Internet censorship (UK)

Introduction

Internet censorship listed: how does each country compare?
In July David Cameron proposed that pornography which depicts rape including simulations involving consenting adults should become illegal in England and Wales bringing the law in line with that of Scotland. Tool providers may encourage users to opt in to such a service with the promise of incentives such as discounted or free content. A number of web hosts in the USA were issued with these notices in and , and refused to comply with the takedown request. Moreover, the Court noted that the breadth of the CDA was "wholly unprecedented" in that, for example, it was "not limited to commercial speech or commercial entities. Facebook has also adjusted the privacy settings on its service, giving users control over their personal information in fewer taps. Firstly, we are pushing companies to be the judges of legal and illegal. The porn industry has been left to develop its own age verification tools.

What is happening?

33 Amazing Internet Censorship Statistics

Hide your information and surf the Internet without a trace. Enjoy the pleasure of protection with VPNhub. With full data encryption and guaranteed anonymity, go with the most trusted VPN to protect your privacy anywhere in the world. Enjoy totally free and unlimited bandwidth on your device of choice. New laws to make sure that the UK is the most censored place in the western world to be online. New laws will be created to make sure that the UK is the safest place in the world to be online, Digital Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The move is part of a series of measures included in the government's response to the Internet Safety Strategy green paper, published today. The Government has been clear that much more needs to be done to tackle the full range of online harm. Our consultation revealed users feel powerless to address safety issues online and that technology companies operate without sufficient oversight or transparency.

Six in ten people said they had witnessed inappropriate or harmful content online. The Government is already working with social media companies to protect users and while several of the tech giants have taken important and positive steps, the performance of the industry overall has been mixed. The UK Government will therefore take the lead, working collaboratively with tech companies, children's charities and other stakeholders to develop the detail of the new legislation.

Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better. At the same time I have been clear that we have to address the Wild West elements of the Internet through legislation, in a way that supports innovation. We strongly support technology companies to start up and grow, and we want to work with them to keep our citizens safe.

People increasingly live their lives through online platforms so it's more important than ever that people are safe and parents can have confidence they can keep their children from harm. The measures we're taking forward today will help make sure children are protected online and balance the need for safety with the great freedoms the internet brings just as we have to strike this balance offline.

This will set out legislation to be brought forward that tackles a range of both legal and illegal harms, from cyberbullying to online child sexual exploitation. The Government will continue to collaborate closely with industry on this work, to ensure it builds on progress already made. Criminals are using the internet to further their exploitation and abuse of children, while terrorists are abusing these platforms to recruit people and incite atrocities. We need to protect our communities from these heinous crimes and vile propaganda and that is why this Government has been taking the lead on this issue.

But more needs to be done and this is why we will continue to work with the companies and the public to do everything we can to stop the misuse of these platforms. Only by working together can we defeat those who seek to do us harm. The Government will be considering where legislation will have the strongest impact, for example whether transparency or a code of practice should be underwritten by legislation, but also a range of other options to address both legal and illegal harms.

We will work closely with industry to provide clarity on the roles and responsibilities of companies that operate online in the UK to keep users safe. The Government will also work with regulators, platforms and advertising companies to ensure that the principles that govern advertising in traditional media -- such as preventing companies targeting unsuitable advertisements at children -- also apply and are enforced online.

See article from bbc. It seems that the latest call for internet censorship is driven by some sort revenge for having been snubbed by the industry. The culture secretary said he does not have enough power to police social media firms after admitting only four of 14 invited to talks showed up. Matt Hancock told the BBC it had given him a big impetus to introduce new laws to tackle what he has called the internet's Wild West culture.

He told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show , presented by Emma Barnett, that the government just don't know how many children of the millions using using social media were not old enough for an account and he was very worried about age verification. He told the programme he hopes we get to a position where all users of social media users has to have their age verified. Two government departments are working on a White Paper expected to be brought forward later this year.

Asked about the same issue on ITV's Peston on Sunday , Hancock said the government would be legislating in the next couple of years because we want to get the details right. Music industry is quick to lobby for Hancock's safe internet plans to be hijacked for their benefit.

