* Posts by Malcolm Boura 2

69 posts • joined 12 Aug 2009

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Biz MPs gung-ho for 'Google Review'

Malcolm Boura 2

"This is a serious failure of Parliamentary scrutiny." What's new? The politicians cheerfully commission and allow publications of "factual", "independent" reports containing serious errors of logic. NB opinion can be debated but these are errors of the 2+2=5 variety. They, prinicipally Claire Perry, have then used those reports to justify trampling on freedoms "fundamental to a democratic society". The remit of the Office for Naitonal Statistics must be expanded to include the audit of reports for errors of logic and methodology.

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Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

Malcolm Boura 2

Unjustified, ambiguous to the point of meaningless and dangerous

The Bailey report. often cited as providing justification for this nonsense, does nothing of the sort. It admits that there is no real evidence that pornography causes harm to children. It also completely, and deliberately, fails to define pornography, which renders most of its findings in this area near meaningless.

The Bill has the same problem It defines many terms but fails to define pornography. Is it the definition of Denmark or the defnition of Saudi Arabia? There is a suspicion, a well founded one in my opinion, that extreme pornography may cause harm to children. There is strong evidence that the attitudes associated with prudery results in widespread and often very serious harm to children and young people.

This Bill is about a small minority imposing their morality on everyone else, not protection of children. If it were really about children then the Bill would follow the evidence.

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Media groups propose anti-piracy 'code of practice' for UK search

Malcolm Boura 2

Rational and equitable?

Yest another example of the privatisation of justice. Hide quasi judicial decisions behind a smokescreen of commercial stonewalling. We only have to look at how well the likes of Facebook respond to complaints about unjustified censorship, typically they don't.

Before there is any extension to censorship it must be placed on an equitable and rational basis. There are two major requirements:

1. It must be based on evidence of harm, not the myth and prejudice which drives most of it at present. That prejudice results in widespread and often serious harm.

2. There must be a single point of appeal. At present every internet service provider, mobile phone operator, social network, or whatever has to be fought individually and that is completely impractcable. It makes a nonsence of freedom of expression if the means of expression are denied.

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How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

Malcolm Boura 2

Arguing from a false premise

This article is much better than many but it still omits the essential first step. Before worrying about how to censor the internet first determine what needs to be censored. That can only be done from facts and evidence. Myth and prejudice have no place is making policy over children.

The internet is about to have draconian censorship imposed. The politicans concerned, think Mary Whitehouse MP, claim that they are only following the recommendations of the independent Bailey Report. However Mr Bailey was appointed by the Home Office, assisted by the Home Office, presumably paid by the Home Office, he represents one particular religious group and I have little doubt that he was chosen because he would provide the answer desired. See Government Dirty Data, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/10/dirty_data/ There is strong evidence for the widespread and often serious harm that results from the attitudes associated with prudery but he completely failed to even consider the possibility that harm could result from his recommendations.

There is strong evidence that prudery results in harm, no good evidence that it provides benefit, and a bunch of neo-puritan politicans using "child protection" to further their own agenda. The causal links may be less obvious than a sexual assault but prudery is every bit as much child sexual abuse.

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Crossley cops two-year suspension

Malcolm Boura 2

One law for the rich, one law for the lawers and no law for the victims

The idea that the recipients of those letters were able to just ignore them, or that it was not extortion because they could defend themselves in court is absolutely laughable. "The courts of England are available to anyone (like the Savoy hotel)" Dalhousie. I didn't realise just how much injustice that causes until I started providing support to people who are on the receiving/victim end of the law.

It may not meet the legal definition of extortion but it certainly meets the everyday definition. It was an absolutely pathetic penalty. Did he send more than one letter to anyone? If so then the criminal charge of harassment should be considered.

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Swedish college girls now twice as slutty as in 2001

Malcolm Boura 2

Well that outcome is consistent with the trend throughout Europe towards more prudery resulting in less openess about sex, sexuality, sexual health matters and what a surprise, worse outcomes. Before anyone objects, no I don't have any direct evidence that that is part of the cause in this example, but it is consistent with observed patterns..

