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 Update: Website blocking expands...

The MPAA convinces UK court to block websites distributing software used to infringe copyright


Nice n Naughty
Link Here 30th April 2015  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block
popcorn time logo The Motion Picture Association has obtained a High Court order requiring UK ISPs to block access to five sites that offer the popular Popcorn Time software. In addition, the Internet providers must block several more torrent and streaming sites.

More than 100 websites have been blocked in recent years and now the court has issued the first injunction against domains that offer no direct links, but only software.

The order, obtained by Hollywood's Motion Picture Association (the overseas arm of the MPAA), targets five popular Popcorn Time forks: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to.

In his order Judge Birss notes that the Popcorm Time software has little to no legal use. Instead, he mentions that it's mostly used to download and stream pirated movies and TV-shows:

It is manifest that the Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the internet and indeed it is also manifest that that is its purpose. No-one really uses Popcorn Time in order to watch lawfully available content. The point of Popcorn Time is to infringe copyright. The Popcorn Time application has no legitimate purpose.

Over the past year Popcorn Time has become a major threat to Hollywood so it doesn't come as a complete surprise that the applications are now being targeted. Previously the movie studios took down code repositories on Github, for example.

 

 Offsite Article: The censorship end game of Australia's piracy site-blocking Bill...


Nice n Naughty
Link Here 28th April 2015
australian government logo Discussion of an internet censorship bill initially aimed at copyright issues but campaigners are already looking to widen its remit

See article from zdnet.com

 

 Updated: 'Creative' Market Research...

Open letter to the NSPCC about using questionable evidence from low quality survey to call for more internet censorship


Link Here 23rd April 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
nspcc logo The letter below was sent to Peter Wanless, CEO of the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), on 10th March. It is signed by leading academics, sex educators, journalists and campaigners.

Dear Mr Wanless,

We write to express our deep concern about a report you published last week, which received significant press coverage. The report claimed that a tenth of 12-13 year olds believe they are addicted to pornography, and appears to have been fed to the media with accompanying quotes suggesting that pornography is causing harm to new generations of young people.

Your study appears to rely entirely on self-report evidence from young people of 11 and older, and so is not -- as it has been presented -- indicative of actual harm but rather, provides evidence that some young people are fearful that pornography is harming them. In other words, this study looks at the effects on young people of widely published but unevidenced concerns about pornography, not the effects of pornography itself.

It appears that your study was not an academic one, but was carried out by a "creative market research" group called OnePoll. We are concerned that you, a renowned child protection agency, are presenting the findings of an opinion poll as a serious piece of research. Management Today recently critiqued OnePoll in an article that opened as follows: "What naive readers may not realise is that much of what is reported as scientific is not in fact genuine research at all, but dishonest marketing concocted by PR firms."

There have been countless studies into the effects of porn since the late 1960s, and yet the existence of the kinds of harm you report remains contested. In fact, many researchers have reached the opposite conclusion: that increased availability of porn correlates with healthier attitudes towards sex, and with steadily reducing rates of sexual violence. For example, the UK government's own research (1) generated the following conclusion in 2005: "There seems to be no relationship between the availability of pornography and an increase in sex crimes ...; in comparison there is more evidence for the opposite effect."

The very existence of "porn addiction" is questionable, and it is not an accepted medical condition. Dr David J Ley, a psychologist specialising in this field, says: "Sex and porn can cause problems in people's lives, just like any other human behavior or form of entertainment. But, to invoke the idea of "addiction" is unethical, using invalid, scientifically and medically-rejected concepts to invoke fear and feed panic." (2)

Immediately following the release of your report, the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the Tories would be introducing strong censorship of the Internet if they win the next election, in order to "protect children" from pornography. The Culture Secretary's new announcement would probably lead to millions of websites being blocked by British ISPs, should it come into force. We would point out the experience of the optional "porn filters", introduced in early 2014, which turned out in practise to block a vast range of content including sex education material.

The BBC news website quotes you as saying, in response to the minister's announcement: "Any action that makes it more difficult for young people to find this material is to be welcomed." We disagree: we believe that introducing Chinese-style blocking of websites is not warranted by the findings of your opinion poll, and that serious research instead needs to be undertaken to determine whether your claims of harm are backed by rigorous evidence.

