Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2022: February

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Media sanctions...

Russian propaganda channel RT is removed from Sky

Link Here28th February 2022
Full story: Russia Today Propaganda TV...Russia Today, English language international propaganda channel
Sky TV is no longer broadcasting the propaganda channel RT, previously called Russia Today in light of Russia's murderous attack on Ukraine. The channel has been completely removed from the Sky EPG.

Sky spokeswoman Chris Major said:

Sky had decided to suspend showing RT in light of the rapidly unfolding situation in Ukraine.

As a responsible broadcaster, we take great care to ensure we comply with the Code of Broadcasting Standards. We have had ongoing dialogue with the BSA over the past few days, and have received complaints from a number of customers.

The channel has also been widely removed from social media.



Burnt by Steam...

Steam snatches back free copies of the game Agony Unrated

Link Here28th February 2022
Agony , a hammy survival horror game about a soul trying to escape Hell by finding someone called the Red Goddess, was released by Madmind Studios in 2018. An adults only version called Agony Unrated followed after some uncertainty. Perhaps due to censorship issues, the game was reportedly cancelled but somehow appeared on Steam anyway as a free bonus for owning the original game.

Agony Unrated later vanished from the Steam libraries of players who received it. Madmind Studio posted a blog explaining that the two games were delinked by Steam:

As most of you know, until now, if you bought Agony you also received a copy of Agony UNRATED in your library. This was always our intended way to do this and that didn't change. As some of you are also aware, games with themes similar to ours can often face some difficulties on this platform.

Unfortunately, we still don't have full knowledge on why they were delinked and we're unable to link the games again using our own tools, so we're now in contact with Steam support to work out the solution that'll satisfy everyone.

The reason that led to this situation is probably (that's our guess) because some players who intentionally bought the game in the censored version also got access to the uncensored version, which Steam did not want.

On February 23, Madmind explained it had put together bundles for Agony owners that would discount Agony Unrated to the maximum amount possible in each region, which is anywhere between 65% and 95% off. Obviously, that's not the same as free and is a temporary solution.



Offsite Article: The Daily Star recommends...

Link Here28th February 2022
Insane Playstation game, Martha is Dead, censored for extreme violence and sexual content

See article from



Not much point appealing against harsh censorship then...

The BBFC confirms its new appeal system implemented by child welfare 'experts'

Link Here 26th February 2022
The latest published BBFC minutes reveals that the new Video Appeals Committee (VAC) is up and running. There have been hardly any appeals over the last few years, so it probably doesn't make much difference. However with appeals more likely to be heard by child campaigners than those with an interest in free speech, then I don't suppose there will be many appeals in the future either.

The BBFC wrote:

The BBFC's Senior Policy Officer confirmed that as of 1 January 2022 the new Video Appeals Committee (VAC) is in place.

In order to improve its effectiveness, the BBFC has, with the support of DCMS, made changes to how the VAC works. We have streamlined the process by removing the requirement that VAC hearings be held in-person and by drawing the membership of the VAC from the child-welfare experts who sit on the BBFC's independent Advisory Panel on Children Viewing, with recruitment managed by an independent third party.

The changes we have made have allowed us to reduce the VAC appeal fee by 50%, and this has been communicated to the home entertainment industry.



Legal Utopia...

ASA dismisses complaints about using the word 'shyster' in an advert

Link Here23rd February 2022
A TV ad for Legal Utopia, a legal support app, seen on 22 October 2021, featured a voice-over that stated, I've discovered Legal Utopia; the app to help you save time and potentially save money 206 It's accessible, affordable law for all and for all sorts. The voice-over continued by giving examples of when the app could be used, including 206 claims against shoddy shysters, accompanied by a shot of a women speaking angrily on the phone as she examined leaky pipes under a sink.

A complainant, who understood the word shyster was a derogatory term used to describe Jewish people, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not upheld

The term shyster was used in the ad accompanied by footage of a woman speaking angrily on the phone whilst examining leaky pipes under a sink. The ASA considered that the context of the scene, in an ad for an app in which users could seek legal support, implied that the woman was berating a plumber who had carried out substandard work and that she could choose to seek legal recourse through consulting the app.

We understood that there were a range of opinions about the etymology of the word shyster, including that it referred to the character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice who was a Jewish moneylender. Others believed the word originated from the German word ScheiÃ?er. We understood that its common usage in British English was to describe an unscrupulous or disreputable person.

