The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of
The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to intimidate and silence journalists working in the public interest.
joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop vexatious lawsuits, highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr. The letter says:
Following the recent global conference on media freedom held in London by the UK government, we write to draw your attention to what appears to be a growing trend to use strategic litigation against public participation
(SLAPP) lawsuits as a means of intimidating and silencing journalists working in the public interest.
Such legal threats are designed to inhibit ongoing investigations, and prevent legitimate public interest reporting. Abuse of defamation law, including through SLAPP lawsuits, has become a serious threat to press freedom
and advocacy rights in a number of countries, including the UK.
Fears have been expressed in the UK and abroad, and by the European parliament that this legal tactic was being deployed against the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who at the time of her death in
October 2017 was subject to 42 civil libel suits against her, many of which were brought through UK-based law firms, acting for foreign banks and wealthy individuals. Twenty-seven of these vexatious lawsuits remain open more than 21 months after
her assassination. A range of other Maltese media have faced threats of similar suits, including investigative outlet the Shift News.
Numerous legal and online threats have been made against Carole Cadwalladr, whose journalism for the Observer and a range of other publications has stimulated a global debate about the power of online platforms to influence
the behaviour of citizens, and raised important questions about the regulation of digital technology.
The legal claim against Ms Cadwalladr, issued on 12 July by lawyers acting for Arron Banks, is another example of a wealthy individual appearing to abuse the law in an attempt to silence a journalist and distract from these
issues being discussed by politicians, the media and the public at a critical time in the life of our democracy.
The increasing deployment of what appear to be SLAPP lawsuits in the UK poses a threat to media freedom and public interest advocacy, and demands a robust response. We believe that new legislation should be considered to
prevent the abuse of defamation law to silence public interest investigative reporting. We also urge you to take a clear public stance condemning such practices and supporting investigative journalism and independent media.
We urge you to address this issue as a matter of priority. Action has been discussed within the institutions of the European Union, but it is important that the government makes clear that the UK remains a country that
welcomes and celebrates the role and value of independent public interest reporting.
Paul Webster, editor, the Observer, Rebecca Vincent, UK bureau director, Reporters Without Borders, Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Index on Censorship, John Sauven, executive director, Greenpeace UK, Thomas Hughes, executive
director, Article 19, Carles Torner, executive director, PEN International, Carl MacDougall, president, Scottish PEN, Summer Lopez, senior director of Free Expression Programs, PEN America, Tom Gibson, EU representative, Committee to Protect
Journalists, Flutura Kusari, legal adviser, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Scott Griffen, deputy director, International Press Institute, Caroline Muscat, co-founder and editor, the Shift News, Dr Justin Borg-Barthet, senior
lecturer, University of Aberdeen School of Law, Matthew Caruana Galizia, director, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Paul Caruana Galizia, finance editor, Tortoise, Corinne Vella, sister of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Andrew Caruana Galizia, son of
Daphne Caruana Galizia
Elena Maris of Microsoft Research, Timothy Libert Carnegie Mellon University, and Jennifer Henrichsen University of Pennsylvania have penned a study examining tracking technologies from the likes of Google and Facebook that are incorporated into
re world's porn websites. They write:
This paper explores tracking and privacy risks on pornography websites. Our analysis of 22,484 pornography websites indicated that 93% leak user data to a third party. Tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by a handful of major
companies, which we identify [Google and Facebook].
Our content analysis of the sample's domains indicated 44.97% of them expose or suggest a specific gender/sexual identity or interest likely to be linked to the user. We identify three core implications of the quantitative results:
1) the unique/elevated risks of porn data leakage versus other types of data,
2) the particular risks/impact for vulnerable populations, and
3) the complications of providing consent for porn site users and the need for affirmative consent in these online sexual interactions
The authors describe the problem:
will protect his personal information, Jack clicks on a video. What Jack does not know is that incognito mode only ensures his browsing history is not stored on his computer. The sites he visits, as well as any third-party trackers, may observe
and record his online actions. These third-parties may even infer Jack's sexual interests from the URLs of the sites he accesses. They might also use what they have decided about these interests for marketing or building a consumer profile. They
may even sell the data. Jack has no idea these third-party data transfers are occurring as he browses videos.