Jerry Barnett, CEO Sex & Censorship
Frankie Mullin, Journalist
Clarissa Smith, Professor of Sexual Cultures, University of Sunderland
Julian Petley, Professor of Screen Media, Brunel University
David J. Ley PhD. Clinical Psychologist (USA)
Dr Brooke Magnanti
Feona Attwood, Professor of Media & Communication at Middlesex University
Martin Barker, Emeritus Professor at University of Aberystwyth
Jessica Ringrose, Professor, Sociology of Gender and Education, UCL Institute of Education
Ronete Cohen MA, Psychologist
Dr Meg John Barker, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University
Kath Albury, Associate Professor, UNSW Australia
Myles Jackman, specialist in obscenity law
Dr Helen Hester, Middlesex University
Justin Hancock, youth worker and sex educator
Ian Dunt, Editor in Chief, Politics.co.uk
Ally Fogg, Journalist
Dr Emily Cooper, Northumbria University
Gareth May, Journalist
Dr Kate Egan, Lecturer in Film Studies, Aberystwyth University
Dr Ann Luce, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, Bournemouth University
John Mercer, Reader in Gender and Sexuality, Birmingham City University
Dr. William Proctor, Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communication, Bournemouth University
Dr Jude Roberts, Teaching Fellow, University of Surrey
Dr Debra Ferreday, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Lancaster University
Jane Fae, author of "Taming the beast" a review of law/regulation governing online pornography
Michael Marshall, Vice President, Merseyside Skeptics Society
Martin Robbins, Journalist
Assoc. Prof. Paul J. Maginn (University of Western Australia)
Dr Lucy Neville, Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University
Alix Fox, Journalist and Sex Educator
Dr Mark McCormack, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Durham University
Chris Ashford, Professor of Law and Society, Northumbria University
Diane Duke, CEO Free Speech Coalition (USA)
Dr Steve Jones, Senior Lecturer in Media, Northumbria University
Dr Johnny Walker, Lecturer in Media, Northumbria University

Update: NSPCC's shoddy political campaigning gets picked up by the Independent

13th April 2015.

The open letter has been picked up by both the Independent and the website politics.co.uk

The Independent leads

The Independent NSPCC accused of risking its reputation and whipping up moral panic with study into porn addiction among children

The NSPCC has been accused of deliberately whipping up a moral panic with a study suggesting a tenth of all 12- to 13-year-olds fear they are addicted to pornography.

In an open letter to the child protection organisation's chief executive Peter Wanless, a group of doctors, academics, journalists and campaigners criticised the NSPCC for suggesting that pornography is causing harm to new generations of young people .

See  article from  independent.co.uk

Meanwhile politics.co.uk note that the NSPCC research was hogwash

politics co uk logo How the NSPCC lost its way.

Late last month, the NSPCC released some startling findings. A tenth of all 12-to-13-year-olds were addicted to porn, it found. One in five had been shocked or upset by the things they'd found online. Twelve per cent had made their own porn.

The findings were widely reported . Immediately afterwards, culture secretary Sajid Javid promised new censorship measures, with a regulator ensuring adult sites have age verification technology to prevent young people accessing porn.

The cycle from research to reporting to promises of legislation was accomplished in the space of a morning. It was a remarkably effective operation.

The only problem was, it was all nonsense. The NSPCC research was hogwash.

See  article from  politics.co.uk

Update: The Guardian enters the fray

14th April 2015.

The Guardian Children addicted to porn Don't believe everything the surveys say

OnePoll was behind a recent survey revealing that 20% of people believe that smoking has improved their career opportunities . This one was commissioned by an E-cigarette company . A poll commissioned during National Ferry Fortnight for Discover Ferries -- which had just invested heavily in improved seating -- revealed that travellers really hate aircraft seats. You get the picture.

See  article from  theguardian.com

Update: The NSPCC responds: The ends justifies the shoddy means

23rd April 2015. See  article from  nspcc.org.uk

nspcc logo Dear Mr Barnett

Thank you for your letter detailing your concerns about our recently launched porn campaign for young people and a poll that was published with it.

As you will be aware the NSPCC has a long tradition of campaigning on difficult issues that affect children. Our work is solely designed to make the most difference to the protection of children. Through our various services, including ChildLine, we listen to the voices of children day in day out and it is essential that we respond to their concerns and help them confront and address issues that they find worrisome. Porn is a subject which has always drawn strong debate but that doesn't mean that we should shy away from what children are telling us.

