Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2023: February

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A war on freedom...

Russian censors inflict extensive TV cuts on western programming with significant gay content

Link Here28th February 2023
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Russian viewers watched the HBO's hit series The White Lotus in the only officially available format via streaming platform Amediateka. The platform severely censored the second season of The White Lotus to comply with repressive Russian law banning gay content.

Scenes were removed, lines of dialogues were purposefully mistranslated in dubbing and Russian subtitles (eg We're all gays here ,became We're all men here ) and the bare buttocks of actor Leo Woodall were covered with a poorly photoshopped blanket, even though featuring in a straight scene.

HBO's Euphoria was also edited in similar ways by Amediateka with nearly two hours' worth of content cut out of the series' second season.

Viewers also discovered that the translation of Sex and the City was tweaked, replacing the word gay with boy , while several scenes were completely cut out.

An amended anti-gay law was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin at the end of last year. It is a more severe version of 2013's law that saw the country outlawing 'LGBT propaganda' and depictins of LGBT behaviour among children under 18 (i.e., holding hands in public, men wearing colourful nail polish, kissing).

After December 2022 all kinds of LGBT propaganda are considered illegal. The list includes untraditional sexual relationships and gender reassignment. Lawmakers are still working on the list of further criteria for proclaiming a work illegal,' and it will come into effect in September.

Russia's internet censor Roskomnadzor has also issued its own list of movies and TV shows that were to be removed from all the legal streaming platforms including Call Me By Your Name , Brokeback Mountain , the first season of The Sex Lives of College Girls and several episodes of This Is Going to Hurt .



Authoritarianism marches on...

The French state looks set to take control of the pictures that parents post of their children on social media

Link Here28th February 2023
Members of the French National Assembly's law committee have unanimously green-lit draft legislation to allo the state to control the ability of parents to post pictures of their children on social media.

Bruno Studer, an MP from President Emmanuel Macron's party who put the bill forward, said in an interview. On average, children have 1,300 photos of themselves circulating on social media platforms before the age of 13, before they are even allowed to have an account, he added.

So-called sharenting (combining sharing and parenting, referring to posting sensitive pictures of one's kids online) constitutes one of the main risks to children's privacy, according to the bill's explanatory statement. Half of the pictures shared by child sexual abusers were initially posted by parents on social media.

The legislation adopted on Tuesday says that both parents would be jointly responsible for their offspring's image rights and shall involve the child ... according to his or her age and degree of maturity. In case of disagreement between parents, a judge can ban one of them from posting or sharing a child's pictures without authorization from the other. And in the most extreme cases, parents can lose their parental authority over their kids' image rights if the dissemination of the child's image by both parents seriously affects the child's dignity or moral integrity.

The bill still needs to go through a plenary session next week and the Senate before it would become law.




Gerald Butler film portraying Filipinos as baddies is withdrawn from distribution in the Philippines

Link Here26th February 2023
Full story: Movie censorship in Philippines...Philippines censor bans and cuts

Plane is a 2023 US action thriller by Jean-François Richet
Starring Gerard Butler, Mike Colter and Yoson An BBFC link 2020 IMDb

A pilot finds himself caught in a war zone after he's forced to land his commercial aircraft during a terrible storm.

The film was withdrawn from Philippines distribution rather than officially banned by the film censor, but the film censor loudly condemned the film for its portrayal of locals as the baddies. Politicians also applied pressure for a ban.

The chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board said that while the film is fictional, the country should not be portrayed in a negative and inaccurate light.

Sen. Robinhood Padilla said: This should not be allowed. ... The reputation of our Motherland is at stake , adding that it is acceptable to discuss issues among Filipinos, but criticisms from foreigners should not be tolerated.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri even expressed concern that the film could jeopardize the government's tourism promotions because it paints a wrong picture of the Philippines.



Updated: Finding a Golden Ticket...

Puffin will publish both gobblefucked and uncensored versions of the Roald Dahl collection of books

Link Here26th February 2023
Full story: UK Central Bank Digital Currency...Big brotherdesigns a new snoopable and controllable payment system
UK publisher Puffin has officially announced the release of Roald Dahl's classic texts in their original uncensored form as well as the new gobblefucked versions that have been censored for modern woke sensitivities.

Following widespread derision of the censorship from the likes of prime minister Rishi Sunak and Queen Consort Camilla, Puffin has announced the publishing of a Penguin labelled version of each book in uncensored form. Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children's in the UK said in a statement:

We recognise the importance of keeping Dahl's classic texts in print. By making both Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl's magical, marvellous stories.

