|30th June |
Thailand bans internet electioneering around polling day
Any political campaigning via Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks will be banned from 6pm on election eve, Saturday until midnight on election day, Sunday.
No alcohol will be on sale or served during these hours as well.
than 900 websites will be monitored for signs of a breach of the electoral law during those hours.
The ban covers not only political parties and their candidates but also the general public.
Police said the use of online campaigning tools
such as Facebook and Twitter is of serious concern and police are stepping up efforts in making the users aware of the restriction.
|29th June |
New Zealand censor calls for more censorship for computer games
from stuff.co.nz by Andrew Jack
Andrew Jack writes:
Video games in New Zealand operate under a looser system of classification than the one used for films and videos, but one that can be complex, creating confusion for game sellers and the public alike.
The time may have come to treat games the same as films and DVDs and require them to carry a New Zealand classification label.
At present, games don't need to carry a classification
label at all unless they have content that could be restricted under New Zealand classification law, such as depicting strong or explicit sexual or violent content. In other words, depicting such content in a way that might be injurious to the public
good, or to younger people in particular.
To make things more complicated, games can carry another country's label - for example, a label from Australia - even though other countries do not always have the same
sensitivities and standards for assessing and labelling content as we do in New Zealand.
In recent research by the Classification Office, most participants were unaware of the
practice of cross- rating and the exemptions for games, and opinions on these practices varied. One participant said: I guess I always thought that everything got reviewed here, I never realised that we just automatically took other people's
Participants in this research felt it important that classification decisions for New Zealand were based on New Zealand society's values and law, and made by a group based within New Zealand because they've got more idea of what is acceptable in our culture
. The research also showed that 71% of respondents would like to see the system change so that all games are required to have New Zealand labels.
A change to the classification legislation would be required to
ensure that games are treated the same as films and DVDs - whether using another classification system, for example Australia's, or a New Zealand-based evaluation.
The research, which will be published shortly,
indicates that such a change would be welcomed by consumers and enable members of the public to feel confident that games on the New Zealand market have been classified in accordance with New Zealand law and public expectations. However, the commercial
implications for games distributors of such a move are unclear.
article from voxy.co.nz
Tampering with the perfectly adequate existing system of classifying video games could become problematic for the NZ market place. It could lead to a black market of illicitly-imported games over which there is no censorship, and games that fail
to work with the parental control systems for consoles sold in NZ, says the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA).
iGEA chief executive, Ron Curry, said the current system, whereby New Zealand shares a perfectly adequate
Australian labelling system, is working satisfactorily.
He is concerned that moves to introduce specific-to-New Zealand classification labelling for all games will make many games too costly to import into New Zealand.
One result is likely
to be that global manufacturers, for whom New Zealand is a tiny market, will opt not to bother sending games to this country because of the greatly increased cost associated with classifying titles and providing New Zealand classification labels.
That opens the door to black market suppliers who will move quickly to fill the gap. They will bring in games regardless of content, and sell them to any and everyone, regardless of age. Without appropriate labelling the ability for parents to make
informed decisions about their children's entertainment choices is compromised. We are already seeing that in Australia where they have a similar issue with an absence of R18 classifications.
|28th June |
Bad reviews for Taiwan justice
24th June 2011. Thanks to Nick
Based on article
A court in Taiwan this week ruled against a female food-blogger who said a local restaurant's beef noodles were too salty, and that she'd seen cockroaches scurrying around in the restaurant.
She gets 30 days in detention, two years of
probation, and must pay 200,000 Taiwanese dollars (about $7K US dollars) in compensation to the restaurant. The court didn't argue she was lying about the bugs, but ruled that Ms. Liu should not have criticized all the restaurant's food as too salty
because she only had one dish on her single visit.
The Taipei Times carried advice from a lawyer. Huang Cheng-lee said that bloggers who post food reviews should remember to be truthful in their commentary and supplement their comments with
photographs to protect themselves.
Update: Jail for a poor review
28th June 2011. From indexoncensorship.org
blogger was sentenced to 30 days in detention and ordered to pay NT$200,000 (about £ 11,000) for allegedly writing a defamatory review about a local restaurant. She blogged that the dish she had ordered was too
salty and that there were cockroaches on the restaurant premises. The restaurant refuted these claims, sued, and won their claim. In Taiwan, defamation is a criminal act.
|27th June |
Singapore film censor cuts 3D Sex and Zen for a 21 rating
channelnewsasia.com reports that:
An international version of the Hong Kong film 3D Sex and Zen , touted as the world's first 3D porn film, has received a R21 (Restricted 21) rating from the Board of
Film Censors (BFC), and will be screened uncut in Singapore, from July 21.
The international version of the film clocks in at 102 minutes, 27 minutes shorter than the 129-minute version shown in Hong Kong, which was again six minutes shorter than the 135-minute version its director Christopher Sun had
originally put together.