As you will expect we make no judgment on adults viewing porn. But we know through those who call ChildLine, that children can be worried and upset by the effect pornography is having on them. A recent European-wide piece of research into violence and abuse in teenage relationships found a high proportion of boys in England regularly viewed pornography, and one in five harbored extremely negative attitudes towards women. High levels of sexual coercion and in some cases violence within teenage relationships were reported. We believe that as a society we need to ensure that children are both protected and educated in the best way possible. Rather than seek to restrict debate we seek to promote it for it is only when subjects are not allowed to remain in the shadows that they can be properly dealt with.

As a campaigning organisation, the NSPCC uses a wide range of methods to listen to the voices of children, parents, carers and professionals. We continue to explore how sensitive subjects, including pornography, are affecting young people. This will no doubt uncover difficult and complex issues; and we must work together as a society to address these challenges.

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, NSPCC

 

 Offsite Article: Why doesn't the US use YouTube age ratings like the UK?...


Link Here 23rd April 2015  full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos
YouTube logo US newspaper eyes the music video age rating scheme initiated in the US

See article from reviewjournal.com

 

 Update: Promoting violence...

Twitter updates its censorship rules concerning abusive tweets


Link Here 22nd April 2015
twitter 2015 logo Twitter has announced new censorship rules related to tweets deemed to be abusive. Twitter explains in a blog post:

First, we are making two policy changes, one related to prohibited content, and one about how we enforce certain policy violations. We are updating our violent threats policy so that the prohibition is not limited to direct, specific threats of violence against others but now extends to threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others. Our previous policy was unduly narrow and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behavior. The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse.

On the enforcement side, in addition to other actions we already take in response to abuse violations (such as requiring users to delete content or verify their phone number), we're introducing an additional enforcement option that gives our support team the ability to lock abusive accounts for specific periods of time. This option gives us leverage in a variety of contexts, particularly where multiple users begin harassing a particular person or group of people.

Second, we have begun to test a product feature to help us identify suspected abusive Tweets and limit their reach. This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a Tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive. It will not affect your ability to see content that you've explicitly sought out, such as Tweets from accounts you follow, but instead is designed to help us limit the potential harm of abusive content. This feature does not take into account whether the content posted or followed by a user is controversial or unpopular.

 

  9 counts of adult censorship...

IWF publishes its Annual Report for 2014


Link Here 19th April 2015
iwf annual report 2014 The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) does some sterling work in restricting child abuse material on the internet. In its latest Annual Report, the IWF outlines its extension of its operations to seek out child porn rather than just respond to reports received.

Unfortunately the IWF also has a role as an internet censor of adult pornography which is deemed to be criminally obscene. The IWF generally plays down the role, as it would surely prefer to stick to more commendable areas of work, but nevertheless, reports on its adult censorship activity:

Other Criminal Content

3,016 reports alleged criminally obscene adult content. However, almost all were not hosted within the UK and therefore not within the IWF's remit.

9 were assessed as criminally obscene and hosted in the UK. In each case we worked with the police to obtain their agreement with the assessment and approval for removing the content. We then contacted the website owner to remove the content.

 

 Update: EU law turns to shite...

Ambulance chasing law firms exploit the EU's right to be forgotten


Link Here 18th April 2015  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU

EU flag Ambulance-chasing law firms are exploiting the European Court's ruling on the right to be forgotten to drum up business, leading to a rise in the number of newspaper articles being deleted from Google search results.

The companies, some of which have no legal background but say they specialise in reputation management , have sensed an easy opportunity to make money by offering to cleanse the internet of embarrassing references to their clients on a no-win no-fee basis, media lawyers said.

The service can amount to little more than filling in Google's one-page form requesting that a particular link is removed from search results -- which can easily be completed for free by the client themselves.

Last month alone The Independent was informed by Google that links to 13 news articles had been removed from its search results, marking a sudden rise on previous figures when only a handful had been hidden each month. Mark Stephens, a media law specialist at London firm Howard Kennedy said:

You've got ambulance-chasing lawyers who are, I think, trying to attract custom for cases which you don't need a lawyer for. People are being asked to pay for something when there's no good reasons to do so -- you can do this online, for free, for nothing.

He added that the problem was not restricted to the UK, with media organisations across Europe feeling the chilling effects of the ruling as unscrupulous companies realised that citing the ruling could be an easy way to make money.

