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Facebook's Independent Oversight Board...

Facebook sets out a plans for a top level body to decide upon censorship policy and to arbitrate on cases brought by Facebook, and later, Facebook users


Link Here 18th September 2019
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Mark Zuckerberg has previously described plans to create a high level oversight board to decide upon censorship issues with a wider consideration than just Facebook interests. He suggested that national government interests should be considered at this top level of policy making. Zuckerberg wrote:

We are responsible for enforcing our policies every day and we make millions of content decisions every week. But ultimately I don't believe private companies like ours should be making so many important decisions about speech on our own. That's why I've called for governments to set clearer standards around harmful content. It's also why we're now giving people a way to appeal our content decisions by establishing the independent Oversight Board.

If someone disagrees with a decision we've made, they can appeal to us first, and soon they will be able to further appeal to this independent board. The board's decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it. The board will use our values to inform its decisions and explain its reasoning openly and in a way that protects people's privacy.

The board will be an advocate for our community -- supporting people's right to free expression, and making sure we fulfill our responsibility to keep people safe. As an independent organization, we hope it gives people confidence that their views will be heard, and that Facebook doesn't have the ultimate power over their expression. Just as our Board of Directors keeps Facebook accountable to our shareholders, we believe the Oversight Board can do the same for our community.

As well as a detailed charter, Facebook provided a summary of the design of the board.

Along with the charter, we are providing a summary which breaks down the elements from the draft charter , the feedback we've received, and the rationale behind our decisions in relation to both. Many issues have spurred healthy and constructive debate. Four areas in particular were:

  • Governance: The majority of people we consulted supported our decision to establish an independent trust. They felt that this could help ensure the board's independence, while also providing a means to provide additional accountability checks. The trust will provide the infrastructure to support and compensate the Board.

  • Membership: We are committed to selecting a diverse and qualified group of 40 board members, who will serve three-year terms. We agreed with feedback that Facebook alone should not name the entire board. Therefore, Facebook will select a small group of initial members, who will help with the selection of additional members. Thereafter, the board itself will take the lead in selecting all future members, as explained in this post . The trust will formally appoint members.

  • Precedent: Regarding the board, the charter confirms that panels will be expected, in general, to defer to past decisions. This reflects the feedback received during the public consultation period. The board can also request that its decision be applied to other instances or reproductions of the same content on Facebook. In such cases, Facebook will do so, to the extent technically and operationally feasible.

  • Implementation : Facebook will promptly implement the board's content decisions, which are binding. In addition, the board may issue policy recommendations to Facebook, as part of its overall judgment on each individual case. This is how it was envisioned that the board's decisions will have lasting influence over Facebook's policies, procedures and practices.

Process

Both Facebook and its users will be able to refer cases to the board for review. For now, the board will begin its operations by hearing Facebook-initiated cases. The system for users to initiate appeals to the board will be made available over the first half of 2020.

Over the next few months, we will continue testing our assumptions and ensuring the board's operational readiness. In addition, we will focus on sourcing and selecting of board members, finalizing the bylaws that will complement the charter, and working toward having the board deliberate on its first cases early in 2020.

 

 

Subscribers Only: Melon Farmers Newsletter 17th September 2019...


Link Here 18th September 2019
Editorial comments about an 18 rated Rambo, new symbols for the BBFC, and Australia and Ireland considering strict age verification for porn

See article from patreon.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Combating Hate and Extremism...


Link Here 18th September 2019
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook reports on how it developing capabilities to combat terrorism and hateful content

See article from newsroom.fb.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Beyond redemption...


Link Here 18th September 2019
Chinese news channel hires ex Ofcom bigwig for reputation management after a disgraceful reporting incident, only for him to resign when he sees how the channel handled the Hong Kong protests

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Next will be the problem of fake flags...

Instagram adds facility to flag posts as 'fake news'


Link Here 17th September 2019
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship
Facebook has launched a new feature allowing Instagram users to flag posts they claim contain fake news to its fact-checking partners for vetting.

The move is part of a wider raft of measures the social media giant has taken to appease the authorities who claim that 'fake news' is the root of all social ills.

Launched in December 2016 following the controversy surrounding the impact of Russian meddling and online fake news in the US presidential election, Facebook's partnership now involves more than 50 independent 'fact-checkers' in over 30 countries .

The new flagging feature for Instagram users was first introduced in the US in mid-August and has now been rolled out globally.

