Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Read more insa.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

uncovering pakistan Pakistan has officially objected to a news article appearing on the BBC news website. Pakistan claimed that the report, Uncovering Pakistan’s secret human rights abuses, was defamatory, called for the article to be taken down, and also demand an apology from the BBC. The news report is available in English and Urdu.The official letter has been written by the Director General External Publicity Samina Waqar to the Ofcom, UK, and the BBC, against the report. The letter claimed the story not only presented a fabricated theme, but also violated journalistic ethos. The letter goes on:

The story also violates BBC’s editorial policy by not incorporating the point of view of all stakeholders/citing credible sources/quoting authentic evidence etc,, adding that it amounted to indicting the state of Pakistan for so-called ‘secret human rights abuses’ without any cogent evidence.

We demand that the BBC remove this defamatory and malicious story and issue a clear-cut apology. We also expect the BBC to ensure that in the future such fake stories specifically targeting Pakistan will not be disseminated.

The complaint explains that the Pakistan government expects the BBC to abide by its editorial policy and journalists’ ethos in the future, asking that Ofcom look into the content of the mala-fide, incorrect and misleading story and take measures as per the BBC’s editorial guidelines 1.2.11 — (Accountability: We will be open in acknowledging mistakes when they are made and encourage a culture of willingness to learn from them.)

Pakistan has warned that the government has the right to pursue all legal options in Pakistan or the UK if BBC authorities fail to retract the libellous and defamatory story and take action against its writer, with the letter saying the content of this story reflects bias, spin and the angling of facts, and that there are judgemental expressions that are a clear violation of journalistic norms of impartiality and objectivity.

Advertisements
Read more uk_internet_censors.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

internet regulation part ii b This report follows our research into current Internet content regulation efforts, which found a lack of accountable, balanced and independent procedures governing content removal, both formally and informally by the state.

There is a legacy of Internet regulation in the UK that does not comply with due process, fairness and fundamental rights requirements. This includes: bulk domain suspensions by Nominet at police request without prior authorisation; the lack of an independent legal authorisation process for Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) blocking at Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and in the future by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), as well as for Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) notifications to platforms of illegal content for takedown. These were detailed in our previous report.

The UK government now proposes new controls on Internet content, claiming that it wants to ensure the same rules online as offline. It says it wants harmful content removed, while respecting human rights and protecting free expression.

Yet proposals in the DCMS/Home Office White Paper on Online Harms will create incentives for Internet platforms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook to remove content without legal processes. This is not the same rules online as offline. It instead implies a privatisation of justice online, with the assumption that corporate policing must replace public justice for reasons of convenience. This goes against the advice of human rights standards that government has itself agreed to and against the advice of UN Special Rapporteurs.

The government as yet has not proposed any means to define the harms it seeks to address, nor identified any objective evidence base to show what in fact needs to be addressed. It instead merely states that various harms exist in society. The harms it lists are often vague and general. The types of content specified may be harmful in certain circumstances, but even with an assumption that some content is genuinely harmful, there remains no attempt to show how any restriction on that content might work in law. Instead, it appears that platforms will be expected to remove swathes of legal-but-unwanted content, with as as-yet-unidentified regulator given a broad duty to decide if a risk of harm exists. Legal action would follow non-compliance by a platform. The result is the state proposing censorship and sanctions for actors publishing material that it is legal to publish.

Read more inau.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Poster Nightingale 2018 Jennifer Kent The Nightingale is a 2018 Australia adventure thriller by Jennifer Kent.
Starring Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman and Aisling Franciosi. IMDb

Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.

The director of a brutal historical drama — containing numerous visceral rape scenes that prompted cinemagoers to walk out of a Sydney screening on Sunday — has defended her film, saying it’s historically accurate.

Aussie film The Nightingale, directed by Jennifer Kent, was screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival to a sold-out audience of more than 1000 people.

Some audience members were so distressed by the on-screen violence, that they yelled out in protest and walked out.

However, Kent responded saying that the unflinching rape-revenge story, set in 1825, contains historically accurate depictions of colonial violence and racism towards our indigenous people:

We’ve made this film in collaboration with Tasmanian Aboriginal elders, and they feel it’s an honest and necessary depiction of their history and a story that needs to be told, she said. I remain enormously proud of the film.

However, it was clear some in Sydney on Sunday didn’t feel the level of sexual violence was warranted in telling the story of Clare, tweeting:

The Nightingale made me do something I thought I would never do. I walked out. There was a point when I just needed to take myself away from that brutal space. But I recognised that this is an important film so I walked back in and watched the rest of the movie.

