Members of the European Parliament have approved extraordinary measures to censor speakers accused of hate speech.
MEPs granted the parliament's president authority to pull the plug on live broadcasts of parliamentary debate deemed to include racist speech and to purge any such material from online records.
Inevitably the rules are vaguely worded and will be manipulated or used as a tool of censorship. Tom Weingaertner, president of the Brussels-based International Press Association commented:
This undermines the reliability of the Parliament's archives at a moment where the suspicion of 'fake news' and manipulation threatens the credibility of the media and the politicians.
However the censorship has some British support. Richard Corbett, a Labour MEP who backed the rule said:
There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,
What if this became not isolated incidents, but specific, where people could say: 'Hey, this is a fantastic platform. It's broad, it's live-streamed. It can be recorded and repeated. Let's use it for something more vociferous, more spectacular
Rule 165 of the parliament's rules of procedure allows the chair of debates to halt the live broadcast in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a member. The would also be a fine for transgressors of around
The new rule, which was not made public by the assemble until it was reported by Spain's La Vanguardia newspaper, offending material could be deleted from the audiovisual record of proceedings, meaning citizens would never know it happened
unless reporters were in the room.
Weingaertner said the IPA was never consulted on that.
mong other things, Amazon Prime provides a good many of their digital videos available to stream for free. Well, until now anyway. Many indie horror filmmakers are having their videos removed from the Prime service in an apparent new policy
on the part of Amazon.
Amazon says it is cracking down on extreme content and is sending out emails to film makers to explain the new censorship policy.
Here is an example email supplied by Scott Schirmer in regards to his film Harvest Lake :
Amazon Video Direct periodically revises our content policy in order to improve the Amazon Video customer experience. Effective March 1, 2017, Amazon Video Direct will no longer allow titles containing persistent or graphic sexual or violent
acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes ('adult content') to be offered as Included with Prime or Free with Pre-Roll Ad .
We have identified the following titles within your catalog which contain adult content:
In alignment with our new policy, the Included with Prime and/or Free with Pre-Roll Ad offers will be removed from these titles on March 1, 2017.
For any title to remain available to customers with an Included with Prime or Free with Pre-Roll Ad offer, its content including cover images, metadata, and/or video content must be free of persistent or graphic sexual or violent
acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes.
Heavy metal band Metallica's concerts in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai had certain songs removed from their setlists due to China's censorship policies, reported the South China Morning Post.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield told the newspaper:
Why shouldn't you respect their culture when you're there as a guest and you've been invited to play? We want to be respectful, and just because we do things differently, it doesn't mean it should be forced upon [others]. But hopefully we'll
keep coming back and they'll realise we're not a threat politically and we have no agenda except to cross boundaries with music and let people enjoy the songs. We're not trying to bring a secret message to anybody.
Police in the US believe an Amazon Echo overheard the murder of a man found dead in a hot tub. They want a copy of any audio recorded by the Echo personal assistant, conveniently stored in Amazon's cloud.
The cops think the Alexa-powered Echo, which was found in the kitchen, may have recorded what went on that night, even though you supposedly need to say a wake up word to activate Alexa.
Presumably worried about sales, Amazon is refusing to hand over said recordings, and has gone to court to fight their corner.
Amazon refused to fully comply with the search warrant, and has now filed a motion to the Circuit Court of Benton County, Arkansas, to quash the order. The tech giant says any conversation a customer has with their Echo is covered by the First
Amendment. Amazon argued:
Given the important First Amendment and privacy implications at stake, the warrant should be quashed unless the Court finds that the State has met its heightened burden for compelled production of such materials.
Leaving aside the legal arguments, Amazon is keen to ensure that the police can't use its devices as perpetual bugs in the homes of their owners. If legal precedent is established for that, sales will go off the side of a cliff.
Book publisher Simon & Schuster has announced that it has pulled out of its contract to publish Dangerous , a book by Milo Yiannopoulos, a notable figure form America's Alt-Right movement. The company said in a statement that:
After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have cancelled publication.
According to the New York Times, Yiannopoulos will seek another publisher. His agent is quoted as saying that 50,000 copies of Dangerous have been pre-sold.
Simon & Schuster had been put under pressure for its decision to publish Yiannopoulos. The Chicago Review of Books protested the signing by announcing that it would not review any Simon & Schuster books for the next year, and The
Booksmith in San Francisco declared that it would cut its purchases of Simon & Schuster titles by 50% and contribute the profits from the sale of the publisher's other books to the ACLU. One hundred and sixty Simon & Schuster children's
authors and illustrators protested in a letter to company CEO Carolyn Reidy about the book's acquisition.
The American Booksellers Association joined a statement by the National Coalition Against Censorship that opposed a boycott of Simon & Schuster. While acknowledging that boycotts are a form of speech that is protected by the First Amendment,
the statement warned that efforts to damage a publisher with economic sanctions could have a chilling effect, limiting its ability to publish controversial works. The statement was also signed by the Association of American Publishers, Authors
Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, Index on Censorship, and the National Council of Teachers of English.
A politically correct Californian law targeting age discrimination has failed to win the immediate approval of a judge. The law requires date of births or age to be withheld from documents and publications used for job recruitment. One high
profile consequence is that the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) would be banned from including age information in the profiles of stars and crew. This has led to the challenge of the law on grounds of unconstitutional censorship.
This week's ruling does not look good for the Californian law as the judge decided that birthday prohibition shall not apply until the full legal challenge is decided. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled:
[I]t's difficult to imagine how AB 1687 could not violate the First Amendment. The statute prevents IMDb from publishing factual information (information about the ages of people in the entertainment industry) on its website for public
consumption. This is a restriction of non-commercial speech on the basis of content.
To be sure, the government has identified a compelling goal -- preventing age discrimination in Hollywood. But the government has not shown how AB 1687 is 'necessary' to advance that goal. In fact, it's not clear how preventing one mere website
from publishing age information could meaningfully combat discrimination at all. And even if restricting publication on this one website could confer some marginal antidiscrimination benefit, there are likely more direct, more effective, and
less speech-restrictive ways of achieving the same end.
Chhabria held that -- because the law restricts IMDb's speech rights -- the site is suffering irreparable harm and enjoined the government from enforcing the law pending the resolution of this lawsuit.
Brit Award viewers were left unimpressed during Wednesday's live show on ITV, after Skepta's performance was heavily censored.
The grime artist was one of several British stars to take to the stage performing his song Shutdown . However, despite the fact that Skepta's performance was aired after the 9pm watershed, the audio was cut several times throughout his
time on stage, due to his repeated use of the word pussy .
Some took to Twitter in the immediate aftermath to voice their disdain for the censorship, particularly as it came just minutes after presenter Dermot O'Leary had sworn during the ceremony. The Huffington Post provided a few examples:
Don't start that audio muting bullshit #brits204
Muting Skepta's Shutdown chorus because it has the word pussy in is bullshit
They're muting the word pussy. Dermot just said batshit. And they're muting pussy. I mean. What?
The Royal Navy has banned posters of glamour models so as not to offend women sailors after some complained of feeling intimidated by the soft porn.
Perhaps the banning of public space pin ups is understandable in these PC times but the Navy's rules go further and effectively ban sailors from all but a tiny portion of available porn.
