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2023: Jan-March

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Betting on repression...

The Belgian government has decided to ban all gambling advertising and sports sponsorship


Link Here9th March 2023
The Belgian government has decided to ban gambling advertising across all media from July 1st 2023. From January 1st, 2025 there will be a further ban on advertising in stadiums and from January 1st, 2028 gambling companies will no longer be able to sponsor professional sports clubs.

Injustice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said in a statement that the censorship was for those who want to get rid of their gambling addiction. He cited also the tsunami of gambling advertising as an additional problem.

Gambling advertising will be banned from television, radio, cinemas, magazines, newspapers and in public spaces. Online advertising on websites and social media will also be prohibited.

 

 

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-NoŽl 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 .

 

 

Legal age restrictions...

Porn sites in France suffer setbacks after losing court cases


Link Here15th January 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
Notable porn websites operating in France have suffered two legal defeats.

In the first case, a priority question of constitutionality (QPC) had been addressed to the Court of Cassation. MindGeek, which publishes Pornhub, argued that ISP blocking of their websites, as ordered by France's internet censors of the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom), was an affront to freedom of speech in France.

In its verdict of January 5, the Court of Cassation swept aside this QPC:

The question posed is not of a serious nature. Considering that the legal framework in question is sufficiently clear and precise to exclude any risk of arbitrariness . Nor is there any disproportionate harm to the objectives pursued.

The attack on freedom of expression, by imposing the use of a device for verifying the age of the person accessing pornographic content, other than a simple declaration of majority, is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the objective of protecting minors.

Meanwhile YouPorn and RedTube lost an administrative challenge to the rather circuitous way that French authorities have specified the laws requiring age/identity verification to view porn websites.

 

 

The Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 202...

A brief summary of Ireland's Internet Censorship Act


Link Here3rd January 2023
Full story: Internet Censorship in Ireland...Ireland considers the UK's lead in censoring porn and social media
Ireland's new internet censorship regime will be overseen by an Online Safety Commissioner (OSC), who will create binding online censorship rules to hold designated online service providers Providers to account for how they censor content. The OSC is also empowered under the Act to introduce an individual complaints mechanism.

Harmful content is set out in Part 11 of the new Act:

  1. Offence Specific Categories sets out 42 different offences. A large proportion of these offences are offences against children, or provisions protecting the identification of child victims or child offenders. Notably the Act appears to be silent as regards identifying a child who is subject to an Order or proceedings under the Child Care Act 1991.
  2. Other Categories of Harmful Online Content are set out as a two-tier category:
  • (a) The Online Content must be content which bullies or humiliates another person; promotes or encourages behaviour that characterises a feeding or eating disorder; promotes or encourages self-harm or suicide; makes available knowledge of methods of self-harm or suicide.
  • (b) Online Content must meet the risk test if it gives rise to: (a) any risk to a person's life; or (b) a risk of significant harm to a person's physical or mental health, where the harm is reasonably foreseeable.

This part of the Act deals with age-inappropriate content yet the Act does not provide for any age-verification measures. Earlier drafts of the Act sought to introduce robust measures to ensure a minimum age verification of account holders of 15 years old. This provision did not survive to enactment stage.


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