Users can report potentially false posts by clicking or tapping on the three dots that appear in the top right-hand corner, selecting report, it's inappropriate and then false information.

No doubt the facility will be more likely to report posts that people don't like rather for 'false information'.

 

 

Endangering porn users doesn't qualify as online safety...

Ireland decides that age verification for porn is not a priority and will not be included in the upcoming online safety bill


Link Here 16th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Ireland...Ireland considers the UK's lead in censoring porn and social media
The Irish Communications Minister Richard Bruton has scrapped plans to introduce restrictions on access to porn in a new online safety bill, saying they are not a priority.

The Government said in June it would consider following a UK plan to block pornographic material until an internet user proves they are over 18. However, the British block has run into administrative problems and been delayed until later this year.

Bruton said such a measure in Ireland is not a priority in the Online Safety Bill, a draft of which he said would be published before the end of the year.

It's not the top priority. We want to do what we committed to do, we want to have the codes of practice, he said at the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in. We want to have the online commissioner - those are the priorities we are committed to.

An online safety commissioner will have the power to enforce the online safety code and may in some cases be able to force social media companies to remove or restrict access. The commissioner will have responsibility for ensuring that large digital media companies play their part in ensuring the code is complied with. It will also be regularly reviewed and updated.

Bruton's bill will allow for a more comprehensive complaint procedure for users and alert the commissioner to any alleged dereliction of duty. The Government has been looking at Australia's pursuit of improved internet safety.

 

 

Offsite Article: Government interference in the commercial arrangements between large companies and Facebook...


Link Here 16th September 2019
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook has some strong words for an Australian government inquiry looking into ideas to censor the internet

See article from businessinsider.com.au

 

 

Offsite Article: British ISPs fight to make the web LESS secure...


Link Here 15th September 2019
Full story: UK Concerns over Encrypted DNS...UK internet censors vs DNS over HTTPS
Why Britain's broadband providers are worried about a new technology that guards against online snooping

See article from itpro.co.uk

 

 

Google Purse...

Google pays a small fine for not implementing Russian internet censorship demands


Link Here 14th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Google has paid a fine for failing to block access to certain websites banned in Russia.

Roscomnadzor, the Russian government's internet and media censor, said that Google paid a fine of 700,000 rubles ($10,900) related to the company's refusal to fully comply with rules imposed under the country's censorship regime.

Search engines are prohibited under Russian law from displaying banned websites in the results shown to users, and companies like Google are asked to adhere to a regularly updated blacklist maintained by Roscomnadzor.

Google does not fully comply with the blacklist, however, and more than a third of the websites banned in Russia could be found using its search engine, Roscomnadzor said previously.

No doubt Russia is no working on increased fines for future transgressions.

 

 

Russia recommends...

Calls to block email services Mailbox and Scryptmail for being to secure


Link Here 14th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia's powerful internal security agency FSB  has enlisted the help of the telecommunications, IT and media censor Roskomnadzor to ask a court to block Mailbox and Scryptmail email providers.

It seems that the services failed to register with the authorities as required by Russian law. Both are marketed as focusing strongly on the privacy segment and offering end-to-end encryption.

News source RBK noted that the process to block the two email providers will in legal terms follow the model applied to the Telegram messaging service -- adding, however, that imperfections in the blocking system are resulting in Telegram's continued availability in Russia.

On the other hand, some experts argued that it will be easier to block an email service than a messenger like Telegram. In any case, Russia is preparing to a new law to come into effect on November 1 that will see the deployment of Deep Packet Inspection equipment, which should result in more efficient blocking of services.

 

 

But will Australia give a little more thought than the UK to keeping porn users safe?...

Australian government initiates a parliamentary investigation into age verification requirements for viewing internet porn


Link Here 13th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship

A parliamentary committee initiated by the Australian government will investigate how porn websites can verify Australians visiting their websites are over 18, in a move based on the troubled UK age verification system.

The family and social services minister, Anne Ruston, and the minister for communications, Paul Fletcher, referred the matter for inquiry to the House of Representatives standing committee on social policy and legal affairs.

The committee will examine how age verification works for online gambling websites, and see if that can be applied to porn sites. According to the inquiry's terms of reference, the committee will examine whether such a system would push adults into unregulated markets, whether it would potentially lead to privacy breaches, and impact freedom of expression.

The committee has specifically been tasked to examine the UK's version of this system, in the UK Digital Economy Act 2017.

