Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch


2021: February

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Thou shalt not mock religion in Scotland...

The National Secular Society calls for the Scottish Government to restore free speech protections to its disgraceful Hate Crimes bill


Link Here28th February 2021
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill

The National Secular Society has urged Scotland's justice minister not to renege on a commitment to ensure a strengthened level of protection for free speech on religion in the current hate crime bill.

A vital free speech provision around religion has yet to be determined, even though it had appeared to be settled and a final vote on the legislation is likely to be just days away.

The NSS has long warned that plans to criminalise 'stirring up hatred' on the grounds of religion within the bill pose a threat to freedom of expression.

The Scottish parliament's Justice Committee had agreed to an amendment to protect expressions of "antipathy, dislike, ridicule and insult" of religion or belief during previous consideration of the bill. However, this now appears to be under threat after the launch of a last minute consultation on freedom of expression provisions in the bill. The consultation, which closed on Monday, lasted just four days.

The NSS and Edinburgh Secular Society have now jointly written to Humza Yousaf, Scotland's cabinet secretary for justice, over the issue.

The NSS said a free speech clause covering religion that only protected "discussion or criticism" would be "too imprecise" and go "nowhere near far enough to protect robust debate, satire, comedy and commentary about religions or beliefs".

It added that the law should "in no way serve to criminalise people for their opposition to ideas or protect people's beliefs from antipathy, dislike, ridicule and insult".

The letter argued that the "wide consensus and strong support" for the additional protection for speech about religion or belief should be reflected in the legislation. And it says it would be "unconscionable at this late stage to renege on additional free speech protections already agreed to".

 

 

Offsite Article: As always...we'll do better next time...


Link Here28th February 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook's Response to the Oversight Board's First Set of Recommendations

See article from about.fb.com

 

 

ParentalControlTube...

Google offers a series of supervisory options of YouTube for different ages of children


Link Here25th February 2021
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
Google has decided to offer a protected mode for YouTube with a range of monitoring and supervisory options for parents. Google explains in a blog post:

In the coming months, we'll launch a new experience in beta for parents to allow their children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account . This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features. We'll start with an early beta for families with kids under the age of consent to test and provide feedback, as we continue to expand and improve the experience.

We know that every parent has a different parenting style and that every child is unique and reaches different developmental stages at different times. That's why we'll give parents the ability to choose from 3 different content settings on YouTube.

  • Explore: For children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube, this setting will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more.

  • Explore More: With content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+, this setting will include an even larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as "Explore."

  • Most of YouTube: This setting will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content , and it includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens.

This option was designed for parents who think their children are ready to explore the vast universe of YouTube videos. We will use a mix of user input, machine learning and human review to determine which videos are included. We know that our systems will make mistakes and will continue to evolve over time.

We recommend parents continue to be involved in guiding and supporting their child's experience on YouTube. To help parents get started, we've developed a guide in partnership with National PTA , Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome . We'll also launch an ongoing campaign that features creators discussing themes like bullying and harassment, misinformation, digital well-being and more.

We understand the importance of striking a balance between empowering tweens and teens to more safely gain independence, while offering parents ways to set controls. In addition to choosing the content setting, parents will be able to manage watch and search history from within their child's account settings. Parents can also use other controls offered by Google's Family Link , including screen timers. We'll continue adding new parental controls over time, such as blocking content.

When a parent grants access to YouTube, their child's experience will feel much like regular YouTube, but certain features will be disabled to protect younger audiences. For example, we won't serve personalized ads or ads in certain categories . At launch, we'll also disable in-app purchases, as well as creation and comments features. Since self-expression and community are integral parts of YouTube and children's development, over time we'll work with parents and experts to add some of these features through an age-appropriate and parent controlled approach.

 

 

Offsite Article: Speech should be free but not of consequences...


Link Here25th February 2021
Rather than genuinely tackling the thornier issues, we're seeing calls for more regulations online as a quick fix. By Ruth Smeeth

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 

Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA)...

The BBC is a founding partner of a 'smart' new censorship control technology nominally targeting 'fake news' but surely it will also censor dissenting views from social justice orthodoxy


Link Here 23rd February 2021

A group of influential technology and media companies has partnered to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a Joint Development Foundation project established to address the supposed prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.

Founding members Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic seek to establish a standardized provenance solution with the goal of combating misleading content. C2PA member organizations will work together to develop content provenance specifications for common asset types and formats to enable publishers, creators and consumers to trace the origin and evolution of a piece of media, including images, videos, audio and documents. These technical specifications will include defining what information is associated with each type of asset, how that information is presented and stored, and how evidence of tampering can be identified.

The C2PA's open standard will give platforms a method to preserve and read provenance-based digital content. Because an open standard can be adopted by any online platform, it is critical to scaling trust across the internet. In addition to the inclusion of varied media types at scale, C2PA is driving an end-to-end provenance experience from the capturing device to the information consumer. Collaboration with chipmakers, news organizations, and software and platform companies is critical to facilitate a comprehensive provenance standard and drive broad adoption across the content ecosystem.

 

 

Vintage car theft...

A ludicrous Chicago lawmaker resurrects the notion that banning violent videos can solve all America's covid ravaged societal ills


Link Here23rd February 2021
Full story: Grand Theft Auto...Grand Theft Auto brings out the nutters
Because of a surge in violent crimes like carjackings in Chicago, one state lawmaker from the city has introduced a bill targeting what he sees as a possible catalyst for the troubles, namely violent video games.

Representative Marcus Evans Jr has called for the banning of sales of video games that showcase, among other things, motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.

This comes as a recent local TV news report from Chicago revealed that some carjacking suspects are not even old enough to drive, and it quoted a local philanthropist as speculating that GTA and video games like it might influence young people to do bad things.

The new law proposed is an amendment to an existing statute in Illinois's criminal code. Already, retailers are restricted against selling violent video games to minors. Evans' proposal would just extend that, banning the sale of violent video games to everyone.