The Authors are a bit PC and seem obsessed about trying to relate cookie consent with sexual consent but finally cnclude:
Through our results and connections to past porn site privacy and security breaches and controversies, we demonstrate that the singularity of porn data and the characteristics of typical porn websites' lax security measures mean this leakiness
poses a unique and elevated threat. We have argued everyone is at risk when such data is accessible without users' consent, and thus can potentially be leveraged against them by malicious agents acting on moralistic claims of normative gender or
sexuality. These risks are heightened for vulnerable populations whose porn usage might be classified as non-normative or contrary to their public life.
The authors seemed to think the porn sites are somehow ethical and should be doing the 'right' thing. But in reality they are just trying to make money like everyone else and as they say, if the product is free the your data is the
payment. But as the report points out, that price may be a prove a little higher than expected.
AVN notes that Google responded to the claims in a rather obtuse way. Google on Thursday attempted to deny the study's findings, as quoted by The Daily Mail newspaper.
We don't allow Google Ads on websites with adult content and we prohibit personalized advertising and advertising profiles based on a user's sexual interests or related activities online, the company said. Additionally, tags for our ad services
are never allowed to transmit personally identifiable information.
The study, however, did not allege that Google had placed actual advertisements from its GoogleAds network on porn sites, and in its elliptical statement, Google did not specifically deny that its tracking code is embedded on thousands of adult
Chrome's Incognito Mode is based on the principle that you should have the choice to browse the web privately. At the end of July, Chrome will remedy a loophole that has allowed sites to detect people who are browsing in Incognito Mode.
People choose to browse the web privately for many reasons. Some wish to protect their privacy on shared or borrowed devices, or to exclude certain activities from their browsing histories. In situations such as political oppression or domestic
abuse, people may have important safety reasons for concealing their web activity and their use of private browsing features.
We want you to be able to access the web privately, with the assurance that your choice to do so is private as well.
Google also noted a useful bit of info on evading article count restrictions imposed by some publishers with metered access policies
Today, some sites use an unintended loophole to detect when people are browsing in Incognito Mode. Chrome's FileSystem API is disabled in Incognito Mode to avoid leaving traces of activity on someone's device. Sites can check for the
availability of the FileSystem API and, if they receive an error message, determine that a private session is occurring and give the user a different [more restricted] experience.
With the release of Chrome 76 scheduled for July 30, the behavior of the FileSystem API will be modified to remedy this method of Incognito Mode detection.
The change will affect sites that use the FileSystem API to intercept Incognito Mode sessions and require people to log in or switch to normal browsing mode, on the assumption that these individuals are attempting to circumvent metered paywalls.
Unlike hard paywalls or registration walls, which require people to log in to view any content, meters offer a number of free articles before you must log in. This model is inherently porous, as it relies on a site's ability to track the number
of free articles someone has viewed, typically using cookies. Private browsing modes are one of several tactics people use to manage their cookies and thereby reset the meter count.
According to a leaked
EU internet censorship document obtained by Netzpolitik, a German blog, the European Commission (EC) is now preparing a new Digital Services Act to unify and extend internet censorship across the EU.
The proposals are partially to address eCommerce controls required to keep up with technological changes, but it also addresses more traditional censorship to control 'fake news' political ideas it does not like and 'hate speech'.
The new rules cover a wider remit of internet companies covering all digital services, and that means anything from ISPs, cloud hosting, social media, search engines, ad services, to collaborative economy services (Uber, AirBnB etc).
The censorship regime envisaged does not quite extend to a general obligation for companies to censor everything being uploaded, but it goes way beyond current censorship processes. Much of the report is about unifying the rules for takedown of
The paper takes some of the ideas from the UK Online Harms whitepaper and sees requirements to extend censorship from illegal content to legal-but-harmful content.
The authors perceive that unifying censorship rules for all EU countries as some sort of simplification for EU companies, but as always ever more rules just advantages the biggest companies, which are unfortunately for the EU, American. Eg
requiring AI filtering of content is a technology very much in the control of the richest and most advanced companies, ie the likes of Google.