Hopefully they will understand better than UK lawmakers that it is paramount importance that legislation is enacted to keep people's porn browsing information totally safe from snoopers, hackers and those that want to make money selling it.

 

 

Firefox Private Network...

Firefox is testing a version in the US which includes a VPN


Link Here 13th September 2019
One of the key learnings from recent events is that there is growing demand for privacy features. The Firefox Private Network is an extension which provides a secure, encrypted path to the web to protect your connection and your personal information anywhere and everywhere you use your Firefox browser.

There are many ways that your personal information and data are exposed: online threats are everywhere, whether it's through phishing emails or data breaches. You may often find yourself taking advantage of the free WiFi at the doctor's office, airport or a cafe. There can be dozens of people using the same network -- casually checking the web and getting social media updates. This leaves your personal information vulnerable to those who may be lurking, waiting to take advantage of this situation to gain access to your personal info. Using the Firefox Private Network helps protect you from hackers lurking in plain sight on public connections. To learn more about Firefox Private Network, its key features and how it works exactly, please take a look at this blog post .

As a Firefox user and account holder in the US, you can start testing the Firefox Private Network today . A Firefox account allows you to be one of the first to test potential new products and services when we make them available in Europe, so sign up today and stay tuned for further news and the Firefox Private Network coming to your location soon!

 

 

Immersive and addictive technologies report published...

Parliamentary committee whinges about the lack of age verification in games and their monetisation via loot boxes


Link Here 12th September 2019
Full story: Harmful Content...Parliament Inquiry: Internet And In Video Games:

Call to regulate video game loot boxes under gambling law and ban their sale to children among measures needed to protect players, say MPs. Lack of honesty and transparency reported among representatives of some games and social media companies in giving evidence.

The wide-ranging report calls upon games companies to accept responsibility for addictive gaming disorders, protect their players from potential harms due to excessive play-time and spending, and along with social media companies introduce more effective age verification tools for users.

The immersive and addictive technologies inquiry investigated how games companies operate across a range of social media platforms and other technologies, generating vast amounts of user data and operating business models that maximise player engagement in a lucrative and growing global industry.

Sale of loot boxes to children should be banned Government should regulate loot boxes under the Gambling Act Games industry must face up to responsibilities to protect players from potential harms Industry levy to support independent research on long-term effects of gaming Serious concern at lack of effective system to keep children off age-restricted platforms and games

MPs on the Committee have previously called for a new Online Harms regulator to hold social media platforms accountable for content or activity that harms individual users. They say the new regulator should also be empowered to gather data and take action regarding addictive games design from companies and behaviour from consumers. E-sports, competitive games played to an online audience, should adopt and enforce the same duty of care practices enshrined in physical sports. Finally, the MPs say social media platforms must have clear procedures to take down misleading deep-fake videos 203 an obligation they want to be enforced by a new Online Harms regulator.

In a first for Parliament, representatives of major games including Fortnite maker Epic Games and social media platforms Snapchat and Instagram gave evidence on the design of their games and platforms.

DCMS Committee Chair Damian Collins MP said:

Social media platforms and online games makers are locked in a relentless battle to capture ever more of people's attention, time and money. Their business models are built on this, but it's time for them to be more responsible in dealing with the harms these technologies can cause for some users.

Loot boxes are particularly lucrative for games companies but come at a high cost, particularly for problem gamblers, while exposing children to potential harm. Buying a loot box is playing a game of chance and it is high time the gambling laws caught up. We challenge the Government to explain why loot boxes should be exempt from the Gambling Act.

Gaming contributes to a global industry that generates billions in revenue. It is unacceptable that some companies with millions of users and children among them should be so ill-equipped to talk to us about the potential harm of their products.

Gaming disorder based on excessive and addictive game play has been recognised by the World Health Organisation. It's time for games companies to use the huge quantities of data they gather about their players, to do more to proactively identify vulnerable gamers.

Both games companies and the social media platforms need to establish effective age verification tools. They currently do not exist on any of the major platforms which rely on self-certification from children and adults.

Social media firms need to take action against known deepfake films, particularly when they have been designed to distort the appearance of people in an attempt to maliciously damage their public reputation, as was seen with the recent film of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Regulate 'loot boxes' under the Gambling Act:

Loot box mechanics were found to be integral to major games companies' revenues, with further evidence that they facilitated profits from problem gamblers. The Report found current gambling legislation that excludes loot boxes because they do not meet the regulatory definition failed to adequately reflect people's real-world experiences of spending in games. Loot boxes that can be bought with real-world money and do not reveal their contents in advance should be considered games of chance played for money's worth and regulated by the Gambling Act.

