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26th May

 Update: A New Age of Censorship...

The UK adult trade is expecting a new law requiring age verification for all websites, and those that don't comply will be blocked
Link Here  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

David Cameron Britons may soon face ID checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between the government and groups from the beleaguered UK adult trade.

A scheme proposed by the industry group, The Digital Policy Alliance,  would see adult sites verifying visitors' identity with organisations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS.  Adult websites would offer visitors a choice of identity providers -- from Vodafone to the Department for Work and Pensions -- to vouch for their age, O'Connell said. The user would sign in to the provider with a username and password, and a check would be run against the data it holds. To boost privacy, checks would pass through an anonymising hub . This strips identifying information in both directions of the request. In theory, the provider never knows the reasons for the checks, and the site never knows users' true identities, just that they are over 18.

It comes ahead of an expected new law demanding age checks for online pornography and threatening a block on any sites which don't comply. It is a key Conservative pledge. But critics say the plans are a privacy nightmare. Some warn they are a step towards Chinese-style internet restrictions. Myles Jackman, a lawyer specialising in obscenity law said:

This is cutting-edge censorship. We are now becoming the world leaders in censorship. And we are being watched very closely from abroad.

British-based sites have had to make stringent age checks since 2010, using credit cards, the electoral roll and credit reference agencies. It's a quite intrusive means of identifying age, said Chris Ratcliff, chief executive of Portland TV, which runs Television X. Many customers simply go elsewhere, he said. Ratcliff, a key member of the DPA's age verification working group, expects government action by the end of the year.

According to Tory proposals, a regulator would have the power to block sites that don't use stringent enough checks. Observers believe this will be the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod), which currently enforces age-check and obscenity rules on UK streaming video sites. The result of ATVOD's 'enforcement' is that it is near impossible to run a UK site within the current rules and has led to the UK industry losing out to foreign operations.

The legal situation is also confused. Ratcliff said it was unclear whether new rules would make content not behind age filters illegal. Jackman added:

As a matter of international law, I don't understand how it can possibly work. And I don't understand how it can work under the Obscene Publications Act. It's just being made up as they go along.

The stub of the UK adult trade that has been persevering with ludicrous British censorship required, eg Ofcom rules only allowing softcore TV, believe that acceptable age verification may be a benefit, but this seems unlikely. As with eBay, Amazon, Apple, and Google, once governments start making life tough with onerous rules and red tape, only the largest operation have large enough economies of scale to handle the burdensome expenses, so creating a natural monopoly. and as the US has the largest markets, so they can grab the lion's share of the market.

And as for the kids, there's already enough porn knocking around on hard drives to keep them happy for decades. Perhaps they will just go back to swapping porn mags, or the modern day equivalent, 64GByte memory sticks with enough porn to last a year.

And as a final thought, It is not clear that the security services would be very impressed if half the population of Britain were forced into using VPNs and the like. It would make life an awful lot tougher to keep track of the bad guys.

 

26th May

 Update: Bollywood Mutiny...

Dissident censors to review all the decisions of their loony boss
Link Here  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything

textures of loss Dissident censor board members plan to review all the cuts made to the 30-odd Bollywood films certified since January, alleging inconsistencies on the part of the loony new chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani whom they accuse of being a dictator.

About half the 21 members of the Central Board of Film Certification support the move and are preparing for a stormy board meeting on June 9, where they will demand the review. Senior board member Ashoke Pandit explained to The Telegraph:

We want to compare which scenes and words were cut from which film and who headed the committees (that forced the deletions). Nihalani is running a one-man show, certifying films directly or through his chosen people. We too should know what is happening.

Another member, Nandini Sardesai, said Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet was cleared with various cuss words the likes of which were removed from other films. She said:

Bombay Velvet came to a revising committee after the producers challenged the 'A' certificate recommended by the examining committee. The chairman himself headed the (revising) panel and awarded a 'U/A'. I'm surprised how he allowed so many abuses in the film while regularly beeping out cuss words from other films, including NH 10 .