Actually the EU paper does acknowledge that EU policies have in the past advantaged US companies. The paper also notes unease at the way that European censorship decisions, eg the right to be forgotten, have become something implemented by the
Under our existing policy, we disable accounts that have a certain percentage of violating content. We are now rolling out a new policy where, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, we will also remove
accounts with a certain number of violations within a window of time. Similarly to how policies are enforced on Facebook , this change will allow us to enforce our policies more consistently and hold people accountable for what they post on
We are also introducing a new notification process to help people understand if their account is at risk of being disabled. This notification will also offer the opportunity to appeal content deleted. To start, appeals will be available for
content deleted for violations of our nudity and pornography, bullying and harassment, hate speech, drug sales, and counter-terrorism policies, but we'll be expanding appeals in the coming months. If content is found to be removed in error, we
will restore the post and remove the violation from the account's record. We've always given people the option to appeal disabled accounts through our Help Center , and in the next few months, we'll bring this experience directly within
Yes I won't read this message. and yes you can do what the fuck you like with my porn browsing data
Yes please do, I waiver all my GDPR rights
Yes I won't read this message. and yes, feel free to blackmail me
Yes you can do anything you like 'to make my viewing experience better'
Yes, no need to ask, I'll tick anything
With callous disregard for the safety of porn users, negligent lawmakers devised an age verification scheme with no effective protection of porn users' identity and porn browsing history.
The Government considered that GDPR requirements, where internet users are trainer to blindly tick a box to give consent to the internet companies doing what the fuck they like with your data. Now internet users are well conditioned like Pavlov's
dog to tick the hundreds of tick boxes they are presented with daily. And of course nobody ever reads what they are consenting to, life's too short.
After a while the government realised that the total lack of data protection for porn users may actually prevent their scheme form getting off the ground, as porn users simply would refuse to get age verified. This would result in bankrupt AV
companies and perverse disinsentives for porn websites. Those that implement AV would then experience a devastating drop off in traffic and those that refuse age verification would be advantaged.
So the government commissioned a voluntary kitemark scheme for AV companies to try and demonstrate to auditors that they keep porn identity and browsing history safely. But really the government couldn't let go of its own surveillance
requirements to keep the browsing history of porn users. Eventually some AV companies won the right to have a scheme that did not log people's browsing history, but most still do maintain a log (justified as 'fraud protection' in the BBFC
kitemark scheme description).
well Now it appears that those that try to avoid the dangers of AV via VPNs may be not s safe as they would hope. The Henry Jackson Society has been researching the VPN industry and has found that 30% of VPNs are owned by Chinese companies that
have direct data paths to the Chinese government.
Surely this will have extreme security issues as privately porn using people could then be set up for blackmail or pressure from the Chinese authorities.
The government needs to put an end to the current AV scheme and go back to the drawing board. It needs to try again, this time with absolute legal requirements to immediately delete porn users identity data and to totally ban the retention of
Anyway, the Henry Jackson Society explains its latest revelations:
Chinese spies could exploit Government's new porn laws to gather compromising material on businessmen, civil servants and public figures, say think tanks.
They say Chinese firms have quietly cornered the market in technology that enables people to access porn sites without having to register their personal details with age verification firms or buy an age ID card in a newsagent.
The new law require those accessing porn sites to prove they are 18 but the checks and registration can be by-passed by signing up to a Virtual Private Network (VPNs). These anonymise the location of a computer by routing its traffic through a
server based at remote locations.
It has now emerged through an investigation by security experts that many of the VPNs are secretly controlled by Chinese owned firms 203 as many as 30% of the networks worldwide.
It means that a VPN users' viewing habits and data can not only be legally requested by the Chinese Government under its lax privacy laws but the VPNs could themselves also be state-controlled, according to the Adam Smith Institute and Henry
Sam Armstrong, spokesman for the Henry Jackson Society, said:
A list of billions of late-night website visits of civil servants, diplomats, and politicians could 203 in the wrong hands -- amount to the largest-ever kompromat file compiled on British individuals.
Those in sensitive jobs are precisely the types of individuals who would seek to use a VPN to circumvent the trip to the newsagent to buy a porn pass.
Yet, the opaque ownership of these VPNs by Chinese firms means there is a real likelihood any browsing going through them could fall into the hands of Chinese intelligence.
Nintendo has made it very clear that they won't be stepping in to ask developers/publishers to censor content on their platforms. They'll leave the content monitoring to game rating organizations, as Nintendo believes those organizations will do
their job and rate games appropriately.
The latest example of Nintendo's hands-off approach is Raspberry Cube in Japan. The PS4 version of the game is cut has been rated CERO C, while the Switch version is uncut had has a higher CERO D rating (17+)
Back in February Kotaku UK reported on a game called Devotion disappearing from Steam , following the discovery of a piece of in-game art that mocked Chinese president Xi Jinping. We checked back in May, and the game had not reappeared .
The Chinese Communist Party, world-famous for its sense of humour, has now decided that merely disappearing this game was not enough. Now it has revoked the business license of one of the game's publishers, Indievent.
