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Internet Porn Censorship


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Age of censorship...

Age verification for porn starts on 1st July in Virginia


Link Here28th June 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Virginia is the next jurisdiction in the United States to implement a law that requires all adult entertainment websites to have age verification measures in place or face civil action. Similar to age verification laws implemented in states like Utah and Louisiana, Senate Bill (SB) 1515 was adopted with virtually universal support from lawmakers in both of the state's major political parties. Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed SB 1515 into law at the behest of parental rights groups and organizations that believe that age verification mandates are the best way to prevent minors from viewing age-restricted content, like pornographic sites.

Industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has filed suit in federal district courts in both Utah and Louisiana seeking to render the age verification laws in those states unconstitutional on the grounds of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. FSC director of public affairs Mike Stabile characterized the law in Virginia as dangerous and and said the organization has reached out to Gov. Youngkin with little results.

The Virginia law suffers from the same technological and constitutional problems as the laws in Utah and Louisiana, Stabile told AVN in an email:

Adult consumers shouldn't have to risk surveillance or secure government approval in order to view legal content in the privacy of their own home.

We are looking at potential suits in every state that has passed this law, including Virginia.

Adult industry attorney Corey Silverstein told AVN that the new Virgina law is foolish.

Virginia's law, much like Louisiana, Utah, and others are not going to survive First Amendment challenges. While these politicians are patting themselves on the back for pushing through these blatant speech suppression tools, they seem to have forgotten about the First Amendment that they swore to protect when they took office.

Virginia's age verification law goes into effect on July 1, 2023.

 

 

Unsafe and unfree...

A trade group representing US porn producers files a legal challenge to Louisiana's censorship law requiring age verification for porn


Link Here22nd June 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media

Adult industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has announced that it has filed a lawsuit in Louisiana challenging the law that went into effect there January 1 of this year requiring age-verification to access online adult content.

Free Speech Coalition, the advocacy organization for the adult industry, has filed a legal challenge in Louisiana over the state's unconstitutional age-verification law. The Louisiana law gives the state the power to fine sites with adult content up to $5,000 per day, a direct violation of the First Amendment. FSC filed a similar suit against the state of Utah in May.

Joining Free Speech Coalition in filing the challenge are Elizabeth Hanson, a military veteran and spouse of an active-duty Coast Guard member residing in Slidell; Andrea Barrica, founder of the sex education site O.school; journalist, educator, and content creator Charyn Ryn Pfeuffer; and fan platform JustFor.Fans. The parties are represented by Jeffrey Sandman of Webb Daniel Friedlander LLP and D. Gill Sperlein of the Law Office of D. Gill Sperlein.

These laws give the state the power to harass and censor legal businesses, says Alison Boden, Executive Director of Free Speech Coalition. We, of course, support keeping minors from accessing adult content, but allowing the state to suppress certain speech by requiring invasive and burdensome systems that consumers refuse to engage with is simply state censorship.

Seven states have passed laws requiring sites with substantial amounts of material harmful to minors to check users' government ID or other age and identity verification information in order to access content. But consumers have been reluctant to do so, with more than 90% of users abandoning sites that comply with such laws.

Last year, Louisiana passed a law allowing for a private right of action against adult sites without such age-verification for consumers, and other states followed suit. In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a new law giving the government the power to fine sites directly, as much as $1M per year.

The First Amendment protects our right to freely access legal content and ideas without government interference, says Jeff Sandman, a New Orleans-based counsel for the Free Speech Coalition. We're fighting not only for adult businesses but for the right of legal adults to use the internet without government surveillance. Showing your ID in a checkout lane is simply not the same as submitting it to a government database.

For decades, our industry has voluntarily and enthusiastically worked with filters that allow parents and others to easily block adult sites, says Boden. Those who wish to can do so easily, and the Supreme Court has ruled that this is preferable to government-mandated censorship. We are again asking the courts to reject these unreasonable and dangerous restrictions on a free internet.

 

 

Dangerous technology...

Dorcel porn website tests identity verification system for porn viewers


Link Here20th June 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
The notable French adult company Dorcel is currently testing a double anonymity age verification solution designed by a French tech company. The Dorcel Group is testing an AV solution by GreenBadg. The report states that 10,000 visitors to Dorcel's site will be targeted as guinea pigs during the test period.

GreenBadg founder Jacky Lamraoui said that his company built its solution in consultation with French authorities, including media regulator ARCOM.

To access Dorcel sites, users must first register on GreenBadg by providing identification and a video selfie. Another company, IDNow will verify the ID, from which the date of birth is extracted, and confirm that the ID photo corresponds to the video selfie. The video selfie/ID photo facial comparison is performed by artificial intelligence, with a second validation done by a human.

Once verified, the user will receive a badge valid for three years, allowing them to scan a QR Code on the relevant site to certify they are over 18.

 

 

So how is Pornhub responding to age verification requirements in several US states?...

Just how stupid is it to expect people to type in personal ID into any foreign porn site that asks?