This week, the Government published its response to the Internet Safety Strategy green paper , stating unequivocally that more needs to be done to tackle online harm. As a result, the Government will now carry through with its threat to introduce new legislation, albeit with the assistance of technology companies, children's charities and other stakeholders. While emphasis is being placed on hot-button topics such as cyberbullying and online child exploitation, the Government is clear that it wishes to tackle the full range of online harms.

In a statement issued this week, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor welcomed the move towards legislative change and urged the Government to encompass the music industry and beyond. This is a vital opportunity to protect consumers and boost the UK's music and creative industries. The BPI has long pressed for internet intermediaries and online platforms to take responsibility for the content that they promote to users.

Government should now take the power in legislation to require online giants to take effective, proactive measures to clean illegal content from their sites and services.

This will keep fans away from dodgy sites full of harmful content and prevent criminals from undermining creative businesses that create UK jobs. The BPI has published four initial requests, each of which provides food for thought. The demand to establish a new fast-track process for blocking illegal sites is not entirely unexpected, particularly given the expense of launching applications for blocking injunctions at the High Court.

The BPI has taken a large number of actions against individual websites -- 63 injunctions are in place against sites that are wholly or mainly infringing and whose business is simply to profit from criminal activity, the BPI says. Those injunctions can be expanded fairly easily to include new sites operating under similar banners or facilitating access to those already covered, but it's clear the BPI would like something more streamlined.

Voluntary schemes, such as the one in place in Portugal , could be an option but it's unclear how troublesome that could be for ISPs. New legislation could solve that dilemma, however. Another big thorn in the side for groups like the BPI are people and entities that post infringing content. The BPI is very good at taking these listings down from sites and search engines in particular more than million requests to date but it's a game of whac-a-mole the group would rather not engage in.

With that in mind, the BPI would like the Government to impose new rules that would compel online platforms to stop content from being re-posted after it's been taken down while removing the accounts of repeat infringers. Thirdly, the BPI would like the Government to introduce penalties for online operators who do not provide transparent contact and ownership information.

The music group isn't any more specific than that, but the suggestion is that operators of some sites have a tendency to hide in the shadows, something which frustrates enforcement activity. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, the BPI is calling on the Government to legislate for a new duty of care for online intermediaries and platforms. Specifically, the BPI wants effective action taken against businesses that use the Internet to encourage consumers to access content illegally.

While this could easily encompass pirate sites and services themselves, this proposal has the breadth to include a wide range of offenders, from people posting piracy-focused tutorials on monetized YouTube channels to those selling fully-loaded Kodi devices on eBay or social media. Overall, the BPI clearly wants to place pressure on intermediaries to take action against piracy when they're in a position to do so, and particularly those who may not have shown much enthusiasm towards industry collaboration in the past.

Legislation in this Bill, to take powers to intervene with respect to operators that do not co-operate, would bring focus to the roundtable process and ensure that intermediaries take their responsibilities seriously, the BPI says. The press picks up on the age verification offering from AVSecure that offers anonymous porn browsing. One option available to the estimated 25 million Britons who regularly visit such websites will be a digit code, dubbed a 'porn pass'.

While porn viewers will still be able to verify their age using methods such as registering credit card details, the digit code option would be a fully anonymous option. It doesn't say on the website, but presumably in the case where there is doubt about a customer's age, then they will have to show ID documents such as a passport or driving licence, but hopefully that ID will not have to be recorded anywhere.

It is hope he method will be popular among those wishing to access porn online without having to hand over personal details to X-rated sites. The user will type in a 16 digit number into websites that belong to the AVSecure scheme. This is a lot better proposition for websites than most, if not all, of the other age verification companies.

AVSecure also offer an encrypted implementation via blockchain that will not allow websites to use the 16 digit number as a key to track people's website browsing. But saying that they could still use a myriad of other standard technologies to track viewers.

The BBFC is assigned the task of deciding whether to accredit different technologies and it will be very interesting to see if they approve the AVSecure offering. It is easily the best solution to protect the safety and privacy of porn viewers, but it maybe will test the BBFC's pragmatism to accept the most workable and safest solution for adults which is not quite fully guaranteed to protect children.

