The Online Forums Bill is a Private Members' Bill that was introduced on Parliament on 11th September 2018 under the Ten Minute Rule. The only details published so far is a summary
A Bill to make administrators and moderators of certain online forums responsible for content published on those forums; to require such administrators and moderators to remove certain content; to require platforms to publish information about
such forums; and for connected purposes.
The next stage for this Bill, Second reading, is scheduled to take place on Friday 26 October 2018.
There is a small petition against the bill
Stop the Online Forums Bill 2017-18 becoming law.
Thought control by politicians, backed by the main stream media has led to ever more sinister intrusions into people's freedom to criticize public policy and assemble into campaign groups. ?More details
By requiring platforms to publish information about closed forums and making Administrators responsible for content is Orwellian and anti-democratic.
The British government has opened up a public consultation about implementing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Let the government know what you think about this disgraceful press censorship law
Reasons why the government's plan 'to protect children online' is not just dreadful but extremely alarming.
21st November 2016
From a Melon Farmers reader
It's already been announced that the government are to press ahead with their controversial plans to create a huge database of the all the activities of every internet user in the UK . Every time you visit any website,
the time and date and the name of the website will be recorded. There are no exemptions.
Such a system of blanket surveillance has not been used or proposed in any other country.
You might think then, that after such an announcement, they would have been a little muted for a short while in proposing yet more heavy handed legislation aimed at the internet. Not a bit of it. Now they really seem to have the bit between their
teeth and are charging full steam ahead with, if possible, even more draconian powers.
In the 1980's, as a result of the backlash against video nasties , the government handed complete censorship of all video media to the British Board of Film Censors, now renamed the British Board of Film Classification (because they don't
like to be thought of as censors). A bit like the ministry of propaganda preferred to be called the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984. Appropriately enough, this bill was made law in 1984.
Now, the latest proposal is to effectively hand censorship of the entire internet over to the same people!
The argument is that if a website which is unsuitable for children does not have adequate checks in place to verify the users age, the BBFC will be able to block it. This might sound reasonable in theory but in practice it will culminate in a
monstrous invasion of internet freedom and dangers for internet users. Here's why:
Most people know that such controls can be effectively by-passed with use of a proxy servers, or on a phone or tablet a simple app which redirects internet traffic through a secure unfiltered connection. The problem with this is that it
introduces a whole new level of risk and exposure to criminality. Traffic can be routed, without the user knowing, via servers which are known to contain criminal content thus giving the appearance that the user has been accessing child
pornography, terrorist information or other material which could incriminate them.
Amongst the honest firms who run proxy servers there are con-men and criminals waiting to catch the unwary. Ransom demands and other criminal activity is often the actual business which is sitting behind a link for what appears to be a
proxy server. If you don't believe me, please do your own research.
Identification will be a nightmare. Making porn or other websites take credit or debit card details as a check of age is preposterous. Very few people would want to trust giving their credit or debit card details to a website just to even see
what is on it.
It's even been suggested that these websites could cross check the UK electoral roll. How's that supposed to work? Presumably not so anybody can give the name and address of someone they dislike and that goes down on the government's list of
names and addresses of people who've visited dodgy websites?
The BBFC can not just censor but entirely block any web site that contains anything they disagree with! For example if the site contains anything which they would not allow in a BBFC certificated video. They would argue that it was their
duty . Since a website containing any nudity at all, or discussion of sex, or any other thing which is not suitable for children , should be behind an age protected barrier, this will allow them to block any web site they wish. If a
site with discussion about something which is not suitable for a small child, say in the US or Canada, cannot be bothered to deal with the BBFC, it can simply be blocked completely in the UK if the owners do not cravenly submit to the demands
of a government censor in another country! Not that the websites will probably care, having written off internet users in the UK the same way as they would people who are blocked from access by any other dictatorial government around the world.
In addition to websites being blocked, if a server contains a small amount of anything which is unsuitable for children, the domain itself, containing many other web sites, can be blocked. Because most countries in the world are more broad
minded and less adamant about state control of what people see than the UK, nobody else will have noticed that UK users are being blocked from access to perfectly normal information just because their domain has been blacklisted.
Who is going to pay for this work to be done? The BBFC can currently pay for their video censorship work because the Video Recordings Act requires that by law firms in the UK have no option but to pay their fees ranging from several thousand pounds for each video submitted.
