Censorship

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The Internet Isn't Privatized Until .com Is Put Out for Bid

Previously, this series tackled the terribly awful Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement and also made the case that the tainted presumptive renewal currently included in registry agreements is inherently anti-competitive. But renewing legitimacy and integrity of Internet governance requires accurately understanding the unique and significant role retained by the U.S. government following the IANA transition. more

The Netizen's Guide to Reboot the Root (Part II)

The first part of this series explained how Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement is highly offensive to the public interest. But the reasons for saving the Internet are more fundamental to Western interests than a bad deal made under highly questionable circumstances. One of the world's foremost experts on conducting censorship at scale, the Chinese Communist Party's experience with the Great Firewall... more

Freedom of Expression Part 5: COVID Vaccines not Mandatory

In Part 4 of the Freedom of Expression series, I had highlighted my concerns about the lack of transparency in ingredients of all the COVID-19 vaccines, which has been addressed by Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, the same day (World Holocaust Day) I had raised these concerns. A recent Resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will see the further regulation of social media on content relating to COVID-19. more

Freedom of Expression Part 4: Censorship, COVID-19, the Media and Assault on Freedom of Expression

As I write this, it is World Holocaust Day, 27th January 2021, a memorial of the atrocious events that shocked and outraged the conscience of humanity and gave birth to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the year that Holocaust victims majority of whom were Jews re-established the nation of Israel. Most of us can never begin to imagine the extent of the atrocities but relive the experiences through movies or documentaries, including but not limited to Spielberg's 1993 Schindler's List... more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 6: Articles 18-19

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs guiding principles from which policy making, and acceptable behavior, are derived. Identifying the fundamental principles to guide Internet ecosystem policy making around digital citizenship, and around the integrity of digital practices and behavior, can and should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). more

ICANN Should Keep Content Regulation and Other Arbitrary Rules Out of Registry Contracts

The domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN is legally bound not to act as the Internet's speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made the failed takeover of the .ORG registry such a dangerous situation. But now, ICANN has an opportunity to curb this abuse and recommit to its narrow mission of keeping the DNS running... more

How the War Against Child Abuse Material Was Lost

The battle to purge child abuse images from the Internet has been lost. That doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't continue to work towards the elimination of image-based abuse. But it is widely acknowledged by law enforcement, reporting hotlines, and prevention groups alike that this can't be achieved merely by censoring images from the Internet and by criminalizing those who access or share them – which are the only strategies that society has focused on until now. more

Trump Wants to Change the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), says that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The law was passed in 1996 in order to shield ISPs that transported content or platforms that hosted it from lability. Bloggers were not responsible for comments on their posts, YouTube and Facebook were not responsible for things users posted, etc. more

Freedom of Expression Part 3: Child Pornography, Manga, Anime, Obscene Publication

At the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council, we heard how 1 billion children in 2019 who were subjected to various forms of violence and the need for more action to protect children according to the Special Rapporteur. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released Guidelines on the implementation of the international treaty that bans child pornography, proposing to expand its interpretation to include bans on drawings and stories that sexually depict minors. more

Freedom of Expression Part 2: Blocking, Filtering and Removing Online Content

The Internet is a catalyst for what has revolutionised and transformed human societies in giving extraordinary access to information that has catapulted development and economic growth. It also comes with threats of exploitation by those who wish to do harm. In Part 1 of these series, we looked at how Twitter banned Graham Linehan for his tweet where we saw that to an extent, it was justifiable under Californian law but that a Judge in the Fiji courts would disagree with. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

ICANN and Attorneys General: Ends, Means and Unintended Ends

In a move, unprecedented in scale, ISOC moved to sell PIR, the registry for .ORG, to a for-profit entity which intends, in turn, to convert PIR into a for-profit entity itself. This move has, understandably, raised concerns from around the Internet community and cast a bright light on ICANN, the nature of its contracts with Registries and the responsibilities of the ICANN Board... As the Vice Chair for Policy of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I've tried to navigate a consensus involving ALL of those parties because of our diverse membership. more

Dear U.S.A. – Observations on the Cyber Solarium Commission Report

I am writing to you as someone who is not your citizen, (although I had the fortune to wed the most beautiful of your daughters), to share my thoughts about the recent US Government Cyber Solarium Commission report. U.S.A. We owe you one! Without you and your citizens there would be no free Internet as we know it. Thank You! Your constitution is our inspiration. We, the global digital citizenship want to be "the people", in order to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." more

It's Time to Curtail the Censorship Industry Cartel

Last month INHOPE, a global trade association of child abuse reporting hotlines, rejected a joint call from Prostasia Foundation, the National Coalition Against Censorship, Article 19, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, that its members should stop treating cartoons as if they were images of child sexual abuse. As our joint letter pointed out, INHOPE's conflation of offensive artwork with actual abuse images has resulted in the misdirection of police resources against artists and fans... more

News Briefs

CENTR Has Released an Animated Video on ccTLDs and Their Technical Role Concerning Content

Russia Says It Has Successfully Tested a Country-Wide Alternative to the Global Internet

Iran Almost Completely Shuts Off Internet Access Across the Country Amid Protests Over Fuel Prices

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

URS Is a Bad Fit for .ORG, Says EFF

Other Countries Beginning to Adopt China's Unique Approach to an Isolated Internet Structure

Domestic Internet of Russia, Iran Far Deeper Kind of Fragmentation, More Physical Than Seen Before

Vladimir Putin Signs 'Sovereign Internet' Law to Further Tighten Government Control of the Internet

Indian Government Proposes Vast New Powers to Suppress Internet Content

Internet Will Split Into Chinese-Led and US-Led Versions Within the Next Decade, Says Eric Schmidt

"Seven Dirty Words" Restriction Policy Lifted from .US Domain Name Registrations

EU Authorities to Give Internet Companies 1 Hour to Take Down Extremist Content or Face Hefty Fines

Protests in Iraq Lead to a Two-Day Internet Shutdown by the Government

Russia Wipes Out Over 17 Million IP Addresses In Efforts to Block Telegram

Google Ends Domain-Fronting Feature Used by Censorship Tools

EFF Warns ICANN Not to Engage in Censorship, Says It Should Stick to Technical Role

Civil Society Groups Call for Deletion of Internet Filtering Provision in EU Copyright Proposal

China Blocks WhatsApp, Says Messaging Service Should Stop Spread of "Illegal Information"

EU Presidency Pushing Other Member States for Substantial Internet Surveillance

China Continues VPN Crackdown, Targets Alibaba and Other Ecommerce Sites

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