Without a business license, you cannot legally operate in China. So that's that for Indievent. worldwide. Devotion was developed by the Taiwanese studio Red Candle, but of course the Chinese market is essential for its economic viability.
And of course another point of this extreme censorship is that it sends a message to game publishers worldwide. Now doubt most of them have an eye on the possibility of sales to China.
It seems that Devotion has been totally sunk by the Winnie the Pooh incident. Red Candle Gamessaid in a statement:
For the past four months, the art asset incident related to Devotion has caused immeasurable harm to Red Candle Games and our partner, (Chinese publisher Indievent),
While mediation is still in progress, Red Candle's co-founders have reached a unanimous decision to not re-release 'Devotion' in the near term, including but not limited to obtaining profit from sales, revision, IP authorization, etc. to prevent
The studio extended its apologies to all impacted teams and personnel, and is taking full responsibility for any and all losses.
Ben McOwen Wilson the head of YouTube UK said that the website not remove drill music videos from the platform saying that they provide a place for those too often without a voice.
He Said that YouTube must work with government and regulators to find a balance on removing content.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, McOwen Wilson had a knock at the vague government internet censorship plan outline in the Online Harms white paper. He said it was right that anything which is illegal offline should not be permitted online, but
added that deciding when to remove videos which were legal but could be considered potentially harmful was a greater issue facing the tech industry. He said:
Drawing a line on content that should be removed isn't always clear. For example, as communities are working to address the issue of gang violence, we too find ourselves developing the right way to play our part.
While some have argued there is no place for drill music on YouTube, we believe we can help provide a place for those too often without a voice.
To strike this balance, we work with the Metropolitan Police, community groups and experts to understand local context and take action where needed.
Offsite Comment: YouTube is right to defend drill
The British state's war on rappers is authoritarian and racist.
Yes I won't read this message. and yes you can do what the fuck you like with my porn browsing data
Yes please do, I waiver all my GDPR rights
Yes I won't read this message. and yes, feel free to blackmail me
Yes you can do anything you like 'to make my viewing experience better'
Yes, no need to ask, I'll tick anything
Digital Minister Margot James has apologised for the six-month delay on the so-called porn block, which had been due to take effect today (16th July). It is designed to force pornography websites to verify users are over 18.
But the law has been delayed twice - most recently because the UK government failed to properly notify European regulators. James told the BBC:
I'm extremely sorry that there has been a delay. I know it sounds incompetent. Mistakes do happen, and I'm terribly sorry that it happened in such an important area,
Of course the fundamental mistake is that the incompetent lawmakers cared only about 'protecting the children' and gave bugger all consideration to the resulting endangerment of the adults visiting porn sites.
It took the government months, but it finally started to dawn on them that perhaps they should do something to protect the identity data that they are forcing porn users to hand over that can then be pinned to their porn browsing history. They
probably still didn't care about porn users but perhaps realised that the scheme would not get of the ground if it proved so toxic that no one would ever sign up for age verification at all.
Well as a belated after thought the government, BBFC and ICO went away to dream up a few standards that perhaps the age verifiers ought to be sticking to try and ensure that data is being kept safe.
So then the whole law ended up as a bag of worms. The authorities now realise that there should be level of data protection, but unfortunately this is not actually backed up by the law that was actually passed. So now the data protection
standards suggested by the government/BBFC/ICO are only voluntary and there remains nothing in law to require the data actually be kept safe. And there is no recourse against anyone who ends up exploiting people's data.
The Open Rights Group have just written an open letter to the government to ask that government to change their flawed law and actually require that porn users' data is kept properly safe:
The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Re: BBFC Age Verification Privacy Certification Scheme
Dear Secretary of State,
We write to ask you to legislate without delay to place a statutory requirement on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to make their privacy certification scheme for age verification providers mandatory. Legislation is also
needed to grant the BBFC powers to require compliance reports and penalise non-compliant providers.
As presently constituted, the BBFC certification scheme will be a disaster. Our analysis report, attached, shows that rather than setting out objective privacy safeguards to which companies must adhere, the scheme allows companies to set their
own rules and then demonstrate that these are being followed. There are no penalties for providers which sign up to the standard and then fail to meet its requirements.
The broadly-drafted, voluntary scheme encourages a race to the bottom on privacy protection. It provides no consistent guarantees for consumers about how their personal data will be safeguarded and puts millions of British citizens at serious
risk of fraud, blackmail or devastating sexual exposure.
