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  About fucking time!...

Virginia lawmaker proposes an end to the state's disgraceful criminalisation of swearing in public


Link Here 17th December 2017
Virginia State SealIn the US state of Virginia, profanity is illegal in public. Many places have anti-profanity signs and the like. Saying 'fuck' in Virginia is a misdemeanor! Although it is a very old law, many people are still charged and can be charged a $250 dollar fine at the minimum .

A state lawmaker from Richmond Virginia is currently attempting to eliminate this censorship law. The conservative Michael Webert is a farmer that believes in the right to free speech and understands that things happen that can trigger people to let out a dirty word. He said:

When I cursed, my mother told me not to and handed me a bar of soap. You shouldn't be hit with a Class 4 misdemeanor.

 

 Offsite Article: Age Verification Dangers...


Link Here 17th December 2017  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
scl tech law logo Pandora Blake offers a full analysis of the dangers and difficulties that come with the introduction of age verification in accordance with the Digital Economy Act 2017

See article from scl.org

 

 Extract: Vladimir Putin must be looking forward to getting his hands on the data...

The UK Will Soon Keep a Permanent Record of Everyone Who Watches Porn. It's beyond insane they're even considering it.


Link Here 16th December 2017

putin keenHere's what worries cybersecurity experts: All age verification options would create a permanent record indicating that a user had visited a porn site. They could possibly even record the porn that the visitor had watched.

Matt Tait, a cybersecurity expert formerly of the GCHQ (the United Kingdom's equivalent of the National Security Agency) who now teaches at the University of Texas, notes that any registration system could be a monumental national security risk. He adds, It's beyond insane they're even considering it. 

Tait envisions a time coming soon, when a British government official will have to give the following message to the Prime Minister:

Sorry Prime Minister, Russia now knows what porn every MP, civil servant and clearance holder watches and when, and we don't know how much of it they've given to Wikileaks.

If porn consumers in the United Kingdom are the losers, Tait suggests there is a potential winner: Vladimir Putin.

...Read the full article from motherjones.com

 

 Offsite Article: You Give Up a Lot of Privacy Just Opening Emails. Here's How to Stop It...


Link Here 16th December 2017
wired logo How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web

See article from wired.com

 

  Government proposes the BBFC as its internet porn censor...

And of course not a word about protecting British business from obliteration, nor about protecting porn viewers from scammers, blackmailers and identity thieves


Link Here 15th December 2017  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites

DCMS logoThe Government has formally proposed that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) be designated as the regulator for the age verification of online pornography in the UK.

Age verification will mean anyone who makes pornography available online on a commercial basis must ensure under 18s in the UK cannot access it. This is part of the Government's continuing work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

The BBFC has unparalleled expertise in classifying content and has a proven track record of interpreting and implementing legislation as the statutory authority for age rating videos under the Video Recordings Act.

This, along with its work with industry on the film classification system and more recently classifying material for mobile network operators, makes them the preferred choice for regulator.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock said:

One of the missions of age verification is to harness the freedom of the internet while mitigating its harms. Offline, as a society we protect children from viewing inappropriate adult material by ensuring pornography is sold responsibly using appropriate age checks. It is now time that the online world follows suit. The BBFC are the best placed in the world to do this important and delicate task.

David Austin, Chief Executive Officer at BBFC said:

The BBFC's primary aim is to protect children and other vulnerable groups from harmful content and we are therefore pleased to accept the Government's proposed designation.

Age-verification barriers will help to prevent children accessing or stumbling across pornographic content online. The UK is leading the way with this age-verification regime and will set an international precedent in child protection.

The government's proposal must be approved by Parliament before the BBFC is officially designated as the age-verification regulator.

The regulator will notify non-compliant pornographic providers, and be able to direct internet service providers to prevent customers accessing these sites. It will also notify payment-services providers and other ancillary service providers of these sites, with the intention that they can withdraw their services.

The Government will shortly also publish guidance on how the regulator should fulfil its duties in relation to age verification.

Response: The BBFC will struggle to ensure that Age Verification is safe, secure and anonymous

15th December 2017 See  article from  strangethingsarehappening.com

open rights group 2016 logo Responding to the news that the BBFC are in line to be appointed Age Verification regulator, Jim Killock Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

The BBFC will struggle to ensure that Age Verification is safe, secure and anonymous. They are powerless to ensure people's privacy.