Sailors were told about the ban when they were given an amended version of the Royal Navy's Queen Regulations. A new section titled Pin-ups and Pornography reads:
Possession of films/videos and all forms of digital media (e.g DvDs, or downloads from the internet) that have been certified by the British Board of Film Censors is permitted. All other pornographic material is prohibited.
A Naval source told The Sun about these miserable rules:
To be fair, this is part of the service coming into the 21st Century, being more inclusive and not offending women.
But a lot of the lads are moaning about this because porn has been rife across the fleet for generations, and this is the result of a few people complaining.
Twitter has introduced a new censorship system with the unlikely sounding capability to detect abusive tweets and suspend accounts without waiting for complaints to be flagged. Transgressions results in the senders receiving half-day suspensions.
The company has refused to provide details on specifically how the new system works, but using a combination of behavioral and keyword indicators, the filter flags posts it deems to be violations of Twitter's acceptable speech policy and issues
users suspensions of half a day during which they cannot post new globally accessible tweets and their existing tweets are visible only to followers.
From the platform that once called itself the free speech wing of the free speech party, these new tools mark an incredible turn of events. The anti-censorship ethic seems to have been lost in a failed attempt to sell the company after
prospective buyers were unhappy with the lack of censorship control over the platform.
Inevitably Twiiter has refused to provide even outline ideas of the indicators it is using, especially when it comes to the particular linguistic cues it is concerned with. While offering too much detail might give the upper hand to those who
would try to work around the new system, it is important for the broader community to have at least some understanding of the kinds of language flagged by Twitter's new tool so that they can try and stay within the rules.
It is also unclear why Twitter chose not to permit users to contest what they believe to be a wrongful suspension. Given that the feature is brand-new and bound to encounter plenty of unforeseen contexts where it could yield a wrong result, it is
surprising that Twitter chose not to provide a recovery mechanism where it could catch these before they become news.
And the first example of censorship was quick to follow. Many outlets this morning picked up on a frightening instance of the Twitter algorithm's new power to police not only the language we use but the thoughts we express. In this case a user
allegedly tweeted a response to a news report about comments made by Senator John McCain and argued that it was his belief that the senator was a traitor who had committed formal treason against the nation. Twitter did not respond to a
request for more information about what occurred in this case and if this was indeed the tweet that caused the user to be suspended, but did not dispute that the user had been suspended or that his use of the word traitor had factored
heavily into that suspension.
London Internet Exchange (LINX), Europe's major internet traffic hub is changing its rules to gag or to hide capabilities from the directors of companies enabling secret government snooping on networks under Britain's Investigatory Powers Act.
LINX members, hundreds of internet companies, have been given less than two weeks' warning of an effect of new LINX rules enabling surveillance orders or requests to be kept secret. LINX claims 780 organisations as members, a who's who of the
world's biggest and best-known internet service and content providers, including Amazon and the BBC.
The plans will be proposed at an extraordinary general meeting in London on Tuesday. At the meeting, members will be asked to approve a new gag clause , banning directors they appoint from asking members to agree or approve technical or
security changes to enable or support surveillance.
The proposals would also prevent LINX members from being asked to back potential court challenges to illegal surveillance. LINX claims to be a member-run organisation. The board and elected directors are there to ensure that the company is run
in the interests of the owners -- the members.
The publisher of one of Turkey's most prominent cartoon magazines shut down the weekly and fired all its staff over a cartoon of Moses it deemed to be offensive. The publisher sad in a statement:
The decision has been taken for the magazine to be closed and all the staff laid off because of the distasteful cartoon.
The cartoon has disturbed society and disturbed us as a publishing company
Girgir had published in its latest edition a cartoon showing the bearded Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, with his companions complaining and using strong language. Presumably for reasons of censorship and political correctness,
the cartoon remains untranslated.
The publishers blamed the cartoon on a deliberate attempt to put the company in a difficult situation, and said it would inform prosecutors of which employees were behind it.
Turkey's president Erdogan weighed in with a reminder that 'free speech' only applies to things he agrees with. His spokesman tweeted that:
This has nothing to do with freedom of speech or humor. This is immoral and a hate crime.
Germany's telecommunications watchdog has ordered parents to destroy or disable a smart doll because the toy can be used to illegally spy on children. The My Friend Cayla doll, which is manufactured by the US company
Genesis Toys and distributed in Europe by Guildford-based Vivid Toy Group, allows children to access the internet via speech recognition software, and to control the toy via an app.
But Germany's Federal Network Agency announced this week that it classified Cayla as an illegal espionage apparatus . As a result, retailers and owners could face fines if they continue to stock it or fail to permanently disable the doll's
Under German law it is illegal to manufacture, sell or possess surveillance devices disguised as another object. According to some media reports, breaching that law can result in a jail term of up to two years.
The ruling comes after Stefan Hessel, a student at Saarbr3ccken University, raised concerns about the device. He explained:
Access to the doll is completely unsecured. There is no password to protect the connection.
The European Parliament has officially adopted the EU Directive on Combatting Terrorism , which is designed to give police and prosecutors across the EU the ability to fight and counter terrorism more effectively and ensure a common response
to the evolving terrorist threat.
The Directive includes measures against public provocation online , which state that Member States must ensure the prompt removal of online content constituting a public provocation to commit a terrorist offence that is hosted in
their territory, and must also endeavour to obtain the removal of such content hosted outside of their territory. If removing the content is not feasible, Member States may block access to the content for internet users within their
territory (but only after first attempting to remove the content at source).
The Directive states that such measures of removal and blocking must be set by transparent procedures and provide adequate safeguards, in particular to ensure that the restriction is limited to what is necessary and proportionate, and that
users are informed of the reason for the restriction. These safeguards must also include the possibility of judicial redress.
Importantly, the Directive also states that removal or blocking of terrorist content should be without prejudice to service providers' protections under the EU e-Commerce Directive. This means that no general obligation can be imposed on service
providers to monitor the information which they transmit or store, nor can they be obliged to actively seek facts or circumstances indicating the presence of terrorist content. Furthermore, hosting service providers will not be held
liable for hosting terrorist content as long as they do not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and are not aware of the facts or circumstances from which the activity or information is apparent. This will be of great
relief to Internet intermediaries.
The Directive must now be transposed into national law by Member States within 18 months. However, it will not apply to the UK, Ireland and Denmark who have opted out of such measures.
A congressman ahs introduced a law bill demanding that visitors to America hand over URLs to their social network accounts.
Representatve Jim Banks says his proposed rules, titled the Visa Investigation and Social Media Act (VISA) of 2017, require visa applicants to provide their social media handles to immigration officials. Banks said:
We must have confidence that those entering our country do not intend us harm. Directing Homeland Security to review visa applicants' social media before granting them access to our country is common sense. Employers vet job candidates this way,
and I think it's time we do the same for visa applicants.
Right now, at the US border you can be asked to give up your usernames by border officers. You don't have to reveal your public profiles, of course. However, if you're a non-US citizen, border agents don't have to let you in, either. Your devices
can be seized and checked, and you can be put on a flight back, if you don't cooperate.
