Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2014: September

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Update: Religious ASBOs...

Theresa May responds to China's call to censor religious extremism on the internet

Link Here30th September 2014
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
China called on Saturday for a worldwide crackdown on the use of the Internet by religious extremists and terrorists to stamp out their ability to communicate their ideas and raise funds.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks during the annual gathering of the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly in New York. he said:

As new developments emerge in the global fight against terrorism, the international community should take new measures to address them.

In particular, it should focus on combating religious extremism and cyber terrorism, resolutely eliminate the roots and block channels of spreading terrorism and extremism.

Theresa May responded on Tuesday for the British government.

She announced policies for new Extremist Disruption Orders. Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to the functioning of democracy , under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people.

The Home Secretary will also introduce banning orders for extremist groups, which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to 10 years in prison.



Update: Divine Inspiration...

Irish Government to hold a referendum on abolishing the crime of blasphemy

Link Here30th September 2014
Full story: Blasphemy in Ireland...Irish politicians enact blasphemy law
The Irish Government is set to agree to hold a referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution, following recommendations of the constitutional convention earlier this year.

While no timeframe is outlined, it is claimed the vote will be held on an appropriate date to be decided by the Government .

The sixth report from the convention, submitted to the Government in January, said a clear majority of members of the constitutional thinktank favoured the removal of the blasphemy clause.

It also proposed replacing the offence of blasphemy with something more or less the same but with a different name, ie a   general provision to include incitement to religious hatred; and the introduction of a new set of detailed legislative provisions to include incitement to religious hatred .

Former minister for justice Dermot Ahern introduced a new crime of blasphemous libel in 2009, with the offence coming with a fine of at least EUR25,000. At the time, Ahern said it was a short-term solution to avoid holding a referendum in an economic crisis.



Update: Defacement...

Russia moves forward a deadline for social media internet censorship

Link Here30th September 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

Russia's State Duma (parliament) has approved a bill to accelerate a new set of Internet restrictions that will provide for the banning of such web services as Facebook, and Amazon.

A law requiring all online companies to store users' personal data on Russian territory was passed last July and was set to enter into effect in September 2016, but then awmakers submitted a bill to move the deadline forward by more than a year. The bill to set the deadline to Jan. 1, 2015, has now passed the crucial second reading.

Lobbying group the Information & Computer Technologies Industry Association said in an open letter on Monday that the rule would cripple Russia's IT industry. Russia simply lacks the technical facilities to host databases with users' personal data, and setting up the infrastructure within the remaining three months is impossible, the letter said. , The group said on its website:

Most companies will be forced to put their operations on hold, inflicting untold damage on the Russian economy

But their appeal failed to sway lawmakers, who fast-tracked the bill --- a procedure that, most political pundits say, implies endorsement from the Kremlin.



Adverse Effects...

The Maldives is set to introduce book censorship

Link Here29th September 2014
Poetry and literature will have to be approved by the Maldivian government before they are published in the country, according to a new law which have been described as a disaster for freedom of expression by free speech campaigners.

The rules insist that those wishing to publish books in the Maldives must submit a finished copy of their work, along with a form and a MVR50 revenue stamp, to the national bureau of classification for approval, or face fines. This includes poetry, which is defined by the regulations as: w

Words and phrases structured into verses that fit a particular form, expressing thoughts and ideas that are heartfelt.

One strand of publication is exempted from the requirements:

...any writing published to circulate information among its members/employees by a political party, civil society group, company, or specific governmental body.

The book censors will be looking to ensure: That the works published in the Maldives do not contravene Islamic principles, the laws and regulations of the Maldives and societal etiquette , and to reduce adverse effects on society that could be caused by published literature . They will also, according to the translation, respect the constitutional right to freedom of expression and allow novel and constructive ideas .

According to Minivan News, following a social media outcry, the Maldivian youth and sports ministry has stated that the rules would not apply to either social media or news outlets.



Update: Smart and Pragmatic...

Malaysian blogger charged with sedition for a joke on his blog flees to the US

Link Here29th September 2014

   Happy Breaking Fast with Bak Kut Teh (a pork dish), aromatic, tasty and appetizing

Alvin Tan has made the wise decision to seek asylum in the USA after being charged in Malaysia for sedition over a joke on his blog.

Tan and his former partner, Vivian Lee, had been charged under the Sedition Act for uploading a joke about eating pork during Ramadan last year, but he violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore.

Tan explained in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider that leaving Malaysia was the only rational action as he was powerless to fight tyranny and ignorance .

He doesn't seem to have attracted much sympathy from fellow Malaysians who feel he should have accepted whatever punishment was due to him. Press reports quoted a few Facebook posters giving him a hard time.

In his interview with The Malaysian Insider, Tan had defended the post, which carried a photo of a pork dish, as political satire. He said it had highlighted the danger of using Islam as a basis to govern other people's life by legislating personal morals, without making a distinction between what is immoral and what is illegal.

Tan added that he did not believe he was a coward by seeking refuge in the US, but that he was:

Smart, pragmatic, calculative and mercenary. When the government and its institutions decide to ruin your life and jail you for years just because you hurt their feelings, you do not sit back and try to fight the overwhelming wave of emotional, irrational force coming down on you.

Update: Passport revoked

8th December 2014. See  article from

Malaysia's Immigration Department has revoked the passports of blogger Alvin Tan and activist Ali Abd Jalil, both of whom have sought refuge in foreign countries.

The vengeful Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim claimed the move was necessary so as to serve as a warning to those who insult the courts, the rulers and Islam. In fact the 'offence' was a trivial joke about enjoying pork.

Tan says he is currently in California and applying for asylum status in the United States.

Update: Vivian Lee sentenced

29th September 2016. From EconomicTimes

A Malaysian woman known for her ties to a sexually explicit blog was handed a suspended six-month jail sentence on Friday for posting a Ramadan greeting on Facebook in 2013 that showed her and a former partner eating pork.

Vivian Lee and former blogging partner Alvin Tan were charged in 2013 under the Sedition Act for uploading the photo that sparked 'outrage' in the Muslim-majority nation.

Following the sentencing Judge Abdul Rashid Daud granted Lee a stay pending an appeal.



A substandard educational message...

Kazakhstan's education ministry bullies children's TV for showing SpongeBob

Link Here29th September 2014

SpongeBob SquarePants, the Nickelodeon cartoon character who works as a fry cook at the bottom of the sea, corrupts the young minds of children and promotes hooligan behavior, according to Kazakhstan's education ministry.

 the New York Daily News reported that the country regards the character as a bully, who regularly inflicts violence on others in his community and seems to enjoy what he does,

Zabira Orazalieva responsible for children's rights at the Kazakh Education and Science Ministry, said:

SpongeBob beats up his neighbor, misbehaves and enjoys that. This hooligan behavior stays in the child's minds. They [see SpongeBob] as a role model and try to re-enact [his behavior] in real life.

She went on to blast cable channels like Nickelodeon and France's TiJi for running cartoons that promote a substandard educational message, as well as parents who let children watch the cartoons unsupervised.



Offsite Article: The Final Whistle...

Link Here29th September 2014
Security laws pass Australian Senate amid fears over draconian limits to press freedom. National security laws allow whistleblowers to be jailed and give Asio sweeping powers to gather online data

See article from



Mooning and Moaning...

Indonesian TV censors get wound up by Japanese children's cartoon

Link Here28th September 2014
With his penchant for mooning and blurting out risque spoonerisms, Crayon Shin-chan has delighted Japanese children, and infuriated their parents, for more than two decades.

But now the precocious five-year-old is being taken on by Indonesian TV censors, who have declared his antics as borderline pornography and warned broadcasters to censor images of his bare buttocks, scantily clad women and other indecorous scenes.

The Indonesian broadcasting commission has told TV channel RCTI to either cut supposedly  indecent parts of the programme or show it later when children aren't watching. A member of the commission claims:

The character fools around with his bare bottom exposed. He also noses around people [when they are] on dates. The show features a lot of female characters in seductive garments that emphasise their cleavage. It is essentially pornography.



God Swill...

US death metal band wind up religious groups in Russia

Link Here28th September 2014
US death metal band Cannibal Corpse has wound up religious activists ahead of concerts in Russia.

A group called God's Will has had a knock at Cannibal Corpse with leader Dmitry Tsorionov (Enteo) whingeing:

We send mass requests to the prosecutor, the description of what is happening at the concerts of the group, the texts of their songs, which are described in detail in the rape and murder of children.

The Orthodox Union also seeks to ban Cannibal Corpse from playing in Russia. Chairman Roman Pluta wailed:

We seek to ban concerts Cannibal Corpse in Russia. Their work is fully covered by the composition of the crime under the articles of the Criminal Code, for fueling religious hatred, promoting exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their religion.

Cannibal Corpse will be in Russia for a total of eight shows from Oct. 2nd-12th.



Free Speech Denier...

Rajan Zed has a whinge about artwork featuring a Barbie Kali

Link Here28th September 2014
Artists have caused a little 'outrage' by creating a Barbie in the image of the Hindu Goddess Kali.

The two Argentinian artists Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini have have gotten noticed after previewing pieces from their upcoming exhibition The Plastic Religion , which features Barbie and Ken dolls altered to resemble religious figures such as Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

Rajan Zed, a perennial Hindu whinger and has said:

The Barbie-fication of Kali is simply improper, wrong and out of place, reports The Hindu .

Hindus welcome the art world to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols for personal agendas.

Although the artists clearly intended to provoke outrage at their pieces, they commented that they drew the line at creating a Ken version of the Muslim religious character Muhammed.

Free speech denier Zed commented that Hindus strongly believe in free speech ...BUT... claimed that faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees .



Bully vs Bully...

Guardian high priestess of PC laudably has a knock at the bullies who shut down Exhibit B

Link Here28th September 2014
Catherine Bennett of the Guardian/Observer writes a laudable piece about Exhibit B being shut down by free speech deniers and bullies:

What price artistic freedom when the bullies turn up?

The closure of a Barbican show, forced by self-appointed censors claiming it was racist, threatens free expression.

See  article from

Surely this can't be the same writer who is such an aggressive bully and free speech denier when it comes to the subject of Page 3:

It bears repeating: page 3 is still an ugly institution

The Sun's owner is having doubts about naked breasts. What a pity those in power don't share his concerns

See article from



Sinful State Censorship...

Political film censorship in Turkey via awarding arbitrary 18 ratings

Link Here27th September 2014
Itirazim Var (Let's Sin) is a 2014 Turkey action drama by Onur Ünlü.
Starring Serkan Keskin, Hazal Kaya and Öner Erkan. YouTube icon IMDb

There is a murder while at prayer. Selman Bulut, the imam of mosque, starts to investigate the murder and faces with people in the neighborhood.

Politicised censorship of the satirical film Let's Sin by Onur Unlu, has cast a shadow over the industry.

The film, about an irreverent Imam who goes to extreme lengths to solve a murder, received several awards. But the Turkish Ministry of Culture designated an 18 rating for the film normally reserved for those with the most extreme sexual or violent content - a commercial kiss of death for most films, as few Turkish cinemas screen them.

The decision was widely seen by the film industry as politically motivated. A charge well founded, according to Yamac Okur, the film industry's representative on the rating classification board. Okur says ever since last year's anti government protests known as Gezi, the government has adopted a political agenda on classifying films:

Especially after the Gezi protests, I can say there is a tendency. It's very related to politics. Sometimes with the subject whether the content is sexual or religious and sometimes who directed it or produced it. For example for Onur Unlu, because Onur Unlu was very political and critical of the main government and politics.

The government of course denied any political motivation behind film classifications, but after the film industry erupted in outrage over the classification of Unlu's film. The Ministry of Culture finally backed down and re-classified the film as suitable for viewers 13 years old and above.

Arbitrarily awarded 18 ratings can also have another politically repressive usage. Any films that are state funded have to return the funding should the film be awarded an 18 rating. Obviously if ratings are not tied to content, then film makers are open to a massive financial hit should they offend the state and so get an 18 rating.

Okur, a successful film producer and a member of the classification board, has been trying to persuade the government to introduce reform. He says new legislation is pending that will introduce a clear criteria for the classification of films but that any reform is unlikely until after next year's general election.



Update: DuckDuckGone...

China takes offence at search engine that does not snoop on users

Link Here27th September 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
A U.S.-based search engine that had been gaining popularity in China for its privacy-protected search results has become a target of Chinese censors.

According to Tech In Asia , a technology news blog, Chinese authorities have not only blocked access to DuckDuckGo from Chinese servers, but they even appear to be censoring any mentions of the search engine online as well.

Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg explained that DuckDuckGo is a search engine that boasts real privacy by not collecting or sharing personal information from its users.  On Weinberg's personal blog , he goes into a little bit more depth about how important Internet privacy is to him, even opting out of the commonly used Google services, not only because they are competition but because he believes in privacy policies that do the minimum collection needed as opposed to the maximum collection possible.



Snoopers Win...

Australian PM announces that balance between freedom and security will now shift to security

Link Here27th September 2014

This week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used recent terrorist threats as the backdrop of a dire warning to Australians that for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift. There may be more restrictions on some, so that there can be more protection for others.

This pronouncement came as two of a series of three bills effecting that erosion of freedoms made their way through Australia's Federal Parliament. These were the second reading of a National Security Amendment Bill which grants new surveillance powers to Australia's spy agency, ASIO, and the first reading of a Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill that outlaws speech seen as advocating terrorism . A third bill on mandatory data retention is expected to be be introduced by the end of the year.

Whilst all three bills in this suite raise separate concerns, the most immediate concern--because the bill in question could be passed this week --is the National Security Amendment Bill. Introduced into Parliament on 16 July, it endured robust criticism during public hearings last month that led into an advisory report released last week. Nevertheless the bill was introduced into the Senate this Tuesday with the provisions of most concern still intact.

In simple terms, the bill allows law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to access data from a computer--so far, so good. But it redefines a computer to mean not only one or more computers but also one or more computer networks . Since the Internet itself is nothing but a large network of computer networks, it seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that the bill may stealthily allow the spy agency to surveil the entire Internet with a single warrant .