The new collection of original unrevised texts will be published under the Penguin label and named The Roald Dahl Classic Collection, according to Puffin. It will include 17 titles by Dahl and will be available later this year.

Meanwhile the Guardian has revealed that Roald Dahl was not OK with edits being made to his works.

One of Roald Dahl's best-known characters was the Enormous Crocodile , a horrid greedy grumptious brute who wants to eat something juicy and delicious. Now a conversation the author had 40 years ago has come to light, revealing that he was so appalled by the idea that publishers might one day censor his work that he threatened to send the crocodile to gobble them up.

The conversation took place in 1982 at Dahl's home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where he was talking to the artist Francis Bacon. Dahl said:

I've warned my publishers that if they later on so much as change a single comma in one of my books, they will never see another word from me. Never! Ever!

When I am gone, if that happens, then I'll wish mighty Thor knocks very hard on their heads with his Mjolnir. Or I will send along the 'enormous crocodile' to gobble them up.

Update: Also censored in 1973

26th February 2023. See article from by Alison Baker

Roald Dahl agreed in 1973 to remove racist language from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, originally published in 1964. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) objected to Dahl's original portrayal of the Oompa-Loompas as African pygmies.

In Dahl's original story, the Oompa-Loompas were smuggled by Willy Wonka in packing cases with holes in the side for air, which carried echoes of both the Gold Coast slave labour used to produce chocolate in the 19th and early 20th Century and the transatlantic slave trade. The NAACP further threatened to boycott the 1971 film before its release over concerns about depictions of the Oompa-Loompas.



Offsite Article: M3GAN...

Link Here26th February 2023
Movie-Censorship compares versions and details the cuts made to create the MPA PG-13 rated Theatrical Version

See article from



Offsite Comment: Green politics are destroying people's freedom...

Link Here26th February 2023
Existential terror now grips Middle England. By Mary Harrington

See article from



Provincial censors...

An article about the Canadian censorship of Brandon Cronenberg's Infinity Pool summarises the country's network of local censor boards

Link Here25th February 2023
Infinity Pool is a 2022 Canada/Hungary/France Sci-Fi horror by Brandon Cronenberg
Starring Mia Goth, Alexander Skarsgård and Amanda Brugel Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb

The movie was originally MPA NC-17 rated, but the producers decided to appeal for an R rating. However the appeal was unsuccessful and the producers decided to cut the movie for an MPA R rating. Worldwide theatrical releases are set to be the R Rated Version but there is also a Canadian theatrical re-release featuring the uncut version. The first US home video release is the cut MPA R rated version but there are unconfirmed plans for the Unrated Version to be released on home video.

Infinity Pool originally contained sexually explicit imagery during an early scene between stars Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth, plus several later flashes of violence. Those elements initially caused British Columbia and Alberta's film classification offices to award Infinity Pool an R rating, the Canadian equivalent of a BBFC 18 rating.

As is the case with the equivalent MPA NC-17 rating in the US, this rating is box office poison as cinemas prefer not to screen such films. In Canada, any theatre playing an R film must have an usher stationed inside each auditorium 20 minutes before and 20 minutes into each screening to check ticket-buyers' ID. In other words, any such release on either side of the border is a non-starter for all but the smallest of art-house productions.

Grudgingly, Cronenberg and his producers resubmitted a slightly sanitized Infinity Pool to the Canadian review boards, earning the more palatable 18A rating which allows moviegoers under the age of 18 admission if they are accompanied by an adult.

However in late February 2023 Elevation Pictures released Infinity Pool Uncut in select Canadian theatres, despite the complications thrown its way by this country's complex patchwork of provincial ratings boards.

In the autumn of 2019, Ontario Premier Doug Ford shut down the Ontario Film Authority, which was in charge of classifying films for the province. Since then, Ontario ratings have been provided by Consumer Protection BC, which also handles ratings for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. When the board was shuttered in 2019, film exhibitors and distributors hoped that such deregulation would lead to the adoption of a national content advisory system. And as of February 2023 this hasn't yet materialized.

Across the rest of the country, Alberta has its own Film Classification Office (which also provides ratings to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut); the Nova Scotia Film Classification Board is responsible for the Maritimes; and Quebec has its Ministry of Culture and Communications.

Different boards made different decisions about the original uncut submission of Infinity Pool.

