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 Update: Possessed by censors...

Annabelle 2 is banned in Lebanon over claims that it is offensive to the christian faith


Link Here 23rd August 2017  full story: Banned Films in Lebanon...Beirut Hotel
Poster Annabelle Creation 2017 David F Sandberg Annabelle 2 is a 2017 USA horror mystery thriller by David F Sandberg.
Starring Miranda Otto, Philippa Coulthard and Stephanie Sigman. IMDb

Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.

The new horror film Annabelle 2: Creation was scheduled to debut in Lebanon this past weekend but authorities decided to pull the film from theaters because clergy found it offensive to the Christian faith.

According to Lebanese daily Annahar, movie theaters throughout the country were asked to hold off on running the film for further deliberation because Christian leaders took issue with some of its scenes. Cinemacity, however, confirmer that the film was definitely blocked and will in fact not be screened in the country at all.

The movie was reportedly screened for the General Security's Censorship Bureau earlier in the month and then was passed on to the censorship committee. Annahar reported that Catholic Priests Fr. Abdu Abu Kasm and Fr. Athanasius Shahwan were both present at the censorship committee's screening. Father Shahwan had the final word and he demanded that the film be blocked over scenes that are considered offensive to Christian faith.

The specific scenes in question were not mentioned but many believe the objection comes from the fact that nuns are the ones being victimized in the movie's plot.

 

 Commented: Heavy handed...

The authorities seems to have been spooked by the Charlottesville troubles and have decided to ratchet up penalties for internet insults on social media


Link Here 23rd August 2017
Crown Prosecution ServiceThe Director of public prosecutions has announced plans for more prosecutions and harsher punishments for online insult. Prosecutors will be ordered to treat online hate crime as seriously as offences carried out face to face.

Alison Saunders said the Crown Prosecution Service will seek stiffer penalties for abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Saunders says the crackdown is needed because online abuse can lead to the sort of extremist hate seen in Charlottesville in the United States last weekend, which left one person dead.

Writing in the Guardian, Saunders said:

Left unchallenged, even low-level offending can subsequently fuel the kind of dangerous hostility that has been plastered across our media in recent days. That is why countering it is a priority for the CPS.

The new policy documents cover different strands of hate crime: racist and religious; disability; and homophobic, biphobic and transphobic. They also say that victims of biphobic hate crime, aimed at bisexual people, have different needs and experiences compared to those suffering anti-gay and transphobic offences.

Offsite Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

23rd August 2017 See  article from thesun.co.uk

sun newspaper logoFree speech lawyer Myles Jackman, of the Open Rights Group, said:

It's incredibly clumsy guidance and a strict interpretation is chilling.

Robust discourse in a civilised society is essential and means people sometimes disagreeing in very strong terms.

Social media is a minefield and people can be wholly unpleasant in a friendly way.

Offsite Video: A clamp down on free speech

23rd August 2017 See  video from youtube.com

Hate Crime' Crackdown by TheBritisher

 

 

  A darker shade of censorship...

Russian translators censor a gay subplot from novel without the author's permission citing Russian censorship laws about 'gay propaganda'


Link Here 20th August 2017
A Darker Shade of Magic A number of authors have spoken out following the decision of a Russian publishing house to censor a gay storyline in a fantasy novel. The Russian publisher has admitted censoring a gay storyline in a popular fantasy novel series without permission from the US-based author.

Victoria Schwab is the author of the Shades of Magic series, which features a number of LGBT characters, including a bisexual prince who has a same-sex romance.

The bestselling books were translated into Russian as part of a deal with Russia-based publisher Rosmen and earlier this week Schwab said she was shocked to find out that a queer plot twist had been removed from the copy.

Schwab, who accused the publishing house of breaking contract, has now said she is seeking to terminate the deal. It would have been better not to publish the book at al

Publisher Rosmen has issued a statement admitting that it removed parts of the storyline from the novel. It said:

We only did this so that we wouldn't violate the ban on gay propaganda for minors. But we kept the romantic plotline as a whole.

 

 Offsite Article: spiPlayer...


Link Here 20th August 2017
bbc iplayer logo BBC speaks of future iPlayer options that will use a microphone to spy on viewers, in the name of suggesting programming 'appropriate' to the people in the room

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Update: Dangerous Thailand...

The Vogue for Thailand making commonplace social media postings into a criminal offence


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking
vogue august 2017Vogue fashion magazine has been reporting on the dangers of social media posts that contain images which included alcohol brands. Vogue magazine writes:

Tourists might not realize as they make their guidebook-mandated pilgrimage to nightlife hotspots like Khao San Road, is that despite the country's many Full Moon parties and bar girls, alcohol advertising is illegal. And posting a photo on social media of your beer by the beach could count as advertising.

Recently police have begun to strictly enforce 2008's Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which bans displaying the names or logos of products in order to induce people to drink such alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly.

Last month, police announced their intention to more closely patrol social media and charge those found breaking the law. That means even if your favorite actress wasn't being paid for her endorsement and really was just sharing a photo with a drink by the pool or on a night out, she could find herself facing a 50,000 baht (about $1,500 USD) fine for indirectly inducing drinking.

