unscrutinised CLOUD Act attached, in a 256-167 vote. The Senate followed up late that night with a 65-32 vote in favor. All the bill requires now is the president's signature.

U.S. and foreign police will have new mechanisms to seize data across the globe. Because of this failure, your private emails, your online chats, your Facebook, Google, Flickr photos, your Snapchat videos, your private lives online, your moments shared digitally between only those you trust, will be open to foreign law enforcement without a warrant and with few restrictions on using and sharing your information. Because of this failure, U.S. laws will be bypassed on U.S. soil.

As we wrote before, the CLOUD Act is a far-reaching, privacy-upending piece of legislation that will:

Enable foreign police to collect and wiretap people's communications from U.S. companies, without obtaining a U.S. warrant.Allow foreign nations to demand personal data stored in the United States, without prior review by a judge.Allow the U.S. president to enter executive agreements that empower police in foreign nations that have weaker privacy laws than the United States to seize data in the United States while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.Allow foreign police to collect someone's data without notifying them about it.Empower U.S. police to grab any data, regardless if it's a U.S. person's or not, no matter where it is stored.

And, as we wrote before, this is how the CLOUD Act could work in practice:

London investigators want the private Slack messages of a Londoner they suspect of bank fraud. The London police could go directly to Slack, a U.S. company, to request and collect those messages. The London police would not necessarily need prior judicial review for this request. The London police would not be required to notify U.S. law enforcement about this request. The London police would not need a probable cause warrant for this collection.

Predictably, in this request, the London police might also collect Slack messages written by U.S. persons communicating with the Londoner suspected of bank fraud. Those messages could be read, stored, and potentially shared, all without the U.S. person knowing about it. Those messages, if shared with U.S. law enforcement, could be used to criminally charge the U.S. person in a U.S. court, even though a warrant was never issued.

This bill has large privacy implications both in the U.S. and abroad. It was never given the attention it deserved in Congress.

 

 

A dark day for the Internet...

US congress passes a supposed anti sex trafficking bill and immediately adult consensual sex workers are censored off the internet


Link Here 23rd March 2018
Full story: FOSTA US Internet Censorship Law...Wide ranging internet cesnorship law targetting sex workers

It was a dark day for the Internet.

The U.S. Senate just voted 97-2 to pass the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), a bill that silences online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users. As lobbyists and members of Congress applaud themselves for enacting a law tackling the problem of trafficking, let's be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more.

The version of FOSTA that just passed the Senate combined an earlier version of FOSTA (what we call FOSTA 2.0) with the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA, S. 1693). The history of SESTA/FOSTA -- a bad bill that turned into a worse bill and then was rushed through votes in both houses of Congress2 -- is a story about Congress' failure to see that its good intentions can result in bad law. It's a story of Congress' failure to listen to the constituents who'd be most affected by the laws it passed. It's also the story of some players in the tech sector choosing to settle for compromises and half-wins that will put ordinary people in danger. Silencing Internet Users Doesn't Make Us Safer

SESTA/FOSTA undermines Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. Section 230 protects online platforms from liability for some types of speech by their users. Without Section 230, the Internet would look very different. It's likely that many of today's online platforms would never have formed or received the investment they needed to grow and scale204the risk of litigation would have simply been too high. Similarly, in absence of Section 230 protections, noncommercial platforms like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive likely wouldn't have been founded given the high level of legal risk involved with hosting third-party content.

The bill is worded so broadly that it could even be used against platform owners that don't know that their sites are being used for trafficking.

Importantly, Section 230 does not shield platforms from liability under federal criminal law. Section 230 also doesn't shield platforms across-the-board from liability under civil law: courts have allowed civil claims against online platforms when a platform directly contributed to unlawful speech. Section 230 strikes a careful balance between enabling the pursuit of justice and promoting free speech and innovation online: platforms can be held responsible for their own actions, and can still host user-generated content without fear of broad legal liability.