Pragmatism is required as the scheme has the technical drawback of having no further checks in place once the card has been purchased. The obvious worry is that an over 18s can go around to other shops to buy several cards to pass on to their under 18 mates.

Another possibility is that kids could stumble on their parent's card and get access. Numbers shared on the web could be easily blocked if used simultaneously from different IP addresses. Top of our concerns was the lack of privacy safeguards to protect the 20 million plus users who will be obliged to use Age Verification tools to access legal content.

We asked the BBFC to tell government that the legislation is not fit for purpose, and that they should halt the scheme until privacy regulation is in place. We pointed out that card payments and email services are both subject to stronger privacy protections that Age Verification. The government's case for non-action is that the Information Commissioner and data protection fines for data breaches are enough to deal with the risk.

Secondly, it is wrong because data breaches are only one aspect of the risks involved. We outlined over twenty risks from Age Verification technologies. We pointed out that Age Verification contains a set of overlapping problems.

You can read our list below. We may have missed some: The government has to act. It has legislated this requirement without properly evaluating the privacy impacts. If and when it goes wrong, the blame will lie squarely at the government's door.

The consultation fails to properly distinguish between the different functions and stages of an age verification system. The risks associated with each are separate but interact. Regulation needs to address all elements of these systems. Choosing a method of age verification, whereby a user determines how they wish to prove their age. The method of age verification, where documents may be examined and stored.

The tool's approach to returning users, which may involve either:. The re-use of any age verified account, log-in or method over time, and across services and sites.

The focus of attention has been on the method of pornography-related age verification, but this is only one element of privacy risk we can identify when considering the system as a whole. Many of the risks stem from the fact that users may be permanently 'logged in' to websites, for instance.

New risks of fraud, abuse of accounts and other unwanted social behaviours can also be identified. These risks apply to million adults, as well as to teenagers attempting to bypass the restrictions. There is a great deal that could potentially go wrong. Business models, user behaviours and potential criminal threats need to be taken into consideration.

Collecting identity documents in a way that allows them to potentially be correlated with the pornographic content viewed by a user represents a serious potential risk to personal and potentially highly sensitive data. Risks from logging of porn viewing. A log-in from an age-verified user may persist on a user's device or web browser, creating a history of views associated with an IP address, location or device, thus easily linked to a person, even if stored 'pseudonymously'.

An age verified log-in system may track users across websites and be able to correlate tastes and interests of a user visiting sites from many different providers.

Data from logged-in web visits may be used to profile the sexual preferences of users for advertising. Tool providers may encourage users to opt in to such a service with the promise of incentives such as discounted or free content. The current business model for large porn operations is heavily focused on monetising users through advertising, exacerbating the risks of re-use and recirculation and re-identification of web visit data.

Any data that is leaked cannot be revoked, recalled or adequately compensated for, leading to reputational, career and even suicide risks. Everyday privacy risks for adults. The risk of pornographic web accounts and associated histories being accessed by partners, parents, teenagers and other third parties will increase.

Companies will trade off security for ease-of-use, so may be reluctant to enforce strong passwords, two-factor authentication and other measures which make it harder for credentials to leak or be shared. Everyday privacy tools used by millions of UK residents such as 'private browsing' modes may become more difficult to use to use due to the need to retain log-in cookies, increasing the data footprint of people's sexual habits.

Some users will turn to alternative methods of accessing sites, such as using VPNs. These tools have their own privacy risks, especially when hosted outside of the EU, or when provided for free. Risks to teenagers' privacy. If age-verified log-in details are acquired by teenagers, personal and sexual information about them may become shared including among their peers, such as particular videos viewed. This could lead to bullying, outing or worse.

Child abusers can use access to age verified accounts as leverage to create and exploit a relationship with a teenager 'grooming'. Other methods of obtaining pornography would be incentivised, and these may carry new and separate privacy risks.

For instance the BitTorrent network exposes the IP addresses of users publicly. These addresses can then be captured by services like GoldenEye, whose business model depends on issuing legal threats to those found downloading copyrighted material. This could lead to the pornographic content downloaded by young adults or teenagers being exposed to parents or carers. While copyright infringement is bad, removing teenagers' sexual privacy is worse.

