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Information about Internetregulationjapan

Published on June 28, 2008

Author: rmackinnon



Chris Salzberg discusses internet regulation and censorship trends in Japan

Web Censorship and Public Awareness:The case of Internet regulation in Japan Chris Salzberg

To censor:to examine in order to suppress or delete anything  considered objectionable (Merriam­Webster)

What does “Web Censorship” mean? Different meanings in different contexts:  Censorship by governments against freedom of expression  and free access to information  Filtering of content seen as “harmful” to society  Violation of privacy rights: web monitoring, eavesdropping  “Censorship” against file sharing (copyrighted content) What is “anti­censorship”?

“The Age of Net Regulation is Coming”  In the last year, moves toward net regulation: 1.Internet content (transmission + broadcasting = ?) 2.Copyright legislation (file sharing) 3.Mobile web access (filtering, “harmful” content)  Fears about: “deai” (dating) sites, obscene/voilent  content, child porn, “adult” anime, net bullying,  death threats (Akihabara massacre), etc. etc. etc.

Filtering of “harmful” content Bill by LDP/DPJ passed into law on June 11th Included in the bill:  Obligation on PC makers to pre­install national  standards­based filtering software on PCs/mobile phones  Filtering on mobile phones for users under age 18  ISPs required to eliminate harmful content/services Government decides what is “harmful”

Support for Regulation A survey on regulation of “harmful content” (2007):  67.8% said the Internet should be regulated  22.7% said they lean toward regulation  3.1% said they lean toward non­regulation  1.4% said the Internet should not be regulated 76% support web filtering, 51% want police to  strengthen monitoring, 87% support manga porn  regulation

Opposition to Regulation Some of the greatest opposition from companies:  DENA, Yahoo, Microsoft, Rakuten, Net Star Emphasizing positives of an open Internet

Opposition strategies More so than free access to information, opposition  strategies emphasize economic considerations:  Regulation will stop innovation/creativity  Japan will be left behind, outcompeted Also emphasizes knowledge issues:  Many proposals are technologically contradictory  Lack of transparency in legislation

The “people” are killing the Internet Oppression of the people by governments and  corporations is not seen as a major concern Conern is about other citizens:  Bullying, death threats, dating sites, obscene content,  copyright violation, etc. etc. Conclusion: it is the people who are killing the  Internet, govt needs to step in and regulate

The future is now Citizen media coverage of Akihabara killings:  Instantaneous through Ustream, 2000­3000 viewers  No editing or censorship of footage  Large public backlash, criticism

Summary “Web censorship” means different things to  different people/groups/nations Different opposition strategies:  Technological problems with censorship  Lack of transparency in process  Economic considerations, innovation/creativity Awareness and literacy are key

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