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2016: February

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Update: An Addiction to Censorship...

Chinese TV censors ban gay online drama

Link Here26th February 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Chinese censors at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) have banned a popular gay-themed online drama titled Addiction from the streaming sites this week after 12 episodes. Audiences, who will now miss the last three episodes of the drama involving a gay relationship between two Chinese teenage boys, are enraged over the censorship.

Addiction had, became hugely popular garnering over 10 million viewers. However, the show, involving the lives of four high school students portrayed by new actors, stopped streaming on various sites including and on Monday, reported Global Times , a media outlet closely associated with the country's Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily.



Following Britain's censorship lead...

India plans optional network level website blocking for parents

Link Here22nd February 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
Indian Telecom companies including Bharti Airtel BSE 3.26% , Vodafone , Reliance Communications, Telenor and Reliance Jio Infocomm are said to be considering a plan to offer optional network level website blocking for parental control.

Telcos and Internet service providers (ISPs) are in active talks with New Zealand-based Bypass Network Services (BNSL) to deploy its Buddy Guard parental control solution, said Matthew Jackson, the company's cofounder.

Buddy Guard is aimed primarily at parents who may want to regulate the online behaviour of their children. Consumers can choose to opt for the control on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Jackson said the interest of telecom companies and ISPs in parental control had risen after last year's temporary porn ban.

The option may be debuted by one of the bigger fixed-line ISPs by February-March and by a telecom company within four months, starting with a few service areas and widening its reach gradually.



Offsite Article: Plans to restrict access to pornography are motivated by nothing and will achieve nothing...

Link Here22nd February 2016
Full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
David Cameron wants to protect teenagers from the wild world of sex on the internet - but this generation is more sexually responsible than we tend to think. By Clare Bowden

See article from



Commented: Facebook's unfeasibly large censorship bollocks...

Internet upstart Facebook presumed to censor the cultural icon Viz

Link Here 20th February 2016
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
The culturally iconic comicbook Viz has had its brand page censored by Facebook .

The almost 40-year-old Viz, a parody of titles like Beano but with frequently risque language and humour, tweeted that Facebook has blocked its page. The message from Facebook warned that if the publisher makes an unsuccessful appeal to have the page reinstated, it could face being permanently deleted.

Ian Westwood, group managing director at parent Dennis Publishing , said that Facebook has not said what content violated its content rules.

The question is what is, and isn't acceptable to Facebook, he said. We have had that Facebook page for five years. We have had correspondence with them before about stuff they haven't liked and we've taken it down. This time they have just blocked the page and won't tell us what we've violated. We can appeal, but we don't know what we would be appealing about, we put up a significant number of posts from the print brand to social media each day.

Update: Facebook hangs its head in shame and apologises for censoring Viz

19th February 2016. See  article from

Facebook has apologised for blocking Viz magazine's brand page in 'error' . A spokeswoman for Facebook UK implied that Viz's frequently risque language and humour had triggered the content block, but that should not have been grounds for removing the Facebook page. She unconvincingly claimed:

We want Facebook to be a place where people can express their opinions and challenge ideas, including through satire and comedy. Upon further review we found that the Viz page had been removed in error. We have now restored it and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Offsite Comment: Mark Zuckerberg and his unfeasibly strict censorship

20th February 2016. See  article from



Update: Absolute Control...

China bans foreign companies from publishing anything on the internet

Link Here19th February 2016

A Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's new rules could, if they were enforced as written, essentially shut down China as a market for foreign news outlets, publishers, gaming companies, information providers, and entertainment companies starting on March 10.

Issued in conjunction with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), they set strict new guidelines for what can be published online, and how that publisher should conduct business in China. The rules state"

Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services.

Any publisher of online content, including texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos, will also be required to store their necessary technical equipment, related servers, and storage devices in China.

Foreign media companies including the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the New York Times have invested millions of dollars--maybe even hundreds of millions collectively--in building up China-based news organizations in recent years, and publishing news reports in Chinese, for a Chinese audience.