The BBFC standard was only published in April. Some age verification providers have admitted that they are not ready. Others have stated that for commercial reasons they will not engage with the scheme. This means that the bureaucratic delay to
age verification's roll-out can now be turned to advantage. The Government needs to use this delay to introduce legislation, or at the least issue guidance under section 27 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, that will ensure the privacy and
security of online users is protected.
We welcome the opportunity to bring this issue to your attention and await your response.
Short video-sharing app TikTok came into the spotlight in India in the spring of this year. The app was accused of facilitating the distribution of pornography.
The app was banned for a while but was restored after it introduced a minimum age of at least 13 for new accounts. It also implemented automatic censorship tools that detected and blocked nudity.
Now the app has reappeared in the spotlight. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Indian ruling party Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has again called for video sharing site TikTok to be banned in India. In a letter to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, the SJM said:
To prevent such applications from operating in India, we would humbly request the creation of a new law that requires testing and also regulation to protect our national security as well as the privacy of Indian users from countries with
inimical interests to India. Until such a law is notified, all such Chinese applications, including TikTok and Helo should be banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In recent weeks, TikTok has become a hub for anti-national content that is being shared extensively on the application. We have been notified of videos advocating views that promote religious violence, anti-Harijan sentiments, and mistreatment
of women. There have also been various instances of deaths being caused due to TikTok across India.
The essence seems to be that if people are going to communicate with anti state ideas then they could at least use an Indian app rather than a Chinese one.
Gears 5 , the forthcoming installment in the Gears of Wars third-person shooter game franchise, will be set in a smoking free environment.
The game, set for Sept. 10 release, comes from Xbox Game Studios and game developer The Coalition. The decision to remove all smoking references from Gears 5 came after the anti-smoking campaigners from Truth Initiative approached media company
Turner has broadcast rights to the title, about making the change. Turner collaborated with The Coalition to strip out smoking from the game.
Past Gears of War titles have included occasional scenes with tobacco use, with certain characters holding cigarettes or cigars.
Of course, Gears 5 still includes a ton of shooting and, arguably, glorifies violence. The game is rated M (for audiences 17+) for blood and gore, strong language and intense violence.
PlayerUnknown's Battleground is a 2017 South Korea Battle Royale by PUBG Corporation
Jordan's game censors at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) have banned PUBG.
A statement claimed that the action came after a wave of complaints from citizens and authorities alike. However, the TRC said one of its main reasons for implementing the ban was a World Health Organization study that classified PUBG as a
violent game leading to addiction and social isolation, further stating that children who play violent games are more violent than their peers.
Director of Beneficiaries Affairs at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), Eng. Mohammad AlWathiq Shaqrah, revealed that after PUBG game was banned in Jordan, the TRC is planning to ban six other video games. He said that Fortnite
is one of the games expected to be banned.
Twitter has blogged about its recent censorship rules update:
Our primary focus is on addressing the risks of offline harm, and research shows that dehumanizing language increases that risk. As a result, after months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we're
expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.
Starting today, we will require Tweets like these to be removed from Twitter when they're reported to us:
Religious groups are viruses. They are making this country sick.
It is always one of the unintended consequences of censorship is that it often applies most to those that are supposed to be in need of protection. Eg religious groups are the ones that are most likely to be pulled up for hate directed at other
So will Twitter ban such bible quotes as:
But [Moses] made his own people go out like sheep -- Distinguishing between them and the Egyptians, as a shepherd divideth between the sheep and the goats, having set his own mark upon these sheep, by the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on their
door-posts. And they went forth as sheep, not knowing whither they went. And guided them in the wilderness -- As a shepherd guides his flock.
Denmark is considering the censorship of social media after an Instagram influencer's suicide note kicked off a controversy.
Instagram personality Fie Laursen posted a suicide note which received 30,000 comments and 8,000 likes. The public suicide note remained online for two days before Laursen herself took it down, having received treatment in a local hospital for an
In the aftermath, Danish Minister of Children and Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil has proposed that influencers and bloggers must adhere to press based rules to avoid 'harm' to the wider public. Rosenkrantz-Theil said:
All journalists are familiar with the press ethics rules that, for example, that one must be careful about talking about suicide in the public space. When managing popular blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers, I think we can make the
Rosenkrantz-Theil proposes the formation of a governmental censorship board to enforce such rules which would be granted the authority to remove material in breach of whatever guidelines were created. The politician also outlined a scenario
whereby the influencers would have to designate three people to have the password for their accounts. These people can then remove a post if they believe it violates the press ethics.