We sought a view from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who had no concerns about the use of the term in the ad.

We considered that in the context used in the ad, most viewers would understand the term shyster as referring to an unscrupulous plumber who had carried out substandard work and failed to correct it. We acknowledged that some viewers may find the term distasteful but we concluded that in the context of the ad it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.



The UK Government masses its heavy censorship artillery at the borders of free speech...

Threatening to invade and repress the freedoms of a once proud people

Link Here20th February 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Financial Times is reporting that the cabinet have agreed to extending UK online censorship to cover legal but harmful content. The government will define what material must be censored via its internet censor Ofcom.

The FT reports:

A revised Online Safety bill will give Ofcom, the communications regulator, powers to require internet companies to use technology to proactively seek out and remove both illegal content and legal content which is harmful to children. The new powers were proposed in a recent letter to cabinet colleagues by home secretary Priti Patel and culture secretary Nadine Dorries.

It seems that the tech industry is not best pleased by being forced to pre-vet and censor content according to rules decreed by government or Ofcom.  The FT reports:

After almost three years of discussion about what was originally named the Online Harms bill, tech industry insiders said they were blindsided by the eleventh-hour additions.

The changes would make the UK a global outlier in how liability is policed and enforced online, said Coadec, a trade body for tech start-ups. It added the UK would be a significantly less attractive place to start, grow and maintain a tech business.

Westminster insiders said ministers were reluctant to be seen opposing efforts to remove harmful material from the internet.



ASA cry babies...

Advert censor bans boohoo advert claiming widespread legs mean widespread offence

Link Here17th February 2022

A website for the clothing retailer Boohoo,, seen on 26 November 2021, featured a product listing for a T-shirt. Two images in the ad showed a model wearing the T-shirt with only thong-style bikini bottoms and trainers; one was a rear view that showed her kneeling, the other showed her sitting on the ground with her legs apart. Another image was an upper-body shot that showed the model lifting the T-shirt as if to remove it and exposing the skin on her stomach and side.

A complainant, who believed that the images objectified and sexualised women, challenged whether the ad was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.

Response UK Ltd said the images were part of their swimwear category and explained that the model was wearing the T-shirt with a bikini. As a brand they often combined a variety of products in their images to show how items could be worn in different ways. They said that the way they presented their garments reflected the diversity of women in society and their customer base.

Boohoo said that they understood the importance of the issues raised and had removed the images from their website.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA understood that although it had been presented as part of the swimwear category, the advertised product was an oversized T-shirt and the product listing appeared as a result of searches for T-shirts or tops.

In one of the images, the model was shown from the rear in a kneeling position and we noted that the T-shirt was folded under so that the bikini bottoms and the model's buttocks and naked legs were visible and prominent. We considered that the image emphasised the model's buttocks and legs rather than the product and that she was posed in a sexually suggestive way from behind, with her hand appearing to be tucked into the bikini bottoms at the front.

In another image the model was sitting with her legs spread apart so that the focus was on her crotch and we considered that pose was also sexually suggestive, taking into account that she was wearing the T-shirt folded under again and with only the bikini bottoms on her lower half.

In a third image, the model was wearing the T-shirt with trousers over the bikini bottoms. However, she was seen lifting the T-shirt to expose her stomach and side and we considered the emphasis of that image was also her exposed skin rather than the product.

We also noted that neither the partial nudity nor the bikini bottoms were relevant to the product and that the images did not show the product as it would usually be worn.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and sexualised women. It was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told UK Ltd to ensure that future ads were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society and that they did not cause serious or widespread offence or harm by objectifying women.

Offsite Comment: Sob Story: The ASA's Puritanical Fear Of The Female Body

17th February 2022. See article from

The self-declared advertising authority uses modern buzzwords to disguise the decidedly Victorian morality behind its decisions.



Borderline rating...

Film censors have different opinions about the age rating for The Batman and it causes border friction in Northern Ireland

Link Here17th February 2022
Full story: Batman Movies...A history of controversy
The Batman is a 2021 USA action crime drama by Matt Reeves.
Starring Robert Pattinson. BBFC link 2020  IMDb

International film censors have different opinions about the age rating for The Batman. In particular

  • US: Rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material
  • Ireland: Rated 15A for strong violence and intense action sequences
  • UK: Rated 15 for strong threat, violence
Of course where there's an easy to cross border these differences may make a commercial impact. Cinemas in Northern Ireland are worried that groups with 12 to 14 year olds would travel to Eire so that the youngsters could see the film.

