Melon Farmers Original Version

Internet Censorship in Japan

Japan considers internet censorship


An insult to free speech in Japan...

Japan's parliament passes law to criminalise online insults

Link Here 17th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Japan...Japan considers internet censorship
Japan has passed a law criminalizing online insults. Breaking the law will result in up to one year in jail or a fine.

As reported by the Japan Times, the law was passed this week and its enforcement will begin this summer. It was passed as a knee jerk response to a public outcry after professional wrestler Hana Kimura committed suicide in 2020 after being insulted online.

Before this latest law update insults were still an offense with a punishment of a maximum of 30 days in jail and a ¥10,000 (approximately $75) fine.

The new online insults legislation carries a maximum of one year in jail or a ¥300,000 (approximately $2,870) fine.



Update: Hackers Running Onion Rings Around the Police...

Japanese police call on ISPs to voluntarily block anonymous communications using Tor

Link Here 23rd April 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Japan...Japan considers internet censorship

Japan's National Police Agency (NPA) is to urge ISPs to voluntarily block communications using anonymisation software Tor .

The move follows a case where PCs were remotely hijacked by computers using the Tor system, which allows users to mask their online identities and locations by routing connections through several servers. This case cause much embarrassment to the Japanese who incompetently arrested, detained and extracted confessions under duress from the innocent victims of the hijacked computers.

A panel ofthe NPA, which was looking into measures to combat crimes using the Tor system, compiled a report on April 18 stating that blocking online communications at the discretion of site administrators will be effective in preventing such crimes.

According to the NPA, while the IP addresses of site visitors are normally known to the visited sites, the Tor system enables users to visit sites or dispatch information without revealing their identities. Over the past several years, the Tor system was misused in a number of crimes including the posting of online murder threats on Internet bulletin boards, theft of money from accounts via illegal accesses to Internet banking sites, postings on dating sites by those seeking relationships with children, and leakages of security information from the Metropolitan Police Department.

The police somehow neglected to mention the other side of the coin where the Tor system is utilized by citizens in pro-democracy movements in the Middle East to escape government suppression.

The planned access restrictions are therefore expected to be opposed by the internet industry. Communication privacy is our lifeline. We won't be able to accept such a request, said an industry insider.


9th April

Update: A Sheltered Childhood...

Child internet restrictions introduced in Japan

The Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has made public a program to promote a safe Internet environment. It lists measures the central and local governments and enterprises must carry out by the end of fiscal 2011.

Among other things, they must effectively cope with information on the Internet that is harmful to children and intrudes on individual privacy.

On April 1, the law to restrict the Internet environment for users under the age of 18 went into effect. In principle, Web sites deemed harmful or inappropriate to children will be filtered. But parents can use their judgment to remove the filters.

In preparation for the law's enforcement, the government program called for promotion of the use of filters to block children's access via mobile phones and personal computers to Web sites that are deemed harmful or inappropriate. It also called for development of filtering services aimed at different age groups and development of functions parents can use to decide which Web sites or categories of Web sites should be filtered. It also called for examining the effectiveness of Internet service providers' blocking access to Web sites featuring child pornography.

Third-party organizations will certify Web sites as harmless or "R18" indicating the Web site is harmful to children under 18.


8th April

Update: Harmful Laws...

Two Japanese internet censorship bills submitted without press attention

Japanese bloggers have been making noise the past few days in reaction to two separate bills, submitted first by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and next by the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), each aiming, in apparently similar ways, to legislate regulation over Internet content deemed to be “harmful” to minors.

On March 19th, LDP Diet Member Takaichi Sanae submitted a bill to a government panel to legislate the prevention of browsing on the Internet of information harmful to young people in an attempt to maintain the sound upbringing of young people.

Shortly thereafter on April 2nd, Diet Member Takai Miho of the Democratic Party submitted a bill with the aim to create an environment that makes it possible for children to safely use the Internet. According to bloggers, the bills goes significantly further than earlier legislation introduced late last year, which mandated default filtering on mobile phones for minors. Nonetheless, aside from a single article in Asahi shimbun on the topic, the two bills appear to have been granted no mainstream media attention.

 The main issues are:

1. An organization made up of a small number of people, established by the Cabinet Office and called the Committee on the Promotion of Sound Upbringing of Young People (at most five people), is drawing up evaluation criteria, for all content on the Internet, defining what is and is not harmful to young people. And incidentally, declarations of objection to this standard is probably impossible.

2. Administrators of all websites, including individuals, will also be required, in cases where the contents of their site meets the above standards for harmful content, to do things such as implement a membership system on the whole site so that minors cannot access it, or apply to have filtering software applied to their own site.

3. All employees of ISPs, ASPs, and so on are required to eliminate all harmful content and suspend all harmful services, and there is a punishment being put in place for cases in which these rules are not followed. As a result, deletion of web content will be carried out.

4. Compulsory participation in the pre-installation of national standards-based filtering software or filtering services will be imposed on PC makers as well as carriers for all PCs and mobile phones.


2nd March

Update: Unsavoury Aspects of Government...

Censoring the Japanese Web

A Japanese government panel is proposing to govern influential, widely read news-related sites as newspapers and broadcasting are now regulated.

The government is also seeking to rein in some of the more unsavory aspects of the Internet, leaving in its wake, critics say, the censoring hand of government interference.

The panel, set up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, said ISPs should be answerable for breaches of vaguer minimum regulations to guard against illegal and harmful content.

The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, is seeking to have the new laws passed by Parliament in 2010.

Japan's Internet is increasing its clout, so naturally the government wants to control it, said Kazuo Hizumi, a former journalist who is the Tokyo city lawyer: The Internet threatens the government, but the new law will put the government back in control by making the ISPs directly answerable to the government. This is the untenable position we are facing in Japan.

What really strikes Hizumi and others is that there is so little public opposition or debate on a bill that would bring enormous change.

Chris Salzberg, who monitors, comments on and translates some of the Japanese blogosphere for Global Voices, an international blog round-up, said: It seems that the Web community in Japan is really pretty unaware of all of this, or else just in disbelief. It's a strange situation. Maybe nothing will come of it, but it still seems like something people should at least be paying attention to.

I'm afraid ordinary citizens don't care about these lack of rights, consequently the Internet in Japan is heading for the Dark Ages, Hizumi said.


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