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