The cinema chain Movie House asked Belfast Council to overrule the UK BBFC rating of 15 and instead enforce an Irish IFCO 15A rating which allows under 15s to see the film if accompanied by an adult.

However Belfast councillors rejected the request with several councillors noting that they haven't seen the film so are not best placed to overrule the BBFC rating.

Movie House managing director Michael McAdam wanted the rating to be lowered to 15A. He pointed out it would be on a streaming service in weeks, when parents can decide if their children can watch it, putting cinemas at a disadvantage. He added:

The world has changed. We used to have a five-month window, now streaming services are becoming stronger, he said. At home, parents can permit their children to watch it on TV, but at the cinema the same parent would be breaking the law.

Edward Lamberti of the BBFC said that most superhero films get a lower age classification. But The Batman movie was different, and the BBFC hadn't given it a 15 lightly:

It is a stronger, tougher, bleaker movie than is typically the case with a superhero film.

He made reference to films such as The Joker, which was given a 15 classification, and went on to receive the most complaints of 2019, with parents believing it should have been rated higher.



No age verification option...

Twitter responds to German porn age verification requirements by totally blocking all Germans from adult content that has been flagged by a state internet censor

Link Here13th February 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Twitter has been blocking the profiles of adult content creators in Germany since late 2020, with at least 60 accounts affected to date.

The move comes in response to a series of legal orders by German regulators that have ruled that online pornography should not be visible to children and must be hidden behind age-verification systems.

As Twitter doesn't have an age-verification system in place, it has responded to legal demands by outright blocking the selected accounts for anyone in Germany.

The German approach to selecting accounts to ban seems scattergun. There are thousands of Twitter accounts that post adult content, and those the internet censors has reported to Twitter appear to have large followings or are subject to individual complaints.

Anyone trying to view one of the blocked accounts in Germany sees a message saying it has been withheld in Germany in response to a legal demand. The exact number of accounts blocked in this way is unknown. One pornographic account displaying this message has more than 700,000 followers.

The policy of totally blocking all German users may encourage a large scale take up of VPNs so that users can continue to view their favourite accounts. Of course Twitter could itself block access via well known VPNs but it seems likely that this would cause widespread disruption to worldwide users living in repressive countries that try to block Twitter entirely.



Online Censorship Bill...

Big Tech companies liken the Online 'Safety' Bill to what censors are doing in China

Link Here13th February 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Financial Times is reporting on a letter from Priti Patel and Nadine Dorries calling for tech companies to pre-emptively vet and censor user posts on social media that are 'legal but harmful'.

The tech companies see this as a censorship demand that goes way beyond anything else demanded in the supposedly free world.

Unnamed critics  said such censorship could create a clash with European data protection rules and deter further investment from multinational tech companies in the UK. One tech lobbyist said the plans have put a panic-stricken tech industry at Defcon 2:  The broader implications are vast.

It seems that Patel and Dorries have sent the letter to cabinet colleagues to argue for a step up in the censorship demands of the as yet unpublished Online 'Safety' Bill.

One tech industry executive, who has seen the proposals, said the potential requirement to monitor legal content, as well as material that is clearly designated as illegal, crossed a huge red line for internet companies. Another said:

This seems to go significantly beyond what is done in democratic countries around the world. It feels a bit closer to what they are doing in China.



Married to repressive morality...

The Kenya film censor bans gay themed Indian film titled Badhaai Do

Link Here13th February 2022
Full story: Film Censorship in Kenya...Ban happy KFCB particularly for gay themese
Badhaai Do is a 2022 India comedy by Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Starring Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar and Sheeba Chaddha BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Shardul Thakur and Suman Singh enter into a marriage of gay convenience but chaos ensues when her girlfriend comes to stay with them.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KCFB) has banned a gay-themed Indian film titled Badhaaai Do .

Sammy Wambua, the Film Board's acting Chief Executive said that the film tries to directly influence the viewer into believing that homosexuality is a normal way of life. He added:

The multiple scenes of lesbian and gay affection depicted in the film are in complete disregard of our cultural values and beliefs. The film in question overtly disregards our laws, constitution, and sensibilities as a people.



The war against humour...

BBC respond to whinges about a Ukraine joke on the Graham Norton Show

Link Here13th February 2022
Graham Norton joked about Prime Minister Boris Johnson's trip to Kyiv in Ukraine on his Friday night programme, saying:

This week, he flew off to Ukraine -- or if you're watching on catchup TV, he flew off to southwest Russia.