This bill would also prohibit the sale of any video game that depicts psychological harm and child abuse, sexual abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence, violence against women, or motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present inside the vehicle when the theft begins.

 

 

When Harry Became Sally...

Amazon takes sides on the trans debate and bans a book that criticises the trans movement


Link Here23rd February 2021
Full story: Book Censorship on Amazon...Banning reprehensible book starts chain reaction
The trans debate has become one of the most bitter and toxic confrontation across the whole of the social justice sphere. Maybe it is hardly surprising that some the most outspoken contributions will cross lines amongst the internet giants who are proving to be the prison warders of modern culture.

As an example Amazon has removed the bestselling book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment without giving its author, Ryan T. Anderson, any notice or explanation.

Anderson is the President of the Ethics & Public Policy Center which describes itself as D.C.'s premier think tank dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. Anderson told the Daily Caller that he noticed the book was unavailable on Sunday. He said:

No one from Amazon notified me or my publisher, Anderson said. My publisher has reached out, but still no response.

It's not about how you say it, it's not about how rigorously you argue it, it's not about how charitably you present it, he said. It's about whether you dissent from a new orthodoxy.

Offsite Comment: Amazon: from book-selling to book-burning

10th March 2021. See article from spiked-online.com by Tim Black

Its decision to stop selling a book criticising transgenderism is part of an alarming trend. 

 

 

Disney Muppets...

Disney tags the Muppet Show with a ludicrous trigger warning


Link Here22nd February 2021
The Muppet Show is the latest victim of political correctness gone mad with new trigger warnings over its historic content.

When airing on  Disney+ the show now come with an alert about supposedly offensive content and can only be seen on an adult account. Viewers are greeted with the disclaimer:

This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.

Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.

The warning is believed to refer to Muppet characters designed as stereotypes of Native Americans, Arabs and East Asians. In another episode, the singer Johnny Cash plays on a stage adorned with the Confederate flag.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said:

I would like to know which bunch of muppets thought this one up. It would appear if this continues kids won't be able to watch any TV programmes which are not newly made. Is nothing safe?

 

 

Legislating without thinking...

Utah House of Representatives passes silly bill to require porn blockers on new mobile devices


Link Here22nd February 2021
The idea of adding censorship software to new phones and tablets sold in Utah has been well debated by moralists in various US state assemblies. But none are quite as silly as Utah when it comes to enacting stupid ideas without a moments thought for the practicality of the requirement.

Now the Utah House of Representatives passed an amended version of a controversial bill that would mandate a default porn filter on any phones, computers, tablets or any other electronic devices sold in the state starting in 2022.

HB 72 , sponsored by Representative Susan Pulsipher, a realtor with no technology experience, was speedily passed by the House only hours after it had cleared the committee stage by the narrowest of margins (a 6-5 vote), as XBIZ reported.

The bill was introduced into the Utah Senate yesterday, where it is co-sponsored by staunch anti-porn campaigner Wayne A. Harper.

 

 

Offsite Article: Book censorship...


Link Here22nd February 2021
Seven Seas Entertainment Admits To Heavy-Handed Censorship of Classroom of the Elite and Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

See article from boundingintocomics.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Shadow the Hedgehog...


Link Here22nd February 2021
Historic computer game cuts

See article from thegamer.com

 

 

Talk to strangers...

Omegle app comes under fire as children aren't adequately blocked from taking part


Link Here20th February 2021

A website that matches people to talk to strangers should be banned in the UK according to the pro-censorship campaigner John Carr.

The Omegle site, which randomly pairs strangers to talk over web cameras, has come under fire this week after reports of children being paired with adults in inappropriate conversations. A BBC investigation also found numerous adult men naked or performing sexual acts on camera on the site.

Carr who has advised the Government on child online safety, said the site's continued lack of meaningful age checks meant it should be blocked to prevent UK children wandering onto it.

Omegle, which has the advertising catchline talk to strangers and has exploded in popularity during lockdown, says its services are for over-18s or over-13s with parental permission.

The website's founder, Leif K-Brooks responded to the BBC:

While perfection may not be possible, Omegle's moderation makes the site significantly cleaner and has also generated reports that have led to the arrest and prosecution of numerous predators.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, said he was considering the situation as his department draws up Duty of Care legislation. He said:

[The] allegations here are very serious. We are looking into this as we develop ... new laws to tackle harmful online content.

 

 

Updated: An independent view...

Scottish police arrest a man for insulting Sir Tom Moore on Twitter


Link Here20th February 2021
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
Captain Sir Tom Moore is a retired British soldier who has been canonised by the British media for good work in fundraising for the NHS' coronavirus campaign.

Of course the over the top praise has led to the occasion ironic comment, joke or even the occasional insult. But be warned contrary views do not go down well with the police.

Now a man has been charged in Lanarkshire in connection with an offensive social media tweet about Captain Sir Tom Moore. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said:

On Friday 5 February 2021, we received a report of an offensive tweet about Captain Sir Tom Moore who died on Tuesday 2 February. A 35-year-old man has subsequently been arrested and charged in connection with communication offences and is due to appear at Lanark Sheriff Court on Wednesday 17 February.

And BoingBoing notes the irony. Of course the police boasted about their arrest to the press, so now millions of people worldwide have read the illegal tweet:

The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn.

Update: Charged

20th February 2021. See article from reclaimthenet.org

A Scottish man from Glasgow has been charged over a tweet against Sir Tom Moore. The man pleaded not guilty in court.

On February 3, a day after Moore's death, the man tweeted:

The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn.

A few days later, Kelly was charged under the Communications Act of 2003 , which prohibits the sending of electronic communications that could be deemed grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing, nature.

The decision to charge Kelly caused a stir on social media. Actor and political activist Laurence Fox tweeted:

The police should do their jobs, which is to investigate actual crime, not arresting idiots who tweet idiotic things. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any open society. Protect it, even if you don't like or agree with it.