The major publisher, MindGeek, looks like it will dominate the AV market. We are very worried about their product, AgeID, which could track people's porn use. The way this product develops is completely out of BBFC's hands.

Users will not be able to choose how to access websites. They'll be at the mercy of porn companies. And the blame lies squarely with Theresa May's government for pushing incomplete legislation.

Killock also warned that censorship of porn sites could quickly spiral into hundreds or thousands of sites:

While BBFC say they will only block a few large sites that don't use AV, there are tens of thousands of porn sites. Once MPs work out that AV is failing to make porn inaccessible, some will demand that more and more sites are blocked. BBFC will be pushed to block ever larger numbers of websites.

Response: How to easily get around the UK's porn censorship

15th December 2017 See  article from vpncompare.co.uk

vpn compare logoOf course, in putting together this hugely draconian piece of legislation, the British Government has overlooked one rather glaring point. Any efforts to censor online content in the UK can be easily circumvented by anyone using a VPN.

British-based subscribers to a VPN service such as IPVanish or ExpressVPN will be able to get around any blocked sites simply by connecting to a server in another democratic country which hasn't chosen to block websites with adult content.

As much as Governments try to censor online content, so VPN will offer continue to offer people access to the free and uncontrolled internet they are legally entitled to enjoy.

...Read the full  article from vpncompare.co.uk

 

  Net neutrality becomes net corporate control...

US FCC cedes internet censorship, access and pricing to large corporations


Link Here 15th December 2017  full story: Net Neutrality in USA...US internet censors at FCC seem intent on letting big business take control
fcc logo The US's media censor voted to end rules protecting an open internet on Thursday, a move critics warn will hand control of the future of the web to cable and telecoms companies.

At a packed meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, commissioners voted three to two to dismantle the net neutrality rules that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from charging websites more for delivering certain services or blocking others should they, for example, compete with services the cable company also offers.

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, denounced the move. I dissent because I am among the millions outraged, outraged because the FCC pulls its own teeth, abdicating responsibility to protect the nation's broadband consumers, she said.

Fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC had shown contempt for public opinion during the review. She called the process corrupt. As a result of today's misguided actions, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new powers, she said.

Evan Greer, campaign director for internet activists Fight for the Future, said:

Killing net neutrality in the US will impact internet users all over the world. So many of the best ideas will be lost, squashed by the largest corporations at the expense of the global internet-using public.

Michael Cheah of Vimeo said:

ISPs probably won't immediately begin blocking content outright, given the uproar that this would provoke. What's more likely is a transition to a pay-for-play business model that will ultimately stifle startups and innovation, and lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.

Ignoring the millions of Americans who protested against the end of net neutrality

15th December 2017 See  article from torrentfreak.com

torrentfreak logo In recent months, millions of people have protested the FCC's plan to repeal U.S. net neutrality rules, which were put in place by the Obama administration.

However, an outpouring public outrage , critique from major tech companies, and even warnings from pioneers of the Internet, had no effect. Today the FCC voted to repeal the old rules, effectively ending net neutrality.

Under the net neutrality rules that have been in effect during recent years, ISPs were specifically prohibited from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of lawful traffic. In addition, Internet providers could be regulated as carriers under Title II.

Now that these rules have been repealed, Internet providers will have more freedom to experiment with paid prioritization. Under the new guidelines, they can charge customers extra for access to some online services, or throttle certain types of traffic.

Most critics of the repeal fear that, now that the old net neutrality rules are in the trash, fast lanes for some services, and throttling for others, will become commonplace in the U.S.

This could also mean that BitTorrent traffic becomes a target once again. After all, it was Comcast's secretive BitTorrent throttling that started the broader net neutrality debate, now ten years ago.

Despite repeated distortions and biased information, as well as misguided, inaccurate attacks from detractors, our Internet service is not going to change, writes David Cohen, Comcast's Chief Diversity Officer:

We have repeatedly stated, and reiterate today, that we do not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content.

It's worth highlighting the term lawful in the last sentence. It is by no means a promise that pirate sites won't be blocked.

