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2022: June

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Qualified speech...

Chinese internet censors announce that academic qualifications are required before being able to post about law, finance or medicine


Link Here26th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
China's internet censors at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the State Administration of Radio and Television have said that qualifications will be required for posting online content that requires a higher professional level such as medicine or law.

Subjects who want to comment online about health or legal matters, for example, will need to have an appropriate qualification and will even be required to submit their qualifications to the streaming platform they use. The platform should then review the qualifications.

From the South China Morning Post:

The 18-point guideline, published by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to discuss some topics, such as law, finance, medicine and education, although authorities did not specify the qualifications needed.

The release also contained other rules for live streamers. They are not allowed to post content that distorts or weakens the CCP, like using deep fake technology on state and party leaders. Influencers are also prohibited from showing an extravagant lifestyle, excessive food wastage, sexually provocative or suggestive content, and a lot of luxury goods.

 

 

The age of ID...

Instagram introduces 2 new ways for age verification


Link Here23rd June 2022
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship

Instagram is testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, starting with people based in the US. If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, we'll require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age. We're testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group. We are also partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, to help ensure people's privacy.

In 2019, we began asking people to provide their age when signing up for Instagram. Since then, we've made this a requirement. Knowing people's age allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens.

We require people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, our minimum age is higher. When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don't know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.

In addition to having someone upload their ID, we're testing two new ways to verify a person's age:

Video Selfie: You can choose to upload a video selfie to verify your age. If you choose this option, you'll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti's technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize your identity 203 just your age.

Social Vouching: This option allows you to ask mutual followers to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be at least 18 years old, must not be vouching for anyone else at that time and will need to meet other safeguards we have in place. The three people you select to vouch for you will receive a request to confirm your age and will need to respond within three days.

You will still be able to upload your ID to verify your age with forms of identification like a driver's license or ID card. We will use your ID to confirm your age and help keep our community safe. Your ID will be stored securely on our servers and is deleted within 30 days.

 

 

Non-consensual censorship...

Nigeria bans all internet porn with an advance notice of just 24 hours


Link Here23rd June 2022
Full story: Internet Cesnorship in Nigeria...Censorship in the name of 'fake news'
The government of Nigeria has ordered all open-access online platforms to remove, disable or block access to all pornographic content.

Although the introduction to the order, which was issued last week, specifically targets any non-consensual content, which displays partial or full nudity, sexual acts, deep fake or revenge porn, a less-prominent section expands the ban to all illegal material and orders platforms to inform users through the terms of service not to create, publish, promote, modify, transmit, store or share any content or information that is defamatory, libelous, pornographic, revenge porn, bullying, harassing, obscene, encouraging money laundering, exploiting a child, fraud, violence or inconsistent with Nigeria's laws and public order.

The order was made public last Tuesday, with all platforms available given only 24 hours to comply.

It is unclear what the reach and success of the measure has been in practice.

 

 

Prime beef...

Distributor of Bruce LaBruce's gay drama complains that Amazon Prime will not screen the film


Link Here23rd June 2022
Saint-narcisse is a 2020 Canada film by Bruce La Bruce
Starring Félix-Antoine Duval, Tania Kontoyanni and Alexandra Petrachuk BBFC link 2020 IMDb

When a young man who thought his mother was dead discovers that she may still be alive, he goes on a quest to find her. His journey takes him to a remote cabin in the woods where his mother lives in exile with a mysterious young woman.

The BBFC rated the film 18 uncut for strong sex, sexual violence. The BBFC explained further its decision:

There are scenes of strong sexual activity, some of which include nudity. There are also strong sex references.

There is a scene of incest between adult males. There is sexual abuse and harassment from a priest in a position of power and trust.

There is strong violence in scenes in which men are stabbed, accompanied by injury detail and blood in the aftermath of violence. There is also drug misuse and infrequent strong language ('fuck')'

UK gay-focused (non-porn) distributor Peccadillo Pictures has claimed that Amazon Prime Video UK is refusing to make Canadian artist and filmmaker Bruce LaBruce's provocative dark comedy Saint-Narcisse available on its online store.

Company MD Tom Abell said its request to list the title on Amazon's UK online offering had been turned down without explanation. Abell said:

We are totally mystified as to why Amazon Prime Video is refusing to make the critically acclaimed Saint-Narcisse available to its customers, both here in the UK and internationally. The DVD continues to be sold by Amazon but they won't stream it.

Abell noted that the company had a similar experience with Chilean prison drama and Venice Queer Lion winner The Prince in 2020. In that instance, Peccadillo was informed the movie contained offensive content that clashed with the streamer's guidelines.

The film had previously been available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and France but was removed in May, also without explanation.

 

 

The UK's Online Censorship Bill...

