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April 2019
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UK Government Misses Another Ship Date On Its Porn Filter

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Good news, UK porn aficionados: the porn filter is backed up.

The U.K. Government has postponed the introduction of controversial new regulations that have come to be known as the 'Porn Block' and would have blocked those under the age of 18 from viewing online porn from April.[...]According to the Mirror Online a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) spokesperson has now "confirmed that the official rollout plans will be announced shortly" and the April 1 commencement date no longer stands.
And so the plan that won't work -- one that's going to under- and over-block when not being circumvented with remarkable ease -- is on the back burner again. This doesn't mean the government is going to fix it. It just means the government hasn't been able to convince anyone in the private sector that it's being foisted upon that it will work as intended.The government "refreshed" its porn blockade late last year, softening a few mandates into suggestions. But the newly-crafted suggestions were backed by the implicit threat of heavier regulation. All the while, the government has ignored the hundreds of critics and experts who have pointed out the filtering plan's numerous problems -- not the least of which is a government-mandated collection of blackmail fodder.The government is no longer demanding retention of site logs by sites performing age verification, but it's also not telling companies they shouldn't retain the data. Companies likely will retain this data anyway, if only to ensure they have it on hand when the government inevitably changes it mind.As for keeping kids away from porn, the proposed system is already an admitted failure. Exemptions are in place for sites like Reddit, which has no shortage of porn to offer. Meanwhile, the government continues to insist this will all work out wonderfully whenever the long-delayed filtering system is finally rolled out.
"This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online," a spokesperson for the Department for Digial, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. "The government, and the BBFC as the regulator, have taken the time to get this right and we will announce a commencement date shortly."
"Shortly." April 1st will come and go with no porn filter. The next best guess is around Easter (April 21st). But I'd wager that date comes and goes as well with zero new porn filters. The UK government only knows what it wants. It has no idea how to get it. If UK citizens are lucky, the porn filter will end up being government vaporware -- a minor annoyance only noticed every time a ship date is cancelled.

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German Government's Bullying Of FOI Group Provides A Warning Of How EU's New Upload Filters Will Be Used For Censorship

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One of the many concerns about the upload filters of the EU's Copyright Directive is that they could lead to censorship, even if that is not the intention. The problem is that once a filtering mechanism is in place to block unauthorized copies of materials, it is very hard to stop its scope being widened beyond copyright infringement. As it happens, the German government has just provided a good example of the kind of abuse that is likely to become a commonplace.FragDenStaat -- literally "ask the State" -- is a German freedom of information (FOI) organization. It obtained and published a six-page report about the herbicide glyphosate. The document was written by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, a publicly-funded body that provides scientific advice to Germany's federal government on issues relating to things like food, product, and chemical safety, as well as consumer health protection. Even though the report was paid for by the German public, obtained legally -- and can still be requested by anyone -- FragDenStaat is not allowed to distribute it. The Regional Court in Cologne has ruled that would be an infringement of the German State's copyright, and ordered it to be taken down. FragDenStaat says it will appeal -- to the Court of Justice of the European Union, if necessary -- and comments:

The federal government abuses copyright law to prevent the publication of public interest documents. This is possible because German copyright law is hopelessly outdated. We believe that copyright law should ensure that tax-financed documents such as the Glyphosat report may be used freely. But in contrast, the German government wants to tighten copyright law further, which will further reduce the amount of information the public receives about important topics like this.
Leaving aside the issue that all such reports funded by the public should by freely available unless there are very good reasons to withhold them -- not the case here -- there is the particularly troubling aspect of this bullying of FragDenStaat by the German government. At the moment, there is little to stop copies of this document being requested, then uploaded and shared around the Internet. But once the EU Copyright Directive's upload filters have been installed, it will be easy for the German government to require sites to block these attempts. The fact that the authorities were willing to waste money taking FragDenStaat to court over a six-page document suggests they won't hesitate for a second to use upload filters to block sharing.It won't just be governments. It is inevitable that leaked documents showing evidence of wrong-doing by companies will be blocked on all the major sites once upload filters are available. No court order is required, so it will become the first thing companies trying to hide their dirty washing will do. Upload filters will not only cause legitimate material produced by Internet users to be blocked by over-cautious online platforms, it will also make life even harder for whistleblowers to expose the truth about corporate crimes and misdeeds. How convenient.Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising Placements

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With over a billion people logging into Facebook every day, the popular social media platform has become a powerful tool for digital marketers worldwide. Tapping into that rich and diverse audience can spell wonders for your business and allow you to reach KPIs and metrics for your effortsif you do it right. When Facebook Ads […]The post Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising Placements appeared first on Adotas.

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