Quebec's Ministry of Culture and Communications opted for a 16+ rating, whilst the Consumer Protection BC and the Alberta Film Classification Office opted for their most restrictive ratings of R.

Ultimately, the uncut version of Infinity Pool that is now screening at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox and Carlton cinemas, Ottawa's Mayfair Theatre and Calgary's Canyon Meadows Cinemas. Director Cronenberg commented:

It's not a completely different film, but there is a version of the film that I intended for people see,. I'm glad people saw the other version last month, but I'm also glad Canadians are finally getting the full film, too -- and in theatres where it's meant to be seen.



Atomic Heart...

Ukraine calls for the ban of a video game due to Russian business connections

Link Here25th February 2023
Ukraine s Ministry of Digital Transformation said that it will send a letter to gaming platforms Valve, Sony, and Microsoft to ban the sale of the new game Atomic Heart in Ukraine. The game is set in the Soviet era, where there is a robot uprising. A KGB officer rises to the occasion to save the country.

The recently released game by Mundfish studio is reportedly sponsored by Russian publisher Gaijin and Anatoliy Paliy, the top manager of Russian energy company Gazprom, according to Ukrainian blogger OLDboi.

Digital Transformation Deputy Minister Oleksandr Borniakov encouraged other countries to ban the game.

We also call for limiting the distribution of this game in other countries due to its toxicity, potential collection of user data and the possibility of transferring it to third parties in Russia , as well as the potential use of money raised from game purchases to wage war against Ukraine.



Offsite Article: The age of censorship...

Link Here25th February 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
A summary of US states proposing or enacting internet age verification

See article from



Has anyone dared to ask the kids how they will respond to a social media ban?...

French lawmakers rush to get age verification mandated to block under 15s from accessing social media without parental permission

Link Here 23rd February 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
The Culture Committee of France's National Assembly voted last week to expand the age verification requirements already mandated for adult content to several popular mainstream social media platforms.

The French lawmakers voted in favour of requiring social media platforms to block access to under 15s, unless they have permission from their parents.

The reasons given by the committee for last week's hearing were to examine a proposed law establishing a "digital age of majority" of 15 and to "fight online hate."

The bill was put forward by MP Laurent Marcangeli, a member of parliament from President Emmanuel Macron's allied party Horizons, and was endorsed by the committee on Feb. 15.

Infringing social media companies, the Politico report noted, will face fines of up to one percent of their annual global turnover. Technical solutions to verify users' ages would need to be rubber-stamped by the audiovisual and privacy regulators -- Arcom and CNIL -- and Arcom would be empowered to sue non-compliant companies.

The bill now heads to a plenary session and to the Senate.

According to a French government source, CNIL and Arcom will soon be releasing age verification technical guidelines that will "frame the minimum criteria" for "pornographic websites" to comply. It appears that France will allow payment card verification and face scanning for age (with an unlikely promise of not surreptitiously using facial recognition at the same time) in the short term whilst waiting for a more complex technical solution being suggested by CNIL.

French Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot told the parliamentarians that a system of "double anonymity" for porn site age verification would be tested at the end of March with a few adult companies, which he did not name.



India's war against a BBC documentary on Modi...

The government tried to suppress the documentary in India

Link Here23rd February 2023

On the morning of February 14, 2023, approximately two dozen officials from India's Income Tax Department made their way into the India office of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) located in the capital city of New Delhi to start an "income tax survey" of the organization. According to Newslaundry , a media watchdog in India, roughly 100 employees from the organization who were present in the building at the time were asked to submit their phones and remain on the premises during the raid. A similar "survey" also started at the BBC office in Mumbai. The search lasted for three days and was concluded on the evening of February 16, 2023.

For those familiar with the socio-political circumstances in India, the news on Tuesday came as no surprise since it followed a pattern that has become extremely common in the country. BBC, the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, had been the topic of public conversation and news coverage for the past month, the reason being its explosive documentary on the Gujarat riots of 2002 .

In January 2023, the BBC released a two-part documentary titled " India: The Modi Question ," which aimed to highlight the rising violence against the Muslim minority population in India under the leadership of its current Prime Minister Narendra Modi . The first part of the series, released on January 17, focused on the horrific Gujarat riots of 2002. The segment exposed the significant involvement of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state of Gujarat in the violent attacks against the Muslim minority population during that period.