Legal analysis of UK internet censorship proposals


Link Here21st June 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Offsite Article: French lawyers provide the best summary yet

15th June 2022. See article from taylorwessing.com

 

Offsite Article: Have we opened Pandora's box?

20th June 2022. See article from tandfonline.com

Abstract

In thinking about the developing online harms regime (in the UK and elsewhere1) it is forgivable to think only of how laws placing responsibility on social media platforms to prevent hate speech may benefit society. Yet these laws could have insidious implications for free speech. By drawing on Germany's Network Enforcement Act I investigate whether the increased prospect of liability, and the fines that may result from breaching the duty of care in the UK's Online Safety Act - once it is in force - could result in platforms censoring more speech, but not necessarily hate speech, and using the imposed responsibility as an excuse to censor speech that does not conform to their objectives. Thus, in drafting a Bill to protect the public from hate speech we may unintentionally open Pandora's Box by giving platforms a statutory justification to take more control of the message.

See full article from tandfonline.com

 

 

Offsite Article: As safe as houses...


Link Here21st June 2022
Perhaps it is more likely that one's digital life can be destroyed by one's own overly cautious security selection than by the hacker that one feared.

See article from shkspr.mobi

 

 

An insult to free speech in Japan...

Japan's parliament passes law to criminalise online insults


Link Here17th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Japan...Japan considers internet censorship
Japan has passed a law criminalizing online insults. Breaking the law will result in up to one year in jail or a fine.

As reported by the Japan Times, the law was passed this week and its enforcement will begin this summer. It was passed as a knee jerk response to a public outcry after professional wrestler Hana Kimura committed suicide in 2020 after being insulted online.

Before this latest law update insults were still an offense with a punishment of a maximum of 30 days in jail and a ¥10,000 (approximately $75) fine.

The new online insults legislation carries a maximum of one year in jail or a ¥300,000 (approximately $2,870) fine.

 

 

Offsite Article: Firefox rolls out Total Cookie Protection by default to all users worldwide...


Link Here17th June 2022
Total Cookie Protection is Firefox's strongest privacy protection to date, confining cookies to the site where they were created, thus preventing tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site.

See article from blog.mozilla.org

 

 

Shooting from the hip...

New York Governer wants to sort out gun crime by censoring social media


Link Here8th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has reacted to a recent mass shooting in Buffalo by signing as many as ten new laws, including one that concerns social media.

Hochul said that New York will require social media companies to report hateful content:

In the state of New York, we're now requiring social media networks to monitor and report hateful conduct on their platforms, Hochul announced.

According to the governor, the state will set up a task force whose focus will be violent extremism and social media, and this body will also investigate the role of social media in promoting domestic terror.

 

 

A war against truth...

Russian internet censors take action against Tor and VPNs


Link Here5th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Authorities in Russia have confirmed a that a new crackdown to prevent citizens from accessing VPN services is underway. Internet censor Roscomnadzor says that measures are being taken to limit access to VPN services that violate Russian law, ie providing access to content previously deemed illegal by the government.

Just like the UK, Russia introduced its internet censorship law claiming it to be a measure to ensure the safety of its citizens online. The Extremist Websites Blocking Law created a national blacklist for ISPs to block access to banned websites.

Over the last decade Russia has introduced more laws to expand its blocking powers to encompass pirate streaming sites and torrent portals, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any news sites that stray from the Kremlin's definition of factual reporting.

In response, citizens got accustomed to unblocking unlicensed media sites using their VPN and Tor skills to get an unrestricted view of the world. Russia responded by placing strict rules on VPN servers in Russia and then via the VPN Law, outlawing internet tools that enable access to illegal information.

Russia has been using its anti-VPN legislation to remove hundreds of thousands of VPN-related links from Google and since the invasion of Ukraine, has stepped up the pace . Tor is also in the middle of a blocking drama and now faces a court battle .

Over the past few days, Russian VPN users reported fresh issues when trying to access well-known providers such as NordVPN, which does not even have servers in Russia. Problems were also experienced when accessing Switzerland-based Proton VPN, peer-to-peer censorship circumvention tool Lantern, Windscribe, and related services including VPN creation tool Outline .

In a statement to local media, telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor reiterated that website unblocking tools are illegal and measures are being taken to limit access to them.

 

 

Offsite Article: Canada's Online Censorship Bill...


Link Here2nd June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Canada's broadcasting censor confirms proposed online censorship bill will apply to user-generated internet content

See article from reclaimthenet.org

 

 

Offsite Article: More online censorship...


Link Here2nd June 2022
The British Government turns its attentions to making app stores 'safer'

See article from gov.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Disgraceful...


Link Here2nd June 2022
Vodafone plans ISP level user tracking for targeted ads

See article from bleepingcomputer.com


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