The proposed Press Board would be afforded the right to criticize and ultimately, to censor, offending posts that broke any potential ethical guidelines. The censor's remit would be limited to those influencers with more than 5,000 followers.
A list of banned books is over 118,000 titles long and it's constantly growing, according to a professor from the University of British Collumbia.
Professor Florian Gassner is the co-leader of a project to compile a digital list of censored books that is publicly available and searchable.
The project is called Die Kasseler Liste and it was inspired by an art installation in Germany that recreated the Parthenon using banned books.
Gassner says the first hurdle he and his team of students team had to overcome was deciding what constitutes censorship. They decided to include titles banned by governments as well as books that were taken off the shelves of public institutions
-- like schools and libraries -- after public pressure.
Gassner says government censorship is still a reality in countries like China, Russia, and Nigeria. He doesn't mention the current trend for banning books in the west on grounds of political correctness.
Gassner also wants people to understand that censorship goes beyond book-banning; it limits what can be written in the first place.
From chain-smoking time traveller Nadia in Russian Doll , to frazzled single mom Joyce Byers rarely seen without a pack in her shaking hands in Stranger Things , Netflix's characters love to smoke. But that looks set to change.
Anti smoking campaigners, the Truth Initiative, published campaign material noting that Stranger Things was among the programs that showed most smoking on screen. Other series that featured were Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Orange Is
The New Black.
Netflix is now vowing to curtail the appearance of cigarettes on screen in all its new projects. In a statement to Variety, Netflix pledged to make all their programming aimed at young people -- anything with a rating below PG-13 or TV-14 --
smoking and e-cigarette free, except for reasons of historical and factual accuracy. Meanwhile, for their content aimed at older viewers, there will be no smoking or e-cigarette use unless it's either essential or character-defining.
Laetitia Avia was hailed as a symbol of French diversity when she entered parliament for Emmanuel Macron' s centrist party in 2017. But the daily racist abuse against her on social networks pushed her to draw up an extreme censorship law to put a
stop to her critics.
It states that hateful comments reported by users must be removed within 24 hours by platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. This includes any hateful attack on someone's dignity on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender
identity or disability. If the social media platforms and tech companies do not comply, they will face huge fines of up to 4% of their global revenue. Penalties could reach tens of millions of euros. There will also be a new judiciary body to
focus on online hate.
The online hatred bill will be debated by the French parliament next week and could be fast-tracked into force in the autumn.
The bill is part of Macron's drive to internet censorship. He announced the planned crackdown on online hate at a dinner for Jewish groups last year, amid a rise of antisemitic acts in France, saying that hateful content online must be taken down
fast and all possible techniques put in place to find the identities of those behind it.
Last month, after meetings with Macron, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg agreed to hand over to judges the identification data on its French users suspected of hate speech.
The French law to censor politically incorrect insults on social media websites by the National Assembly on Friday.
Under the French draft law, social media groups would have to put in place tools to allow users to alert them to clearly illicit content related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
In the event a network fails to react in due course and/or offer the necessary means to report such content, they could face fines up to 4 per cent of their global revenues.
France's broadcasting censor, CSA, would be responsible for imposing the sanctions and a dedicated prosecutor's office would be created.
Several internet and freedom of speech advocacy groups have pointed out that bill paves the way for state censorship because it does not clearly define illicit content.
Imposing a 24-hour limit to remove clearly unlawful content is likely to result in significant restrictions on freedoms, such as the overblocking of lawful comments or the misuse of the measure for political censorship purposes, said Quadrature
du Net, a group that advocates free speech on the internet.
The group also highlighted that a law adopted in 2004 already demanded the removal of hateful content, but in a responsive way, leaving enough time to platforms for assessing the seriousness of the content under review.
The bill now passes to the French Senate for further debate.
Google has been accused of blacklisting pro-life YouTube search entries ahead of last year's vote in Ireland on legalizing abortion. Pundits call it a deliberate manipulation and demand that the company be held accountable.
Allegations that Google's manual interference with YouTube search results may have played a role in the 2018 referendum on abortion in Ireland surfaced last week, when Project Veritas website published an insider-based article on the matter.
Blocked terms reportedly included abortion is murder, Irish Catholic, pro-life and other terms.
Google responded, saying that there was no distinction between pro-life or pro-choice queries on YouTube at the time and that their whole procedure was transparent.
This is hardly a credible response from Google, their processes are never transparent, so how can one believe the other half of the statement?