The information the documentary shared was nothing new and has existed in the form of publicly available written records, documentation and reportage for the last two decades. During a rally in November 2022, Amit Shah, a prominent leader of the BJP and the Minister of Home Affairs, acknowledged the Gujarat riots in which a large number of people, primarily Muslims, lost their lives. Shah proclaimed that " they were taught a lesson ."

Blocking the documentary in India

Yet the Indian government's reaction to the documentary was instant, dismissing it as a propaganda piece . The documentary was made available only in the UK through BBC's online streaming service BBC iPlayer; however, it was uploaded to multiple YouTube channels by individuals and extensively shared on various social media platforms. The government invoked emergency laws to completely prohibit access to the documentary on the web for viewers in India. Kanchan Gupta, the senior adviser at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting mentioned in a tweet on January 2023 that a number of YouTube videos containing the first episode of the BBC documentary and over fifty tweets with links to the YouTube videos were ordered to be taken down .

On January 24, the BBC aired the second part of the documentary, which examined the performance of the Modi government following its re-election in 2019, and it was not subjected to any censorship orders.

The decision by Twitter to remove the tweets and the lack of support from Western democracies in defence of the BBC's documentary, which the organization claimed was " rigorously researched ," sparked widespread debate.

Cracking down on public screenings

Despite the Modi government's desperate attempts to suppress the documentary and prevent it from being viewed online, student groups in prestigious universities across India conducted public screenings to demonstrate their dissent against the oppressive government.

However, the government responded with severe measures against these student groups. Students who screened or watched the documentary were suspended by colleges , while supporters of the BJP and state-led groups held protests outside universities, even going so far as to threaten the students with physical violence and murder for screening the documentary.

In addition, BJP leaders labelled the BBC as corrupt and accused them of having ulterior motives in trying to "defame" India's reputation. They denounced the documentary as propaganda and condemned it as an expression of a colonial mindset . These criticisms were also used to justify the ban on the documentary.

The raids follow a pattern

Considering this sequence of events, the recent raid on the BBC seems to be retaliatory action , aimed at teaching the organization a lesson and hindering its operations in India, while citing other reasons. It is possible to arrive at this inference since the BJP has previously employed state agencies such as the IT (Income Tax) Department and ED (Enforcement Directorate), which investigates financial crimes, to target think tanks, NGOs and media outlets that have dared to criticize the government led by Narendra Modi.

For instance, on September 7, 2022, the IT Department conducted raids in the offices of Oxfam India, Centre for Policy Research (one of the most prominent think tanks in India) and Independent And Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF), which funds several media outlets like The Wire , The Caravan , The Print , all of which have been critical of the BJP. The investigations were aimed at scrutinizing alleged violations of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA), a law that regulates foreign funding in India.

Since coming into power, the BJP has tightened FCRA regulations , requiring more detailed reporting and scrutiny of civil society organizations that receive foreign funding in India. The government has also denied the renewal of FCRA licenses for hundreds of NGOs, alleging their involvement in " anti-national activity ."

In July 2021, the IT Department conducted a raid on Dainik Bhaskar, a prominent Hindi-language newspaper in India, over allegations of tax evasion. Opposition leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted that the newspaper was targeted because:

Through its reporting Dainik Bhaskar has exposed the Modi regime's monumental mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now paying the price.

An Undeclared Emergency as Arun Shourie has said -- this is a Modified Emergency.

-- Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) July 22, 2021

In February 2021, The offices of independent media house Newsclick in New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, along with residences of its senior management were raided by the ED, which accused the organization of money laundering. Newsclick had previously been critical of the BJP-led central government in its reporting and extensively covered the Farmer's Protests that shook the nation.

The India office of international human rights organization Amnesty International faced raids by the ED in 2018 and 2019, which accused the organization of violating the FCRA act. Amnesty's bank accounts were subsequently frozen, leading to the organization's cessation of operations in India in September 2020. Amnesty accused the Indian government of engaging in a witch hunt due to the organization's work criticizing the government.

It is noteworthy that media houses or NGOs with close ties to the BJP or those known to report positively about the party have not been subjected to similar raids or searches, regardless of any allegations made against them.

Groups advocating for human rights are warning about the alarming decline in human rights and media freedom in India. They argue that state agencies are being used as weapons to suppress all forms of dissent and criticism of the government in the country. As a result, the cost of being an independent journalist in India has become very high.

In order to avoid facing similar retaliatory measures, many mainstream media channels in India have resorted to becoming mouthpieces of the government, sharing nothing beyond propaganda, thus making it harder for the public to access unbiased and critical information.



Extract: Is This the End of the Internet As We Know It?...