SESTA/FOSTA upends that balance, opening platforms to new criminal and civil liability at the state and federal levels for their users' sex trafficking activities. The platform liability created by new Section 230 carve outs applies retroactively -- meaning the increased liability applies to trafficking that took place before the law passed. The Department of Justice has raised concerns about this violating the Constitution's Ex Post Facto Clause, at least for the criminal provisions.

The bill also expands existing federal criminal law to target online platforms where sex trafficking content appears. The bill is worded so broadly that it could even be used against platform owners that don't know that their sites are being used for trafficking.

Finally, SESTA/FOSTA expands federal prostitution law to cover those who use the Internet to promote or facilitate prostitution.  The Internet will become a less inclusive place, something that hurts all of us.

And if you had glossed over a little at the legal details, perhaps a few examples of the immediate censorship impact of the new law

Immediate Chilling Effect on Adult Content


See  article from xbiz.com

SESTA's passage by the U.S. Senate has had an immediate chilling effect on those working in the adult industry.

Today, stories of a fallout are being heard, with adult performers finding their content being flagged and blocked, an escort site that has suddenly becoming not available, Craigslist shutting down its personals sections and Reddit closing down some of its communities, among other tales.

SESTA, which doesn't differentiate between sex trafficking and consensual sex work, targets scores of adult sites that consensual sex workers use to advertise their work.

And now, before SESTA reaches President Trump's desk for his guaranteed signature, those sites are scrambling to prevent themselves from being charged under sex trafficking laws.

It's not surprising that we're seeing an immediate chilling effect on protected speech, industry attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ. This was predicted as the likely impact of the bill, as online intermediaries over-censor content in the attempt to mitigate their own risks. The damage to the First Amendment appears palpable.

  • Today, longtime city-by-city escort service website, CityVibe.com, completely disappeared, only to be replaced with a message, Sorry, this website is not available.

  • Tonight, mainstream classified site Craigslist, which serves more than 20 billion page views per month, said that it has dropped personals listings in the U.S.

  • Motherboard reported today that at least six porn performers have complained that files have been blocked without warning from Google's cloud storage service. It seems like all of our videos in Google Drive are getting flagged by some sort of automated system, adult star Lilly Stone told Motherboard. We're not even really getting notified of it, the only way we really found out was one of our customers told us he couldn't view or download the video we sent him.

  • Another adult star, Avey Moon was trying to send the winner of her Chaturbate contest his prize -- a video titled POV Blowjob -- through her Google Drive account, but it wouldn't send.

  • Reddit made an announcement late yesterday explaining that the site has changed its content policy, forbidding transactions for certain goods and services that include physical sexual contact. A number of subreddits regularly used to help sex workers have been completedly banned. Those include r/Escorts , r/MaleEscorts and r/SugarDaddy .

 

 

US internet snooping...

EFF and 23 Groups Tell Congress to Oppose the CLOUD Act


Link Here 14th March 2018
Full story: US Snooper's Charter...

EFF and 23 other civil liberties organizations sent a letter to Congress urging Members and Senators to oppose the CLOUD Act and any efforts to attach it to other legislation.

The CLOUD Act ( S. 2383 and H.R. 4943 ) is a dangerous bill that would tear away global privacy protections by allowing police in the United States and abroad to grab cross-border data without following the privacy rules of where the data is stored. Currently, law enforcement requests for cross-border data often use a legal system called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, or MLATs. This system ensures that, for example, should a foreign government wish to seize communications stored in the United States, that data is properly secured by the Fourth Amendment requirement for a search warrant.

The other groups signing the new coalition letter against the CLOUD Act are Access Now, Advocacy for Principled Action in Government, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Campaign for Liberty, Center for Democracy & Technology, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Constitutional Alliance, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress Action, Equality California, Free Press Action Fund, Government Accountability Project, Government Information Watch, Human Rights Watch, Liberty Coalition, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Black Justice Coalition, New America's Open Technology Institute, OpenMedia, People For the American Way, and Restore The Fourth.