Banks' proposed law appears to end any uncertainty over whether or not non-citizens will have their online personas vetted: if the bill is passed, visa applicants will be required to disclose their online account names so they can be scrutinized
for any unwanted behavior. For travellers on visa-waiver programs, revealing your social media accounts is and will remain optional, but again, being allowed into the country is optional, too.
Banks did not say how his bill would prevent hopefuls from deleting or simply not listing any accounts that may be unfavorable.
The Register reports that the bill is unlikely to progress.
Posters, featuring US TV personality Khloe Kardashian wearing a leotard, have caused politically correct 'outrage' over 'body shaming'. The adverts have appeared on London's underground transport network featuring a campaign by Protein
World, a healthy eating company.
The PC stance is that posters of fit and beautiful people cause confidence issues among the not so fit and beautiful.
Green politician Caroline Russell said she received complaints from constituents about the advert and said that people who travel on the Tube should not be bombarded by adverts that imply their bodies are not good enough. She said in an
Young people receive this negative message from enough social media channels and it's appalling that this is being reinforced on Tube platforms, against the Mayor's own policy, when people are taking trips to school, to work, or going out to
Transport for London, who manage the London tube network, said that the posters are acceptable and are not covered under Sadiq Khan's advert ban.
Protein World previously hit the headlines with an advert with a bikini clad model and the slogan: Are You Beach Body Ready .
Moonlight is a 2016 USA drama by Barry Jenkins.
Starring Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp and Duan Sanderson.
Three time periods - young adolescence, mid-teen and young adult - in the life of black-American Chiron is presented.
The Indian film censors of the CBFC have cut the film for Indian cinema release. Two sex scenes have been excised and strong language has been cut for an adults only 'A' rating. For comparison the BBFC passed the film 15 uncut for strong
language, sex, sex references, drugs misuse
Further details of the cuts are as follows:
[ Spoilers! hover or click text ]
The BBFC provide a good description of the sex scenes and strong language in the BBFC Insight:
There is occasional use of strong language ('fuck', motherfucker'), and frequent racial language ('nigga') used informally between black characters. There is also use of homophobic language in a scene in which an adult explains to a young
boy that 'faggot is an offensive term.
Scenes of sexual activity include implied masturbation and penetration, and in one scene a character wakes up following a wet dream . Strong verbal references are made to oral sex and intercourse.
Meanwhile the CBFC cut entirely two of the film's love-making sequences, one homosexual and the other heterosexua
Noting that gay sex cannot be shown in an Indian film since homosexuality is still not legalised, the cuts to the sensitively designed sequence showing the film's young teenage protagonist gets a hand-job from his best friend, seems a bit harsh.
A source said:
The censor board has ordered the entire hand-job to go. We only hear the protagonist say he is sorry for what happened. Indian audiences will not get what he's feeling sorry for.
Also, ordered out of the film is a dream sequence showing the protagonist's best friend making out with a girl.
Besides these two cuts the soundtrack has been cleared of all expletives included bitch , dick , fuck and motherfucker .
The source added:
The CBFC has done a sanskari job [seems to mean politically correct cleanup] on the language of the American African community.
The Motion Picture Association of America will stand cheek by jowl with those European film and TV industries fighting to preserve territorial licensing monopolies in Europe.
In an interview with Variety, MPAA chairman Christopher Dodd said he would be playing a supportive role in the European industry's efforts to air its objections to a proposal for borderless access in Europe to movies and TV online. The
chief concern appears to be the European Commission's wish to extend the so-called country of origin principle to cover digital services, meaning that E.U. broadcasters could carry their online programming in other countries if they have
cleared the rights in their own home country.
Although rights-holders would be allowed to opt out of such arrangements and retain their rights in other E.U. countries, entertainment execs fear that most European producers won't have the bargaining power to insist on that in their
negotiations with the big broadcasters they rely on to finance their work.
Opposition to the commission's proposal for pan-EU digital licensing of broadcaster programming is led by France and Germany. France's Ministry of Culture had openly expressed its opposition. The upper house of Germany's parliament has also
expressed concern over whether the commission sufficiently takes into account rights-holders' interests.
A banner ad for a solitaire game, seen on the lock screen of a phone that was running the AVG Cleaner app in October 2016, featured three women in bikinis posing in a suggestive manner.
A complainant challenged whether the ad had been inappropriately and irresponsibly placed, as it had appeared untargeted on a device used by children.
Queens Solitaire Games, whose product was promoted by the ad, did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
AVG Technologies UK Ltd, in whose app the ad appeared, stated that, in order to prevent improper ads from appearing in their apps, their ad providers automatically blocked ads referencing several categories, including sex and sexuality. However,
on rare occasions, inappropriate ads could bypass this screening. They said that this usually happened when the advertiser categorised or named the ad in a misleading manner. When made aware of such an incident, they immediately blocked the ad
manually on all ad networks and sent it to their ad providers for investigation.
ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Queens Solitaire Games' lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to
our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that the sexualised nature of the images meant that they should not appear in media that might be seen by children. While the app was unlikely to appeal to children, we considered that, if installed on a device used by children, it
could easily be seen by them. Furthermore, we noted that the ad had appeared on the screen of a phone while it was locked, increasing the chance of it being seen by children. We considered that Queens Solitaire Games held primary responsibility
for ensuring that the content and placement of the ad complied with the CAP Code, and that they should have correctly flagged the content of the ad to the publisher. However, we considered that AVG Technologies was also responsible for ensuring
that ads in their apps were targeted appropriately. We acknowledged that they had systems in place to prevent ads with sexual content from appearing in their apps, and welcomed their prompt action to remove inappropriate ads. However, we were
concerned that their procedures had not been adequate to prevent the ad from appearing in an inappropriate medium in this case. We therefore concluded that the ad had been placed irresponsibly.
The ad must not appear again in media that might be seen by children. We told Queens Solitaire Games to ensure that ads were appropriately targeted. We referred Queens Solitaire Games to CAP's Compliance team.
The Australian state of Queensland has banned humerous slogans on campervans and other vehicles following a high-profile campaign. It follows complaints about slogans and imagery on hire vehicles primarily aimed at young backpackers.
Queensland passed the laws on Tuesday night, meaning vehicles can be deregistered if owners do not remove slogans deemed to be offensive.
The bill enjoyed all party support with the opposition's political correctness spokeswoman, Ros Bates, saying she was appalled by the slogans.
[The slogans] include 'it's easier to apologise than ask for permission', and 'I can already imagine the gaffer tape on your mouth'... and for any member of our society these slogans are sickening and perverse.
These vans promote rape, encourage sexism and incite violence and control.
The new powers can be enforced if slogans are not removed within 14 days of a complaint being upheld by the nation's Advertising Standards Bureau.
Changes to the penalties for online copyright infringement could leave UK citizens vulnerable to blackmail by unscrupulous companies that demand payment for alleged copyright infringements.
Proposals in the Digital Economy Bill would mean that anyone found guilty of online copyright infringement could now get up to ten years in prison. These changes could be misused by companies, such as Goldeneye International, which send
threatening letters about copyright infringement. Typically, the letters accuse the recipients of downloading files illegally and demand that they pay hundreds of pounds or be taken to court.
