The UK has passed its controversial online censorship act known as the Online Safety Bill. The bill, one of the widest sweeping attacks on privacy and free speech in a Western democracy will become law.
Under new age verification rules in the UK’s massive Online Safety Bill, all internet platforms with UK users will have to stop minors from accessing ‘harmful’ content, as defined by the UK Parliament. This will affect adult websites, but also user-to-user services – basically any site, platform, or app that allows user-generated content that could be accessed by young people. To prevent minors from accessing ‘harmful’ content, sites will have to verify the age of visitors, either by asking for government-issued documents or using biometric data, such as face scans, to estimate their age.
Vice has repeatedly blocked news stories that could offend the Saudi government, leaving its reporters unsure if they are still able to report freely on the kingdom’s human rights abuses, sources have said.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released an interim staff report detailing how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) — an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) originally intended to protect pipelines and other critical infrastructure from cyberattacks — expanded its mission to surveil and censor Americans' speech on social media. The report entitled, "The Weaponization of CISA: How a 'Cybersecurity' Agency Colluded with Big Tech and 'Disinformation' Partners to Censor Americans," outlines collusion between CISA, Big Tech, and government-funded third parties to conduct censorship by proxy and cover up CISA's unconstitutional activities.
The Oversight Board, an entity formed and backed by Meta Platforms to increase the transparency of its content moderation efforts, has issued a report today where it recommends the parent company of Facebook to keep moderating all content related to COVID-19 to avoid the spread of misinformation and fake news.
First off, let's be clear on one thing: The supposed "TikTok ban" bill — aka the bipartisan Restrict Act (S.686) — does not actually ban TikTok. The word "TikTok" does not appear once in the bill's 55 pages. But critics of the Restrict Act on the left and right are now sounding the alarm in rare alignment — calling the measure a Patriot Act 2.0 which opens the door to unprecedented digital surveillance of Americans, and gives an appointed executive panel unchecked power to censor the internet in the U.S.
A woman in northern France is to be put on trial on charges of insulting President Emmanuel Macron after describing him as 'filth' in a Facebook post, a prosecutor said on Wednesday. The woman risks a fine of 12,000 euros but not prison if convicted at the trial due to be held in June.
The RESTRICT Act, introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tom Thune (R-SD), is aimed at blocking or disrupting transactions and financial holdings linked to foreign adversaries that pose a risk to national security, however the language of the bill could be used to give the US government enormous power to punish free speech.