The CLOUD Act allows police to bypass the MLAT system, removing vital U.S. and foreign country privacy protections. As we explained in our earlier letter to Congress, the CLOUD Act would:

  • Allow foreign governments to wiretap on U.S. soil under standards that do not comply with U.S. law;

  • Give the executive branch the power to enter into foreign agreements without Congressional approval or judicial review, including foreign nations with a well-known record of human rights abuses;

  • Possibly facilitate foreign government access to information that is used to commit human rights abuses, like torture; and

  • Allow foreign governments to obtain information that could pertain to individuals in the U.S. without meeting constitutional standards.

You can read more about EFF's opposition to the CLOUD Act here .

The CLOUD Act creates a new channel for foreign governments seeking data about non-U.S. persons who are outside the United States. This new data channel is not governed by the laws of where the data is stored. Instead, the foreign police may demand the data directly from the company that handles it. Under the CLOUD Act, should a foreign government request data from a U.S. company, the U.S. Department of Justice would not need to be involved at any stage. Also, such requests for data would not need to receive individualized, prior judicial review before the data request is made.

The CLOUD Act's new data delivery method lacks not just meaningful judicial oversight, but also meaningful Congressional oversight, too. Should the U.S. executive branch enter a data exchange agreement--known as an "executive agreement"--with foreign countries, Congress would have little time and power to stop them. As we wrote in our letter:

"[T]he CLOUD Act would allow the executive branch to enter into agreements with foreign governments--without congressional approval. The bill stipulates that any agreement negotiated would go into effect 90 days after Congress was notified of the certification, unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval, which would require presidential approval or sufficient votes to overcome a presidential veto."

And under the bill, the president could agree to enter executive agreements with countries that are known human rights abusers.

Troublingly, the bill also fails to protect U.S. persons from the predictable, non-targeted collection of their data. When foreign governments request data from U.S. companies about specific "targets" who are non-U.S. persons not living in the United States, these governments will also inevitably collect data belonging to U.S. persons who communicate with the targeted individuals. Much of that data can then be shared with U.S. authorities, who can then use the information to charge U.S. persons with crimes. That data sharing, and potential criminal prosecution, requires no probable cause warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment, violating our constitutional rights.

The CLOUD Act is a bad bill. We urge Congress to stop it, and any attempts to attach it to must-pass spending legislation.

 

 

Video game violence Trumps real world violence...

Reports from Donald Trumps meeting with video game makers and their critics


Link Here 12th March 2018

Donald Trump organised a private meeting with video games makers and their critics as a diversionary tactic to avoid the debate about gun control.

Republican lawmakers and moralist campaigners pressed the president at his meeting on Thursday to explore new restrictions on the video-game industry.

Some participants urged Trump to consider new regulations that would make it harder for young children to purchase those games. Others asked the president to expand his inquiry to focus on violent movies and TV shows too.

Trump himself opened the meeting by showing a montage of clips of various violent video games.

Video-game executives who attended the meeting Thursday included Robert Altman, the CEO of ZeniMax, the parent company for games such as Fallout; Strauss Zelnick, the chief executive of Take Two Interactive, which is known for Grand Theft Auto, and Michael Gallagher, the leader of the Entertainment Software Association, a Washington-focused lobbying organisation for the industry.

We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry's rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices, ESA said in a statement.

The Parents Television Council Program Director Melissa Henson participated in the meeting and commented in a post-meeting statement:

Stop Media Violence What I heard in today's meeting is that the entertainment industry is still fighting to maintain the status quo and is not ready or willing to confront the impact that media violence has on our children. But time is up for the entertainment industry to put a stop to marketing graphic, explicit, and age-inappropriate content to our children.

The video game representatives pulled out their same old talking points that have long been refuted. During the meeting, I was able to interject and say just how untrue their excuses are.

Representative Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, said she was open to crafting legislation that would make it harder for youngsters to buy violent games. She said:

Even though I know there are studies that have said there is no causal link, as a mom and a former high school teacher, it just intuitively seems that prolonged viewing of violent nature would desensitise a young person.

The White House already has hinted at sustained, broader scrutiny still to come. A day before the meeting, a spokeswoman for Trump said the sit-down with video-game executives and their critics is the first of many with industry leaders to discuss this important issue.

 
  Trump's opening gambit

 

 

Monsters with guns...