 

 Update: A Censorial Image...

Instagram updates its censorship rules


Link Here 18th April 2015  full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo hsaring website gets heavy on the censorship
instagram logo Instagram has updated its censorship rules to give users more insight into how it polices content on its site. Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram said:

We're not changing any of the policies. But the company has added in detail around questions we've gotten over and over, and into places where [users] needed more information.

Parent company, Facebook also updated censorship rules several weeks ago. And many of the policies outlined in Instagram's latest guidelines are the same as the one's Facebook explained in its latest rewrite. These include specific prohibitions against messages that support or praise terrorism an or hate groups, serious threats of harm to public or private safety and clear statements against abuse of all kinds. Rules common to both websites say:

We remove content that contains credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages.

On the question of nudity, Instagram says that nudity in general-- and pornography specifically -- is off-limits. But photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed, the guidelines say, Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.

 

 Update: Scammer's Charter...

Tories' election pledge to introduce website age restrictions is more worrying than it appears


Link Here 18th April 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
conservative party logo

 

 Offsite Article: BlockBot Busted?...


Link Here 17th April 2015
block bot checker logo A voluntary block list for Twitter users gets a little insulting and comes under fire

See article from matthewhopkinsnews.com

 

  Tartarstan vs xHamster...

Russian Regional court calls on the internet censor to block 136 of the world's main porn sites


Link Here 13th April 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

tatarstan logo Vladimir Putin once said half the Internet is nothing but porno materials. While a major academic study in 2010 found that, in reality, just 4% of websites were pornographic, it's an undisputed fact that there is indeed a lot of adult-rated material on the Web.

If the Russian court system gets its way, however, the number of legal pornographic websites on the RuNet could drop to zero. That's right: a district court in Tatarstan has banned 136 porn sites, and the language of its ruling implies that all Internet porn is hereby against the law.

On April 13, 2015, the newspaper Izvestia reported that a court in Tatarstan's Apastovsky district has ordered Roskomnadzor, the federal government's media censor, to add 136 websites to its Internet blacklist, if the sites fail to purge themselves of all pornographic content within the next three days. The list of websites includes xHamster, one of the most popular destinations for pornography in the world.

The local district attorney's office, which petitioned the court to crack down on Internet porn, cited in its suit obscure international agreements from the early twentieth century, Izvestia reported.

First, prosecutors pointed out that international treaties constitute an integral part of Russian law according to the Russian Constitution, even arguing, rather unorthodoxly, that international obligations take priority over domestic legislation, when the two are in conflict. Then, prosecutors cited the Convention for the Suppression of the Circulation of Obscene Publications, signed in Paris in 1910, and the subsequent international agreement signed in Geneva in 1923, both of which ban the production, possession, and distribution of pornographic materials.

The signatories to these international accords were, of course, the Tsarist Empire and the Soviet Union, and the Apastovsky district attorney says today's Russian Federation is still bound by these agreements.

According to an adult-film maker who spoke to Izvestia, Russian law is very vague about regulating pornography. The only law on the books, he says, is Article 242 of the federal criminal code, which delineates several illegal types of distribution, but does not clearly define legal ways to advertise, disseminate, and trade in porn.

How did the Tartarstan prosecutors flag 136 websites, Russia's largest-ever single ban request, for Roskomnadzor's blacklist? The district attorney's office says it searched Yandex (Russia's leading Internet search engine) for the terms Kazan prostitutes and porno video. Film experts at the Ministry of Culture then examined the websites on this list and confirmed that they are indeed brimming with pornographic content.

It remains unclear if Roskomnadzor will block these websites across Russia or only in Tatarstan. It is also unknown if Roskomnadzor and the Apastovsky district attorney will stop with these 136 websites, or wage a larger campaign against the millions of other porn sites online.

Whatever happens, this is just the latest episode in a broader crackdown on the Internet that has taken place in Russia since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012. For some Russian Internet users, like musician Sergei Shnurov, Putin's third presidential term has already spoiled porn, whatever happens in Tatarstan.

 

 Update: Distorted News...

China threatens to punish internet news service that does not censor enough


Link Here 12th April 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Weibo logo China's government has threatened to shut down Sina , one of the country's most popular news websites unless it improves censorship , state media reported via the Xinhua news agency. Sina is the fourth most visited website in China, according to ranking service Alexa.

