Internet filtering in Japan?



Some bloggers have highlighted Japan’s intention to implement Internet filtering. However, it appears that this effort is targetted towards urging “schools and public offices” to install filtering software, not nationwide filtering.

The government said officials will step up monitoring of suspicious sites, urge schools and public offices to install Internet filtering software and set criteria for service providers to disclose information they find on planned suicides.

The focus of the efforts appears to be enhancing Japan’s internet surveillance capabilties while the filtering effort appears to be targetting text messaging. Still, as has been pointed out, efforts that move closer to creating the neccessary procedures for filtering and surveillance (gov’t interfacing with ISPs) often occur in a non-transparent manner which raises serious concern about just how far information control policies will go. As we saw with Thailand, filtering that starts out targetting certain content is often and easily extended to targetting political content as well. However, it is unclear to me of how seriously Japan will take efforts to implement a centralized, nation-wide filtering system.

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