Category Archive: Censorship

How a surprising blog post helped shift Japan’s perception of civil liberties

By Simon Davies In recent days a rather odd sequence of events has unfurled in Japan which has led some observers to speculate that this endlessly surprising nation is starting to wake from its 40-year slumber over privacy and civil liberties. Over the past few decades the Japanese population has been ambivalent about rights issues, …

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It’s time for companies to become champions of rights and build a new accord with the public

  By Simon Davies To one extent or another all companies that provide online services have become outsourced agents of government. Their vast archives of personal data are a cost-effective resource for security and law enforcement agencies which often require little more than basic paperwork to secure the target information. Companies will tell you that …

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David Cameron’s plan to block porn sites is a stroke of genius

 By Simon Davies I’m going to swim against the flow here and admit that I rather like the UK Prime Minister’s idea of default blocking of access to porn sites. In fact, I think it’s a stroke of genius. The plan, for those who haven’t yet heard about it, is to make access to porn …

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Pakistan government admits secret “censorship arrangement” with Facebook

By Simon Davies A senior Pakistan government official has told the High Court of Lahore that Facebook has entered into a covert working relationship with national authorities to censor online content. The admission was made earlier this month during a hearing of public interest claims brought by Bytes for All Pakistan (B4A) against the government’s …

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The withdrawal of an NSA story – and an ethical quagmire for the Observer

 By Simon Davies There are many inspiring stories of heroic actions by journalists and editors – tenacious tales from the front-line in pursuit of truth. Unfortunately for one British Sunday newspaper – the Observer – inclusion in that noble circle may have to wait until the paper conducts a deep dive into its principles. Over …

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Farewell dear America. Here’s why I will never again walk on your soil

By Simon Davies This is a painful commitment to make, but I’ve taken the decision to never again travel to the US. The bullying, intimidation and hypocrisy have gone too far. I’m hurting because I deeply love so much about America. I’ve traveled there perhaps 200 times over the past 25 years to be with …

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Britain’s Singaporean social media restrictions: a kinky case study in idiocy

By Simon Davies The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) earlier this week published guidelines for the prosecution of questionable or unlawful material on social networking sites. The publication has – worryingly – gone almost unnoticed, despite there being significant repercussions from the new guidelines. At one level the guidelines should be applauded. They establish a …

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Apple steps up its moral crusade against the evils of app nudity

 By Simon Davies Apple has embarked on a moral rampage against apps that allow users to view images of nudity. Several apps have been caught with their pants down enabling images of people doing things to each other while naked. This outrageous functionality breaches API content guidelines. Apple last week controversially removed a popular app …

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