The censors whose job it is to officially distort news facts, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), claimed that Sina:

Distorted news facts, violated morality and engaged in media hype.

The CAC will seriously punish Sina, with possible measures including a complete shut down of its Internet news services , Xinhua added.

The report did not provide specifics on which of Sina's news offerings had fallen foul of censors, but said the CAC accused Sina of spreading illegal information related to rumors, violence and terrorism , and advocation of heresies .

 

  Hulu Hullabaloo...

New Zealand media companies threaten ISPs over their global VPN services


Link Here 12th April 2015

slingshot global mode logo Following copyright threats from large media companies a New Zealand ISP has taken down its VPN service. Lightbox, MediaWorks, SKY, and TVNZ had threatened legal action against services that bypass geo-restrictions on sites such as Netflix and Hulu. Other ISPs offering similar products are currently standing firm.

For a relatively small fee, users of the most popular VPN services can tunnel out of their country of origin and reappear in any one of dozens of countries around the world. This opens up a whole new world of media consumption opportunities.

Citizens of the United States, for example, can access BBC iPlayer just like any other Brit might, while those in the UK looking to sample the widest possible Netflix offering can easily tunnel right back into the U.S.

This cross-border content consumption is not popular with entertainment companies and distributors. It not only undermines their ability to set high prices on a per-region basis, but also drives a truck through hard-negotiated licensing agreements. Lightbox, MediaWorks, SKY, and TVNZ said in a joint statement:

We pay considerable amounts of money for content rights, particularly exclusive content rights. These rights are being knowingly and illegally impinged, which is a significant issue that may ultimately need to be resolved in court in order to provide future clarity for all parties involved,

Unlimited Internet became the first ISP to respond to media company pressure by pulling its geo-unblocking service known as TV VPN after receiving a warning letter from a lawfirm. The letter, which has been sent out to several local ISPs, threatens Unlimited Internet that its VPN service infringes the Copyright Act of 1994.

Currently there are no signs that other ISPs intend to follow suit.

 

 Updated: Censorial Gits...

China shows off it technical capability to censor and take down international websites


Link Here 11th April 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
github logo The open source code sharing depository, GitHub, has been put under a prolonged distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack seemingly from China.

It seems likely that the attack were targeting GitHub projects that help circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

It appears a JavaScript file served from within China by Baidu's advertising network was intercepted such that internet browsers in China would fire repeated HTTP requests at GitHub.com rather than the usual Baidu advertising servers that are built to cope with the massive load.

Anti-censorship campaign group Greatfire.org said in a blog post the attacks are an effort to shut down its GitHub-hosted project , and an extension of an attack on anti-censorship groups by Chinese authorities.

Greatfire goes on to point the finger for the attacks directly to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). The group argues that the CAC is deliberately trying to weaponize its Great Firewall to perform international attacks. The Greatfire team wrote:

This is a frightening development and the implications of this action extend beyond control of information on the internet. In one quick movement, the authorities have shifted from enforcing strict censorship in China to enforcing Chinese censorship on internet users worldwide.

Update: The Great Cannon

11th April 2015. See  article from  theregister.co.uk

great cannon China has upgraded the website-blocking systems, dubbed The Great Firewall, so it can blast foreign businesses and organisations off the internet.

Researchers hailing from the University of Toronto, the International Computer Science Institute, the University of California Berkeley, and Princeton University, have confirmed that China is hijacking web traffic and redirecting advert server requests so as to overpower sites critical of the authoritarian state.

This weaponized firewall has been dubbed the Great Cannon by the researchers, and typically hijacks requests to Baidu's advertising network in China. Anyone visiting a website that serves ads from Baidu, for example, could end up unwittingly silencing a foreign site disliked by the Chinese authorities.

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Challenging the Right to Listen to Everything...

Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International have jointly filed a case with the European Court challenging the legality of mass snooping


Link Here 11th April 2015  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
European court buildings Rights groups have asked the European Court of Human Rights to rule on the legality of the UK's mass snooping regime.

Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International have jointly filed a legal complaint with the court. The three organisations claim that the surveillance carried out by GCHQ breaches the European Convention on Human Rights that enshrines certain freedoms in law.

A similar legal challenge mounted in the UK last year saw judges rule that the spying did not breach human rights.

Nick Williams, legal counsel for Amnesty said in a statement:

The UK government's surveillance practices have been allowed to continue unabated and on an unprecedented scale, with major consequences for people's privacy and freedom of expression.