 

 

Offsite Article: The Silencing Of Dangerous Ideas: Britain's Shameful Free Speech History Is Not About To Change...


Link Here20th February 2021
Full story: University Censorship...Universities vs Free Speech
Some activists are now claiming that their free speech will be oppressed by no longer allowing them to silence voices. By David Flint

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Joe Biden, internet censor...


Link Here20th February 2021
Congressional Democrats have begun discussions with the White House on ways to crack down on Big Tech including making social media companies accountable for the spread of disinformation

See article from reuters.com

 

 

Cloudburst...

Italy goes after Cloudflare DNS service so as to block pirate internet TV


Link Here18th February 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Italy...Censorship affecting bloogers and the press in Italy
Traditionally the authorities look towards ISPs to implement censorship orders via DNS blocking. However there are other DNS providers that perhaps via encrypted DNS that work around ISP block.

Now the Italian courts have decided to order DNS provider Cloudflare to block a couple of pirate internet TV services.

Last year, Sky Italy and the top tier Italian soccer league Serie A took Cloudflare to court, hoping the company would block access to two IPTV services, ENERGY IPTV and IPTV THE BEST. Cloudflare lost both cases. Cloudflare then appealed the injunctions, arguing that it only acts as an intermediary for web content.

The court was not convinced by the arguments. In the ruling, the court said that by facilitating the sites' availability, Cloudflare indeed is involved in copyright infringements.

The court also said that the blocking should be dynamic, meaning if the sites change IP addresses, Cloudflare should still block them.

 

 

Blasphemy Behometh...

Polish court fines heavy metal frontman for supposed blasphemy


Link Here18th February 2021
Full story: Blasphemy in Poland...Under duress for minor comments about religion
Nergal is the frontman of the heavy metal band Behometh. He has just been fined about 3,500 for blasphemy for allegedly stamping on artwork that depicts the Virgin Mary.

Nergal posted the photograph from a shoot for his Me And That Man project on Facebook in 2019.

He has now disputed the presumably lower court claim and the case is now expected to proceed to a full trial. If found guilty the frontman could face up to two years in prison.

Conservative legal group Ordo Iuris and an organisation known as Towarzystwo Patriotyczne (The Patriotic Society) claim to have notified authorities that Nergal had allegedly offended the religious feelings of four people, including a politician from Poland's ruling conservative coalition, when he first posted the photo.

The prosecutors' evidence was said to have been backed by the witness testimony of an 'expert' in religious studies who deemed that treading with a shoe on the image of the Mother of God is an offence against religious feelings.

 

 

Scottish government continues to stir up religious hatred...

Proposals to protect free speech in Scottish hate crimes bill do not appear to have gained traction


Link Here 18th February 2021
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
The Scottish government is struggling to find  way of protecting free speech in a disgraceful blasphemy/hate crimes bill.

An amendment was recently proposed to tone down the destruction of free speech The Scottish government is now seeking further suggestions.

Earlier this week the Scottish parliament's Justice Committee approved several amendments to the bill, one of which would provide greater protection for freedom of expression on religion. But these proposals seem to have stalled due to parliamentary/party resistance.

Now the committee issued a call for views on four new options for freedom of expression protections, which have been proposed by the justice secretary who clearly has little interest in free speech. Only two of the options contain the agreed amendment on free speech on religion. The other two substantially dilute protection for freedom of expression on religion in comparison.

The committee has requested that views on the proposals be submitted by 10:00 this coming Monday (22 February).

The original amendment proposed that a conviction for stirring up hatred on religious grounds would require the prosecution to demonstrate that the accused had behaved in a manner which is threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.

One of the new amendments would have provided greater protection to expressions of antipathy, ridicule, dislike or insult of religion or belief. But two of the four options now proposed only say behaviour would not reach the threshold for prosecution solely on the basis that it involves or includes discussion or criticism of religion.

National Secular Society chief executive Stephen Evans said the Scottish government's position was perplexing and farcical. He commented:

The level of protection for freedom of expression on religion in this bill appeared settled. The agreed amendment was a significant step in the right direction and the Scottish government shouldn't be reopening this.

This episode simply reinforces legitimate concerns that the bill will unacceptably intrude on freedom of speech. With this in mind, and amid a deeply confused and rushed process, MSPs should press pause on the relevant section of this bill.

 

 

Updated: Who should pay for state approved journalism?...

Facebook blocks Australians from accessing or sharing news sources


Link Here18th February 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
The internet has offered plentiful cheap and mobile entertainment for everyone around the world, and one of the consequences is that people on average choose to spend a lot less on newspaper journalism.

This reality is clearly causing a lot of pain to the newspaper industry, but also to national governments around the world who would prefer their peoples to get their news information from state approved sources.

But governments don't really want to pay for the 'main stream media' themselves, and so are tempted to look to social media giants to foot the bill. And indeed the Australian government is seeking to do exactly that. However the economics doesn't really support the notion that social media should pay for the news media. From a purely business standpoint, there is no case for Facebook needing to pay for links, if anything Facebook could probably charge for the service if they wanted to.

So Facebook has taken a stance and decided that it will not be paying for news in Australia. And in fact it has now banned Australian news sources from appearing in the news feeds of Australian users and Facebook has also blocked local users from linking to any international news sources.

And it seems that this has annoyed the Australian Government. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said his government will not be intimidated by Facebook blocking news feeds to users. He described the move to unfriend Australia as arrogant and disappointing.

Australians on Thursday woke up to find that Facebook pages of all local and global news sites were unavailable. People outside the country are also unable to read or access any Australian news publications on the platform.

Several government health and emergency pages were also blocked. Facebook later asserted this was a mistake and many of these pages are now back online.

Update: Facebook makes its case

18th February 2021. See article from about.fb.com by William Easton, Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand

In response to Australia's proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.