Meanwhile Delhi's High Court has directed the censor board to allow a documentary on Kashmir's violence-affected people to be screened without cuts. The censors had suggested cuts to Textures of Loss and ordered the insertion of a disclaimer, a decision upheld by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. Both described certain scenes in the film as powder kegs that could lead to violence.

The high court said the threat of violence cannot overrule constitutional rights, and only gross violation of the Cinematograph Act could ground a film.

 

26th May

 Update: Nasty Ethics...

Ugandan pop star persecuted for sexy music video on YouTube
Link Here
jemimah kansiime A Ugandan pop singer Jemimah Kansiime, 21, is being persecuted under Uganda's Anti-Pornography Law for a sexy music video on YouTube.

She has already spent five weeks in jail on charges of producing and promoting pornography. In Nkulinze (I am waiting for you) , the song for which she was arrested, she repeatedly adjusts her blue pushup bra - a clip the vindictive 'Ethics' Minister and former Catholic priest Simon Lokodo considers vulgar and obscene . Lokodo is a nasty piece of work who also advocates killing people for being gay.

Kansiime who performs as Panadol Wa'basajja, told AFP:

I was aware that there are some sections of society that are conservative I was just experimenting to see if I put on a short dress, will the audience like it?

Kansiime soaped her thong-clad behind, and attracted more than 400,000 viewers on YouTube.

Her attorneys have asked a magistrate's court in Kampala to suspend criminal proceedings until a legal challenge to the Anti-Pornography Act is ruled on by the country's constitutional court. The lower court is set to decide on the stay of proceedings on 9 July.

Activists are challenging the constitutionality of the anti-porn bill on the grounds that it is too broad and too vague. The law defines porn as:

Any representation, through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement.

Critics of the anti-porn bill say it is evidence that Uganda, the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Africa, is under growing conservative influence driven by Christian churches, including hundreds of evangelical churches that have sprung up in recent years.

 

26th May

 Offsite Article: What's Secret and What's Not? That's a Secret!...

Link Here
australian government logo Mass surveillance makes us subjects of the state. That's chilling. By Richard Ackland

See article from theguardian.com

 

25th May

  A challenge to default website blocking...

EU net neutrality policy requires that ISPs should not block legal content without permission
Link Here
EU flag The British Government is concerned that EU measures to ensure net neutrality could impact ISPs website blocking systems that are turned on by default.

Net neutrality is the concept of not allowing states or commercial entities from hijacking the internet for their own purposes. A particular example is for large VoD companies convincing the ISPs that for a suitable fee, their video services could be given priority over other people's internet communications.

A leaked document from Brussels dated May 17 proposes to make it illegal to try to manage web traffic, including by automatically applying parental controls. Instead, EU officials want ISPs to have to ask parents or account holders to opt-in to pornography filters.

Campaigners for internet blocking by default claim that the move would endanger children by putting another barrier in the way of parents wanting to keep internet usage at home free from adult material.

The rule change is included in a document banning mobile phone companies or ISPs from restricting or managing any legal content on the internet.

John Carr, a pro-censorship campaigner said that the risk is that a major plank of the UK's approach to online child protection will be destroyed at a stroke.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: The UK government will not support any proposals that do not allow us to maintain our child protection policies or bring forward new policies.

 

25th May

 Update: Right to be Scared...

Asking parents not teach their kids the truth that the police will take them off to jail, say for internet insults
Link Here  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter
police jail So in a week where the police ARE threatening to jail innocent kids for sexting, they are asking parents not to teach their kids that the police will take them away if they are naughty.

Many an exasperated parent has told their misbehaving child to be good or the police will put them in prison. But now one police force has issued a poster urging adults not to use this common threat. The poster from Durham Constabulary reads:

Parents. Please don't tell your children that we will take them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run to us if they are scared, not be scared of us. Thank You.

However the kids would be better advised to keep clear of the police lest they get locked up for sexting, bad taste jokes, or even just insulting posts on Twitter or Facebook.

