Japan to introduce Internet filtering28 March, 2008
|By Allison Orr|
According to articles in the International Herald Tribune and The Japan Times, a Japanese government panel oversees widely read news-related Internet sites to hold Internet service providers (ISPs) answerable for any breaches of "minimum regulations" to guard against "illegal and harmful content".
The Ministry of Internal Affairs released a report on 6 December 2007, which set out the plans to regulate and monitor the Internet in Japan. Currently in Japan the government controls the media directly, and this will allow the same level of control for the Internet.
The government has said that any action on ISPs will be voluntary, but advocates are worried that filtering by the government may take the same course that mobile services have, with mobile service providers now having to filter content for phones registered to users under 18. According to the article, the software used by the leading mobile provider in Japan, DoCoMo, filters categories like "lifestyles" (gay/lesbian), "religion" and "political activity".