Information that had come to light in the last 12 months showed, said Amnesty, that there were flaws in the oversight system. One revelation concerned arrangements GCHQ has with its US counterparts to get at data it would be difficult for the UK agency to get permission to acquire. There were also loopholes in UK laws governing surveillance being exploited by GCHQ to expand its spying abilities, it said.

 

  Unblocking...

EU Commission is considering an EU wide process for complaints about website overblocking


Link Here 9th April 2015
EU flag The European Commission is considering creating an EU-wide complaint procedure for people whose websites are wrongly blocked by ISPs.

Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová said in a letter that:

The Commission is analysing the need for a specific initiative on notice-and-action procedures to bring legal certainty and transparency to the way online intermediaries take down content that is alleged to be illegal.

The concept will be published in the planned Digital Single Market legislative package, due to be presented next month, but there are no specific details of the process expected as yet.

Council of Europe human rights commissioner Nils Muiznieks said two weeks ago:

The blocking of internet sites without prior judicial authorisation which recently started in France is a clear example of the risks that such measures represent for human rights, and particularly for freedom of expression and the right to receive and communicate information

He urged lawmakers to ensure that any blocking measures:

Are subject to effective democratic control and that the persons at whom they are directed have an effective remedy available to challenge them.

 

 Offsite Article: An Impossible Quandry...


Link Here 9th April 2015
asacp logo US adult industry considers how to respond to age verification issues such as the mass website blocking threatened by Cameron

See article from xbiz.com

 

 Offsite Article: France Etait Charlie...


Link Here 8th April 2015  full story: Comms Snooping in France...French database to monitor political activists
France flag France tables Patriot Act style mass snooping law

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  A Picture of Government Repression...

Turkey blocks all social media in an attempt to censor news images that were considered propaganda


Link Here 7th April 2015

Turkey flag Turkey got itself in a censorship mess in attempt to block a few news images.

Two gunmen, from a far-left group, took a prosecutor hostage at an Istanbul courthouse last week. Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was apparently taken hostage because he headed an investigation into the 2013 death of a boy during anti-government protests. Images were published in news reports showing the prosecutor being held at gunpoint. The gunmen and the hostage were later killed in a police 'rescue'.

Turkish authorities decided that the images were anti-government propaganda . and set about censoring them. Newspapers were stopped from printing the images, but it was not so easy to stop the images circulating on social media. So Turkey promptly blocked access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others in their entirety. In total, 166 websites which shared the images were blocked by the court order.

The blocks on Facebook and Twitter were later lifted after they both sites later took down the censored images. But not before the Turkish people had come to see how repressive their government has become.

Millions of social media users tried to post comments or videos on their favourite platforms only to find that they were blocked. But the block did not stop people from tweeting. Newspapers and individuals alike shared guidelines on how to circumvent the ban. The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey became the number one trending topic worldwide.

 

 Offsite Article: Doing the Decent Thing...


Link Here 6th April 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
evening harold logo Calling on porn sites to protect on-line youngsters by blocking links to the Conservative Party

See article from eveningharold.com

 

 Update: The Nasty Party...

Tories will block all internet porn if they win the election


Link Here 4th April 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
sajid javid The government has been trailing this policy by forcing onerous age verification requirements on British adult Video on Demand websites. Unfortunately there is currently no economically viable way to implement age verification and the net result is that pretty much the entire British VoD business has either been forced to close or else move overseas.

Widening out the policy to all internet porn will not do anything to make age verification practical and so the only possible outcome is that all internet porn will have to be blocked by the ISPs. Perhaps a few sites with a massively comprehensive selection of porn (think porn Amazon) may be able absorb the administrative burden, but they will for sure be American.

Anyway this is what the Tories are proposing:

It's time to protect children online

By Sajid Javi, Culture & Censorship Secretary, writing for the Daily Mail

Imagine a 12-year-old-boy being allowed to walk into a sex shop and leave with a DVD showing graphic, violent sexual intercourse and the subjugation of women.

You would, quite rightly, ask whether society should allow such a young mind to view hard-core pornography. I'm sure we'd all agree that the answer would be an emphatic no .

Yet each and every day children right across our country are being exposed to such images. And it's happening online.

