Pakistan pulled the plug again on YouTube just hours after unblocking the site following a months-long blackout. The order
for the censorship came directly from Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Previously Ashraf in September had ordered YouTube blocked after it refused to remove the anti-Islam video. Innocence of Muslims.
Earlier on Saturday the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) notified all Internet companies to immediately unblock/restore YouTube until further notice. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said earlier said on Twitter that the decision to
allow access again was due to huge public demand.
But hours later Ashraf, after officials had said measures were being taken to filter out blasphemous material and pornography, ordered PTA to cut access. The prime minister has issued orders to block YouTube again, a senior official in Ashraf's
office told AFP,.
The privately run Geo television network reported that Ashraf issued the orders to block YouTube after it showed a report saying blasphemous content was still accessible.
A court in Pakistan has ordered a continuation of the block on YouTube in the country, after the government argued that a removal of the ban would have implications on law and order in the country.
YouTube was banned in Pakistan in September over a controversial video clip, called Innocence of Muslims , which mocked the religious character Muhammad. The country's telecom regulator said it was blocking the entire site as it was not
able to separately block individual URLs (uniform resource locators) linking to copies of the video.
The plaintiff, Bytes For All, Pakistan, has argued that the PTA has Internet filtering technology that can now be used to selectively block individual pages.
Bytes for All had asked the court for an interim order unblocking YouTube. We wanted the government to go ahead and block the 700 to 800 URLs with the blasphemous content, and remove the block on the rest of the site.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court noted that the ban on YouTube is negatively impacting citizens, specially students, and asked the government to resolve the issue with information technology experts, and submit a report by July 25 on how
to deal with the blasphemous URLs and make the rest of the platform available, Ahmad said.
Google has rolled out a change to its image search algorithm overnight that makes it tougher to stumble across adult pictures,
whether or not you're searching for them.
Here's how a Google representative explains the change:
We are not censoring any adult content, and want to show users exactly what they are looking for -- but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them. We use algorithms to select the most relevant results
for a given query. If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting -- you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous. The image search settings now work
the same way as in Web search.
In other words, if you have SafeSearch turned off, you can still probably find anything you're looking for by appending the word porn to your search.
Nintendo of Europe is blocking access to 18-rated content on the Wii U eShop at certain times of day, system messages suggest.
For most of the day users are unable to access trailers for 18-rated Wii U games or buy 18-related content.
Nintendo of Italy replied to a user who asked about being blocked:
Dear customer, we would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European
We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors (PEGI) to the 11pm - 3am time window.
Eurogamer has just tested this and it appears to be true. We were unable to access Assassin's Creed 3 information or buy ZombiU digitally.
Reporters Without Borders has launched a website called WeFightCensorship (WeFC) on which it will post content that has been censored or banned or has given rise to reprisals against its creator. The organization said:
It is an unprecedented initiative that will enable Reporters Without Borders to complement all of its other activities in defense of freedom of information, which include advocacy, lobbying and assistance
Content submitted by journalists or netizens who have been the victims of censorship -- articles, videos, sound files, photos and so on ?-- will be considered for publication on the WeFightCensorship site.
The content selected by the WeFC editorial committee will be accompanied by a description of the context and creator. It may also be accompanied by copies of documents relating to the proceedings under which it was banned or other documents that might
help the public to understand its importance.
There will be French and English-language versions of the site. Documents from all over the world will be published in their original language (including Chinese, Persian and Vietnamese) and in translation.
The site is designed to be easily duplicated and mirror versions will be created in order to thwart attempts to filter or block it. Internet users will be asked to circulate the censored content in order to give it as much visibility as possible.
Twitter has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account at the request of the German government.
The tweets will no longer be visible to users in Germany although the rest of the world will be able to view them.
It is the first time the social networking site has implemented its local censorship policy, which came into force in January. That policy allows it to block content in specific countries.
Announcing the decision, Twitter's general counsel Alex Macgillivray published links to the letter sent by German police, requesting the account be closed.
The letter outlined how the government had banned the organisation Besseres Hannover, (Better Hannover), a right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony. It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be
closed immediately, the letter read.
Update: The easily offended queue up to get insults blocked by Twitter
The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) is attempting to get a legal
judgment against Twitter to block and reveal the identities of users who sent anti-Semitic tweets under the hashtag #UnBonJuif - A Good Jew.
Spurred on by Twitter's decision to ban a neo-Nazi account in Germany, the group has sought a legal order for the tweets and their writers to be blocked. The UEJF's lawyer, Stephane Lilti, has criticized Twitter's reaction to their complaints,
and claims their demands were not listened to:
There is a fire and we have to put it out. We want to put an end to this torrent of hatred, which could become all so real. Like all hosts, Twitter has to react promptly when someone tells them about racism on their site.
Twitter has reacted as an American service provider: they're obsessed with American law. But, for tweets in French, destined for French people, Twitter must follow French law.
However saying that, the tweets are now being removed. The decision to remove the tweets emerged from a meeting between Twitter's senior management, the UEJF president Jonathan Hayoun and the group's legal representatives. During the meeting the
UEJF handed over a list of the posts it wants removed.
It encourages men to commit acts of violence against women, and even provides instruction on how to do so. Extremely hateful, degrading and demeaning. Describes women in numerous negative ways, and refers to them as property. It is harmful to
women and the movement to end violence against women.