What is Obscenity? The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy

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Earlier today I posted the news that Megumi Igarashi (pen name Rokudenashiko) was found guilty of obscenity for distributing a digital file containing a 3D scan of her vulva. Today also marks the publication of her graphic novel memoir, What is Obscenity?, a beautiful little book (with a cover design by Chip Kidd) that uses comics, color photos, and current events to tell Rokudenashiko's story of how she creates pussy-themed art that has the power to frighten government officials into arresting and censoring her.

A graphic memoir of a good-for-nothing Japanese artist who has been jailed twice for so-called acts of obscenity and the distribution of pornographic materials yet continues to champion the art of pussy. In a society where one can be censored, pixelated, and punished, Rokudenashiko asks what makes pussy so problematic?

Rokudenashiko (“good-for-nothing girl”) is a Japanese artist. She is known for her series of decorated vulva moulds, or "Decoman," a portmanteau of decorated and manko, slang for vagina. Distributing a 3D scan of her genitalia to crowdfunding supporters led to her arrest for alleged violation of Japanese obscenity laws.

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Homeland Security wants to subpoena Techdirt over the identity of a hyperbolic commenter

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This week, Techdirt's Tim Cushing published a story about the Hancock County, IN Sheriff's Department officers who stole $240,000 under color of asset forfeiture. Read the rest

How standardizing DRM will make us all less secure

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After decades of fighting for open Web standards that let anyone implement software to receive and render online data, the World Wide Web Consortium changed course and created EME, a DRM system that locks up video in formats that can only be played back with the sender's blessing, and which also gives media giants the power to threaten and sue security researchers who discover bugs in their code. Read the rest

Chinese censorship: arbitrary rule changes are a form of powerful intermittent reinforcement

China's Internet censors are capricious and impossible to predict -- but this isn't because China's censors are incompetent, rather, they're tapping into one of the most powerful forms of conditioning, the uncertainty born of intermittent reinforcement. Read the rest

China's Internet censors order ban on video of toddler threatening brutal cops

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China's Internet censors have ordered the country's social media companies to block further sharing of a viral video that shows a toddler threatening members of the notorious urban management police squad with a long pole, telling them to leave his grandmother alone. Read the rest

How British journalists talk about people they're not allowed to talk about

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The "super-injunction" (previously) is a weird feature of English and Welsh law through which the very wealthy can hire bulldog lawyers to get judges to pass an order prohibiting any newspaper or journalist from disclosing true facts about them, on pain of jail-time. Read the rest

Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

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According to a new offender manual from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners whose families maintain a social media presence to call attention to their incarceration will be liable to harsh punishment, including up to 45 days in solitary, loss of privileges, and extra work duty. Read the rest

A cashless society as a tool for censorship and social control

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The Atlantic had the excellent idea of commissioning Sarah Jeong, one of the most astute technology commentators on the Internet (previously), to write a series of articles about the social implications of technological change: first up is an excellent, thoughtful, thorough story on the ways that the "cashless society" is being designed to force all transactions through a small number of bottlenecks that states can use to control behavior and censor unpopular political views. Read the rest

Banned on China's Internet: all discussion of the Panama Papers

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On Sunday, 100 news outlets published the first tranche of articles based on the largest leak in history, 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, the third-largest lawfirm specializing in confidential offshore shell-companies. Read the rest

Today is your last day to comment on Internet censorship through copyright abuse

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Hey Internet! Ever since SOPA we've all known that copyright laws have a huge impact on the Internet, free speech, innovation, creativity." Read the rest

Kickstarting a history of women and free speech in comics from CBLDF

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Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sez, "CBLDF is kickstarting She Changed Comics, a history of how women changed free expression in comics!" Read the rest

Landmark study on the effects of copyright takedown abuse on online free expression

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Three of America's sharpest copyright scholars have released a landmark study of the impact of copyright takedowns on free expression in America: Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice, by Jennifer Urban (UC Berkeley), Joe Karaganis (Columbia), and Brianna L. Schofiel (UC Berkeley) uses detailed surveys and interviews and a random sample from over 100,000,000 takedown notices to analyze the proportion of fraudulent, malformed or otherwise incorrect acts of censorship undertaken in copyright's name, using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown procedure. Read the rest

Surveillance has reversed the net's capacity for social change

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Sociologists describe the "spiral of silence": people with socially unpopular ideas fear that they're the only ones who think that way, and say nothing, and their silence convinces others that they, too are alone, begetting yet more silence. Read the rest

Russia moots ban on discussions about VPNs, reverse proxies, and other anti-censorship techniques

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Russian law provides for a national censorwall that entertainment companies can populate with the URLs of websites they dislike, without much oversight or review (it's similar the system used in the UK in that regard). Read the rest

First order of business for hard-right government: canceling Croatia's answer to The Daily Show

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Marko Rakar writes, "The TV show 'Montirani Proces' is a popular show very much like "The Daily Show" and the crew which creates it is very much like The Onion. They have produced six episodes of their show for Croatian National Television, seventh was supposed to air this Sunday." Read the rest

Donald Trump hires plainclothes security to investigate and interdict protesters

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Donald Trump rallies are notoriously violent, as his supporters, security staff and even Secret Service detail beat up protesters and members of the press who get too close to violent incidents (Drumpf himself explicitly encourages his supporters to beat up protesters). Read the rest

Anti-censorship coalition urges Virginia governor to veto "Beloved" bill

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Peter from the National Coalition Against Cenorship sez, "A bill requiring schools to notify parents if any 'sexually explicit content' is being taught would undermine First Amendment principles and the freedom to read." Read the rest

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