But the new rules would allow only 100% Chinese companies to produce any content that goes online, and then only after approval from Chinese authorities and the acquisition of an online publishing license. Companies will then be expected to self-censor, and not publish any information at all that falls into several broad categories, including:

harming national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity disclosing state secrets, endangering national security, or harming national honor and interests inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, undermining national unity, or going against ethnic customs and habits spreading rumors, disturbing social order, or undermining social stability insulting or slandering others, infringing upon the legitimate rights of others endangering social morality or national cultural tradition



The Canute Consultation...

Government consults on age verification for porn and the censorship of foreign websites that don't comply

Link Here16th February 2016
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
The Government has put porn viewers on notice that perhaps it might be wise to download a few 64 Gb memory sticks worth of free porn so that they have enough to last a lifetime. The government has launched a consultation suggesting that foreign porn websites should be blocked, censored and suffocated of funds if they don't comply with don't comply with an 18 age verification process and compliance to the discriminatory government censorship rules that ban anything slightly kinky especially if favoured for women's porn.

The tome and ideas in the consultation are very much along primitive and unviable age verification methods that has so successfully suffocated the UK porn business. In fact the consultation notes that the UK impact on the multi billion pound porn industry is insignificant and amounts to just 17 websites.

There seems little in the consultation that considers how the porn industry will evolve if it is made troublesome for adults to get verified. I suspect that there is already enough porn in existence on people's hard drives to circulate around and last several life times for everybody. Perhaps this should be known as the Canute Consultation.

Anyway, the government writes in its introduction to the consultation:

The UK is a world leader in the work it does to improve child safety online, but we cannot be complacent. Government has a responsibility to protect citizens from harm, especially the young and most vulnerable.

That is why we committed in our manifesto to requiring age verification for access to pornographic material online, and are now seeking views on how we deliver on our commitment. The Consultation Survey

Our preferred method of capturing your responses to our consultation questions is via the dedicated online survey. Please click on the link to share your views with us. Other documents

In order to base policy development on evidence, DCMS commissioned experts from across the UK to conduct a review of evidence into the routes via which children access online pornography. The report of the expert panel was formally submitted in November 2015 and provides helpful context to the issue. Please see document above.

Also published above is our regulatory triage assessment which considers the potential costs to UK businesses.

Respond online

or write to:

FAO Child Online Safety Team
4th Floor
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ

Responses are required by 12pm on 12th April 2016.



Update: RuBlacklist Blacklisted...

Russian internet censors block website monitoring internet censorship

Link Here14th February 2016
 A human rights organization that monitors web-censorship and pirate site blocks in Russia has been ordered to be blocked by a local court. A legal challenge was initiated bit it failed to convince prosecutors.

When it comes to blocking websites, Russia is becoming somewhat of a world leader. Although not in the same league as China, the country blocks thousands of websites on grounds ranging from copyright infringement to the publication of extremist material, suicide discussion and the promotion of illegal drugs.

The scale of the censorship is closely monitored by local website Roscomsvoboda. More commonly recognized by its Western-friendly URL , the project advocates freedom on the Internet, monitors and publishes data on block, and provides assistance to Internet users and site operators who are wrongfully subjected to restrictions.

It was advise on circumventing blocking that appears to have irked authorities, prompting a court process against the site that began in the first half of 2015. However, while the courts want the circumvention advice URL banned, it is standard practice in Russia to block URLs and IP addresses, meaning that RuBlocklist will be blocked in its entirety.

The website next says that it will takes its case against censorship to regional court and Russia's supreme court if necessary.



Updated: The Censorship Line...

Thailand to ask facebook to censor content the government doesn't like

Link Here13th February 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking
Thailand's military dictators are moving to heighten its online censorship by persuading social media networks Facebook and Line to comply with court orders to remove content the government doesn't like.