For example jailing them for internet insults

25th May 2015. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

jail The number of prosecutions of internet trolls has soared eightfold in the last 10 years, according to new figures. More than 1,200 people were found guilty of offences under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 last year compared with 143 in 2004.

The law states it is illegal to send by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other material that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character .

Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show that 1,501 defendants were prosecuted under the law last year - including 70 juveniles - while another 685 were cautioned.

Of those convicted, 155 were jailed - compared with just seven a decade before- and the average custodial sentence was 2.2 months.

 

25th May

 Petition: UpMarket censors...

Newport City Council: Allow Freedom of Expression and Stop Censorship of Artists' Work
Link Here
jonny sherwood In 2013, Newport City Council, faced with the problem of an indoor market which has been central to Newport life for nearly 150 years, with traders leaving due to lack of trade, decided to allow artists free use of the upstairs space for studio, gallery and workshop space on the proviso that they do not sell from there. Now known as the UpMarket Galleries , it has been popular and successful, increasing footfall in Newport City Indoor Market and helping traders downstairs, as well as providing valuable studio space to those who cannot afford to rent spaces elsewhere.

Local artist Jonathan Sherwood (better known as Jonny), chair of Artopsy (a not-for-profit organisation aiming to provide artists with free/affordable spaces in which to produce and display their work, to engage with the community as a whole and to encourage upcycling/environmental issues) has been working there since the onset of the project. He has rarely taken a day off apart from when he has been ill. He is friendly and out-going and has many visitors regularly dropping by to see what he is working on. Jonny is one of Newport's most well-known artists locally and a documentary film entitled Jonny: Shaman of Rust has been made about him by Italian film-maker and director Massimo Salvato.

Jonny was invited by the committee running the UpMarket Galleries to exhibit a series of paintings in the central space. They are life-sized paintings on large sheets of paper depicting mainly nude people. The artist used nude images to show vulnerability. Indeed, one of the paintings depicts a man cleaning his disabled wife because she can't do it herself. The paintings deal with sensitive subjects and are not in any way sexual.

Jonathan's work was judged by the Market Manager to be obscene , which it certainly is not. It was forcibly removed and suffered damage and he has subsequently received a letter telling him that he has to vacate his space by 30th May. What qualifies the Market Manager to censor art? Simple signs at the bottom of the stairs and in the lift saying that if images of nudity offend you, then don't come up while this exhibition is on would have sufficed and there would not have been a problem.

We cannot allow unqualified people to censor our art.

Please sign the petition and share with your friends!

 

24th May

  Same old censors...

Singapore censors ban lesbian themed pop song
Link Here
Were All Different Yet Same Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai's runaway hit We're All Different, Yet the Same has been banned from the airwaves and television screens in Singapore, according to Hongkong's Mingpao News.

The ban was ordered by the music censors of the Media Development Authority. It means that television and radio stations will be fined if they air the song or the music video.

Under Singapore's censorship rules, broadcast content must not:

In any way promote, justify or glamorise... lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest.

Jolin Tsai said in a statement that she was disappointed with Singapore's decision as the song was her way of expressing her support of marriage equality through music. She would, however, respect differences in opinion.

The music video for We're All Different, Yet The Same features a wedding scene -- and a kiss -- between Jolin and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin. It was inspired by the true story of a lesbian couple who has been together for 30 years. When one half of the couple was hospitalised and required surgery, her partner was unable to give consent because she was not legally recognised as a family member.

 

24th May

  Bad Censorship Awards...

Kanye West not impressed by the muted response to his Billboard Awards performance
Link Here
kanmye west billboard awards Kanye West closed out the 2015 Billboard Music Awards with All Day and Black Skinhead . But TV viewers weren't able to fully enjoy Yeezy's performance, as the broadcast heavily muted parts of the show, including words that don't even anger the FCC or violate its censorship rules.

His agents released a statement criticizing the handling of televised event, and described the censorship ridiculous. The statement read:

Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards. Non-profane lyrics such as 'with my leather black jeans on' were muted for over 30 second intervals As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented. It is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against. Although West was clearly set up to face elements beyond his control during the live broadcast, he would like to apologize to the television audience who were unable to enjoy the performance the way he envisioned.