How do you think the BBFC is going to get on with the owners of foreign websites?
Ah, hello Mr Dirty Website Owner, this is the BBFC here, we want you to follow our regulations and pay us or fees or I'm afraid I'll have to inform you that her majesty's government will block UK users from access to your website.
Mr Dirty Website Owner's response is something which you can probably imagine yourself. It probably involves some rather colourful language telling the BBFC where they can stick their regulations and fees.
The government has already required ISPs to provide filtered child friendly internet connections for anyone who wants it. However, since the population have generally been less than enthusiastic about uptake of filtered internet connections the government has decided that this is not good enough and so you *will* have a censored internet connection *and like it* even though 70% of households in the UK have no children.
If this truly was a matter of protecting children, then the problem would lie with the 10 to 15 % of homes with children, where the adults have not switched on the filters. It would be far more sensible to amend the law to require homes where
children are present to have the filters switched on. But this just proves that it *isn't* just a matter of protecting children, what they really want is *total* control, and you don't get that with a opt in scheme. The plan is to censor the
internet to the extent that these filtered connections are no longer required.
Going back to proxy servers again, since this is such an easy way to avoid the censorship, and since, unfortunately, proxy servers allow access to anything, even stuff 99.9% of people really don't want to see, this will give the government a
*perfect excuse* to ban proxy servers as well. And there you have it: TOTAL INTERNET CENSORSHIP. You could probably still download and install a proxy server, but if you are detected using it you could be marched down to the local police
station for questioning, and since there is no excuse to be using a proxy server as they will be illegal, they can assume you were planning a terrorist attack or watching child pornography and throw you in jail. Sorry, I mean detain you in a
cell pending trial, for the public good.
WAKE UP BRITAIN! Please don't allow the control freaks to take over your county. Print this article out, send it to your MP - don't let MPs simply be carried along by misguided nanny state meddling in basic democratic freedom under the guise of
protecting the children . The onus should be on parents to switch on the filters that have already been provided, not treat every adult in the UK as a child.
This proposed legislation is a continuation of the very slippery slope towards total state surveillance and control which has already been approved. If you don't stand up to this next level of state control, what will they think they can get
away with next?
Don't take this warning lightly, unless enough people object they will steamroller ahead with it and you will loose your freedom. Unless you want your internet to be suitable for a pre school toddler with a vast number of other
harmless pages and websites blocked as a result, send this article to your MP now and ask for his or her comments.
NO2ID is a campaigning organisation. We are a single-issue group focussed on the threat to liberty and privacy posed by the rapid growth of the database state, of which ID cards were the most visible part. We are entirely independent.
We do not endorse any party, nor campaign on any other topic.
We aim to publicise the case against state control of personal identity among the general public, in the media, and at every level in government. NO2ID's members are from all sorts of backgrounds and hold all sorts of opinions on other questions.
They almost certainly include people much like you. Please support us.
Open Rights Group is the UK's only digital campaigning organisation working to protect the rights to privacy and free speech online. With almost 3,000 active supporters, we are a grassroots organisation with local groups across the UK.
Digital technology has transformed the way we live and opened up limitless new ways to communicate, connect, share and learn across the world. But for all the benefits, technological developments have created new threats to our human rights. We
raise awareness of these threats and challenge them through public campaigns, legal actions, policy interventions and tech projects.
Threats to privacy by both the government through the surveillance of our personal communications and private companies, who use our personal data to increase their profits.
Threats to free speech through the criminalisation of online speech, online censorship and restrictive copyright laws.
Following a four year, people powered campaign, the libel laws in England & Wales have been reformed. The Defamation Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 25th April 2013 and came into force on 1st January 2014.
However, the Libel Reform Campaign continues. Very few of the new provisions have been extended to Scotland, and none in Northern Ireland. This has left British citizens in those nations with fewer free speech protections than their neighbours in
England & Wales. Worse, since most publishers operate throughout the UK, the jurisdictions with unreformed law could to chill free speech everywhere in the United Kingdom, and the Defamation Act 2013 could be undermined.
The National Secular Society works towards a society in which all citizens, regardless of religious belief, or lack of religious belief, can live together fairly and cohesively. We campaign for a secular democracy with a separation of
religion and state, where everyone's Human Rights are respected equally.