The film carries a consumer advisory stating that it contains Nudity, Sexual Scenes and Graphic Violence .
However the very short running time suggests that
the SIngapore release might not be se uncut as claimed. From Thailand's Nation newspaper:
The director's cut runs 129 minutes, Hong Kong's version is 118 minutes and the international cut for censorial challenged
countries is 113 minutes. Thailand and Singapore have each snipped the film down to 110 minutes but Thailand's version still allows nude scenes while Singapore's cut has removed some sex scenes and all scenes showing the monk and the woman.
|24th June |
Editor of non-nude Indonesian Playboy cleared
See article from
Indonesia's Supreme Court has acquitted Playboy editor Erwin Arnada of distributing and profiting from indecent pictures, his lawyer said.
The magazine contained no nudity and critics argued the trial highlighted the growing power of Islamist
Islamist groups forced Indonesian Playboy to close down after only a few issues in 2006, for publishing images of women, some of whom were scantily clad.
The Islamist Defenders Front, a hardline Muslim group in Indonesia, described
Arnada as a moral terrorist , and the group criticised the authorities for failing to track him down.
|20th June |
Anonymous action against Malaysian internet censorship
18th June 2011. See article
While the Malaysian government has continually ensured that there would be no censorship of the Internet in the country, an alleged leaked memo requesting Malaysian ISPs to block file-hosting sites suggests otherwise.
The memo in question appears
to be issued by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on May 30, and was leaked on Facebook, Malaysia-based Lowyat.Net forum, and blogs on June 9.
The MCMC, which is the country's internet censor, has yet to deny or confirm the
In the memo, the MCMC requested that Malaysian ISPs block access to ten file-hosting and sharing URLs, including Megaupload, Fileserve, and The Pirate Bay. It cited Section 268 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,
which states that ISPs (licensees) must try their best to prevent its network from being used for activities that contravenes with Malaysian law.
article from globalvoicesonline.org
International hacktivist group Anonymous has carried through on its threat to attack the Malaysian government's main website www.malaysia.gov.my over the government's proposed censoring of several file sharing websites, including the
Pirate Bay and Megaupload.
A few days ago, the group posted a YouTube video about its intentions to carry out the attacks at 3.30am (local time) on Thursday.
At least 50 other government websites were attacked, including the state of
Sabah's tourism website, and the Tourism Malaysia website. The websites of the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Parliament, the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, which were restored before 9 am (local time).
20th June 2011. See article from
Thousands of Malaysians took to the roads in protest of the decision made by the regulatory body Malaysian Communications and Multimedia
Commission to block 10 file-sharing websites in its effort to combat piracy.
The websites are mostly used to download pirated content including movies, TV shows and music.
The protest could be seen on Facebook as well, with over 6,500
people posting messages against the decision.
|16th June |
Indonesian cinema goers are already denied Hollywood films and are now set to lose their 2nd choice of local sexy ghost films
An Indonesian tax has already put an end to Hollywood films being shown in Indonesian cinemas.
To fill the void the cinema trade turned to local films, most of which seem to be from the low budget ghost film genre.
Now the Indonesian
censors are taking aim at this, already 2nd choice, cinema programming.
Muklis Paimi, head of the board, known as the LSF, appeared to suggest it would consider banning the popular genres for screening.
We want to use the upcoming
Ramadan [Muslim fasting month] as the right moment to suggest that filmmakers stop making low-quality movies with a lot of sex scenes in them, Muklis told Metro TV:. We will not pass any movies exploiting those two things.
filmmakers to make movies with educational values.
He added that the LSF also welcomed any filmmakers wishing to discuss the concepts of their upcoming movies: If they want to make such movies, they have to have a dialog with us first. The
current practice is, [filmmakers] only come to us once their movies are finished .
He said the current situation posed a dilemma for the LSF: It's problematic. If we censor the movies too harshly, the movie producers will hold a rally
against us, saying that they will suffer material damages if we do not recommend their movies. In the end, it will affect the national film industry. But when we are being lenient with our censorship, we will receive protests from the Indonesian Council
of Ulema (MUI) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) .
|16th June |
Chinese book censors find 43 online novels to take down
See article from
See also Chinese film
director hits out at state censorship from guardian.co.uk
China has banned 43 recently published online pornographic novels, according to a notice issued by the National Office against Pornographic and Illegal Publications.
The notice states that since October, the General Administration of Press and
Publication has issued several orders to investigate a dozen online pornographic novels and the websites that host them.
Beijing Cultural Law Enforcement Agency has punished 24 websites and demanded the deletion of 209 links to illegal content.
Eight of the sites were shut down for providing porn.
The notice also warns that it's getting more difficult to detect pornographic websites as they're becoming adept at concealing their content from regulators. Some move their servers to other
provinces or abroad, while others find creative ways to disguise pornographic content.