Apart from allowing the surveillance of entire computer networks, the bill also allows the addition, deletion or alteration of data stored on a computer, provided only that this would not materially interfere with, interrupt or obstruct a communication in transit or the lawful use by other persons of a computer unless ... necessary to do one or more of the things specified in the warrant . Given the broad definition of computer , this provision is broad enough to authorize website blocking or manipulation, and even the insertion of malware into networks targeted by the warrant.

Capping all this off, the bill also imposes a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment upon a person who discloses information ... [that] relates to a special intelligence operation . Although obviously intended to throw the hammer at whistleblowers, the provision would apply equally to journalists. Such a provision could make it impossible for Australians to learn about the activities of their own government that infringe international human rights laws.

All in all, this sweeping bill would hardly be out of place in the NSA's pantheon alongside the USA PATRIOT Act. But unlike the United States, Australia does not have a written Bill of Rights in its Constitution, making its freedom-abridging laws even harder to challenge in court.

Nevertheless Australia is a signatory to all major regional and global human rights instruments including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides that No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy , and that Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression . Australia, like all other nations of the world, is also addressed by the Necessary and Proportionate Principles that provide more detailed guidance on how to apply international human rights standards in the context of communication surveillance.

It is far from clear that a proper balance can be struck by rushing this draconian bill through Parliament at a time when elevated fear of terrorism may lead to important civil liberties safeguards being forgotten or deliberately overruled. Australians should call on their government, before it is too late, to withdraw this bill for further consideration. If not, this may mark the week in history when it became easier for the Australian government to surveil and manipulate the Internet at will.



The Maze Runner...

BBFC category cuts for a 12A rated cinema release (Missed from 2 weeks ago)

Link Here26th September 2014
The Maze Runner is a 2014 USA action Sci-Fi mystery by Wes Ball.
Starring Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter and Kaya Scodelario. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for intense scenes, threat, violence after 43s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Distributor chose to remove or reduce moments of threat, violence and injury detail in order to achieve a 12A classification. An uncut 15 was available.
Summary Notes

A group of boys, with no memories of their past lives, must escape a massive maze infested with deadly creatures.



Extract: Subterraneanean London...

Book thankfully escapes censorship and persecution at the hands of the British Transport Police

Link Here26th September 2014
Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital by Bradley L. Garrett (Compiler), Stephen Walter (Illustrator), Will Self (Foreword)

Promotional Material

Bradley L. Garrett is researcher at the University of Oxford. His writing and photography has been featured in media around the world. Garrett is the author of Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City. Will Self is a London-based journalist and the author of nine novels. His most recent book, Umbrella, was published in paperback in April 2013. Stephen Walter is an obsessive draftsman educated at the Royal College of Art. His interest in the semiotics and the phenomenon of place often finds form in hand-drawn maps.

See  article from

Bradley L Garrett and his colleagues thought of their explorations and photographs as a form of public service. We were going to take photographs of parts of the city that people don't normally see and share them with the public.

The British Transport Police saw the situation differently.

In August 2012, upon returning to England from Cambodia , Garrett's plane was stopped on the runway at Heathrow. British Transport Police boarded, handcuffed him, and escorted him off the plane. He was taken through passport control, where officials seized his passport and then placed him in custody for 24 hours.

Elsewhere, police took a battering ram to the front door of his London home and confiscated his property, including his phone and the entire contents of his filing cabinet, research notes and all. Authorities also raided the homes of ten other people, identified from reading Garrett's ethnographic Ph.D. thesis on urban exploration.

Over the next two years, the defendants could not leave the country. Relationships fizzled out. Job contracts were cut short. Garrett didn't see his family and was denied permission to attend the funeral of a friend, journalist Matthew Power, who passed away in Uganda in March.

When the case finally came to court this year, it collapsed within two weeks. As The Guardian reported, Garrett pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal damage to railway property and avoided jail.

...Read the full article featuring some excellent photos from the book



86 whingers claim that e-cigarette advert was overtly sexual...

But ASA blows smoke in their faces

Link Here 26th September 2014

A TV ad for VIP e-cigarettes featured a woman in a black dress, who spoke to the camera and said, You know that feeling you get, when something's great? You can touch it, hold it, even see it. Well, now you can taste it. As she spoke she ran her hand over her thigh. The voice-over stated, Choose the great taste of VIP e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Quality assured since 2009, with a variety of flavours and nicotine strengths from 0 to 24 mg. VIP.

Eighty-six viewers objected to the ad.

  1. Most viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive because they believed it was overtly sexual and irresponsibly sexualised e-cigarette use.

  2. Many also challenged whether the ad was suitable for broadcast before 9 pm.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes were not a prohibited category under the BCAP Code, and were therefore permitted to be advertised, providing they were advertised responsibly.

The ASA considered that the woman in the ad spoke in a sensual way, and was depicted touching her leg in a sensual manner. We acknowledged that some viewers would find the ad distasteful, but considered that the sexual references were unlikely to be regarded as explicit or overtly sexual, and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, or to be regarded as irresponsible.

2. Upheld

We noted that Clearcast had applied an ex-kids restriction which meant the ad could not be shown in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. We considered that the scheduling restriction applied would likely restrict younger children from seeing the ad. However, we were concerned that the degree of sexuality in the ad, while not overt, was also unsuitable for older children. We therefore concluded that, to minimise the risk of children seeing it, the ad should have been given a 9 pm timing restriction.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form before 9 pm.



Update: Dangerous chats in Kent - yet again...

Obscenity law being dangerously used to police private, if reprehensible, text messages

Link Here26th September 2014
Full story: Obscene Private Chat...Extending OPA to private internet chat

According to recent news reports, a former male nurse who is an American citizen living now in Kent had allegedly fantasised in a US-based fetish chat room about raping, killing and eating young girls and women. After he supposedly tried to take his fantasy into real life and meet up in Ashford with someone he believed was a 14 year old girl in order to kill and eat her , he was arrested and charged with various offences. It was revealed in court that the FBI had been monitoring the man after he had chatted online two years ago about his cannibal fetish to a New York Police Department officer who was himself under investigation, and as a result the Kent police had been informed.

The man was subsequently found guilty of a grooming offence, but he also pleaded guilty to various other charges, including 7 counts of publishing an obscene article , which related specifically to the online chats he had taken part in. This should jog people's memories somewhat, as it harks back to a case brought by (guess who?) Kent police in 2010. Here, a man was charged with the same offence for online chats involving fantasies about raping and murdering children. This sparked an outcry at the time among the more libertarian-minded as it had been accepted for over 30 years that purely written material (as opposed to illustrated works), no matter what its subject matter or content, was no longer to be regarded as obscene.

So, what exactly is going on here? Well, a few years prior to this, during the public consultation about the extreme porn law now enacted by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, the Kent police made a submission that there remained ...a legislative gap in terms of written fantasy material specifically about child rape and murder , and so in their opinion the proposed law should be extended to cover extreme written material as well as images. Up to this point, the police were acting responsibly and within their remit in flagging up to Parliament what they believed to be a gap in the law, but Parliament disagreed with them, and that should have been that. However, since then it appears that Kent police have been adopting a different approach and trying instead to push the boundaries of the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) in an attempt to secure convictions for such extreme material.

As far as I am aware (and as someone who is not a member of the legal profession, my awareness in these matters only reaches as far as the public media), these attempts by Kent police have so far only managed to achieve guilty pleas . This is a very different thing from a guilty verdict as it does not set a legal precedent, but who knows what might happen in the future. No matter what you may think about the depravity or otherwise of the material in question here, it could only take a single guilty verdict to bring the OPA very much back into play for any type of written material, and we will all be worse off if we end up being robbed of our hard-won right to write what we please.



A call for Ms Ira Bilk Hunts...

Parents TV Council whinge at joke mentioning the word 'rape' in a joint Simpsons/Family Guy episode

Link Here26th September 2014
A joint episode of The Simpsons and Family Guy is set to air on the Fox network in the US on Sunday. The trailer has revealed a joke featuring the politically correct no-no, the word 'rape'.  It has got America's moralists up in arms. The Parents Television Council have called for the joke to be cut.

The gag is about baby Stewie misunderstanding the nature of Bart's prank calls. First, Bart calls Moe's Tavern and asks if there's anyone there with the last name Keybum and the first name Lee -- causing the bartender to call out for a Leaky bum . Then an excited Stewie tries his version of the wind-up, and blurts out: Hello, Moe? Your sister's being raped.

The Parents Television Council have claim that the joke, playing on the different sense of humour between the family-friendly Simpsons and edgier Family Guy, is 'inappropriate'. President Tim Winter spouted:

Rape is never a laughing matter. Never. It is simply indefensible for a broadcaster to use the publicly-owned airwaves to make tasteless and senseless jokes about rape.

He also claimed that the joke could have a devastating impact... on countless past, present and future victims of sexual assault . The group says it will lobby advertisers on both shows to ask if rape jokes reflect their corporate values .

MacFarlane famously once said that getting Parents Television Council complaints were:

Like getting hate mail from Hitler. They're literally terrible human beings. I've read their newsletter, I've visited their website, and they're just rotten to the core. For an organisation that prides itself on Christian values -- I mean, I'm an atheist, so what do I know?--they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I'm concerned.



Commented: Bullies and Slaves...

Barbican censors art exhibit in response to protests

Link Here26th September 2014
An art exhibition featuring black actors chained and in cages to depict the horror of slavery has been closed by the Barbican gallery following a vociferous campaign of protest.

Officials from the arts venue decided to end an impasse with demonstrators who on Tuesday evening greeted the opening of Brett Bailey's Exhibit B at the Vaults in south London by blockading both the entrance and the road leading to the building.

Two hundred protesters with drums and placards demonstrated outside, prompting the attendance of officers from both the Metropolitan police and British transport police. The officers were summoned to address reports of a disturbance, but made no arrests. The event was quickly cancelled.

Its censorship was hailed as a victory by campaigners who claimed 20,000 signatures on a protest petition against what they called complicit racism .

In a statement, the Barbican said:

Due to the extreme nature of the protest outside the Vaults, regrettably we have cancelled this evening's performance of Exhibit B as we could not guarantee the safety of performers, audiences and staff. We respect people's right to protest but are disappointed that this was not done in a peaceful way as had been previously promised by campaigners. Further subsequent performances up to and including Saturday 27 have also been cancelled.

Offsite Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

26th September 2014. See article from

It was a sad day for freedom when Brett Bailey's work was shut down by a mob.

...Read the full article

Offsite Comment: I wanted to make my own mind up about Exhibit B

26th September 2014. See  article from by Bonnie Greer

I don't want to be stopped from seeing a work of art because someone else decides it's inappropriate , incorrect or racist

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: Arizona's Naked Photo Law Makes Free Speech a Felony...

Link Here26th September 2014
Lawmakers take revenge on Arizona people without their consent, criminalising them via a massively overbroad definition of revenge porn

See article from



Offsite Article: The Art of Unblocking Websites Without Committing Crimes...

Link Here 26th September 2014
A UK developer has created a new and free service that not only silently unblocks any website without falling foul of the law, but one that will eventually become available to all under a GPL 3.0 license.

See article from



Offsite Article: Australia's most ridiculous instances of video game censorship...

Link Here 26th September 2014
The Australian government seem to think that video games are only for kids but hate both of those terms. They denied even the existence of adults who played games for years, until the R18+ rating was introduced in 2013.

See article from




BBFC advised category cuts for a 15 rated cinema release

Link Here25th September 2014
Horns is a 2013 USA / Canada horror fantasy thriller by Alexandre Aja.
Starring Juno Temple, Daniel Radcliffe and Heather Graham. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong bloody violence, sexual violence, sex, nudity, language, drug use after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce a scene of sexual violence and to reduce a very strong gory image. When the film was submitted for formal classification, edits had been made and the film was classified 15.
Summary Notes

In the aftermath of his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.



Growing Up...

Portland TV presents a few ideas to try and make age verification systems viable for porn websites

Link Here25th September 2014

Television X parent Portland TV has announced a deal with London-based identity specialist, Veridu, in the run-up to Friday's XBIZ EU debate on the viability of online age verification (AV).

The UK's video on demand censor, ATVOD, requires that hardcore VOD content be placed behind an onerous access control gateway, and that technical tools are used to verify that customers are over 18 years of age.

Unfortunately the state is doing nothing to help set up a viable and trusted verification scheme, leaving porn sites in an impossible situation. In an environment where phishing and identity theft is all too common, users simply won't trust porn sites with dangerous personal information.

According to Portland TV's Managing Director, Chris Ratcliff, the company has wrestled with age verification since bringing its web operations onshore in 2011. An initial move to credit card-only transactions resulted in revenues taking a severe hit given the large majority of U.K. customers for whom debit cards are the preferred payment route. Debit cards are considered unacceptable to ATVOD as as a few are held by under 18s.

Portland was quick to introduce to a belt and braces approach to age verification by running checks against independent data sources via a third party identity provider, Intelligent ID. However this hasn't proved very successful, as Ratcliff comments:

I'd like to thank Intelligent ID for getting us started, but the market's shifted [and] ultimately I needed a broader range of datasets to verify against. Veridu has been particularly enterprising in this respect. They offer the traditional checks against the U.K. electoral role, a number of credit reference agencies and passport and driving license data.

The next step is to commission an independent audit of the accuracy of Veridu's ability to age verify using social sign-on. If we can crack this, it will further reduce costs and ease the whole on-boarding process by removing the need for customers to share sensitive personal data when they sign up. Let's face it, the last thing you want to hand over to your favorite porn site is your passport or driving license.

It seems that the idea of social media age verification is that the system would take a look at your Facebook profile say and if all your friends are school pupils then it will refuse age verification. It would be tough to fabricate a significantly populated social network so this may make sense, but it sounds a little bit iffy when trying to verify people say around their 18th birthday, no doubt the pedants in the likes of ATVOD and Ofcom, who have to answer to the Daily Mail, don't really want to get involved in accepting a grey area around one's 18th birthday.

