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2014: April

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Update: People's Republic Takes On People's Porn...

China initiates another miserable campaign against internet porn

Link Here28th April 2014
Full story: Pornography in China...Always under the cosh
China has announced another miserable campaign against online pornography and has asked websites to remove any such links to avoid repressive punishment. The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications announced:

The campaign, Cleaning the Web 2014, will conduct thorough checkups on websites, search engines and mobile application stores, Internet TV USB sticks, and set-top boxes.

All online texts, pictures, videos and advertisements with pornographic content will be deleted. Websites, web channels and columns will be shut down or have their administrative license revoked if they are found to produce or spread pornographic information.

The campaign will last until November, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Update: Censored

22nd April 2014. See  article from

China's state media services announced the progress of its Cleaning the Web 2014 campaign , which has resulted in the closure of 110 websites and more than 3,300 accounts containing supposedly obscene material since January.

Update: Slash Erotic Writing

28th April 2014. See  article from

A Chinese crackdown on pornography is taking a creative turn. Authorities have arrested over 20 women in Henan province for writing gay erotic fan fiction online, according to a report (video in Chinese) from Anhui Television. +

Exported from Japan in the 1990s, slash, a subset of fan fiction that usually focuses on attraction or sexual relationships between people of the same sex, has taken on a cult following in China. Chinese Slash or danmei-- literally indulging in beauty --focuses almost exclusively on relationships between men.

The writers for danmei blogs and websites are usually heterosexual women in their 20s who make a few yuan on each of their stories. Comics, videos that embellish story lines from favorite TV shows, and stories circulate on Chinese social media regularly. +

Update: Sina Sins

28th April 2014. See  article from

Sina Internet Information Service Co, one of China's Internet giants, has been suspended from engaging in Internet publication and audio and video dissemination for supposedly running pornographic content online, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications said.

We have revoked the two licenses of, including those for Internet publication and network distribution of audiovisual programs, and fined the company up to 5 million yuan ($800,000), said Zhou Huilin, deputy director of the office.

Sina supposedly published about 20 obscene articles in its reading channel and posted four Internet audiovisual programs with claimed obscene information, said Shen Rui, an internet censor with the Beijing Cultural Market Administrative Enforcement Bureau. He said that some of the articles that were investigated included 500 chapters, and the number of clicks was more than 1 million, which brought serious negative social impact and seriously harmed the physical and mental health of minors.

Government censors explained that the supposedly pornographic material, included a book called The Village Woman's Dream Lover: Village Doctor Wanted.

Sina have since grovelled with several profuse apologies.



Petition: Stop the secrecy before it's too late...

Campaign against the anti-democratic TPP trade agreement that heralds extensive new internet censorship

Link Here25th April 2014

Right now, Obama is meeting with leaders in Asia to finalize the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

The TPP threatens to censor your Internet1, kill jobs, undermine environmental safeguards, and remove your democratic rights2.

We're going to get the attention of decision-makers and the media by projecting a Stop The Secrecy message on key buildings in Washington D.C. - but we need you to add your voice now.

The TPP is huge: It covers 40% of the global economy and will overwrite national laws affecting people around the world.3

The worst of the TPP threatens everything we care about: democracy, jobs, health, the environment, and the Internet. That's why decision-makers are meeting in Asia under extreme secrecy and pushing Fast Track laws to cement the plan into place.

This is no way to make decisions in the 21st century. We need to raise a loud global call to expose this dangerous secrecy now.

...Sign the petition



Update: Unchecked Censorship...

Russian Dumas approves law to extended news media censorship to bloggers

Link Here23rd April 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Poland...In the name of dangerous gambling

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on President Vladimir Putin to veto a new bill that would subject popular bloggers to the same restrictions as traditional media in Russia. The bill was approved by Russia's parliament, the State Duma, in its final reading.

The bill would apply to blogs with more than 3,000 daily visitors. As with other laws recently adopted in Russia, the language of the bill is broad and open to wide-ranging interpretation and selective implementation by government agencies. It bans bloggers from using their platforms for committing crimes, divulging state secrets, publishing extremist materials, as well as propagating pornography, the cult of violence, and cruelty, according to local press reports . They would also be banned from using swear words, the news agency Itar-Tass reported.

The bill would also require the bloggers to publish their real names and contact details, news reports said. They would be allowed to publish only confirmed information and could be punished for distributing unchecked facts , the news website Lenta reported. Punishment for violating the law would range from a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (US$14,000) to suspension of blogging activities for up to 30 days.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said:

We call on President Vladimir Putin to veto this restrictive bill that, if passed, will censor the remaining independent voices in Russian media. The broad restrictions laid out by this legislation invite both its abuse by Russian authorities to silence their critics and self-censorship on the part of bloggers in order to avoid potential repercussions.