Technological innovations have enabled publishers of erotic material to disseminate it through smart phones, tablet computers and e-books, according to the
|14th June |
Philippines film censor to consider a ban on smoking in films and on TV
Philippines Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe Llamanzares said the Department of Health (DOH) has consulted the agency regarding the guidelines in the possible implementation of a no-smoking directive on
TV shows and films.
Earlier, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino appealed to showbiz industry stakeholders to shun depicting scenes of actors and actresses smoking in their entries in this year's Metro Manila Film
But the majority of showbiz stakeholders frowned on Tolentino's appeal. They warned that Tolentino may be treading on dangerous and questionable legal grounds since filmmaking is covered by the constitutional right of free
|9th June |
Cradle of Filth T-Shirts cause another stir in New Zealand
See article from
Clothing that describes Jesus Christ as a 'cunt' has been seized from an Invercargill store by New Zealand police. Police took away the apparel after being asked to do so by Internal Affairs.
The tops will be further examined to decide whether
the owners of theImpuls'd store which sells them would be charged with any criminal offences.
The Southland Times outed the store, owned by Warren and Angela Skill after spotting hooded tops with the words Jesus is a cunt emblazoned on the
back. The tops advertise an album for British extreme metal group Cradle of Filth.
People have been seen wearing the tops on city streets in the past week, with a 68-year-old visitor to the city saying she was 'horrified' when she saw a man
walking with the offending words emblazoned across his back.
In 2008, T-shirts with the same wording were banned by then chief censor Bill Hastings. The ban made any act of possessing, wearing, distributing or selling the T-shirt, or another top
with the same wording and imagery, illegal.
Colin Morrison, the pastor of Edendale Presbyterian Church, wrote that he felt sorry for people who needed to express themselves in such a way and he would be praying for them: Also I am sad at the
way they find such language acceptable, just shows how far we have slipped as a caring and loving society.
|9th June |
Thai film censor cuts 3D Sex and Zen for a 20+ rating
See article from
Hong Kong's 3D Erotic comedy Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy has opened in Thailand after cuts from the Film Board's censorship committee, even with an age rating of 20+.
With this rating, filmgoers should have their ID cards ready to show in case they're asked. The Thai cut of Sex and Zen runs for 110 minutes, 3 minutes shorter than the original. Three scenes have been cut: a female seducing a monk and two
sadistic rape scenes.
The director's cut runs 129 minutes, Hong Kong's version is 118 minutes and the international cut for censorial challenged countries is 113 minutes. Thailand and Singapore have each snipped the film down to 110 minutes but
Thailand's version still allows nude scenes while Singapore's cut has removed some sex scenes and all scenes showing the monk and the woman.
|5th June |
Thailand to check visitors for religious tattoos?
2nd June 2011. See article from pattayadailynews.com
See article from pattayadailynews.com
Thailand has ordered a ban on foreign tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while visiting the kingdom, official media reported.
Tattoos with images such as of the Buddha may offend Thai people,
Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat was quoted as telling reporters.
He said his ministry had asked regional governors, particularly in tourist hotspots, to inspect tattoo studios and ask them not to use religious patterns, according to the
state-run National News Bureau. He said he would push for a law banning people from etching sacred images onto their skin.
Tattooed foot in mouth
At an interview with Pattaya Daily News reporter, Minister Nipit denied
making any statements against tourists with religious tattoos. He clarified that tourists with religious tattoos will not be prohibited from entering Thailand. [Even though he earlier claimed that such images offended Thai
The warning is directed at those tattoo shops that allow etching sacred images onto tourists' bodies especially on the lower body parts such as ankles, Minister Nipit said. He re-emphasised that it was a misunderstanding by foreign
Media that Thailand would do a body check on tourists while visiting the kingdom.
Update: Censorial Image
3rd June 2011. See
article from bangkokpost.com
Opposition is building to the Culture Ministry's plan to impose restrictions on the use of Buddha images and religious motifs for commercial purposes.
Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said this week he had instructed provincial governors,
especially those in tourist destinations, to crack down on the improper use of Buddha images and religious motifs. Niphit said the ministry would publish guidelines on the acceptable use of Buddha images and religious items for business
operators and tourists.
The guidelines will give advice on how to portray or treat Buddha images, teachings, pictures and photos. They will also urge respectful handling of monks' garb and items and temples' important features. People are
discouraged from dressing like monks, or portraying monks in an unfavourable light.
Tattoo artists, business operators and movie makers are unhappy about the restrictions. Pawat Pawangkasiri, director of Nak Prok (In the Shadow of Naga) , a
film about bandits who disguise themselves as monks, said the guidelines seem vague and could threaten freedom of expression.
Update: Below the belt
5th June 2011. See
article from bangkokpost.com
The Culture Ministry is asking
tattoo artists to stick to offering religious tattoos above the waist, as it believes such sacred imagery, even when displayed on the flesh, should be treated with respect.
The Bangkok Post asked tattoo artists what they think of the proposed ban.