This discussion has focused on US technology companies and how they benefit from news content on their services. We understand many will ask why the platforms may respond differently. The answer is because our platforms have fundamentally different relationships with news. Google Search is inextricably intertwined with news and publishers do not voluntarily provide their content. On the other hand, publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences and increase advertising revenue.

In fact, and as we have made clear to the Australian government for many months, the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favor of the publishers -- which is the reverse of what the legislation would require the arbitrator to assume. Last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million.

For Facebook, the business gain from news is minimal. News makes up less than 4% of the content people see in their News Feed. Journalism is important to a democratic society, which is why we build dedicated, free tools to support news organisations around the world in innovating their content for online audiences.

Over the last three years we've worked with the Australian Government to find a solution that recognizes the realities of how our services work. We've long worked toward rules that would encourage innovation and collaboration between digital platforms and news organisations. Unfortunately this legislation does not do that. Instead it seeks to penalise Facebook for content it didn't take or ask for.

We were prepared to launch Facebook News in Australia and significantly increase our investments with local publishers, however, we were only prepared to do this with the right rules in place. This legislation sets a precedent where the government decides who enters into these news content agreements, and ultimately, how much the party that already receives value from the free service gets paid. We will now prioritise investments to other countries, as part of our plans to invest in new licensing news programs and experiences .

Others have also raised concern. Independent experts and analysts around the world have consistently outlined problems with the proposed legislation. While the government has made some changes, the proposed law fundamentally fails to understand how our services work.

Unfortunately, this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted. To do this, we are using a combination of technologies to restrict news content and we will have processes to review any content that was inadvertently removed.

For Australian publishers this means:

  • They are restricted from sharing or posting any content on Facebook Pages

  • Admins will still be able to access other features from their Facebook Page, including Page insights and Creator Studio

  • We will continue to provide access to all other standard Facebook services, including data tools and CrowdTangle

For international publishers this means:

  • They can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can't be viewed or shared by Australian audiences

For our Australian community this means:

  • They cannot view or share Australian or international news content on Facebook or content from Australian and international news Pages

For our international community this means:

  • They cannot view or share Australian news content on Facebook or content from Australian news Pages

The changes affecting news content will not otherwise change Facebook's products and services in Australia. We want to assure the millions of Australians using Facebook to connect with friends and family, grow their businesses and join Groups to help support their local communities, that these services will not change.

We recognise it's important to connect people to authoritative information and we will continue to promote dedicated information hubs like the COVID-19 Information Centre , that connects Australians with relevant health information. Our commitment to remove harmful misinformation and provide access to credible and timely information will not change. We remain committed to our third-party fact-checking program with Agence France-Presse and Australian Associated Press and will continue to invest to support their important work.

Our global commitment to invest in quality news also has not changed. We recognise that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we recently expanded Facebook News t o hundreds of pu blications in the UK.

We hope that in the future the Australian government will recognise the value we already provide and work with us to strengthen, rather than limit, our partnerships with publishers.

 

 

Choke point...

Cambodia is demanding that ISPs route their internet traffic through a state censorship gateway


Link Here18th February 2021
The Cambodian government's new National Internet 'Gateway' will enable the government to increase online surveillance, censorship, and control of the internet, Human Rights Watch have said.

On February 16, 2021, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed the decree on the Establishment of the National Internet Gateway. The decree requires all internet traffic in Cambodia to be routed through a a censorship  hub. It would allow for blocking and disconnecting [of] all network connections that affect safety, national revenue, social order, dignity, culture, tradition and customs. The grounds for action are both overbroad and not defined, permitting arbitrary and abusive application of blocking and disconnecting powers.

Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director said:

Prime Minister Hun Sen struck a dangerous blow against internet freedom and e-commerce in Cambodia by expanding the government's control over the country's internet, said Phil Robertson. Foreign governments, tech companies, e-commerce businesses, and other private actors should urgently call on the government to reverse the adoption of this harmful sub-decree.

The government decree requires ISPs in Cambodia to reroute their services through the National Internet Gateway within the next 12 months, before February 2022.

 

 

Cancelling cancel culture...

Gavin Williamson outline plans for people to be able to sue universities that stifle free speech


Link Here17th February 2021
Full story: University Censorship...Universities vs Free Speech
Students and academics will be able to sue their universities for suffocating their free speech on campus under new Government plans to tackle declining free speech.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned of a cancel culture and a rising intolerance within universities across the country.  In response he has unveiled plans for a free speech champion who will have the power to defend academics amid rising fears institutions are trying to cancel people with differing views. Williamson wrote in The Daily Telegraph :

Last year, I warned our vice-chancellors and leaders of the very real and alarming threat of censorship and a 'cancel culture# within our universities.

I made very clear where I, and the rest of the Government, stood on the matter; that we were on the side of lawful free speech and academic freedom, and that we would back this commitment in law if we had to.

The Education Secretary went on to describe how despite repeated warnings, there were a growing number of cases whereby academics were being silenced and students wrongfully expelled. He added:

Under this rising intolerance, students have found themselves wrongfully expelled from their courses academics fired and others forced to live under a threat of violence.

 

 

Getting right back...

Parler relaunches after being taken down following the storming of the US Capitol


Link Here17th February 2021
Full story: Parler Censporship...An alt-right version of Twitter
Parler, the self-proclaimed free-speech platform taken offline after the riot at the U.S. Capitol last month, says it has relaunched.

Mark Meckler is serving as interim CEO of Parler after its previous top executive was fired by the social media platform.

Parler had been pulled from app stores run by Apple and Google and dropped by Amazon's web hosting services after the incident at the US Capitol. Parler was one of the platforms used by supporters of former President Donald Trump to coordinate and chronicle the event.

 

 

The Dinner Table Test...

The Law Commission drops its disgraceful idea to criminalise private comments made in your own house


Link Here13th February 2021
Dinner table comments made in private that are deemed offensive by the easily offended will not now be classed as hate crimes, with law reform chiefs abandoning disgraceful plans to extend the offence into homes.