This month, the US Supreme Court heard two cases that could forever change the way we interact online.

Link Here23rd February 2023
Full story: Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right

Two pending Supreme Court cases interpreting a 1996 law could drastically alter the way we interact online. That law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is often disparaged as a handout to Big Tech, but that misses the point. Section 230 promotes free speech by removing strong incentives for platforms to limit what we can say and do online.

Under Section 230, platforms generally may not be held liable for the content posted by users. Without this protection, important speech such as communication about abortion, especially in states where abortion is outlawed, could be silenced. Movements like #MeToo and #BLM may not have been able to catch on if platforms were worried that they'd be sued, even improperly, for defamation or other claims. People could have found their voices censored, especially when talking about ideas that are under political attack today: race and racism , sexuality , and gender justice . The internet as we know it would be a very different place.

...see the full article from



Commented: Puffin Gobblefucks with words...

Roald Dahl books suffer woke censorship by their publisher

Link Here23rd February 2023
Full story: UK Central Bank Digital Currency...Big brotherdesigns a new snoopable and controllable payment system
Content deemed offensive to woke sensitivities, such as references to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race have been removed or rewritten in Dahl's library of children's classics.

Rishi Sunak has condemned the rewriting of Roald Dahl's books, quoting the Big Friendly Giant's warning not to gobblefunk with words. Sunak's spokesperson said:

When it comes to our rich and varied literary heritage, the PM agrees with the BFG that you shouldn't 'gobblefunk' around with words.

I think it's important that works of literature and works of fiction are preserved and not airbrushed. We have always defended the right to free speech and expression.

Booker Prize winner Sir Salman said the publishers, Puffin Books and the Roald Dahl Story Company, should be ashamed. He tweeted:

Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship.

Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, tweeted to say she was alarmed by the reported changes and warned the power to rewrite books could be abused. She added:

Amidst fierce battles against book bans and strictures on what can be taught and read, selective editing to make works of literature conform to particular sensibilities could represent a dangerous new weapon.

Those who might cheer specific edits to Dahl's work should consider how the power to rewrite books might be used in the hands of those who do not share their values and sensibilities. Edits to Roald Dahl's classics

Some of the edits reportedly include removing the word 'fat' from every book, with Augustus Gloop in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory instead being described as enormous.  Hundreds of edits have reportedly been made to the latest editions of Roald Dahl's classics. A report in the Daily Telegraph compared the latest editions with earlier versions of the texts. It found language concerning weight, mental health, violence, gender and race had been either cut or rewritten.

But the most ludicrous examples of censorship are to removed the words 'black' and 'white' when used to refer to colours when nothing to do with skin colour. Eg a description of a white bed sheet has had the word 'white replaced'.

The Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach are now the Cloud-People, while references to Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad in Matilda had been changed to Jane Austen and John Steinbeck.

In The Witches, a reference to women working as a cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman has been changed to working as a top scientist or running a business.

In James and the Giant Peach, Miss Sponge is no longer described as the fat one, Miss Spider's head is no longer black and the Earthworm no longer has lovely pink skin but lovely smooth skin.

In The Twits, Mrs Twit is no longer described as ugly and beastly but just beastly.

The Roald Dahl Story Company claim their censorship process has been ongoing since 2020 and any edits are small and carefully considered. They worked with Puffin and Inclusive Minds, a group saying that they are working for inclusion and accessibility in children's literature.


Offsite Comment: Censoring Roald Dahl is not the answer, just a problem

23rd February 2023. See article from by Jemimah Steinfeld



Offsite Article: It's true...the climate fanatics are coming for your car...

Link Here 23rd February 2023
It's not a conspiracy theory to believe the green elites don't give a toss about working people. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from



A Far Cry from free speech...

Ubisoft invites the police to help it sanitise gamers' in-game communications

Link Here20th February 2023
Ubisoft, video game makers of major franchises like Assassin's Creed and Rainbow Six , has signed a first-of-its-kind deal with police to try and sanitise the speech of players.

Damien Glorieux a senior director of the Newcastle-based Ubisoft Customer Relationship Centre said:

We want to be on the right side of history. It's here, and at four other locations around the world, that staff monitor how players of Ubisoft games are getting on - responding to requests for help and actively getting involved with the communities that have evolved around their titles. They deal with everything from purchasing issues to online toxicity.

Other companies have similar set-ups, but what's unique here is the involvement of local law enforcement.