The BBC responded to 130 whinges:

We received complaints from people unhappy with a joke Graham Norton made about Russia and Ukraine.

Our response

Each week the programme begins with a monologue from Graham in which he makes reference to the latest news stories. On this occasion these concerned Boris Johnson's recent trip to Ukraine. We appreciate the seriousness of the current situation there and can assure you there was no intention to cause any offence with these remarks. Comedy is one of the most subjective areas of programming and while no subject is off limits we appreciate that some jokes may resonate differently for those with personal experience of a particular situation.




Video game Martha is Dead has been cut for PlayStation

Link Here9th February 2022
Martha Is Dead is a 2022 first-person psychological thriller by Wired Productions

Wired Productions describes the game as follows:

Martha Is Dead is a dark first-person psychological thriller, set in 1944 Italy, that blurs the lines between reality, superstition and the tragedy of war.

Martha Is Dead is only recommended for an adult audience and is not recommended for players who may find depictions containing blood, dismemberment, disfigurement of human bodies, minor nudity, and self-harm disturbing.

It seems that Sony have found the game somewhat distasteful and have demanded cuts before it is allowed to be played on PlayStation. One example of controversial content is provided by a Forbes article:

While there may be a few instances of "too far" violence, the one that keeps getting brought up is that a player cuts off the face of their dead sister. And it's not just that they cut it off, it's that the action is actually a minigame where you have to move the blade around and peel the face off.

Wired Productions have down explained more in a statement:

Martha Is Dead is a narrative adventure recommended for adult audiences only, with play consisting of potentially discomforting scenes and themes that may distress some players. Both Wired Productions and LKA have always been open and honest about Martha Is Dead content, with the sensitive depictions in play consistently communicated to the media since the game was announced in 2019. This content is also flagged clearly and repeatedly within the game itself before play begins.

It is with regret that we have had to modify the experience on the PS5 and PS4 versions, with some elements no longer playable. After over four years of passion and hard work, Developer LKA now requires extra time to make these unplanned changes. Martha Is Dead, as a result, will still launch digitally on both PS5 and PS4 on Thursday, February 24th, 2022, but the physical retail release will be delayed to a yet to be disclosed date; although we anticipate this to only be a small number of weeks. Our physical edition will still contain the bonus content of a double-sided poster, digital tarot cards and Martha Is Dead Digital EP. We will update players with the date we ship this edition as soon as we have the information.

The PC and Xbox versions of Martha Is Dead are both unaffected by these developments and will launch with the full unedited gameplay as planned.

We look forward to players experiencing the work of LKA on Thursday February 24th, 2022.



Commented: Jimmy Carr has fun with his 'career ending' jokes...

And winds up those that would like this to be taken literally

Link Here9th February 2022
Full story: Jimmy Carr...TV comedian winds up the easily offended
Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material is a 2021 UK comedy by Brian Klein, Amanda Baker
Starring Jimmy Carr BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Jimmy Carr finds humour in the darkest of places in this stand-up comedy special. This special features Jimmy's trademark dry, sardonic wit and includes some jokes which Jimmy calls "career enders".

The programme was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC with a trigger warning for sexual violence references, discrimination, language.

Now comedian Jimmy Carr has sparked 'outrage' for a routine about the Holocaust in his latest Netflix stand-up special.

The programme, titled His Dark Material , was released on the streaming platform on Christmas Day but the clip about the Holocaust came to light more widely when it was shared on social media.

The comedian, who introduced his show as being a career ender and warned it contained terrible things, said a positive of the Holocaust was that thousands of Gypsies were murdered. The comments were greeted with applause and laughter from the audience.

Between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, according to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The charity's chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman said:

We are absolutely appalled at Jimmy Carr's comment about persecution suffered by Roma and Sinti people under Nazi oppression, and horrified that gales of laughter followed his remarks.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the comments were abhorrent and they just shouldn't be on television. Dorries suggested the government could legislate to stop comedy people find offensive being shown on streaming platforms. She told the BBC:

We're already looking at future legislation to bring into scope those sort of comments

Asked about a previous Tweet where she said left-wing snowflakes are killing comedy, Ms Dorries replied: Well, that's not comedy.

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, who is co-chairman of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, wrote on Twitter that he was utterly speechless at this disregard for the horror of the holocaust and its impact on the Gypsy community of Europe.