If signed into law, the new bill will go into effect on August 1, the Russian press reported.



No to Censorship...

Mexicans protest against proposed law enabling government censorship

Link Here23rd April 2014
Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

Protesters carrying signs that read No to Censorship and Freedom of Expression marched to the Senate building after organizing the demonstration on social networks.

One of the most controversial articles in the proposed law allows the government to request that internet providers block access to certain content, applications or services, including cutting off cellphone service or Internet access if it considers there is a risk to public safety.

If they can block Internet and cellphone signals whenever the government wants that will leave us very vulnerable and go against our own security, said protester Carla Sandoval.



Offsite Article: UK Filters And The Slippery Slope Of Mass Censorship...

Link Here 23rd April 2014
From the slip-slip-sliding-your-freedoms-away dept

See article from



Updated: Censorship is Hip...

Newsstand vendors censor breastfeeding image

Link Here22nd April 2014
Another magazine has put a breastfeeding mom on its cover , only to offend the easily offended. Hip Mama magazine opted to feature a self-portrait by Barcelona-based artist Ana Alvarez-Errecalde on the cover of its May issue. In the photo, Alvarez-Errecalde is seen with a Spider-Man mask on her face, breastfeeding her 4-year-old, who is also clad in Spider-Man garb.

Editor Ariel Gore thought the cover image was gorgeous and she posted the cover to Facebook to let readers know the issue would hit newsstands next month. That's when the trouble started. Vendors told Gore not to send the magazine; they wouldn't put it on newsstands. Then Facebook banned the image .

Hip Mama's distributor said they wouldn't be able to distribute the magazine to half of their customers unless they changed their cover.  It was the artist, Alvarez-Errecalde, who suggested highlighting the censorship on the cover. She suggested a dot to cover the offending breasts, moving their cover line No Supermoms Here onto the dot to draw attention to the message.

Whether vendors carry the new image or not, Gore said she's buoyed by the support Hip Mama has gotten after the censorship of the breastfeeding mother has gone public.

Hip Mama added extra coverage about the censorship included the comment:

As Ana points out in the updated interview in the magazine, right now this is about an image of an artist breastfeeding on the cover of a magazine, but moms face this every day when they try to feed their children in restaurants or on airplanes or in other public places -- they are asked to go into seclusion to feed their kids.



Commented: Brits given 8 months notice to download enough porn to last a year...

Until the industry can initiate a practical age verification scheme

Link Here 21st April 2014
Full story: VOD censorship in UK...Excessive age restrictions an adult internet video
Government censors have announced that legislation will be introduced by the end of 2014 that will require British adult websites to verify the age of visitors.

Government internet censors at the Department of Censorship, Media and Sport have announced their intention to initiate legislation that will require age verification by credit card (not debit cards, which are used for the large majority of porn purchases). Alternatively visitors can provide highly personal details that are simply best not provided to porn sites).

Unfortunately there is currently no other viable technology that allows viewers to conveniently and safely verify their age.

However Chris Ratcliff of TVX, speaking for the Adult Provider Network, an adult trade group representing 30 adult companies, said that a system is being developed that will hopefully allow some level of security and privacy for viewers. It seems that age can be verified once, hopefully by a trusted party, and this will provide a token that can be conveniently used to gain access to British adult websites.

Unfortunately this will not be available until the end of 2015.

In the meantime it looks likely that British adult websites will be hit impossibly hard, and that British customers will be driven overseas, at least until the DCMS can come up with a practical way to try and stop this too,

Perhaps Brits would be advised to download enough porn in the next 8 months to last a lifetime...just in case.

Comment: Laughing at an Etonian Pillock

21st April 2014. From Alan

How is Cameron proposing to identify a British porn site? Many general sites use models/actors/actresses from several countries. A site based in California that includes some pics/vids of British models is likely to laugh at the Etonian pillock.

Most sites price in US dollars and use foreign-based payment processors, most obviously CC BIll. All such processors promise discretion, not indicating to credit card providers the nature of the service provided. One hopes they would tell Cameron to take a running jump.

The worst case scenario is that totally innocuous organizations will have payments blocked by over-zealous twats like the idiot in Oxford who didn't know what a passion play is. Come to think of, that might actually be the BEST case scenario :-- if sanctimonious authoritarians succeed in stopping payments to a breast cancer awareness campaign or researchers into erectile dysfunction, it would make censorship a laughing stock.



Update: Pulitzer Prize Winners...

Congratulations to the Guardain and Washington Post for reporting on NSA and GCHQ snooping

Link Here15th April 2014
Full story: The Edward Snowden Revelations...Internet Snooping in the US revealed

For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, a gold medal.

