Category Archive: Censorship

For the sake of “real” news, Google must build public oversight of its new search algorithm

By Simon Davies Over the past few weeks, there have been reports that Google’s new search algorithm – intended to demote fake news and conspiracy theories – has in fact been censoring legitimate news sites. More worrying still, it’s arguable that the world’s most extensive censorship regime has just begun with hardly a whisper from …

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VPN users beware. Your IP address can still be visible

By Simon Davies There are dozens of reasons why any smart Netizen might want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. These facilities allow you to enjoy an online Level Playing Field, avoiding censorship and dodging bad players such as trackers and malicious hackers. The idea is simple. A VPN will mask your location …

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Why political solidarity at the Paris Hebdo rally has become the most dangerous threat ever to privacy

 By Simon Davies Anyone concerned about the future of privacy protection should take careful note of the fallout from the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France. The rapid chain of events in the days since then has triggered a domino effect of intrusive proposals and inflammatory rhetoric that could imperil the right to privacy for decades …

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Google’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ offensive goes spectacularly off the rails

By Simon Davies Google’s European roadshow, which the company hopes will destabilise a new EU court ruling on the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF), has backfired spectacularly. Google had hoped that the roadshow would trigger a division within the digital rights movement and stoke a media firestorm of protest against a decision by Europe’s highest …

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Free Speech hypocrisy is not helping us resolve the Right to be Forgotten

By Simon Davies In his column this week for Britain’s Observer newspaper, the enormously entertaining David Mitchell reflected on a recent shock decision by Google to sever its search links to a blog post authored by the respected UK business journalist Robert Peston. The decision stems – ostensibly – from a recent judgement by the …

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We ignore Pakistan’s struggle for freedom at our own peril

By Simon Davies The global outpouring of public support over the Turkish government’s latest incursion on freedom of expression has been breathtaking. International media have extensively covered the issue, providing fuel for citizen-led initiatives to oppose or circumvent the Twitter ban. This support, however, throws into sharp relief the dearth of activity around ongoing censorship …

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A brief explanation of why Britain’s government is poisonous to privacy

By Simon Davies Some people might reluctantly forgive the British Tory party over its recent history of intolerance, political self-interest and electoral deceit – in the same way that they might forgive a snake for acting like a snake. It’s in the blood. But even by Tory standards, this current conservative government has embarked on …

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Pakistan prepares to introduce the world’s most unsafe cybercrime law

By Simon Davies The Pakistan government is on the point of introducing one of the most draconian Cybercrime laws in online history. If passed in its current form, the legislation is likely to create a substantial chill over both free expression and e-commerce in the region’s already fragile online environment. Of even greater concern is …

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Facebook trashes its “principles” as it blocks human rights pages in Pakistan

By Simon Davies Facebook has again been accused of unlawful collusion with the Pakistan government after the publication today of a list of url’s that have been blocked by the company – including an influential page dedicated to human rights and political discourse. A partial list of blocked pages is published below. While some of …

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Finally, an online censorship plan we can all support

  By Simon Davies  You don’t need to be a crazed authoritarian to realise that the UK government’s plan to introduce universal Internet filtering for porn content doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Authorities need to adopt stronger measures if they are to deal with the true scale of online obscenity. By way of background, …

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