Often they refer to downloaded pornographic content, to shame the recipients into paying rather than challenging the company in court. The Citizens Advice Bureau has criticised "unscrupulous solicitors and companies acting on behalf of
copyright owners" who take part in such "pay up or else schemes". It advises people who receive such letters to seek legal advice rather than simply paying them.
How do copyright trolls get 'evidence'?
Copyright trolls compel Internet Service Providers to hand over the personal contact details of the account holder whose IP addresses are associated with illegal file downloads. However, this in itself is not evidence that the illicit downloading
observed is the responsibility of the person receiving the letter.
Common problems include:
Sharing wifi with family, friends or neighbours who may be the actual infringer
Errors with timestamps and logs at the ISP@
Why the Digital Economy Bill will make this worse
The Government has argued that it is increasing prison sentences to bring the penalties for online copyright infringement in line with copyright infringement in the real world. It also insists that it is not trying to impose prison sentences for
minor infringements such as file sharing. However, the loose wording of the Bill means that it could be interpreted in this way, and this will undoubtedly be exploited by unscrupulous companies.
Executive Director Jim Killock said:
Unscrupulous companies will seize on these proposals and use them to exploit people into paying huge fines for online infringements that they may not have committed.
The Government needs to tighten up these proposals so that only those guilty of serious commercial copyright infringements receive prison sentences.
Helping companies send threatening letters to teenagers is in no one's interest."
What does the Government need to do?
ORG has asked the Government to amend the Digital Economy Bill to ensure that jail sentences are available for serious online copyright infringement. While this will not put an end to the dubious practices of copyright trolls completely, it will
prevent them from taking advantage of the law.
Playboy magazine has announced it is bringing back nudity, reversing a decision made last year.
The move was announced by Playboy's new chief creative officer Cooper Hefner, who said the decision to remove nudity entirely was a mistake . He tweeted:
Today we're taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are.
Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn't a problem
The US magazine also promoted its March-April edition with a picture of its playmate of the month with the hashtag #NakedIsNormal.
Some social media users welcomed the U-turn, describing it as a good call , while others said the decision was taken because the magazines weren't selling too well. Too bad free porn is still easy to access .
Samir Husni, a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi, said Playboy's ban on nudity had probably alienated more readers than it attracted. He told the Associated Press:
Playboy and the idea of non-nudity is sort of an oxymoron,
In next month's issue, the magazine will also revive some of its old franchises, including The Playboy Philosophy and Party Jokes. However, Playboy will drop the subtitle Entertainment for Men from its covers.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told Congress this week that the Department of Homeland Security is exploring the possibility of asking visa applicants not only for an accounting of what they do online, but for full access to their
online accounts. In a hearing in the House of Representatives, Kelly said:
We want to say for instance, What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords. So that we can see what they do on the internet. And this might be a week, might be a month. They may wait some time for us to vet. If they don't want to
give us that information then they don't come. We may look at their204we want to get on their social media with passwords. What do you do? What do you say? If they don't want to cooperate, then they don't come in.
TechCrunch' s Devin Coldewey pointed out, asking people to surrender passwords would raise "obvious" privacy and security problems. But beyond privacy and security, the proposed probing of online accounts204including social media
and other communications platforms204would, if implemented, be a major threat to free expression.
BBFC cuts just waived for the 1980's horror, Blood Diner
12th February 2017
Blood Diner is a 1987 USA comedy horror by Jackie Kong.
Starring Rick Burks, Carl Crew and Roger Dauer.
Two cannibals/health food diner owners are on a wacky quest to restore life to the five million year old goddess Shitaar. Aided by their uncle's brain and penis, the two set about getting the required parts - virgins, assorted body parts from
whores, and the ingredients for a "blood buffet". Their adversaries are the police: the chief with a Russian accent, the "player" detective, and the new Yorker with an Australian accent.
The BBFC has just passed the film 18 uncut for strong gory violence, sexualised nudity after all previous BBFC cuts were waived for Lionsgate Video release in 2017.
Presumably Lionsgate will repeat the recent US hit by releasing it on the Vestron Video label made famous during the video nasty period.
UK Censorship History
Substantially cut by the BBFC for 18 rated 1989 VHS. Later rated 18 uncut for 2017 home video. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the the US.
Vietnam has adopted a new film censorship regime that has age related categories including for the first time, an 18 adults only rating.
The new system commenced in 2017 and includes four categories: (P) general audiences and a series of age based rankings C13, C16 and C18.
Officials will classify films based on levels of gore, profanity, violence, nudity and sex displayed, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The ministry said it will also consider a film's drug-related content, which must suit a film's content or carry an anti-drug message.
Gratuitous drug-related content will continue to be censored. Censors will likewise permit sex and violence in C18 films so long as it is not gratuitous in nature. However sex and violence, considered mainstream in most countries, in movies
such as Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick 2 is obviously deemed gratuitous in Vietnam. Both films seem to have run into censor trouble.
General Audience films (rated category P) will not contain any horrific, violent or sexual content; they will not make any reference to drug use or production.
Last year, film censors in Vietnam proposed a controversial ban on sex scenes that lasted over five seconds in local films, and full-frontal female nudity. The rules were not officially included in the official rating system for 2017.
Vietnam's cinemas previously used just two ratings, G for general viewers and NC16 for viewers aged 16 and up.
Hype for Fifty Shades Darker seems to be flagging compared with last year's original Fifty Shades of Grey.
Offending everybody in Navan
The only offering so far is a story from a cinema in Ireland that has announced that it will ban single men from the film. And even that ban sounds a little tenuous. A message informing men that they could not come in to watch the film was
recorded by a staff member at the Diamond Cinema in Navan, stated:
If you're looking to go to Fifty Shades Darker and you're bringing your boyfriend, you better keep lots of space between you.
It's on an 18 cert and I must stress that single men or married men on their own, any unaccompanied males will not be allowed in.
And apparently the cinema will be keeping an eye on women viewers to ensure that they can control themselves.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, the country's censors may have obliged by banning the film, but again the reports are bit unsure.
Two new releases were lined up for local cinemas but both somehow got banned or delayed. Planned premiers for Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter 2 were cancelled at the last minute.
Nguyen Hoang Hai from CGV, the biggest cinema chain in Vietnam, said it did not receive permission to start showing 50 Shades Darker on Friday morning. Screenings for the press were reportedly canceled earlier this week. Hai also said that the
version intended for the Vietnamese market already had several sex scenes cut and that local theaters were also expecting an adult-only C18 rating.
The first 50 Shades film did not have so much luck either two years ago, when censors unexpectedly canceled all planned screenings. Then a so-called Asian version managed to hit theaters but moviegoers complained that there were no
sex scenes left.
Finger on the Pulse
Perhaps a more positive and encourage approach is demonstrated by the Pulse & Cocktails sex shop chain.
Sex superstore Pulse and Cocktails has stocked up on whips, blindfolds and handcuffs in preparation for Fifty Shades Darker and anyone taking in a cinema ticket can get a discount on their purchase.
Pulse and Cocktails is offering cinema-goers inspired by the film 20% off for anyone taking their cinema ticket in to their local store.
Since the film franchise was released, Pulse and Cocktails has recorded a sales spike in the toys featured in the film, including sales of whips and spankers. Current best sellers are floggers and whips, eye masks and designer sex toys.