The deal between the company and Northumbria Police works in two parts. Behind the scenes at Ubisoft Customer relations centre.

Firstly, it sees specialist officers share their knowledge and expertise on harmful online interactions with the 200-strong team working at the centre in Newcastle, who then apply that training to their daily work.

Secondly, an agreement is in place so that in extreme cases, where there is a threat to life or potential serious harm spotted, staff can fast track the information to police.

They will then decide whether or not to act.

It is daunting, but at the same time it is very important, which is why we wanted to sign this deal and try to make things right .

We wanted to focus on the most extreme cases, make sure we do the right thing there because it gives us a solid foundation to build the rest of our work around.

Less than 0.01% of cases that the centre deals with end up requiring police intervention.

That works out as roughly a handful of cases a month. Most of the time, accounts will be temporarily banned or permanently closed if players have breached a code of conduct.

Staff in Newcastle can also recommend the company start legal proceedings in some instances.

Of course all censorship schemes start with the promise of using the tools for extreme cases. But once in place, the mechanism will soon be used against even the most minor of sleights or insults, especially if they are targeted at 'protected' identity groups.


Offsite Comment: Now the speech police are coming for gamers

20th February 2023. See article from by Laurie Wastell

Games developer Ubisoft is partnering with the police to try to sanitise the world of online gaming.



Identified as the good guys...

Pirate Party MEPs claim successes for privacy as new internet identity card laws are debated in the European Parliament

Link Here14th February 2023

The lead Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) has adopted a draft mandate on the European digital identity (e-ID). The legislative proposal will allow EU citizens to prove their identity via mobile app and facilitate everyday situations such as dealing with public authorities or identification at airports.

Pirate Party MEPs made sure that the source code used for providing European Digital Identity Wallets will be open source, that non-users of the voluntary eID scheme must not suffer disadvantages and will be able to use alternative means of identification or authentication. They have not been able to prevent the mandatory acceptance of government browser certificates but there will be exceptions. Pirate MEPs have also been able to prevent more serious invasions of our privacy such as compulsory unique identification number throughout the EU. They keep pushing for more safeguards.

Pirate Party MEP Mikulás Peksa, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur in the ITRE Committee, comments:

The European digital identity is cornerstone for modernization and digitization of the European economy and public services. Unfortunately, the European Commission had put a lot of problematic things in the proposal that inflated it with utter nonsense. Together with others, we Pirates have succeeded in removing most of these problems, such as a compulsory unique identification number. This is a big win for European citizens. We are sending a smart and safer instrument to the next negotiation. Thanks to the European digital identity citizens will not have to show a plastic card with all their personal details anymore. The European Digital Wallet will allow them to prove for example their legal age without disclosing other personal data, when buying alcohol or renting a car.

Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, who is negotiating the law in the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) negotiates, comments:

We need to counter the risk that as the new eID is increasingly required, the anonymity online that protects us from profiling and identity theft is gradually eroded. Pirates therefore push via the Civil Liberties Committee for the addition of a provision ensuring that services are normally provided without electronic identification or authentication wherever reasonably possible. Another LIBE addition will be needed to ensure that the sensitive data of citizens in their 'digital wallet' will be stored exclusively in a decentralized manner on their own device, unless they choose centralized storage. Decentralized data storage protects our data from hacks and identity theft.

After the addition of provisions in the exclusive competence of other Committees (LIBE, JURI) to the ITRE report, the Parliament's mandate could be finalised as early as March. Trilogue negotiations with the Council will follow. Pirate Party MEP Mikulás Peksa will be among the negotiating team.



Offsite Comment: Jailing company execs...

Link Here14th February 2023
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
MPs must beware making the Online Safety Bill even more damaging

See article from



Nuts decisions...

The BBFC are set to consider the 15/18 boundary in its upcoming public consultation

Link Here12th February 2023
Snuff Tapes is a 2020 Chile horror by Vito Garcia Viedma
Starring Valentina Soto Albornoz, Camila Carreno Arancibia and Camila Medina BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The discovery of explicit footage on old VHS tapes triggers a woman's memory, forcing her to face her demons and seek revenge on the psychopath who raped her.

In their latest board meeting the BBFC discussed the upcoming release of Snuff Tapes:

The Board considered the film's scenes of sexual violence and abuse in relation to the BBFC's strict policy on sexual and sadistic violence and agreed that it should be classified 18 with the ratings info sexual violence, sadistic violence, gore.

