Censor Watch

2018: December

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Unlike Britain, Israel seeks to protect the privacy of porn viwers...

Israel passes laws implementing selectable options for ISPs to block adults sites


Link Here 8th December 2018
A bill that would force ISPs in Israel to censor pornographic sites by default has been amended after heavy criticism from lawmakers over privacy concerns.

AN earlier version of the bill that was unanimously approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in late Octoberr but now a new version of the legislation has been passed which was sponsored by Likud MK Miki Zohar and Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli. The differences seem subtle and are whether customers opt in or opt out of network level website blocking.

Customers will have to confirm their preferences for website blocking  every 3 months but may change their settings at  any time.

The bill will incentivize internet companies to actively market existing website blocking software to families. ISPs will receive NIS 0.50 ($0.13 cents) for every subscriber who opts to block adult sites.

In a refreshing divergence from UK internet censorship, ISPs will be legally required to delete all data related to their users' surfing habits, to prevent creating de facto -- and easily leaked -- black lists of pornography consumers.

In comparison, internet companies are allowed to use or sell UK customer data for any purpose they so desire as long as customers tick a consent box with some woolly text about improving the customer's experience.

 

 

Updated: The House that Jack Built...

MPAA rules mean that the US online release will now be the cut version


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: The House that Jack Built...Lars Von Trier causes film censors problems again
The House That Jack Built is a 2018 Denmark / France / Germany / Sweden horror thriller by Lars von Trier.
Starring Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman. BBFC link IMDb
Lars von Trier's upcoming drama follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.

US film censors, the MPAA, don't like having two versions running at the same time. This lead to the censure for the film distributors of Lars von Trier's The House that Jack Built for a one day advance screening of the uncut version prior to the general release which features a cut R rated version.

As a result of the MPAA censure, the censorship will now extended to the US online release of the movie. The film's distributor IFC Films originally planned to release von Trier's unrated director's cut on-demand on December 14, while releasing an R-rated version in theaters on the same day. But the MPAA said that IFC's original plan--which would have allowed viewers to digitally rent the R-rated cut and offered the uncut version for digital purchase--was "in violation of the ratings system's rules".

The MPAA went further and threatened sanctions, excluding IFC from the ratings process for up to 90 days. (Most major exhibition chains will not show a film without an MPAA rating.) As a result, IFC has scrapped plans to release the director's cut next week.

According to an IFC publicist, it has tentatively rescheduled the online release of the Director's Cut for June. The R-rated cut, some four minutes shorter, will be released in theaters and for digital rental.

Meanwhile British distributors Curzon Artificial Eye have confirmed to Blu-ray.com that their upcoming Blu-ray release of The House That Jack Built will feature the longer original version of it that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Currently, the Blu-ray release is scheduled on March 4. The distributors have also confirmed that they will not be releasing the R-rated version of the film on any home video format.

Update: Uncut at UK cinemas and on DVD/Bu-ray

7th December 2018.

Artificial Eye didn't mention the cinema release in the above statement, but thanks to Peter who reports that the Curzon cinema has confirmed that the UK cinema release will feature the Director's Cut.

Update: Kiss and make up

8th December 2018. See article [pdf] from filmratings.com

Joint Statement from CARA and IFC Films on The House That Jack Built

The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) and IFC Films have reached a mutually agreed upon resolution to address CARA's concerns associated with The House That Jack Built, Director's Cut (unrated) and The House That Jack Built (rated R). IFC Films acknowledges that there was confusion in the marketplace about the rating and has committed to working with CARA to avoid any confusion going forward.

CARA's ultimate goal is to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents by providing them with accurate, useful information about the level of content in films -- and appreciates IFC Films' cooperation to ensure the proper use of the ratings.

 

 

Commented: Stay just good friends...

Or else Facebook will censor your advances, no matter how subtle


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook has added a new category of censorship, sexual solicitation. It added the update on 15thh October but no one really noticed until recently.

The company has quietly updated its content-moderation policies to censor implicit requests for sex.The expanded policy specifically bans sexual slang, hints of sexual roles, positions or fetish scenarios, and erotic art when mentioned with a sex act. Vague, but suggestive statements such as looking for a good time tonight when soliciting sex are also no longer allowed.

The new policy reads:

15. Sexual Solicitation Policy

Do not post:

Content that attempts to coordinate or recruit for adult sexual activities including but not limited to:

    Filmed sexual activities Pornographic activities, strip club shows, live sex performances, erotic dances Sexual, erotic, or tantric massages

Content that engages in explicit sexual solicitation by, including but not limited to the following, offering or asking for:

    Sex or sexual partners Sex chat or conversations Nude images

Content that engages in implicit sexual solicitation, which can be identified by offering or asking to engage in a sexual act and/or acts identified by other suggestive elements such as any of the following:

    Vague suggestive statements, such as "looking for a good time tonight" Sexualized slang Using sexual hints such as mentioning sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, sexual preference/sexual partner preference, state of arousal, act of sexual intercourse or activity (sexual penetration or self-pleasuring), commonly sexualized areas of the body such as the breasts, groin, or buttocks, state of hygiene of genitalia or buttocks Content (hand drawn, digital, or real-world art) that may depict explicit sexual activity or suggestively posed person(s).