Well if computer games are creating monsters, then why is Donald Trump defending their rights to bear arms


Link Here 8th March 2018
US President Donald Trump is to meet video games company representatives on Thursday to discuss violent content. The meeting comes in the wake of last month's shooting at a school in Florida in which 17 people died.

The Electronic Software Association (ESA), which represents the games industry in the US, said it would be attending. It said in a statement:

The upcoming meeting at the White House will provide the opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry's commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices,

Also at the meeting will be the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the organisation responsible for offering age and content guidance for games.

A report from the Washington Post suggested some games developers had also been invited to attend, including Take Two Interactive, the publisher of the controversial Grand Theft Auto series. The company did not return the BBC's request for comment on the meeting. The Post also said key critics of the games industry would be at the table, including Brent Bozell, founder of the Parents Television Council.

On several occasions, President Trump has pointed to video game violence as being a problem potentially affecting American youths. He wrote on Twitter in December 2012:

Video game violence & glorification must be stopped. It is creating monsters!

The games industry has routinely and robustly defended itself against claims its products provoke real-life violence. The ESA explained in a statement:

Video games are enjoyed around the world and numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence,

Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States. Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation.

 

 

But not so much of a risk as guns or religion...

Idaho state lawmakers pass a resolution declaring pornography to be a public health risk.


Link Here 4th March 2018
Full story: US politicans and porn harms...US states claim porn to be a public health hazard
Idaho lawmakers on Friday approved a proposal declaring pornography a public health risk.

The resolution, sent to the House floor for debate by the House State Affairs Committee, does not call for a ban but rather is a symbolic gesture that urges state agencies and local officials to recognize the need for education, research and possible policy changes to protect Idahoans -- particularly teenagers -- from pornography.

Representative Lance Clow, a Republican who is backing the resolution spouted:

Pornography has and does have adverse impacts on all members of society. It leads to the abuse men, women and children, destroys marriages and has impacts on young and old Families are being torn apart by this epidemic.

 

 

Trump comes out all guns blazing...

And the targets are video game producers


Link Here 2nd March 2018
US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the video game industry next week to discuss violence in games. The announcement comes a week after Trump suggested a link between violent video games and youth violence.

Likely comapnies that will be involved are Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft.

Trump said recently:

I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts, said Trump last week, after a mass shooting left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida. And then you go the further step, and that's the movies. You see these movies, and they're so violent, and yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn't involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.

Of course the idea is to deflect blame for frequent killing sprees from guns to games. But if Trump is right and people are readily corrupted by video games, then surely games players need to banned from owning guns, and that's pretty much the whole population.

 

 

Offsite Article: Free Speech and the Necessity of Discomfort...


Link Here 25th February 2018
A lengthy but interesting speech revealing how US journalists feel a little besieged by declining revenue, the politically correct, and Donald Trump. By Bret Stephens

See article from nytimes.com

 

 

Florida declares that porn is harmful whilst guns are not...

They're wrong, even a school kid could tell you that


Link Here 22nd February 2018
Full story: Newtown School Killings...Gun lobby vs violent media
Florida's House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday declaring pornography a public health risk. The resolution called for education, research, and policy changes to protect Florida citizens -- especially teenagers.

The bill's sponsor, Ross Spano, said that research has found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior.

The vote followed an earlier session in which Florida legislators declined to hold hearings on a bill banning high-capacity magazines and assault rifles such as the one used last week by suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Meanwhile in  Kentucky politicians have returned to the 1990s tactic of blaming video games for violence. Kentucky governor Matt Bevin started the show a couple of days after the shooting, and on Wednesday, Rhode Island state representative Bobby Nardolillo took it a step further.

Nardolillo proposed legislation that would put a 10% tax on video games with an ESRB rating of Mature or higher, Rolling Stone reported . That tax revenue would be used to fund counseling, mental health programs and other conflict resolution activities in schools, according to the press release on Nardolillo's Facebook page. Both Nardolillo and Bevin have high ratings from the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

But I'm not sure that blaming porn and video games is a good direction for the gun lobby. Surely if they consider that video games and porn causes the mental health issues that lead to killing sprees, then surely they should recognise that there are people that should not be trusted with guns. And as video games and porn are so ubiquitous then the only safe policy is that nobody should be trusted with guns. QED

 

 

Golden Oldies...