Screenbound is delighted to announce the launch of two brand new Euro cult film labels, Maison Rouge will specialise in Euro Sleaze and Black House Films will focus on Euro Horror.
Maison Rouge kicks off with two classic titles, the first is from master of Euro Sleaze Jess Franco -- Female Vampire (aka Bare Breasted Countess) -- which arrives on DVD on 6 March 2017, followed by two Patrice Rhomm classics Helga,
She Wolf of Stilberg on DVD March 13th 2017 and Elsa Fraulein SS set for release on April 17th 2017.
The first release from Black House Films will be zombie classic Zombie Lake from French horror maestro Jean Rollin, set for DVD on March 20th 2017 and Juan Fortuny's Crimson on April 17t 2017.
Screenbound's managing director Alan Byron said: When Screenbound started as Odeon Entertainment 13 years ago with several music productions, our first step into film sales was representing Nigel Wingrove's Jean Rollin and Jess Franco Euro-shock
and sleaze titles for Salvation Films. In a sense, we have now come full circle by launching our own new cult labels 203 Maison Rouge and Black House Films 203 which will showcase the best and basest of Euro Exploitation over the next three
years. Maison Rouge will focus on sexploitation and once established will bring in new as well as retro cult features. Its sister label, Black House Films, takes its inspiration from the Church of Satan and will release dark, Gothic horrors from
the 1960s to 1980s.
Both imprints are being released on DVD with each having multiple poster art cards inside for collectors. Most releases will have special features included and a selection of titles will be released on limited edition Blu-ray with O Cards.
Alan Byron continued: Plans are already in place to pick up another 20 films for these labels which already have a distinctive design appeal that is being appreciated by the fan base.
Ten years jail for filesharing: or in fact any minor copyright infringement where there is a loss by not getting what one might get or cause a risk of further infringement.
Clause 27 of the Digital Economy Bill will mean that more or less any wrongful use where somebody hasn't paid a licence fee (think of memes) is a crime. Causing "risk" to the copyright holder means almost by definition ordinary file
sharing is a criminal rather than civil infringement.
Is the government really intending to threaten teenagers with prison?
Why has the
Digital Economy Bill been left with such a stupid legal change? Both the government and the Intellectual Property Office said they just wanted to bring online infringement into line with "real world" fake DVD offences. They were
worried about the difficulties with charging people who run websites that help people download copyright works.
However, that isn't how they offence is drawn up: and the government has now been told in Parliament twice that they are both criminalising minor infringements and helping copyright trolls. Copryight trolls, we should remember, specialise in
threats concerning file sharing of niche pornographic works in order to frighten and embarass people into payment, often incorrectly, and to our knowledge, have never taken anyone to court in the UK .
The answers have been startlingly bad. Kevin Brennan
stated , for Labour:
The Open Rights Group has expressed concern about the Government's insistence that there needs to be "reason to believe" that infringement will cause loss or "the risk of loss". Its fear is that that phrase, "the risk of
loss", could capture quite a wide range of behaviour, perhaps beyond the scope of what the Government say they intend. In particular, its concern is the extent to which that phrase will capture file sharing.
Copyright trolls get their profits when a certain number of people are scared enough to respond to those notifications and pay up. Frequently these accusations are incorrect, misleading and sent to account holders who did not sanction any such
further file sharing. However, as I understand it, sending that kind of speculative threat to consumers is, unfortunately, perfectly legal. Some are concerned that if the Bill retains the concept of risk of loss, it could aid the trolls by
enabling them to argue with more credibility that account holders may face criminal charges and a 10-year prison sentence.
Matt Hancock gave a non-answer:
We recognise that the maximum sentence of 10 years, even if only for the most serious cases, must be carefully targeted. Consequently, clause 26 also makes changes to the existing offence of online copyright infringement to make it clearer when
that offence is committed and who should be considered liable. The amendments speak to some of those points.
The concept of prejudicial effect in the existing legislation will be replaced with a requirement that the infringer intends to make a monetary gain for themselves or knows or has reason to believe their actions will expose the rights holder to
a loss or risk of loss in money. I will come to the debate around definition of that in more detail.
The point of this clarification is to act as a safeguard to ensure that the increased maximum penalty is applied only to serious criminals who deserve it and will not apply to those who share material accidently or without knowledge of the
In the Lords, Labour suggested returning to the current definition of "prejudicial effect": which (as Matt Hancock says) suffers the same problem of being very wide and catching people it should not.
The government have failed to give any serious answers. The Opposition, Labour and Liberal Democrat should be able to see that an egregious mistake is being made, and they have the ability to force a change.
The problem is really easily fixed. The government simply need to put in thresholds to ensure that only significant damage or serious risk is caused. We have an
amendment prepared and published.
Why does the government want to help copyright trolls bully grannies and criminalise file sharers whose actions may be idiotic, but hardly criminal?
The government needs to fix this before it becomes law and abuse of copyright ensues.
The company speaks of providing tools to get such speech removed in a blog post:
Recently, many passionate users have reached out to us regarding instances of hate speech across our network. Language that offends, threatens, or insults groups solely based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation,
or other traits is against our network terms and has no place on the Disqus network. Hate speech is the antithesis of community and an impediment to the type of intellectual discussion that we strive to facilitate.
We know that language published on our network does not exist within a vacuum. It has the power to reach billions of people, change opinions and incite action. Hate speech is a threat, not only to those it targets, but to constructive discourse
of all forms across all communities. Hate speech creates fear, deters participation in public debate, and hinders diversity of thoughts and opinions.
We have the opportunity and the responsibility to combat hate speech on our network. Our goal is to foster environments where users can express their diverse opinions without the fear of experiencing hate speech. We persistently remove content
that contains hate speech or that otherwise violates our terms and policies . However, we know that simply reactively removing hate speech is not sufficient. That is why we are dedicated to building tools for readers and publishers to combat hate
speech, and are open to partnering with other organizations who share our goal.
We recently released several features to help readers and publishers better control offensive and otherwise unwanted content. User Blocking and User Flagging allow users to block and report other users who are violating our terms of service. Our
new moderation panel makes it easier for publishers to identify and moderate comments based on user reputation .
Currently, we are working on improved tools to help publishers effectively prevent troublesome users from returning to their sites. And as we get smarter about identifying hate speech, we are working on ways to automatically remove it from our
As an organization, Disqus firmly stands against hate speech in all forms. To recap, in an effort to combat hate speech both on and off our network, we are making the following commitments:
We will enforce our terms of service by removing hate speech and harassment on our network. To report hate speech and other abusive behavior, please follow these instructions .
We will invest in new features for publishers and readers to better manage hate speech. We hope to talk more about this soon.
To support this philosophy, we will also be supporting organizations that are equipped to fight hate speech outside of Disqus. We are exploring several options and plan to dedicate portions of our advertising profits to fight hate speech.
Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website in all but exceptional circumstances after claiming the newspaper was generally unreliable .
The move is highly unusual for the online encyclopaedia, which rarely puts in place a blanket ban on publications and which still allows links to move obvious sources of 'fake news' such as Kremlin backed news organisation Russia Today, and Fox
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia but does not control its editing processes, said in a statement that volunteer editors on English Wikipedia had discussed the reliability of the Mail since at least early 2015. The fundation said:
This means that the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a 'reliable source' on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community.
