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2022: October

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Curtailing free speech and taking away our protection from hackers and thieves...

The UK government announces that its Online Censorship Bill returns to Parliament on 5th December


Link Here 26th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Times is reporting that the government's Online Censorship Bill will return to the House of Commons on December 5th with a few amendments re 'harmful but legal' content.

Rishi Sunak is to introduce a compromise over the Online Safety Bill that will involve users being able to filter out legal but harmful content without it being removed by tech platforms.

The bill  has been paused while the government takes out provisions that alarmed free speech advocates. Of particular concern were sections that would have led to tech platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Google removing content that was deemed to be legal, but harmful to adults.

The government will also detail a new offence about sharing deep fake porm. Those who share pornographic deepfakes,explicit images or videos that have been manipulated to look like someone without their consent, could be jailed under the proposed changes. It is not clear how the government will take on the international porn websites where faked porn of celebrities is commonplace. Perhaps the government will have to block them all.

Meanwhile the censorship bill is causing further criticisms over governments powers to degrade encryption. This is used to keep British people safe from hackers, blackmailers  and thieves, not to mention snooping by malicious governments most notably China and Russia.

The Open Rights Group explains in an article from openrightsgroup.org :

The Online Safety Bill requires ALL online speech to be monitored for harmful content, including the private conversations you have on your phone with friends and family. Companies like Whatsapp and Signal will be required by law to break end-to-end encryption, so the Government can automatically scan your messages.

They say encryption is dangerous, but the opposite is true. Encryption keeps your information and transactions safe from criminals. It ensures your private messages stay private. If the UK Government can break encryption to read your messages, that means scammers, hackers and foreign governments can too. Save encryption, Protect the security of your phone

If they get their way, your phone will be turned into a spy in your pocket. Billions of personal messages will be ready to be hacked, sold and exploited. The Government's plan to access your private messages will help criminals and make us less safe.

 

 

Ofcom will demand that all website users hand over dangerous identity data to any website that asks...

And ICO claims that its data protection rules will keep us 'safe'....just like laws against burglary have put an end to break ins


Link Here26th November 2022

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Ofcom have set out how we will work together to ensure coherence between the data protection and the new online safety regimes.

Our joint statement builds on our existing cooperative approach to regulation - and on our close working relationship established as co-founders of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum.

In anticipation of Ofcom taking on new duties in 2023 under the Online Safety Bill, the statement sets out our shared regulatory aims. We want:

  • people who use online services to have confidence that their safety and privacy will be upheld and that we will take prompt and effective action when providers fail in their obligations; and

  • providers of online services of all sizes to comply with their obligations and to continue to innovate and grow, supported by regulatory clarity and free from undue burden.

To achieve this, the ICO and Ofcom will work closely together to achieve maximum alignment and consistency between the data protection and online safety regimes. We will:

  • maximise coherence by ensuring our policies are consistent with each other's regulatory requirements -- and consult closely when preparing codes and guidance. We will seek solutions that enhance users' safety and preserve their privacy. Where there are tensions between privacy and safety objectives, we will provide clarity on how compliance can be achieved with both regimes; and

  • promote compliance by setting clear expectations for industry on what they must do to meet both their online safety and data protection requirements. That includes particular support through the transition for small and emerging firms to help them thrive and grow. We will take action against services that don't meet their obligations, sharing information and intelligence as appropriate and coordinating approaches to enforcement.

 

 

Rework to the Online Censorship Bill...

The Government is discussing reworking the free speech curtailing censorship of 'legal but harmful' content into something more optional for adults


Link Here20th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Telegraph is reporting on significant changes being considered by the government to its Online Censorship Bill.

The government is considering backing off from the government defined censorship of 'legal but harmful' content on most websites available in the UK. The government has rightfully been taking stick for these free speech curtailing measures, particularly as the censorship is expected to be implemented mostly by mostly woke US internet giants who clearly don't care about free speech, and will over censor to ensure that they don't get caught up in the expense of getting it wrong by under censoring.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan is said to be considering the option for adults to be able to self censor 'legal but harmful' content by clicking a filter button that will order websites to block such content. Of course children will not be able to opt out of that choice. And of course this will men that age and identity verification has to be in place to esnsure that only adults can opt out.

A Culture Department spokesman said:

The Secretary of State has committed to strengthen protections for free speech and children in the Online Safety Bill and bring the bill back to the Commons as soon as possible. It remains the Government's intention to pass the bill this session.

 

 

Offsite Article: Reimagining the Online Safety Bill...


Link Here13th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Graham Smith suggests a few ideas to pare back the unviable monstrosity that currently exists

See article from cyberleagle.com

 

 

Monetised tweets...