 

24th May

 Offsite Article: Sex and nudity rule at Cannes Film Festival...

Link Here
youth There has always been plenty of flesh at Cannes - on screen and off. By Peter Bradshaw

See article from scmp.com

 

24th May

  Decrypting obscurified law...

Australia has criminalised the development of even low level encryption
Link Here
australian government logo

 

23rd May

 Updated: Extreme proposals...

Theresa May's plans to pre-censor TV revealed
Link Here
Theresa May Theresa May's plan to introduce counter-extremism powers to vet British broadcasters' programmes before transmission was attacked by a Conservative cabinet colleague, a leaked letter has revealed. Presumably May's censorship proposal is targeted at muslim TV channels broadcast in the UK or perhaps wider religion based channels but it is too politically incorrect to mention the target of these proposals.

Sajid Javid described the Home Secretary's proposal to give Ofcom extra powers to censor extremist content as a threat to freedom of speech and reducing Ofcom to the role of a censor.

Javid pointed out that other countries which have imposed similar powers are not known for their compliance with rights related to freedom of expression and the Government may not wish to be associated with such regimes .

He sent the letter on March 12 when he was Culture, Media and Sport Secretary to inform the Prime Minister that he could not support May's counter extremism strategy and sent a copy to the Home Secretary. In the letter published by the Guardian, Javid wrote:

Extending Ofcom's powers to enable it to take pre-emptive action would move it from its current position as a post-transmission regulator into the role of a censor.

This would involve a fundamental shift in the way UK broadcasting is regulated, away from the current framework which is designed to take appropriate account of the right to freedom of expression.

Whilst it is absolutely vital that Government works in partnership with individuals and organisations to do all it can to ensure that society is protected from extremism, it must also continue to protect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that these proposals do not restrict or prevent legitimate and lawful comment or debate.

Cameron last week outlined plans to fast-track powers to tackle radicalisation, including a commitment to give Ofcom a strengthened role in taking action against channels which broadcast extremist content, alongside banning and disruption orders for people who seek to radicalise others or use hate speech in public. It is not clear whether the Government has revisited May's plans since taking office, or whether they could be included in next week's Queen's Speech.

Update: Cameron confirms plans for TV pre-censorship

23rd May 2015. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

David Cameron David Cameron seems to have confirmed plans to allow Ofcom to censor television programmes. The measure is presumably targeted at religious/muslim channels showing interviews with extremists. Ofcom will be given powers to pre-censor such content before it airs.

Cameron has now said that the Home Secretary's counter-extremism proposals, which are expected to be a centrepiece of next week's Queen's Speech, were sensible . Hhe said:

Our proposals on extremism are extremely sensible and I think need to be put into place. Ofcom has got a role to make sure we don't broadcast extremist messages through our media as well.

Cameron last week outlined plans to fast-track powers to tackle radicalisation, including a commitment to give Ofcom a strengthened role in taking action against channels which broadcast extremist content, alongside banning and disruption orders for people who seek to radicalise others or use hate speech in public.

A Downing Street spokesman said the proposals would be part of next week's Queen's Speech.

 

23rd May

 Update: Snoop On...

US unsurprisingly cannot give up on mass surveillance
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
US Senate The US Senate has unsurprisingly blocked a bill that would have ended the bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The White House has pressed the Senate to back the a bill passed by the House of Representatives - the Freedom Act - which would end bulk collection of domestic phone records. These records would remain with telephone companies subject to a case-by-case review. The 57-42 Senate vote fell short of the 60-vote threshold.

Another vote held over a two-month extension to the existing programmes - Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act - also failed to reach the threshold. Senators are to meet again on 31 May - a day before the bill is due to expire.

 

23rd May

 Offsite Article: Unknowledgeable in strategy and tactics...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
wikipedia logo Wikipedia is yet again being censored by China's Great Firewall. The Chinese-language version of the site has been blocked for the last three days

See article from forbes.com

 

22nd May

 Update: Worse than even ATVOD...