Some editors opposed the move saying the Daily Mail was sometimes reliable, that historically its record may have been better, and that there were other publications that were also unreliable. Opponents also pointed to inaccurate stories in other
respected publications, and suggested the proposed ban was driven by a dislike of the publication.
However, the fact of the matter is that the
DE Bill gives the BBFC (the regulator, TBC) the power to block any pornographic website that doesn't use age verification tools. It can even block websites that publish pornography that doesn't fit their guidelines of taste and acceptability
- which are significantly narrower than what is legal, and certainly narrower than what is viewed as acceptable by US websites.
A single video of "watersports" or whipping produces marks, for instance, would be enough for the BBFC to ban a website for every UK adult. The question is, how many sites does the regulator want to block, and how many can it block?
Parliament has been told that the regulator wants to block just a few, major websites, maybe 50 or 100, as an "incentive" to implement age checks. However, that's not what Clause 23 says. The "Age-verification regulator's power to
direct internet service providers to block access to material" just says that any site that fits the criteria can be blocked by an administrative request.
What could possibly go wrong?
Imagine, not implausibly, that some time after the Act is in operation, one of the MPs who pushed for this power goes and sees how it is working. This MP tries a few searches, and finds to their surprise that it is still possible to find websites
that are neither asking for age checks nor blocked.
While the first page or two of results under the new policy would find major porn sites that are checking, or else are blocked, the results on page three and four would lead to sites that have the same kinds of material available to anyone.
In short, what happens when MPs realise this policy is nearly useless?
They will, of course, ask for more to be done. You could write the Daily Mail headlines months in advance: BBFC lets kids watch porn .
MPs will ask why the BBFC isn't blocking more websites. The answer will come back that it would be possible, with more funding, to classify and block more sites, with the powers the BBFC has been given already. While individual review of millions
of sites would be very expensive, maybe it is worth paying for the first five or ten thousand sites to be checked. (And if that doesn't work, why not use machines to produce the lists?)
And then, it is just a matter of putting more cash the way of the BBFC and they can block more and more sites, to "make the Internet safe".
That's the point we are making. The power in the Digital Economy Bill given to the BBFC will create a mechanism to block literally millions of websites; the only real restraint is the amount of cash that MPs are willing to pour into the
Government says privacy safeguards are not "necessary" in Digital Economy Bill
The Government still doesn't consider privacy safeguards necessary in the Digital Economy Bill and they see court orders for website blocking as excessively burdensome.
The House of Lords debated age verification for online pornography last week as the Committee stage of the Digital Economy Bill went ahead.
Peers tabled a considerable number of amendments to improve the flawed Part 3 of the Bill, which covers online pornography. In their recent report, the
Committee on the Constitution said that they are worried about whether a proper parliamentary scrutiny can be delivered considering the lack of details written on the face of the Bill. Shortly after the start of the debate it became obvious
that their concerns were justified.
Lords debated various aspects of age verification at length, however issues of appeal processes for website blocking by Internet service providers and privacy safeguards for data collected for the age-verification purposes will have to be
resolved at a later stage.
In our view, if the Government is not prepared to make changes to the Bill to safeguard privacy, the opposition parties should be ready to force the issue to a vote.
Appeals process for ISP blocking
Labour and Lib Dem Lords jointly introduced an amendment that would implement a court order process into the blocking of websites by Internet service providers. The proposal got a lot of traction during the debate. Several Peers disagreed with
the use of court orders, arguing about the costs and the undue burden that it would place on the system.
The court order process is currently implemented for the blocking of websites that provide access to content that infringes copyright. However, the Government is not keen on using it for age verification. Lord Ashton, the Government Minister for
Culture, Media and Sport, noted that even the copyright court order process "is not without issues". He also stressed that the power to instruct ISPs to block websites carrying adult content would be used "sparingly". The
Government is trying to encourage compliance by the industry and therefore they find it more appropriate that ISP blocking is carried out by direction from the regulator.
The Bill doesn't express any of these policy nuances mentioned by the Government. According to Clause 23 on ISP blocks, age-verification regulator can give a notice to ISPs to block non-complying websites. There is no threshold set out in the
clause that would suggest this power will be used sparingly. Without such threshold, the age-verification regulator has an unlimited power to give out notices and is merely trusted by the Government not to use the full potential of the power.
The Government failed to address the remaining lack of legal structure that would secure transparency for website blocking by ISPs. Court orders would provide independent oversight for this policy. Neither the method of oversight, nor enforcement
of blocking have been specified on the face of the Bill.
For now, the general public can find solace in knowing that the Government is aware that blocking all of social media sites is a ridiculous plan. Lord Ashton
said that the Government "don't want to get to the situation where we close down the whole of Twitter, which would make us one of two countries in the world to have done that".
Privacy protections and anonymity
Labour Peers - Baroness Jones and Lord Stevenson and Lord Paddick (Lib Dem) introduced an amendment that would ensure that age-verification systems have high privacy and data protection safeguards.
The amendment goes beyond basic compliance with data protection regulations. It would deliver anonymity for age-verification system users and make it impossible to identify users throughout different websites. This approach could encourage
people's trust in age-verification systems and will reassure people to safely access legal material. By securing anonymity, people's right to freedom of expression would be less adversely impacted. Not all the problems go away: people may still
not trust the tools, but fears can at least be reduced, and the worst calamities of data leaks may be avoided.
People subjected to age verification should be able to choose which age-verification system they prefer and trust. It is necessary that the Bill sets up provisions for "user choice" to assure a functioning market. Without this, a single
age-verification provider could conquer the market offering a low-cost solution with inadequate privacy protections.
The amendment received wider support from the Lords.
Despite the wide-ranging support from Lib Dem, Labour and cross-bench Lords, the Government found this amendment "unnecessary". Lord Ashton referred to the guidance published by the age-verification regulator that will outline types of
arrangement that will be treated as compliant with the age-verification regulator's requirements. Since the arrangements for data retention and protection will be made in the guidance, the Government asked Lord Paddick to withdraw the amendment.
Guidance to be published by the age-verification regulator drew fire in the
Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee's Report published in December 2016. In their criticism, the Committee made it clear that they find it unsatisfactory that none of the age-verification regulator's guidelines have been
published or approved by Parliament. Lord Ashton did not tackle these concerns during the Committee sitting.
The issue of privacy safeguards is very likely to come up again at the Report stage. Lord Paddick was not convinced by the Government's answer and promised to bring this issue up at the next stage. The Government also promised to respond to the
Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee's Report before the next stage of the Bill's passage.
Given the wide support in the Lords to put privacy safeguards on the face of the Bill, Labour and Lib Dem Lords have an opportunity to change the Government's stance. Together they can press the Government to address privacy concerns.
The Government was unprepared to discuss crucial parts of the Part 3. Age verification for online pornography is proving to be more complex and demanding than the Government anticipated and they lack an adequate strategy. The Report stage of the
Bill (22 February) could offer some answers to the questions raised during the last week's Committee sittings, but Labour and Lib Dems need to be prepared to push for votes on crucial amendments to get the Government to address privacy and free
The European Union agreed Tuesday on new rules allowing subscribers of online services in one E.U. country access to them while traveling in another.