Other risks include viruses and scams. Trust in age verification tools and potential scams. Users may be obliged to sign up to services they do not trust or are unfamiliar with in order to access specific websites. Pornographic website users are often impulsive, with lower risk thresholds than for other transactions. The sensitivity of any transactions involved gives them a lower propensity to report fraud.

Pornography users are therefore particularly vulnerable targets for scammers. The use of credit cards for age verification in other markets creates an opportunity for fraudulent sites to engage in credit card theft.

Use of credit cards for pornography-related age verification risks teaching people that this is normal and reasonable, opening up new opportunities for fraud, and going against years of education asking people not to hand card details to unknown vendors. There is no simple means to verify which particular age verification systems are trustworthy, and which may be scams.

Market related privacy risks. The rush to market means that the tools that emerge may be of variable quality and take unnecessary shortcuts. A single pornography-related age verification system may come to dominate the market and become the de-facto provider, leaving users no real choice but to accept whatever terms that provider offers. One age verification product which is expected to lead the market -- AgeID -- is owned by MindGeek, the dominant pornography company online.

Allowing pornographic sites to own and operate age verification tools leads to a conflict of interest between the privacy interests of the user, and the data-mining and market interests of the company. The online pornography industry as a whole, including MindGeek, has a poor record of privacy and security, littered with data breaches. Without stringent regulation prohibiting the storage of data which might allow users' identity and browsing to be correlated, there is no reason to assume that data generated as a result of age verification tools will be exempt from this pattern of poor security.

See article from parliamentlive. The BBC takes its turn in trying to summarise the current status of the upcoming internet porn censorship regime. See article from economist. This guidance also outlines good practice in relation to age-verification to encourage consumer choice and the use of mechanisms that confirm age but not identity.

I think you should point out to porn viewers that your ideas on good practice are in no way enforceable on websites. You should not mislead porn viewers into thinking that their data is safe because of the assumption that websites will follow best practice.

A requirement that either a user age-verify each visit or access is restricted by controls, manual or electronic, such as, but not limited to, password or personal identification numbers. This is a very glib sentence that could be the make or break of user acceptability of age verification.

This is not like watching films on Netflix, ie entering a PIN and watching a film. Viewing porn is more akin to browsing, hopping from one website to another, starting a film, quickly deciding it is no good and searching for another, maybe on a different site. Convenient browsing requires that a verification is stored for at least a reasonable time in a cookie.

So that it can be access automatically by all websites using the same verification provider or even different verification providers if they could get together to arrange this.

At the very least the BBFC should make a clearer statement about persistence of PINs or passwords and whether it is acceptable to maintain valid verifications in cookies. The Government needs adults to buy into age verification. If the BBFC get too fussy about eliminating the risk that under 18s could view porn then the whole system could become too inconvenient for adults to be bothered with, resulting in a mass circumvention of the system with lots of information in lots of places about how and where porn could be more easily obtained.

The under 18s would probably see this too, and so this would surely diminish the effectiveness of the whole idea. The very suggestion that users age verify each visit suggests that the BBFC is simply not on the right wavelength for a viable solution. Presumably not much thought has been put into specifying advance requirements, and that instead the BBFC will consider the merits of proposals as they arise.

The time scales for enactment of the law should therefore allow for technical negotiations between developers and the BBFC about how each system should work. What a meaningless statement, surely the age verification software process itself will be non human working on algorithms. Do bots need to be protected from porn?

Are you saying that websites should not allow their sites to be accessed by Google's search engine bots?

Unless there is an element of repeat access, a website does not really know that it is being accessed by a bot or a human. I think you probably have a more specific restriction in mind, and this has not been articulated in this vague and meaningless statement. Although not a requirement under section 14 1 the BBFC recommends that age-verification providers adopt good practice in the design and implementation of their solutions. These include solutions that: When have websites or webs services ever provided clear information about data protection?