The Law Commission had proposed that the crime of stirring up division over race, religion or sexual orientation should extend to private dwellings. That would have meant controversial dinner table conversations could have led to the hosts or guests facing a police probe and a potential prison sentence.

Lord Injustice Green, the commission's chairman, acknowledged critics' concerns that the original plan to ditch the hate crime exemption for private dwellings could lead to people being prosecuted for comments made in the home for the mere giving of offence.

The criminal team is looking at alternative ways in which the law might be reformed, seemingly to pander to the easily offended.

 

Offsite Comment: The Law Commission is watching you

13th February 2021. See article from spiked-online.com by Joanna Williams

That it even considered criminalising dinner-table conversations is remarkable.

 

 

Silencing truth...

Twitter bans censors Project Veritas after it reveals uncomfortable details about Twitter censorship


Link Here13th February 2021
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
Twitter has permanently banned the investigative reporting outlet Project Veritas which recently published several leaked videos exposing executives from Big Tech companies discussing censorship, hate speech, and more. Project Veritas had over 735,000 followers when it was suspended.

The suspension follows Project Veritas's Twitter account being locked earlier today after it posted a video clip featuring a Project Veritas journalist confronting Facebook's Vice President (VP) of Integrity Guy Rosen over comments that he made about Facebook's hate speech detection technology in a leaked video.

Before publishing the leaked Facebook video, Project Veritas had also published several leaked videos from internal Twitter meetings including one video where CEO Jack Dorsey discussed much bigger Twitter censorship measures after Trump's ban from the platform.

 

 

The BBC has a cunning plan...

To needlessly stir up racial resentment with ludicrous trigger warnings for Black Adder


Link Here13th February 2021
The BBC has slapped ludicrous trigger warnings on episodes of Blackadder and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air because of jokes which it claims could be seen as offensive.

iPlayer viewers will see:

Blackadder, first aired in 1983, uses a slur in its second episode which the BBC decided warrants a content warning

In the episode, Rowan Atkinson's character clashes with Dougal MacAngus who has just returned from the Crusades and is awarded Blackadder's land as a result of his good service. Blackadder says:

You come in here fresh from slaughtering a couple of Chocos when their backs were turned and you think you can upset the harmony of a whole kingdom.

Another episode of the sitcom also uses a derogatory term for a Spaniard.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's Reunion episode, filmed last year, also contains a warning at the start of the show. It is not clear what offended the BBC in this episode.

 

 

Establishing a Freedom of Speech Council...

Poland publishes a bill aimed at preventing social media companies from unfairly taking down people's accounts


Link Here13th February 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Poland...In the name of dangerous gambling
The Polish government has published a new draft bill on freedom of speech on social media platforms. The Minister of Justice said that freedom of speech and debate is the cornerstone of democracy and censoring statements, especially online, where most political discussions and ideological disputes take place these days, infringes on those freedoms. Therefore, Poland should have regulations in place to prevent abuse on the part of internet tycoons, which are increasingly limiting this freedom under the auspices of protecting it.

The draft act envisages the appointment of the Freedom of Speech Council, which it claims would safeguard the constitutional freedom of expression on social networking sites. The council would comprise law and new media 'experts' and it would be appointed by the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament for a six-year term of office, by a qualified (3/5) majority.

The draft act also provides that if a website blocks an account or deletes a certain entry, even though its content does not violate/infringe upon Polish law, the user will be able to lodge a complaint with the service provider. The provider must confirm that the complaint has been received and will then have 48 hours to consider it. If the provider dismisses the complaint, the user will be able to appeal that decision to the Freedom of Speech Council, which will consider the appeal within seven days. The council will proceed in closed sessions. It will not take evidence from witnesses, parties, expert opinions and visual inspections, and the evidentiary proceedings before the council will boil down to evidence submitted by the parties to the dispute.

If the council deems the appeal justified, it may order the website to immediately restore the blocked content or account. Thereafter, having received the order, the provider will have no more than 24 hours to comply. Failure to comply with the council's order may lead to large fines.

 

 

Offsite Article: Can anyone moderate podcasts?...


Link Here13th February 2021
Apple, Spotify, and the impossible problem of moderating shows By Ashley Carman

See article from theverge.com

 

 

And through the square window...

Floella Benjamin attempts to resuscitate internet porn age verification in a Domestic Abuse Bill


Link Here11th February 2021
Campaigners for the revival of deeply flawed and one sided age verification for porn scheme have been continuing their efforts to revive it ever since it was abandoned by the Government in October 2019.

The Government was asked about the possibility of restoring it in January 2021 in the House of Commons. Caroline Dinenage responded for the government:

The Government announced in October 2019 that it will not commence the age verification provisions of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 and instead deliver these protections through our wider online harms regulatory proposals.

Under our online harms proposals, we expect companies to use age assurance or age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing services which pose the highest risk of harm to children, such as online pornography. The online harms regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography. Taken together we expect this to bring into scope more online pornography currently accessible to children than would have been covered by the narrower scope of the Digital Economy Act.

We would encourage companies to take steps ahead of the legislation to protect children from harmful and age inappropriate content online, including online pornography. We are working closely with stakeholders across industry to establish the right conditions for the market to deliver age assurance and age verification technical solutions ahead of the legislative requirements coming into force.

In addition, Regulations transposing the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive came into force on 1 November 2020 which require UK-established video sharing platforms to take appropriate measures to protect minors from harmful content. The Regulations require that the most harmful content is subject to the strongest protections, such as age assurance or more technical measures. Ofcom, as the regulatory authority, may take robust enforcement action against video sharing platforms which do not adopt appropriate measures.

Now during the passage of the Domestic Abuse in the House of Lords, Floella Benjamin attempted to revive the age verification requirement by proposing the following amendment:

Insert the following new Clause --

Impact of online pornography on domestic abuse

(1) Within three months of the day on which this Act is passed, the Secretary of State must commission a person appointed by the Secretary of State to investigate the impact of access to online pornography by children on domestic abuse.