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Google report reveals YouTube takedown requests... by country

Malcolm Boura 2
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Censorship common place

Need a court order??? You must be joking! Censorship is endemic in our society. There is an enormous number of censors and precious little protection against them. What they censor is largely driven by lowest common denominator prejudice rather than evidence. http://www.bn.org.uk/pages/pages.asp?page_ID=525

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Malcolm Boura 2

BBC self censorship

Since the BBC has been mentioned I must point out that it self censors to the point of dishonesty.

For example, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1444780.stm. No indication that the bottom of the picture has been cropped. There are exceptions but censorship of this sort is quite common and it is never admitted to.

The page http://www.bn.org.uk/pages/pages.asp?page_ID=525 gives information on body censorship. The BBC is mentioned many times as well as having a section of its own.

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Judge cracks down on Bayesian stats dodginess in court

Malcolm Boura 2

Abuse of statistics, law and human rights

The more I have to do with the legal system the more appalled I am by the poor standards that seem endemic in every part of it. That is sometimes due to the inadequacy of the indivifuals but more often it is down to resources that are completely inadequate to deal with the complexity of the law.

The problem with legal aid is not that there are too many cases, or too many clamimants, it is that the law costs so much and it costs so much because it is often so complex and so poorly defined that the outcome of trials depends more on how much can be afforded than the evidence.

This is a well known example of the missuse of probability, but well worth repeating, because this error is still made, in all sorts of contexts including both court cases and politicians making policy. A DNA match is say one in a million and state that way it is enough to make most people certain. However try putting it another way. There are probably about 60 people in the UK that that DNA could belong to.

99% of serious sex offenders share a genetic trait and a previous criminal offence so the two together are an excellent indicator of criminal propensity and anybody with that genetic marker and committing that offence must be placed on thes sex offenders register. That logic, or very similar, has appeared in the supporting evidence for green papers. The fallacy is made obvious by two words. Male and speeding.

Another all too common error. 80% of people doing X will go on to commit Y. Politicians or axe grinders response is that X muist be treated very seriously because Y is so horrendous but that conclusion can not be justified. Missing information. 90% of the general population will go on to commit Y. The correct deduction is the opposite, X is actually preventative.

These and other failures of logic are endemic in policy making where children are concerned. The issues are often very emotive, and the erroneous conclusions may support popular prejudice, so nobody thinks to question them. Important aspects of the recent Bailey Review lack a verifiable evidence + logic chain, and there is strong evidence that the onconsidered consequences are highly undesirable, but the government intends to implement "in full". Our children deserve better.

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LOHAN to suck mighty thruster as it goes off, in a shed

Malcolm Boura 2

The thrust should be checked. Force censor under the nose would be easy enough. The optimum shape for the nozzle depends on external pressure. One reason for multi-stage rockets.

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LOHAN rival to inflate bulging orbs with hydrogen

Malcolm Boura 2

Not explosive

And to re-iterate a point that I am sure must have been made before. Hydrogen is not explosive although a hydrogen/air mixture can be. The Hindenberg burnt, it did not explode, and there was remarkably little loss of life (35 out of 97 on board + one ground crew).

I would have thought Hydrogen safer to handle than LPG since it won't collect in the bottom of things like LPG does and LPG is widely used. However, as pointed out previously, the gain in buoyancy is small, about 7%.

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Reg readers ponder LOHAN's substantial globes

Malcolm Boura 2

Thrust vectoring 2

Or put vanes into the rocket exhaust. If they are only needed whilst accelerating to a speed where more conventional control surfaces are effective they don't have to last very long.

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El Reg to unleash rocket-powered spaceplane

Malcolm Boura 2

LOHAN

Laughing Over Horizon At Nerds

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Tory terror changes promise moon on stick

Malcolm Boura 2

Internet Watch Foundation remit not "tight".

No, the Internet Watch Foundation, does not have a "very tight remit of child sexual abuse images" because the law is very, very much wider than that and much less well defined. The remit is every photograph of a child which anybody could take offence at not matter how innocent that photograph may be. The word in the act is "indecent" and that is anything that the police/CPS/court do not like or nearly any photograph in the posession of somebody that they do not like. The act does not mention pornography or child abuse.

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Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village

Malcolm Boura 2

Different naked cyclist

The well known nude cyclist in Cambridge is Richard Collins. He is currently awaiting the verdict of his trial for cycling nude in across Bournmouth. Again, s.5 Public Order Act 1986.

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Malcolm Boura 2

The charge was s.5 Public Order Act 1986

Paraphrased: "If we don't like it, or we think that somebody else might not like it, then it is illegal".

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Malcolm Boura 2

Two British Naturisms!

The Register is obviously a very superior publication. Two members of the British Naturism executive both reading it and commenting! My appologies for the repetition.

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Malcolm Boura 2

Knowingly is not the word.

I am very puzzled by Stephen's comment. There is no statute or common law such as he refers to. He may be thinking of s.66 Sexual Offences Act 2003 but thanks to a lot of very hard work by British Naturism and others it only applies to aggressive nudity. There must be INTENT to cause alarm or distress.

The defendant believes that he was convicted despite winning the arguments in court but s.5 Public Order Act 1986 is an offence so poorly defined that it is a bigots charter. An appeal is being considered.

NB. We were not directly involved in the case but we have been corresponding with the defendant.

Malcolm Boura, British Naturism.

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Eight New Yorkers sue Baidu for $16m

Malcolm Boura 2

Hypocrites

But the US government does censor, it does prevent free speech, and it is demonstrably causing harm. Consider the Janet Jackson nipple farce, just one example of a widepsread malaise. If from cradle to giving birth girls are taught that breasts are terrible to look at and that a glimpse of one will bring civilisation to end, don't be surprised if breast feeding rates are appalling.

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Nude gardener's arse hauled into court

Malcolm Boura 2

Gender not relevant

The male pronown includes the female. It applies equally to both males and females.

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Malcolm Boura 2

Is this correct?

Please cite. We at British Naturism are not aware of anything like that. The word "reckless" was removed so it could be that somebody has got that back to front.

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Malcolm Boura 2

Wrong law

We at British Naturism have been trying to find out what on Earth is going on. The information obtained so far is confusing and contradictory with the police giving one impression of the circumstances and the newspaper reports of what is said in court a rather different one.

One thins is clear. He is charged under s.5 Public Order Act 1986, not Outraging Public Decency.

I have been handling such incidents for BN for nearly 5 years and in that time, as far as we know, there has not even been an attempt to prosecute for garden Naturism. We have had to challenge the police over it on a number of occasions but always succesfully. We have on file several statements from various police forces that in the circumstances described in the news reports there is no offense committed. Indeed we have even had police forces contacting us as a courtesy to tell us that a complaint had been made but that in their opinion no crime had been committed. A complaining neighbour has been interviewed under caution with a view to prosecution for harasment.

There is far too much law in this country that is so vague that it is wide open to abuse by the prejudiced.

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Malcolm Boura 2

Not what he is charged with.

He was arrested for that offense but then they realised that they had got the law wrong, very common where nudity is concerned, but then charged him with a public order offense. s.5 Public Order Act 1986 can be summarised as "If we don't like it then you are a criminal".

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Slack bank practice creates opportunity for phone phishing scams

Malcolm Boura 2

It is not just banks. Can I claim a prize for the worst example?

My wife ran a sub-postoffice until the last round of cuts. Security really matters when you have the pensions for a week in the safe. It is bad enough when a sawn off shot gun is the other side of the security screen (which happened) so there is no question of allowing an unauthenticated stranger in.

We received a letter from the electricity company (I forget which) to say that an engineer would call to change the meter.

It was a photocopy of the letterhead.

The phone numbers had been blacked out with felt pen.

It was not our address. It was "Postmaster General, Next street over".

Scrawled on the bottom was words to the effect "any questions about this appointment call our engineer" and a mobile phone number.

In the printed text it said "If you are concerned about the identity of our operative please phone the number on his id card".

We contacted post office security who contacted the company. The company was much more concerned about the poor impression of using photocopied stationary than they were about the security.

We later worked out that the intended address was the telephone exchange. Their records must have been decades out of date. That probably explained why they turned up with a 3 phase meter for our single phase supply. The engineer found he had a single phase meter in his van so he installed that.

The good news was that the meter was faulty and recorded no electricity for the next 6 months which was the companies problem, not ours. If no electricity was recorded then none had to be paid for.

The other good news was that the company went bust not long afterwards.

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Ohio cops taze naked marathoneer

Malcolm Boura 2

Legalities

"All laws making nudity illegal per se were repealed in 2008"

Repealed Sexual Offences Act 2003 actually.