The new portability ruling is the first step of regulation under a drive by the European Commission to introduce a single digital market in Europe.
Announced in May 2015, the proposed Digital Single Market was met with full-throated opposition from Hollywood and Europe's movie and TV industry, which viewed it as a threat to its territory-by-territory licensing of movies and TV shows.
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the E.U.'s Council of Ministers all agreed to new laws which will allow consumers to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when
traveling within the E.U.
The online service providers will have nine months to adapt to the new rules, which means will come into force by the beginning of 2018.
Representatives Blake Farenthold and Jared Polis just
re-introduced their You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that aims to help you reclaim some of your ownership rights in the software-enabled devices you buy.
We first wrote about YODA when it was
originally introduced back in 2014 . The bill would go a ways toward curbing abusive End User License Agreements (EULAs) by making sure companies can't use restrictions on the software within your device to keep you from selling, leasing, or
giving away the device when you're done with it by. The bill would override EULAs that purport to limit your ability to transfer ownership of the device (and its software) and would make sure that whoever ends up with your device has the same
access to security and bug fixes that you would have had.
It is a bit of a fad to berate the social networks for passing on 'fake news' and other user posts deemed harmful to politicians and their jobs.
Although introduced last year, a nonsense private members bill is now getting a bit of attention for its proposals to demand that social media censors its users posts.
Labour MP Anna Turley's Malicious Communications (Social Media) Bill, calls for media censor Ofcom to impose fines up to £2 million for social networks who don't adequately prevent threatening content appearing on their services.
The bill would see social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and likely include apps like Snapchat and Instagram, to be added to a register of regulated platforms by the Secretary of State.
If the bill is passed into law, the companies on the list would be required to implement some sort of age verification blocking system akin to ISP blocking where over verified 18s could opt out of the content blocking.
The core of the bill as follows:
1 Requirements on operators of regulated social media platforms
(1) Operators of social media platforms on the register of regulated social media
platforms in section 5 (1) must have in place reasonable means to prevent
threatening content from being received by users of their service in the United
5 Kingdom during normal use of the service when the users--
(a) access the platforms, and
(b) have not requested the operator to allow the user to use the service
without filtering of threatening content.
(2) Operators must not activate an unfiltered service when requested by the user,
(a) the user has registered as over 18 years of age, and
(b) the request includes an age verification mechanism.
(3) In implementing an age verification mechanism operators must follow
guidance published by the age verification regulator.
(4) 15 In subsection (3), "age verification regulator" has the meaning given by section
17 of the Digital Economy Act 2017.
2 Duties of OFCOM
(1) OFCOM must assist, on request, the Secretary of State to meet his or her duties
in respect of the register of regulated social media platforms.
(2) 20 It shall be the duty of OFCOM to monitor and assess the performance of the
operators of regulated social media platforms in meeting the requirements of
3) In order to assess the adequacy of the arrangements of an operator of a
regulated social media platform to meet the requirements of section 1, OFCOM
(a) survey the content of the social media platform, and
Raees is a 2017 India action crime thriller by Rahul Dholakia.
Starring Sunny Leone, Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
BBFC category cuts were required for a 12A rated 2017 cinema release. The film was banned in Pakistan.
Pakistan: Banned in February 2017
The film was banned in Pakistan due to its objectionable content. A source from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said:
Owing to subtle portrayal of Muslims as violent criminals and terrorists, the recommendations forwarded by the CBFC panel deemed the film is unsuitable for public screening.
We could not issue a certificate because the film portrays Islam and a particular Muslim sect in negative light.
The film is set in the early 80's and 90's in Gujarat. The fictitious story of a man who builds an empire in the state of Gujarat, the only state that still follows prohibition. It's a story about his rise and his relationships, which help him
become the single most powerful man in the state.
Update: A little more about the background for the ban
The problem, as FirstPost explains, is that Raees tells the true story of a Muslim in the 1980s who indulges in the trade of liquor. The movie was deemed insulting to Islam because it subtly portrays Muslims as criminals, violent
terrorists, wanted men, and gangsters.
In other words, it is an action film about a bootlegger who was a Muslim. The real-life individual who inspired the film became a Robin Hood-style folk hero and grew influential in politics.
Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!
Channel 5, 28 September 2016, 21:00
Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! is an observational documentary series that follows the work of High Court Enforcement Agents ( HCEAs ).
Ofcom received three complaints about the frequent use of offensive language broadcast just after the watershed which, the complainants considered was not appropriate.
The pre-programme information provided by the continuity announcer referred to: 206highly offensive language in Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! Then, following the sponsorship credit, a warning was shown with a voiceover stating: Be
prepared for scenes of intense aggression and HIGHLY [emphasis in the original] offensive language from the very start and throughout, which may distress some viewers .
The first story in this episode, broadcast from 21:02, featured two HCEAs attempting to recover £5,000 from a man who requested that they should leave his property. From approximately 21:04, and for about three minutes, 15 instances of the most
offensive language were used, which consisted of 14 instances of the word fuck (and variations of it) and one instance of the word cunt .
Ofcom considered Rule 1.6 of the Code:
The transmission to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed206For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.
Channel 5 explained that its usual approach to ensure compliance with Rule 1.6 was that there should be no offensive language broadcast in the first seven minutes of a programme broadcast at 21:00 to ensure that the transition to more adult
material after the watershed was not too abrupt.
However, occasionally, and with regard to this particular episode, the Licensee explained that the editorial requirements of the programme meant that this position was varied. It said that it had permitted the offensive language on this occasion
because without it, the severity and volatility of the situation and the difficulties experienced by the HCEAs in carrying out their duties would have been unclear and incomprehensible to viewers. Channel 5 said that its decision to include the
most offensive language soon after the watershed was not taken lightly and that it had been referred up to the highest levels of Channel 5 .
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.6
We acknowledged that there was a clear editorial context for the inclusion of the offensive language in the programme 203 to illustrate the type of challenging behaviour encountered by HCEAs in the course of their work. However, in Ofcom's view,
this in itself did not provide sufficient editorial justification for this material to be broadcast at the very beginning of the programme soon after the watershed. We took the view that, even taking account of the editorial context and the
strongly worded and voiced warning, it was still unlikely that viewers would have expected the frequent use of the most offensive language in an aggressive and confrontational manner at such a short time after the watershed on a public service
channel like Channel 5.
We concluded that the programme was in breach of Rule 1.6.
A top celebrity has taken out a so-called super injunction to prevent the press from reporting a story on their personal and professional life .
The extreme gagging order prevents any information which could lead to the identity of the celebrity involved, including their sex, the reason they are famous and information relating to the story.
Officially, the legal measure - which is called an anonymised privacy injunction - has been used by a large number of celebrities including footballers such as Ryan Giggs and John Terry to cover up sexual infidelity.
The latest anonymous celebrity secured a super injunction against the Sunday Times in the High Court.
A Christian street preacher has been cleared of a hate crime after the evidence was heard in court.