(2) Within three months of their appointment, the appointed person must publish a report on the investigation which may include recommendations for the Secretary of State.

(3) As part of the investigation, the appointed person must consider the extent to which the implementation of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (online pornography) would prevent domestic abuse, and may make recommendations to the Secretary of State accordingly.

(4) Within three months of receiving the report, the Secretary of State must publish a response to the recommendations of the appointed person.

(5) If the appointed person recommends that Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 should be commenced, the Secretary of State must appoint a day for the coming into force of that Part under section 118(6) of the Act within the timeframe recommended by the appointed person.

Member's explanatory statement

This amendment would require an investigation into any link between online pornography and domestic abuse with a view to implementing recommendations to bring into effect the age verification regime in the Digital Economy Act 2017 as a means of preventing domestic abuse.

Floella Benjamin made a long speech supporting the censorship measure and was supported by a number of peers. Of course they all argued only from the 'think of the children' side of the argument and not one of them mentioned trashed adult businesses and the risk to porn viewers of being outed, scammed, blackmailed etc.

See Floella Benjamin's speech from hansard.parliament.uk

 

 

Subliminal incitement...

Ofcom fines religious channel 50,000 for inciting religious violence


Link Here11th February 2021
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Ofcom has fined Khalsa Television 50,000 in relation to its service KTV for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. A 20,000 penalty relates to a music video. A 30,000 penalty relates to a discussion programme.

Music video

On 4, 7 and 9 July 2018, KTV broadcast a music video for a song called Bagga and Shera. Ofcom found that the music video was an indirect call to action for Sikhs living in the UK to commit violence, up to and including murder. It also included brief flashes, which, when slowed down, revealed frames of on-screen text. It appeared therefore to be seeking to influence viewers by conveying a message to them or otherwise influencing their minds without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred.

Discussion programme

On 30 March 2019, KTV broadcast a live discussion programme, Panthak Masle. Ofcom found that this programme provided a platform for several guests to express views which amounted to indirect calls to action and were likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder. Ofcom also found that it included a reference to the proscribed terrorist organisation the Babbar Khalsa, and which in our view could be taken as legitimising it and normalising its aims and actions in the eyes of viewers.

Sanctions

Ofcom has imposed the following sanctions on the Licensee:

  • financial penalties of 20,000 and 30,000;

  • a direction to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom; and

  • a direction not to repeat the music video or the discussion programme.

 

 

Tit for tat...

China bans British propaganda channel BBC World Service in response to Britain banning Chinese propaganda channel CGTN


Link Here11th February 2021
China has banned the BBC in mainland China. State media reported that the British broadcaster would not have its licence renewed by China's media regulator at the start of the Chinese new year.

The move follows the decision last week by the UK TV censor, Ofcom, to strip the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN of its licence in the UK.

The Chinese authorities claimed that BBC World News was found to have seriously violated regulations on radio and television management and on overseas satellite television channel management in its China-related reports.

BBC World News was not available in most domestic news packages in China but could be viewed at some hotels.

Recent BBC reports on China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak and abuses in Xinjiang's internment camps are thought to have infuriated the authorities.

 

 

Taking a clear view on Clearview...

Swedish police fined for the illegal use of facial recognition AI software


Link Here11th February 2021
The Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY) has found that the Swedish Police Authority processed personal data in breach of the Swedish Criminal Data Act when using Clearview AI to identify individuals.

An IMY investigation concluded that Cleaview AI has been used by the Police on a number of occasions without any prior authorisation.

IMY concluded that the Police didn't fulfil its obligations as a data controller on a number of accounts with regards to the use of Clearview AI. The Police has failed to implement sufficient organisational measures to ensure and be able to demonstrate that the processing of personal data in this case has been carried out in compliance with the Criminal Data Act. When using Clearview AI the Police has unlawfully processed biometric data for facial recognition as well as having failed to conduct a data protection impact assessment which this case of processing would require.

IMY fined the police SEK 2,500,000 (approximately euro 250,000). IMY also ordered the Police to conduct further training and education of its employees in order to avoid any future processing of personal data in breach of data protection rules and regulations. In addition the Police were ordered to inform the data subjects, whose data has been disclosed to Clearview AI, when confidentiality rules so allows. Finally the Police are ordered to ensure, to the extent possible, that any personal data transferred to Clearview AI is erased.

 

 

If Music be the food of love...ban it!...

Campaign groups calls for Sia's movie, Music, to be banned over the depictions of an autistic character


Link Here8th February 2021
Music is a 2020 USA drama by Sia.
Starring Kate Hudson, Hector Elizondo and Maddie Ziegler.   IMDb

Zu is newly sober and finding her way in the world when she receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music, a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia's favorite themes -- finding your voice and what it means to create family.

The cancel culture lynch mob has turned its sight on a well meaning movie, Music, directed by pop star Sia. Its PC crime is to not use an autistic actor to play the autistic main character of the film. The movie then relates how music helps her cope.

A particular scene seems to have wound up the activists showing the autistic character in restraints. Zoe Gross, Director of Advocacy at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, said in a statement:

Music doesn't just promote harmful stereotypes about autistic people -- it shows restraints that have killed members of our community as necessary and loving acts. This film should never have been made, and it shouldn't be shown.

Sia acknowledged that she had heard the complaints and said that she would add a warning label before the restraint scene. She said in a statement:

I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people,. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help with meltdown safety.

Later, she went further and said:

I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printing. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.

 

 

Problem snooping...

The Gambling Commission consult on a despicable proposal requiring bookies to investigate the financial standings of their online customers


Link Here6th February 2021
The Gambling Commission has a problem. It holds gambling business in utter contempt and thinks that bookies are suitable private companies to forcibly and invasively snoop into people's financial affairs.