Som, who works at Fine Art and Tattoo, a tattoo parlour off Patpong Road, said she agrees with the proposed ban. Many foreigners don't understand the symbols, and they want a Ganesh below the waist, like on the hip or ankle.
tattoo artists feel spirits inhabit them as they work, so at her shop they agreed not to tattoo designs with religious significance, which might skew the symbiosis they need to work. She said they worried about bad karma: The khru, the protector of
your art, will be upset and punish you. Even for Buddhists, sacred images below the waist are really bad. It's the same as putting a Buddha statue in a nightclub or toilet. It's done without thinking.
Thon, a tattoo artist of 14 years whose
Y2J parlour lies on Patpong 2 Road, believes a ban on religious imagery would be wrong. While he agrees that religious imagery shouldn't be tattooed below the waist, he doesn't think the government should have any say in what is ultimately a personal
decision. I also worship my khru, and I've never drawn religious tattoos on lower body parts, he said.
|28th May |
New Zealand nutters win review of 18 rating for LA Zombie
The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards is fighting to try and prevent LA Zombie from being shown the Out Takes film festival.
It was given an R18 rating by the Classification Office, with the warning it includes horror,
violence, sex scenes and content that may disturb .
The Secretary of Internal Affairs has granted the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) leave to apply for a review of the decision, which will happen on 3 June, three days
before the film is due to show at the Auckland leg of Out Takes at Rialto in Newmarket.
Out Takes says SPCS has also applied for an interim restriction order that would block it from screening LA Zombie, despite the fact the decision to give it an
R18 rating is going to be reviewed anyway.
|28th May |
Thailand jails Thai US man for posting website link to banned book
A Thai-born dual Thai-US citizen and passport holder was arrested and detained without bail for allegedly putting up a computer link to the content of the banned book , The King Never Smiles on his blog.
Joe Gordon told a Prachatai
online newspaper reporter that he was having difficulties adjusting to Bangkok Remand Prison and that he was worried about the cleanliness of the drinking water. He denied committing lese majeste on the Internet.
Gordon was arrested and taken from
Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by the Department of Special Investigation.
Update: Appeal to Obama
12th June 2011. See
article from bbc.co.uk
An American man, arrested in Thailand last week on
charges of insulting the monarchy, has appealed to US President Barack Obama for help.
The man, who uses his American name Joe Gordon, is accused of posting a link on a blog to a royal biography that is banned in Thailand.
|27th May |
Alan Shadrake loses appeal against conviction in Singapore over his book
Singap[ore's Court of Appeal has affirmed the sentence of six weeks' jail and a $20,000 fine handed down to British author Alan Shadrake by the High Court for contempt of court.
Last year, the Attorney-General had applied to commit Shadrake
for contempt of court on the ground that 14 passages in his book, Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock , had scandalised the judiciary.
In November last year, he was found by High Court judge Quentin Loh to have impugned the
impartiality, integrity and independence of the courts here in 11 out of the 14 passages. Justice Loh sentenced Shadrake to six weeks' jail and a $20,000 fine - the heaviest punishment handed down here for contempt of court by way of scandalising the
Shadrake appealed, a three-judge Court of Appeal, contrary to Justice Loh, found nine of the 14 passages to be in contempt.
Shadrake said he will not be able to pay the fine and will serve the default two-week jail term, making a
total of eight weeks.
|20th May |
The creator of China's internet censorship comes under egg and shoe attack
See article from
Police in China say they are seeking a man who allegedly threw an egg and shoes at the designer of the country's Great Firewall of internet censorship.
Fang Binxing was lecturing at Wuhan University, Hubei province, when the alleged protest took
Reports of the attack spread quickly on Twitter after a user named Hanunyi posted his account of the incident.
Hanunyi posted a live account of the alleged shoe-throw on his profile page, including a picture of a hand clutching an
egg: The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit the target. The second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman .
Fang is reviled by many Chinese web users for overseeing development of China's system of internet censorship.
|19th May |
US residents sue Chinese search engine over censored posts
Eight New York residents have filed a lawsuit against China and Chinese online-search provider Baidu Inc., alleging they violated the plaintiffs' U.S. constitutional rights by blocking prodemocracy speech from Baidu search results. The complaint seeks
damages of $16 million, or $2 million for each plaintiff.
The plaintiffs allege their articles or videos about the Chinese democratic movement are unavailable via searches on Baidu, which the lawsuit calls an agent and enforcer of the
anti-democracy policies of China. The censorship violates their rights under the U.S. Constitution, the New York constitution and New York law, the suit alleged. It didn't elaborate on why Baidu should be punished for actions that Baidu says are
required by Chinese law.