Portland and Veridu are at least working on a database of people who have been verified so that websites can check prospective customers against the database of people already verified, which would then obviate the need for further demands for passport scans etc.

Surely it would better for everybody involved, even ATVOD and Ofcom to seek out a practical solution as it would encourage UK companies implementing checks rather than encouraging foreign companies that don't.

Another interesting solution being considered is to verify age by using a mobile phone in the sign up process and simply checking that the mobile phone has been enabled for adult content. Customers generally trust telecoms companies with their credit cards so this sounds far more viable solution than porn websites asking for ID details themselves.

Portland TV is working with Telecom 2 to integrate its mobile age verification solution, Verime, which checks the AV status of a user's mobile SIM by polling the mobile network operator to verify if the handset has been enabled for adult services.

Age Verification: The Pros & Cons will take place on Friday, September 26 at 1 p.m. as part of XBIZ EU at the London Hilton Metropole. Speakers include representatives of Portland TV, Veridu, Telecom 2, Intelligent ID, the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) and .XXX. The session will be chaired by Jerry Barnett of Sex & Censorship.



An Expensive Watch...

Open Rights Group is monitoring legal case calling for ISPs to block websites on grounds of trade mark infringement

Link Here25th September 2014
For the first time ISPs are being asked to block websites on the basis of alleged trade mark (rather than copyright) infringement. Whilst ORG takes no view on the merits of the trade mark claims in the current case, we believe the outcome of this case will have implications for future trade mark blocking applications, which could potentially threaten the legitimate interests of third parties.

Legal Director, Elizabeth Knight said:

As the court is being asked to extend the circumstances in which blocking orders are granted, it's vital that the wider public interest is taken into account. We hope that our intervention will help ensure that future claimants cannot use blocking orders to restrict legitimate activity or free speech.

David Allen Green, lawyer at Preiskel & Co LLP, is acting for ORG pro bono. He said:

In our adversarial system it is hard for the voices of third parties to be heard by a judge, even when the court will be developing remedies which can affect the legitimate rights of people who are not parties to a particular case. In this case the High Court has kindly permitted the ORG to intervene so as to make detailed submissions on how this novel jurisdiction should not be abused.

The case has been brought by luxury brands Cartier International and related companies. They are calling for BSkyB, BT, EE, TalkTalk and VirginMedia to block a number of websites that they claim have been using the brands' trade marks for counterfeiting activity.

In its submission to the Court, ORG stresses that it is neutral about the details over this particular case. The organisation's concerns are that if the claimants are successful, the ruling could be used as a basis for applications for blocking orders that are contrary to the public interest - for example, if the judgment was used to try and block websites that use trademarks to legitimately criticise or parody well known brands. Court blocking orders may also affect commercial third parties who have no involvement in any alleged infringement - for example law abiding businesses whose products appear on websites alongside those of companies involved in infringing activity. ORG is not opposing the current application, but has submitted to the court a test that should be adopted so that blocking orders are only granted in circumstances where they are proportionate, effective and contain safeguards against abuse.

ORG is campaigning for more transparency around websites blocked for legal reasons through its Error 451 project . ORG is calling for ISPs to show an error 451 message when material has been blocked by a court order and to provide more information to the public.



Dragging their Heels...

Facebook get heavy about users who would prefer not to use their real names

Link Here25th September 2014
Facebook has decided to move forward with deleting all profiles who do not change their personal profile names to their legal names during a two week grace period.

The decision comes after Facebook agreed to meet with a group of drag queen activists on Wednesday to discuss Facebook's recent campaign to delete hundreds of drag queen profiles who are using their stage names or chosen names on their Facebook accounts.

Facebook's policy stipulates that a name displayed on a personal account must be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, driver's license or student ID. Facebook spokesperson Andrew Souvall in a statement:

We had a good discussion with the group about their perspectives on our real name standard, and we stressed how the standard helps prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment.

We've decided to temporarily reactivate the profiles of several hundred members of the LGBT community whose profiles were recently deactivated. This will give them a chance to decide how they'd like to represent themselves on Facebook. Over the next two weeks, we hope that they will decide to confirm their real name, change their name to their real name, or convert their profile to a Page.

Buzzfeed notes:

Activists have raised s imilar concerns for transgender users who could be at risk if they no longer identify with the names they were given at birth and use chosen names on their Facebook profiles. Many transgender people, especially transgender youth, may not be able to legally change their names and provide proof of the name they identity with if asked by Facebook. And for some transgender users, being outed by having to use their legal names could be dangerous, the activists said.

A petition reads:

This issue is discriminatory against transgender and other nonconforming individuals who have often escaped a painful past. They've reinvented themselves or been born again and made whole, adopting names and identities that do not necessarily match that on their driver's license.

One has also to wonder if the requirement for real names is being pushed by the authorities. It must make their life very easy for snopping especially as people post such intimate details about their life.



Offsite Article: New Australian E-Safety Commissioner could be censorship czar...

Link Here 24th September 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
The Australian government is preparing to legislate wide-ranging internet censorship, and hoping that sentence won't scare the hell out of you if they shout children! By Luke McKinney

See article from



Carry On Cooking...

A few whinges about innuendo in the Great British Bake Off

Link Here23rd September 2014
A few whingers have written to BBC Points of View to complain about constant smutty remarks in The Great British Bake Off , claiming the totally unnecessary innuendo was leaving Mary Berry embarrassed.

The BBC has made presenters Mel and Sue risque banter something of a focus of this series, starting up its own Twitter hashtag to showcase its innuendo of the week .

Recent episodes have seen presenters joke about having a nice pear and perfect nuts , with Mel Giedroyc ask contestants whether they are a pie or a tart , and Sue Perkins telling them: You have got two hours to pop Mary's the oven and bring it out again. .

The Telegraph trawled twitter for a few trivial tweets:

Shirley Fooks said: They get smuttier and smuttier, and it is totally unnecessary. Mary Berry looked quite embarrassed on the first programme of this series, and so were we as a family.

Jeremy Vine, Points of View presenter, joked the show had become just too hot in the kitchen for some .

The BBC confirmed it has been contacted just seven times about its innuendo.



Finger on the Pulse of Venezuela...

Cartoonist sacked for making the government feel uncomfortable

Link Here23rd September 2014
The firing of a longtime editorial cartoonist at El Universal newspaper for drawings critical of Venezuela's government caused a protest from former colleagues against the censorship of opposition viewpoints.

Cartoonist Rayma Suprani's firing this week reflects the country's increasing censorship, according to a statement issued by staff at the newspaper:

We're sorry that (Rayma) is no longer with us and we see (her firing) as one of the major costs that the new ownership is paying for trying to adapt to an editorial line favourable to the government.

Suprani sent a message over social media saying she was let go because her cartoons made the Maduro government uncomfortable. Her last sketch, published on Sept. 17, showed two medical charts one atop the other. One was labelled Health and tracked a patient's normal heart beat. The other was labelled Venezuela's Health and showed a flat line.



Met Sweat...

Protests against a New York staging of the opera The Death of Klinghoffer

Link Here23rd September 2014
There has been a protest in New York against an upcoming show at the Metropolitan Opera House.

A few dozens of people (from what the amNY newspaper ludicrously describes as different backgrounds, ignoring the politically incorrect elephant in the room), gathered outside Lincoln Center calling on the Met Opera's general manager, Peter Gelb, to cancel its upcoming performances of The Death of Klinghoffer .

The opera depicts the 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists and murder of passenger Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish New Yorker, and it has been accused of being anti-Semitic tone.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis said: What's next? 'ISIS: A Love Story'?

The Met, which is planning to present the opera in October and November, reiterated that although the show deals with difficult subject matter it stood by Adams's work. I t said in a statement:

As a cultural institution, we unwaveringly support the freedom of artists to create responsible work that addresses difficult contemporary topics. We firmly believe that artistic explorations of politically charged subjects should be presented to the public without fear of censorship.



DD Size Offence...

Outrage at trivial innuendo in advert for business centre

Link Here23rd September 2014
A billboard advertising office space in Devon has 'offended' a few people in Exeter who whinged that the poster is sexist.

The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, features a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .

Among those calling for the poster to be banned are members of Exeter Feminists. Group founder Ellis Taylor spouted:

The blatant objectification of women in this advert is completely unnecessary and it is disappointing to see an Exeter business supporting old fashioned ideas.

I don't think the business is aware of the damage a poster like this can cause, it reinforces the idea that women are objects purely for men and that it is okay to treat them in such a way.

The poster needs to be removed and the business needs to recognise the level of sexism and objectification which it is associating itself with.

The adverting company has received about 20 complaints and has been contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has received 5  complaints..

Matford's managing director, Harry Langley, explained that jokey adverts with images of women are effective:

We needed an effective way to advertise our office space. Looking at examples of adverts that have worked for other companies in the past, we saw that word play and images of women were the most successful.

We combined the two factors with the aim of creating a humorous and memorable way of promoting our facilities. We compared our advert with other images around at the moment and judged it was acceptable.



Offsite Article: Unforgotten Crimes...

Link Here23rd September 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Oxford Mail republishes crime stories censored by Google under the EU's disgraceful 'right to be forgotten'

See article from



Offsite Article: Index on Censorship cuts through EU propaganda bullshit...

Link Here 23rd September 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Myth-busting: European Commission misrepresents right to be forgotten objections

See article from



Offsite Article: Stereotypically PC...

Link Here23rd September 2014
Australian high priestesses of PC claim their porn is more ethical than everybody else's

See article from



Government Crime...

CPJ highlights a repressive law that will restrict free speech on Qatar

Link Here22nd September 2014
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Qatari government to abolish parts of a restrictive cybercrime law that passed this week, despite assurances from its prime minister last year that the legislation would not restrict freedom of expression, which is supposedly protected under the Qatari constitution.

The broad language of the Anti-Cybercrime Law will be used to restrict press freedom and impose prison sentences on journalists inside the country, according to news reports . Under Article 8, the law threatens to punish anyone found guilty of violating social values by publishing news, pictures, audio or video recordings related to the personal or family life of individuals, even if true, with up to one year in prison and a QR100,000 ($28,000) fine, according to local reports. The same punishment would apply to those found guilty of libel online.

According to a local news report , the law also states that those found [jeopardizing] the safety of the state, its general order, and its local or international peace by spreading or publishing false news through any means could face a one-year prison sentence and QR250,000 fine. Article 6 of the law threatens fines of up to QR500,000 and prison terms of up to three years for spreading false news with the aim of destabilizing national security, reports stated.

Sherif Mansour, CPJ Middle East and North Africa Coordinator said:

This law is ostensibly to stop cybercrime but at least two articles will severely restrict freedom of expression, which is not a crime The Qatari authorities should repeal all articles in this law which curb press freedom. Failure to do so will chill public discourse between the Qatari government and the citizens it serves.



Offsite Article: Australia's 'counter-terror' laws will restrict free speech and the free press...

Link Here 22nd September 2014
Sweeping laws to gag publication of sensitive materials are dangerous for democracy. Abbott should not let hysteria over terrorism be used to thwart the freedom agenda. By Elaine Pearson

See article from



Playing World Domination...

US games rating groups sets out ideas for an international rating

Link Here21st September 2014
Gamesbeat spoke with ESRB president Patricia Vance on the eve of the board's two-decade anniversary. Vance said:

The American public is still very sensitive about sex, relatively sensitive about language, but has a relatively high threshold for violence. Our ratings reflect that.

Other countries have different standards, which is what makes current international efforts by the ESRB so interesting. A collection of game rating organizations from around the world have collected to create a single online questionnaire that developers can use to receive ratings from all regions at the same time.

The end rating is not the same, Vance says, because cultural norms are different in different parts of the world. But a developer only has to apply once to get their ratings for this country, Brazil, Germany, and other parts of Europe. She said:

It's quite revolutionary. It gets nuanced. Our challenge was to streamline the form. A lot of people made compromises. We're sensitive to each country's specific criteria.

The form, which is undergoing an update, asks developers to answer 10 basic questions, then opens up with more queries depending on the answers to the first 10. Some questions are in the form for a specific country: the use of swastikas, for example, will affect a game's rating in Germany in a way it does not here. A game might be appropriate for wider audiences in other markets than in the U.S. depending on sexual content. And different countries slice their audiences in different ways.

I don't think there would ever be a universal global rating, Vance said. Among other reasons, this country has the First Amendment right to free speech, which is unique, she said. Governments run most other ratings agencies and have the right to censor content.



Skirting Around the Law...

Texas court throws out overbroad law prohibiting public photography taken with the intention to arouse

Link Here21st September 2014
A Texas court has thrown out an overbroad law prohibiting public photography with the intention to sexually arouse someone, on the grounds the previous ruling violated Texas' citizens' constitutional right to freedom of expression.

The Texas Court of Appeals ruled 8-1 to strike down part of a law which bans taking images of another person in public without their consent and with the intention to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person , criticising the paternalistic intrusion into peoples' private right to be aroused.

The law was framed in response to a case of an upskirt invasion of privacy where the charges were contested on grounds of freedom of speech.

However the lawmakers went way beyond a law to deal with upskirt photography. Presiding judge Sharon Keller explained:

Protecting someone who appears in public from being the object of sexual thoughts seems to be the sort of 'paternalistic interest in regulating the defendants mind' the First Amendment was designed to guard against.

Lawyers argued that the above-mentioned law was the stuff of Orwellian 'thought-crime' . They said that the legislation failed to distinguish between up the skirt photography and taking an image of a girl walking down the street, suggesting it could be used to criminalise paparazzi photojournalists.



Rejecting calls for 10 year prison sentences for online copyright breaches...

Open Rights Group has responded to a consultation into changes to the law that could lead to people found guilty of online copyright infringement facing up to ten years in prison.

Link Here 21st September 2014

The consultation, carried out on behalf of the IPO by Inngot is based around the following question:

Today, there is a significant difference between the penalties for offline and online copyright infringement. If convicted, criminals can serve up to ten years for the first -- but only a maximum of two years for the second. Do you think the law should be changed?