Content that offers or asks for other adult activities such as:

    Commercial pornography Partners who share fetish or sexual interests

Sexually explicit language that adds details and goes beyond mere naming or mentioning of:

    A state of sexual arousal (wetness or erection) An act of sexual intercourse (sexual penetration, self-pleasuring or exercising fetish scenarios)

Comment: Facebook's Sexual Solicitation Policy is a Honeypot for Trolls

8th December 2018. See  article from eff.org by Elliot Harmon

Facebook just quietly adopted a policy that could push thousands of innocent people off of the platform. The new " sexual solicitation " rules forbid pornography and other explicit sexual content (which was already functionally banned under a different statute ), but they don't stop there: they also ban "implicit sexual solicitation" , including the use of sexual slang, the solicitation of nude images, discussion of "sexual partner preference," and even expressing interest in sex . That's not an exaggeration: the new policy bars "vague suggestive statements, such as 'looking for a good time tonight.'" It wouldn't be a stretch to think that asking " Netflix and chill? " could run afoul of this policy.

The new rules come with a baffling justification, seemingly blurring the line between sexual exploitation and plain old doing it:

[P]eople use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognize the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.

In other words, discussion of sexual exploitation is allowed, but discussion of consensual, adult sex is taboo. That's a classic censorship model: speech about sexuality being permitted only when sex is presented as dangerous and shameful. It's especially concerning since healthy, non-obscene discussion about sex--even about enjoying or wanting to have sex--has been a component of online communities for as long as the Internet has existed, and has for almost as long been the target of governmental censorship efforts .

Until now, Facebook has been a particularly important place for groups who aren't well represented in mass media to discuss their sexual identities and practices. At very least, users should get the final say about whether they want to see such speech in their timelines.

Overly Restrictive Rules Attract Trolls

Is Facebook now a sex-free zone ? Should we be afraid of meeting potential partners on the platform or even disclosing our sexual orientations ?

Maybe not. For many users, life on Facebook might continue as it always has. But therein lies the problem: the new rules put a substantial portion of Facebook users in danger of violation. Fundamentally, that's not how platform moderation policies should work--with such broadly sweeping rules, online trolls can take advantage of reporting mechanisms to punish groups they don't like.

Combined with opaque and one-sided flagging and reporting systems , overly restrictive rules can incentivize abuse from bullies and other bad actors. It's not just individual trolls either: state actors have systematically abused Facebook's flagging process to censor political enemies. With these new rules, organizing that type of attack just became a lot easier. A few reports can drag a user into Facebook's labyrinthine enforcement regime , which can result in having a group page deactivated or even being banned from Facebook entirely. This process gives the user no meaningful opportunity to appeal a bad decision .

Given the rules' focus on sexual interests and activities, it's easy to imagine who would be the easiest targets: sex workers (including those who work lawfully), members of the LGBTQ community, and others who congregate online to discuss issues relating to sex. What makes the policy so dangerous to those communities is that it forbids the very things they gather online to discuss.

Even before the recent changes at Facebook and Tumblr , we'd seen trolls exploit similar policies to target the LGBTQ community and censor sexual health resources . Entire harassment campaigns have organized to use payment processors' reporting systems to cut off sex workers' income . When online platforms adopt moderation policies and reporting processes, it's essential that they consider how those policies and systems might be weaponized against marginalized groups.

A recent Verge article quotes a Facebook representative as saying that people sharing sensitive information in private Facebook groups will be safe , since Facebook relies on reports from users. If there are no tattle-tales in your group, the reasoning goes, then you can speak freely without fear of punishment. But that assurance rings rather hollow: in today's world of online bullying and brigading, there's no question of if your private group will be infiltrated by the trolls ; it's when .

Did SESTA/FOSTA Inspire Facebook's Policy Change?

The rule change comes a few months after Congress passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA/FOSTA), and it's hard not to wonder if the policy is the direct result of the new Internet censorship laws.

SESTA/FOSTA opened online platforms to new criminal and civil liability at the state and federal levels for their users' activities. While ostensibly targeted at online sex trafficking, SESTA/FOSTA also made it a crime for a platform to "promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person." The law effectively blurred the distinction between adult, consensual sex work and sex trafficking. The bill's supporters argued that forcing platforms to clamp down on all sex work was the only way to curb trafficking--nevermind the growing chorus of trafficking experts arguing the very opposite .

As SESTA/FOSTA was debated in Congress, we repeatedly pointed out that online platforms would have little choice but to over-censor : the fear of liability would force them not just to stop at sex trafficking or even sex work, but to take much more restrictive approaches to sex and sexuality in general, even in the absence of any commercial transaction. In EFF's ongoing legal challenge to SESTA/FOSTA , we argue that the law unconstitutionally silences lawful speech online.

While we don't know if the Facebook policy change came as a response to SESTA/FOSTA, it is a perfect example of what we feared would happen: platforms would decide that the only way to avoid liability is to ban a vast range of discussions of sex.

Wrongheaded as it is, the new rule should come as no surprise. After all, Facebook endorsed SESTA/FOSTA . Regardless of whether one caused the other or not, both reflect the same vision of how the Internet should work--a place where certain topics simply cannot be discussed. Like SESTA/FOSTA, Facebook's rule change might have been made to fight online sexual exploitation. But like SESTA/FOSTA, it will do nothing but push innocent people offline.

 

 

Misleading and aggressive practice...

Italian authorities have fined Facebook for their abuse of people's personal data


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Facebook has been fined ?10m (8.9m) by Italian authorities for misleading users over its data practices.

The two fines issued by Italy's competition watchdog are some of the largest levied against the social media company for data misuse.

