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2018: Oct-Dec

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California Is Still Trying to Gag IMDb...

The EFF is opposing the censorship of film stars ages


Link Here 29th November 2018

California is still trying to gag websites from sharing true, publicly available, newsworthy information about actors. While this effort is aimed at the admirable goal of fighting age discrimination in Hollywood, the law unconstitutionally punishes publishers of truthful, newsworthy information and denies the public important information it needs to fully understand the very problem the state is trying to address. So we have once again filed a friend of the court brief opposing that effort.

The case, IMDB v. Becerra , challenges the constitutionality of California Civil Code section 1798.83.5 , which requires "commercial online entertainment employment services providers" to remove an actor's date of birth or other age information from their websites upon request. The purported purpose of the law is to prevent age discrimination by the entertainment industry. The law covers any "provider" that "owns, licenses, or otherwise possesses computerized information, including, but not limited to, age and date of birth information, about individuals employed in the entertainment industry, including television, films, and video games, and that makes the information available to the public or potential employers." Under the law, IMDb.com, which meets this definition because of its IMDb Pro service, would be required to delete age information from all of its websites, not just its subscription service.

We filed a brief in the trial court in January 2017, and that court granted IMDb's motion for summary judgment, finding that the law was indeed unconstitutional. The state and the Screen Actors Guild, which intervened in the case to defend the law, appealed the district court's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. We have now filed an amicus brief with that court. We were once again joined by First Amendment Coalition, Media Law Resource Center, Wikimedia Foundation, and Center for Democracy and Technology.

As we wrote in our brief, and as we and others urged the California legislature when it was considering the law, the law is clearly unconstitutional. The First Amendment provides very strong protection to publish truthful information about a matter of public interest. And the rule has extra force when the truthful information is contained in official governmental records, such as a local government's vital records, which contain dates of birth.

This rule, sometimes called the Daily Mail rule after the Supreme Court opinion from which it originates, is an extremely important free speech protection. It gives publishers the confidence to publish important information even when they know that others want it suppressed. The rule also supports the First Amendment rights of the public to receive newsworthy information.

Our brief emphasizes that although IMDb may have a financial interest in challenging the law, the public too has a strong interest in this information remaining available. Indeed, if age discrimination in Hollywood is really such a compelling issue, and EFF does not doubt that it is, hiding age information from the public makes it difficult for people to participate in the debate about alleged age discrimination in Hollywood, form their own opinions, and scrutinize their government's response to it.

 

 

Offsite Article: Filter coffee...


Link Here 29th November 2018
Starbucks says it'll block porn (and no doubt anything else considered vaguely adult) on its US public Wi-Fi next year, following in the footsteps of McDonald's. By Shannon Liao

See article from theverge.com

 

 

It would prevent them from censoring conservative voices...

Google claims that is impractical to require it to implement US constitutional free speech


Link Here 2nd November 2018
Full story: Google Censorship...Google censors adult material froms its websites
Prior to Google's bosses being called in to answer for its policy to silence conservative voices, it has filed a statement to court saying that even if it does discriminate on the basis of political viewpoints. It said:

Not only would it be wrong to compel a private company to guarantee free speech in the way that government censorship is forbidden by the Constitution, but it would also have disastrous practical consequences.

Google argued that the First Amendment appropriately limits the government's ability to censor speech, but applying those limitations to private online platforms would undermine important content regulation. If they are bound by the same First Amendment rules that apply to the government, YouTube and other service providers would lose much of their ability to protect their users against offensive or objectionable content -- including pornography, hate speech, personal attacks, and terrorist propaganda.

 

 

State actors...

US Supreme Court accepts case that could define internet giants to be state actors and hence should only censor content according to constitutional law, not its own morality


Link Here 18th October 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
After the recent censorship purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet. Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor.

The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.

 

 

Offsite Article: Kidz Bop's censored songs aren't just annoying -- they're problematic...


Link Here 8th October 2018
A children's media 'expert' on what Kidz Bop censorship says about how sex and violence are perceived in America.

See article from vox.com

 

 

Facebook should only allow good friends...

Texas woman sues Facebook for not preventing her from being lured into prostitution


Link Here 4th October 2018
Full story: FOSTA US Internet Censorship Law...Wide ranging internet cesnorship law targetting sex workers
The recent Fosta law in the US forces internet companies to censor anything to do with legal, adult and consensual sex work. It holds them liable for abetting sex traffickers even when they can't possibly distinguish the trafficking from the legal sex work. The only solution is therefore to ban the use of their platforms for any personal hook ups. So indeed adult sex work websites have been duly cleansed from the US internet.

But now a woman is claiming that Facebook facilitated trafficking when of course its nigh on impossible for Facebook to detect such use of their networking systems. But of course that's no excuse under the FOSTA.

According to a new lawsuit by an unnamed woman in Houston, Texas, Facebook's morally bankrupt corporate culture for permitting a sex trafficker to force her into prostitution after beating and raping her. She claims Facebook should be held responsible when a user on the social media platform sexually exploits another Facebook user. The lawsuit says that Facebook should have warned the woman, who was 15 years old at the time she was victimized, that its platform could be used by sex traffickers to recruit and groom victims, including children.

The lawsuit also names Backpage.com, which according to a Reuters report , hosted pictures of the woman taken by the man who victimized her after he uploaded them to the site.

The classified advertising site Backpage has already been shut down by federal prosecutors in April of this year.

 

 

Offsite Article: Sponsor Pressure...


Link Here 4th October 2018
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
How The Chinese Government Works To Censor Debate In Western Democracies

See article from npr.org

 

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