Netflix declined to comment. Carr has also not commented.


Offsite Comment: Jimmy Carr must be free to say the unsayable

9th February 2022. See article from by Simon Evans

The government has no business decreeing what is funny.



Offsite Article: Censorship via data protection...

Link Here9th February 2022
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
The House of Lords asks whether the new Information Commissioner will enforce ID/age verification for porn viewing

See article from



Fighting Back...

Cuts to a Chinese streamed version of Fight Club reduced after widespread protests

Link Here7th February 2022
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
Fight Club is a 1999 USA / Germany drama by David Fincher.
Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Melon Farmers link  YouTube icon   BBFC link 2020   IMDb

A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion.

Chinese streaming giant Tencent has reinstated the original ending of the Hollywood movie Fight Club after a censored version last month sparked backlash.

The original ending to the 1999 film Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt, shows scenes of explosions and relentless fighting. But China's version simply showed a message on screen saying the authorities won and saved the day.

The replacement version on Tencent reportedly restores about 11 of the 12 minutes that were cut. The scenes still missing are those featuring nudity.

The changes to the ending were: [ Spoilers! hover or click text below]

The film's original finale shows Norton's character killing his alter ego, before bombs destroy buildings in a subversive plot to reorder society.

China's version of the film, which was only released last month, cut all those scenes, and instead explained that the police foiled the plot, arrested the criminals and sent Durden to a lunatic asylum.



A scammer's wet dream...

UK Government announces that the Online Censorship Bill will now extend to requiring identity/age verification to view porn

Link Here6th February 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media

On Safer Internet Day, Digital Censorship Minister Chris Philp has announced the Online Safety Bill will be significantly strengthened with a new legal duty requiring all sites that publish pornography to put robust checks in place to ensure their users are 18 years old or over.

This could include adults using secure age verification technology to verify that they possess a credit card and are over 18 or having a third-party service confirm their age against government data.

If sites fail to act, the independent regulator Ofcom will be able fine them up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover or can block them from being accessible in the UK. Bosses of these websites could also be held criminally liable if they fail to cooperate with Ofcom.

A large amount of pornography is available online with little or no protections to ensure that those accessing it are old enough to do so. There are widespread concerns this is impacting the way young people understand healthy relationships, sex and consent. Half of parents worry that online pornography is giving their kids an unrealistic view of sex and more than half of mums fear it gives their kids a poor portrayal of women.

Age verification controls are one of the technologies websites may use to prove to Ofcom that they can fulfil their duty of care and prevent children accessing pornography.

Many sites where children are likely to be exposed to pornography are already in scope of the draft Online Safety Bill, including the most popular pornography sites as well as social media, video-sharing platforms and search engines. But as drafted, only commercial porn sites that allow user-generated content - such as videos uploaded by users - are in scope of the bill.

The new standalone provision ministers are adding to the proposed legislation will require providers who publish or place pornographic content on their services to prevent children from accessing that content. This will capture commercial providers of pornography as well as the sites that allow user-generated content. Any companies which run such a pornography site which is accessible to people in the UK will be subject to the same strict enforcement measures as other in-scope services.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver more comprehensive protections for children online than the Digital Economy Act by going further and protecting children from a broader range of harmful content on a wider range of services. The Digital Economy Act did not cover social media companies, where a considerable quantity of pornographic material is accessible, and which research suggests children use to access pornography.

The government is working closely with Ofcom to ensure that online services' new duties come into force as soon as possible following the short implementation period that will be necessary after the bill's passage.

The onus will be on the companies themselves to decide how to comply with their new legal duty. Ofcom may recommend the use of a growing range of age verification technologies available for companies to use that minimise the handling of users' data. The bill does not mandate the use of specific solutions as it is vital that it is flexible to allow for innovation and the development and use of more effective technology in the future.

Age verification technologies do not require a full identity check. Users may need to verify their age using identity documents but the measures companies put in place should not process or store data that is irrelevant to the purpose of checking age. Solutions that are currently available include checking a user's age against details that their mobile provider holds, verifying via a credit card check, and other database checks including government held data such as passport data.

Any age verification technologies used must be secure, effective and privacy-preserving. All companies that use or build this technology will be required to adhere to the UK's strong data protection regulations or face enforcement action from the Information Commissioner's Office.

Online age verification is increasingly common practice in other online sectors, including online gambling and age-restricted sales. In addition, the government is working with industry to develop robust standards for companies to follow when using age assurance tech, which it expects Ofcom to use to oversee the online safety regime.