The Italian regulator found that Facebook had breached the country's consumer code by:

  • Misleading users in the sign-up process about the extent to which the data they provide would be used for commercial purposes.
  • Emphasising only the free nature of the service, without informing users of the "profitable ends that underlie the provision of the social network", and so encouraging them to make a decision of a commercial nature that they would not have taken if they were in full possession of the facts.
  • Forcing an "aggressive practice" on registered users by transmitting their data from Facebook to third parties, and vice versa, for commercial purposes.

The company was specifically criticised for the default setting of the Facebook Platform services, which in the words of the regulator, prepares the transmission of user data to individual websites/apps without express consent from users. Although users can disable the platform, the regulator found that its opt-out nature did not provide a fully free choice.

The authority has also directed Facebook to publish an apology to users on its website and on its app.

 

 

Offsite Article: The internet war on sex is here...


Link Here 8th December 2018
No sex please, we're beholden to our advertisers. By Violet Blue

See article from engadget.com

 

 

Nobody expects the Cuban Inquisition...

A new decree gives Cuban government Inspectors the power to close down any exhibition or performances that are considered a violation of the socialist revolutionary values of the country


Link Here 7th December 2018
 
  
Supervisory inspectors
 

Cuba has passed a new law that gives the government Inspectorate the power to close down any exhibition or performances that are considered a violation of the socialist revolutionary values of the country.

The law, known as decree 349, published in July, allows so-called 'Supervisory inspectors' to censor cultural events ranging from art exhibitions to concerts, and to immediately close any of them if they saw it as denigrating the value of the country. They also have the right to confiscate a license for business of any restaurant or bar host an 'undesirable' event.

The decree  applies to obscene speech, vulgarity, sexism, excessive use of force and more.

Despite the claim that the authorities are trying to reduce the degree of resentment in society, cultural representatives still cal the law fascist.

 

 

Updated: Tumbling ethics...

Tumblr is banning all adult images of sex and nudity from 17th December 2018


Link Here 7th December 2018
Image hosting service Tumblr is banning all adult images of sex and nudity from 17th December 2018. This seems to have been sparked by the app being banned from Apple Store after a child porn image was detected being hosted by Tumblr. Tumblr explained the censorship process in a blog post:

Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are. You can read more about what kinds of content are not allowed on Tumblr in our Community Guidelines. If you spot a post that you don't think belongs on Tumblr, period, you can report it: From the dashboard or in search results, tap or click the share menu (paper airplane) at the bottom of the post, and hit Report.

Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content204including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations204that depicts sex acts.

Examples of exceptions that are still permitted are exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, and health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery. Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr.

Any images identified as adult will be set as unviewable by anyone except the poster. There will be an appeals process to contest decisions held to be incorrect.

Inevitably Tumblr algorithms are not exactly accurate when it comes to detecting sex and nudity. The Guardian noted that ballet dancers, superheroes and a picture of Christ have all fallen foul of Tumblr's new pornography ban, after the images were flagged up as explicit content by the blogging site's artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

The actor and Tumblr user Wil Wheaton posted one example:

An image search for beautiful men kissing, which was flagged as explicit within 30 seconds of me posting it.

These images are not explicit. These pictures show two adults, engaging in consensual kissing. That's it. It isn't violent, it isn't pornographic. It's literally just two adult humans sharing a kiss.

Other users chronicled flagged posts, including historical images of (clothed) women of colour, a photoset of the actor Sebastian Stan wearing a selection of suits with no socks on, an oil painting of Christ wearing a loincloth, a still of ballet dancers and a drawing of Wonder Woman carrying fellow superhero Harley Quinn. None of the images violate Tumblr's stated policy.

Update: Petition

5th December 2018. See petition from change.org

Tumblr, after years of being a space for nsfw artists to reach a community of like-minded individuals to enjoy their work, has decided to close their metaphorical doors to adult content.

Solution Stop it. Let people post porn, it's 90% of the reason anybody is on the site in the first place. Or, if you really want a non-18+ tumblr, start a new one with that specific goal in mind. Don't rip down what people have spent years working on.

...sign the petition from change.org

At the time of writing 368,000 people had signed.

Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

6th December 2018. See  article from avn.com

The Free Speech coalition [representing the US adult trade] released the following statement regarding the recent announcement about censorship at Tumblr:

The social media platform Tumblr has announced that on December 17, it will effectively ban all adult content. Tumblr follows the lead of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms, who over the past few years have meticulously scrubbed their corners of the internet of adult content, sex, and sexuality, in the name of brand protection and child protection.

While some in the adult industry may cheer the end of Tumblr as a never-ending source of free content, specifically pirated content, it is concerning that of the major social media platforms, only Twitter and Reddit remain in any way tolerant of adult workers -- and there are doubts as to how much longer that will last.

As legitimate platforms ban or censor adult content -- having initially benefited from traffic that adult content brought them -- illegitimate platforms for distribution take their place. The closure of Tumblr only means more piracy, more dispersal of community, and more suffering for adult producers and performers.

Free Speech Coalition was founded to fight government censorship -- set raids and FBI entrapment, bank seizures and jail terms. The internet gave us freedom from much that had plagued us, particularly local ordinances and overzealous prosecutors. But now, when corporate censors suspend your account, the only choice is to abandon the platform 203 there is no opportunity for arbitration or appeal.

When companies like Google and Facebook (and subsidiaries like YouTube and Instagram) control over 70% of all web traffic, adult companies are denied a market as effectively as a state-level sex toy ban. And when sites like Tumblr and Twitter can close an account with millions of followers without warning, the effect is the same on a business -- particularly a small, performer-run one -- as an FBI seizure.