The Racing Post editor explains better than the Gambling Commission how this proposal will pan out:

Nothing to worry about, then. Just a perfectly normal proposal that a non-governmental quango staffed by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats -- not even civil servants -- will determine a loss level at which you and I should be subject to checks on our personal finances. Just a demand that in order to continue betting if a couple of 25 each-way punts go awry, we must share payslips and bank statements with our bookie.

Well! Most punters would tell any betting operator asking for such invasive details of one's financial affairs to go whistle, but imagine for a second that you would subject yourself to such an illiberal and demeaning process. How would your capacity to bet be assessed? The Gambling Commission's consultation document gives some clues, and its suggestions should horrify punters and anyone who cares about the rights of the individual to manage their own affairs without overweening state interference.

First, it is essential to note that while proponents of affordability checks would have you believe these can take place seamlessly and without any inconvenience to punters by utilising information betting operators already hold or can access from credit agencies, the Gambling Commission states this is not the case, noting we would want to be clear that it is still likely that operators will need to collect information directly from customers.

So, let's say you are a daily 10 punter and after a fortnight of middling-to-poor results you hit the prospective 100 threshold for affordability checks. You reluctantly and with grave reservations hand over your most sensitive financial documents for review. How does the operator decide if you are barred from betting for the rest of the month and subject to punting restrictions for evermore?

According to the Gambling Commission, the most relevant way of assessing your capacity to bet before beginning to experience harms is through assessing what it calls discretionary income. This is what you have left each month after spending on essentials like taxes, bills, food and housing. Crucially, however, the commission adds it would not be expected that anyone could spend their entire discretionary income on gambling without experiencing harms.

As such, the Gambling Commission is not just suggesting your financial affairs should be subject to the sort of scrutiny you might find uncomfortable coming from your spouse, never mind Sky Bet, but that the sum of money you have left after meeting all obligations and purchasing all essentials still cannot be used as you see fit. This is a naked admission that this is not about affordability, but about prohibitionism and control.

Meanwhile there as an additional takeout from reading the consultation paper:

  • Bettors should simply never use bookies forums. The bookies are expected to crawl through people's conversations looking clues about people's mental state. So if you comment that you are a bit depressed that your bet failed you may find that you get banned on grounds of clinical depression.
  • Similarly bettors should think very carefully about what they tell bookies via helpline conversations or via messaging services. It is clear that the bookie's staff will be listening to every word wondering if what you say can be interpreted as some sort of clue about personal or financial difficulties.
  • Bettors should also consider whether using self control mechanisms such as staking limits or time outs may be interpreted as some sort of admission that bettors need to be closely surveilled.

 

 

Mass censorship hype...

Mass Effect re-release suffers cuts in 2021


Link Here6th February 2021
Mass Effect was an action role playing game by BioWare that was originally released in 2007.

There was a little controversy at the time about a marginally sexy 'Hot Coffee' scene that eluded the US games raters. In the UK the BBFC noted the game, including the Hot Coffee scene as 12 uncut, so rather indicating that the controversy was more hype than sexy.

Well it seems that even that 12 rated sexiness is a little too much for 2021 sensibilities and the developers have toned down the 2021 re-release titled as Mass Effect Legacy Edition.

In a recent interview with Metro , members of the MELE development team discussed their approach to updating the games for modern platforms. According to the developers, efforts are being made to smooth out the gameplay experience across all three games in the series. These tweaks include updating animations and unifying the control scheme. The team noted that a great deal of care is being taken to respect the artistic integrity of the original trilogy... but there's an exception. According to Legendary Edition project director Mac Walters:

Kevin (character and environment director Kevin Meek) actually called out some camera cuts that were just... why was that focusing on Miranda's butt? So in some cases we said, 'Okay, we can make a change there'. But ultimately, to change an entire character model or something like that wasn't really... it was a decision that was made as part of many creative decisions and just showing it at the best possible fidelity that we could going forward is really the choice for all of the art that we had.

 

 

Fake news...

Ofcom bans the Chinese propaganda news channel CGTN


Link Here4th February 2021

Ofcom has banned the Chinese propaganda news channel CGTN. The channel came into the focus of the tV censor for blatant propaganda and also for unacceptable reporting methods. However Ofcom has explained the ban in terms of a licence technicality, presumably for diplomatic reasons. Ofcom wrote:

Ofcom has withdrawn the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK after its investigation concluded that the licence is wrongfully held by Star China Media Limited.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) is an international English-language satellite news channel. In the UK, broadcasting laws state that broadcast licensees must have control over the licensed service - including editorial oversight over the programmes they show. In addition, under these laws, licence holders cannot be controlled by political bodies.

Our investigation concluded that Star China Media Limited (SCML), the licence-holder for the CGTN service, did not have editorial responsibility for CGTN's output. As such, SCML does not meet the legal requirement of having control over the licensed service, and so is not a lawful broadcast licensee.

In addition, we have been unable to grant an application to transfer the licence to an entity called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC). This is because crucial information was missing from the application, and because we consider that CGTNC would be disqualified from holding a licence, as it is controlled by a body which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

We have given CGTN significant time to come into compliance with the statutory rules. Those efforts have now been exhausted.

Following careful consideration, taking account of all the facts and the broadcaster's and audience's rights to freedom of expression, we have decided it is appropriate to revoke the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK.

 

 

Zack Snyder's Justice League...

New extended Director's Cut has been rated R by the MPA


Link Here4th February 2021

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a 2021 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Zack Snyder
Starring Jared Leto,Henry Cavill,Gal Gadot IMDb

Rated R for violence and some language.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a significantly different extended Director's Cut  that was based on his original cut but was released several years later. Only about 30 minutes of the original material survive in the 2021 version.

Summary Notes

Determined to ensure Superman's ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

 

 

Offsite Article: Twitchy about VPNs...


Link Here4th February 2021
Full story: Twitch Censorship...Games streaming website
VPN users are reporting that their chats no longer show up on Twitch streams

See article from techradar.com

 

 

When a distraction is construed as a harm...

