Archive for the ‘world’ Category

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parliament house logo A parliamentary committee initiated by the Australian government will investigate how porn websites can verify Australians visiting their websites are over 18, in a move based on the troubled UK age verification system.

The family and social services minister, Anne Ruston, and the minister for communications, Paul Fletcher, referred the matter for inquiry to the House of Representatives standing committee on social policy and legal affairs.

The committee will examine how age verification works for online gambling websites, and see if that can be applied to porn sites. According to the inquiry’s terms of reference, the committee will examine whether such a system would push adults into unregulated markets, whether it would potentially lead to privacy breaches, and impact freedom of expression.

The committee has specifically been tasked to examine the UK’s version of this system, in the UK Digital Economy Act 2017.

Hopefully they will understand better than UK lawmakers that it is paramount importance that legislation is enacted to keep people’s porn browsing information totally safe from snoopers, hackers and those that want to make money selling it.

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stop button New Zealand’s Children’s Minister Tracey Martin has been calling for ideas to modernise internet censorship laws to protect kids from porn.So the country’s Chief Censor David Shanks has been on the campaign trail seeking to grab some of those powers to censor internet porn.

Shank’s made an interesting pitch when invited on to the AM Show on breakfast TV. Speaking of ideas for porn censorship he noted:

Tracey Martin says all options are on the table. There are ethical dilemmas involved in cutting the supply, however. Are we going to become like China, in terms of state-imposed restrictions? And who decides where the limits to those are? These are difficult questions.

He said he once stood in front of a room full of people at a conference and outlined a scenario and said:

‘I’m the chief censor. Imagine I’ve got a box with a button on it – a big red button – and if I push that button, I’ve terminated all access to pornography for everyone in this country. Should I push the button?’

There was a stunned silence from the room, then someone said, ‘Who gets to decide what pornography is?’ I said, ‘I am! I’m the Chief Censor.’ But I think that highlights some of the issues underpinning these questions.

No one in the audience urged him to push the button.

A working party has been set up to investigate what can be done, involving the Office of Film and Literature Classification leads the group, and other agencies involved are Netsafe, the Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, the Ministry for Women, the Ministry of Social Development, ACC and the Ministry of Education.

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hotline miami One of the biggest reveals from yesterday’s Indie World presentation was the release of the Hotline Miami Collection on the Switch eShop.Though most fans around the world can rejoice over this port, Australian fans have to watch as everyone else enjoys it, since Hotline Miami Collection has been pulled from the Australian eShop.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number was actually banned some time ago but it was a bit of a shock that the original Hotline Miami  was banned in June of this year. Before that it had been rated MA15+.

In fact Hotline Miami is one of those games that’s had all 3 grown up ratings, ie MA15+, R18+ and of course banned with the RC (Refused Classification) rating.

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we happy few ratings Last week, Australia’s Censorship Board was in the news for banning a game that it had just passed MA15+. The sorry story played out as follows:

DayZ has been available online via Steam since December of last year. As an online title it was rated MA 15+ for strong violence, online interactivity under the International Age Rating Coalition system. This is an automatic rating assignment software programme providing ratings based on forms filled in by the games company.

More recently the game was submitted for PS4 retail release by distributor Five Star Games. This time around it was assessed by human censors and was promptly banned.

Well the random Australian ratings have ht the news again, this time for the dystopian game, We Happy Few. This was famously banned by Australia’s human censors and was the passed R18+ by the appeal board. Well recent resubmissions have resulted in both MA15+ ratings and another ban.

Kotaku reports that the recent submissions may be to do with a new downloaded content update called Lightbearer . But even if this is the case the Australian ratings database doesn’t do much to make it clear which versions are banned, R18, or MA15.

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statue of a girl of peace 0276x0299 A section of a major art festival, Aichi Triennale 2019, in central Japan featuring a statue symbolizing wartime comfort women shut down on Saturday following protests, the organizer said.

The protesters were taking easy offence at the Statue of a Girl of Peace . This depicted a Korean comfort women, or ianfu in Japanese. The term is a euphemism for the women, including Koreans, who provided sex, generally against their will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a news conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019 as it had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes. One of the faxes it received read: I will bring a gasoline container to the museum.

The statue of the girl was part of an exhibit in the art festival’s section titled After Freedom of Expression? Most of the artwork on display in that section could not be displayed in Japan in the past due to censorship or self-censorship, the exhibitor said.

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the eight hundred poster The Eight Hundred is a 2019 China war film by Hu Guan.
Starring Yi Zhang, Chen Yao and Haoming Yu. IMDb

In 1937, eight hundred Chinese soldiers fight under siege from a warehouse in the middle of the Shanghai battlefield, completely surrounded by the Japanese army.

The premiere of Chinese war epic The Eight Hundred has been cancelled after an influential group deemed it inappropriate ahead of Communist China’s 70th anniversary. The Chinese Red Culture Research Association held an academic seminar on filmmaking in which the storyline of The Eight Hundred was criticised because it glorifies the heroic role of Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang). The Kuomintang eventually lost the civil war that led to the Communist Party’s triumph and creation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

Hailed as the Chinese Dunkirk, the film details a story of a Chinese army unit fighting against Japanese invaders in the 1937 Battle of Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

After consultation between the production team and other parties, the July 5 premiere was cancelled and will not be released this summer, according to a statement posted on Tuesday on the film’s Weibo account, a Twitter like platform. The new release date will be announced at a later time, the statement said, without explaining the reasons behind the decision.

The movie had already been abruptly yanked from the Shanghai International Film Festival earlier this month due to technical issues — a term often used as a euphemism for censorship.

The Eight Hundred is the first Chinese film shot entirely on digital IMAX cameras reportedly spent more than $80 million in production costs.

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Facebook logo Australian media companies and Facebook are scrambling to come to terms with a landmark ruling by an Australian judge that found publishers are legally responsible for pre-moderating comments on Facebook.

On Monday in the New South Wales supreme court judge Stephen Rothman found that commercial entities, including media companies, could be regarded as the publishers of comments made on Facebook, and as such had a responsibility to ensure defamatory remarks were not posted in the first place.

News Corp Australia responded to the judgement in a statement:

This ruling shows how far out of step Australia’s defamation laws are with other English-speaking democracies and highlights the urgent need for change. It defies belief that media organisations are held responsible for comments made by other people on social media pages.

It is ridiculous that the media company is held responsible while Facebook, which gives us no ability to turn off comments on its platform, bears no responsibility at all.

The ruling was made in a pre-trial hearing over a defamation case brought by Dylan Voller against a number of media outlets over comments made by readers on Facebook.

Paul Gordon, a social media lawyer at Wallmans lawyers in Adelaide explained the change to Guardian Australia:

Up until yesterday the general thread [was] if you knew or ought to have known a defamatory post was there, you had to take it down.

What the judge yesterday found was a bit different, because it wasn’t alleged by Voller that the media companies had been negligent in failing to the take down the comments. Instead, the judge found the companies were responsible for putting them up in the first place.

That’s really the key difference. You have a situation where now media companies are responsible not just for taking down comments when they see them, but for preventing them going up in the first place. It places a significantly bigger burden on media companies from what was previously in place.

News Corp Australia said it is reviewing the decision with a view to an appeal.

Perhaps the only way for companies to abide by this understanding  of the law is for them to take down their Facebook pages totally.