"Some protestors have got themselves convicted and gaoled for Contempt-of-court for appearing nude in court"

That was in Scotland which has a different legal system. Nude appearances in England have been dealt with more sensibly, although sometimes with some silly comments from the bench.

"Obviously flashing (indecent exposure)"

There is no such offense ans "indecent exposure". Technically, for historical reasons due to the parliamentary process, s.66 Sexual Offences Act is called "Exposure" but "Aggressive exposure" much more accurately reflects the crime.

Outraging Public Decency is common law. It was invented and defined by the courts, not Parliament. There are worrying signs that the defining case, "outrage is a very strong word and goes well beyond merely offensive" (or words to that effect) is being ignored. In practice it has been used to prosecute nearly anything that somebody might not like. The Law Commission proposes that it should be replaced with a statute but their suggestion is drawn so widely that it will be even worse. All of the justifications that the Law Commission put forward are already covered by other statutes so it is not actually needed at all. They just want yet another poorly defined catch all blunderbus.

The England and Wales legal attitude is moderately sensible but the law is so vague and poorly defined that nobody actually knows what it is. In practice that means that police officers can to a large extent make it up as they go along and the consequences for the individual, even if there is no crime and no conviction, can be horrendous.

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Malcolm Boura 2

Legalities

"All laws making nudity illegal per se were repealed in 2008"

Repealed Sexual Offences Act 2003 actually.

"Some protestors have got themselves convicted and gaoled for Contempt-of-court for appearing nude in court"

That was in Scotland which has a different legal system. Nude appearances in England have been dealt with more sensibly.

"Obviously flashing (indecent exposure)"

There is no such offense ans "indecent exposure". Technically, for historical reasons due to the parliamentary process, s.66 Sexual Offences Act is called "Exposure" but "Aggressive exposure" much more accurately reflects the crime.

Outraging Public Decency is common law. It was invented and defined by the courts, not Parliament. There are worrying signs that the defining case, "outrage is a very strong word and goes well beyond merely offensive" (or words to that effect) is being ignored. It is being used to prosecute anything that somebody might not like. The Law Commission proposes that it should be replaced with a statute drawn so widely that nearly anything that somebody does not like could be a sexual offense. All of the justifications that the Law Commission put forward are already covered by other statutes so it is not needed at all. They just want yet another poorly defined catch all blunderbus.

The England and Wales legal attitude is moderately sensible but the law is so vague and poorly defined that nobody actually knows what it is. In practice that means that police officers can to a large extent make it up as they go along.

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Indonesian anti-smut MP caught ogling filth

Malcolm Boura 2

hypocrisy

Isn't it amazing how often the prudes who imagine the terrible harm in anything to do with the body and sex are later found to be complete hypocrites. It couldn't possibly be that the prurience is really in their own minds, could it? There should be a criminal offence of political hypocricy.

I have a little mental list which I must make into a written one. These are what I can recall off the top of my head, there are more:

1. Senator George Foley, US ex senator - law against children and Naturism - resigned when his relations with child interns were found out.

2. Arfinto - this example

3. Wasn't there another case of a politician caught watching something similar in similar circumstances?

And then there is the related Jacqui Smith incident. Her seeking to censor the internet via the backdoor couldn't possibly be anything to do with that expenses claim could it?

Should we take seeking to deny people freedom of expression and consumption on sex and body related issues to be a symptom of a dirty mind? Is it an indicator of paedophile tendencies?

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CPS: We won't prosecute over BT/Phorm secret trials

Malcolm Boura 2

One law for the rich and legal aided ...

If this was an individual who could not afford to mount a defense and didn't have a PR machine to back them up then the prosecution would probably have gone ahead and most likely offered a plea bargain "Plead guilty on what may or may not be criminal and you will only get a fine. Go to trial and win or lose you will have to sell your house to pay the lawyers and if you lose you will go to gaol". Heads we win, tails you lose.

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Beeb say sorry for Stephen Fry A-bomb quip

Malcolm Boura 2

BBC craven

The BBC used to have some backbone. Now somebody only has to hint that they are offended and they roll over apologise and wind up the self censorship another notch. This is symptomatic of a much deeper malaise within the BBC. I am offended, very offended, by the damage that the BBC is doing to freedom of expression and suppression of knowledge about anything that anybody might find offensive. It is long overdue that censorship in the BBC was based on evidence of harm instead of evidence of prejudice.