The BBFC has also been discussing the boundaries between 15 and 18 rated violence and are going to be surveying public opinions on this during their upcoming guidelines consultation. The BBFC discussed two examples:

A scene from the seasonal horror film Nutcracker Massacre in which a fantastical villain attacks a man in his kitchen, severing his testicles with the eponymous weapon. The film was classified 18 for strong violence and injury detail. The Board considered whether the scene could have been defended at 15 given the comic tone and the lack of realism, but ultimately agreed that the lingering focus on the victim's mutilated genitals meant that the film was appropriately classified at the lower end of 18 rather than the upper end of 15.

A clip from an 18-rated episode of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series See in which the protagonist played by Jason Momoa uses swords to dispatch a series of enemies. The extended sequence features multiple bloody slashes and throat cuts before Momoa forces a sword down an opponent's gullet. The Board considered arguments for 15 -- including the fantastical context, the mitigation provided by the focus on the Momoa character's combat skills, and the lack of both strongest gore and meaningful sadism -- but again concluded that the level of bloody violence was best classified at a low 18.



Moronic complaints...

Film censor IFCO logs complaints over moronic portrayal of Irish people in Banshees of Inisherin'

Link Here12th February 2023
Full story: Irish Film Censors at IFCO...IFCO: the Irish film censor board
The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 Ireland/UK/US drama by Martin McDonagh
Starring Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has received complaints about the portrayal of Irish people as moronic in the Oscar-nominated film The Banshees of Inisherin , which was described as extremely offensive by one complainer.

There was also criticism about the accuracy of the accents portrayed by the inhabitants of the fictional island that features in the movie, as well as a claim that its reflection of Ireland in the 1920s was wrong.

In response, acting director of IFCO George Sinclair noted that the grievances raised were not classification issues. However, he pointed out that the end credits of the film contained a statement confirming that its characters and events were fictitious.

The IFCO also received six complaints last month in relation to the new Tom Hanks film, A Man Called Otto . All of these referred to the detailed depiction of suicide attempts in a film that the IFCO has rated 12A.



The Untold Story...

Notably extreme Hong Kong Cat III horror just passed 18 uncut by the BBFC

Link Here8th February 2023
The Untold Story is a 1993 Hong Kong crime comedy drama by Danny Lee, Herman Yau
Starring Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Danny Lee and Emily Kwan BBFC link 2020  IMDb

The film was unavailable for many years in the UK with the assumption that the BBFC would never pass it. The BBFC offered a cut release in 2005 but the distributor didn't take this up. The video was finally passed 18 uncut in 2023. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US. The film was also cut in Hong Kong.

Summary Review: Unpredictable, daring, extreme

This story concerns a serial killer posing as a restaurant proprietor who goes into violent rages and indulges in sadistic acts.

For those of you looking for something to disturb you, seek this out. It's not an atypical story by any means, but the murder scenes are pretty grisly. It's not quite all out gore, but it's pretty disturbing in that you're just not used to this kind of stuff.

One guy gets chopped up into dim sum. In another sequence, a family gets hacked to ever notice in Hollywood where murdered children get killed offscreen? Not here. There's also a graphic rape scene involving chopsticks that ain't exactly feminist-friendly.

It's rare you see a horror film provoking anything more than laughter nowadays. This one is all out, gung-ho savagery. What's even weirder is the moments of slapstick that pop-up whenever the cops are in a scene. A strange way to lighten the darker scenes, but, that's Asian cinema for you...unpredictable, daring, extreme and the polar opposite of Western filmmaking.


BBFC uncut
run: 95:52s
pal: 92:02s

MPAA Unrated

UK: Passed 18 uncut for sexual violence, strong bloody violence, threat, gore:
  • 2023 88 Films video
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
UK: The film was unavailable for many years in the UK with the assumption that the BBFC would never pass it.

Thanks to Scott.The BBFC offered a cut release in 2005 but the distributor didn't take this up. The BBFC explained:

A work called THE UNTOLD STORY co-directed by Danny Lee and Herman Yau was submitted in 2005 for classification. The film was discussed across the Board, and cuts were requested under the Board's sexual violence policy to a scene of sexual assault. The work was never classified as the distributor - according to our records - did not respond to the request for cuts within the allotted time scale. The work was withdrawn after there was no further response from the distributor to a reminder sent to them.



State control...

French minister speaks of a state age verification system being in place by September 2023

Link Here8th February 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
France's minister for digital affairs has announced that a government-issued digital certificate certifying a person's age will be necessary to view any adult content online in that country starting in September.