Earlier this month, eight local celebrities were fined for posting selfies with alcoholic drinks on social media, with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery and Boon Rawd Brewery Co. (the producer of Singha beer) also implicated in the case. But police aren't just monitoring the accounts of the rich and famous -- at the beginning of August, three bar girls found themselves arrested after making a Facebook Live video inviting people to come enjoy a beer promotion.

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship Ratchet...


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Weibo logo China launches criminal investigation of major internet companies suspecting that they are not censoring social media users enough

See article from sputniknews.com

 

  A forgotten childhood...

Government to incorporate upcoming EU privacy protection directive into UK law


Link Here 17th August 2017

DCMS logoPeople are  to have more control over their personal data and be better protected in the digital age under new measures announced by Digital Censorship Minister Matt Hancock.

  • Public to have greater control over personal data - including right to be forgotten

  • New right to require social media platforms to delete information on children and adults when asked

In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill. It will provide everyone with the confidence that their data will be managed securely and safely. Research shows that more than 80% of people feel that they do not have complete control over their data online.

Under the plans individuals will have more control over their data by having the right to be forgotten and ask for their personal data to be erased. This will also mean that people can ask social media channels to delete information they posted in their childhood. The reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected 'tick boxes', which are largely ignored, to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past.

Businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly. The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), will also be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines, of up to £17 million or 4% of global turnover, in cases of the most serious data breaches.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said:

Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.

The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.

The Data Protection Bill will:

  • Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data

  • Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased

  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used

  • Require 'explicit' consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data

  • Expand the definition of 'personal data' to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA

  • Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy

  • Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them

  • Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers

New criminal offences will be created to deter organisations from either intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:

We are pleased the government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.

Data protection rules will also be made clearer for those who handle data but they will be made more accountable for the data they process with the priority on personal privacy rights. Those organisations carrying out high-risk data processing will be obliged to carry out impact assessments to understand the risks involved.

The Bill will bring the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law, helping Britain prepare for a successful Brexit.

 

 Update: Misleading intentions...

Vietnam's government announces an internet censorship systems to identify and block news that it does not like


Link Here 17th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Vietnam...New law requiring websites to delete content
Vietnam flagAn internet censorship system including software that identifies, blocks, collects and processes 'misleading' information on the Internet will soon be launched in Vietnam.

Software that blocks PCs from accessing websites containing 'misleading' information, and an investigation system that analyzes methods used by cyber criminals will also be developed.

The project was recently approved by the Ministry of Information and Communications and will run until 2025.

 

 Offsite Article: Is Your Laptop Watching You Masturbate?...


Link Here 17th August 2017
Naah... It's just an attempted scam

See article from lifehacker.com.au

 

  Dreaming of a right to protest in the USA...

US government is bullying an internet company to obtain personal details of those involved in a protest against Donald Trump.


Link Here 16th August 2017
dreamhost logoThe US internet company DreamHost is fighting government demands for it to hand over details of millions of activists.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) wants all visitors' IP addresses - some 1.3 million - to a website that helped organise a protest on the day of President Trump's inauguration. In addition to the IP addresses, DreamHost said that the DoJ requested the contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors.

DreamHost is currently refusing to comply with the request and is due in court on 18th August,

In a blog post on the issue, DreamHost said that, like many other online service providers, it was regularly approached by law enforcement about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations. But, it added, it took issue with this particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand.

Civil liberties group The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is helping DreamHost fight its case, said: No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible.

 

  Site Supremecy...

GoDaddy and Google are within their rights to deny website hosting to the Daily Stormer


Link Here 15th August 2017
go daddy logoInternet-domain provider GoDaddy gave far right website The Daily Stormer the boot after the site published a derogatory story about a 32-year-old woman killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Earlier on Monday, Google Domains became the registrar for the site. However, Google later said in a statement it's cancelling The Daily Stormer's registration for violating its terms of service.

This raises issues around what domain-hosting companies are responsible for, and where they draw the line on objectionable material. Legally webhosts are only required to close down websites on grounds of a federal crime. However, as a private business, website-hosting companies have the right to decide with whom they conduct business, and GoDaddy's decision does not violate the First Amendment, according to experts.

GoDaddy told CNN Tech:

While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content. In this case, The Daily Stormer crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence.

 

  But it's not only the right that is out of favour with the internet gatekeepers...

The World Socialist Web Site claims that Google has been pushing sites like itself out of search results presumably so that we are all nudged into reading mainstream media sites instead


Link Here 15th August 2017
wsws logoData compiled by the World Socialist Web Site, with the assistance of other Internet-based news outlets and search technology experts, indicates that a massive loss of readership observed by socialist, anti-war and progressive web sites over the past three months has been caused by a cumulative 45%decrease in traffic from Google searches.

The drop followed the implementation of changes in Google's search evaluation protocols. In a statement issued on April 25, Ben Gomes, the company's vice president for engineering, stated that Google's update of its search engine would block access to offensive sites, while working to surface more authoritative content.