Africa's Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in South Africa...Proppsal to block all porn from South Africans
south africa film censor logo Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn't come around again. The Draft Online Regulation Policy recently issued by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of South Africa is such a regulation. It's as if the fabled prude Mrs. Grundy had been brought forward from the 18 th century, stumbled across hustler.com on her first excursion online, and promptly cobbled together a law to shut the Internet down. Yes, it's that bad.

First, the regulation applies, in the first instance, to films and games (regardless of subject matter), as well as to publications containing certain loosely-described forms of sex, violence and hate speech. As to these types of content:

5.1.1 Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.

5.1.2 In the event that such film, game or publication is in a digital form or format intended for distribution online using the internet or other mobile platforms, the distributor may bring an application to the Board for the conclusion of an online distribution agreement, in terms of which the distributor, upon payment of the fee prescribed from time to time by the Minister of DOC as the Executive Authority, may classify its online content on behalf of the Board, using the Board's classification Guidelines and the Act ...

If you are a video blogger creating films from your basement, the prospect of FPB officers knocking on your door to classify your videos probably isn't that appealing. So, being the forward-thinkers that they are, without actually providing an exception for user-generated content (or a sensible definition of it), the FPB provides an alternative system which places the burden of classifying such content onto Internet intermediaries:

7.5 In the event that such content is a video clip on YouTube or any other global digital media platform, the Board may of its own accord refer such video clip to the Classification Committee of the Board for classification.

7.7 Upon classification, the Board shall dispatch a copy of the classification decision and an invoice payable by the online distributor within 30 days, in respect of the classification of the content in question.

A few definitions are in order here: an "online distributor" could be a South African ISP, which might have no connection with the "global digital media platform" that actually hosts the content. Nonetheless, the ISP is assumed to have the capacity to take down the original video, and to upload a new, classified, version containing the FPB's logo:

7.10 The online distributor shall, from the date of being notified by the Board in writing of the classification decision, take down the unclassified video clip, substitute the same with the one that has been classified by the Board, and display the Film and Publication Board Logo and classification decision as illustrated in clause 5.1.6.

Oh, but it gets worse. Since classification rules already apply to offline films, games and proscribed publications, the regulation purports to be doing nothing more than to be extending the classification scheme to online versions of those materials, so that anyone distributing them over the Internet also has to obtain a license to do so. But then there's this:

7.4 With regard to any other content distributed online, the Board shall have the power to order an administrator of any online platform to take down any content that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing to children of certain ages.

That's right, any online platform can be ordered to take down any content distributed online that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing . Traditional publishers are subject to no such sweeping, extrajudicial censorship power.

South Africa is one of Africa's largest and fastest growing economies, and for it to adopt such an extreme preemptive Internet censorship regulation would be a serious setback for South Africa's burgeoning online industry, as well as, needless to say, a serious blow to human rights. If you are South African, or have any friends or colleagues who are, please take action by signing the Right to Know petition, and spreading the word about this looming threat.

 

22nd May

 Update: Hand them over!...

Russia threatens to totally block the likes of Google if it doesn't hand over data or censor bloggers using their platforms
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia flag Russia's internet censor has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian repressive internet laws and a spokesman said they risked being blocked if they did not comply.

Roskomnadzor said it had sent letters this week to the three US-based internet companies asking them to comply with its censorship laws. A spokesman said:

In our letters we regularly remind [companies] of the consequences of violating the legislation.

He added that because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.

To comply with the law the three firms must hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day and take down websites that Roskomnadzor wishes to ban.

A law passed in 2014 gives Russian prosecutors the right to block, without a court decision, websites with information about protests that have not been sanctioned by authorities. Under other legislation bloggers with large followings must go through an official registration procedure and have their identities confirmed by a government agency.

 

22nd May

 Update: No bit part censorship...