Evidence from gamers highlighted the loot box mechanics in Electronic Arts's FIFA series with one gamer disclosing spending of up to 1000 a year.

The Report calls for loot boxes that contain the element of chance not to be sold to children playing games and instead be earned through in-game credits. In the absence of research on potential harms caused by exposing children to gambling, it calls for the precautionary principle to apply. In addition, better labelling should ensure that games containing loot boxes carry parental advisories or descriptors outlining that they feature gambling content.

  • The Government should bring forward regulations under section 6 of the Gambling Act 2005 in the next parliamentary session to specify that loot boxes are a game of chance. If it determines not to regulate loot boxes under the Act at this time, the Government should produce a paper clearly stating the reasons why it does not consider loot boxes paid for with real-world currency to be a game of chance played for money's worth.

  • UK Government should advise PEGI to apply the existing 'gambling' content labelling, and corresponding age limits, to games containing loot boxes that can be purchased for real-world money and do not reveal their contents before purchase.

Safeguarding younger players:

With three-quarters of those aged 5 to 15 playing online games, MPs express serious concern at the lack of an effective system to keep children off age-restricted platforms and games. Evidence received highlighted challenges with age verification and suggested that some companies are not enforcing age restrictions effectively.

Legislation may be needed to protect children from playing games that are not appropriate for their age. The Report identifies inconsistencies in age-ratings stemming from the games industry's self-regulation around the distribution of games. For example, online games are not subject to a legally enforceable age-rating system and voluntary ratings are used instead. Games companies should not assume that the responsibility to enforce age-ratings applies exclusively to the main delivery platforms: all companies and platforms that are making games available online should uphold the highest standards of enforcing age-ratings.

 

 

Chinese AI to instil dumb obedience...

Internet censors demand that AI and algorithms point users towards 'mainstream values


Link Here 12th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
China's internet censor has ordered online AI algorithms to promote 'mainstream values':
  • Systems should direct users to approved material on subjects like Xi Jinping Thought, or which showcase the country's economic and social development, Cyberspace Administration of China says
  • They should not recommend content that undermines national security, or is sexually suggestive, promotes extravagant lifestyles, or hypes celebrity gossip and scandals

The Cyberspace Administration of China released its draft regulations on managing the cyberspace ecosystem on Tuesday in another sign of how the ruling Communist Party is increasingly turning to technology to cement its ideological control over society.

The proposals will be open for public consultation for a month and are expected to go into effect later in the year.

The latest rules point to a strategy to use AI-driven algorithms to expand the reach and depth of the government's propaganda and ideology.

The regulations state that information providers on all manner of platforms -- from news and social media sites, to gaming and e-commerce -- should strengthen the management of recommendation lists, trending topics, hot search lists and push notifications. The regulations state:

Online information providers that use algorithms to push customised information [to users] should build recommendation systems that promote mainstream values, and establish mechanisms for manual intervention and override.

 

 

Concerned friends...

Facebook reports on its policies and resources to prevent suicide and self-harm


Link Here 12th September 2019
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, we're sharing an update on what we've learned and some of the steps we've taken in the past year, as well as additional actions we're going to take, to keep people safe on our apps, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Earlier this year, we began hosting regular consultations with experts from around the world to discuss some of the more difficult topics associated with suicide and self-injury. These include how we deal with suicide notes, the risks of sad content online and newsworthy depictions of suicide. Further details of these meetings are available on Facebook's new Suicide Prevention page in our Safety Center.

As a result of these consultations, we've made several changes to improve how we handle this content. We tightened our policy around self-harm to no longer allow graphic cutting images to avoid unintentionally promoting or triggering self-harm, even when someone is seeking support or expressing themselves to aid their recovery. On Instagram, we've also made it harder to search for this type of content and kept it from being recommended in Explore. We've also taken steps to address the complex issue of eating disorder content on our apps by tightening our policy to prohibit additional content that may promote eating disorders. And with these stricter policies, we'll continue to send resources to people who post content promoting eating disorders or self-harm, even if we take the content down. Lastly, we chose to display a sensitivity screen over healed self-harm cuts to help avoid unintentionally promoting self-harm.