We work in the UK and Europe to challenge the disproportionate influence of religion on governments and in public life. We provide a secular voice in the media, defending freedom and equality as a counterbalance to the powerful religious lobby
and some of the more destructive religious impulses that can threaten human rights worldwide.
The National Secular Society is a non-party-political organisation with members from across the social and political spectrum. Our Honorary Associates include MPs and peers, as well as leading figures from politics, journalism, law and the arts.
The NSS is a democratic and independent non-profit organisation which receives no funding from government or other public bodies. Our campaigning is wholly supported by our members and supporters, people like you who share our belief in the
urgent need to keep religion and politics separate.
Big Brother Watch was founded in 2009 with the intention of exposing the true scale of the surveillance state by challenging the policies which threaten our privacy, our freedoms and our civil liberties.
Big Brother Watch campaigns on behalf of the individual, to educate and encourage more control over personal data. We work to ensure that those who fail to respect our privacy, whether private companies, government departments or local
authorities are held to account.
We produce unique research which shines a light on the dramatic expansion of surveillance powers in the UK, the growth of the database state and the misuse of personal information. Our briefings are regularly cited in Parliament, in government
reports and in the national media.
Protecting individual privacy and defending civil liberties, Big Brother Watch is a campaign group for the digital age.
The Government is trying to pass a surveillance law that will give the Government, intelligence agencies and police the kind of powers you would expect in an authoritarian regime. The Investigatory Powers Bill will let the security services,
police and government departments snoop on our private communications and Internet use.
Data about your emails, phone calls, texts and Internet use will be hoovered up. Everything you do on the Internet and on your phone will be recorded and stored for a year. This can be trawled through by Government supercomputers. The police and
security services can hack your computer or phone.
You don't have to be suspected of a crime for any of these things to happen.
If the #IPBill is passed, the UK will have one of the most extreme surveillance laws in the world. We can't let this happen. Help us to fight the #IPBill.
The Government has announced it's going to introduce an Investigatory Powers Bill. It's the new Snoopers' Charter with even more powers for the police and GCHQ to spy on us. Sign our petition to say you want to stop it!
This is the fifth time a Government has tried to bring in the Snoopers' Charter. The Home Office wants to give the police and intelligence services even more powers to look at what we do and who we talk to.
Do we really want to live in a country where the police tries to access all of our texts and WhatsApp messages to our loved ones, the emails from our friends, the Facebook messages we've sent and the Snapchat photos our friends send us?
We'll have to wait and see for the precise details of the Home Office's plans but we might see them attacking the encryption technology that helps keep our messages and web browsing secure.
We think the police and intelligence services should target people suspected of crimes instead of collecting everyone's data, all of the time.
We're standing up against the Snooper's Charter. We've stopped it before and with your help, we can do that again.
It's not clear that the Home Office's collect-it-all approach is effective or giving us value for money. The perpetrators of atrocities like Lee Rigby's murder and the Charlie Hebdo attack were already on the radar of the British and French
intelligence services. But they decided to stop monitoring them because of lack of resources.
The Home Office's answer to Edward Snowden's shocking disclosures should not be to give the police and the security services even more powers.
We'll be organising a lobby day soon so you can go to Parliament, get a briefing about this Bill and then talk to your MP so watch this space!
New proposals to make online copyright infringement punishable by ten years in jail risks punishing users who share links and files online more harshly than ordinary, physical theft. Prison for filesharers
In the past file sharers have been threatened with criminal charges, despite not seeking any financial gain or running a business. They may be misguided, but we have to ask whether they are really posing a risk to the public and therefore
deserving a criminal conviction. Now in 2015 the Intellectual Property Office are suggesting people like them should face the possibility of a 10-year jail sentence.
The IPO has a consultation on proposals to increase the maximum prison sentence for criminal online copyright infringement to 10 years, aiming to match sanctions for online copyright infringement with physical copyright infringement. The logic
being that similar offences should attract similar penalties, regardless of the platform used.
Whilst we agree with the IPO's logic, their proposals are problematic. The existing offence they are referring to, as outlined in section 107 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, can be brought against both:
Criminals who deliberately infringe copyright by operating filesharing services; and
People who share links and files so that they affect prejudicially the copyright owner.
This second offence is not only vague and broad in definition, but also requires no consideration of the intent of the offender.