In our response , we have outlined why we believe that it is is misleading to suggest that online and physical copyright infringement are comparable offences and should therefore carry the same penalties. It is relatively easy to distribute large numbers of digital copies of a work online, while doing the same in the physical world would involve infrastructure clearly beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. We believe that there is a risk that members of the public could be unwittingly in criminal online infringement -- even if they are not making any money.

Changing the law could even lead to harsher sentencing for online infringement than for offline infringement. The difficulty in making evidence based assessments of the actual values involved in online infringement tends to generate estimates of very high economic harms, easily in the millions. This could make non commercial online infringers end up with much higher sentences than hardened criminals dealing with physical goods.

ORG also believes the consultation is flawed because it doesn't seek the opinions of ordinary internet users but assumes that respondents, generate income from the copyright of their works. We do not believe this policy should be considered but if it is, we will mobilise our supporters and the rest of civil society to oppose it.



Updated: To Singapore with Love...

Film censors banish film about political exiles

Link Here20th September 2014
To Singapore, with Love is a 2013 Singapore documentary by Pin Pin Tan. IMDb

In the 1960s and 1970s, Singaporeans, who were activists, student leaders or Communists were exiled from their country. Fifty years later, despite resettling in countries such as the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Thailand, it is clear that the diaspora still holds Singapore and the idea of returning home in their hearts and minds. TO SINGAPORE, WITH LOVE follows the exiled protagonists in the film, as they undertake a trip to Singapore's closest neighbor, Malaysia, where they attend reunions, memorials and stay in a hotel that overlooks their homeland.

A documentary film about self-professed exiles -- including members or supporters of the now-defunct Communist Party of Malaya (CPM, who are living overseas has been barred in Singapore.

Announcing its decision to ban the 70-minute film To Singapore, With Love , Singapore's films censors of the Media Development Authority (MDA) claim that its contents:

Undermine national security because legitimate actions of security agencies to protect national security and stability of Singapore are presented in a distorted way as acts that victimised innocent individuals.

The individuals in the film have given distorted and untruthful accounts of how they came to leave Singapore and remain outside Singapore

The MDA said, adding that the Government has made it clear that it would allow former CPM members to return if they agree to be interviewed by the authorities on their past activities to resolve their cases.

The MDA pointed out that the CPM had sought to overthrow the legitimate elected governments of Singapore and Malaysia through armed struggle and subversion, and replace them with a communist regime .

The film by local director Tan Pin Pin centred on the exiles -- some who have not returned for 50 years -- ruminating about their lives away from Singapore. It has won Ms Tan multiple international awards, including Best Director at the Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary Awards at the Dubai International Film Festival last year.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said he supported the MDA's assessment.

Update: Cross border screening

20th September 2014. See  article from

Hundreds of defiant Singaporeans protesting censorship gathered in Malaysia on Friday to see a documentary banned by censors in their home country.

The film, To Singapore, with Love , examines the case of political exiles in the city-state and features interviews with nine former activists, student leaders, and self-confessed communists who fled Singapore from the 1960s until the 1980s and are currently settled in Malaysia, Britain and Thailand.

Organisers estimated 400 people watched the screening, saying most of the audience was made up of Singaporeans who had crossed the border to view the production in the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bharu.

Singapore, ruled by the same party since 1959, has relaxed strict social controls including media censorship in recent years, but continues to impose stringent regulations on films that discuss local politics.



Offsite Article: War on Citizens...

Link Here20th September 2014
Tor, proxy and VPN users will soon be liable to having their devices taken over by US state snoops

See article from



Update: Anti-Pornography Default Setting...

Geraint Davies introduces nonsense private members bill for new computers to be sold with censorship enabled

Link Here19th September 2014
This Bill was presented to Parliament on 10 September 2014. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on 7 November 2014.

This Bill is a Private Member's Bill. These are often not printed until close to the second reading debate.

So far the only available information is the smmary:

A Bill to prohibit the distribution of sexually explicit images via the internet and text message without the consent of the subjects of the images; to provide that mobile phones and other devices capable of connection to the internet be set by manufacturers as a default to deny access to pornography; and for connected purposes



Update: Can we have an independence referendum please...

EU internet censors want to extend arbitrary censorship under the right to be forgotten

Link Here19th September 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
According to Reuters, European internet censors say they've agreed on a uniform set of EU-wide rules and criteria that will be used to evaluate appeals under the disgraceful Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) law announced earlier this year by the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of 'Justice'.

Google has received in excess of 120,00 censorship requests since May. Many have been granted but many have not. Google is hardly in a position to research the merits of the case, so the decisions are essentially arbitrary.

Those whose censorship requests are turned down will be able to appeal the decision and that's where these censorship criteria will be applied.

The specifics of the rules won't be finalized until November. However Reuters suggests they will primarily take into account factors such as the public role of the person, whether the information relates to a crime and how old it is. There's still considerable ambiguity in some of these areas.

Google has adopted a practice of notifying publishers when RTBF links are removed. Apparently EU censors don't like this practice (probably because it puts political pressure on them amid cries of censorship or objections from the publishers).

Google currently only removes the subject links and material from the individual country Google site where the request was made (e.g.,, but not from Johannes Caspar, Germany's internet censor, reportedly believes that these RTBF removals should be expunged globally. He spewed:

The effect of removing search results should be global. This is in the spirit of the court ruling and the only meaningful way to act in a global environment like the Internet..

Hopefully this won't occur as the US is a bit more keen on freedom than the PC extremists of the EU.



Update: Missing 5 minutes Found...

Distributors explain that 2 minutes have been cut Scott Schirmer's movie, not 7

Link Here19th September 2014
Found is a 2012 USA horror thriller by Scott Schirmer.
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck and Phyllis Munro. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film's Australian distributor Monster Pictures has said that 2 minutes have been cut to placate the country's film censor.

It was originally noted that the censored version was 7 minutes shorter, but presumably 4 minutes of this can be attributed to a PAL speedup and the other minute to rounding errors.

So the international league table of censorship now reads

3rd place Australia, R18+ rated after 2 minutes of cuts

2nd place UK . 4 seconds cuts

Passed 18 for strong bloody violence, sexualised violence, gory images after 4s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:

  • 2014 Monster Pictures R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 13th October 2014
The BBFC commented:
  • A cut was required to remove sight of a murderer's erect penis, during a scene of sadistic sexualised violence and threat.

1st place, US, uncut

Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • 2014 Xlrator R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 23rd September 2014

Promotional Material

FOUND is a unique and supremely disturbing coming-of-age story of a boy whose big brother is a serial-killer.

Growing up is tough for Marty. His parents don't understand him and he is bullied at school. He has only his big brother to look up to...that is until he discovers his brother's chilling secret and a severed head in a sports bag at home.

FOUND unravels a gripping and gruesome story that captures what it's like to grow up in the time of VHS tapes and video nasties, as the American dream and everyday suburbia descends into a home-grown hell that will leave even the most hardened horror fan shocked by its disturbing finale.



Update: Common Media Censorship Standards...

So what is the Government's internet censorship group up to?

Link Here19th September 2014
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) describes itself as a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

The group meets quarterly and the last published minutes reveal discussions about:

Common Media Censorship Standards

Ofcom has begun work to develop a common framework for media standards as set out in last year's Connectivity, Content and Consumers paper. Audiences continue to wish for certain fundamental protections and the safeguarding of critical freedoms. Protection of children should be the starting point of any debate about protections across media. Future protection frameworks should include a mix of regulation, self-regulation and self-imposed standards and measures that empower people to manage their and their families' access to media. Ofcom is planning to carry out research and analysis and develop options for Government

Over Blocking is presumably making it impractical for parents to opt for website blocking

The over blocking reporting process will be accessed via Internet Matters and web site owners can use this single location to reach BT, BskyB, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Details about how it will be publicised will be discussed on 11th July.

Members of the public are already able to report when they think a website has been unfairly blocked - when they attempt to access a blocked site, a splash page comes up explaining that it has been blocked and there is a link allowing the user to report. This is currently in place with all four ISPs.

Age verification

Rachel O'Connell, UKCCIS lead on age verification, poke about the age verification working group and her recent briefing paper, Age Verification: New Possibilities. E-ID provides a method to verify age and is starting to be introduced across Europe. There is an opportunity to revisit age verification, it is a big commercial opportunity and could provide an opportunity for big savings. Age is an attribute of ID, if you've proven your age with your bank, or your mobile phone company for instance, you should be able to use this so you only have to verify your age once. Rachel recommended fostering children's participation without stifling innovation.

Rachel continued that there is a strong assumption that mobile, and mobile payments will drive demand for E-ID. Vocalink for example, is introducing an app that will check age. Rachel recommended that banks are asked to start collecting data on the age of those 17 and under with bank cards - when a user makes a card payment, as well as checking that the money is available in their account, the system should also check the user's age is appropriate to purchase the product or service. Rachel felt that this would also be a priority for retail, as age verification is a fundamental need for development of online lockers, and the potential for federated age verification token would cut costs phenomenally.


ATVOD supports existing initiatives to improve take up of parental controls and the legislation to remove any doubt that material that would be rated R18 by the British Board of Film Classification must be put behind access controls on regulated UK-based services. There is work to be done at an EU and international level. The payments industry have made clear that they would prevent UK payments to foreign websites which allow children to view hard-core porn if it was clear that such websites were operating in breach of UK law



Update: Offensive Censorship...

Iranian blogger sentenced to death for supposed insult of a religious character

Link Here19th September 2014
A blogger has fallen victim to extreme censorship in Iran and has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting the religious character Mohammad on Facebook.

According to an informed source , speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Soheil Arabi, had kept eight Facebook pages under different names and admitted to posting material supposedly insulting to a religious character.

Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting Mohammed carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.

The anonymous source claims:

Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence. They didn't even take any notice of Soheil's statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor [psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful.

Arabi will be able to appeal against the decision until 20 September.



Kuwait's book censor recommends...

Abdullah Al Busais' new novel, Stray Memories (Zakriyat Dalla)

Link Here19th September 2014
Kuwaiti government book censors have prevented Abdullah Al Busais's new novel S tray Memories (Zakriyat Dalla) from entering the country.

Most of the annoyed or outraged commentary on Twitter doubted the government's ability to prevent people from seeing new writing and new ideas:

There was no official statement given about the banning, although novelist Abdullah Al Busais said there was some claim that the novel had obscene content. He further suggested that the book was banned because of tweets about the novel, not the novel itself.

The book is set before and after Iraq's invasion of its southern neighbor, and the novel reportedly follows two central characters, a Kuwaiti officer and a bidoon , or stateless person.



PC Crime Scene: Do Not Cross the Line...

Ludicrous whinges about knickers slogan

Link Here18th September 2014
Lingerie brand Tezenis has removed a pair of knickers from a range on sale in its London store after receiving a few 'outraged' tweets whingeing about the the phrase crime scene printed across them.

The ludicrous tweeters claimed rape connotations over the phrase on the knickers, which were on display at the brand's Oxford Street store. Example tweets were:

  • Nothing celebrates the female body like having female sexuality equated with a 'crime'.

  • I think the implication is rape, isn't it?

A spokesperson for Tezenis said the underwear has been removed from the store and is not available to buy online.



Offsite Article: Dangerous Reading...

Link Here18th September 2014
Full story: Thai Coup 2014...Media censorship prominent in Thai Coup
Thailand's military dictators threaten to use mass internet snooping to target those surfing websites critical of the state

See article from



Update: Blocking Discrimination...

Symantec to remove censorship category for blocking gay lifestyle websites

Link Here17th September 2014
One of the biggest web censorship services in the world has announced they are scrapping blocks on gay and lesbian content.

Symantec, the online security firm behind Norton, has routinely been censorsing out LGBTI websites offering news, charity and support. The lifestyle-sexual orientation category will now be removed from its databases. Fran Rosch, executive vice president for Norton products said:

Making this change was not only the right thing to do, it was a good business decision. Having a category in place that could be used to filter out all LGBT-oriented sites was inconsistent with Symantec's values and the mission of our software.

While Symantec will allow customers to set their search to block adult oriented websites, there will no longer be an option to block websites just because they have LGBTI content.



Wur Dooomed!...

Just by coincidence, Dad's Army's Frazier has a few choice words about Scottish independence

Link Here17th September 2014
As always the BBC is showing old episodes of Dad's Army. But the choice of the latest episodes shown has raised a few additional chuckles.

A Yes campaigner noted:

A total of 80 episodes of Dad's Army were made by the corporation -- and which one does it choose to show on the Saturday ahead of the vote? The one in which Frazer -- played by John Laurie -- tells Mainwaring that he can run the platoon better than him, is put in charge and then makes a total mess of things. Thank you very much, Auntie Beeb.

A BBC spokesman insists that episodes are always shown in a specific order and adamantly denies there was ever any political intent in scheduling the Frazer episode ahead of the vote.



Offsite Article: The Daily Independent Mail...

Link Here17th September 2014
The 'liberal' press have taken the right-wing rags role of being absolutely bloody offended by something

See article from



Update: Investigative Journalism at Risk...

Journalists go to European Court to protect of their sources from GCHQ snooping

Link Here16th September 2014
The European court of human rights (ECHR) is to investigate British laws that allow GCHQ and police to secretly snoop on journalists.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has gone to Strasbourg in a bid to get a finding that domestic law is incompatible with provisions in European law which give journalists right to keep sources confidential from police and others.

The application has been accepted by the ECHR, which has indicated in the past it will expedite cases on surveillance through its legal system.



Update: Rumbling On...

Another US court case about the censorship of the Innocence of Muslims

Link Here16th September 2014
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie
A second actor has sued Google over a movie called Innocence of Muslims that mocked the religious character Mohammad. Segments of the film were released on YouTube and violent protests were initiated in response in the muslim world.

Gaylord Flynn said he has received death threats and fears for his life while Google continues to provide its users with access to the film, according to his lawsuit, filed in a California federal court.

