Archive for the ‘International News’ Category

National Library Board (NLB) Bans Books (Singapore)

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The National Library Board (NLB) has banned/removed 3 books after complaints from a member of the public that the books did not promote family values.

 ”And Tango Makes Three”
“The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption”
“Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families”

 ”NLB’s collection development policy takes special care of our children’s collections to ensure they are age-appropriate. We take a cautious approach, particularly in books and materials for children. NLB’s understanding of family is consistent with that of the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education,” the statement read.

The removal of the two books has sparked strong responses on social media, including blogposts, Facebook notes and two online petitions.

An open letter written by Ng Yi-sheng, Lim Jialiang, and Liyan Chen called for the NLB to reinstate the two titles and “to exercise prudence in response to complaints in the future”. The letter questioned why the books were removed “without any process for disputation”.

The letter called the removal of the books “irresponsible and unfair to other library users and parents”. It also criticised the NLB for “withdrawing titles from the shelves hastily simply because it offends the sensibilities of some people”.

The Straits Times has learnt that there were at least three more children’s books that were also recently banned.
Written by American author Robie H. Harris, they have to do with sex education and are meant for children aged four and above.

Read more here:

NLB pulls two children’s books that ‘don’t promote family values’

NLB: Withdrawn books will be destroyed

National Library Board bans more children’s books: Straits Times

Canadian Court Believes It Has The Right To Censor The Global Internet; Not At All Concerned With Consequences

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Mike Masnick | June 17, 2014

In the wake of the awful European “right to be forgotten” ruling, it appears that a Canadian court is looking to get in on the over-aggressive censorship of the internet game. As highlighted by Michael Geist, the court in British Columbia has basically ruled that it can order Google to delete links to an entire website worldwide. The ruling in the Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack case is quite troubling on a variety of different levels, all of which should be called out for the problems and consequences (intended or otherwise) they are likely to create. First, in many ways, this ruling goes beyond the European right to be forgotten ruling, which at least limited the ruling to Europe. Not so with this court’s ruling, which basically argues that because Google operates worldwide, it is automatically amenable to any regulation around the globe (even though Google isn’t even one of the parties in the lawsuit!). Read on…

Related article:
How the European Google Decision May Have Nothing To Do With a Right to Be Forgotten” (Privacy Perspectives | Paul de Hert | June 19, 2014)

‘right to be forgotten’

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014


Source: EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

Top EU court indexhas ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

The European Union Court of Justice said links to “irrelevant” and outdated data should be erased on request.

The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.

Google said the ruling was “disappointing”.

“We now need to take time to analyse the implications,” a spokesperson added.


The search engine says it does not control data, it only offers links to information freely available on the internet.

It has previously said forcing it to remove data amounts to censorship.

The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, welcomed the court’s decision in a post on Facebook, saying it was a “clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans”.

“The ruling confirms the need to bring today’s data protection rules from the “digital stone age” into today’s modern computing world,” she said.

The European Commission proposed a law giving users the “right to be forgotten” in 2012.

It would require search engines to edit some searches to make them compliant with the European directive on the protection of personal data.

In its judgement on Tuesday, the court in Luxembourg said people had the right to request information be removed if it appeared to be “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”.

Middle East ban for Hollywood’s Noah epic

Friday, March 14th, 2014

The UAE, Qatar and Bahrain are among Middle Eastern countries banning Hollywood epic Noah as it breaks Islam’s taboo of depicting a prophet.

“There are scenes that contradict Islam and the Bible, so we decided not to show it,” Juma Al-Leem from UAE’s National Media Centre said.

Director Darren Aronofsky‘s film stars Russell Crowe as the ark-building Biblical figure.

Paramount Pictures recently admitted the movie takes “artistic licence”.

“It is important to respect these religions and not show the film,” Mr Al-Leem told the Associated Press.

Read more here:

Middle East ban for Hollywood’s Noah epic

‘Noah’ banned in several Middle Eastern countries

Film Link: