censorship
‘Fake News’ Bill Signed Into Law in Russia

A pair of bills that limit speech online were signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, promising harsh penalties for those who criticise the nation and its officials or post fake news. Read More >>

porn
The Extremely Dumb Plan to Force Porn Sites to Verify Users’ Ages May Come Next Month

The disastrous plan to implement a nationwide system blocking web users from viewing pornography unless their age and identities are confirmed by a verification service – an astonishingly ill-conceived plan being spearheaded by doddering Brexiteer Theresa May’s Tory government – is nearly a year behind schedule. But the clock is ticking, the Independent reported on Monday. Read More >>

censorship
Russian Lawmakers Pass Bills Banning Fake News and ‘Disrespect’ of Officials Online 

A pair of bills that prohibit spreading fake news and insulting authorities just made it one step closer to becoming law in Russia. Read More >>

censorship
Indian Lawmakers Call for TikTok Ban Due to ‘Cultural Degeneration’

There’s pressure building in India to regulate the shortform video app TikTok, with some lawmakers pushing for the platform to be blocked as a vessel for societal decay. Read More >>

microsoft
China May Have Blocked Microsoft’s Bing in Latest Censorship Play: Report

This year is already proving to be challenging for Microsoft’s Bing. It appears as of Wednesday that the search engine is no longer accessible in China, even despite the company’s commitment to censoring its search results. Read More >>

netflix
Netflix Has Reportedly Signed a ‘Best Practices’ Code in India to Avoid State Censorship

Netflix and eight other streaming services including pending Disney acquisition Hotstar and Jio Cinema have signed a “code of best practices” stating they will voluntarily self-regulate their content in India, CNN Business reported on Friday. According to CNN, the agreement (posted to Indian tech site MediaNama) includes provisions targeting content that “disrespects the national emblem or national flag,” “intends to outrage religious sentiments,” or “encourages terrorism or other forms of violence against the State.” Read More >>

censorship
Witchcraft, Blood, Porn, and Tibetan Independence Banned on Short-Video Apps in China

In the latest extension of the Great Firewall of China, the nation is pushing a set of guidelines on Douyin—the Chinese version of TikTok run by the same parent company—as well as other short-form video apps. These new rules press the social media companies to monitor for 100 types of illicit content. Read More >>

censorship
India Proposes Regulation to Force Tech Platforms to Censor the Web and Shatter Security

Following in the footsteps of the European Union and Australia, the government of India now wants to rewrite its laws to censor content and weaken encryption. If allowed to move forward, India’s new proposals would require many web platforms to remove illegal content within 24 hours and use broken automation techniques that will inevitably lead to censorship. Read More >>

gaming
China’s Nine-Month Freeze on New Video Game Approvals Will Soon Be Over

The Chinese government has ended a nine-month freeze on new approvals of video game licenses, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, after the establishment of a “new body to review ethical issues in gaming” and the completion of a re-organisation among government media agencies. Read More >>

tumblr
Tumblr’s Porn Ban Is Off to a Predictably Stupid Start

Yesterday Tumblr committed to making its social network, which is full of boobs, dongs, and teens openly fantasising about the two, a more child-friendly place. The announcement, shared via the Staff account promised a “better, more positive Tumblr” free of things like sexual acts, genitalia, and “female-presenting nipples.” Read More >>

google
More Than 600 Google Employees Are Demanding an End to Project Dragonfly

Google’s Project Dragonfly, the controversial project for a censored search product for China, has sparked two separate letters from the company’s employees arguing either for or against the project. As of today, however, a letter in opposition of the project has amassed more than 600 signatures, eclipsing the reported figure of a separate letter defending Dragonfly. Read More >>

gaming
Report: China’s Censors Stop Approving New Video Game Titles Amid Industry Crackdown

The Chinese government, no stranger to mass censorship, has halted a stopgap approval process it has been using to vet video games before they can be released to the public amid a broader crackdown on the market, Bloomberg reported this week. Read More >>

china
China’s Former Internet Chief, a Censorship Hardliner, Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges

Lu Wei, the former chief of the imposing Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and one of the primary architects of the mass censorship foisted on China’s estimated 700 million internet users, pleaded guilty this week in Chinese court to taking some 32 million yuan (about £3.5 million) in bribes, the Associated Press reported on Friday, citing state TV broadcasts. Those state-owned stations broadcast only limited details of the case, though Lu stepped down from his post in 2016 and the next year became the target of one of the far-ranging anti-corruption probes ordered by President Xi Jinping. Read More >>

censorship
Internet Celebrity Imprisoned for Short, Goofy Rendition of China’s National Anthem 

Yang Kaili, a young internet star in China, was detained for five days for singing the country’s national anthem in a non-serious manner during a livestream. On 7 October, clad in a fuzzy antler headband, Yang waved her hands around as she sang the national anthem for about 10 seconds. Read More >>

facebook
Vietnam Convicts Second Person This Week for Anti-Government Facebook Posts 

On Thursday, police in Vietnam reported that a court had jailed a 40-year-old man for two and a half years due to the comments included in his Facebook posts. This is the second Facebook-related imprisonment in the country in the past week. Read More >>