Twitter is set to enable paywalled videos, maybe for porn


Link Here2nd November 2022
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
Elon Musk is looking for ways to make Twitter profitable after paying $44 billion for the site.

The Washington Post reports that Twitter is working on a new feature dubbed Paywalled Video, which would allow users to charge money for access to videos.

Gizmodo adds that:

It's for porn. People on Twitter are going to charge for porn.

When a creator composes a tweet with a video, the creator can enable the paywall once a video has been added to the tweet. The prices are preset, with creators allowed to charge $1, $2, $5, or $10 for access to the video, with Twitter taking a cut of the payment using Stripe.

 

 

Back in from the cold...

Tumblr relents on its censorship rules banning nudity


Link Here2nd November 2022
Tumblr's death knell sounded back in 2018, when the site infamously banned its popular adult content.

The site's popularity quickly tanked: in the three months following the platform lost 30% of its page views. In 2019, the site was sold to WordPress owner Automattic for less than $3 million, a seismic drop compared to the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it in 2013.

Now, it appears that Tumblr is hoping to turn back the clock. The platform first announced a new community labels feature back in September which allowed users to tag their own posts that feature depictions of drug and alcohol addiction, violence and sexual content.

Then a staff member reblogged the community labels announcement, writing

 OK, didn't everyone want 'females presenting nipples' back on Tumblr? Here you are. This is it.

The Tumblr blog post reads:

We recently introduced Community Labels to give everyone more control over their dashboard experience. With this new feature, you can adjust your feed to your preferred comfort level by setting the types of content you want to see. It was our first step toward a more open Tumblr.

Today, we're taking the next step: We now welcome a broader range of expression, creativity, and art on Tumblr, including content depicting the human form (yes, that includes the naked human form).

So, even if your creations contain nudity, mature subject matter, or sexual themes, you can now share them on Tumblr using the appropriate Community Label so that everyone remains in control of the types of content they see on their dash.

We have updated our Community Guidelines to reflect these changes; the rest of our content policies remain the same: We still don't allow hate, spam, violent threats, or anything illegal, and visual depictions of sexually explicit acts remain off-limits on Tumblr.

We hope this shift creates more room for artistic expression to flourish on Tumblr while empowering each of you to craft your own experience and safely explore and discover the things you love.

 

 

Pause for breath...

The Government pauses the Online Censorship Bill to give the new government a chance to consider its business suffocating mountain of red tape and its curtailment of free speech


Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
PoliticsHome spotted the change to the House of Commons schedule last night, reporting that the Online Censorship Bill had been dropped from the Commons business next week.

A source in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told TechCrunch that the latest delay to the bill's parliamentary timetable is to allow time for MPs to read new amendments -- which they also confirmed are yet to be laid.

But they suggested the delay will not affect the passage of the bill, saying it will progress within the next few weeks.

The change of PM may not mean major differences in policy approach in the arena of online regulation as Rishi Sunak has expressed similar concerns about the Online Safety Bill's impact on free speech -- also seemingly centred on clauses pertaining to restrictions on the legal but harmful speech of adults.

 

 

Offsite Article: Online Censorship...


Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Parliament debates in Westminster Hall that 'this House has considered online harms'

See article from theyworkforyou.com

 

 

Offsite Article: How the EU's revised internet TV law affects the UK...


Link Here 21st October 2022
Full story: ATVOD Censorship on Demand...ATVOD appointed as internet TV censors
The EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive: Obligations on Providers and Incoming Reform. By Burges Salmon LLP

See article from lexology.com

 

 

Live issues...

TikTik announces that its Live streams hosting will be for adults only


Link Here18th October 2022
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship

We're making additional changes and improvements to help our community have the best experience possible when they use LIVE.

Currently, people must be aged 16 or over to host a LIVE. From November 23, the minimum age will increase from 16 to 18. As we consider the breadth of our global audience, we already take a graduated approach to the features that our community can access based on their age; younger teens need to be aged 16 or older to access Direct Messaging and 18 or older to send virtual gifts or access monetization features.

In addition, in the coming weeks, we plan to introduce a new way for creators to choose if they'd prefer to only reach an adult audience in their LIVE. For instance, perhaps a comedy routine is better suited for people over age 18. Or, a host may plan to talk about a difficult life experience and they would feel more comfortable knowing the conversation is limited to adults. We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising on safety. We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence.

 

 

Offsite Article: Police, prosecutor, judge, jury and bailiff...


Link Here12th October 2022
Full story: Paypal Censors...Paypal unilaterally decide to act as media censors
PayPal is still threatening to fine users $2,500 for promoting intolerance that is discriminatory

See article from reclaimthenet.org


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