Flynn, who is also suing the film-maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula , said Google had refused to block access to the movie, even though a ninth US circuit court of appeals panel last February ordered it taken off Google's video-sharing website, YouTube. In that case, actor Cindy Lee Garcia sued Google for an injunction, claiming she owned the copyright of her performance.

Google argued at the time that an injunction amounted to restricting speech in violation of the US constitution. The company is demanding a rehearing from the full appeals court.

Flynn said the film-maker concealed the true nature of his production. He said he thought he was hired for a movie called Desert Warrior and never consented to be in a religiously oriented film nor in one that propagates hate speech . Flynn, like Garcia, said he did not sign a release and his own copyright interests remain intact, according to the complaint.

Update: Appeal

15th December 2014. See  article from

A federal appeals court will reconsider a decision to order YouTube to take down an anti-Muslim film clip. Muslims in the Middle East responded violently resulting in death threats to the actors over claims of blasphemy.

An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena will hear arguments by Google, which owns YouTube, disputing the court's decision to remove Innocence of Muslims from the popular video sharing service.

Alex Lawrence, a copyright and intellectual property lawyer in New York not connected with the case, said he thinks the court will reverse the earlier ruling because the judges reached a decision to give Garcia some relief on thinly grounded law:

There's a lot of sympathy for Miss Garcia, Lawrence said. She got paid $500 and received death threats. Everyone feels sympathy for her, but using copyright in this way is a real problem for a lot of industries.



Offsite Article: Pendulum Swinging...

Link Here16th September 2014
Adult entertainment has become much more accepted by a larger segment of modern society, but I believe we are beginning to see the pendulum swinging back towards more conservative values. By Timm Henning of ASACP

See article from



British adult internet industry set to go dodo...

No samples, no debit cards, and vague requirements for soft hardcore only

Link Here14th September 2014
The first scraps of information about the government's upcoming internet censorship laws have been reported in the Sunday Times.

The Government seems to be drafting a law to apply the BBFC/Crown Prosecution Service censorship R18 rules to Bristish adult websites.

The Sunday Times writes:

FILMS that glamorise sexual violence and abuse are to be banned from British-based websites as the government prepares to impose the same standards on the internet as on cinemas and shops selling DVDs.

Under legislation due later this autumn, British services will be prohibited from showing material that would be refused an age rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

However it is yet clear how this can be implemented, as some of the BBFC prohibited content is very vague as what is to be banned with such material as squirting, breath constriction and narrative allusions to under 18s sex. Is a couple of seconds of cuts enough to make a film totally illegal to show on a British website? It seems so, the article notes:

Currently films with scenes removed by the BBFC for consumption in cinemas or on DVD can be shown online in their original form without penalty.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Video on Demand censor, Peter Johnson said there would be significant fines for websites breaching the new rules that will be imposed by Ofcom. Adding that if necessary services would be removed.



Political Correctness allows no legroom for humour...

Newspaper cartoon likening cramped planes to slave ships causes the inevitable 'outrage'

Link Here14th September 2014
A US newspaper has apologised for publishing an editorial cartoon that compared aeroplane seating conditions to those on slave ships.

The Lancaster Online president, John A Kirkpatrick III, and executive editor, Barb Roda, said in a statement they were deeply sorry for publishing the since-deleted cartoon, which compared the cramped conditions on planes to that on slave ship to the US.

To somehow link the inconveniences of air travel with slavery in general and the slave ships in particular was not only just plain wrong it was deeply hurtful to our African American community and all those who understand the horrors inflicted on the men and women forced into the slave trade, the. It both trivialised and demeaned their experience.

While the editorial cartoon was not drawn by someone on our staff, the decision to run it on our pages was made here. We are deeply sorry about printing this offensive cartoon.



Update: One Million Moms Recommend...


Link Here14th September 2014
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
The Christian moralist campaign group, One Million Moms writes:

In the newest Live in Levi's commercial, there are many suggestions of what you can do in your Levi jeans. The ad states consumers can do many things in their Levi's. For several reasons this Levi commercial is distasteful and sends youth the wrong message.

Many have found the unbutton them and button them segment highly inappropriate. The scene shows a couple making out leading up to a sexual encounter. The female begins unbuttoning the male's jeans until their young daughter walks in on them and the male quickly buttons back up his jeans.

There are a few other offenses during this commercial including a water drenched man air drying his jeans from a public bus window while wearing his underwear, along with the statement you can wash them or not. Then there is a roll them reference, with a couple rolling on top of one another while wearing their jeans.

Levi Strauss & Co. is being irresponsible in their new advertising campaign, especially since it is aired as early as 6:30 pm when families are likely watching. This advertisement is harming children in the name of humor.



A Straight Flush...

SouthKorea bans monetised games from Facebook in a bid to force foreign games to sign up for censorship

Link Here13th September 2014
South Korea is banning all monetised Facebook game in a move targeted at casino games, most notably Zynga poker.

Facebook games, including casino games, are being blocked until the country implements a new censorship and ratings system.

On August 29, Korea's Game Rating and Administration Committee shut down games such as FarmVille , Candy Crush Saga and the new version of Zynga Poker . Stop payments were put on the games, preventing players from spending any kind of money on in-game micro-transactions.

The block appears to be a way to enforce the 2013 Game Industry Promotion Act, which established a legally binding age-appropriateness rating system in December of last year. Foreign games companies had not been heeding to censorship requirement.

A panel of nine people, which includes professors, attorneys and non-government organization representatives, will now rate games. which will be placed in one of four categories: Suitable for all; 12+, 15+, and Adults Only.

Game developers and publishers can submit their software to be rated and then should receive a rating within 15 days of filing an application. A fee also must be paid to take part in the ratings process. This will then re-enable the payment process for games that are deemed suitable by the censor board.

South Korea's new restrictions came out just before Zynga launched its new version of Zynga Poker for mobile devices, so it is assumed that this is the target of the new censorship process. The game now won't be available for the South Korean market.



Offsite Article: Facebook Censorship...

Link Here13th September 2014
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook's chief censor speaks of the website's rules about nudity and terrorism

See article from



The Art of Bad Censorship...

A fine example of the 'right to be forgotten' being abused

Link Here12th September 2014
Roy Greenslade in the Guardian has written of a fascinating example of the 'right to be forgotten' being clearly abused.

The Worcester News was told by Google that it was removing from its search archive an innocuous article in praise of a young artist.

Although Google does not say who complained, the paper's editor, Peter John, is confident that Roach himself made the request because he had previously approached the News to remove the piece from its website. Apparently, Roach is now a professional artist and, in the belief that he is now a much better painter than he was in 2009, he thinks the painting of a Walnut Whip which accompanies the article might damage his artistic reputation.

The Worcester News editor notes:

An artist wanting to remove part of his back catalogue did not strike us as the sort of principle that the European court of justice had in mind when it came up with the right to be forgotten ruling.

We are trying to appeal, but have not yet been able to find out if Google have an appeals procedure.



A Miserable Voice...

Ireland's TV censor has a whinge at a sexy dance performance on The Voice

Link Here12th September 2014
Ireland's TV censor has had a whinge at a slightly sexy dance performance on the talent show, The Voice of Ireland.

The performance accompanied contestant Danica Holland's rendition of Lady Gaga' s single Do What U Want on Sunday, March 23. Around 521,200 people watched the programme which aired at 6.30pm, of which about 12% were under 18s.

The complainant was appalled that RTE would sanction such a dance routine at the time in question, and stated that when one of the judges likened the routine to a scene from Basic Instinct , it reinforced her opinion of the programme.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) partially upheld a complaint from a woman who had been watching the programme with her young children. In its ruling, the BAI said both the dance routine and song:

Included clear sexual overtones and in particular there were significant sexualised elements dealing with adult themes such as sexual submission, both emotional and physical.

It considered these inappropriate for children and adolescents , some of whom it claimed  are not likely to have the maturity to assess and negotiate the boundaries of appropriate sexual behaviour , and added that the programme did not demonstrate due care .



Commented: Censor objects normalise predatory censorial behaviour...

ASA bans American Apparel advert in a splurge of feminist mumbo jumbo

Link Here 12th September 2014
Full story: American Apparel...Sexy clothing adverts wind up the advert censors

Two ads, on the American Apparel's website and Instagram page, for a skirt which was featured in their School Days or Back To School range:

  • a. The website ad on featured an image of a girl wearing the skirt, a top and white underwear, bending over to touch the ground, photographed from behind from a low angle. Her crotch and buttocks were visible.

  • b. The ad posted on the advertisers' UK Instagram page featured an image of a girl wearing the skirt and a top leaning into a car, photographed from behind from a low angle. Her buttocks were visible.

Two complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive and irresponsible, because they were overtly sexual and inappropriate for a skirt advertised as school-wear.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA considered that the way in which the model was posed in both images, with her head and upper body obstructed in ad (a) by her legs, and cut off from the frame in ad (b), meant that the focus was on her buttocks and groin rather than on the skirt being modelled. We considered the images were gratuitous and objectified women, and were therefore sexist and likely to cause serious and widespread offence. Furthermore, we considered the images imitated voyeuristic up-skirt shots which had been taken without the subject's consent or knowledge which, in the context of an ad for a skirt marketed to young women, we considered had the potential to normalise a predatory sexual behaviour. We considered the ads had therefore not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers or to society.

Notwithstanding the above, we noted that, on American Apparel's website, the skirt was featured in its SCHOOL DAYS or BTS (which we understood to stand for Back To School') 'Lookbook , and that the image on Instagram had been similarly referenced. We also noted it was not possible, from the images, to determine the age of the model because her face was not visible. We considered that, from the context in which the ads appeared, it was likely that those who viewed them would understand that the model was, or was intended to appear to be, a schoolgirl. We considered the ads had the effect of inappropriately sexualising school-age girls and were therefore offensive and irresponsible for that reason too.

We noted American Apparel's view that, because consumers would be aware of their branding, they would expect to see such images when viewing their Instagram page or visiting their website. We considered, however, that the ads were irresponsible and likely to cause serious and widespread offence irrespective of whether consumers had opted in to American Apparel's marketing communications, and particularly in the context of a clothing brand which had appeal to young people, including teenagers under 16 years of age. We noted American Apparel had removed the images before we had contacted them, but were nonetheless concerned that the images had appeared in their advertising at all. We concluded the ads were in breach of the Code.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told American Apparel (UK) Ltd to ensure their future advertising was prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society, and that it contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Offsite Comment: The warped minds of the ASA

12th September 2014. See  article from

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is no stranger to childish behaviour. But with its latest decision to ban images from raunchy retailer American Apparel's Back to School campaign for inappropriately sexualising schoolgirls , the over-zealous watchdog really has thrown its toys out of the pram.

...Read the full article



Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

Satisfaction, a TV program on USA Network

Link Here12th September 2014
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
The religious morality campaign group, One Million Moms spout:

USA's new program, Satisfaction , has a name that says it all. I suppose the name Unsatisfied didn't sound as attractive. Like a revamped soap opera, spouses get themselves tangled in a web of lies and hurt the ones they love. Satisfaction airs on Thursday evenings at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT.

The tagline for the program is: They have everything but are still not satisfied. The show focuses on attempts to find satisfaction by having an affair, paying for an escort or getting paid for sex. A show full of adultery, cheating, drugs and lies is the last influence our society needs. Even though the program airs a little later in the evening, it is not late enough since the bedroom scenes are soft porn and the previews are aired earlier in the day.

Satisfaction centers around a married couple who have no regrets and feel no remorse about committing adultery with someone else - or cheating on their own spouse. Infidelity is the new trend sold as normal by USA.

To put it on a scale, Satisfaction is more pornographic than the show Mistresses. This program consists of so much nudity and erotic sexual content that it probably is the worst show we have seen since Nip Tuck. Hollywood is continuing to push casual sex, sometimes with multiple partners, as acceptable.



Offsite Article: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act has proved to be a snooper's charter...

Link Here 12th September 2014
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
It can be argued that it is less about regulating the government and more about conferring them without much regulation at all. By David Banks

See article from



Obituary: Richard Kiel...

James Bond villain Jaws dies aged 74

Link Here11th September 2014
Richard Kiel has died aged 74. The 7ft 2in actor was most famous for his role as James Bond villain Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979),.

It's perhaps as the silver-toothed colossus Jaws that he will be best remembered, but like the character, who eventually reforms and becomes good, he was in reality a gentle giant and everyone who was lucky enough to meet him came away with happy memories.



Mass Suffocation...

ATVOD threatens 74 British porn sites don't follow its impractical age verification rules

Link Here10th September 2014
ATVOD has published determinations that two further adult services, operating across 74 websites, has breached its rules requiring UK video on demand providers to implement onerous and impractical age verification rules.

Videos featuring explicit images of real sex could be accessed by children on the internet services, in breach of ATVOD's rules.

The two online video on demand services were Extreme Movie Pass and UK Sirens .

The services each broke the rules in two ways. Firstly, they allowed any visitor free, unrestricted access to hardcore pornographic video promos/trailers or still images featuring real sex in explicit detail. Secondly, access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee. As the services accepted the most popular payment methods, such as debit cards, which can be used by a few under 18's, ATVOD held that each service had also failed to put in place effective access controls in relation to the full videos.

The operator of Extreme Movie Pass, the service spanning 73 websites, failed to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD. The service provider has therefore been referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended.

But thankfully there is enough porn on the internet to last several lifetimes. It's just a shame that British companies are made to suffer to no effect on children's access to porn. Perhaps ATVOD could do something a bit more positive and ask banks to provide an over 18 check to debit card transactions.



Updated: Easily Duped by the Presumption of a Cuddly World...

TV complaints at 12A rated trailer shown at 10pm during football

Link Here10th September 2014
A few parents have complained about ITV for showing a violent scene from the 12A rated movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The trailer went out at half time during the semi-final of the World Cup. The advert featured a computer-animated chimpanzee viciously shooting a man with a machine gun was screened at around 10pm, well after the watershed.

Some viewers said they had let youngsters stay up late to watch Holland play Argentina and thought the advert was inappropriate .

Inevitably the Daily Mail trawled Twitter for a few example whinges:

Furious at @ITV for shocking my children (and me) last night. After 9pm maybe, but during the football?? Poor show.