US judge strikes down law banning IMDb from publishing the age of movie stars


Link Here 21st February 2018
A Californian law that prevented the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) from publishing the age of movie stars has been declared unconstitutional, and so the law is struck down on First Amendment grounds. A federal judge declared it not only to be unconstitutional, but also a bad solution to the wrong problem.

The law went into effect in 2017 after being signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The goal was to mitigate age discrimination in a youth-obsessed Hollywood by requiring IMDb to remove age-related information upon the request of a subscriber.

The judge explained:

Even if California had shown that the law was passed after targeted efforts to eliminate discrimination in the entertainment industry had failed, the law is not narrowly tailored. For one, the law is underinclusive, in that it bans only one kind of speaker from disseminating age-related information, leaving all other sources of that information untouched. Even looking just at IMDb.com, the law requires IMDb to take down some age-related information -- that of the members of its subscription service who request its removal -- but not the age-related information of those who don't subscribe to IMDbPro, or who don't ask IMDb.com to take their information down.

The judge adds that the law is also overinclusive:

For instance, it requires IMDb not to publish the age-related information of all those who request that their information not be published, not just of those protected by existing age discrimination laws, states the opinion (read below). If the state is concerned about discriminatory conduct affecting those not covered by current laws, namely those under 40, it certainly has a more direct means of addressing those concerns than imposing restrictions on IMDb's speech.

Californian officials said the state will be appealing this ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

 

Offsite Article: Kentucky governor, endorsed by the gun lobby, blames video games for school shootings...


Link Here 17th February 2018
But even if he were correct, wouldn't it be a good idea to prevent 'corrupted' gamers from being to get their hands on guns?

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 

Living in a dreamworld...

Kansas senators click their heels three times and pass a motion condemning pornography


Link Here 8th February 2018
Full story: US politicans and porn harms...US states claim porn to be a public health hazard
The Kansas Senate has approved a resolution condemning pornography, claiming it causes infidelity and erectile dysfunction. The motion was passed on a 35-4 vote. The resolution has no legal effect. The House passed a similar measure last year.

The resolution says pornography is potentially biologically addictive and is linked to lessened desire.

Republican Senator Barbara Bollier mocked the resolution. She responded by saying:

Seriously? We'll see how excited they are about public health when it comes to guns.

 

 

Censorship tyranny...

Virginia lawmaker proposes a $20 tax charge for internet users to be able to access adult websites


Link Here 31st January 2018
Full story: Pole Tax...Discriminatory taxes on adult entertainment in USA
A Republican Virginia lawmaker has revived the nonsense idea to impose a state tax charge on every device sold to enable access to adult websites.

State Representative Dave LaRock's has introduced a bill misleadingly called the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, which would require Virginians to pay a $20 fee to unblock content on adult websites.

LaRock has track record of being anti-porn and anti-gay. He once tore down advertising for an adult bookstore and railed against recognition for a local LGBTQ pride month.

Opponents point out that the proposal amounts to a tax on media content and would violate the First Amendment. The Media Coalition, which tracks legislation involving the First Amendment, sees the bill as nothing more than a tax on content, which is unconstitutional, said executive director David Horowitz. People have a First Amendment right to access this content, and publishers have a First Amendment right to provide it.

Claire Guthrie Gastaņaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, said the organization just can't take the bill seriously.

 

 

Heard the one about the billionaire and the bellboy?...

Donald Trump parody suddenly vanishes from Amazon


Link Here 26th January 2018
In 2016, comedian and social provocateur Elijah Daniel wrote and published a short piece of porny fun about Donald Trump. It's titled Trump Temptations and is introduced on promotional material:

Full of uncomfortably lusty scenes of comically sexual acts, the 10-page essay was, according to Daniel , written while he was really fucking drunk and in 4 hours. The premise of the book is as follows:

It all started one fateful afternoon in summer of 2012. I was working as a bellboy at the Trump Hotel in Hong Kong on an internship program. This was my first time in a big city. It was all I could have ever dreamed of, and more. But little did I know, it was all about to change.