The World Socialist Web Site has obtained statistical data from SEMrush estimating the decline of traffic generated by Google searches for 13 sites with substantial readerships. The results are as follows:

* wsws.org fell by 67%
* alternet.org fell by 63%
* globalresearch.ca fell by 62%
* consortiumnews.com fell by 47%
* socialistworker.org fell by 47%
* mediamatters.org fell by 42%
* commondreams.org fell by 37%
* internationalviewpoint.org fell by 36%
* democracynow.org fell by 36%
* wikileaks.org fell by 30%
* truth-out.org fell by 25%
* counterpunch.org fell by 21%
* theintercept.com fell by 19%

wsws.org has launched a petition against Google's downgrading of these news websites.

 

  But its not only the left and right that is out of favour with the internet gatekeepers...

LGBTQ folk are being censored by Facebook's poor quality keyword algorithms that are designed to protect them


Link Here 15th August 2017

Facebook logoAs queer artists and activists, we're alarmed by a new trend: Many LGBTQ people's posts have been blocked recently for using words like dyke, fag, or tranny to describe ourselves and our communities.

While these words are still too-often shouted as slurs, they're also frequently reclaimed by queer and transgender people as a means of self-expression. However, Facebook's algorithmic and human reviewers seem unable to accurately parse the context and intent of their usage.

Whether intentional or not, these moderation fails constitute a form of censorship. And just like Facebook's dangerous and discriminatory real names policy , these examples demonstrate how the company's own practices often amplify harassment and cause real harm to marginalized groups.

For example, two individuals wrote that they were reported for posting about the return of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel's celebrated Dykes To Watch Out For comic strip. A gay man posted that he was banned for seven days after sharing a vintage flyer for the 1970s lesbian magazine DYKE , which was recently featured in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. A queer poet of color's status update was removed for expressing excitement in finding poetry that featured the sex lives of black and brown faggots.

A young trans woman we heard from was banned for a day after referring to herself as a tranny alongside a selfie that proudly showed off her new hair style. After she regained access, she posted about the incident, only to be banned again for three more days.

...Read the full article from wired.com

 

  OONI...

Monitoring website blocking in 90 countries


Link Here 14th August 2017
ooni logo A new tool wants to make it easy to track internet outages and help people learn how to circumvent them.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), which monitors networks for censorship and surveillance, is launching Ooniprobe, a mobile app to test network connectivity and let you know when a website is censored in your area.

The app tests over 1,200 websites, including Facebook ( FB , Tech30 ) , Twitter ( TWTR , Tech30 ) and WhatsApp.

Created in 2012 under the Tor Project, OONI monitors networks in more than 90 countries through its desktop and hardware trackers, which are available to anyone. It publishes censorship data on its site . The organization has confirmed censorship cases in a number of countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The website has recently introduced a mobile app so that OONI can reach more people potentially affected by internet outages, especially in emerging markets where smartphones are more common than computers.

 

 Offsite Article: Ethical referees...


Link Here 13th August 2017
misused trust Ofcom to unpick ethical dilemmas caused by the authorities once putting political correctness before justice when dealing with muslim grooming gangs

See article from birminghammail.co.uk

 

 Update: An end to the stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism...

India sacks its crazed chief censor


Link Here 12th August 2017  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
pahlaj-nihalaniPahlaj Nihalani has been sacked as the chief censor of India's board of film censors, the CBFC. He said that he had no regret about being asked to step down, is proud of being labelled as Sanskari censor chief and had in fact been preparing for his exit since the last six months.

Nihalani had wound up the Indian film industry with a serious of moralistic and pedantic censorship rules that led to a long trail of excessive cuts and bans.

Nihalani, who was appointed to the post in 2015, a year after Modi became the Prime Minister, has been replaced by writer-lyricist-and advertising exec, Prasoon Joshi. Nihalani commented:

We've speeded up the certification process and made it entirely digital. I just hope my successor doesn't succumb to false notions of liberalism propagated by the pseudo-progressive elements in our film industry and work in a direction opposed to mine.

Do I have any regrets? None at all. I worked in all sincerity and with utmost honesty. In the process, I offended a lot of the so-called progressive elements. I also got labelled a 'Sanskari' censor chief. I am proud of that label.

I hope I am remembered as the CBFC chairperson who took a firm stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism, no matter how unpopular it made me.

 

  The Emoji Movie...

BBFC suggest cuts for a U rating lest the little sentiments get all offended


Link Here 11th August 2017
Poster Emoji Movie 2017 Tony Leondis The Emoji Movie is a 2017 USA children's cartoon comedy by Tony Leondis.
Starring TJ Miller, Anna Faris and Sofía Vergara. BBFC link IMDb

UK: 2D and 3D versions were passed U for mild rude humour, comic threat, very mild bad language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2017 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice, at which stage the company was advised it was likely to be classified PG but that their preferred U could be achieved by removing some mild bad language. When the film was submitted for formal classification, the mild bad language in question had been removed and the film was therefore classified U.

Summary Notes

The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone's user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression - except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic "app-venture" through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it's deleted forever.

 


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