Link Here17th June 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Pornhub has released a new public service announcement on its homepage for site visitors in Virginia, Mississippi and Arkansas imploring them to contact their representatives and protest the age-verification laws for online adult content recently passed in each of those states.

The announcement features 2023 AVN MILF Performer of the Year Cherie DeVille, who last month appeared in a similar video for the website that greets visitors in Utah, where access to the site has been otherwise blocked in retaliation for a similar law that went into effect there May 3.

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, where yet another age-verification measure took effect January 1 of this year, Pornhub is currently complying with the requirement using a state-sanctioned digital ID mobile app called LA Wallet, making Louisiana the first state to implement a digital driver's license. According to a story today by tech site Ars Technica, a Pornhub spokesperson reported that Pornhub was one of the few adult sites to put an ID requirement into place in the state, and since doing so, Pornhub's Louisiana traffic dropped by approximately 80 percent as adult content seekers presumably chose to visit sites that do not require ID.

DeVille underscores this point noting:

As we've seen in other states where similar laws have passed, this just drives activities to other sites with far fewer or even no safety measures in place. This clearly demonstrates that poorly executed age verification solutions only make the internet more unsafe.

The Ars Technica story went on to add, Pornhub reported that Louisiana users have already experienced identity theft as a result of the age verification law there.

 

 

Commented: Brain Rotting In Texas...

Texas is the latest US state to demand age verification for porn websites


Link Here5th June 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Texas is the latest American state to implement age verification rules for adult websites. The new law HB 1181 -- spearheaded by Republicans but enthusiastically supported by Democrats, creates a new criminal liability for any website when more than one-third of its content is sexual material harmful to minors unless the site uses reasonable age verification methods to verify that an individual attempting to access the material is 18 years of age or older. How reasonable those methods might have to be and what defines harm remain two vague aspects of the new legislation. But it doesn't stop there.

In addition any adult website now operating or available in Texas will now have to feature one of the following statements in 14pt or above on every landing page:

  • Pornography is potentially biologically addictive, is proven to harm human brain development, desensitizes brain reward circuits, increases conditioned responses and weakens brain function.

  • Exposure to this content is associated with low self-esteem and body image, eating disorders, impaired brain development, and other emotional and mental illnesses.

  • pornography increases the demand for prostitution, child exploitation and child pornography.

 

Offsite Comment: Brain Rotting In Texas

5th June 2023. article from reprobatepress.com

Sex, lies and bad science as Texas passes a law to restrict porn forcing adult websites to carry spurious health warnings.

 

 

The Pope claims that pornography is the crudest commercialisation of love...

As if the Catholic Church's extensive history of child sex abuse gives it any right to lecture others about their sexual morality


Link Here 25th May 2023
Pope Francis I has condemned all pornography as the crudest commercialization of love during a meeting with students and bishops responsible for Catholic schools.

The Catholic Review described Scholas Occurrentes as a global education initiative which connects underdeveloped schools to those with more resources. Francis fielded questions from students and one elderly person connected by video calls from Colombia, Mexico, Spain and the United States, Catholic Review reported.

Following up on a statement where he appeared to support some form of sexual education in schools, Francis lamented that young people are learning about sexuality from pornography:

Pornography is the crudest commercialization of love. How often, for lack of sexual education, do they end up with the commercialization of love. Love is not to be commercialized.

Pope Francis has previously expressed his opinions about pornography, including his belief that it is addictive like drugs and alcohol, and leaves those who use it diminished as humans.

Perhaps he should be getting the Catholic Church's house in moral order before presuming to lecture to the rest of us.

 

 

A virtual chastity belt...

Pornhub fights back against internet porn censorship in Utah


Link Here14th May 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Pornhub is fight back against Utah's new law requiring visitors to porn websites to verify their age by dangerously identifying themselves before being able to watch adult content..

Pornhub began totally blocking Utah-based internet connections' from access to its content when the law took effect May 3. The site redirects visitors to a video message of adult film actress Cherie DeVille explaining that the company disabled access over concerns that the law is not the most effective solution for protecting our users and in fact will put children, and your privacy, at risk.

The Free Speech Coalition, a group representing the adult entertainment industry, also sued to block the law's enforcement that same day, making a similar argument about the trade-off regarding safety, privacy, and adults' freedom to browse the web as they wish.

The group has also vowed to sue over unsafe age-verification measures set to take effect soon in other states.

 

 

Accelerated censorship...

Macron introduces a bill to side step the courts so as to block porn websites more quickly


Link Here9th May 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
Exasperated by slow legal progress in porn censorship, Emmanuel Macron's government has confirmed that it will attempt to bypass the courts to force the porn websites comply with a controversial, vaguely worded 2020 age verification law.

Macron's government is clearly frustrated with the legal challenge mounted by lawyers for Pornhub, Tukif, xHamster, XVideos and Xnxx. The lawyers presented requests to nullify the proceedings and order a stay of the proposed block. The tribunal then gave itself until July 7 to make a decision.

The French Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-NoŽl Barrot announced the government's intention to empower ARCOM to order, without needing to go through the courts, the blocking and delisting of adult sites that do not prevent minors from accessing their content.