As social media companies become more powerful, we must demand recourse, but we also must look beyond our industry and continue to build alliances -- with women, with LGBTQ groups, with sex workers and sex educators, with artists -- who implicitly understand the devastating effect of this new form of censorship.

These communities have seen the devastation wreaked when platforms use purges of adult content as a sledgehammer, broadly banning sexual health information, vibrant communities based around non-normative genders and sexualities, resources for sex workers, and political and cultural commentary that engages with such topics.

The loss of these platforms isn't just about business, it's about the loss of vital communities and education -- and organizing. We use these platforms not only to grow our reach, but to communicate with one another, to rally, to drive awareness of issues of sex and sexuality. They have become a central source of power. And today, we're one step closer to losing that as well.

Offsite Comment: Filters don't work

6th December 2018. See  article from eff.org

Dear Tumblr: Banning Adult Content Won't Make Your Site Better But It Will Harm Sex-Positive Communities

Offsite Article: Alternatives

7th December 2018. See  article from wired.com

Wired has penned an article considering alternatives for Tumblr users wanting to find an alternative for adult content.

The initial suggestions are PillowFort.io and Dreamwidth on Twitter.

See  article from wired.com

 

 

Offsite Article: It was good while it lasted...


Link Here 7th December 2018
Full story: MPAA NC-17...US adults only certificate is the kiss of box office death
A Brief History of the US X Rating. By Jason Bailey

See article from vulture.com

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 88...


Link Here 7th December 2018
A discussion with Victoria and Albert Museum curator Keith Lodwick about the Censored! Stage, Screen, Society at 50, exhibition

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Kremlin concert bans and censorship vs Russian youth...


Link Here 7th December 2018
Young Russians have learned to think for themselves. That is very scary for the government

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 

A copyrighted internet...

Poland stands up to the EU to champion the livelihoods of thosands of Europeans against the disgraceful EU that wants to grant large, mostly American companies, dictatorial copyright control of the internet


Link Here 6th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

In 2011, Europeans rose up over ACTA , the misleadingly named "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," which created broad surveillance and censorship regimes for the internet. They were successful in large part thanks to the Polish activists who thronged the streets to reject the plan, which had been hatched and exported by the US Trade Representative.

Now, Europe is in on the verge of an ever farther-reaching scheme to censor and surveil the internet: the new Copyright Directive, which limits who can link to (and criticise) the news and sets up crowdsourced databases of blacklisted content that anyone can add anything to, and which cannot thereafter be published online.

The Poles aren't having any of it: a broad coalition of Poles from the left and the right have come together to oppose the new Directive, dubbing it "ACTA2," which should give you an idea of how they feel about the matter.

There are now enough national governments opposed to the Directive to constitute a "blocking minority" that could stop it dead. Alas, the opposition is divided on whether to reform the offending parts of the Directive, or eliminate them outright (this division is why the Directive squeaked through the last vote, in September), and unless they can work together, the Directive still may proceed.

A massive coalition of 15,000 Polish creators whose videos, photos and text are enjoyed by over 20,000,000 Poles have signed an open letter supporting the idea of a strong, creator-focused copyright and rejecting the new Copyright Directive as a direct path to censoring filters that will deprive them of their livelihoods.

The coalition points out that online media is critical to the lives of everyday Poles for purposes that have nothing to do with the entertainment industry: education, the continuation of Polish culture, and connections to the global Polish diaspora.

Polish civil society and its ruling political party are united in opposing ACTA2; Polish President Andrzej Duda vowed to oppose it.

Early next month, the Polish Internet Governance Forum will host a roundtable on the question; they have invited proponents of the Directive to attend and publicly debate the issue.

 

 

Updated: #MeToo Hijacked...

Radio station bans song over modern misinterpretation of old lyrics


Link Here 6th December 2018
A local radio station has stopped playing the popular seasonal song, Baby It's Cold Outside after it says listeners claimed the song had predatory undertones amid the #MeToo movement.

WDOK Christmas 102 pulled the song written in the 1940's featuring a woman singing that she has to leave a man's house as he tries to convince her to stay. The song is more about the girl being reluctant to stay for fear of what the neighbours or her family may say rather than anything non consensual. Societal norms were different when the song was written. An unmarried woman staying at a man's house was scandalous, even if she wanted to.

The song has also being performed with the guy being the reluctant one.

In the song, the female using sings the part: I really can't stay, to which the man responds, but baby, it's cold outside. Other lyrics include the woman singing s ay, what's in this drink? and I simply must go. .. the answer is no.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Sondra Miller said the organization supports the ban:.

While some might view the song and its lyrics as a playful, coy back-and-forth from another time, Miller said it may have a different meaning to a rape survivor.

The station said it posted a poll about the song on its web site and claimed a clear majority of respondents supported the decision to remove the song from the station's lineup. But other polls suggest the opposite result.

baby, it's cold outside

I really can't stay (but baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away (but baby, it's cold outside)
This evening has been (been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice (i'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (beautiful what's your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I'd better scurry (beautiful please don't hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (baby, it's bad out there)
Say what's in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (i'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I'm gonna say that I tried (what's the sense in hurtin' my pride?)
I really can't stay (oh baby don't hold out)
But baby, it's cold outside
I simply must go (but baby, it's cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it's cold outside)
Your welcome has been(how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)
My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)
My maiden aunts mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)
I've gotta get home(but baby, you'd freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat(it's up to your knees out there)
You've really been grand (i thrill when you touch my hand)
But don't you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)
There's bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pnuemonia and died)
I really can't stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it's cold
Baby, it's cold outside

Update: Censored on Christmas FM

6th December 2018. See  article from irishtimes.com

The Irish season radio station, Christmas FM, has said it has removed the song from its playlist as it doesn't resonate well with listeners.