Advert censor ludicrously bans a Ladbrokes advert showing a bettor being distracted by a race on TV


Link Here2nd February 2021

A VOD ad for Ladbrokes, seen on All4 on 25 October 2020, showed various people using the Ladbrokes app on their mobile phones. One scene showed a clip of a horse race, before showing a man in a cafe with several other people, looking away from them at something else in the distance, over the shoulder of one of them. A voice-over stated, Come starter's orders, I'm a bag of nerves. The man's leg was shaking, making the food and cutlery on the table shake. A woman said to him, Really?, capturing his attention briefly, before he turned away again.

A single complainant challenged whether the ad depicted gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.

Ladbrokes did not believe the ad depicted socially irresponsible behaviour because the man was not shown placing a bet nor indeed talking about gambling. He was simply stating that he got nervous ahead of starter's orders which would be his natural reaction whether or not he was gambling. They said the ad featured people in everyday situations, and characters continuing with life in normal day-to-day activities.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The CAP Code stated that ads must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. CAP's Advertising Guidance on Gambling advertising: responsibility and problem gambling made clear that ads which portrayed or otherwise referred to individuals displaying problem gambling behaviours or other behavioural indicators linked to problem gambling were likely to breach the Code.

Marketers should take care to avoid an implication of such behaviours, for instance, outwardly light-hearted or humorous approaches that could be regarded as portrayals of those behaviours. Behaviours associated with people displaying or at risk from problem gambling included detachment from surroundings and preoccupation with gambling.

We noted Clearcast's view that the ad implied the man was watching a race on television, and we agreed that based on the scene and the simultaneous voice-over referring to starter's orders, viewers were likely to interpret the ad as showing him watching the television as the race was about to begin. He was watching intently, and his shaking the table with his knee which, while clearly intended to be humorous, suggested he was preoccupied with the race while his food remained untouched. He was described as being a bag of nerves, which we considered viewers were likely to interpret was as a result of his having placed a bet on the race. It was clear that he was engrossed in the race to the extent that his companion had to point out his actions to bring his attention away from watching the television. We noted that, after responding to his companion, he appeared to turn away, though the shot was brief and he was looking down. We disagreed with Clearcast's view that the man was never disconnected from his companion, or from the room, and considered viewers would assume from his behaviour that he was preoccupied with the outcome of the race in relation to a bet he had placed. We also considered that the man was obviously detached from his surroundings as he watched.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad depicted gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, and therefore breached the Code.

 

 

Scottish Injustice...

Free speech protection clause fails to convince the youngsters of the SNP


Link Here2nd February 2021
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A free speech protection amendment to Scotland's disgraceful hate crime bill that would have allowed some discussion or criticism of matters relating to transgender identity has been withdrawn after members of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) threatened to resign in protest.

People can be convicted of an offense under this bill if they're deemed to have shown malice and ill-will towards protected groups via blogs, emails, podcasts, social media posts, websites, and more. Even people who forward or repeat offending material can be convicted.

Under this amendment, which was proposed last week by Humza Yousaf, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Injustice, there would have been a freedom of expression protection where behaviours and materials are not to be taken as threatening or abusive solely on the basis that it involves or includes discussion or criticism of matters relating to transgender identity.

But after Yousaf proposed the amendment, many younger and LGBT+ SNP members threatened to resign their party membership. This prompted SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon to step in and plead for them to remain party members. This ultimately resulted in Yousaf withdrawing his amendment and meeting with opposition parties in another attempt to write a new amendment that would give freedom of expression protection for all categories.

 

 

Licensed to repress...

China bans private individuals, bloggers and citizen journalists from reporting news


Link Here2nd February 2021
China's internet censor has announced a further step in the censorship of online news reporting.

China already requires any organization publishing news or current affairs-related content to hold a license from the country's media censor. Now in the latest step, China will ban private individuals, bloggers and citizen journalists from posting news-related information online without a license.

The move was announced by Zhuang Rongwen, deputy director of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s central propaganda department, during a Jan. 29 online conference. Zhuang told the conference:
We must control the source of online texts, and resolutely close any loopholes.  The standardized management of citizen journalism should be a priority, with increased punishments for offenders and actual teeth for regulators.

China's Cyberspace Administration also included the announcement in an official statement on its website.

 

 

Offsite Article: The Masque of the Red Death...


Link Here1st February 2021
Revisiting the original US and UK censor cuts and reviewing the uncut restoration

See article from denofgeek.com

 

 

It's not all about government and ISP website blocking...

Promotional piece points out that websites can also recognise and block well known VPNs if they choose too


Link Here 1st February 2021
I used a well known and well regarded Vypr VPN to evade website blocking mandated by the Thai government's internet censor. The VPN worked well to evade these blocks implemented by Thai ISPs.

However the VPN is a total failure in being able to watch BBC's iPlayer from Thailand. Although the VPN allows the website requested to apparently appear from a UK IP address. However the BBC recognised this UK IP address as being owned by a VPN and promptly blocked the request itself.

The answer is to use a VPN that offers private IP addresses that the likes of the BBC don't know are owned or used by VPNs.

The popular NordVPN service is rather coy about the uses of its dedicated IP address though. It explains:

The advantages of the Virtual Private Network often depend on the type of service you choose, so today we rely in particular on NordVPN which is one of the best. Let's see why it is convenient to choose the virtual private network, both in the corporate and non-corporate environments.

In a business environment, having a dedicated IP address allows you to access private servers or remote systems in complete safety. In fact, network administrators can specify a list of authorized IPs and only these have the possibility to access, while all the others remain excluded. In this way, from anywhere in the world you can enter your server without running the risk of intrusion by malicious people and thus protecting the data.

 

 

Offsite Article: The Spirit of the Age...


Link Here1st February 2021
David Flint comments on 'The Curious Angriness Of People Who Know Better Than You' with calm and well argued observations about the lynch mob mentality of the internet

See article from reprobatepress.com


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