And for the first time, we're also exploring ways to share public data from our platform on how people talk about suicide, beginning with providing academic researchers with access to the social media monitoring tool, CrowdTangle. To date, CrowdTangle has been available primarily to help newsrooms and media publishers understand what is happening on Facebook. But we are eager to make it available to two select researchers who focus on suicide prevention to explore how information shared on Facebook and Instagram can be used to further advancements in suicide prevention and support.

In addition to all we are doing to find more opportunities and places to surface resources, we're continuing to build new technology to help us find and take action on potentially harmful content, including removing it or adding sensitivity screens. From April to June of 2019, we took action on more than 1.5 million pieces of suicide and self-injury content on Facebook and found more than 95% of it before it was reported by a user. During that same time period, we took action on more than 800 thousand pieces of this content on Instagram and found more than 77% of it before it was reported by a user.

To help young people safely discuss topics like suicide, we're enhancing our online resources by including Orygen's #chatsafe guidelines in Facebook's Safety Center and in resources on Instagram when someone searches for suicide or self-injury content.

The #chatsafe guidelines were developed together with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviors.

 

 

Diary: Banned Books Week...

22nd - 28th September 2019 across the UK and US


Link Here 10th September 2019

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community 204 librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types 204 in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week UK is a nationwide campaign for radical readers and rebellious readers of all ages celebrate the freedom to read. Between 22 -- 28 September 2019, bookshops, libraries, schools, literary festivals and publishers will be hosting events and making noise about some of the most sordid, subversive, sensational and taboo-busting books around.

Index On Censorship highlights an example of the censorship

On 19 October 2018, the city of Orange City, Iowa, held a LGBT+ pride parade downtown, and a drag queen story hour in the public library. One man, however, had already checked out of the festivities--and he had taken several library books with him.

Paul Dorr, the director of the Christian organisation Rescue the Perishing , posted a live video to Facebook about an hour before the parade was scheduled to start. During the video Dorr recited a Rescue the Perishing blog post entitled May God And The Homosexuals of OC Pride Please Forgive Us! and threw four books he claimed were from the library into a flaming trash can.

The books Dorr burned in were all LBGT-themed children's books: Two Boys Kissing , by David Leviathan, is a tween romance; Christine Baldacchino's Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is about a young boy who enjoys wearing a dress; This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman, is a picture book about pride; and Suzanne and Max Lang's Families, Families, Families! is a children's book about nontraditional families.

After the due date for the books he had checked out passed without their return, the Orange City Attorney's Office arrested Dorr and charged him with fifth-degree criminal mischief. He has elsewhere insisted that the library has no grievance against him because he sent in money to cover the replacement costs, But Dorr will still stand trial 6 August, 2019.

 

 

Offsite Article: Repressive governments using sophisticated digital censorship...


Link Here 10th September 2019
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports on the top ten most censored countries

See article from cpj.org

 

 

No Brains...

Google's censorship ineptitude leads to a ban of a restaurant advert for Fanny's faggots


Link Here 10th September 2019
Full story: Google Censorship...Google censors adult material froms its websites

 

 

 

Offsite Article: Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink...


Link Here 9th September 2019
The insidious rise of Nudge Theory as a form of social control. By David Flint

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Safer browsing in the US...

Mozilla announces that encrypted DNS will be slowly rolled out to US Firefox users from September


Link Here 8th September 2019
Full story: DNS Over Https...A new internet protocol will make government website blocking more difficult
DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is an encrypted internet protocol that makes it more difficult for ISPs and government censors to block users from being able to access banned websites It also makes it more difficult for state snoopers like GCHQ to keep tabs on users' internet browsing history.

Of course this protection from external interference also makes it much internet browsing more safe from the threat of scammers, identity thieves and malware.

Google were once considering introducing DoH for its Chrome browser but have recently announced that they will not allow it to be used to bypass state censors.

Mozilla meanwhile have been a bit more reasonable about it and allow users to opt in to using DoH. Now Mozilla is considering using DoH by default in the US, but still with the proviso of implementing DoH only if the user is not using parental control or maybe corporate website blocking.

Mozilla explains in a blog post:

What's next in making Encrypted DNS-over-HTTPS the Default

By Selena Deckelmann,

In 2017, Mozilla began working on the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol, and since June 2018 we've been running experiments in Firefox to ensure the performance and user experience are great. We've also been surprised and excited by the more than 70,000 users who have already chosen on their own to explicitly enable DoH in Firefox Release edition. We are close to releasing DoH in the USA, and we have a few updates to share.