However over the past few days many radio stations have been persuaded to drop its ban of the song due to listener feedback. The debate about the song's meaning has also thrown up some new interpretations.

An ex-English teacher posting on Tumblr (@bigbutterandeggman) argues that yes, by applying today's worldview to the song, it does sound like a rape anthem but the song makes sense in the context of a society in which women are expected to reject men's advances whether they actually want to or not. The woman is perfectly sober and about to have awesome consensual sex and use the drink (offered to her in the song) as plausible deniability because she's living in a society where women aren't supposed to have sexual agency .. It's not a song about rape, it's a song about a woman finding a way to exercise sexual agency in a patriarchal society designed to stop her doing so.

 

 

Censsorship hub...

Uganda blocks 27 internet porn websites


Link Here 6th December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Uganda...Banning VPNs and taxing social media
ISPs in Uganda have blocked 27 pornography websites after a directive was issued by the Uganda Communications Commission.

Pornhub, Xvideos, and Youporn were among the top 100 most visited websites.

The Daily Monitor reports that at least 25 of the 27 banned websites cannot be accessed on mobile phones. However, users of Virtual Private Networks can access the banned sites.

Chairperson of the Pornography Control Committee Annette Kezaabu told the Monitor there is a drop in the number of people accessing pornography after they blocked the prominent porn sites. She said:

We have a team that is compiling a list of other porn sites that will be blocked

We anticipate that some people will open up new sites but this is a continuous process.

 

 

Offsite article: Passport to repression...


Link Here 6th December 2018
The Daily Mail reports on large scale data harvesting of your data and notes that Paypal have been passing on passport photos used for account verification to Microsoft for their facial recognition database

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Getting a taste of its own medicine as parliament publishes Facebook's private data...

Parliament publishes a set of enlightening emails about Facebook's pursuit of revenue and how it allows people's data to be used by app developers


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy

Parliament's fake news inquiry has published a cache of seized Facebook documents including internal emails sent between Mark Zuckerberg and the social network's staff. The emails were obtained from the chief of a software firm that is suing the tech giant. About 250 pages have been published, some of which are marked highly confidential.

Facebook had objected to their release.

Damian Collins MP, the chair of the parliamentary committee involved, highlighted several key issues in an introductory note. He wrote that:

  • Facebook allowed some companies to maintain "full access" to users' friends data even after announcing changes to its platform in 2014/2015 to limit what developers' could see. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook had been aware that an update to its Android app that let it collect records of users' calls and texts would be controversial. "To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook used data provided by the Israeli analytics firm Onavo to determine which other mobile apps were being downloaded and used by the public. It then used this knowledge to decide which apps to acquire or otherwise treat as a threat
  • there was evidence that Facebook's refusal to share data with some apps caused them to fail
  • there had been much discussion of the financial value of providing access to friends' data

In response, Facebook has said that the documents had been presented in a very misleading manner and required additional context.

See Mark Zuckerberg's response on Facebook

Offsite Analysis: New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust

7th December 2018. See  article from eff.org by Bennett Cyphers and Gennie Gebhart

 

 

Money talks and Microsoft snoops...

Mastercard and Microsoft get together to pool their data on you in the name of identity verification


Link Here 5th December 2018
Mastercard and Microsoft are collaborating in an identity management system that promises to remember users' identity verification and passwords between sites and services.

Mastercard highlights four particular areas of use: financial services, commerce, government services, and digital services (eg social media, music streaming services and rideshare apps). This means the system would let users manage their data across both websites and real-world services.

However, the inclusion of government services is an eyebrow-raising one. Microsoft and Mastercard's system could link personal information including taxes, voting status and criminal record, with consumer services like social media accounts, online shopping history and bank accounts.

As well as the stifling level of tailored advertising you'd receive if the system knew everything you did, this sets the dangerous precedent for every byte of users' information to be stored under one roof -- perfect for an opportunistic hacker or businessman. Mastercard mention it is working closely with players like Microsoft, showing that many businesses have access to the data.

Neither Microsoft nor Mastercard have slated a release date for the system, only promising additional details on these efforts will be shared in the coming months.

 

 

Another One Bites the Dust...

Malaysian censors cuts to Bohemian Rhapsody


Link Here 5th December 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 UK / USA music biography by Bryan Singer.
Starring Rami Malek, Joseph Mazzello and Mike Myers. BBFC link IMDb

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.

Initial reports from those who had seen Bohemian Rhapsody in theatres indicated the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) had cut up to 24 minutes of footage from the Freddie Mercury biopic, as homosexuality is banned under the country's sodomy laws.

However in reality the cuts totalled about 3 minutes. Censor board chairman Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz said that seven cuts involved muting 'bad words', while the four gay scenes involved cuts to men kissing each other, men rubbing each other, and a group of men in dresses partying in a mansion.

It's easy to see why audiences believed something more substantial was missing from the film. The Malaysian cut leaves major narrative holes in the film. Key scenes no longer make sense.

The most noticeable changes to Bohemian Rhapsody involve censoring intimacy between its queer male characters. The physical aspects of Freddie Mercury's relationship to Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) -- his personal manager and the film's antagonist -- are gone entirely. A meet-cute with future partner Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker) is virtually incomprehensible.

