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Shooting the messenger...

Sony Music is trying to block websites via public DNS resolvers


Link Here6th December 2021
DNS-resolver Quad9 has lost its appeal against Sony Music's pirate site-blocking order at the Regional Court in Hamburg. The non-profit Quad9 Foundation is disappointed with the outcome but isn't giving up the legal battle just yet, noting that various Internet services are at risk if the order isn't successfully challenged.

Earlier this year, Germany's largest ISPs agreed to voluntarily block pirate sites as part of a deal they struck with copyright holders. These blockades, which are put in place following a thorough vetting process, are generally implemented on the DNS level. This is a relatively easy option, as all ISPs have their own DNS resolvers.

DNS (un)Blocking

DNS blocking is also easy to circumvent, however. Instead of using the ISPs' DNS resolvers, subscribers can switch to alternatives such as Cloudflare, Google, OpenDNS, and Quad9. This relatively simple change will render the ISPs' blocking efforts useless.

This workaround is widely known, also by copyright holders. As such, it may not be a surprise that a few weeks after the German blocking agreement was reached, Sony Music obtained an injunction that requires DNS-resolver Quad9 to block a popular pirate site .

A blocking order against a DNS resolver is quite unusual and the Swiss-based non-profit organization Quad9 swiftly announced that it would appeal the verdict. The foundation stressed that it doesn't condone piracy but believes that enforcing blocking measures through third-party intermediaries is a step too far.

Court Upholds Site Blocking Order

Quad9 repeated these and other arguments at the Regional Court in Hamburg, asking it to overturn the injunction. After reviewing the input from both sides, the Court chose to uphold the site-blocking requirements.

The name of the targeted site remains redacted but the legal paperwork mentions that the unnamed site links to pirated music. We previously deduced that Canna.to is the likely target, as that site was already part of the ISPs' voluntary blocking agreement when the proceeding was initiated.

Having lost its first appeal, Quad9 notes that it will continue to block the site, as required by the injunction. The non-profit is disappointed with the Court's decision but announced that it will continue its appeal at a higher court. Quad9's General Manager John Todd said:

[We] will continue to pursue our legal fight against what we think is an outcome that threatens the very core of the Internet's ability to be a useful and trusted tool for everyone. Corporations should not have the ability to directly demand that network infrastructure operators censor sites.

 

 

Toxic proposals...

Russian proposals to treat all the depictions of gay relationships as restricted pornography


Link Here3rd December 2021
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A powerful Russian MP known for homophobic statements and projects has proposed a bill that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography.

Vitaly Milonov -- a member of Vladimir Putin's governing United Russia party, and deputy chairman of the Federal Assembly's Committee on Family Affairs, Women and Children -- said that people should have the right to ask the state's regulator to not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content.

The announcement coincided with another Russian official's disclosure that he had prepared a catalogue of toxic content, using a system that labels content from completely banned to simply undesirable. Igor Ashmanov, a member of Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, revealed that he had developed a catalogue to mark so-called 'toxic content' on the internet.

The resource, Ashmanov said, would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] 'child-free' lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality.

 

 

Age of censorship...

German internet censors get legal backing to block Cyprus based porn sites that do not require age verification


Link Here30th November 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
A German court has ruled that authorities are justified in banning three unnamed porn websites based in Cyprus from operating in Germany due to rules requiring age verification.

The Duesseldorf administrative court said it had rejected complaints by the sites' two unnamed operators, who argued that the age verification regulations in Germany didn't apply to them because they were based in another European Union country.

The court said the decision taken by the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia state to ban the sites in Germany didn't breach national, European or international law.

The names of the sites weren't released by the court. The ruling can be appealed.

 

 

Liberte prevails...

France court decides not to order that ISPs block 9 major porn websites


Link Here9th October 2021
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
A French court on Friday, has rejected a claim brought by two children's campaigns calling for the blocking of major porn websites in France.

The judge rejected the claim because the court facing time pressures had not been able to hear arguments from the sites' publishers.

The anti-porn campaigners had hoped for the blocking of nine top porn sites, including PornHub and Xvideos.

One of the ISPs being asked to censor the porn, Orange, noted that it already offered tools such as parental controls to limit children's access to online pornography.

Samuel Comblez of e-Enfance, one of the children's campaigners, said: It's not a completely lost battle, adding that it was now examining other ways to restrict access to the sites.

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