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Badness-browsing Belgian busted on Brit break

Malcolm Boura 2

Define child pornography

The present law is fundamentally unjust. It is:

* A law so vague that nobody can actually tell you what is illegal

* A law known as "child pornography" that makes much more than just pornography illegal

* A law so so widely drawn that some people can not even comprehend that a photograph they possess could be illegal

* A law which is inherenly enforced in secret. It is illegal to show the public what has been made illegal in their name.

* A law which results in many photographs in quite ordinary family albums being illegal. The Ministry of Justice even admits to that. The CPS has to decide not to prosecute. Is it really safe to leave decisions which can destroy the life of the accused, sometimes literally, to the bureaucrats in the CPS?

NB. Child pornography should be illegal, no question about that, but that is not what the law says. The law itself is dishonest and many of those entrusted with enforcing it quite wilfully misrepresent it.

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Indonesia puts RIM on two-week notice

Malcolm Boura 2

UK mobile censorship not just pornography

The censorship of the internet by mobile operators is not restricted to pornography. It actually applies to anything which anybody might just possibleyby any stretch of imagination take exception to and find an excuse to label as pornographic. There is little transparency, less accountability and no effective means of appeal. It makes a joke of free speech.

The censorship may make some adults feel better but the research evidence shows that the censorship is so simplistic that it does a lot more harm than good. Even those advocating greater censorship admit that there is little or no evidence to back their demands. For example MP Claire Perry at the end of Panorama yesterday.

Try Googling for "briefing notes british naturism" and look at the links for "Censorship" and "Health and Well Being".

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UK gov vets the vetting process

Malcolm Boura 2

The VBB is superflous

It will consider who should be barred. Great but in practice that is not the problem. Employers and the volutary sector set much lower threshold than that and it is often founded on paranoia, prejudice, supposition, guess work and fear of the tabloids. The VBB would be much more valuable if they would look at a person's record and remove from it everything that is not relevant. That is the only way to protect individuals against prejudice.

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Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password

Malcolm Boura 2

Was it really photographs of child abuse?

It quite likely was not. The law in this area is so incredibly vague, and so much wider than most people imagine, that it may have been nothing more than a photograph of a nude toddler playing on the beach. However due to the secrecy inherent in this legislation we just have to take the word of the people in the "justice" system. People who make a career out of using, or sometimes abusing, this law.

A law which is badly defined and almost invariably described as being much narrower that it actually is makes a travesty of justice.

Increasingly we can not trust the authorities when they describe someone as a paedophile because they were convicted of having child porongraphy. It is quite likely that it was not pornographic.

It is also likely that the convicted person assumed that legislation described as applying to pornography only applied to pornography. There is no way to distinguish between people who genuinely possessed child pornography and use the lack of clarity as a smokescreen to minimise their culpability and those convicted of posessing non-pornographic photrographs who genuinely thought that they were legal.

It is a complete mess and far too much of my time is wasted on trying to minimise the harm caused but legislatve failings that could easily be fixed.

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Sex Party proposes new classification system for Oz

Malcolm Boura 2

Mediawatch - how big is it?

Anybody know how large Mediawatch actually is? It is a while since I searched their web site but I couldn't find any information and my email asking was ignored. As far as I can make out it has a staff of one working from a bedroom which in turn suggests that the membership is tiny. So why then are they so often asked for quotes?

As others have pointed out, Mediawatch are great on assertions, assumptions, unjustified conclusions and sound bites, but serious deficient in evidence and logic. The quotes in the article are an excellent example. They completely fail to even consider that the ill effects of activities wholly or partially prohibited are often due to the prohibition and not inherent in the activity itself.

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Bye-bye to bizarro bye-laws, says UK.gov

Malcolm Boura 2

Prejudice

Free reign to the prejudiced to prohibit near enough anythign that they do not like. The prospect is hrorific. Most existing byelaws should be abolished and it should be made harder to create them, not easier.