It would be easy for a few misguided people to be caught up in this law. For those who share their karaoke songs with no criminal intent, to be threatened with the kind of lengthy sentence that hardened thieves and violent offenders often escape
is just inappropriate. It also places excessive power in the hands of copyright enforcement organisations, who can claim to such individuals that their estimations of financial damage could result in a possible jail sentence.
Similarly, businesses who operate legitimately may be worried or threatened because of this strict liability offence. They cannot argue that they have no intention to harm. The stakes are very high.
ORG believes that if the IPO want to change the sentencing, they have to reform the underlying offence.
The question we have to ask is, are these people a risk to the public?
In 1971, the late, great Ken Russell's masterpiece The Devils was released in a highly censored form. The film was shredded to pieces by censors, who removed several scenes, including one that Russell himself referred to as the
heart of the film.
Although versions of the film have been released since then, Russell's full director's cut has never been issued on DVD.
It is ridiculous that after 44 years, Warner Bros still refuse to release the director's cut. Ken Russell was a hugely significant filmmaker, and The Devils was his magnum opus.
Warner Bros, you have no right to deny us of the director's cut of the film. High profile figures like film critic Mark Kermode and filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro have demanded the director's cut, and so do we.
Everybody deserves the right to access this film in its full form. To have it denied its audience is unwarranted censorship of the most extreme and groundless form.
Sexist, archaic and damaging. This amendment to the communications act (2003) was rushed through parliament to take away the rights British people have on the internet.
Since 1/12/14, The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 requires that video-on-demand (VoD) online porn now adhere to the same guidelines laid out for DVD sex shop-type porn by the BBFC.
This includes the likes of: Spanking, Caning, Penetration by any object associated with violence , Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual), Watersports, Female ejaculation, Facesitting, Fisting.
The regulations make NO distinction between consensual and non-consensual acts.
They treat female ejaculation as a myth (and more unsafe/disgusting than male ejaculation).
This is one further attempt to censor the internet, as with David Cameron's plan to force ISPs to filter pornography.
They will damage smaller, independent film makers and producers, where as huge pornography companies will be left comparatively unscathed, causing a loss of british jobs as independent film makers are forced overseas.
Uneccesary censorship, patriarchal behaviour is all too often the path our government takes. We have 50 shades of grey out in the CINEMA in february, yet we're not allowed to watch a real equivalent made by British people. The government have no
right to dictate what a responsible adult does for work, or what they look at on the internet.
We call for a complete removal of this amendment, underhandedly rushed through parliament in only ONE MONTH, which is inherently sexist, insulting and damaging to many British people.
To: Sajid Javid MP - Minister for censorship culture
Reverse the recent ban on a variety of sexual acts being depicted in UK content. They breach the freedoms and civil rights of consenting adults who participate in the sexual acts as listed below, and have duly signed their legal agreement to such
participation of their own free will.
Why is this important?
Recently the government and the BBFC banned a list of sexual acts, which mainly appear to take aim at female pleasure, from appearing in UK pornography. The government are arbitrarily deciding what is nice sex and what is not nice sex.
There are greater acts of violence in mainstream movies, as indeed there are also acts of a sexual nature, and some of which are extreme. Are the government also intent on banning the multi-billion dollar Hollywood movie industry from showing
such films to a British audience?
I certainly don't recall being consulted about this back-door sexual repression policy by my MP! Yet it affects me, as it does every other adult, here in the UK.
We must NOT be denied the right to choose for ourselves with regard to what do watch and what we do, and just because I happen to view a female ejaculate , for instance, what does it matter?
They banned: Spanking Caning Aggressive whipping Penetration by any object associated with violence Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual) Urolagnia (known as water sports ) Female ejaculation Strangulation
Responsible department: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 came into force on December 1st, restricting UK production of online pornography which depicts spanking, caning, facesitting, female ejaculation, fisting, bondage, and other acts legal to perform
between consenting adults. We want this legislation repealed.
The list of banned activities is transparently sexist: depictions of irrumatio (forceful fellatio) are explicitly permitted, but facesitting (even fully clothed) is banned. Similarly, male ejaculation on a partner is explicitly permitted, but
female ejaculation on a partner is banned.
In addition, these restrictions will cripple small independent UK businesses producing niche pornographic content, while favouring large companies producing mainstream content. They will also benefit foreign companies producing content which is
now illegal to produce in the UK, but still legal for UK customers to purchase and view online.