Senator Richard Durbin earlier this month wrote a letter to Baidu Chief Executive Robin Li expressing concerns that the company wasn't taking measures to safeguard human rights, including freedom of expression and
privacy. Durbin said he was working on legislation that would require companies to take steps to protect human rights or face liability, and that Baidu would be subject to such legislation because its shares are traded in the U.S.
|18th May |
Philippines bus operators told to end sex and violence video screenings
Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now working closely with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to crack down on bus drivers and operators caught playing sex and violence videos in
their vehicles, said LTFRB Chairman Nelson Laluces, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
Operators who permit the showing of such films in their bus liners will be slapped a penalty of P3,000 ( £ 43) for
the first offense, P6,000 for the second offense, and a possible suspension and revocation of franchise, said Laluces.
Meanwhile, erring while drivers could also be suspended, and will undergo seminars to be conducted by the LTFRB. The MTRCB will
likewise file criminal charges against bus operators for the protection of minors.
Laluces said only motion pictures and television programs that are suited for the viewing of children are allowed in bus liners.
|16th May |
Burmese newspaper suspended for 2 weeks
article from mizzima.com
In the first press suspension under the new Burmese government, the Rangoon-based True News newspaper has been suspended for two weeks for reporting controversial information, according to local journalists.
The publication's editors were
summoned to the censor board office and ordered to sign a pledge not to violate press regulations, a source close to the editors told Mizzima. It was the first suspension of a newspaper under the new government led by President Thein Sein.
cause of the dispute and suspension was information in volume 3, number 34, which reported: Everyone who owns a 1.5 million kyat (US$ 1,660) GSM phone is qualified to buy a 500,000 kyat GSM phone at a price of only 180,000 kyat . Local journalists
said the information had appeared in print in an earlier report.
According to a source close to the journal, the Posts and Telecommunications office reprimanded True News, threatened to sue, and the censorship board stepped in and punished the
journal for the report.
|15th May |
Bob Dylan denies that his Chinese gigs were censored
See article from
Singer Bob Dylan has denied accusations that he had bowed to censorship during his first concerts in China last month. Dylan was criticised by Western media and by Human Rights Watch for not performing some of his best-known protest songs on his
China tour in April.
In a rare online posting, Dylan said Chinese authorities asked for the names of the songs he would play in their country.
Dylan said he sent Chinese officials his set lists from the previous three months of shows. He
performed in Beijing on 6 April and Shanghai two days later.
If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play, Dylan wrote in the post.
commentators cited the absence of songs The Times They Are A-Changin' and Blowin' in the Wind from Dylan's China set list as evidence that the counter- culture hero had caved to pressure.
In March, China's Culture Ministry said in a
brief statement that an agreement to have Dylan sing in the country came with the proviso that he perform the approved content .
|15th May |
China detects the use of VPNs and blocks all international traffic of users detected
Based on article from
Chinese internet users suspect that their government is interfering with the method they have been using to tunnel under the Great Firewall to prevent them connecting with the outside world.
Since 6 May, a number of users says that internet
connections via China Telecom, the largest telephone company, and China Unicom have become unstable , with intermittent access when trying to access sites in foreign countries using a virtual private network (VPN). Even Apple's app store
has been put off-limits by the new blocks, according to reports.
The disruption has mainly affected corporate connections such as universities while home connections that use standard broadband systems have been unaffected, according to the
prominent Chinese technology blogger William Long.
Normally traffic flowing over VPN connections is secure because it is encrypted, meaning that the Chinese authorities were unable to detect what content was flowing back and forth over it. A VPN
connection from a location inside China to a site outside China would effectively give the same access as if the user were outside China.
According to Global Voices Advocacy, a pressure group that defends free speech online, the disruption follows
new systems put in place in the Great Firewall -- in fact monitoring software on the routers that direct internet traffic within and across China's borders. The new software appears to be able to detect large amounts of connections being made to
overseas internet locations.
The problem has become so bad that some universities and businesses have told their users not to try to use VPNs, and only to visit work-related sites; to do otherwise could lead to trouble for the
company and the users involved.
|6th May |
New Zealand MP campaigns to get Coronation Street rated adults only
See article from
Popular soap operas on New Zealand television may be rated adults only if Lianne Dalziel has her way.
The Labour MP is calling on the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) to move the adult slot time because programmes like Coronation
Street and Shortland Street undermine family values.
The two street soaps are rated PGR (parental guidance recommended) but Dalziel said the content has become increasingly unsuitable for children.
She has asked the BSA to move
the 8.30pm watershed time in which television programmes are deemed to have adult content from 8.30pm to 7.30pm.
She is not suggesting that soaps should be programmed later, just that parents should be told that programmes in the 7:30pm -
8:30pm slot are not suitable for children.
Dalziel said content currently screening from 7.30pm has storylines covering complex issues such as prostitution, kidnapping, drug addiction and marital problems.
Dalziel told TV ONE's Breakfast
that BSA findings show parents rely on the watershed time as marking the transition from family viewing to more adult themed shows: Surely you want to look at the time when you can guarantee to parents there won't be any adult themes creeping in .