Why Net Neutrality Repeal Is Extremely Bad News for Porn

15th December 2017 See  article from avn.com

avn logo Within minutes of a party-line Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal rules protecting net neutrality, at least three states announced measures to keep the rules204set up to guarantee a level playing field for internet consumers, users and businesses204in place. New York, California and Washington quickly outlined a mixture of legal actions and legislative moves to keep net neutrality in place, which more than a dozen states expected to follow.

Whether the states can succeed in stopping the Donald Trump-era elimination of the Barack Obama-era net neutrality requirements is of special interest to adult content providers and consumers, because porn appears likely to be among the hardest hit of all industries affected by the rollback.

Why? Because porn comprises about one third of all internet traffic, and there are an estimated 800 million pages of porn on the World Wide Web, meaning that the giant corporations that now control internet access for most Americans will envision almost unimaginable profits to be reaped from slapping users with extra fees to access their favorite adult content.

 

  But not a word about politicians failing to look after the people...

Standards in Public Life call for the social media censorship of people slagging off politicians


Link Here 15th December 2017
intimidation in public life This is a disgraceful report showing that politicians think that they can escape criticism by censoring the likes of Facebook and Twitter. As far as I can see the entire report is a one sided affair trying to censor the storm of Twitter insults received by politicians, notably Dianne Abbot.

Not once does it mention that some of the criticism may be deserved. Perhaps if politicians want a more pleasant reception from the people, then perhaps that they should do such simple things as not fiddle expenses, answer people's questions, and not steer every single TV sentence into a chance to repeat inane political slogans. And then of course perhaps they should listen and respond to the people's concern about losing their jobs, housing, benefits and use of the NHS. And whilst they are at it get more houses built. Fuck 'em, they deserve to be slagged off.

Anyway they try to justify the censorship in their press release:

The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life today published its report on intimidation in public life.

The independent Committee, which advises the Prime Minister on standards of conduct across public life, has made a package of recommendations to address the threats and intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates and others. The recommendations include:

  • Government should bring forward legislation to shift the liability of illegal content online towards social media companies.

  • Social media companies must ensure they are able to make decisions quickly and consistently on the takedown of intimidatory content online

  • Government should consult on the introduction of a new offence in electoral law of intimidating Parliamentary candidates and party campaigners.

  • The political parties must work together to develop a joint code of conduct on intimidatory behaviour during election campaigns by December 2018. The code should be jointly enforced by the political parties.

  • The National Police Chiefs Council should ensure that local police forces have sufficient training to enable them to effectively investigate offences committed through social media.

Lord Bew, Chair of the Committee, said:

This level of vile and threatening behaviour, albeit by a minority of people, against those standing for public office is unacceptable in a healthy democracy. We cannot get to a point where people are put off standing, retreat from debate, and even fear for their lives as a result of their engagement in politics. This is not about protecting elites or stifling debate, it is about ensuring we have a vigorous democracy in which participants engage in a responsible way which recognises others' rights to participate and to hold different points of view.

The increasing scale and intensity of this issue demands a serious response. We are not alone in believing that more must be done to combat online behaviour in particular and we have been persuaded that the time has come for the government to legislate to shift the liability for illegal content online towards social media companies, and to consult on the introduction of a new electoral offence.

We believe that the parties themselves must show greater leadership. They must call out members who engage in this appalling behaviour, and make sure appropriate sanctions are imposed swiftly and consistently. They have an important duty of care to their candidates, members and supporters. Intimidation takes place across the political spectrum, both in terms of those engaging in and those receiving intimidation. The leadership of political parties must recognise this.

We have heard evidence that intimidatory behaviour can stem from of our current political culture, with low levels of trust in politicians and a feeling of frustration and alienation by some people. Against that backdrop, it is down to all in public life to play their part in restoring and protecting our public political culture by setting a tone which respects the right of every individual to participate and does not, however inadvertently, open a door to intimidation.

Many of the recommendations we are making today are not limited solely to election periods but will have wider relevance across our public life.

Index rejects UK committee's recommendation to outsource censorship

15th December 2017 See  statement from indexoncensorship.org

Index on Censorship logoIndex on Censorship rejects many of the suggestions made in a report into intimidation of UK public officials by a committee tasked with examining standards in public life.

The report recommends 204 among other things 204 creating legislation to make social media companies liable for illegal content and increasing the use of automation to remove content that is not only illegal but intimidatory.

Like many such reports, the report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life makes the mistake of lumping together illegal content, intimidatory content 204 which the committee itself admits is hard to define 204 and abusive content, said Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship.