Le Monde reports that the extra-judicial gambit will be part of a new bill intended to secure and regulate the digital space. Barrot intends to present the bill to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, and expects it to be examined in the Senate over the summer and by the National Assembly by the start of the school year.

The bill will also empower government regulator ARCOM to stop the dissemination on the internet of media banned in the European Union.

 

 

Very Large Censorship Opportunities...

New EU internet censorship laws look likely block or restrict Google Search from linking to adult websites


Link Here28th April 2023
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
The European Commission has officially identified 19 major platforms and search engines to be targeted for compliance under its new internet censorship law, the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Under the new rules, Very Large providers will be required to assess and mitigate the risk of 'misuse' of their services and the measures taken must be proportionate to that risk and subject to robust conditions and safeguards.

The EU Commission officially designated 17 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and two Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs), each of which, according to the EC, reaches at least 45 million monthly active users.

The VLOPs are: Alibaba AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore, Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and German retailer Zalando.

The two VLOSEs are Bing and Google Search.

Following their designation, an EC statement explained, these companies will now have to comply, within four months, with the full set of new censorship rules under the DSA. Under the subheading Strong protection of minors, the EC listed the following directives:

  • Platforms will have to redesign their systems to ensure a high level of privacy, security, and safety of minors;
  • Targeted advertising based on profiling towards children is no longer permitted;
  • Special risk assessments including for negative effects on mental health will have to be provided to the Commission four months after designation and made public at the latest a year later;
  • Platforms will have to redesign their services, including their interfaces, recommender systems, terms and conditions, to mitigate these risks.
According to industry attorney Corey Silverstein of Silverstein Legal, the impact of the new designations and consequent obligations could be substantial because many of the platforms that have been designated as VLOPs and VLOSEs are frequently utilized by the adult entertainment industry.

Assuming these platforms decide to comply with the DSA, Silverstein told XBIZ, there may be major changes coming to what these platforms allow on their services within the EU.

This could end up leading to major content moderation and outright blocking of adult content in the EU, including the blocking of websites that display adult entertainment from being listed in search results.

It is also noted that as the larger adult platforms continue to grow, some may pass the EC's benchmark of having 45 million monthly active users, and therefore face the potential for future designation under the DSA, which could have even more direct impact on their users and creators.

 

 

Something to do whilst waiting for itself to approve an official age verification mechanism...

French internet censor makes next move to block porn websites including Pornhub


Link Here12th April 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
Arcom is the French internet censor who is tasked with the censorship of porn websites. It has published a press release explaining its latest steps to block a group of prominent porn websites:

In accordance with article 23 of the law of July 30, 2020, Arcom gave formal notice on April 6, 2023 to Technius Ltd (eg XHamster.com) and Techpump Solutions SL (eg Porn300.com) to prevent access by minors to respectively one and two pornographic sites that they publish.

In addition, due to the failure of MG Freesites (eg pornhub.com) to comply with the formal notices issued on April 7, 2022, the president of the Paris court was petitioned to order the main ISPs to prevent access to two sites published by this company.

Protecting young audiences from inappropriate content in the digital sphere is a priority for Arcom, within the framework set by the legislator.

 

 

A fetish for censorship...

Australian government releases report proposing a couple of modest improvements to very restrictive porn censorship laws


Link Here2nd April 2023
Full story: Australian Censorship Review 2020...Government consults on ts censrship laws in a digital age
The Australian government has recently released a report into Australia's national classification regulation, which is likely to have a significant impact on the laws regarding pornography across the nation.

Currently Australia does allow for the classification of hardcore porn as X18+ for video and Category 2 Restricted for magazines. However its has more restrictions in play than most of the free world. One particular restriction that was discussed in the report is that fetish material is banned outright and that dramatic violence is also banned outright even if it is nothing to do with the sex content. (Eg a pirate film with sword fights above deck and totally separate sexual exploits below deck).

Even if a pornographic publication or film is able to get classified in Australia, there are significant restrictions on where that media can be sold or exhibited.

Category 1 (softcore) and Category 2 (hardcore) restricted publications are able to be sold in all States and Territories except for Queensland, but must only be sold in age-restricted sections of premises, in packaging which conceals their content.

X 18+ classified films can only be sold or exhibited in the ACT or the Northern Territory. It is therefore a criminal offence to sell or exhibit X 18+ films throughout most of Australia.  

The recently released report into national classification regulation suggests a number of key reforms when it comes to pornography. This includes:

  • The removal of prohibitions on "fetishes" in Category 2 (restricted) publications and X 18+ films as long as they are not illegal .
  • The removal of prohibitions on violence in sexually explicit films, if the violence is not related to sexual activity.
  • Limits the need to classify sexually explicit films to films which are professionally produced, directed at an Australian audience and distributed for commercial purposes. This means that many "amateur" forms of pornography no longer need to be classified.

Any such reform to Australia's classification guidelines will require cooperation and agreement from each State and Territory and is likely to be a gradual process.


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