Viewers also walked out during later scenes in the film that showed horrific levels of violence towards babies, children and mainly indigenous people — with close-up shots of faces being mashed up, brutal stabbings and even more drawn-out rapes.

Despite the criticism, The Nightingale received a sustained round of applause as the credits rolled at the Ritz last night.

Read more me_asa.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ASA logo ASA’s new rule banning harmful gender stereotypes in ads has come into force.

The new rule in the Advertising Codes, which will apply to broadcast and non-broadcast media (including online and social media), states:

[Advertisements] must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

This change follows a review of gender stereotyping in ads by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).  Following the review, CAP (the rulle writing arm of ASA) consulted publicly on specific proposals to ban harmful gender stereotypes in ads, underpinned by the evidence collected by the ASA. The proposed restrictions were supported by a majority of respondents.

The evidence does not show that the use of gender stereotypes is always problematic and the new rule does not seek to ban gender stereotypes outright, but to identify specific harms that should be prevented.

The advertising industry has had six months to get ready for the new rule. The ASA will now deal with any complaints it receives on a case-by-case basis and will assess each ad by looking at the content and context to determine if the new rule has been broken.

Scenarios in ads likely to be problematic under the new rule include:

  • An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.

  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car.

  • Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.

  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl’s stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.

  • An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.

  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically female roles or tasks.

The rule and its supporting guidance doesn’t stop ads from featuring:

  • A woman doing the shopping or a man doing DIY.

  • Glamorous, attractive, successful, aspirational or healthy people or lifestyles.

  • One gender only, including in ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender.

  • Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects.

CAP will carry out a review of the new rule in 12 months’ time to make sure it’s meeting its objective to prevent harmful gender stereotypes.

Read more uk_internet_censors.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

av security standard analysis 2 Executive Summary

The BBFC’s Age-verification Certificate Standard (“the Standard”) for providers of age verification services, published in April 2019, fails to meet adequate standards of cyber security and data protection and is of little use for consumers reliant on these providers to access adult content online.

This document analyses the Standard and certification scheme and makes recommendations for improvement and remediation. It sub-divides generally into two types of concern: operational issues (the need for a statutory basis, problems caused by the short implementation time and the lack of value the scheme provides to consumers), and substantive issues (seven problems with the content as presently drafted).

The fact that the scheme is voluntary leaves the BBFC powerless to fine or otherwise discipline providers that fail to protect people’s data, and makes it tricky for consumers to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy providers. In our view, the government must legislate without delay to place a statutory requirement on the BBFC to implement a mandatory certification scheme and to grant the BBFC powers to require reports and penalise non-compliant providers.

The Standard’s existence shows that the BBFC considers robust protection of age verification data to be of critical importance. However, in both substance and operation the Standard fails to deliver this protection. The scheme allows commercial age verification providers to write their own privacy and security frameworks, reducing the BBFC’s role to checking whether commercial entities follow their own rules rather than requiring them to work to a mandated set of common standards. The result is uncertainty for Internet users, who are inconsistently protected and have no way to tell which companies they can trust.

Even within its voluntary approach, the BBFC gives providers little guidance to providers as to what their privacy and security frameworks should contain. Guidance on security, encryption, pseudonymisation, and data retention is vague and imprecise, and often refers to generic “industry standards” without explanation. The supplementary Programme Guide, to which the Standard refers readers, remains unpublished, critically undermining the scheme’s transparency and accountability.

Recommendations

  • Grant the BBFC statutory powers:

  • The BBFC Standard should be substantively revised to set out comprehensive and concrete standards for handling highly sensitive age verification data.

  • The government should legislate to grant the BBFC statutory power to mandate compliance.

  • The government should enable the BBFC to require remedial action or apply financial penalties for non-compliance.

  • The BBFC should be given statutory powers to require annual compliance reports from providers and fine those who sign up to the certification scheme but later violate its requirements.

  • The Information Commissioner should oversee the BBFC’s age verification certification scheme

Delay implementation and enforcement:

Delay implementation and enforcement of age verification until both (a) a statutory standard of data privacy and security is in place, and (b) that standard has been implemented by providers.

Improve the scheme content:

Even if the BBFC certification scheme remains voluntary, the Standard should at least contain a definitive set of precisely delineated objectives that age verification providers must meet in order to say that they process identity data securely.

Improve communication with the public:

Where a provider’s certification is revoked, the BBFC should issue press releases and ensure consumers are individually notified at login.

The results of all penetration tests should be provided to the BBFC, which must publish details of the framework it uses to evaluate test results, and publish annual trends in results.