In the clip, the monkey is shown performing acrobatics as it enters a room where two armed men are sitting on a sofa. After drinking with them and smiling, the animal suddenly turns angry, picking up a machine gun and firing at one of the men, killing him. The advert ends with the ape pointing the gun at the other man, who is shown pleading with the creature to spare him.

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said:

I can confirm that we've received around 100 complaints overnight about the TV ad for the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which appeared on ITV yesterday at around 10pm.

Complainants are concerned that the ad shows an ape grabbing a gun and shooting a man with it, during the broadcast of the World Cup semi-finals, which children would have been watching.

We're logging these complaints, we'll access them before making a decision as to whether we will investigate or not.

Update: ASA dismisses the whinges

10th September 2014. See  article from

A TV ad for the cinema release of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , was seen on ITV during World Cup Semi-Final coverage at approximately 9.50pm.

A voice-over stated, And now an exciting look at the must-see movie of the summer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hitting cinemas next Thursday. The following scene showed an ape approach two men who were sitting on sandbags drinking from metal cups. One man pointed a gun at the ape and he held up his arms in a surrender pose in response before tumbling into forward rolls and clapping as though in a performance. The following exchange between the three characters began good-naturedly, but ended with the ape stealing an automatic weapon from one of the men and shooting the other dead. The remaining man held up his hand with a fearful expression on his face while the ape, now baring his teeth and holding a threatening stance, aimed the gun at him. The ad closed with on-screen text giving the film name as gunfire resounded in the background. The voice-over stated, That looks incredible. Tell us what you think. Hashtag DawnofApes ... Issue

The ASA received 119 complaints:

  • 1. the majority of the complainants, who believed the ad was inappropriate for children to see, challenged whether the ad was scheduled responsibly;

  • 2. some viewers, who believed the theme and content of the ad was unsuitable for juxtaposition with a mainstream sporting event, challenged whether it was scheduled appropriately;

  • 3. a large number challenged whether the ad was overly violent and distressing; and

  • 4. the remainder of the complainants challenged whether the ad irresponsibly condoned violence and firearm use.

ASA Assessment

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA considered that care must always be taken to ensure that ads were suitable for a viewing audience and noted the BCAP Code specified that relevant timing restrictions must be applied to ads that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that were otherwise unsuitable for them. In addition, broadcasters must exercise responsible judgement to avoid unsuitable juxtapositions between ads and programmes.

It was clear from the outset in this example that the ad contained an extract from a forthcoming film and the title of the film was given in voice-over and on-screen text. The opening scenes, involving the clowning antics of a chimpanzee-like character, seemed innocent. The scene quickly developed, however, to the point that there was the threat of gun-use together with atmospheric background music, which built a level of tension and indicated that the content was not as light-hearted as might have first appeared. Despite the escalation of menace, the shooting dead of one of the men was unlikely to have been anticipated and therefore likely to have caused shock to viewers. The ad closed with an ominous scene of the snarling ape purposefully pointing a gun directly at the body of the remaining man, who was seen to be in some shock and fear, and the sound of gunshots, indicating his killing. We considered that the tension of the ad, and the scenes of shooting and personal threat, meant that it was unsuitable for young children.

The film had been categorised as 12A, which meant that it contained material that was not generally suitable for children under 12 years of age. However, children younger than 12 were admitted to a 12A film in a cinema when accompanied by an adult, at the adult's discretion. It was important to recognise, however, that those who chose to visit the film at the cinema were likely to be acquainted with its theme and adults could exercise choice about whether that material was suitable for under-12s in their care, whereas not all TV viewers who had chosen to watch the World Cup Semi-Final would necessarily be aware of, or expect, the content of the ad.

Clearcast had applied a post 9 pm scheduling restriction in recognition of the level of violence in the film clip and we considered that, under ordinary circumstances, this was likely to be acceptable. Audiences beyond 9 pm were likely to be aware that they could be exposed to material, both in programming and advertising content, that was intended for adult viewers and the content in this example, although shocking, in our view was unlikely to cause harm or distress to adults when broadcast at that time. However, the circumstances of this ad were not usual; it was broadcast during a world sporting event, likely to be of more general interest than, for example, regular football fixtures.

The World Cup attracted a large TV audience, but the child audience index did not demonstrate that the Semi-Final had been of particular appeal to children, that is, those under 16 years of age. Within the parameters of child viewers, significantly more appeal was demonstrated to those over 10 years of age than to those under 10, but the number of children viewing in either age group did not compare to the proportion of adult viewers at the time.

While it was unfortunate that any distress was caused to younger viewers who did see the ad, we considered that the scheduling restriction in place, together with the time of broadcast, 9.50 pm, meant that it had been directed away from younger viewers. Older children, although likely to be shocked by the unfolding story of the scene, were likely to understand the extract within the context of the pending cinema release, the content of which had been certified as suitable for over 12s. The match had not demonstrated particular appeal to children of any age and the overall content, which was tense and menacing rather than gory or overly explicit, was unlikely to cause harm or distress to older children watching at that time.

We acknowledged that some adults who were watching the Semi-Final had found the ad to be too graphic even for an adult audience who had chosen to watch a sporting event. While we understood that they were likely to be similarly shocked by the ad's twist, we considered that, in view of the overall content and the brevity of the closing scene, they were unlikely to be distressed by it.

We concluded that the ad had been responsibly scheduled.

3. & 4. Not upheld

The ad built suspense throughout its 70-second duration and contained a 5-second scene at its close that involved an ape shooting two men at close range. The images might have been unnerving, given that they were unexpected, and seemingly at odds with the notion of how an ape might behave. However, while there was an element of terror, the shooting scene was brief and inexplicit. Although our view was that the ad was unsuitable for very young viewers, the level of action and violence it contained was unlikely to cause distress to others, providing that it was broadcast with an appropriate timing restriction. The ad was given a post 9 pm restriction and broadcast at 9.50 pm.

Guns were involved in the entire storyline of the ad. The action was clearly set in a fictional environment and the khaki clothes of the men plus the sandbags on which they sat gave the scene a military feel. We understood that some viewers had found the depiction of firearms in the ad to be irresponsible. However, given the context of the ad as an extract from a fantasy film, we considered that viewers were unlikely to relate the ad to actual crime and real world behaviour.

We acknowledged the reaction of viewers who had found the ad difficult to watch. However, given the content and the timing restriction applied, we considered that it was unlikely to cause undue distress or to be seen as condoning violence or irresponsible firearm use.



X Narks the Scot...

A Kirkintilloch prude has a whinge about the poster for the Hollywood comedy Sex Tape

Link Here10th September 2014
Bus stop adverts for the new Hollywood comedy, Sex Tape, have attracted a few whinges in Kirkintilloch.

The poster, which features, lead star Cameron Diaz in her underwear, has been pasted across bus shelters in the town centre.

A few residents have complained of the supposed saturation of sexual imagery at bus stops.

Euan Hutchinson, a prude from Kirkintilloch, believes the advert sends a dangerous message to local youngsters. He spouted:

I don't think it's really appropriate for young children to be sat at a bus stop for 10-15 minutes with this kind of imagery for company.

I'm not a prude by any means. ..BUT... it's not right that it has been displayed for youngsters like that.

I drove down the main street in Kirkintilloch and the poster was on four consecutive bus stops. I haven't seen anything quite like that before; you can't escape it.

You just have to look at events in America now with so many people's lives ruined by this sort of thing.

But the film seems to be down-playing the seriousness and misery of it all buy making it look more like a harmless giggle.

Young people need to be a little more aware of the dangers of these things and not bombarded like this.

The Advertising Standards Authority say they have received 23 complaints about ads for the film, with many saying it is inappropriate for children . The ASA are currently reviewing the complaints before deciding on further action..



Offsite Article: Holding Coats...

Link Here10th September 2014
German companies are selling unlicensed surveillance technologies to human rights violators

See article from



Going to the Dogs...

Ofcom points out basic compromises that have to be made to enable investigative journalism

Link Here9th September 2014

  Going to the Dogs
Channel 4, 12 June 2014, 22:00

Going to the Dogs was an observational documentary about dog fighting broadcast on Channel 4. Ofcom received 1,736 complaints in relation to the programme. They covered a range of issues but focused broadly on offence or concern caused by:

  • scenes of dog fighting and other cruelty to animals (the programme also included footage of battery farming, horses being killed and pheasant shooting);

  • contributors who were involved in dog fighting having their identities protected and not being reported to the police; and

  • the possibility that contributors involved in dog fighting had been paid for their participation in the programme.

A number of complainants also considered that the programme glamorised dog fighting.

Ofcom assessed the programme, which was of 75 minutes duration. It was a documentary featuring individuals involved with dog fighting in the UK, and discussing the moral and legal issues surrounding various activities that involve animals (such as battery farming, hunting and horse racing). In particular, the programme included three pieces of footage of dog fights that the programme makers had filmed. Each was recorded in what appeared to be a disused building, and the footage clearly demonstrated both the violence of the dog fights and the injuries caused to the animals involved. In addition, the programme also included clips from a video of a particularly bloody dog fight that had taken place in what was purported to be Kashmir.

Ofcom considered rules of the Code:

Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Rule 2.4: Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes, or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour.

Rule 3.3: No payment, promise of payment, or payment in kind, may be made to convicted or confessed criminals whether directly or indirectly for a programme contribution by the criminal (or any other person) relating to his/her crime/s. The only exception is where it is in the public interest.

Ofcom Decision: Complaints not upheld

Rule 2.3

while the footage of animal suffering included in the programme was shocking and distressing to some viewers, Ofcom considered that it would not have exceeded the expectations of the majority of the audience for this Channel 4 documentary.

Ofcom also assessed complaints that viewers were offended that contributors featured in the programme who were involved in dog fighting had their identities protected and were not reported to the police.

We noted Channel 4's comments that it is not its policy to hand over untransmitted rushes of programmes to the authorities. The Licensee also told Ofcom that it was a condition of the access secured by the production team that those involved in dog fighting would not have their identities disclosed.

Ofcom recognised that the protection from identification provided to the contributors involved in dog fighting may have been offensive to some viewers. However, in accordance with the right to freedom of expression, there are some circumstances in which journalists need to protect their sources to investigate and report on criminal activity. Importantly in this case, Ofcom also noted that the programme makers acted and filmed in an observational manner: at no point did it appear that any criminal activity had taken place for the specific purposes of the programme or as a direct result of the programme makers' presence. Taking all of the above into account, Ofcom concluded that Channel 4 applied generally accepted standards and there was no breach of Rule 2.3.

Rule 2.4

 Rule 2.4 requires that programmes must not include material that condones of glamorises violent or dangerous behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour.

Ofcom noted that those individuals involved in dog fighting were given the opportunity to explain their reasons for being involved in the activity. However, as described in the Introduction, the sustained sequences of dog fighting included in the programme were unflinching and clearly demonstrated the grim reality of the practice. This was reflected in the descriptions used by complainants to Ofcom who described the footage variably as: distressing ; horrendous ; and, sickening .

We also noted that the programme included numerous references to the criminal nature of dog fighting. Ofcom therefore considered that the programme did not present a glamorised depiction of dog fighting and was unlikely to encourage others to copy the behaviour shown. The programme was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.4.

Rule 3.3

Rule 3.3 requires that payment may not be made to a convicted or confessed criminal for a contribution to a programme relating to their crimes unless it is in the public interest. Ofcom received confirmation from the programme makers, through Channel 4, that none of the contributors featured in the programme involved in dog fighting was paid for their contribution. We were therefore satisfied that Rule 3.3 was not breached.



Extreme Punishment...

Judge fined a 16 year old boy a personally priceless laptop for a single animal porn image

Link Here9th September 2014

A teenager went berserk when a judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the hard drive from his laptop.

The 16-year-old admitted possessing 'AN' extreme pornographic image involving sex with an animal.

He didn't react when he was made subject to a referral order but hurled abuse at District Judge Alan Jones when he made the forfeiture order.

The boy swore at the judge who ordered a police officer in court to arrest the teenager and there was a violent struggle before he was taken out of court.

When the question of forfeiture had first been raised the boy had said he wouldn't be responsible for what happened if the order was made.



BBC Plays Catch-Up...

BBC assumes everyone abroad using a VPN or a proxy is using it to work around UK-only restrictions on iPlayer

Link Here9th September 2014
In a submission to the Australian Government on the issue of online piracy, BBC Worldwide indicates that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers' activities. Service providers should become suspicious that customers could be pirating if they use VPN-style services and consume a lot of bandwidth, the BBC says.

Shows like Top Gear have done extremely well overseas and the trend of exploiting other shows in multiple territories is set to continue. As a result the BBC is now getting involved in the copyright debates of other countries, notably Australia, where it operates four subscription channels.

Following submissions from Hollywood interests and local ISPs, BBC Worldwide has now presented its own to the Federal Government. Its text shows that the corporation wants new anti-piracy measures to go further than ever before.

The BBC wants content owners and ISPs to share the responsibility to reduce and eliminate online copyright infringement. Educating consumers on both the impact of piracy and where content can be obtained legally online would be supported by improved availability of official offerings. At the moment the vast majority of BBC programmes are never made officially available to people abroad, so it is hardly surprising that Brits abroad find less official ways to use iPlayer. 

The BBC spoke of the scale of people trying to watch the new series of Dr Who in Australia:

Despite the BBC dedicating considerable resources to taking down and blocking access to these Doctor Who materials, there were almost 13,000 download attempts of these materials from Australian IP addresses in the period between their unauthorized access and the expiration of the usual catch-up windows, the BBC write.

In common with all rightsholder submissions so far, the BBC wants to put pressure on ISPs to deal with their errant subscribers via a graduated response scheme of educational messages backed up by punitive measures for the most persistent of infringers.

But the BBC goes further than any other rightsholder submission thus far in suggesting that ISPs should not only forward notices, but also spy on their customers' Internet usage habits. The BBC wrote:

Since the evolution of peer-to-peer software protocols to incorporate decentralized architectures, which has allowed users to download content from numerous host computers, the detection and prosecution of copyright violations has become a complex task. This situation is further amplified by the adoption of virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxy servers by some users, allowing them to circumvent geo-blocking technologies and further evade detection.