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Holiday snaps? Er, no - criminal porn

Malcolm Boura 2

Dishonesty

There are two fundamental problems:

Legal dishonesty - if nude pictures of children, pictures of children's underwear and such like are illegal then the law should have the honesty to say that. The dishonesty is compounded by the media, and officials of all descriptions, referring to the photographs as "child pornography". Probably the majority of photgraphs which people are prosecuted for are not pornographic. "Indecent" means whatever the beholder wants it to mean, and the various court judgments that have attempted to clarify it have been ciruclar. Along the lines of "it is indecent if it is indecent". Reforming this law so that it says clearly what is illegal is long overdue. Secrecy is always dangerous, especially as part of the legal process, and I strongly suspect that if the public were allowed to see the photographs, or at least those near the bordeline, then there would be an outcry.

Harm to children - if the law assumes that children are inherently sexual, that children's bodies are inherently sexual and that adults inherently find children to be sexual then guess what, at least some people will come to believe it, and some will act on it. How much harm is that doing?

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Aus gov, ISPs book seats for firewall demolition

Malcolm Boura 2

Sensible debate

Define child pornograhy and then there is some chance of a sensible debate. Of course the censors and the politicians in search of a band wagon don't want rational debate so they will make maximum use of an undefined emotive term instead.

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Malware protection for the rest of us

Malcolm Boura 2

Censorship

Unfortunately all of these offerings represent opportunity for censorship and there is little or nothing to prevent that power being abused. They can classify anything, however they like, according to arbitrary and often harmful criteria and there is no effective means of redress.

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CEOP claims success for Facebook 'panic button'

Malcolm Boura 2

How many under 13s?

I know of several under 13s who are members of Facebook. I wonder if anyone has actually done the research to find out the numbers and whether this Facebook excuse actually has any validity?

There are much more constructive and much more effective ways to safeguard children than arbitrary and easily circumvented age limits. But then what else is to be expected? I have no confidence that Facebook cares about the welfare of anyone apart from Facebook. Their censorship policies show that that they are much more concerned about popular prejudice and money than the welfare of young people. It is all part of the same immoral picture.

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Police chief: Yes, my plods sometimes forget photo laws

Malcolm Boura 2

It is a culture problem

I frequently deal with cases where police officers have assumed that because they personally do not like something then it must be illegal. The CPS is better but still sometimes suffers from the same problem. In one case the victim ended up having to mortgage his house in orde to pay the legal bills and there was no redress. You have to prove that it was malicious to get compensation and that of course is near impossible. It makes a complete mockery of justice.

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Apple backs down from Pulitzer putsch

Malcolm Boura 2

Unjustified censorship should be criminal

There are serious problems with censorship and it is getting worse. Nearly all of it is invisible and what is visible is either largely or wholly unacountable to anyone. Even the official censors policies are founded more on popular prejudice than on evidence of harm and that is in itself resulting in widespread and often serious harm.

I have nearly finished a review of the recent Home Office report on sexualisation of children and it is frightening what it leaves out. In a hundred and something pages there is not a single mention of the adverse effects of censorship and government policy and legislation. It looks at the detail in quite a lot of detail, but does not look at the overall picture. It bewails the dominance of the porn and advertising industries in providing role models and misinformation to children and young people but does not mention the role of censorship in stopping anyone else from doing so. Censorship has been much more effective at hampering the responsible media than it has at hindering the irresponsible. The solution will of course be yet another round of even more repressive regulation which through unintended consequences will probably do more harm than good.

Government has difficulty with understanding a single causal link. Anything requiring two or more steps in the causal chain, no matter how serious the consequences, is too difficult to contemplate.

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Cartoon Law goes live

Malcolm Boura 2

Indecent photographs often not child abuse

A perfectly ordinary photograph of a child playing on a beach, especially if they haven't bothered with a swimsuit, can be illegal. I say "can be" because the law is so incredibly vague that nobody actually knows. What we do know is that some juries, on some occasions, have deemed such photographs to be illegal. If photographs of nude children are to be illegal then the law should have the honesty to say that.

By absolutely no stretch of the imagination do such images depict child abuse. It is just a smokescreen for people who want to make all photographs of children illegal, or are riding the child protection paranoia band wagon, or want to make cheap political capital or just enjoy the power to make ordinary inoffensive people into sexual offenders. It would be very interesting to know what proportion of family photo albums contain photographs which could result in several years on the sex offenders register, a sure route to long term unemployment.