US Appeals court unbans YouTube video, Innocence of Muslims
Link Here  full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

doj logo A US appeals court has overturned a controversial ruling that required YouTube to take down a video that disparaged Muslims.

One of the actresses in the film sued to take it down and won, but an appeals court has now ruled she didn't have the right to control the film's distribution.

A segment of the film titled Innocence of Muslims was released in 2012. Muslims in the Middle East responded with violent protests and death threats were made to the actors.

The latest court ruling said the order to take the movie down was unwarranted and incorrect and continued:

The appeal teaches a simple lesson -- a weak copyright claim cannot justify censorship in the guise of authorship.

Google, which owns YouTube, argued that allowing someone with a bit part in a movie to suppress the final product could set a dangerous precedent that could give anyone involved in a production the right to stop its release.

 

22nd May

 Offsite Article: Creeping censorship in Hong Kong...

Link Here
Prisoner State Zhao Ziyang How China controls the sale of sensitive books

See article from theguardian.com

 

21st May

  We do not ban books in this country...but the courts do...

Memoir unbanned after legal battle in the Supreme Court
Link Here
Instrumental James Rhodes A concert pianist has won a legal battle to publish an autobiographical book giving details of sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

James Rhodes, persuaded Supreme Court justices to lift an injunction that had barred its publication.

The Court of Appeal granted a temporary injunction in October, blocking parts of the memoir, entitled Instrumental. This was after Mr Rhodes's ex-wife raised fears it would cause their 12-year-old son serious harm .

The judgement was given jointly by Lady Hale and Lord Toulson, in which they said:

The only proper conclusion is that there is every justification for the publication.

A person who has suffered in the way that the appellant has suffered, and has struggled to cope with the consequences of his suffering in the way that he has struggled, has the right to tell the world about it.

And there is a corresponding public interest in others being able to listen to his life story in all its searing detail.

Rhodes' book, titled Instrumental, is now due to be released next week. It includes accounts of physical and sexual abuse and rape inflicted on him from the age of six by the boxing coach at his school. The alleged abuser was prosecuted but died before he could face trial.

Speaking outside the court, Rhodes said the ruling was a victory for freedom of speech :

If this had been allowed to continue anyone could have used this to ban any book. We do not ban books in this country.

 

21st May

 Updated: UK/US adult internet industry meets to consider age verification rules...

Is the end game, a US mega mall monopoly for porn along the lines of Amazon, eBay, iTunes and Play?
Link Here
ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry Adult entertainment industry representatives met at a roundtable meeting with the UK VoD censors of ATVOD for a discussion over age-verification compliance.

The discussion, instigated by ATVOD, IFFOR, ICM Registry and the Adult Provider Network, also took an inward look at how the adult entertainment industry, domestically in the U.K. and worldwide, could evolve and adapt with onerous new rules put in place and ones that could be on the way.

A central question was, Can the adult industry coalesce and work with the authorities over existing and proposed new rules?

Steve Winyard of ICM Registry, which operates the registry for .xxx, .porn, .adult and the upcoming .sex top-level domain sites, said that the real question is:

How far are people willing to be compliant when the hammer comes down?

Most of the big companies [in the online adult entertainment industry] control 80-90% of adult content across the world,. If they come to the table, the rest of the operators would have to follow.

The thinking is that in a world of ID theft, few customers will be willing to trust small websites with extensive personal details or else their credit card details. And even if they trust them, even fewer will want to make the effort of typing in such details just to browse a website to see what is on offer.

The natural final solution is that customers will only use, big, well known companies that  can be trusted with personal details, and that can offer a massive enough choice of porn such that customers don't have to keep entering ID details for different websites.

And of course the end game will then be a US mega mall monopoly for porn along the lines of Amazon, eBay, iTunes and Play. And no doubt it will charge adult content providers the going rate of about 30%.

At the meeting, ATVOD's Cathy Taylor fielded queries for 20 minutes on the new AVMS rules and the government statement over site blocking domestic and foreign adult websites. Taylor was joined by ATVOD chief censors, Ruth Evans and Pete Johnson, at the roundtable meeting.

