Chinese iPhones crash when users try to type Taiwanese flag characters

A now-fixed bug in Ios caused Chinese-localized Iphones to reboot any time the user tried to enter the character combination for a Taiwanese flag or the word "Taiwan"; the bug was caused by Apple's China-only censorship and surveillance software. Read the rest

Sky blue, water wet, porn filters don't work

In Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material, two researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute reveal their empirical findings on the efficacy of porn filters -- the online systems that are supposed to stop users from seeing sexual images, videos, and text. Read the rest

Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra interviewed during his 1987 obscenity trial

In 1985, a 15-year-old Southern Californian girl went to a shopping mall in Northridge and bought the Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist album, which included an H.R. Giger poster called “Landscape XX,” also known as “Penis Landscape.” The girl's mother was horrified and she complained to the LA city attorney. According to Quartz, "A few months later, nine police officers stormed into Biafra’s apartment in San Francisco and his record label’s offices, seizing copies of the album and demanding to know where Giger lived."(Giger lived in Zurich.) Biafra and record label manager were arrested and charged with "distributing harmful material to a minor." Biafra said “We were the first people to be prosecuted over an album in American history.”

From Quartz:

T

he jury deadlocked 7-5 in favor of acquittal, and the judge declared a mistrial. A few of the younger jurors asked Biafra to autograph the poster. (It was no longer included in the record after the trial, though it was available long afterward by mail order from Alternative Tentacles—with proof of age.).

The case reverberated for years. “If any of us had been convicted, there would have been a precedent set where even an artist or a crew member working on a project that someone deemed obscene would be responsible for the whole project,” Biafra told the Miami Herald after the trial. Even though Biafra was acquitted, many chain stores still pulled his band’s—and his label’s—records from their shelves.

From Dangerous Minds:

The hysteria that surrounded rap and rock music 30 years ago is hard to imagine today, now that the anti-smut crusaders have elevated Mr.

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After London builders' bid to remove a complaint from Mumsnet failed, a mysterious Pakistani-American copyright claim did the job

Annabelle Narey hired a London construction firm called BuildTeam to do some work, which she found very unsatisfactory (she blames them for a potentially lethal roof collapse in a bedroom); so she did what many of us do when we're unhappy with a business: she wrote an online complaint, and it was joined by other people who said that they had hired BuildTeam and been unhappy with the work. Read the rest

China has perfected the internet control playbook and now it's exporting it to the world

After decades of back-and-forth over internet freedom, China has figured out a method for allowing people to use the internet for social and business purposes, but not for political reform -- a combination of huge boiler-rooms full of censors, centralization of internet services under tight government control, and control over standards to ensure that surveillance and censorship are always possible. Read the rest

China announces crackdown on ASMR videos as pornographic

In the five years since I first wrote about "Autonomous sensory meridian response" (ASMR) a folk-neurological condition that describes the pleasant shivers some people experience when hearing certain soft noises, ASMR has gone mainstream -- my ten year old daughter describes the texture of the slime she makes as "really ASMR." Read the rest

In two days, an EU committee will vote to crown Google and Facebook permanent lords of internet censorship

On June 20, the EU's legislative committee will vote on the new Copyright directive, and decide whether it will include the controversial "Article 13" (automated censorship of anything an algorithm identifies as a copyright violation) and "Article 11" (no linking to news stories without paid permission from the site). Read the rest

The UN's top free speech expert just denounced the new EU copyright plan as a "potential violation of international human rights law"

David Kaye (previously) is the UN's Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression; he just released a detailed report on the catastrophic free speech implications of Article 13, the EU's proposed copyright rule that would make sites filter everything their users post to check for copyright violations. Read the rest

Tanzania's independent websites, podcasts and video channels have gone dark as the country's new blogger tax goes into effect

As of this Friday, anyone operating an independent online presence in Tanzania will have to pay a licensing fee equivalent to an average year's wages, and submit to a harsh set of censorship rules, as well as an obligation to unmask anonymous posters and commenters, with stiff penalties for noncompliance. Read the rest

The EU's terrible copyright proposal will "carpet bomb" the whole world's internet with censorship and surveillance

There's one week to go until an EU committee votes on a plan to "transform the internet into a tool for surveillance and control," that will permanently cement the place of American internet giants like Google and Facebook, freezing out smaller internet companies (and even large nonprofits like Wikipedia) who lack the tens of millions of dollars that complying with the rule will require. Read the rest

70+ internet pioneers to the EU: you are transforming the internet into a "tool for automated surveillance and control" SHARE THIS!

In one week, an EU committee will vote on a pair of extreme copyright proposals that will ban linking to news articles without permission, and force internet platforms to spy on all the pictures, text, video, audio and code their users post, sending it to AIs designed to catch copyright infringement and automatically censor anything that might violate copyright. Read the rest

On June 20, an EU committee will vote on an apocalyptically stupid, internet-destroying copyright proposal that'll censor everything from Tinder profiles to Wikipedia (SHARE THIS!)

The European Union is updating its 2001 Copyright Directive, with a key committee vote coming up on June 20 or 21; on GDPR day, a rogue MEP jammed a mass censorship proposal into the draft that is literally the worst idea anyone in Europe ever had about the internet, ever. Read the rest

South Koreans explain how they get around government porn censorship

When a person in South Korea tries to visit a porn site, they discover the government's National Police Agency Cyber Bureau has blocked it. Read the rest

Uganda's unenforceable social media tax is augmented by a biometric requirement for SIM card purchases

Uganda's social media tax may be an unenforceable mess, but that doesn't make it harmless (it opens the door to selective enforcement and invites programs of censorship and mass surveillance in the name of fighting "tax evasion") but that's only half of dictator Yoweri Museveni's plan to control the internet. Read the rest

Uganda enacts unenforceable, ridiculous anti-"gossip" internet tax

At the urging of Uganda's corrupt dictator Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan parliament has enacted legislation imposing a daily tax on anyone using social media platforms; Museveni said the measure would curb "gossip," while Matia Kasaija claimed it would fund security and electrification efforts. Read the rest

Telegram: ever since Russia's blocking demand, Apple has prevented us from updating our app

Last April, the Kremlin ordered a ban on the private messaging app Telegram, blocking millions of IP addresses that formed Amazon and Google's clouds in order to prevent users from accessing the service; not only was it an ominous moment in the evolution of the internet as a system for oppressive control, it was also an object lesson in how internet concentration has made the internet more susceptible to censorship and control. Read the rest

Futuristic designs for products the EU's stupid new copyright law would kill

The Polish thinktank Centrum Cyfrowe commissioned designers to come up with "speculative designs" for products that could be enabled by a European approach to copyright reforms that favored a more equitable balance tilted towards creators and the public and away from large corporations -- even as the EU is preparing to kill this future by passing an extreme, corporate-aligned copyright regime that runs on censorship and mass surveillance. Read the rest

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