Notes to editors:

Since the publication of the draft Bill in May 2021 and following the final report of the Joint Committee in December, the government has listened carefully to the feedback on children's access to online pornography, in particular stakeholder concerns about pornography on online services not in scope of the bill.

To avoid regulatory duplication, video-on-demand services which fall under Part 4A of the Communications Act will be exempt from the scope of the new provision. These providers are already required under section 368E of the Communications Act to take proportionate measures to ensure children are not normally able to access pornographic content.

The new duty will not capture user-to-user content or search results presented on a search service, as the draft Online Safety Bill already regulates these. Providers of regulated user-to-user services which also carry published (i.e. non user-generated) pornographic content would be subject to both the existing provisions in the draft Bill and the new proposed duty.



Experts challenge Govt's anti-encryption campaign...

scaremongering tactics being used to mislead the public and make bogus case for weakening encryption

Link Here6th February 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The UK Home Office plans to force technology companies to remove the privacy and security of encrypted services such as WhatsApp and Signal as part of its Online Safety Bill. Even worse, the Home Office has launched a scaremongering campaign wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on a London advertising agency to undermine public trust in a critical digital security tool to keep people and businesses safe online.

Undermining encryption would make our private communications unsafe, allowing hostile strangers and governments to intercept conversations. Undermining encryption would put at risk the safety of those who need it most. Survivors of abuse or domestic violence, including children, need secure and confidential communications to speak to loved ones and access the information and support they need. As Stephen Bonner, executive director for technology and innovation at the UK Information Commissioner's Office recently noted, end-to-end encryption "strengthens children's online safety by not allowing criminals and abusers to send them harmful content or access their pictures or location." [1]

Operation: Safe Escape [2] and LGBT Tech [3] --two organisations that represent and safeguard vulnerable stakeholders--stress the vital importance of encrypted communications victims of domestic abuse and for LGBTQ+ people in countries where they face harassment, victimisation and even the threat of execution. Far from making them safer, denying at-risk people a confidential lifeline puts them at greater and sometimes mortal risk.

Anti-encryption policies threaten the fundamental human right to freedom of expression. Compromising encryption would undermine investigative journalism that exposes corruption and criminality. According to the Centre for Investigative Journalism, without a secure means of communication, sources would go unprotected and whistleblowers will hesitate to come forward. [4]

Contrary to what the Home Office claims, leading cybersecurity experts conclude that even message scanning "creates serious security and privacy risks for all society while the assistance it can provide for law enforcement is at best problematic." [5] Backdoors create an entry point for hostile states, criminals and terrorists to gain access to highly sensitive information. Weakening encryption negatively impacts the global Internet [6] and means our private messages, sensitive banking information, personal photographs and privacy would be undermined. MI6 head, Richard Moore, used his first public speech to warn of the increased data security threat from hostile countries. [7] By Mr. Moore's analysis, the UK would be making things easier for hostile governments, in waging a war against our personal and national security.

The UK government must reassess their decision to wage war on a technology that is essential to so many people in the UK and beyond.

  • Access Now
  • ACLAC (Latin American and Caribbean Encryption Coalition)
  • Adam Smith Institute
  • Africa Media and Information Technology Initiative (AfriMITI)
  • Alec Muffett, Security Researcher
  • Annie Machon
  • Big Brother Watch
  • Centre for Democracy and Technology
  • Christopher Parsons, Senior Research Associate, Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Policy at the University of Toronto
  • Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)
  • Cybersecurity Advisors Network (CyAN)
  • Dave Carollo, Product Manager, TunnelBear LLC
  • Derechos Digitales -- Latin America
  • Digital Rights Watch
  • Dr. Duncan Campbell
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Faud Khan, CEO, TwelveDot Incorporated
  • Fundación Karisma
  • Global Partners Digital
  • Glyn Moody
  • Index on Censorship
  • Instituto de Desarrollo Digital de América Latina y el Caribe (IDDLAC)
  • Internet Society
  • Internet Society Brazil Chapter
  • Internet Society Catalonia Chapter
  • Internet Society Germany Chapter
  • Internet Society India Hyderabad
  • Internet Society Portugal Chapter
  • Internet Society Tchad Chapter
  • Internet Society UK England Chapter
  • Internet Freedom Foundation, India
  • JCA-NET (Japan)
  • Jens Finkhaeuser, Interpeer Project
  • Prof. Dr. Kai Rannenberg, Goethe University Frankfurt, Chair of Mobile Business & Multilateral Security
  • Kapil Goyal, Faculty Member, DAV College Amritsar
  • Khalid Durrani, PureVPN
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Löhr, Freie Universität Berlin
  • LGBT Technology Partnership
  • Liberty
  • Luke Robert Mason
  • Mark A. Lane, Cryptologist, UNIX / Software Engineer
  • OpenMedia
  • Open Rights Group
  • Open Technology Institute
  • Peter Tatchell Foundation
  • Privacy & Access Council of Canada
  • Ranking Digital Rights
  • Reporters Without Borders
  • Riana Pfefferkorn, Research Scholar, Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Simply Secure
  • Sofía Celi, Latin American Cryptographers.
  • Dr. Sven Herpig, Director for International Cybersecurity Policy, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
  • Tech For Good Asia
  • The Law and Technology Research Institute of Recife (IP.rec)
  • The Tor Project
  • Dr. Vanessa Teague, Australian National University
  • Yassmin Abdel-Magied