While some content outlined in the report 204 such as threats of rape 204 can clearly be defined as harassing or intimidatory in nature, deciding whether content is illegal or not largely depends on understanding the context 204 and that is something that neither 'automated techniques' nor speedy removals can address.

We are deeply worried by the growing trend in which democratic governments devolve responsibility for making decisions that should be made by the police or the judiciary to unaccountable private bodies to censor speech.

In addition to a number of recommendations for social media companies to take action, the committee's report also recommends that press regulators should extend their codes of conduct to include intimidatory behaviour.

This report uses language that would not be out of place in any dictator's handbook, said Ginsberg. The idea that the press should include in their code of conduct an element that addresses whether content could 'unduly undermine public trust in the political system' sounds like a gift to any politician wanting to challenge reports with which they disagree. Rather than enhance democracy and freedoms, as this report claims to want to do, this risks damaging it further.

Index welcomes the fact that the committee deemed new criminal offences specific to social media unnecessary, but cautions that devolving power to social media companies to police content could have significant risks in scooping up legitimate as well as illegal content because of the sheer volume of material being posted online every second.

Index would also strongly caution against any engagement with other governments at the international level on what constitutes hate crime and intimidation online that could result in a race to the bottom that adds further global restrictions on speech.

 

  Internet censorship bill being trafficked through Congress...

US Bill to force internet companies to ban adverts for sex workers in the name of preventing trafficking advances


Link Here 14th December 2017

Electronic Frontier Foundation The House Judiciary Committee is about to decide whether to approve a new version of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865 ), a bill that would force online platforms to police their users' speech more closely.

The new version of FOSTA improves a deeply problematic bill, but it still represents the same fundamentally flawed approach to fighting criminal activity online. Like the earlier version of FOSTA --and like SESTA ( S. 1693 ), its sibling bill in the Senate --the new version of FOSTA would do nothing to fight traffickers . What it would do is create more risk of criminal and civil liability for online platforms, resulting in them pushing legitimate voices offline.Closing Online Spaces Won't End Trafficking

Automated filters can be useful as an aid to transparent, human moderation, but when they're given the final say over who can and can't speak online, innocent users are invariably pushed offline.

One of the most egregious problems with FOSTA and SESTA is the difficulty of determining whether a given posting online was created in aid of sex trafficking. Even if you can assess that a given posting is an advertisement for sex work--which can be far from obvious--how can a platform determine whether force or coercion played a role? Under SESTA, that uncertainty would force platforms to err on the side of censorship.

SESTA supporters consistently underestimate this difficulty, even suggesting it should be trivial for web platforms to build bots that remove posts in aid of sex trafficking but keep everything else up. That's simply not true: automated filters can be useful as an aid to transparent, human moderation, but when they're given the final say over who can and can't speak online, innocent users are invariably pushed offline .

The House Judiciary Committee appears to have attempted to sidestep this problem, but it's potentially created a larger problem in the process. That's because the new version of FOSTA isn't primarily a sex trafficking bill; it's a prostitution bill. This bill would expand federal prostitution law such that online platforms would have to take down any posts that could potentially be in support of any sex work, regardless of whether there's any indication of force or coercion, or whether minors were involved.

The bill includes increased penalties if a court finds that the offense constituted a violation of federal sex trafficking law, or that a platform facilitated prostitution of five or more people. As Professor Eric Goldman points out in his excellent analysis of the bill , the threshold of five prostitutes would implicate nearly any online platform that facilitates prostitution. If a prosecutor could convince a judge that a platform had had the intent to facilitate prostitution, then those enhanced penalties would be on the table.

It's easy to see the effect that those extreme penalties would have on online speech. The bill would push platforms to become more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech, out of fear of criminal liability if a court found that they'd had the intent to facilitate prostitution. Ironically, such measures would make it more difficult for law enforcement to find and stop traffickers .Section 230 Is Still Not Broken

Some supporters of SESTA and FOSTA wrongly claim that Section 230 (the law protecting online platforms from some types of liability for their users' speech) prevents any civil lawsuits against online intermediaries for user-created material that they host. That's not true. Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com set a standard for when a platform loses Section 230 immunity in civil litigation --when the intermediary has contributed to the illegal nature of the content. As the Ninth Circuit said: A website helps to develop unlawful content, and thus falls within the exception to Section 230, if it contributes materially to the alleged illegality of the conduct.

