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Updated - Lords comment: Censored comments...

Comments about the UK Government's new Internet Censorship Bill


Link Here21st July 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Offsite Comment: The Online Safety Bill won’t solve online abuse

 2nd July 2021. See article by Heather Burns

The Online Safety Bill contains threats to freedom of expression, privacy, and commerce which will do nothing to solve online abuse, deal with social media platforms, or make the web a better place to be.

 

Update: House of Lords Committee considers that social media companies are not the best 'arbiters of truth'

21st July 2021. See article from dailymail.co.uk , See report from committees.parliament.uk

A house of Lords committee has warned that the government's plans for new online censorship laws will diminish freedom of speech by making Facebook and Google the arbiters of truth.

The influential Lords Communications and Digital Committee cautioned that legitimate debate is at risk of being stifled by the way major platforms filter out misinformation. Committee chairman Lord Gilbert said:

The benefits of freedom of expression online mustn't be curtailed by companies such as Facebook and Google, too often guided their commercial and political interests than the rights and wellbeing of their users.

The report said:

We are concerned that platforms approaches to misinformation have stifled legitimate debate, including between experts.

Platforms should not seek to be arbiters of truth. Posts should only be removed in exceptional circumstances.

The peers said the government should switch to enforcing existing laws more robustly, and criminalising any serious harms that are not already illegal.

 

 

Age of censorship...

European age verification consortium starts meetings


Link Here15th July 2021
euConsent is a consortium of twelve pro-censorship academic institutions, campaigners and technology providers championing internet age verification in the name of child protection. The consortium is being funded by the EU Commission to design, deliver and pilot a new Europe-wide system age/iD verification system and to ensure that younger children have parental consent before they share personal data.

The consortium doesn't seem to have much interest in keeping adults safe from their ID and porn viewing data being used by scammers, spammers, thieves, commercial exploiters and of course state authorities.

Pro-censorship campaigner and chair of the consortium John Carr has now announced that the group has had its first meeting. He noted:

An Advisory Board has been established and I agreed to be its Chair. The Board comprises representatives of a wide range of stakeholders: European regulatory authorities, children's rights organizations, tech companies and politicians. We held our inaugural meeting last Friday.

[notice no mention of porn viewers or adult internet users].

The Board will hold the project team accountable, helping them as they establish the standards. The Board's collective and individual insights will contribute to a system that is workable with existing technology and facilitates the creation and implementation of effective regulations. Any new technologies which may emerge will know what they must be able to do if they are to be recognised as an acceptable tool.

 

 

Tweet that!...

Indian child protection commission calls for India to ban Twitter until it removes adult content


Link Here5th July 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
India's National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is moving forward with proceedings to ban the access of children to Twitter in the country until the platform completely removes all pornographic material.

NDTV reports that on May 29, a letter was issued to the secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology to initiate a ban on the access of children on Twitter on an immediate basis till the time Twitter makes its platform safe for children by ensuring complete removal of child sexual abuse material and pornographic material and reporting of cybercrime cases to the authorities in India.

It is unclear how NCPCR intends to effect age verification for the 1.3 billion Indians, mostly adults, that would be affected by a potential block.

According to NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo, Twitter was found to have given false and misleading responses during the enquiry conducted by NCPCR for the presence of pornographic material, an offense under the POCSO Act. The POCSO Act is a 2012 law to provide for the protection of children from the offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.

 

 

Germany vs xHamster...

The authorities are trying to block notable porn sites


Link Here2nd July 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
The German media censor, the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media, wants to force the hosting provider of the porn website xHamster to lock out German users.

A year ago, the State Agency for Media in North Rhine-Westphalia began to issue porn portals such as PornHub with an ultimatum: Either they establish age verification systems or there is a threat of network blocking.

Several proceedings are currently pending at the Dusseldorf Administrative Court are being contested by porn companies who argue that they label their websites according to an international standard designed to make it easy for parents to block offers on their children's devices.

However, German legislation takes the opposite approach: Portals that are harmful to minors should only be accessible if the users are proved to be of legal age. Tobias Schmid, the director of the State Agency for Media in North Rhine-Westphalian, said:

In the end it is very simple: Anyone who wants to earn money with pornography in the German market has to adhere to German laws.

The agency has now been able to determine the hosting provider for xHamster. This is not trivial, as many porn portals disguise their IT infrastructure with the help of cloud services. The media censor has now written an official to the web host.


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