Winyard of ICM Registry spent another 20 minutes on how the adult business worldwide is reacting to the AVMS directive and whether the industry can work with the British government on proposed new regs.

Chris Ratcliff of Portland TV (Television X) and the Adult Provider Network spent 10 minutes on what role should the adult trade play in the debate and whether age-verification is in the future for all adult sites.

The meeting was also attended by Sex & Censorship's Jerry Barnett, obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman, Vince Charlton from the US trade group ASACP and IFFOR's Sharon Girling.

Update: Details of ATVOD censorship censored

21st May 2015. Thanks to Sergio

One Eyed Jack originally posted a podcast of the meeting but it seems that this has had to be taken down on 'legal advice'.

So the meeting that was called to explain the status quo in the censorship of adult videos on websites is reprehensibly censored.The segment of the UK adult industry who could not attend are not to be informed about practical details of the current interpretation of ATVOD's onerous and suffocating age verification requirements.

 

21st May

  UKIP is as bad as the rest of them...

Little known porn maker suspended from his party for reasons of morality
Link Here
UKIP logo A senior UKIP member in Bristol who has a sideline as a porn movie producer has been suspended from his post in the party amid a row over the morality of one of his adult films.

John Langley, stage name Johnny Rockard, was asked to resign as vice chairman of the Bristol party after committee members were told of a video posted on the internet in which he is involved in a porn scene filmed in Castle Park.

Langley, who stood as a UKIP candidate for Stockwood in the local elections, refused to resign which has led to him being suspended. A report is now being sent to the UKIP's head office which will decide whether to expel Langley from the party. Langley said in a blog post:

Such is the fast pace and reality of politics that the excrement has yet again hit the fan in Bristol UKIP because I refuse point blank to resign from my post of branch VC, and as a result of my refusal I have now been suspended.

Let's be very clear on where the law stands in this instance. No criminal act was committed because no criminal act was reported, and furthermore I have neither been arrested or charged with a criminal act. So therefore no criminal act has taken place. It was accepted both locally and nationally by UKIP that I make adult movies when I joined the party and therefore taken as read that I would continue to do so. Which I have, and totally within the framework of the law.

Steve Wood, chairman of Bristol UKIP told the Post:

You have to bear in mind that we always knew what John was doing and he was completely upfront about it and we stood by him ...BUT... there is a big difference between what somebody does in the privacy of their own home or even a studio and what they do in public.

Mr Wood said he believed that what Mr Langley did was an indecent act and therefore liable to criminal proceedings: We cannot have that kind of thing in the party and therefore we asked him to resign.

 

21st May

 Update: So which has caused more grief in the world, porn or religion?...

Egypt court again demands the censorship of internet porn
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Egypt...Egypt blocks political and porn websites

Egypt flag An Egyptian court has ordered Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb to impose a ban on pornographic websites. A similar decision taken two years ago described pornographic content as somehow venomous and vile, but failed to come into force.

The latest ruling is to be immediately enforced, but it can be appealed at the Supreme Administrative Court, Ahram Online reported.

During the hearing, lawyer Nezar Gharab said that pornographic websites lead to a spread in immorality, affecting young people:

Islamic Sharia law and all heavenly religions came to elevate human beings to a desired level of dignity.

 

20th May

  Pandering to the easily offended...

Ofcom reports on audience attitudes to TV, internet TV, and radio
Link Here
Ofcom logo Ofcom has published a survey on audience attitudes to TV and radio. This covers what people find 'offensive' on TV and radio, their awareness of and attitudes towards censorship, and their understanding of advertising and product placement. Unsurprisingly the survey supports Ofcom in its role in 'protecting' viewers, especially children.

The survey reported that most people (79%) had not been offended by anything on TV in the past year. However, one in five had found something offensive, rising to a third (33%) for people aged 65 and over. Those aged between 16 and 24 were least likely to be offended (9% compared with 33% of over 65s). Of course these figures exaggerate the 'offensiveness' of TV as they include people who have reported, minimal offensive programming ,or even just one incident in a year.