The most major players of the internet refuse to provide clear information, eg Facebook or Google. During the course of this age-verification assessment, the BBFC will normally be able to identify the following in relation to data protection compliance concerns: This would be good added value from the BBFC At the very least the BBFC should inform porn viewers that for foreign non-EU sites, there will be absolutely no data protection, and for EU websites, once users give their consent then the websites can do more or less anything with the data.

The BBFC will inform the Information Commissioner's Office where concerns arise during its assessment of the age-verification effectiveness that the arrangement does not comply with data protection legislation.

The ICO will consider if further investigation is appropriate. The world's major websites such as Facebook that follow all the guidelines noted in this section but end up telling you nothing about how your data is used, I don't suppose porn sites will be any more open.

Will the BBFC block eg a Russian website that complies with age verification by requiring credit card payments but has no EU representative? Porn viewers need to know. Jeremy Hunt demands that social media companies immediately ban under 13s from using their apps and websites. See article from twitter. How are parents supposed to entertain their kids if they can't spend all day on YouTube?

And what about all the privacy implications of letting social media companies have complete identity details of their users. It will be like Cambridge Analytica on speed. Thank you for participating in the working group on children and young people's mental health and social media with officials from my Department and DCMS.

We appreciate your time and engagement, and your willingness to continue discussions and potentially support a communications campaign in this area, but I am disappointed by the lack of voluntary progress in those discussions. We set three very clear challenges relating to protecting children and young people's mental health: As I understand it, participants have focused more on promoting work already underway and explaining the challenges with taking further action, rather than offering innovative solutions or tangible progress.

In particular, progress on age verification is not good enough. I am concerned that your companies seem content with a situation where thousands of users breach your own terms and conditions on the minimum user age.

I fear that you are collectively turning a blind eye to a whole generation of children being exposed to the harmful emotional side effects of social media prematurely; this is both morally wrong and deeply unfair on parents, who are faced with the invidious choice of allowing children to use platforms they are too young to access, or excluding them from social interaction that often the majority of their peers are engaging in.

It is unacceptable and irresponsible for you to put parents in this position. This is not a blanket criticism and I am aware that these aren't easy issues to solve. I am encouraged that a number of you have developed products to help parents control what their children an access online in response to Government's concerns about child online protection, including Google's Family Link.

And I recognise that your products and services are aimed at different audiences, so different solutions will be required. This is clear from the submissions you've sent to my officials about the work you are delivering to address some of these challenges. However, it is clear to me that the voluntary joint approach has not delivered the safeguards we need to protect our children's mental health.

In May, the Department. We will not rule out legislation where it is needed. In terms of immediate next steps, I appreciate the information that you provided our officials with last month but would be grateful if you would set out in writing your companies' formal responses, on the three challenges we posed in November.

In particular, I would like to know what additional new steps you have taken to protect children and young people since November in each of the specific categories we raised: I invite you to respond by the end of this month, in order to inform the Internet Safety Strategy response.

One phenomena that has recieved a lot of attention on the internet is the 'barbra streisand' effect. Named after the first massively noticed instance of the effect when barbra streisand tried to get pictures of her seafront-house removed from a scientific report into coastal errosion published on the internet; due at a guess to a combination of rebbellion and 'so what are these photos we're not allowed to look at', the availability of the photos skyrocketed as a direct result of their censorship.

The first instance of taking someone to court for criminally obscene text, so-and-so was taken to court for publishing a fetish story in which the members of the pop-band 'girls aloud' were raped. Because of the way BitTorrent works it's pretty-much impossible to use it slyly, without anyone who cares to know being able to find out who is downloading what. With piracy, there's just too many downloaders to suppress, but due to the fact that virtually every country actively censors child-porn and no-one likes viruses , child-porn and viruses are censored on BitTorrent, or at least all the more popular torrent indexing sites such as piratebay.

Circumventing censorship is an article about circumventing internet-censorship. Sign In Don't have an account? Censorship of the internet is somewhat different from censorship of other mediums in the UK. Anyway, it can be [[ Note that the web is only one thing that exists on the internet, and all the others -- email, usenet, onionnet, freenet, IRC, IM, various P2Ps, etc -- are not even censored to the extent that the web is.

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2018: Jan-March