We think the authors of this new version of FOSTA attempted to acknowledge the Roommates.com line of cases that discuss when a platform will lose Section 230 immunity against a civil claim. However, courts assume that Congress doesn't write superfluous language. With that in mind, the new FOSTA can be read to authorize civil claims against platforms for user-generated content beyond what existing case law has allowed. The bill would allow civil suits against platforms that were responsible for the creation or development of all or part of the information or content provided through any interactive computer service.

That distinction between contributing to part of the content and materially contributing to the illegal nature of the content is an extremely important one. The former could describe routine tasks that online community managers perform every day. It's dangerous to pass a bill that could create civil liability for the everyday work of running a discussion board or other online platform. The liability would be too high to stay in business, particularly for nonprofit and community-based platforms.Bottom Line: SESTA and FOSTA Are the Wrong Approach

With this new version of FOSTA, House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte and his colleagues on the Committee have clearly attempted to narrow the types of platforms that would be liable for third-party content that reflects sex trafficking. But a less bad bill is not the same thing as a good bill. Like SESTA, the proposed new FOSTA bill would result in platforms becoming more restrictive in how they manage their online communities. And like SESTA, it would do nothing to fight sex traffickers.

Supporting bills like FOSTA and SESTA might help members of Congress score political points with their constituents, but Congress must do better. It's urgent that Congress seek real solutions to finding and apprehending sex traffickers, not creating more censorship online.

Update: Passed by the House Judiciary Committee

14th December 2017  See  article from xbiz.com

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed a new version of H.R. 1865, a bill that would allow federal authorities the ability to prosecute sites where sex workers advertise and communicate with clients 204 even if the sexual exchange is only alluded to and never completed.

 

 Updated: Intolerant ethics...

Egyptian authorities get nasty over a sexy pop video


Link Here 13th December 2017
shyma video Egyptian singer Shyma has been arrested on suspicion of incitement to debauchery over her new video for song Andy Zoroof (I Have Problems), which authorities considered to be too daring and suggestive.

If convicted, the singer faces a one-year prison sentence, and in the mean time she is being held in custody.

At a court hearing where the singer's detention was extended by a further seven days, the singer stated she didn't know her video would cause such controversy and was acting according to the video director's requests.

Additionally, the Music Syndicate have decided to withdraw the singer's annual license, leaving her unable to perform and earn a living as a singer. The union also claimed that her video was pornographic and harmed the values of community and ethics.

The video, which sparked outrage in the country, features the singer in a classroom in front of male students licking an apple and slowly unpeeling a banana, eating it and pouring milk on it, and worst of all, pulling her bra strap off her shoulder.

Update: Jailed for 2 years

13th December 2017 See  article from theguardian.com

Shyma has now been sentenced to two years in prison for inciting debauchery in a racy music video clip. She was also fined 10,000 pounds (420) by a Cairo court.

The director of the clip, Mohamed Gamal, received the same sentence. Both can appeal against the ruling.

 

  Justifying the protests...

Polish government appointed TV censors fine TV company for covering protests against the government


Link Here 12th December 2017
tvn logoPoland's TV censors of the National Broadcasting Council have fined a private television channel, TVN, for its coverage of opposition demonstrations in Warsaw last year. The fine amounted to about 311,000.

The council's five board members were either appointed by the Law and Justice majority in parliament or by the president, himself a former member of Law and Justice.

The council claimed the station's prominent coverage had promoted illegal activities and encouraged behaviour that threatened security.

Opponents of Poland's right-wing government have pointed out that the council's decision amounted to censorship.

The demonstrations in December 2016 were sparked by the plans of the governing party Law and Justice to limit the number of journalists and television stations allowed to cover parliamentary proceedings. The proposals were largely dropped.

The censors ruled that the coverage by TVN's 24-hour news channel broke the law because it showed opposition politicians encouraging more people to show their disapproval of the government.

TVN is a US-owned broadcaster and is often critical of the right-wing government. The channel said in a statement that it disagreed with the decision and would appeal against the regulator's decision.

 

  Tip toeing around homophobia...