Elijah Daniel has fine eye for political satire. He went on to became mayor of a Michigan city and promptly used his office to  ban heterosexuality.

The title has now suddenly been removed from Amazon and Daniels blames Trump. Daniels tweeted:

Donald Trump deadass had Trump Temptations removed from Amazon its literally been out for like two years. dont you have a government shutdown to worry about and you out here getting parody porn ebooks removed from Amazon Im crying hahahaha. Lil Phag (@elijahdaniel).

 

 

State moralist...

Utah set to scrap its role of porn czar


Link Here 26th January 2018

Utah's porn czar, the butt of many a national joke, is a role that is set for the scrap heap.

The state's House voted unanimously on Thursday to pass HB50 , which formally removes from state code the obscenity and pornography complaints ombudsman. The measure now goes to the Senate.

The Legislature created the position in 2000, saying it would provide resources for residents to curb pornography in their neighborhoods and online. Attorney Paula Houston was hired and given a budget of $150,000 a year, and became the nation's first and only porn czar in 2001.

The role of porn czar made Utah the laughingstock of the nation, it attracted news stories by media from around the world and jokes by late-night comedians. However hen the attorney general's office had to cut its budget, the ombudsman post was among items axed in 2003 -- although language allowing an ombudsman remained on the books.

 

 

House Fails to Protect Americans from Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance...

Laws extending the US snooper's charter pass the House of Representatives


Link Here 14th January 2018
Full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Snooping continues after Snowden revelations

The House of Representatives cast a deeply disappointing vote today to extend NSA spying powers for the next six years by a 256-164 margin. In a related vote, the House also failed to adopt meaningful reforms on how the government sweeps up large swaths of data that predictably include Americans' communications.

Because of these votes, broad NSA surveillance of the Internet will likely continue, and the government will still have access to Americans' emails, chat logs, and browsing history without a warrant. Because of these votes, this surveillance will continue to operate in a dark corner, routinely violating the Fourth Amendment and other core constitutional protections.

This is a disappointment to EFF and all our supporters who, for weeks, have spoken to defend privacy. And this is a disappointment for the dozens of Congress members who have tried to rein NSA surveillance in, asking that the intelligence community merely follow the Constitution.

Today's House vote concerned S. 139, a bill to extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a powerful surveillance authority the NSA relies on to sweep up countless Americans' electronic communications. EFF vehemently opposed S. 139 for its failure to enact true reform of Section 702.

As passed by the House today, the bill:

  • Endorses nearly all warrantless searches of databases containing Americans' communications collected under Section 702.

  • Provides a narrow and seemingly useless warrant requirement that applies only for searches in some later-stage criminal investigations, a circumstance which the FBI itself has said almost never happens.

  • Allows for the restarting of "about" collection, an invasive type of surveillance that the NSA ended last year after being criticized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for privacy violations.

  • Sunsets in six years, delaying Congress' best opportunity to debate the limits NSA surveillance.

You can read more about the bill here .

Sadly, the House's approval of S. 139 was its second failure today. The first was in the House's inability to pass an amendment--through a 183-233 vote--that would have replaced the text of S. 139 with the text of the USA Rights Act, a bill that EFF is proud to support. You can read about that bill here .

The amendment to replace the text of S. 139 with the USA Rights Act was introduced by Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and included more than 40 cosponsors from sides of the aisle. Its defeat came from both Republicans and Democrats.

S. 139 now heads to the Senate, which we expect to vote by January 19. The Senate has already considered stronger bills to rein in NSA surveillance, and we call on the Senate to reject this terrible bill coming out of the House.

 

2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec   Latest  

melonfarmers icon
 

Top

Home

Index

Links

Email
 

US

World

Media

Info

UK
 

Film Cuts

Nutters

Liberty

Cutting Edge

Shopping
 

Sex News

Sex+Shopping

Advertise
 


US News

MPAA
 

ESRB

FCC