It is reasonable for ISPs to be placed under an obligation to identify user behavior that is 'suspicious' and indicative of a user engaging in conduct that infringes copyright. Such behavior may include the illegitimate use by Internet users of IP obfuscation tools in combination with high download volumes.



Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter...

BBFC cuts revealed to the VHS release

Link Here8th September 2014
Friday the 13th The Final Chapter is a 1984 US horror film by Joseph Zito.
With Erich Anderson, Judie Aronson and Kimberly Beck.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Cut for an MPAA R rating. The BBFC made further cuts for VHS, but the UK cinema release and DVDs are the R rated version.

Summary Review: Saving the best for last, sort of

After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Crystal Lake.

Immediately picking up where Friday the 13th Part 3 , Friday the 13th Part 4 was such a brilliant addition to the franchise. For those who haven't seen the series, Part 4 is not a bad place to start, or finish.

We get a great little campfire story and a lot of great death sequences  within the first 5 minutes. We also get real acting, & actual character development with the Final Chapter . This was the last movie in the series that was actually made AS a horror film, and not as a cult film. And this movie does scare!

UK: The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 with a further 20s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 1987 CIC VHS

Thanks to Vincenzo. The official BBFC cuts were:

  • At 72 mins - Reduce hacking to death of young man with garden fork to only one blow, before first cutaway to girl followed by quick death after it, losing intermediate shot altogether.
  • At 78 mins - After girl leaps to ground through window and killer looks out, remove high angle shot of her body with skirt raised to reveal panties.
  • At 81 mins - When boy chops killer [Jason] in head, considerably reduce process of [machete] slicing through head [and eye] both during fall and after body hits floor.



Updated: It's the judges that should be forgotten...

Google organises protests across Europe against the ludicrous and inept 'right to be forgotten'

Link Here8th September 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Google is to fight back against the European Union's inane right to be forgotten ruling. Following a ruling from the European Union Court of Justice under which, Google must remove personal information from search results upon requests without being in the position to ascertain that the request is justified.

In order to oppose against the ruling, Google is planning public hearings in seven different European cities starting in Madrid on September 9.

Google is looking for a robust debate over the ruling and its implementation criteria, as said by a top lawyer, David Drummond. Google is not the only company to criticize the ruling and Wikipedia Founder , Jimmy Wales, has called the ruling to be deeply immoral and even said that ruling will lead to an internet riddled with memory holes.

Drummond and Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, will highlight the implications of this ruling. Furthermore, the company will outline ideas for handling requests related to criminal convictions.



Bad Distributor...

Abel Ferarra angry that he has been told to censor his new film for an R rating

Link Here8th September 2014
According to the Hollywood Reporter (THR), director Abel Ferrara is furious at  IFC Films, who are distributing his latest film Welcome to New York. IFC is refusing to release the film until Ferrara cuts it down to an R-rating. Ferarra told THR:

They knew from day one when they bought this film that they had the final version and that it wasn't going to be changed.

I've fucking had it with this corporate assault on the artists and the freedom of the artist, period. It's like a war against movies, he griped. Because 90% of the marketplace is owned by five guys masquerading as corporations. They're vultures and they're vampires, and they're trying to suck the blood out of the life of the filmmaking community.



Pesky Kids...

Drinks censors ban Duff beer for its associations with The Simpsons

Link Here8th September 2014
It's a sad day for Australian Duff Beer lovers - the popular drink is being pulled from our shelves.

Springfield's favourite beverage made it's way to Australia back in May but it's now been found to be in breach of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code. The drinks censor said:

The association of The Simpsons with the product name and packaging is so strongly entrenched in Australian popular culture that the name and packaging will draw the attention of under 18 year olds. Measures to market the product without references to The Simpsons characters or images cannot be effective to overcome the strong and evident appeal of the product material to underage persons.

Through its creation and subsequent promotion in The Simpsons, there is no doubt that Duff Beer is going to be attractive to children and young people.



Update: No longer one of the lads...

Loaded, once, a lads' mag, relaunches as something else

Link Here8th September 2014
The leading men's magazine of the Nineties has rebranded as a glossy lifestyle title, with an agony aunt column from Julie Burchill, a nostalgia piece on analogue porn and an article on the 90's worst cocaine casualties .

Aaron Tinney, the new editor of Loaded, insists that it is not a Nineties nostalgia magazine , but he acknowledges that he is not sure that people in their early twenties buy magazines any more . So the title, given new life by Simian Publishing, is targeted at a demographic that stretches from 25 all the way to 55. It's a mix of a little bit of harking back to the Nineties but also appealing to a younger readership, Tinney says.

He says that the lads' mag tag doesn't sit right any more. Loaded is now a men's lifestyle magazine, the same as GQ and Esquire , he explains.




Moral structure of Egypt saved...

Belly dancing X-Factor style show cancelled due to religious pressure

Link Here8th September 2014
This week, Egypt's first X Factor -style belly-dancing show titled al-Raqisa (The Dancer) was scrapped after just one episode, following demands from the country's religious authorities.

Egypt's Dar el-Ifta, a wing of the justice ministry that issues non-binding religious edicts, claimed al-Raqisa would destroy the moral structure of the country. Shortly after, producers of the show, hosted by Egypt's pre-eminent belly-dancing star, Dina, gave way to the pressure and cancelled the programme.

Egypt's government has waged a year-long crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and seeks to stamp out religious extremism. But in reality officials have no wish to upset religious 'sensibilities' in a country where Islam is deeply entwined with public life.

Members of the dancing community nevertheless say that things are still slightly better than they were under the Brotherhood. Randa Kamel, a well-known Egyptian dancer, says that before the Brotherhood's fall, she was dancing just twice a week, as the economic crisis and increased conservatism that accompanied the Brotherhood's tenure prompted venues to curb their dancing expenses. Now Kamel is back to dancing every night, even if audiences still have not reached their pre-revolution peak.



A Negative Viewing Experience...

US soccer fans banned from anything potentially construed as negative or confrontational

Link Here8th September 2014
Fans attending college soccer games in New England are expected not to boo if they don't like something on the field, according to a recent letter sent out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference. T he NESCAC letter reads:

As a supporter, we ask you not engage in any unsportsmanlike actions, which include booing, taunting, profanity, rude language or gestures, or any other action that could be potentially construed as negative or confrontational.

We would hope that all spectators refrain from antagonistic interaction between opposing fans, including verbal disputes, or holding/posting signs or other forms of written material that could be interpreted as offensive in nature.



Adding * to the alphabet...

The Press Complaints Commission consider changing the official spelling of the word 'nigger' to 'n****er'

Link Here7th September 2014

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has ruled in favour of The Guardian newspaper over its unedited use of the word 'nigger'.

The ruling came after filmmaker Nia Reynolds complained to the newspaper censor over the Guardian's policy to write the term in its entirety when it is within a quote. Reynolds called on the newspaper to review its style guide and abandon the use of what she called the inflammatory, offensive and demeaning word .

The commission acknowledged Reynolds' concern that, in repeating a racist term without the use of an asterix for example, the newspaper could potentially be in breach of the Editor's Code of Practice, which states:

The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

But the PCC, responsible for the self-regulation of the press, concluded that publications were free to make style decisions, providing that they didn't breach terms of the code.

In the case of The Guardian, the commission said it was satisfied that the use of the term in the articles was not a pejorative reference, but an accurate report of comments made by others. The newspaper was entitled to reproduce these comments in the context of news stories, the PCC decided, in informing readers as to what had been said and allowing them to form their own opinions.

There is a blatant contradiction about having the mitigation of N-word and then proceeding to use that hateful word without editing, responded campaigner Reynolds, a writer who has previously written for The Guardian. Reynolds has said she plans to continue lobbying against the policy and suggested that the paper was intentionally trying to be provocative .



Disconnect Mobile...

Google's Dangerous Ban of Privacy and Security App

Link Here7th September 2014
As reported last week in the Wall Street Journal , Google has banned the privacy and security app Disconnect Mobile from the play store. By doing so, Google has shown once again that it cares more about allowing third-parties to monetize the tracking of its users than about allowing those users to ensure their own security and privacy. The banned app, Disconnect Mobile , is designed to stop non-consensual third party trackers on Android (much like EFF's Privacy Badger does in Firefox or Chrome). Disconnect released their app in the Android Play Store and Apple's App Store a little over a week ago. Google removed the app just five days after it was released, citing a section of their rules that states that developers agree not to use the Play Store to distribute apps that interfere with or disrupt the services of any third party.

On its face this may seem like a reasonable rule--it would block DDOS tools from the Play Store, for example--but on further inspection it's obvious that this rule is overly vague, allowing Google to be selective in its enforcement. After all, any antivirus app or firewall could be considered to be violating these terms of service, since they would interfere with the services of a (malicious) third-party. Yet firewall and antivirus apps abound in the Play Store. Clearly enforcement of this clause is selective.

So why is Disconnect Mobile being targeted? This question seems especially puzzling given that Disconnect's goal--blocking non-consensual third-party trackers--is as virtuous as the goals of any antivirus or firewall app. After all, who would want shadowy services collecting their browsing habits across the Internet without their consent? An app that blocks trackers like this seems like it would be a great thing to have in the Play Store, especially when you consider that the trackers it blocks can be used for nefarious goals such as spreading malware and spying on civilians . Simply put, technologies such as Disconnect and Privacy Badger are important for the security and privacy of end users. They are also incredibly popular--within days of being in the Apple App store Disconnect is already the number one utility app.

So again, why is Disconnect Mobile being targeted? The problem lies in the fact that many online advertisers participate in this sneaky tracking in order to build up reading profiles of users for marketing purposes, whether users have opted in or not. As a result, Disconnect Mobile blocks these types of ads--even though ad-blocking is incidental to its primary goal. Because of this, Google has deemed Disconnect Mobile to be interfering with these sneaky third-party services--services its users don't want. In other words, Google appears to be interpreting its rules to mean that apps that interfere with Google's business model will be banned, rather than apps that interfere with user security and privacy. By removing this app from the Play Store Google is putting its users at risk and sending the message that it cares more about its bottom line than its users' security.



Updated: Inciting Derision...

A silly campaign to get Peppa Pig banned from TV

Link Here7th September 2014
A British Muslim has launched a campaign to ban Peppa Pig after claiming the cartoon inspired his young son to want to be a pig rather than a doctor.

Zayn Sheikh set up a Facebook page called Muslims against Peppa Pig and posted a video explaining the reasons - which has been shared over 9,000 times. In the video he said:

Some of you, right, might have seen this abominable creature before, right, this Peppa Pig. Haram pig. It is completely wrong that our kids are being shown these things on TV and my son...he wants to be a pig now.

I think that we need to change this so I'm going to set up a Facebook group, Muslims against Peppa Pig and instead, because children still need cartoons to develop their minds, I propose we introduce Abdullah the cat.

Sheikh has also set up an online petition called Remove Peppa Pig from TV currently at about 100 signatures.

But the campaign has been met with strong opposition, with thousands of people hitting back. And a rival Facebook group has been set up, called Save Peppa Pig from Muslim Fanatics. Aysha Razwan posted:

I'm sorry, I am Muslim and really do not see the problem with Peppa Pig at all. My children watch it and will soon grow out of it, it isn't like there is a pig on screen saying eat me. People like you give the rest of us Muslims a bad name

Update: Inevitably not quite as it seems

7th September 2014. See  article from

And indeed the campaign has now been laughed off as a joke or hoax. But this stills seems a bit unconvincing. It is clear nothing good, or even particularly funny, could have been expected to come from such a joke or hoax.

The Mirror reports that the same man has now posted a second video in which he revealed the campaign was nothing but a parody. In the video, the man says:

The last video I made was a parody, was a joke. I am not against any race, religion or ethnicity I speak out against discrimination wherever I come across it.

At the end of the day whatever is going on in the rest of the world is not to do with us regular Muslims in the UK because we are just like any other people. We are normal people. We are just trying to get by.

The video was meant as a joke and if you cannot realise its satirical it's not a concern of mine.



Offsite Article: Jobsworths, moralists and control freaks given more power...

Link Here 7th September 2014
Public spaces protection orders set to allow councils even more opportunities to implement repressive local laws

See article from



Celebrating the compromise rating, 17, that keeps both moralists and gamers happy...

The ESRB, the US games rating board, nears its 20th anniversary

Link Here 6th September 2014
On 16th September, the Electronic Software Ratings Board for video and computer games will turn 20 years old.

The board was created as a response to parental 'outrage' against violent video games such as Mortal Kombat . It is thought to be modelled on the success of the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings system.

Like the MPAA, the ESRB is a self-regulating body. It is not part of the United States government. It makes its own rules, and video game retailers and publishers choose whether or not to abide by them.

But since almost every retailer in America will not sell an unrated game or a game rated for adults only, there's a sort of forced compliance that publishers push onto the developers creating content for them. The same thing happens in the movie industry.

However the resulting cuts imposed on games to achieve the acceptable 17 rating (named M or Mature) are usually minimal. Developers cut out 30 seconds of probably unnecessary violence, and the desired rating is given.

The Internet also offers a convenient way to bypass the ESRB altogether. If developers are that set in their vision, they can release the unaltered game online and sell it themselves. Sure, they won't get big studio funding for development and marketing, but that's no different than movies, TV or the music industry.

Of course the compromise rating of 17 makes things a bit tricky for sexual content which would more naturally be rated 18. Hence as with movies, sexual content has nowhere to fit in the 'acceptable' ratings and ends up getting censored. This leads to the effective situation where sexual themes are always rated more harshly than violence.



Update: Left 4 Dead 2 Revived in Australia...

2009 game banned, then cut and now finally re-released uncut

Link Here6th September 2014
Full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game
The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating.