Russian ballet Nureyev premieres at the Bolshoi but only after cuts and a director on house arrest


Link Here 11th December 2017
hypeebOn Saturday, five months late, Russia's most controversial ballet in years opened at the Bolshoi.

Nureyev , which traces the life and Aids-related death of Soviet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, had been pulled just two days before its scheduled premiere in July. Insiders suggested the ballet's frank treatment of homosexuality -- and a reported intervention by the culture ministry -- lay behind the dramatic decision to cancel. The parallel investigation and August arrest of the ballet's director, Kirill Serebrennikov, added to those suspicions. Right up until the last moment, there were doubts that the premiere would ever happen.

The Cannes-winning director remains under house arrest, awaiting trial. He is unable to work, talk to the press or see his elderly, infirm parents. He was not allowed to play any direct role in the final preparations of the ballet. State investigators accuse him of embezzlement but it seems more likely that the arrest is more to do with Russian hatred of gay culture.

The ballet has also suffered a notable cut from the version originally planned. The original version of the production, seen in leaked rehearsal videos, included the projection of a famous picture from Avedon's photoshoot of Nureyev in full-frontal mod. Insiders reported that it was this detail that had proven to be the most controversial for authorities. By Saturday, the 10-second scene had been cut, rather undermining the theatre's narrative that politics had not played a role in the original cancellation.

 

  The Sunflower Award...

Katy Perry has been honoured by being banned from performing in China again


Link Here 10th December 2017  full story: Performers Censored in China...Quick to ban and censor star performers from the west
kety perry in sunflower dressUS singer Katy Perry has become the latest artist to be banned from China.

The indefinite ban is apparently due to her wearing a sunflower dress at her 2015 concert in Taiwan capital Taipei. The sunflower has become a symbol of the anti-China movement in Taiwan. At the same concert, the singer also draped a Taiwan flag on herself.

The singer wore the same dress when performing a little later in Shanghai and so has ended up on China's never again list.

 

 Offsite Article: Too much fun on Twitch...


Link Here 10th December 2017
twitch logo Miserable calls for Twitch to police sexual streaming'

See article from bbc.com

 

 Offiste Article: Having a laugh...

The disgraceful US internet censors of the FCC seem intent on handing over control of people's internet access to big business. And FCC boss Ajit Pai has been caught joking about it


Link Here 10th December 2017  full story: Net Neutrality in USA...US internet censors at FCC seem intent on letting big business take control
ajit pai

 

 

  An army of censors but I bet terrorism will continue unabated...

Google to employ an army of 10,000 internet censors


Link Here 9th December 2017  full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
YouTube logoGoogle is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000. The censors' primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.

Human censors have already reviewed over 2 million videos since June. YouTube has already removed over 150,000 videos, 50 percent of which were removed within two hours of upload. The company is working to accelerate the rate of takedown through machine-learning from manual censorship.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explained the move in an official blog post:

Human reviewers remain essential to both removing content and training machine learning systems because human judgment is critical to making contextualized decisions on content. Since June, our trust and safety teams have manually reviewed nearly 2 million videos for violent extremist content, helping train our machine-learning technology to identify similar videos in the future. We are also taking aggressive action on comments, launching new comment moderation tools and in some cases shutting down comments altogether. In the last few weeks we've used machine learning to help human reviewers find and terminate hundreds of accounts and shut down hundreds of thousands of comments. Our teams also work closely with NCMEC, the IWF, and other child safety organizations around the world to report predatory behavior and accounts to the correct law enforcement agencies.

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

At the same time, we are expanding the network of academics, industry groups and subject matter experts who we can learn from and support to help us better understand emerging issues.

We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly and efficiently remove content that violates our guidelines. In June we deployed this technology to flag violent extremist content for human review and we've seen tremendous progress.

  • Since June we have removed over 150,000 videos for violent extremism.

  • Machine learning is helping our human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos than they were previously.

  • Today, 98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms.

  • Our advances in machine learning let us now take down nearly 70 percent of violent extremist content within eight hours of upload and nearly half of it in two hours and we continue to accelerate that speed.

  • Since we started using machine learning to flag violent and extremist content in June, the technology has reviewed and flagged content that would have taken 180,000 people working 40 hours a week to assess.

 

  Threatening legislation...