As Zamberi told the Malay Mail, censors took the further step of removing a line in the credits mentioning that Mercury and Hutton lived a happy life until the iconic singer's 1991 death. It showed that they were in a gay relationship, the censor explained.

A line in which Mercury (Rami Malek) comes out to then-fiancee Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) is removed from the film. I think I'm bisexual, he says. Austin insists he's gay, which is also cut.

While preparing for Queen's legendary performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert, the singer tells his bandmates that he's HIV-positive. I've got it, Mercury says. Got what? a group member asks. AIDS, he responds. The censors cut everything after I've got it.

 

 

Silencing European internet users...

Reddit explains to European users that it won't be able to operate effectively under forthcoming EU copyright law


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

Defending equal access to the free and open internet is core to Reddit's ideals, and something that redditors have told us time and again they hold dear too, from the SOPA/PIPA battle to the fight for Net Neutrality. This is why even though we are an American company with a user base primarily in the United States, we've nevertheless spent a lot of time this year warning about how an overbroad EU Copyright Directive could restrict Europeans' equal access to the open Internet--and to Reddit.

Despite these warnings, it seems that EU lawmakers still don't fully appreciate the law's potential impact, especially on small and medium-sized companies like Reddit. So we're stepping things up to draw attention to the problem. Users in the EU will notice that when they access Reddit via desktop, they are greeted by a modal informing them about the Copyright Directive and referring them to detailed resources on proposed fixes .

The problem with the Directive lies in Articles 11 (link licensing fees) and 13 (copyright filter requirements), which set sweeping, vague requirements that create enormous liability for platforms like ours. These requirements eliminate the previous safe harbors that allowed us the leeway to give users the benefit of the doubt when they shared content. But under the new Directive, activity that is core to Reddit, like sharing links to news articles, or the use of existing content for creative new purposes (r/photoshopbattles, anyone?) would suddenly become questionable under the law, and it is not clear right now that there are feasible mitigating actions that we could take while preserving core site functionality. Even worse, smaller but similar attempts in various countries in Europe in the past have shown that such efforts have actually harmed publishers and creators .

Accordingly, we hope that today's action will drive the point home that there are grave problems with Articles 11 and 13, and that the current trilogue negotiations will choose to remove both entirely. Barring that, however, we have a number of suggestions for ways to improve both proposals. Engine and the Copia Institute have compiled them here at https://dontwreckthe.net/ . We hope you will read them and consider calling your Member of European Parliament ( look yours up here ). We also hope that EU lawmakers will listen to those who use and understand the internet the most, and reconsider these problematic articles. Protecting rights holders need not come at the cost of silencing European internet users.

 

 

Offsite Article: And who better to the job?...


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
New Zealand film censor, with a keen eye on upcoming UK cesorship, publishes a report on porn viewing by the young and inevitably finds that they want porn to be censored

See article [pdf] from classificationoffice.govt.nz

 

 

Offsite Article: The price of censorship...


Link Here 4th December 2018
The BBFC increase charges by inflation - 1% so that a 90 minute films costs 934 GBP for a cinema rating and 757 for video

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Defective Age Verification Law...

Parliamentary scrutiny committee condemns as 'defective' a DCMS Statutory Instrument excusing Twitter and Google images from age verification. Presumably one of the reasons for the delayed introduction


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
There's a joint committee to scrutinise laws passed in parliament via Statutory Instruments. These are laws that are not generally presented to parliament for discussion, and are passed by default unless challenged.

The committee has now taken issue with a DCMS law to excuse the likes of social media and search engines from requiring age verification for any porn images that may get published on the internet. The committee reports from a session on 21st November 2018 that the law was defective and 'makes an unexpected use of the enabling power'. Presumably this means that the DCMS has gone beyond the scope of what can be passed without full parliamentary scrutiny.

Draft S.I.: Reported for defective drafting and for unexpected use of powers Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018

7.1 The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these draft Regulations on the grounds that they are defectively drafted and make an unexpected use of the enabling power.

7.2 Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 ("the 2017 Act") contains provisions designed to prevent persons under the age of 18 from accessing internet sites which contain pornographic material. An age-verification regulator 1 is given a number of powers to enforce the requirements of Part 3, including the power to impose substantial fines. 2

7.3 Section 14(1) is the key requirement. It provides:

"A person contravenes [Part 3 of the Act] if the person makes pornographic material available on the internet to persons in the United Kingdom on a commercial basis other than in a way that secures that, at any given time, the material is not normally accessible by persons under the age of 18".

7.4 The term "commercial basis" is not defined in the Act itself. Instead, section 14(2) confers a power on the Secretary of State to specify in regulations the circumstances in which, for the purposes of Part 3, pornographic material is or is not to be regarded as made available on a commercial basis. These draft regulations would be made in exercise of that power. Regulation 2 provides:

"(1) Pornographic material is to be regarded as made available on the internet to persons in the United Kingdom on a commercial basis for the purposes of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 if either paragraph (2) or (3) are met.

(2) This paragraph applies if access to that pornographic material is available only upon payment.

(3) This paragraph applies (subject to paragraph (4)) if the pornographic material is made available free of charge and the person who makes it available receives (or reasonably expects to receive) a payment, reward or other benefit in connection with making it available on the internet.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), paragraph (3) does not apply in a case where it is reasonable for the age-verification regulator to assume that pornographic material makes up less than one-third of the content of the material made available on or via the internet site or other means (such as an application program) of accessing the internet by means of which the pornographic material is made available.