After many experiments, we've demonstrated that we have a reliable service whose performance is good, that we can detect and mitigate key deployment problems, and that most of our users will benefit from the greater protections of encrypted DNS traffic. We feel confident that enabling DoH by default is the right next step. When DoH is enabled, users will be notified and given the opportunity to opt out.

Results of our Latest Experiment

Our latest DoH experiment was designed to help us determine how we could deploy DoH, honor enterprise configuration and respect user choice about parental controls.

We had a few key learnings from the experiment.

  • We found that OpenDNS' parental controls and Google's safe-search feature were rarely configured by Firefox users in the USA. In total, 4.3% of users in the study used OpenDNS' parental controls or safe-search. Surprisingly, there was little overlap between users of safe-search and OpenDNS' parental controls. As a result, we're reaching out to parental controls operators to find out more about why this might be happening.

  • We found 9.2% of users triggered one of our split-horizon heuristics. The heuristics were triggered in two situations: when websites were accessed whose domains had non-public suffixes, and when domain lookups returned both public and private (RFC 1918) IP addresses. There was also little overlap between users of our split-horizon heuristics, with only 1% of clients triggering both heuristics.

Moving Forward

Now that we have these results, we want to tell you about the approach we have settled on to address managed networks and parental controls. At a high level, our plan is to:

  • Respect user choice for opt-in parental controls and disable DoH if we detect them;

  • Respect enterprise configuration and disable DoH unless explicitly enabled by enterprise configuration; and

  • Fall back to operating system defaults for DNS when split horizon configuration or other DNS issues cause lookup failures.

We're planning to deploy DoH in "fallback" mode; that is, if domain name lookups using DoH fail or if our heuristics are triggered, Firefox will fall back and use the default operating system DNS. This means that for the minority of users whose DNS lookups might fail because of split horizon configuration, Firefox will attempt to find the correct address through the operating system DNS.

In addition, Firefox already detects that parental controls are enabled in the operating system, and if they are in effect, Firefox will disable DoH. Similarly, Firefox will detect whether enterprise policies have been set on the device and will disable DoH in those circumstances. If an enterprise policy explicitly enables DoH, which we think would be awesome, we will also respect that. If you're a system administrator interested in how to configure enterprise policies, please find documentation here.

Options for Providers of Parental Controls

We're also working with providers of parental controls, including ISPs, to add a canary domain to their blocklists. This helps us in situations where the parental controls operate on the network rather than an individual computer. If Firefox determines that our canary domain is blocked, this will indicate that opt-in parental controls are in effect on the network, and Firefox will disable DoH automatically.

This canary domain is intended for use in cases where users have opted in to parental controls. We plan to revisit the use of this heuristic over time, and we will be paying close attention to how the canary domain is adopted. If we find that it is being abused to disable DoH in situations where users have not explicitly opted in, we will revisit our approach.

Plans for Enabling DoH Protections by Default

We plan to gradually roll out DoH in the USA starting in late September. Our plan is to start slowly enabling DoH for a small percentage of users while monitoring for any issues before enabling for a larger audience. If this goes well, we will let you know when we're ready for 100% deployment.

 

 

Do personal assistants get easily offended?...

Apple's Siri is programmed to avoid chat about controversial PC topics


Link Here 8th September 2019
An internal project to rewrite how Apple's Siri voice assistant handles sensitive topics such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: don't engage, deflect and finally inform with neutral information from Wikipedia.

The project saw Siri's responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of equality, but never say the word feminism -- even when asked direct questions about the topic.

The 2018 guidelines are part of a large tranche of internal documents leaked to the Guardian by a former Siri grader, one of thousands of contracted workers who were employed to check the voice assistant's responses for accuracy until Apple ended the programme last month in response to privacy concerns raised by the Guardian.

In explaining why the service should deflect questions about feminism, Apple's guidelines explain that Siri should be guarded when dealing with potentially controversial content. When questions are directed at Siri, they can be deflected ... however, care must be taken here to be neutral.

For example, Apple got tested a little on internet forums about #MeToo. Previously, when users called Siri a slut, the service responded: I'd blush if I could. Now, a much sterner reply is offered: I won't respond to that .

 

 

Extract: The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?...

The US sets its military scientists on a quest to automatically recognise 'fake news' so that ISPs can block it


Link Here 7th September 2019

One of the Pentagon's most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.