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Welsh auditor in court over child abuse images

Malcolm Boura 2

Making and possessing

The real reason for charging with 'making' instead of 'possessing' is that it is easier to convict. There are defences available agaisnt possessing which are not available for making.

At least in this case the images were allegedly at level 4 and hence pornographic. Illegal images at level 1 are often just quite quite unremarkable images of children, the sort of thing to be found in many family photo albums.

The authorities love the present law because in many, probably most cases, they can decide whether to prosecute according to the nature of the defendant rather than the nature of the photographs. We are rapidly approaching the situation where the only safe photograph of a child is no photograph. What is even worse, by treating children as if they are inherently sexual they are causing people to believe that they are inherently sexual.

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ASA to take over Facebook, Twitter regulation

Malcolm Boura 2

ASA is not

The ASA is an industry self regulation outfit. In other words it has little or no legal status and little or no accountability. It is certainly not required to base its decisions on rational consideration of harm. Indeed, since it is the industry response to the threat of government intervention it is probably driven mainly by whaterver is the lowest common denominator public opinion urban myth.

Governments love self regulation, that way they don't have to take any responsibility or find any funding.

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Eurocrats mandate maximum charge for data roaming

Malcolm Boura 2

Why is there a difference at all?

Can anybody explain why there should be any difference in cost because the data has crossed a national boundary?

Can anybody explain why voice data should cost any different to data data?

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Apple strips top shelf, leaves corporate smut in place

Malcolm Boura 2

hypocricy or hypocricy?

Two types of hypocrisy to choose from:

1. Double standards over who can publish apps with a bit of skin

2. Passing off "Some people don't like it" as "Harm to children"

Either censor according to evidence of harm or cause harm. At present Apple, and indeed many other big corporates, are causing substantial and unnecessary harm because their censorship is driven by poplar prejudice and myth instead of by rational consideration of evidence.

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ISA chairman assures nation: Your data is safe

Malcolm Boura 2

Vehicle for prejudice

I do a lot of voluntary work for a group which is often on the receiving end of prejudice from officials of all descriptions. The media and public are not usually the problem. Instead it is jobs worths minding their own back. But then of course jobs worths minding own back is probably the main driver of all this. Far too many politicians use the gutter press to evaluate cost effectiveness.

The ISA is a terrifying development. It provides the perfect vehicle for the prejudiced to use smut, innuendo, suspicion, assumption and surmise to destroy the lives of the blameless. It is going to ratchet up the paranoia amongst health workers, teachers or anyone else requiring these checks, to yet higher levels. "I think X is morally corrupt". "Mr X, clear your desk and don't return until you can prove that you are not".

How many children will it actually save from harm? How many children will it harm, directly and indirectly? I will be surprised if the number of children saved from significant harm will exceed the number of children in families torn apart as a result of unjustified suspicion.

It is yet another reason why I doubt if I will ever return to teaching.

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YouTube saves dumb children from offensive content

Malcolm Boura 2

Doing harm with good intentions

Or are they good intentions? Perhaps they don't give a damn about the harm done by misguided censorship so long as the pander to the prejudices of the USA. There is only one justification for censorship, evidence of harm. Anything else is just prejudice.

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Pupil database claimed to be breach-free

Malcolm Boura 2

Is this one end security with out end to end security?

So only seven people have access, which I do not believe unless those seven also able to carry out every aspecty of the s/w and h/w maintenance, but that completly neglects diversion of the information before it even reaches the database. How many people at Capita have the opportunity to siphon it off? How is it guarantied that all copies are irrecoverably deleted from Capita's systems? How is that information transferred along the daisy chain?

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Draconian new electoral laws for South Australia?

Malcolm Boura 2

Extra territorial defence

But posting from overseas will not save you:

a) The Great Australian Firewall will block it (today China, tomorrow the word)

b) They will prosecute anyway (today the USA, tomorrow the world)

c) The UK government will extradite you without asking why (today the USA, tomorrow the world)

d) How long before the Great UK Firewall blocks the outgoing traffic because Australia asked them to?

Actually, more likely than a UK firewall, is a snoop wall. It will be backed up with horrendously vague catch all legislation designed to terrify everyone into playing so safe that nothing worthwhile is said. You will of course have a right of appeal, but only if you don't have a clean record to risk losing and only if you have lots of money. ie drugs dealers and such like can defend themselves but not anyone else.

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