The junta-appointed National Steering Reform Assembly (NSRA) will meet executives in the coming three months, council member Major General Pisit Paoin told Reuters.

A similar request was made last month to Google over content on YouTube.  .

Update: On the Line

13th February 2016. See  article from

Thailand's military dictators have turned their attention to the censorship of the Line messaging app. They have arranged a meeting with managers from Line to be held at the Thai parliament.

The Thai government will call on Line to censor content that the government does not like.

Line said earlier in a statement:

The privacy of Line users is our top priority. Once we have been officially contacted, we will conduct due diligence of the related parties and consider an appropriate solution that does not conflict with our company's global standards, or the laws of Thailand.

The Thai government also commented on three meetings with Google executives. The first was held unofficially in December 2015, while the second and third were official meetings in January. As a result, the government said it received good cooperation from Google to reduce processing and take-down time for inappropriate [video] content from YouTube.



Update: Searching for 'Brexit'...

Google to censor all EU searches under the disgraceful 'right to be forgotten'

Link Here12th February 2016
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Google says it will remove links, censored under the right to be forgotten, from all versions of the search engine when viewed from countries where the censorship was invoked.

Now, removed results will not appear on any version of Google, including Until now, search results removed under the right to be forgotten were only omitted from European versions of Google - such as or

EU internet censors previously asked the firm to do this. The French data protection authority had threatened the company with a fine if it did not remove the data from global sites, such as, as well as European ones.

This censorship will be applied whenever a European IP address is detected but all users outside Europe, will still see a set of unedited results. Hopefully European VPN users operating via non European countries will also be unaffected by Google's geo-blocking.

The BBC understands that the change will be in effect from mid-February.



Update: California is not the Origin of the World...

French court rules that Facebook is accountable to French law and a case protesting Facebook censorship will now be heard in France

Link Here12th February 2016
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
A judge at the French Supreme Court has ruled that Facebook is accountable to French law.

The ruling was made after a teacher sued the website for banning an image that he had posted of Courbet's The Origin of the World which contravened Facebook's censorship rules on nudity. The court ruled that the case comes under its jurisdiction and it is now due to be heard by a civil court in France on 21 May.

Facebook's lawyers had argued that all users agreed to use the courts in California for litigation when they joined the site. Le Journal des Arts said that the judge called this clause abusive , while the teacher's lawyer noted that if it were enforced, none of France's 22 million Facebook users would have recourse to French legal jurisdiction in the event of a dispute .

Facebook has also announced a change to its censorship rules to permit Photographs of paintings, sculptures and other art that depicts nude figures .



On-demand and online research: consumption and concerns...

Ofcom solicits 'concerns' of VoD viewers

Link Here 8th February 2016
Full story: Ofcom Video Sharing Censors...Video on Demand and video sharing

Ofcom regulates on-demand programme services (ODPS) that are notified and based in the UK, to ensure that providers apply the relevant standards. Ofcom also has a duty to advise the Government on the need for protection of consumers and citizens in their consumption of audio-visual services, and in particular the need to protect children.

Ofcom seeks to understand people's use of, and concerns about, notified ODPS in the broader context of all on-demand and online audio-visual services in the UK, and has therefore carried out quantitative consumer research for this purpose. A

. Comparisons are made to the 2014 data throughout this report where relevant.

This survey covers the full range of audio-visual content that is available on demand and online: sourced either directly via the internet, via an app, or via a provider of a service; for example, programmes on BBC iPlayer, clips on YouTube and films provided by ondemand services from Netflix.

In this report we examine online and on-demand consumption of audio-visual content among adults and teens, and their concerns regarding that content.

The report adds about viewer 'concerns'

The top mentions in 2015 among all concerned adults include: violence (50%), welfare of children/young people (32%), bullying/victimising (31%), racism (30%), discrimination (29%), bad language (28%) and pornography (24%). Concerns regarding violence, bullying and racism have significantly increased among adults since 2014, while concerns regarding sexually explicit content have decreased.

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