Awarded to The Washington Post for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.


Awarded to The Guardian US for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.



Offsite Article: Does Pornography Cause Rape?...

Link Here14th April 2014
Imagine it's New Year's Eve, 2000. A bunch of us are sitting around with a good Cabernet, and someone wonders: what do you suppose would happen if the U.S. were flooded with free, high-quality pornography?

See article from



Update: Snoopers Get an Ear Bashing...

The EU's requirement for ISPs to record subscribers communications is found violate the privacy for internet users

Link Here9th April 2014
Full story: The Edward Snowden Revelations...Internet Snooping in the US revealed
In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice has declared the EU's Data Retention directive to be a violation of Internet users' privacy.

Under the Directive Internet providers and other telecom companies were required to log and store vast amounts of information, including who their subscribers communicate with, and what IP-addresses they use.

The local authorities could then use this information to fight serious crimes, but it was also been frequently used by third parties, in online piracy cases for example.

The Court ruled that the data collection requirements are disproportionate:

The Court is of the opinion that, by adopting the Data Retention Directive, the EU legislature has exceeded the limits imposed by compliance with the principle of proportionality.

By requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.

It's now up to the individual member states to change local laws accordingly.  Meanwhile the Swedish provider Bahnhof immediately announced that it would wipe all subscriber data it stored. Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said:

Bahnhof stops all data storage with immediate effect. In addition, we will delete the information that was already saved.



Offsite Article: Generation XXX: Niche pornographers feel unduly targeted by censors...

Link Here 9th April 2014
Full story: VOD censorship in UK...Excessive age restrictions an adult internet video
It's hard not to feel that there is witchhunt against small, independent, non-mainstream forms of pornography that often challenge assumed notions of normativity and gender roles

See article from



Offsite Article: Generation XXX: Why we're afraid of internet porn...

Link Here 8th April 2014
EU Kids Online has been looking into children's online experience and education since 2006. From their various studies,it is clear nothing really happens when children encounter online pornography

See article from



Updated: Retweeted...

Turkey's Constitutional Court orders government to restore Twitter ruling that the illegally breached Turkey's freedom of expression

Link Here5th April 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Turkey's telecoms authority lifted a two-week-old ban on Twitter, after the constitutional court ruled the previous day that the block breached freedom of expression.

Turkey's Official Gazette published the court's ruling on Thursday morning, further piling pressure on the telecoms authority, TIB, to lift the ban. TIB removed court orders blocking the site from its webpage on Thursday afternoon, after which Erdogan's office confirmed the ban was no more.

YouTube however remains offline in Turkey. The TIB blocked it one week after blocking Twitter. Legal challenges are pending.

Update: YouTube Unblocked

5th April 2013. See  article from

YouTube has been unblocked in Turkey after a court ruled that blocking the video service violates freedom of expression.

The country's national telecoms authority censored the platform after an audio recording of Turkish officials discussing possible military action against Syria leaked onto the website.

However, the court declared that 15 YouTube videos must remain blocked in the territory.

Update: YouTube Not Unblocked

7th April 2013. See  article from

YouTube remains blocked even after the court that initially ordered the ban reversed its ruling.

However, the Golbasi Prosecutor's Office challenged the liberal ruling on the grounds that the video that was the subject of the YouTube ban had not yet been removed.

The Golbasi Criminal Court of First Instance, a higher court, ruled to keep the block in place until the criminal content is removed form the site.

Update: YouTube Finally Unblocked

8th June 2014. See  article from

Turkey's telecoms regulator removed an official order blocking access to YouTube from its website on Tuesday after the country's top court ruled last week that the ban was a breach of human rights.

The video-sharing website will be accessible in Turkey later on Tuesday, an official at the office of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Reuters: As the constitutional court verdict was received today, YouTube will be open to access later today.



List Sharing...

City of London police organise list of copyright infringing websites so that these can be avoided by advertisers

Link Here1st April 2014

An initiative that hopes to cut off advertising revenues from websites offering illegal copyrighted material has been launched. It will see the creation of an online database of websites verified as being illegal. It is hoped that firms that handle advertising will use the resource to make sure they do not serve advertising on those sites, cutting off revenue.

The Infringing Website List (IWL) will be an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites that can be cross-referenced by third party advertising systems, in the hope that they will pull their advertising from those sites.

But Ernesto Van Der Sar, editor of Torrentfreak, a news site that covers issues around online piracy, said there could be worrying implications that arise from the IWL. He told the BBC:

As with all blocklists there is a serious risk of overblocking. Without proper oversight perfectly legal sites may end up losing good advertising opportunities if they are wrongfully included.

The City of London police said any sites listed would be notifiied in advance - but it was unable to tell the BBC how many sites would be on the list at launch.

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