Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

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government of ireland logo Ireland’s Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed that the Irish government will consider a similar system to the UK’s so-called porn block law as part of new legislation on online safety. Flanagan said:

I would be very keen that we would engage widely to ensure that Ireland could benefit from what is international best practice here and that is why we are looking at what is happening in other jurisdictions.

The Irish communications minister Richard Bruton said there are also issues around privacy laws and this has to be carefully dealt with. H said:

It would be my view that government through the strategy that we have published, we have a cross-government committee who is looking at policy development to ensure online safety, and I think that forum is the forum where I believe we will discuss what should be done in that area because I think there is a genuine public concern, it hasn’t been the subject of the Law Reform Commission or other scrutiny of legislation in this area, but it was worthy of consideration, but it does have its difficulties, as the UK indeed has recognised also.

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data protection commission ireland logo Based on the results of an investigation by Privacy International, one of Europe’s key data protection authorities has opened an inquiry into Quantcast, a major player in the online tracking industry.The Irish Data Protection Commission has now opened statutory inquiry into Quantcast International Limited. The organisation writes:

Since the application of the GDPR significant concerns have been raised by individuals and privacy advocates concerning the conduct of technology companies operating in the online advertising sector and their compliance with the GDPR. Arising from a submission to the Data Protection Commission by Privacy International, a statutory inquiry pursuant to section 110 of the Data Protection Action 2018 has been commenced in respect of Quantcast International Limited. The purpose of the inquiry is to establish whether the company’s processing and aggregating of personal data for the purposes of profiling and utilising the profiles generated for targeted advertising is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR. The GDPR principle of transparency and retention practices will also be examined.

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charlie flanaganIreland’s Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has published legislation to repeal the country’s constitutional blasphemy law

The Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018 will be debated in the Oireachtas in September and it is intended that the referendum will take place in October.

Its removal will bring Ireland into line with internationally accepted norms. (ie where ‘blasphemy’ can be prosecuted under different laws)

The minister also said he hoped that debate around the referendum will be conducted in a calm and inclusive manner and that he does not believe that this matter is especially controversial.

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niamh smythIrish book censors have not banned a single magazine and have blocked just one book in the last ten years. Now a member of the Irish Parliament has called for the Censorship of Publications Board to be shut down.

Fianna Fail Arts and Culture Spokesperson Niamh Smyth said: This is one quango that should be whacked. She was referring to a political campaign slogan whack a quango, to shut down quangos. Smyth added:

The ongoing existence of a Censorship Board that doesn’t censor anything is bringing the concept of censorship into disrepute at a time where we need it more than ever.

The only time the board has been heard of in ten years was the ludicrous submission of Alan Shatter’s novel Laura over something to do with abortion.

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stephen fry gay byrne video Police in Ireland are investigating a complaint of blasphemy regarding comments made by Stephen Fry on a television programme shown on Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE in 2015?.Under Ireland’s Defamation Act 2009 a person who publishes or utters blasphemous material shall be guilty of an offence .

While being interviewed on The Meaning of Life TV programme, Fry was asked what he would say to God if he had a chance. Fry replied:

I’d say ‘Bone cancer in children, what’s that about?’ How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?

Fry’s humerous and powerful reply on YouTube has been viewed more than seven million times.

A member of the public, who asked not to be identified, said he made the complaint against Fry more than two years ago at Ennis garda station in County Clare. After hearing nothing for 18 months, the complainant wrote to the head of the Irish police, Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. The man was then contacted by a detective from Donnybrook garda station in Dublin to say they were looking into the blasphemy claim.

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Houses of the Oireachtas Three Fianna Fáil senators introduced a private member’s bill to the Irish parliament intended to restore the state’s copyright to Ireland’s national anthemA Soldiers’ Song was composed in 1907, with words by Peadar Kearney and music by Kearney and Patrick Heeney. The song was adopted as the national anthem in 1926 and was protected under government owned copyright until the end of 2012, 70 years after the writer’s death.

Since then the anthem has not been under any copyright and Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly feels this needs to be rectified, saying:

Having copyright in place is the only way that we can protect our national anthem from being used in an inappropriate manner.

For example, the opening line of the national anthem was used on a range of Dunnes Stores clothing designed by former Kerry footballer Paul Galvin. Senator Daly has said that such commercial use was inappropriate .

The legislation suggest that the copyright can somehow be renewed but opponents point out that copyright is not meant to be a form of censorship. UCD law professor Eoin O’Dell said:

The function of copyright is to incentivise the production of cultural value and to reward the production of cultural value so that we all get the benefit of the things that are produced by the authors, poets and musicians, and then when it falls out of copyright we can all use it.

And the second thing is that, it’s not just attempting to legislate respect by means of copyright, he’s actually trying censorship by means of copyright, which is not what copyright is about.

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See article from independent.ie
See Censorship of Publications Board from justice.ie
See List of banned books [pdf] from justice.ie

Laura Novel Will Never Forget A sexy novel written by Ireland’s Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, has been referred to the Censorship office. Book censors are set to investigate whether Laura: A Story You Will Never Forget is too obscene for Irish readers.

The book, which the minister wrote 24 years ago, contains steamy sex scenes and centres around the troubled private life of an Oireachtas member who is having an affair with his secretary. At one point in the book, the fictional parliamentarian attempts to force the woman to have an abortion in order to save his political career.

The Herald understands that a complaint about the book’s sex scenes has been lodged with the Censorship of Publications Board. Another allegation is the novel advocates the procurement of an abortion or miscarriage. In Ireland there are two main categories under which books can be banned. The first is they are indecent or obscene while the second is they advocate the procurement of abortion or miscarriage .

A spokesperson for the Board confirmed that concerns have been raised with its secretary by a member of the public and added: The complaint will be considered by the new Censorship of Publications Board when it is appointed. Ironically, it is Shatter who is due to announce the members of the board in the coming weeks.