Dalziel said that the content of Coronation Street, which is rated PGR, has changed markedly since the days of Ena Sharples and Minnie Caldwell.
|6th May |
Spy dramas banned from Chinese TV
See article from nytimes.com
The Chinese government has banned all spy dramas and any related programs from being broadcast on major television networks from May to July, according to reports.
The government agency in charge of censoring entertainment programming has not
announced a reason for the ban, but observers speculate that it may be an effort to clear the way for official programming in the run-up to the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1.
|6th May |
Making sex videos for personal use is still legal in Indonesia
See article from
In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court threw out a request for a judicial review of the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law, which sought an amendment to criminalize the filming of sex videos for private use.
Chief Justice Mahfud M.D., in rejecting
the request for a review filed by nutter lawyer Farhat Abbas, said: The plaintiffs' argument does not have a legal basis.
Article 4 of the law bans people from producing pornographic material, while Article 6 prohibits people from storing
or broadcasting it. However, Farhat's camp has said supplementary explanations of the law exclude materials for personal use and interest.
If pornography is for 'personal use,' the actor might be seen as a victim [when material is
distributed without consent], when in fact pornography exists because of the actors in the first place, Muhammad Burhanuddin, one of Farhat's lawyers, had argued.
However, Justice Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi said that while the court agreed with the
plaintiffs that pornography violated norms of decency if made public, the point here was that a homemade video for private use was not meant to be made public.
Farhat sought the judicial review in the wake of the celebrity sex video scandal
involving Nazril Ariel Irham, the frontman for the band Peterpan. One allegedly showed Ariel with his girlfriend, Luna Maya, while another was said to show him with TV presenter Cut Tari. Ariel has been sentenced to three and a half years in
prison on a charge of distributing pornography, not for making the films, although he insists he did not upload the videos to the Internet.
Anwar Sadat, a representative for the plaintiffs, said that while the request for the judicial review had
been rejected, the two women in the Ariel case should still be held accountable: The makers of sex videos must also be punished. We know that Ariel has been sentenced to prison, but what about Luna Maya and Cut Tari?
|5th May |
China merges political and technical internet censors
See article from
China has set up a new censorship body to control information on the internet.
The State Internet Information Office will take over responsibility from a number of lower-ranking directorates.
The new set-up is intended to enable the
government to keep a more repressive grip on the content available to internet-users in China.
The newly-created State Internet Information Office brings technical and political control over the internet under one body, with Information Minister
Wang Chen in charge. This in effect gives his ministry more power than the other agencies involved.
|4th May |
Again Malaysia promises no state censorship of the internet
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak promised Malaysians that his administration would never censor the Internet.
Twice in recent years, the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government has explored introducing Internet-filtering software, saying
it was necessary to combat child pornography, before backing off after public outcry.
Speaking at the 1st Malaysian-ASEAN Regional Bloggers Conference, Mr Najib said that Malaysia has one of the liveliest and one of the freest, if not most free
, blogospheres in the world.
While stressing that it is important for bloggers and Internet users to draw the line , Najib said his administration still welcomed constructive criticism and wanted to work with them as partners: There
is a difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable. But what is important is for us to put forth our view to ... build a better Malaysi a.
|4th May |
Thailand set to ban mere mention of the monarchy during election campaign
See article from pattayadailynews.com
Thailand's Election Commission (EC) authorities have banned discussion of the monarchy in campaigning for the first national election since the political violence erupted in 2010.
The poll's body has not revealed the details of the new rules,
which were announced at a meeting with political representatives.
The EC will discuss details of the ban later, said Apichart Sukananond, the body's chairman, suggesting that parties who disobey the rules may be dissolved and their leaders
may be banned for five years.
Debate about the role of the monarchy is a taboo in Thailand as the country prepares its national election in early July.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva supported the ban stating that the monarchy was above politics and conflicts
, while the main opposition party Puea thai pledged to respect the rules.
|1st May |
New Zealand nutters whinge at a film festival showing of LA Zombie
See article from
LA Zombie has been given an R18 rating and will screen in Auckland and Wellington at the glbt film festival. The film was banned by Australian censors.
The film follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of
dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. It has full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound
penetration and implied sex with corpses.
The Herald on Sunday says The Society for Promotion of Community Standards is shocked at the decision to allow the film to be screened, and has applied to the Film and Literature Board of Review to have
the decision re-examined.
David Lane, the society's executive director, claimed the film appeared to breach the law by including acts of torture and extreme violence, and by emphasising sexual conduct with bodies of dead people.
Chief Programmer Simon Fulton is confident LA Zombie won't be banned. He says it's definitely for a certain taste: It's grimy and grubby, some people will love it and some won't. It's a silly sort of zombie horror porn thing, but it's loads of fun to
Fulton says the film's use of an alien sexual technique to turn bodies into zombies is what has worried censors in some countries, but he says it's not necrophilia.