Strengthen data protection requirements:

Data minimisation should be an enforceable statutory requirement for all registered age verification providers.

The Standard should outline specific and very limited circumstances under which it’s acceptable to retain logs for fraud prevention purposes. It should also specify a hard limit on the length of time logs may be kept.

The Standard should set out a clear, strict and enforceable set of policies to describe exactly how providers should “pseudonymise” or “deidentify” data.

Providers that no longer meet the Standard should be required to provide the BBFC with evidence that they have destroyed all the user data they collected while supposedly compliant.

The BBFC should prepare a standardised data protection risk assessment framework against which all age verification providers will test their systems. Providers should limit bespoke risk assessments to their specific technological implementation.

Strengthen security, testing, and encryption requirements:

Providers should be required to undertake regular internal and external vulnerability scanning and a penetration test at least every six months, followed by a supervised remediation programme to correct any discovered vulnerabilities.

Providers should be required to conduct penetration tests after any significant application or infrastructure change.

Providers should be required to use a comprehensive and specific testing standard. CBEST or GBEST could serve as guides for the BBFC to develop an industry-specific framework.

The BBFC should build on already-established strong security frameworks, such as the Center for Internet Security Cyber Controls and Resources, the NIST Cyber Security Framework, or Cyber Essentials Plus.

At a bare minimum, the Standard should specify a list of cryptographic protocols which are not adequate for certification.

Read more me_bbc_trust.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

heresy radio 4 Speaking on Radio 4’s Heresy show last night, comedian Jo Brand joked:

 Certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore, and they’re very, very easy to hate.

And I’m kind of thinking, why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?

That’s just me, sorry, I’m not gonna do it, it’s purely a fantasy. But I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do. Sorry.

Presumably she was referring to Nigel Farage being hit with a milkshake whist campaigning before the European elections.

The gag was met with howls of laughter from the studio audience and show host Victoria Coren Mitchell didn’t appear concerned by the remarks.

The gag has caused a bit of a flurry of complaints eliciting an initial response from the BBC.

The Sun reported that the BBC refused to apologise for the broadcast and said remarks on the comedy show were not intended to be taken seriously.  A spokeswoman said:

Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative and go against societal norms but are not intended to be taken seriously.

But this of course highlights rather obvious injustice in the kangaroo court system whose jurisdiction is political correctness. Had a male comedian joked about similarly about a female politician, then that comedian would have been marched off the premises, and the police would have been waiting on his doorstep when he arrived home. And I guess a similar thought would go through the mind of anyone reading about the BBC response to the joke.

But perhaps the BBC has realised that it has been to blatant in its biased version of PC justice and has taken the unusual action of asking interested viewers to be informed of the official response to the complaints by email rather than the BBFC publishing its response on its website.

Meanwhile Nigel Farage has responded saying: T his is incitement of violence and the police need to act.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom confirmed it had received 19 complaints from angry listeners since the show was broadcast.

Perhaps it is about time that the politically correct police and media realised that it is simply unjust to tacitly support the milkshaking of politicians who are considered politically incorrect. It is demonstrating the human failing that anyone granted power over others, may and will use that power to abuse those less favoured. An observation that applies equally to all genders, sexualities, religions and races.

Read more pc_news.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

strictly ann poster Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe became the focus of a PC lynch mob when she touched on the topic of homosexuality when being interviewed on Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday. She speculated:

I also pointed out that there was a time when we thought it was quite impossible for men to become women and vice versa and the fact that we now think it is quite impossible for people to switch sexuality doesn’t mean that science may not be able to produce an answer at some stage.

This seems to acknowledge the current thinking on the subject and adds a idle speculation about the future. It hardly seems to be anything to get worked up about and much of the ‘outrage’ seems to have been generated by partially reporting the quote as if she was speaking about something more current.

The resulting lynch mob managed to get her touring stage show, Strictly Ann: An Evening with Ann Widdecombe, banned from several venues.

But The Lowther Pavilion in Lythm, Lancashire bravely allowed her show to go on. Tim Lince, chairman of Lowther Theatre’s Trust, said:

I do not feel we should be in the business of censorship. I believe the theatre is open for everybody to speak and that’s a very important thing we should all defend. If there had been an incident where something had been said that had led to police action, the board would have had no place in that. The Lowther would not support anything where there has been police action.

Ihe theatre issued a statement in which it said:

The right of free speech in the theatre was long fought and should be protected so that all opinions can be represented. Lowther Pavilion has always had an inclusive performance and use policy and this has been represented by previous and future presentations booked at the theatre.

About 25 people protested outside the theatre with little effect.

Maybe one day science will be able to cure the easily offended