European Commission weighs in with threats of legislation to force social media companies to censor jihadist content


Link Here 8th December 2017
european commission logoThe European Commission has joined the list of organisations calling on the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to remove extremist content - or face further legislation.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned the real battlefield is against 21st century terrorism. He said most of the recent terrorist attackers had never travelled to Syria or Iraq. But most of them had been influenced, groomed and recruited to terrorism on the internet.

Avramopoulos said he believed it was feasible to reduce the time it takes to remove content to a few hours. There is a lot of room for improvement, for this cooperation to produce even better results.

Avramopoulos also said he thought it was worthwhile to harness artificial intelligence to complete the task. You now.. like Facebook censoring Robin Redbreast Christmas cards because the word 'breast' appeared in filenames.

The Commission said it would make a decision by May next year on whether additional measures -- including legislation -- are required in order to better address the problem of illegal content on the internet.

 

  More censorship...

After a nasty court case, feminists call for a ban of unrealistic porn with a rape theme


Link Here 8th December 2017
Old BaileyCharlie Pearce has been convicted of attempted murder. He was obsessed with sexually violent images when he raped and bludgeoned his victim on his 17th birthday, leaving her for dead.

Feminists have used the case to call for an extension to Britain's porn censorship laws about violent porn in particular, and of course, for a wider ban of porn. Sarah Green, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said:

This case is extremely disturbing and the age of the offender should alarm us all. The evidence about his searches for online porn before the attack tell us that we urgently need public discussion about the contents of contemporary online pornography, its accessibility and what is known about the way it influences those who use it.

It is currently a criminal offence in England and Wales to possess pornographic material which is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene and explicitly and realistically depicts life threatening and serious injury.

However pornographic material that is obviously scripted and not realistic is legal. Feminists claim the vast majority of images depicting rape are therefore lawful to possess.

 

  Maybe YouTube and Facebook would have to shutdown in Australia...

Big media companies persuade Australian Government to exclude YouTube and Facebook from internet safe harbour protection


Link Here 8th December 2017
australian government logoBack in March, Australia shelved plans to extend its copyright safe harbor provisions to services such as Google and Facebook. Now, following consultations with the entertainment industries, the government has revealed it will indeed exclude such platforms from safe harbour provisions.

Services such as Google, Facebook and YouTube now face massive legal uncertainty as they themselves can be held responsible for copyright infringing posts by users. The logical result would be that the companies will have to check every post before upload. The vast quantity of posts to check would make this an economically unviable option.

Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act earlier this year would've seen enhanced safe harbor protections for such platforms but they were withdrawn at the eleventh hour due to lobbying by media companies. Such companies accuse platforms like YouTube of exploiting safe harbor provisions in the US and Europe, which forces copyright holders into an expensive battle to have infringing content taken down.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has confirmed the exclusions, so now it is up to Google and Facebook to consider how they can operate under this law.

 

  Sh! Don't tell the Tories, they'd use it as another weapon to bash the unemployed...

Iranian government dreams up an internet censorship scheme with personalised website blocking according to age and occupation


Link Here 7th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Iraq...Draconian penalties for the usual computer offences
Iran flagIran's telecommunications minister says that his ministry wants to customize Internet blocking based on user's occupation, age, and other factors.

The attorney general's office has conditionally agreed with this plan, Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi announced on December 4.

Without providing any details, he said his ministry had reviewed suggestions made by the attorney general and prepared appropriate technical responses. He expressed hope that the office would give its final approval for the implementation of the plan.

Despite the regime's extenisve efforts to censor the Internet, Iranian users currently get around the restrictions by using anti-filtering programs or virtual private networks.

 

 Offsite Article A score settler's charter...


Link Here 7th December 2017
police nottinghamshire logo Nottingham Police in conjunction with feminist extremists propose making perceived sexism an aggravating factor for consideration in court punishments, without even running it past parliament

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  The 15:17 to Paris...

Warner Brothers appeal to the MPAA for a PG-13 rating for their latest Clint Eastwood film


Link Here 6th December 2017
15 17 to parisThe 15:17 To Paris is a 2018 USA drama by Clint Eastwood.
Starring Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer and Jaleel White. IMDb

American soldiers discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.

The Warner Bros film was submitted to the MPAA in December 2017 and was rated R for a sequence of violence and bloody images. The distributors are now appealing to the CARA Appeals Board, presumably seeking a PG-13 rating.

 


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