Japan Eyes Internet Crackdown

Tough new proposals protect children, copyrights
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 12:45 PM CST
A passer-by walks past a NTT DoCoMo Inc in Tokyo in this Friday, July 27, 2007 file photo. DoCoMo is top among the country's mobile carriers, all of which have been asked to start filtering content for...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Japan has taken a relaxed approach to controlling the Internet in the past, but the government is planning to ratchet up regulation, Ars Technica reports. The communications ministry is looking at ways to bring web and mobile content in line with heavily regulated traditional media. Concerns are high about libelous slurs on the net and youngsters viewing pornography.

Copyright issues will be tackled as well. One of the tougher proposals calls for all copyrighted digital media to be stamped with a virtual watermark, with any material not bearing the mark declared illegal. Japanese bloggers have slammed the proposals as "outrageous" and expressed alarm that internet content will be regulated by the government instead of an independent watchdog group.