The evangelist was locked up in a cell after preaching from the Bible to a gay teenager. Gordon Larmour was charged by police after telling the story of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old who asked him about God's views on homosexuality. An argument
ensued and within minutes the preacher was frogmarched to a police van, accused of threatening or abusive behaviour aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation - despite not swearing or using any form of offensive language.
The father-of-one spent a night in custody and faced a six-month ordeal before a sheriff cleared him of any blame.
Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday:
I can't see why I was arrested in the first place - it was a massive overreaction and a waste of everyone's time. The police didn't listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy's side straight away and read me my rights.
I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the Gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn't speaking my opinions - I was quoting
from the Bible.
In court the boy's friend told the truth - that I hadn't assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.
At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last month, Sheriff Alistair Watson ruled there was no case to answer and acquitted Larmour of threatening or abusive behaviour, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.
The Ghazi Attack is a 2017 India war historical thriller by Sankalp Reddy.
Starring Rana Daggubati, Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni.
A Pakistani submarine vanishes under mysterious circumstances.
The Ghazi Attack, claimed to be based on the sinking of a submarine during the 1971 Indo-Pak war under mysterious circumstances, has been instructed by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to remove it's opening titles claiming that the
film is based on historical facts and add a disclaimer that it is partly fictional and partly authentic.
A source from CBFC informed a newspaper that there is no comprehensive evidence that the incident detailed in The Ghazi Attack has any actual historic bearing. Yes, the incident is reported to have happened during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. But we
can't accept the film as a historical document. We've therefore asked them to remove the announcement in the opening titles declaring the film to be based on historical facts and instead, add a disclaimer saying the work is partly fictional and
Eurotrash was a fun loving Channel 4 magazine programme that presented sexy and funny stories from around Europe. It gained a cult following when it first aired in the 1990s. The show, which was presented by actor Antoine de Caunes and
fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, became a hit with ratings of between two and three million at its height
But New Labour arch censorship villain Jack Straw was apparently not amused. Seemingly he was 'appalled' when he walked in on his son watching the show that he secretly lobbied for it to be axed from the airwaves.
Straw is said to have doggedly pushed Channel 4's then head of nations and regions, Stuart Cosgrove, to get the show removed from the schedule.
Cosgrove, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland about politicians trying to influence the media, said:
I had a situation with a particular politician who was Jack Straw, the former Labour Minister, when I was at Channel 4.
He was adamant that he wanted Eurotrash to be taken out of the Channel Four schedule because he had gone home and found his young teenage son laughing at a sketch about Lady Godiva, it was that kind of bizarre, but he was fairly dogged about it.
Of course we kind of brushed it off or whatever.
But there is no question that there are politicians that assume they have got the power to kind of influence and push and test at the edges or whatever. And that goes on daily.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rebuked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for using the expression Islamist terrorism , saying the phrase saddened Muslims.
After a meeting in Ankara Merkel said:
We spoke in detail about...the questions of the fight against Islamist terrorism, against every form of terrorism, also the terrorism of the PKK.
Erdogan, sitting next to Mrs Merkel, was stony-faced as she used the phrase Islamist terrorism . Erdogan, glancing sternly at the German chancellor, pointedly remarked:
This expression "Islamist terror" seriously saddens us Muslims. Such an expression is not correct because Islam and terror cannot be associated. The meaning of Islam is peace.
It has become a bit of a political correctness issue for the media and politicians to report on world violence and terrorism when a disproportionately large number of news items are initiated by muslims. Maybe there can never be a polite or
acceptable word to describe this association. But neither is the association easy to cover up. If motivations or allegiances of terrorists are not reported, then readers/viewers simply notice the rather obvious omission and simply infer that this
must be due to it being related to islam.
The proprietor of the Daily Mail told its editor that David Cameron pressed for him to be sacked during the EU referendum, BBC Newsnight has learned.
Lord Rothermere told Paul Dacre the prime minister urged him to rein in his pro-Brexit editor, then suggested he sack him, a source told the BBC.
The Mail mounted a vociferous campaign for Brexit in the run up to the vote.
Newsnight understands the prime minister personally tried to persuade Dacre to cut him some slack in a private meeting in his No 10 Downing Street flat on 2 February, the day European Council President Donald Tusk unveiled details of the
deal negotiated by Cameron for the UK .
Dacre told Mr Cameron he would not temper his editorial line on Brexit because he had been a committed Eurosceptic for more than 25 years and believed his readers were too.
In early March, Dacre was told by a Westminster source that the prime minister had tried to persuade Lord Rothermere, a strong supporter of the UK remaining in the EU, to sack him. The Daily Mail editor was said to be incandescent and his
resolve to campaign for Brexit stiffened .
Only after the referendum, in July, did Lord Rothermere tell his editor of the pressure he said the prime minister had applied.
On 1 January 2016, Video on Demand censor ATVOD was sacked and Ofcom became the sole regulator for on-demand programme services ( ODPS ) under Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act ).
In this document, we are consulting on a new regulatory fees regime under section 368NA of the Act, to apply from the 2017/18 financial year onwards. Our preferred proposal is to adopt a fees structure that shares the costs of regulating ODPS
only between the largest providers.
We have also provided an estimate of the 2017/18 fee that would be sufficient to meet, but not exceed, the likely cost of Ofcom carrying out the relevant functions in the financial year 2017/18.
Ofcom sets out what VoD companies had to pay under the year of ATVOD:
(a) ATVOD's estimated costs for the year were just over £487,000 and the fees collected were just over £488,000.
(b) The 40 largest ODPS providers each paid over £5,000 and accounted for over 93% of fees.
(c) ATVOD differentiated between those in the largest group, with the largest Super A providers paying £10,893 each for single outlet services and £14,135 for multiple outlet services (with a group cap available where there were multiple
providers in one corporate group). A Rate providers paid £5,010 for single outlet services and £6,502 for multiple outlet services.
(d) None of the remaining 77 providers (the long tail ) paid more than £815, and 40 of these paid £204 or less. These providers accounted, in total, for under 7% of fees.
By contrast, Ofcom's estimate of estimated costs is £114,000 and this will be raised from Video on Demand companies as follows:
Companies with total turnover greater than 50 million: £4146
Companies with total turnover 10 to 50 million: £2073
Companies with total turnover less than 10 million: no charge
Ofcom noted that a proportionally smaller charge for the small companies may not be cost effective to collect and may discourage companies from registering for censorship either by illegal avoidance or by moving offshore.
A consultation on this preferred option and several others is open until 29th March 2017.
Feminists, women's shelters, and anti-pornography campigners in the U.S., Canada and Australia have started a boycott against the soft-porn BDSM movie 50 Shades Darker , claiming it glamorizes male-on-female violence and oppression.
The U.S. boycott is led by Morality in Media (now calling itself the National Center on Sexual Exploitation) and Culture Reframed. The latter group's founder and president, Gail Dines, told LifeSiteNews that the books and movies appeal to teenage
and young adult women and:
socialize them to believe that normal sex involves the oppression, dehumanization, and degradation of women by men.
In Australia the feminist campaign group Collective Shout has joined the protest.
The film, due to be released the second week of February, is the sequel to the hugely successful 50 Shades of Grey , which cost $44 million to make and grossed Universal Pictures more than $500 million.
The campaigners are urging people to skip the movie and give $50 to a women's shelter.