The internet has been an amazing force for good in so many ways. But it also brings new threats and challenges for us to contend with. I'm a father of four young children and I know all too well that the online world can be a worrying place for mums and dads. After all, even the most attentive and engaged parents cannot know for sure which websites our children are visiting and what images they're seeing. Culture and Media Secretary Sajid Javid is setting out plans to shield youngsters from easy access to hardcore online pornography

Culture and Media Secretary Sajid Javid is setting out plans to shield youngsters from easy access to hardcore online pornography

In 2015 anyone, regardless of their age, is only ever two clicks away from the kind of material that would be kept well away from young eyes in the high street. And allowing young people to access pornography carries alarming consequences both for individuals and for society. It can lead to children pressuring each other to try out things they've seen online, and sharing inappropriate sexual pictures and videos. And it can lead to children having unhealthy attitudes towards sex AND relationships.

It is because of these types of concerns that we have long restricted and regulated adult content in the offline world -- whether that is magazines, TV programmes, DVDs or video-on-demand content. Such protections are taken for granted, and, as the Daily Mail has argued for years, it's time our approach to the online world caught up.

So today we are announcing that, if the Conservatives win the next general election, we will legislate to put online hard-core pornography behind effective age verification controls.

Of course adults should be perfectly free to look at these sites. But if websites showing adult content don't have proper age controls in place -- ones that will stop children looking at this kind of material -- they should and will be blocked altogether. No sex shop on the high street would be allowed to remain open if it knowingly sold pornography to underage customers, and there is no reason why the internet should be any different.

An independent regulator will oversee this new system. It will determine, in conjunction with websites, how age verification controls will work and how websites that do not put them in place will be blocked.

One thing is absolutely clear: the Conservative Party's commitment to child safety online. For the past five years we have been working with industry on A voluntary basis, an approach that led to the creation of default-on family filters. But filtering is just one way in which we can keep our children safe online. Now we can -- and must -- go further to give our children the best start in life.

There will be some who say that this exercise is futile, that websites and children alike will find ways to get around this law. And I agree that there are always people who try to avoid legal restrictions. But we must not let the best be the enemy of the good.

It is right that we act now and do what we can to restrict this content. It is right that we have the same rules applying online as we do offline. And it is right that we do everything we can to protect our children.

If we fail to take action, there is every chance that the sort of things children see on these websites will be considered normal by the next generation. That is not the sort of society I want to see and it's certainly not the sort of society I want my children to live in.

Over time Britain's laws have evolved to reflect our most deeply held values and beliefs, and the protection of children has long been a sacrosanct principle at the heart of that. I don't believe that we should abandon such an important principle simply because the latest threat to our young people comes from a technology that also brings incredible benefits.

There is a choice at this election, and it is between a party which backs families wants to give children the best start in life, and a chaotic Labour Party with no plan.

We are clear: adults should and will be free to view legal content, but we would never stand by and allow that 12-year-old boy to buy hardcore pornography from a sex shop.

It's time to make sure our children are just as well protected online as they are on the high street.

 

 Update: Causing Extreme Discomfort to China...

In addition to American TV, China bans sexy and violent Japanese anime


Link Here 2nd April 2015  full story: Internet TV Censorship in China...Draconian censorship
High School Dead Drifters OVA Some of China's biggest video streaming sites have been warned that they face punishment after failing to remove sexy or violent Japanese cartoon video clips. The ministry noted that 12 offending clips on Todou alone had attracted more than one million hits.

China's Ministry of Culture said the firms had hosted anime that glorified violence and terrorism, and contained vulgar erotic elements. Net firms Baidu, Tencent and Youku were among those named as offenders.

The announcement coincides with the introduction of wider restrictions on the use of foreign online clips. Streaming sites are now censored by publication licences required to be able to add other countries' TV series and movies, which will be censored by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) on an individual basis.

Three specific examples of indecent anime cartoons are mentioned in a statement posted to the Ministry of Culture's website:

  • Blood-C, a series about a sword-wielding teenage girl who fights monsters in her town. It is accused of containing a particularly bloody beheading scene that would cause extreme discomfort
  • Terror in Resonance, a series involving two teenagers who carry out a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon. Officials said this glorified violence and criminal activities
  • High School of the Dead, a show about a group of students struggling to survive in a world overtaken by zombies. The programme, which was given a certificate 15 when released in the UK.

The firms involved have been told they will learn what penalties they face at a later stage.