Online Censorship Bill...

Government defines a wide range of harms that will lead to criminal prosecution and that will require censorship by internet intermediaries

Link Here3rd February 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Online Safety Bill strengthened with new list of criminal content for tech firms to remove as a priority

own after it had been reported to them by users but now they must be proactive and prevent people being exposed in the first place.

It will clamp down on pimps and human traffickers, extremist groups encouraging violence and racial hate against minorities, suicide chatrooms and the spread of private sexual images of women without their consent.

Naming these offences on the face of the bill removes the need for them to be set out in secondary legislation later and Ofcom can take faster enforcement action against tech firms which fail to remove the named illegal content.

Ofcom will be able to issue fines of up to 10 per cent of annual worldwide turnover to non-compliant sites or block them from being accessible in the UK.

Three new criminal offences, recommended by the Law Commission, will also be added to the Bill to make sure criminal law is fit for the internet age.

The new communications offences will strengthen protections from harmful online behaviours such as coercive and controlling behaviour by domestic abusers; threats to rape, kill and inflict physical violence; and deliberately sharing dangerous disinformation about hoax Covid-19 treatments.

The government is also considering the Law Commission's recommendations for specific offences to be created relating to cyberflashing, encouraging self-harm and epilepsy trolling.

To proactively tackle the priority offences, firms will need to make sure the features, functionalities and algorithms of their services are designed to prevent their users encountering them and minimise the length of time this content is available. This could be achieved by automated or human content moderation, banning illegal search terms, spotting suspicious users and having effective systems in place to prevent banned users opening new accounts.

New harmful online communications offences

Ministers asked the Law Commission to review the criminal law relating to abusive and offensive online communications in the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003.

The Commission found these laws have not kept pace with the rise of smartphones and social media. It concluded they were ill-suited to address online harm because they overlap and are often unclear for internet users, tech companies and law enforcement agencies.

It found the current law over-criminalises and captures 'indecent' images shared between two consenting adults - known as sexting - where no harm is caused. It also under-criminalises - resulting in harmful communications without appropriate criminal sanction. In particular, abusive communications posted in a public forum, such as posts on a publicly accessible social media page, may slip through the net because they have no intended recipient. It also found the current offences are sufficiently broad in scope that they could constitute a disproportionate interference in the right to freedom of expression.

In July the Law Commission recommended more coherent offences. The Digital Secretary today confirms new offences will be created and legislated for in the Online Safety Bill.

The new offences will capture a wider range of harms in different types of private and public online communication methods. These include harmful and abusive emails, social media posts and WhatsApp messages, as well as 'pile-on' harassment where many people target abuse at an individual such as in website comment sections. None of the offences will apply to regulated media such as print and online journalism, TV, radio and film.

The offences are:

A 'genuinely threatening' communications offence, where communications are sent or posted to convey a threat of serious harm.

This offence is designed to better capture online threats to rape, kill and inflict physical violence or cause people serious financial harm. It addresses limitations with the existing laws which capture 'menacing' aspects of the threatening communication but not genuine and serious threatening behaviour.

It will offer better protection for public figures such as MPs, celebrities or footballers who receive extremely harmful messages threatening their safety. It will address coercive and controlling online behaviour and stalking, including, in the context of domestic abuse, threats related to a partner's finances or threats concerning physical harm.

A harm-based communications offence to capture communications sent to cause harm without a reasonable excuse.