Update: Still Stumbling On
June 2011. See article from stuff.co.nz
The annual Out Takes film festival opens tonight at Wellington's Paramount Cinema and runs until June 12.
This year it includes one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the past year - LA Zombie.
The film has become
notorious after it was banned from screening at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Directed by American Bruce LaBruce, it was refused classification by Australia's Classification Board.
|23rd April |
New Zealand to show LA Zombie
The gay zombie porn flick that caused so much grief in Australia has been included in the line-up for New Zealand's Out Takes 2011 event.
LA Zombie follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies
and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. The work by Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce has full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois
Sagat, it features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses.
The film was supposed to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia last August, but was banned by the Australian Film 'Classification' Board.
time the festival's director Richard Moore told The Age that LaBruce's blend of sex and violence can be confronting, but I would argue that within the context of the festival, it is nonsensical and patronising to not allow people to decide what they
want to see.
LA Zombie had its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London in October and it was reported by The Yorker that at least one-third of the audience walked out stupefied .
The film is to screen at Auckland's
Rialto Cinemas on Monday 6 June and Wellington's Paramount Theatre on Friday 10 June. The Out Takes programme warns that almost all of the movie's content may offend those of delicate disposition.
|14th April |
Alan Shadrake appeals against conviction in Singapore over his book
article from csmonitor.com
Last November, Alan Shadrake was found guilty of contempt of court over his book, Once A Jolly Hangman, which skewers Singapore's brand of capital punishment. He was fined 20,000 Singapore dollars and sentenced to six weeks in jail. Human
rights groups complained that the verdict was harsh and unnecessary.
Shadrake was back in court this week, this time to appeal the verdict. He vows that he will fight his case and doesn't care if he ends up back in a Singaporean jail.
British author has become an unlikely symbol of resistance to Singapore's thin-skinned elite. The pros and cons of the death penalty are rarely debated in Singapore. Last year Shadrake told the Monitor that he had discovered serious mismanagements of
justice in his research for the book, which contains interviews with a retired hangman.
Singaporean prosecutors argue that Shadrake's book is libelous and erroneous, and told the court that the author was unrepentant and deserved to be jailed. He should reap the consequences of his contempt,
a prosecutor said.
|12th April |
New Zealand rapper winds up the police with the song 'Fuck the Police'
See article from
New Zealand singer Tiki Taane has been arrested for singing the rap song Fuck the Police , says he has performed the song many times live and hopes to keep his relationship with police positive .
In a statement Taane, who will
appear in court on Friday, said he was arrested at an R18 concert in Tauranga:
I was handcuffed and taken to the cells where I spent the rest of the night.
I have been charged
with disorderly behaviour, likely to cause violence, for reciting the lyrics to a song by an American rap group called NWA.
This song is a protest song written by Ice Cube in 1988, and I have often played and sang
along to it at my R18 concerts with no trouble at all.
Taane says the concerned promoter and his DJ were taken in but later released uncharged.
Some people at the show said the singer began singing Fuck the Polic e when police carried out an inspection of the club.
A police inspector said because of an incident that happened during the visit, police returned after the bar closed at 3am to speak to staff and entertainers. When they approached Taane afterwards things got out of hand , a witness said.
Taane said his performance was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. Unfortunately I think a certain officer got a little bit upset and wanted to come back and prove a point, I guess, by arresting me and then walking me out in handcuffs in
front of the audience, so I'm a bit bewildered by it.
|12th April |
MP who helped pass Indonesia's repressive anti porn law resigns after being caught watching porn in parliament
See article from
An Indoesian MP from an Islamic party which promoted anti-pornography legislation has resigned after being caught watching porn in parliament.
Mr Arifinto of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) was photographed looking at the images on
Friday. He said he had inadvertently opened an email link which led him to the images.
For the recent developing media coverage, I apologise to all members of the party and parliament, Arifinto told a news conference: I will continue to
work for my party. I'm also going to continue to better myself, by repentance, reading the Koran and asking for guidance.
The BBC's Kate McGeown in Jakarta says the PKS was the driving force behind anti-pornography legislation, so that when
one of its lawmakers was caught out, he was shown no mercy. If it is proved that Arifinto was indeed downloading a pornographic movie, as photography of his behaviour appears to show, he could find himself charged with a law of his own party's making.
|12th April |
Philippines TV show causes 'outrage' over humiliation of 6 year old
4th April 2011. See article from
A Philippine television game show host and his station have apologised after an uproar over a segment showing a six-year-old boy crying while gyrating and mimicking a striptease dancer.
The boy was a contestant on an episode of Willing Willie
, a variety and gameshow that features mostly poor Filipinos who earn cash prizes for singing, dancing, telling their stories or playing games.
Social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman condemned the emotional abuse and humiliation suffered by the boy. Soliman said host Willie Revillame and the audience showed no concern for the boy and that the programme amounted to child abuse.
