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Press review about Net censorship

[Arstechnica] Europol’s online censorship unit is haphazard and unaccountable says NGO

[Arstechnica] Europol’s online censorship unit is haphazard and unaccountable says NGO

Europol’s Internet Referral Unit (IRU) celebrated its first birthday at the weekend, but civil liberties organisations are worried that it goes too far in its efforts to keep the Web free from extremist propaganda.

[ArsTechnica] Web content blocking squeezed into draft EU anti-terrorism law

Back in March, national ministers set out a common position on the proposal for an EU law to combat terrorism. The original draft of the law from the European Commission focused on preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising preparatory acts, such as training and travel abroad for terrorist purposes, and made no mention of Web blocking. This was unsurprising, given that it was about criminalising particular offences and not specific obligations on companies.

[TheGuardian] Major internet providers slowing traffic speeds for thousands across US

Study finds significant degradations of networks for five largest ISPs, including AT&T and Time Warner, representing 75% of all wireline households in US [...]

The findings come weeks after the Federal Communications Commission introduced new rules meant to protect “net neutrality” – the principle that all data is equal online – and keep ISPs from holding traffic speeds for ransom. [...]

[Politico] Leaked digital single market’s ‘evidence file’ reveals Commission’s ambitions

Leaked copies of the upcoming Digital Single Market Strategy and its supporting Evidence file show the European Commission is ready to propose vast regulatory reforms that could affect everything from sales taxes and e-privacy to Internet searches and big data. […]

[Huffingtonpost] Technical Observations About Recent Internet Censorship In India

Two weeks ago, on 17th December 2014, the Government of India's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued an order to all licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block access to 32 websites, effective immediately. Not only did the ban affect access to popular cultural sites such as archive.org, vimeo.com, dailymotion.com, but the order also blocked access to sites like github.com, pastebin.com, which are useful for all sorts of people but are especially popular with software developers. […]

[ArsTechnica] BT, Sky, and Virgin “hijacking” browsers to push porn blocks

BT, Sky, virgin hijacking browsers to push porn blocks

Measures are "completely unnecessary, heavy handed," say Internet rights groups.

[NYTimes] French Official Campaigns to Make ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Global

Europe is pressing for its ‘‘right to be forgotten’’ ruling to go global.

The privacy decision, which allows individuals to ask that links leading to information about themselves be removed from search engine results, has been gaining traction worldwide ever since European officials released guidelines last week that demanded Google and others apply the ruling across their entire search empires.

[WashingtonPost] Verizon's slowing down data for some of its heaviest users. And the FCC is calling them out on it.

The Federal Communications Commission has sent a strongly worded letter to Verizon warning that changes in the way it handles mobile Internet traffic may violate federal regulations. More broadly, the letter by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is the latest sign that the commission is considering applying its new net neutrality rules to wireless carriers. [...]

[TechDirt] UK's Web Filters Blocking Nearly One-Fifth Of The World's Most Popular Websites

Remember UK Prime Minister David Cameron's China Lite® web blockade, the one that was set up to keep British children from stumbling across Internet Pornography™ and other assorted subjectively objectionable material? While being ostensibly "for the children," the default settings (applied by ISPs at the request of the Foster State) are blocking a whole lot of non-porn. [...]

[TorrentFreak] Music Industry Demands Pirate Bay Blockade in France

The major record labels continue their efforts to drive The Pirate Bay underground with France being the next in line. A local music industry group has informed several ISPs that it has requested a court blocking injunction against the popular torrent site. In addition, more than a hundred Pirate Bay proxies are also being targeted. […]

[PCAdvisor] EU Internet survey finds widespread blocking, fueling net neutrality issue

A European Commission survey of 28,000 Internet users [...] found that 41 percent experience problems watching video on a mobile device and 37 percent on a fixed Internet connection. Other services with which users experienced problems include music streaming, playing online games and voice over IP.

The news comes as the debate over a new E.U. "net neutrality" law continues. [...]

[BBC] UK government tackles wrongly-blocked websites

The government is drawing up a list of sites inadvertently blocked by the filters it asked internet service providers (ISPs) to implement.

Many sites on the list are run by charities that aim to educate children and others about health, sex education and drugs issues. [...]

The group is also looking into ways to set up a standard system that will let any site which thinks it has been wrongly blocked tell ISPs about the mistake so it can get on to the approved list. [...]

[TheGuardian] UK porn filter blocks game update that contained 'sex'

A filter designed to catch porn and adult content inadvertently blocked a game update which contained the letters 's-e-x'.

The firewall being operated by the UK's biggest internet service providers as part of David Cameron's child internet safety campaign has blocked an update of an online video game due which unintentionally included the letters "s-e-x" in its web address.

[TheGuardian] David Cameron's internet porn filter is the start of censorship creep

A comment article on "Cameron's porn filter [that] looks less like an attempt to protect kids than a convenient way to block a lot of content the British government doesn't want its citizens to see, with no public consultation whatsoever."

"With minimal argument, a Conservative-led government has given private firms permission to decide what websites we may and may not access. This sets a precedent for state censorship on an enormous scale – all outsourced to the private sector [...]"