Minister for Digital Affairs Jean-Noël Barrot told newspaper Le Parisien that the new digital certificate will be unveiled this week, with full implementation planned for September.

Barrot warned all adult websites to comply:

under penalty of seeing the broadcasting prohibited on the national territory. France will be the first country in the world to propose a solution like this.

This technical solution that we are working on could be used to enforce the age limits that exist in our law, but which are not sufficiently respected online

However Barrot admitted that the specifics have not been finalized.

Critics have noted that implementation of the digital certificate could face complications relating to the issue of personal data protection .



Offsite Article: The Guardian recommends...

Link Here8th February 2023
A reboot of Fawlty Towers...An anti-woke nightmare!

See article from



Offsite Article: The state of the pirate nation...

Link Here8th February 2023
The UK Intellectual Property Office has published the latest edition of its Online Copyright Infringement Tracker.

See article from



Influence spell fails...

Trans protestors call for a boycott of the video game Hogwarts Legacy, but this fails to make any discernable difference

Link Here5th February 2023
Hogwarts Legacy is a 2023 action RPG game
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG set in the world introduced in the Harry Potter books. Explore and discover magical beasts, customize your character and craft potions, master spell casting, upgrade talents and become the wizard you want to be. Experience Hogwarts in the 1800s. Make allies, battle Dark wizards, and ultimately decide the fate of the wizarding world. Your legacy is what you make of it. Live the Unwritten.

Trans activists around the world are urging people to boycott Hogwarts Legacy , the upcoming Harry Potter videogame, in protest against Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Rowling's steadfast defence of women's rights has made her a bogeyman of the trans movement in recent years. It should be noted that JK Rowling has had no direct involvement in the development of the game. Eg gaming streamer Will Overgard said:

By supporting this title you are essentially aligning yourself with some really heinous transphobic values. Please do not stream it; don't make YouTube videos about it; don't buy it and don't bloody pre-order it.

The current indications are that the boycott call has had little effect. Based on pre-orders alone, the game already sits at the top of the charts on Steam.

It's the same story on YouTube, where a search for Hogwarts Legacy returns hundreds of videos of streamers poring over newly released gameplay footage, and relatively few about the boycott.

Hogwarts Legacy is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC, it will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch later in the year.



Beyond stupid...

Utah gets onboard the US rush to internet censorship

Link Here5th February 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Utah Republicans have introduced two ludicrous age verification bills that could have nationwide ramifications. State Rep. Jordan Teuscher and State Senator Michael McKelland introduced HB311 and SB152 respectively.

SB152 demands that beginning January 1, 2024, a social media company shall verify the age of all Utah resident wanting to use social media. If the platform determines that the person is a minor, defined by the bills as anyone under the age of 18, the proposed bill would require any social media company to give parents access to their kids' accounts.

State Sen. McKelland would like the minor's parent or guardian to be able to monitor all posts the Utah minor account holder makes under the social media platform account and all responses to those posts.

SB152 also demands that minors be prevented by the platform from accessing social media cannot between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Meanwhile HB 311 not only mandates age verification, but also forbids anyone under the age of 16 from having any social media accounts.



Updated: New age censorship...

Malaysia's film censor introduces new age ratings

Link Here2nd February 2023
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Malaysia's Film Censorship Board (LPF) has announced that will implement a new ratings system beginning from February 1 2023.

The old system, running since January 2012, consists of the following ratings:

  • U or Umum for films that can be seen for all ages
  • P13 for films requiring parental supervision
  • 18 for films deemed to contain violent, political or mature content

Now from 1st February 2023 the P13 rating will be replaced by P12 and strict age ratings of 13 and 16 will be introduced. So the new system will be:

  • U or Umum for films that can be seen for all ages
  • P12 for films requiring parental supervision for under 12s
  • 13 for viewers aged 13 or over
  • 16 for viewers aged 16 or over
  • 18 for films deemed to contain violent, political or mature content

The changes are reported to be a response to requests from local movie producers. Director Bade Azmi was one of the voices calling upon the agency to make changes, citing his experience working on the film KL Menjerit , where significant story details were removed. He explained:

Illegal racing and accident scenes had been cut out. But this movie is about illegal street racers. If you take out the racing scenes, I have no story to tell.



Offsite Article: The neo-feudal takeover of local councils...

Link Here2nd February 2023
Private companies are extracting fines from unsuspecting citizens... and making huge profits. By Josie Appleton

See article from

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