Station TV5 apologised on behalf of Revillame, saying there had been no intention to humiliate the boy who was with his aunt, who approved his performance. It said the boy appeared to be in tears not because he was forced to dance but because he
was playing a role and got scared. The boy earned a prize of $230 for his dance.
Update: Advert boycott
11th April 2011. See
article from abs-cbnnews.com
Retired advertising industry leader and now Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) chairperson Emily Abrera encouraged other advertisers to follow the lead of companies that have already pulled out their ads from Willie Revillame's game show,
She said this is a proactive way for companies to encourage quality programming on local television.
Update: Less Willing
12th April 2011. See
Willing Willie has now been pulled following the public uproar over the host letting a crying 6-year-old boy mimic a striptease dancer.
launched a campaign on social-networking sites to remove Revillame from the show. The outcry led major sponsors to pull out, including Procter & Gamble, Del Monte, Unilever and Philippine fast-food giant Jollibee.
TV5 network said it wants to
improve the program and work with television and advertising industry stakeholders on guidelines for the participation of children in all game and reality TV shows. Host Willie Revillame said he was taking two weeks of leave after which he will announce
if he'll return to television.
The government's Commission on Human Rights and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board said they were investigating.
|10th April |
Burma to end press censorship for publications that don't publish politics, business or news
article from mizzima.com
The Burma junta's censorship board director Tint Swe said that the new parliamentary government would relax the current press censorship policy in accordance with the new Constitution, the Flower News Journal reported.
' The first step will be
made on the day the new government takes office. But, as a result of the freedom of the press, the publications need to take responsibility, the journal quoted Tint Swe as saying.
Tint Swe also said that publishers and journalists of most
journals and magazines will not need to pass articles through the censor board prior to publication.
... HOWEVER ... the new policy only applies to publications focusing on sport, entertainment, general knowledge, health, children's
literature, the supernatural and technology. Publications which print articles about politics, business and news will still need to pass articles through the censorship board prior to publication.
Books and journals that have already been
published will need to go via the censor board after publication. Printing houses and publishers must also be licensed by the state.
1st July 2011. See
article from irrawaddy.org
Burma's draconian censorship board, the Press
Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD), has issued a warning to several Rangoon-based journals not to try to take advantage of the PSRD's new post-publishing censorship regulation.
Editors at several weekly journals have been ordered to
sign statements promising not to violate press regulations either in print or in photography. At least six journal signed the pledge the first day, said a Rangoon-based sports journal editor.
Beginning on June 10, publishers were permitted
to run stories on sports, entertainment, technology, health and children's literature without PSRD approval. However, they were instructed that they still have to follow rules protecting the Three National Causes ---the basic principles espoused
by Burma's military rulers---and avoid any writing that damages state instability.
Update: Business and Crime
17th December 2011. See
Myanmar has loosened press censorship on business and crime publications, local media reported.
A total of 54 journals, magazines and books will no
longer have to submit their content to censors before publication, according to a report in the Myanmar Times, after changes introduced on December 9.
News media will continue to be subject to pre-publication censorship.
|9th April |
Thailand pixellates goal mouth action during TV football
See article from nationmultimedia.com
A letter to Thailand's Nation newspaper:
Does anyone else feel that television censorship has become very annoying these days?
I can understand when they blur the image of a
cigarette, a gun or a knife when someone is holding it. But football highlights? Since there is often a beer commercial sign behind the goal, the image is blurred and you can't see how and when the ball went in, or how the goalkeeper reacted.
In one cooking show they even blurred a knife when the chef was scoring a fish or slicing spare ribs. Cooking wine bottles are also blurred.
In a show about dairy farming, you guessed it, they
blurred the cows' nipples!
But when it comes to night-time melodramas, you are allowed to watch eye-gouging, cursing, women pulling each other's hair and slapping each other back and forth. Whack! Whack! Whack! On some
evening news programmes, they don't hesitate to show the corpses of flood victims or a murdered person whose body has been mutilated and beheaded.
Despite being Thai, sometimes I get frustrated trying to make sense out
of this stuff.
|9th April |
China said to have banned time travel theme from movies and TV
Based on article from
China won't be getting the new Bill & Ted movie when it comes out, thanks to a decision by the General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television to ban any further movies or TV show about time travel.
Chinese viewers have been enjoying successful
TV shows like Shen Hua (Myth) , which involves a teenager travelling back 2,000 years and hooking up with prominent historical figures like Xiang Yu (a Qin Dynasty military general).
However the Chinese censors claim that these types of
shows distort history for the sake of entertainment. ChinaHush reports that the decision to ban time-travel as a theme was made rather suspiciously on the 1st April, with the Bureau then releasing this statement: The time-travel drama is becoming a
hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a
frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.
|4th April |
Why the Mosaic? The Origins of Censorship in Japanese Pornography
See article from edenfantasys.com