Left 4 Dead 2 was banned when it was first submitted in 2009,  games company Valve appealed the decision to no avail before submitted a cut version for classification. Eventually the censorship board gave this an MA15+ rating. Unfortunately for Australian gamers, this meant that they had to play a version of the game that was missing limb dismemberment, decapitation, and post-mortem damage.

With this new rating all of the censored content will be restored into the game.

Doug Lombard of Valve added that:

We are making plans to deliver that version to those who have already purchased the game. We will announce more details on that soon.



Licensed to Censor...

China announces further restrictions for internet TV

Link Here6th September 2014
The Chinese government's TV and internet censor has announced further repressive controls for internet TV.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), issued a notice saying that video websites must obtain one of two licenses -- a film screening license or a television screening license -- to legally stream foreign films or television shows.

The regulator said the websites must register information about their foreign films and television shows by March 31 next year. The sites will not be able to broadcast such content after that date if they have not registered.

According to Xinhua , the state-run news agency, the notice means that video websites will have to apply for a license for each individual film or show, in addition to having to procure a license for the website overall to provide video streaming service.

But SARFT said it encouraged online entertainment providers to import an appropriate amount of cinema and television works that are healthy, well-made and showcase good values.



Controlling Powerful Images...

US internet companies effectively censor the latest Islamic State beheading video

Link Here5th September 2014
US internet firms were prepared this week to quickly ban the video of an Islamic State militant beheading an American journalist after a previous video by the same group showing the death of James Foley ricocheted through social networks in what was seen by some as a propaganda coup for the extremists.

The video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff was first uploaded onto a different website and quickly deleted when copied onto YouTube, slowing the spread of posts linking to it.

Family Online Safety Institute CEO Stephen Balkam, commented:

It's been very interesting, with this second beheading, how very little of those images have been passed around. It's very difficult to find them unless you know of some darker places on the web.



Update: Everything!...

Pakistan's government works on an internet policy to ban everything

Link Here5th September 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Pakistan's government is formulating a policy for online media, incorporating all restrictive provisions of the recently approved National Broadcast Policy.

Like the broadcast policy, the draft online policy seeks a ban or more or less everything. In particular:

Publishing inconsistent and misleading information and data. No information and data can be published or broadcast demeaning the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and government officials who can sentence people for criminal offences.

The online media cannot publish information and data that may spark separatism and unrest or create hatred among people of different castes, creeds and religions, or may satirise national ideals, undermine people and harm the unity and solidarity of the country, intrude on privacy, impede state security and hurt religious values and non-communal spirit.

The draft seeks a ban on publishing anything indecent that might affect children's psyche or something that might encourage harassment and violence against women and children.

The online media is not allowed to publish photographs and footage of murders and dead bodies that hurt human feelings. Besides, there will be a ban on publishing abusive and terrorising photographs and videos of local and foreign films which militate against the culture of the country, according to the draft.

The conditions and restrictions relating to advertisements in the draft online policy are also similar to those of the broadcast policy:

It puts restrictions on online publication of any information or advertisements that might hamper friendly relations with foreign countries or may cause conflict with a friendly state.

Moreover, the online media will not be allowed to publish any advertisements, containing language and scenes that may hurt political and religious sentiment. No photographs or video footage of mosques, temples and churches can be used in advertisements for commercial purposes.

At present, anyone can launch a website and put information, photographs, video or audio clips there. Many government officials, especially deputy commissioners (DCs), have been pressing for a policy to impose restrictions on such online media workings.



Offsite Article: Love is Strange...And the MPAA is even stranger...

Link Here5th September 2014
Being Gay At The MPAA Is Still Not Okay! By Pooch

See article from



Offsite Article: One Sided UK Sharing Laws...

Link Here5th September 2014
We believe that regulation of copyright enforcement should consider all stakeholders involved, not just industry, and including consumers and amateur creators.

See article from



Less Equal...

BBFC advised category cuts for a 15 rated cinema release of The Equalizer

Link Here4th September 2014
The Equalizer is a 2014 USA action crime thriller by Antoine Fuqua.
Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas and Chloë Grace Moretz. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong bloody violence, sex references, strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce the violence in two scenes. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, edits had been made to reduce sequences of violence, including detail of a stabbing with a corkscrew and a garroting. The formal submission was consequently rated 15.
Summary Notes

A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters.



A Shorter Walk...

BBFC advised category cuts for a 15 rated cinema release for A Walk Among the Tombstones

Link Here4th September 2014
A Walk Among the Tombstones is a 2013 USA action crime drama by Scott Frank.
Starring Liam Neeson, Ruth Wilson and Dan Stevens. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong bloody violence, sexualised violence, very strong language after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce a scene of sexualised threat and to remove an accompanying aggressive use of very strong language directed at a woman. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, edits had been made to this scene. The formal submission was consequently rated 15.



Extract No Flies on the BBFC...

BBFC open their archives and consider the classifications of 2 versions of the Lord of the Flies

Link Here4th September 2014

Lord of the Flies (1963), directed by Peter Brook, was classified X (suitable only for those aged 16 and over) for language and nudity as well as the final scenes in the film, which were considered too strong and alarming for children. Cuts for an A certificate were offered to the company, but these were refused on the grounds that they would spoil the film and it was therefore passed X.


In 1989 Lord of the Flies, directed by Harry Hook and starring Balthazar Getty, was submitted to the BBFC. The distributor of the film requested a PG certificate, but immediately four uses of strong language in the film made this lower category impossible and pushed the film to a 15 classification. Examiners however did consider whether the film could be contained at the new 12 certificate, introduced for film in 1989.

..Read the full article



LinkedIn to Repression...

LinkedIn get bad press for bowing to Chinese censorship

Link Here4th September 2014
LinkedIn executives said Tuesday that they are reconsidering their policies, after seven months of censoring content from China deemed too sensitive. Hani Durzy, a company spokesman told Bloomberg:

We do want to get this right, and we are strongly considering changing our policy so that content from our Chinese members that is not allowed in China will still be viewed globally.

LinkedIn, however, thought it could make it work. In February, the company launched its Chinese-language Web site and set up operations in China. In return, it promised to follow Chinese government rules and started self-censoring content.

Then, in June, came the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. LinkedIn users reported posts about Tiananmen being blocked even in Hong Kong, which lies outsides China's censorship firewall. LinkedIn claimed at the time that it was an accident. And it said that although such content was self-censored in China, it would remain accessible elsewhere in the world. But some users pointed out that  this wasn't true.

Rob Schmitz, a radio journalist for Marketplace whose story about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown was blocked in China, wrote recently that LinkedIn blocked his report not only in China but also globally.

Content posted from China IP addresses will be blocked globally to protect the safety of our members that live in China, LinkedIn admitted in an e-mail to Schmitz .



Just Don't Mention the Crusades...

Dr Who beheading gets the chop

Link Here4th September 2014
The BBC has edited out a beheading from a fight scene in this weekend's episode of Doctor Who, featuring Robin Hood, as a mark of political correctness following the murder of two US journalists.

The BBC has decided to edit the climactic fight scene between Robin Hood and the sheriff of Nottingham to remove a beheading sequence. A BBC spokeswoman said:

In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect.



Offsite Article: Cult film shocker Nekromantik to get 18 rated UK release...

Link Here 4th September 2014
The Guardian reports on the arrival of one of the most transgressive films ever, reigniting the debate about acceptable limits for horror and pornography

See article from




Cuts maintained for the remix release of the video game Kingdom Hearts 2

Link Here3rd September 2014
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix is a 2014 update for the adventure game Kingdom Hearts 2.

The original game was cut worldwide outside of Japan. The cuts were to achieve a low age rating and included:

  • no green Hydra Blood
  • pirates can't be set on fire
  • Axel's death scene has been edited

The ESRB has now rated the remix as Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, and Use of Alcohol. And it is reported that at least some (and probably all of the relevant cuts) are carried through into the remix release.

From other submissions so far, noting Australia, the same cut version is set for worldwide release (outside of Japan).

Kingdom hearts HD 2.5 Remix is set for release on December 2, 2014.



Unpopular New Kid on the Block...

New UK news censor will have a low key start up on 8th September

Link Here3rd September 2014
The Independent Press Standards Organisation ( Ipso ) is to replace the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) on 8 September.

Its chairman, Sir Alan Moses, has evidently written to publishers to confirm the date of launch. There was no official announcement through a press release, and scant details are available so far.

Complainants who contact Ipso in the belief that there have been breaches of the editors' code - the same one as that currently administered by the PCC - will be referred directly to the newspapers and magazines to resolve such complaints.

The publishers of the Guardian , the Independent titles, the London Evening Standard and the Financial Times have not signed up for Ipso. The FT is setting up its own internal regulation system.

A would-be alternative independent regulator, Impress, is in the process of setting up its board. And the recognition panel established by the royal charter, chaired by David Wolfe QC, is also under construction.




A few viewers whinge about strong language from boisterous football fans

Link Here3rd September 2014
Sky Sports News has apologised after it broadcast swearing and scenes of a fan waving a sex toy during its transfer deadline day coverage.

The chaotic scenes included a fan who waved a sex toy at Sky Sports News's Alan Irwin when he was reporting on Tom Cleverley possibly leaving Manchester United. The reporter managed to remain calm despite continued provocation from the fan, who was eventually removed by security.

TV censor Ofcom said eight viewers complained about what they claimed was offensive language.

A Sky Sports News spokesman said:

We apologise to those whose enjoyment was spoiled by a small number of incidents and we're looking into ways to avoid this happening again in the future whilst ensuring fans remain a key part our live coverage.



Updated: Church Villains...

Croatian church blocks filming of Cersei Lannister's naked walk of shame

Link Here3rd September 2014
A Game of Thrones actress has reportedly been banned from showing her breasts during filming on location. Producers of the hit US TV series have been prohibited from filming a pivotal topless scene at its planned location in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, according to TMZ.

The magazine says the program's crew applied to the local film commission to shoot the scene in which Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, undertakes a walk of penance through the streets of King's Landing.

But the request was reportedly rejected because the city's Church of St Nicholas has a hardline stance against public displays of sexuality. Advertisement

It's understood the iconic scene, will be shot elsewhere because of its importance to the storyline.

Update: Negotiated peace

3rd September 2014. See  article from

The nude walk was in jeopardy as the Church of St. Nicholas, where the scene would be filmed, banned public nudity.

The film commissioners, however, have now changed their initial ruling, giving permission to filming on the streets of Dubrovnik as long as Lena Headey, who plays Cersei, doesn't film it at the church.

The show's producers, thus, have to compromise with the new term set by the film commissioners. Headey will now shoot the nude scene on a fake church set.



In the Blink of an Eye...

BBFC cuts revealed to the VHS release of Friday the 13th Part 3

Link Here2nd September 2014
Friday the 13th Part 3 is a 1982 US horror film by Steve Miner.
With Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage and Richard Brooker.
YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Cut for an MPAA R Rating. This version was passed X for 1982 cinema release but further cuts were required  by the BBFC for 1987 18 rated VHS. The BBFC video cuts were waived for 2001 18 rated DVD and 2009 15 rated Blu-ray, which are the same as cut US R rated releases.

Summary Review: Anyone for Hockey?

Jason is back to revenge on all that visit his woods. A new group of friends come over to party at an area close to the campsite. This time, Jason will be stronger than ever, and getting a hockey mask from one of those friends.

UK: The cut US R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 4s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 1987 CIC VHS

Thanks to Vincenzo. The official BBFC cuts were:

  • At 57 minutes - When dart is fired into girl's [Vera's] eye , remove close shot of dart in eye.
  • At 62 minutes - When girl [Debbie] is knifed in hammock, reduce sight of boy's [Andy's cut in half] corpse above her on the shelf, and reduce sight of knife emerging from her chest to brief establishing shot only.

From IMDb. Note that the following cuts for an MPAA R rating are included in all releases to date:

  • The death scene of Andy showed his right leg and stomach being cut apart.
  • Vera's death was longer, it included more blood and a shot of her reaction. It was cut because the board said that it looked too real.
  • Edna's death was cut of excess blood.
  • The impaling of Chili with the hot poker was cut. Originally, the impalement was shown, along with a splash of smoldering blood.
  • Debbie's death originally showed blood spraying across her upper half and face.



Ratings We Don't Trust...

BBFC 15 rating for the 12 rated 1977 version of the Island of Dr. Moureau

Link Here2nd September 2014
The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1977 USA Sci-Fi horror romance by Don Taylor.
Starring Burt Lancaster, Michael York and Nigel Davenport. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb
Dr. Moreau Braddock (Michael York) a decent young Englishman is miraculously saved by the mysterious Dr. Montgomery (Nigel Davenport) after being thrown overboard a ship sailing in a remote area of the Pacific. Dr. Montgomery is accompanying a cargo of animals destined for a tropical island. At first an 'honoured guest' on the island he finds his contact with the natives increasingly disturbing for they are unlike any men he has ever seen. After it transpires that these "men" are the result of experiments of the sinister scientist Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster) Braddock feels that he is in grave danger: from both these strange creatures and from Dr. Moreau himself. Unable to escape the confines of the island on his own Braddock knows not what to do or whom to turn to...

The Blu-ray has just been passed 15 uncut for:

  • 2014 101 Films RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 6th October 2014

The BBFC seem a bit confused over the rating for this film. The current BBFC rating is actually 12 for moderate violence. But this submission as been rated 15 (without consumer advice).

Presumably this is rated 15 under a scheme whereby distributors can opt for an historic rating at a discount fee rather than submit the film for a more expensive full viewing that would have resulted in a 12 rating.

But what are customers meant to make of the seemingly yoyo BBFC ratings of 12 and 15?

Censorship History
Cut for a US PG rating

Further cut by the BBFC for an A rated 1977 cinema release.

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:
  • Reel 6 - The killing by Andrew of the mutant who attacks him in the boat was reduced, in particular sight of him grinding pole in off-screen mutant's eye and subsequent sight of bloody end of pole were removed.

The BBFC cuts were restored for 1987 15 rated VHS.

The BBFC rating was reduced to 12 for 2008 DVD.

The BBFC rating was increased to 15 for 2014 Blu-ray.

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