DARPA now is developing a semantic analysis program called SemaFor and an image analysis program called MediFor, ostensibly designed to prevent the use of fake images or text. The idea would be to develop these technologies to help private Internet providers sift through content.

....Read the full article from rollingstone.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Subtly identifying de-anatomised internet users...


Link Here 6th September 2019
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google sued for snooping on Iphone users
Brave presents technical new evidence about personalised advertising, and has uncovered a mechanism by which Google appears to be circumventing its purported GDPR privacy protections

See article from brave.com

 

 

Children will see but not be heard...

YouTube will remove all ad personalisation from kids videos on YouTube and will also turn off comments


Link Here 5th September 2019
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
Google have announced potentially far reaching new policies about kids' videos on YouTube. A Google blog post explains:

An update on kids and data protection on YouTube

From its earliest days, YouTube has been a site for people over 13, but with a boom in family content and the rise of shared devices, the likelihood of children watching without supervision has increased. We've been taking a hard look at areas where we can do more to address this, informed by feedback from parents, experts, and regulators, including COPPA concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that we are addressing with a settlement announced today.

New data practices for children's content on YouTube

We are changing how we treat data for children's content on YouTube. Starting in about four months, we will treat data from anyone watching children's content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user. This means that we will limit data collection and use on videos made for kids only to what is needed to support the operation of the service. We will also stop serving personalized ads on this content entirely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments and notifications. In order to identify content made for kids, creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category, and we'll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.

Improvements to YouTube Kids

We continue to recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently. Tens of millions of people use YouTube Kids every week but we want even more parents to be aware of the app and its benefits. We're increasing our investments in promoting YouTube Kids to parents with a campaign that will run across YouTube. We're also continuing to improve the product. For example, we recently raised the bar for which channels can be a part of YouTube Kids, drastically reducing the number of channels on the app. And we're bringing the YouTube Kids experience to the desktop.

Investing in family creators

We know these changes will have a significant business impact on family and kids creators who have been building both wonderful content and thriving businesses, so we've worked to give impacted creators four months to adjust before changes take effect on YouTube. We recognize this won't be easy for some creators and are committed to working with them through this transition and providing resources to help them better understand these changes.

We are also going to continue investing in the future of quality kids, family and educational content. We are establishing a $100 million fund, disbursed over three years, dedicated to the creation of thoughtful, original children's content on YouTube and YouTube Kids globally.

Today's changes will allow us to better protect kids and families on YouTube, and this is just the beginning. We'll continue working with lawmakers around the world in this area, including as the FTC seeks comments on COPPA . And in the coming months, we'll share details on how we're rethinking our overall approach to kids and families, including a dedicated kids experience on YouTube.

 

 

Offsite Article: Eye-catching shots of magnified body parts -- with a twist...


Link Here 5th September 2019
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship
Marius Sperlich's provocative pics are the antidote to Instagram censorship

See article from dazeddigital.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Depressing...


Link Here 5th September 2019
Privacy International finds that some online depression tests share your results with third parties

See article from privacyinternational.org

 

 

All bets are off...

Switzerland issues its first blocking list of banned foreign gambling websites


Link Here 4th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Switzerland...Starting with blocking foreign gambling sites
The Swiss Lottery and Betting Board has published its first censorship list of foreign gambling websites to be blocked by the country's ISPs.

The censorship follows a change to the law on online gambling intended to preserve a monopoly for Swiss gambling providers.

Over 60 foreign websites external link have been blocked to Swiss gamblers. Last June, 73% of voters approved the censorship law. The law came into effect in January but blocking of foreign gambling websites only started in August.

Swiss gamblers can bet online only with Swiss casinos and lotteries that pay tax in the country.

Foreign service providers that voluntarily withdraw from the Swiss market with appropriate measures will not be blocked.

 

 

Shooting messengers...

35 people get into trouble with New Zealand police over Brenton Tarrant's mosque murder video


Link Here 3rd September 2019
Full story: Siege of Kalima...Tunisia police harass and close radio station
35 people in New Zealand have been charged by police for sharing and possession of Brenton Tarrant's Christchurch terrorist attack video.

As of August 21st, 35 people have been charged in relation to the video, according to information released under the Official Information Act. At least 10 of the charges are against minors, which have now been referred to the Youth Court.

Under New Zealand law, knowingly possessing or distributing objectionable material is a serious offence with a maximum jail term of 14 years.

So far, nine people have been issued warnings, while 14 have been prosecuted for their involvement.

 


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