Of those who had been offended, bad language (44%), violence (41%) and sexual content (41%) were the top issues. Adults below 45 years old were more likely to say they had been offended by some type of discrimination (29% compared with 19% of over-45s).

On average, about half of all people thought current levels of sex (57%), violence (47%) and swearing (52%) on TV were acceptable. 43% felt there was too much violence, 40% too much swearing, while 28% said there was too much sex.

The vast majority of adult TV viewers (90%) knew about the 9pm watershed, with 57% saying about 9pm was the right time while 27% said the watershed should be later.

The report found a clear understanding about broadcast content is controlled via censorship rules, with 82% of adults aware that TV is censored. Most adults felt the current levels of TV and radio censorship were about right (61%), or did not have an opinion (18% for TV and 33% for radio).

Ofcom noted that it has a duty to 'protect' viewers from supposedly harmful and offensive material on TV and radio, as well as TV like content on internet connected devices.

Ofcom also notes that it is working with government, other censors, and industry bodies to bring about a common framework for media standards applying to TV, on-demand and radio. This will help ensure people are 'protected' and understand what is censored, and the protections in place.

 

19th May

  Censorship Max...

BBFC opens its archives to reveal how it cut the original Mad Max
Link Here
Mad Max DVD Mel Gibson Mad Max is a 1979 Australian Action film by George Miller.
With Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel and Hugh Keays-Byrne.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb  

Mad Max was cut and 18 rated by the BBFC for 1979 cinema release and early VHS. Later releases are uncut. The film was downrated to 15 for 2015 cinema release. There are alternative soundtracks, the original Australian, and a dubbed American version.

The official BBFC cuts list for 48s of cuts to the 1979 cinema release read:

  • Reel 2. Reduce to absolute minimum smashing up of car and terrorising of young couple who are trapped in it. (Delete all violence which occurs after the gang break window, resuming on the bird hovering overhead).

...Read the BBFC article

 

19th May

 Campaign: No Fake Internet.org...

Beware of Facebook men bearing gifts...they are seeking a corporate controlled internet
Link Here
no fake internet logo The backlash against Facebook's free mobile data Internet.org scheme has spread across the globe.

A total of 67 digital rights groups - including i Freedom Uganda, Ecuador's Usuarios Digitales and Indonesia's ICT Watch - have signed a letter to Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, stating concerns about the initiative. They say the project threatens freedom of expression, privacy and the principle of net neutrality.

Internet.org allows subscribers of partner mobile networks to use a limited number of online services without having to pay to make use of the data involved. They include Wikipedia, the Facts for Life health site run by the United Nations Children's Fund, BBC News, Facebook, Accuweather and a selection of local news and sports results providers. To access the facility, people must use special Android apps, Internet.org's website, Facebook's own Android app or the Opera Mini browser.

Network operators participate because they believe users will pay for wider internet access once they have had a chance to try out the free content on offer.

Since 2014, the project has launched in Zambia, India, Colombia, Guatemala, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malawi.

Facebook says more than nine million people have used the scheme to date. A spokesman told the BBC:

We are convinced that as more and more people gain access to the internet, they will see the benefits and want to use even more services. We believe this so strongly that we have worked with operators to offer basic services to people at no charge, convinced that new users will quickly want to move beyond basic services and pay for more diverse, valuable services.

The open letter from the 67 digital rights groups - which has been published on Facebook - makes clear that activists across the globe intend to challenge its expansion.

It is our belief that Facebook is improperly defining net neutrality in public statements and building a walled garden in which the world's poorest people will only be able to access a limited set of insecure websites and services.

Further, we are deeply concerned that Internet.org has been misleadingly marketed as providing access to the full internet, when in fact it only provides access to a limited number of Internet-connected services that are approved by Facebook and local ISPs.

In its present conception, Internet.org thereby violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation.

One of the worries of the system is also that all privacy technologies are currently disallowed and Facebook is able to monitor all internet.org usage (in the name of billing of course).