(5) Paragraph (4) does not apply if the internet site or other means (such as an application program) of accessing the internet (by means of which the pornographic material is made available) is marketed as an internet site or other means of accessing the internet by means of which pornographic material is made available to persons in the United Kingdom."

7.5 The Committee finds these provisions difficult to understand, whether as a matter of simple English or as legal propositions. Paragraphs (4) and (5) are particularly obscure.

7.6 As far as the Committee can gather from the Explanatory Memorandum, the policy intention is that a person will be regarded as making pornographic material available on the internet on a commercial basis if:

(A) a charge is made for access to the material; OR

(B) the internet site is accessible free of charge, but the person expects to receive a payment or other commercial benefit, for example through advertising carried on the site.

7.7 There is, however, an exception to (B): in cases in which no access charge is made, the person will NOT be regarded as making the pornographic material available on a commercial basis if the material makes up less than one-third of the content on the internet site--even if the person expects to receive a payment or other commercial benefit from the site. But that exception does not apply in a case where the person markets it as a pornographic site, or markets an "app" as a means of accessing pornography on the site.

7.8 As the Committee was doubtful whether regulation 2 as drafted is effective to achieve the intended result, it asked the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport a number of questions. These were designed to elicit information about the regulation's meaning and effect.

7.9 The Committee is disappointed with the Department's memorandum in response, printed at Appendix 7: it fails to address adequately the issues raised by the Committee.

7.10 The Committee's first question asked the Department to explain why paragraph (1) of regulation 2 refers to whether either paragraph (2) or (3) "are met" 3 rather than "applies". The Committee raised this point because paragraphs (2) and (3) each begin with "This paragraph applies if ...". There is therefore a mismatch between paragraph (1) and the subsequent paragraphs, which could make the regulation difficult to interpret. It would be appropriate to conclude paragraph (1) with "is met" only if paragraphs (2) and (3) began with "The condition in this paragraph is met if ...". The Department's memorandum does not explain this discrepancy. The Committee accordingly reports regulation 2(1) for defective drafting.

7.11 The first part of the Committee's second question sought to probe the intended effect of the words in paragraph (4) of regulation 2 italicised above, and how the Department considers that effect is achieved.

7.12 While the Department's memorandum sets out the policy reasons for setting the one-third threshold, it offers little enlightenment on whether paragraph (4) is effective to achieve the policy aims. Nor does it deal properly with the second part of the Committee's question, which sought clarification of the concept of "one-third of ... material ... on ... [a] means .... of accessing the internet ...".

7.13 The Committee is puzzled by the references in regulation 2(4) to the means of accessing the internet. Section 14(2) of the 2017 Act confers a power on the Secretary of State to specify in regulations circumstances in which pornographic material is or is not to be regarded as made available on the internet on a commercial basis. The means by which the material is accessed (for example, via an application program on a smart phone) appears to be irrelevant to the question of whether it is made available on the internet on a commercial basis. The Committee remains baffled by the concept of "one-third of ... material ... on [a] means ... of accessing the internet".

7.14 More generally, regulation 2(4) fails to specify how the one-third threshold is to be measured and what exactly it applies to. Will the regulator be required to measure one-third of the pictures or one-third of the words on a particular internet site or both together? And will a single webpage on the site count towards the total if less than one-third of the page's content is pornographic--for example, a sexually explicit picture occupying 32% of the page, with the remaining 68% made up of an article about fishing? The Committee worries that the lack of clarity in regulation 2(4) may afford the promoter of a pornographic website opportunities to circumvent Part 3 of the 2017 Act.

7.15 The Committee is particularly concerned that a promoter may make pornographic material available on one or more internet sites containing multiple pages, more than two-thirds of which are non-pornographic. For every 10 pages of pornography, there could be 21 pages about (for example) gardening or football. Provided the sites are not actively marketed as pornographic, they would not be regarded as made available on a commercial basis. This means that Part 3 of the Act would not apply, and the promoter would be free to make profits through advertising carried on the sites, while taking no steps at all to ensure that they were inaccessible to persons under 18.

7.16 The Committee anticipates that the shortcomings described above are likely to cause significant difficulty in the application and interpretation of regulation 2(4). The Committee also doubts whether Parliament contemplated, when enacting Part 3 of the 2017 Act, that the power conferred by section 14(2) would be exercised in the way provided for in regulation 2(4). The Committee therefore reports regulation 2(4) for defective drafting and on the ground that it appears to make an unexpected use of the enabling power.

 

 

A few translated words...

Sony exec speaks about the company's new found enthusiasm for video game censorship


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Sony president Atsushi Morita has made the first official comments about his company's new found enthusiasm for video game censorship. Posted on Japanese website Ebitsu.net, but without official translation, he purportedly told attendees at a Japan Studio event that expression restrictions [have been] adjusted to the global standards. He apparently concluded:

Considering the balance between freedom of expression and safety to children, I think that it is a difficult problem.

One video game series thats been affected by Sony's censorship  is Senran Kagura . The producer of the latest game, Kenichiro Takaki commented that the next title in the series is going to take time as it deals with these new regulations. He said:

We have to make games in a way that they aren't misunderstood. Certain things are harder than they've ever been before. Given that, I think [the game] is going to take some time.

 

 

Which bright spark thought of that?...

Winnie the Pooh is replaced by a light cloud in the Chinese release of the game Kingdom Hearts 3


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
Kingdom Hearts 3 is an upcoming video game that features Winnie the Pooh.