This offence will make it easier to prosecute online abusers by abandoning the requirement under the old offences for content to fit within proscribed yet ambiguous categories such as "grossly offensive," "obscene" or "indecent". Instead it is based on the intended psychological harm, amounting to at least serious distress, to the person who receives the communication, rather than requiring proof that harm was caused. The new offences will address the technical limitations of the old offences and ensure that harmful communications posted to a likely audience are captured.

The new offence will consider the context in which the communication was sent. This will better address forms of violence against women and girls, such as communications which may not seem obviously harmful but when looked at in light of a pattern of abuse could cause serious distress. For example, in the instance where a survivor of domestic abuse has fled to a secret location and the abuser sends the individual a picture of their front door or street sign.

It will better protect people's right to free expression online. Communications that are offensive but not harmful and communications sent with no intention to cause harm, such as consensual communication between adults, will not be captured. It will have to be proven in court that a defendant sent a communication without any reasonable excuse and did so intending to cause serious distress or worse, with exemptions for communication which contributes to a matter of public interest.

An offence for when a person sends a communication they know to be false with the intention to cause non-trivial emotional, psychological or physical harm.

Although there is an existing offence in the Communications Act that captures knowingly false communications, this new offence raises the current threshold of criminality. It covers false communications deliberately sent to inflict harm, such as hoax bomb threats, as opposed to misinformation where people are unaware what they are sending is false or genuinely believe it to be true. For example, if an individual posted on social media encouraging people to inject antiseptic to cure themselves of coronavirus, a court would have to prove that the individual knew this was not true before posting it.

The maximum sentences for each offence will differ. If someone is found guilty of a harm based offence they could go to prison for up to two years, up to 51 weeks for the false communication offence and up to five years for the threatening communications offence. The maximum sentence was six months under the Communications Act and two years under the Malicious Communications Act.


The draft Online Safety Bill in its current form already places a duty of care on internet companies which host user-generated content, such as social media and video-sharing platforms, as well as search engines, to limit the spread of illegal content on these services. It requires them to put in place systems and processes to remove illegal content as soon as they become aware of it but take additional proactive measures with regards to the most harmful 'priority' forms of online illegal content.

The priority illegal offences currently listed in the draft bill are terrorism and child sexual abuse and exploitation, with powers for the DCMS Secretary of State to designate further priority offences with Parliament's approval via secondary legislation once the bill becomes law. In addition to terrorism and child sexual exploitation and abuse, the further priority offences to be written onto the face of the bill includes illegal behaviour which has been outlawed in the offline world for years but also newer illegal activity which has emerged alongside the ability to target individuals or communicate en masse online.

This list has been developed using the following criteria: (i) the prevalence of such content on regulated services, (ii) the risk of harm being caused to UK users by such content and (iii) the severity of that harm.

The offences will fall in the following categories:

  • Encouraging or assisting suicide
  • Offences relating to sexual images i.e. revenge and extreme pornography
  • Incitement to and threats of violence
  • Hate crime
  • Public order offences - harassment and stalking
  • Drug-related offences
  • Weapons / firearms offences
  • Fraud and financial crime
  • Money laundering
  • Controlling, causing or inciting prostitutes for gain
  • Organised immigration offences



Halloween Kills...

2021 UK / USA horror thriller by David Gordon Green released in 2 versions

Link Here3rd February 2022
Halloween Kills is a 2021 UK / USA horror thriller by David Gordon Green.
Starring Judy Greer and Anthony Michael Hall and Jamie Lee Curtis. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film exists as a Theatrical Version and a more violent Extended Version. Both were 18 rated by the BBFC.

Summary Notes

The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.


BBFC uncut
Theatrical Version
run: 105m
pal: 101m


UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence:  
  • 2022 Universal Pictures [Theatrical + Extended Versions] R0 4K Blu-ray at UK Amazon #ad
  • 2022 Universal Pictures [Theatrical + Extended Versions] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon #ad
  • 2022 Universal Pictures [Theatrical + Extended Versions] R2 DVD at UK Amazon #ad

US: The Theatrical Version was MPA R rated for strong bloody violence throughout, grisly images, language and some drug use

BBFC uncut
Extended Version
run: 109m
pal: 105m

MPAA Unrated

UK: Extended Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence:
  • 2022 Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd video

See pictorial version details from :

The Extended Version adds value with a less abrupt and longer alternative ending as well as additional violent footage possibly dropped to secure an MPA R rating.

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