Now China's president Xi Jinping has taken offence at his gait and pot belly being likened to Pooh bear so Chinese censors have to spend hours ensuring that images of the bear are airbrushed out of Chinese life.

A Chinese website sharing images of the upcoming game revealed the game's interesting form of censorship. The iconic Winnie the Pooh is censored out with a gigantic white light.

Kingdom Hearts 3 launches January 29th, 2019.

 

 

Cat calls...

Chichester Council censors street art


Link Here 2nd December 2018
The King of Cats mural by street artist Joachim has been censored by Chichester District Council after residents whinged that the painting was 'inappropriate' and attracting antisocial behaviour.

The black-and-white cat, which stood about 18-foot-high, was painted by the Belgian street artist in October 2017.

62 residents signed a petition calling for the King of Cats to be removed. One complainant said the nightmarish cat had attracted additional graffiti within two days, while another described the artwork as vandalism, according to a list of complaints published in Chichester Observer, which were submitted to the council in October and November 2017. The petition letter claimed that the cat has drug connotations in its design.

Following the mural's removal, Joachim was inundated with messages of support from the Chichester community, asking him to come back to their city, according to Graffiti Street.  So Joachim went back to the same spot and painted another black-and-white mural -- The Watchdog.

 

 

Worrying about religious dicks in heads...

US chain store Nordstrom removes a penis shape Shiva vase from sale after a complaint from Rajan Zed


Link Here 2nd December 2018
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
 

Memphis Pink Shiva Vase
by Ettore Sottsass 1970s
 

Seattle headquartered luxury department stores chain Nordstrom withdrew an erect penis shaped vase named after Hindu deity Shiva within less than five hours of Hindu protest, claiming it to be highly inappropriate.

Erik Nordstrom, Co-President of Nordstrom, responded to the perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed who complained about the vase. Nordstrom wrote:

We certainly do not want to carry merchandise that offends anyone, especially for religious reasons. Please know that the vase has been removed from our website. I hope you will accept my apologies for any disappointment we have caused you or others.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Nordstrom for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought associating Lord Shiva with such a product was highly insensitive.

Rajan Zed suggested that Nordstrom and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.

Zed had said that Lord Shiva and Shivalinga were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not used as a vase for holding cut flowers, which might end up as a decoration in toilet/bathroom/etc. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

 

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...

BBFC animal cruelty cuts required for a 2018 cinema release


Link Here 1st December 2018
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 USA crime western biography by George Roy Hill.
Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katharine Ross. BBFC link IMDb

Butch and Sundance are the two leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Butch is all ideas, Sundance is all action and skill. The west is becoming civilized, and when Butch and Sundance rob a train once too often, a special posse begins trailing them no matter where they run. Over rocks, through towns, across rivers, the group is always just behind them. When they finally escape through sheer luck, Butch has another idea, "Let's go to Bolivia". Based on the exploits of the historical characters.

Uncut for 1969 cinema release and VHS releases but animal cruelty cuts were required by the BBFC for 2018 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:
  • Cut required to remove a scene of deliberate animal cruelty staged for the film (an animal being tripped using wires in a dangerous fashion).

 

 

Complete control...

Chinese rules requiring internet companies to record all users online activity have commenced


Link Here 1st December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Chinese internet companies have started keeping detailed records of their users' personal information and online activity. The new rules from China's internet censor went into effect Friday.

The new requirements apply to any company that provides online services which can influence public opinion or mobilize the public to engage in specific activities, according to a notice posted on the Cyber Administration of China's website.

Citing the need to safeguard national security and social order, the Chinese internet censor said companies must be able to verify users' identities and keep records of key information such as call logs, chat logs, times of activity and network addresses.

Officals will carry out inspections of companies' operations to ensure compliance. But the Cyber Administration didn't make clear under what circumstances the companies might be required to hand over logs to authorities.

 

 

Morality in Media recommends...

Baby on Netflix


Link Here 1st December 2018
Morality in Media (now calling themselves the National Center on Sexual Exploitation) writes:

This Friday, Netflix will begin streaming a new show, Baby .

Based loosely on the account of the Baby Squillo scandal, the show portrays a group of teenagers entering into prostitution as a glamorized coming-of-age story. Under international and U.S. federal law, anyone engaged in commercial sex who is under 18 years old is by definition a sex trafficking victim. In the real-life scandal that Baby is based on, the mother of one of the teenagers was arrested for sex trafficking.

In January, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, along with 55 other survivors of sex trafficking and/or subject matter experts, social service providers, and advocates for the abolition of sexual exploitation sent a letter to Netflix executives to express their deep concern regarding Netflix's forthcoming Italian drama, Baby, which normalizes child sexual abuse and the sex trafficking of minors as prostitution.

Despite being at ground zero of the #MeToo movement, Netflix appears to have gone completely tone-deaf on the realities of sexual exploitation, said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Despite the outcry from survivors of sex trafficking, subject matter experts, and social service providers, Netflix promotes sex trafficking by insisting on streaming Baby. Clearly, Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse.

Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, has previously described the new show as edgy.

There is absolutely nothing edgy about the sexual exploitation of minors. This show glamorizes sexual abuse and trivializes the experience of countless underage women and men who have suffered through sex trafficking.

 

 

Offsite Article: WeChatTheyListen app...


Link Here 1st December 2018
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
GCHQ pushes for the ability to silently join and snoop on encrypted messaging conversations

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

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