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Japanese gov't. follows through on iPhone filtering concern

updated 12:30 pm EST, Tue January 18, 2011

Apple, Softbank not meeting local standards

The Japanese government is moving forward on an anticipated demand for iPhone censorship software, says the Wall Street Journal. On Monday, a panel announced that the government is asking both Apple Japan and the country's exclusive iPhone carrier, Softbank, to install filtering controls to block less than "wholesome" websites for people under 18. Included in this category are social networking sites which lack their own internal monitoring systems.

A law mandating filters on phones has been in place since April 2009. The iPhone is in fact the only smartphone in Japan without filtering pre-installed, according to Tomohiro Nakamura, the deputy director of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Softbank has attempted to get around regulations by directing people to download special software, but the panel suggested that the process is complicated and ultimately ineffective.

A Softbank executive on the panel proposed the idea of simplifying filter installation. Nakamura mentions that Softbank was originally told about the demand for filtering in December, and that it has been working with Apple Japan to come up with a solution.

Regardless of the outcome, the Japanese government is toothless in enforcing the law in question. Even though a summer deadline has been set, there are no penalties for non-compliance with the regulation.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    comment title

    Because God knows how badly "less then wholesome" websites will effect people under 18... Funny how I've viewed violence (17/18+ rated games and movies) since I was about 7 and have never had the urge to kill anyone, and pornography since I was 11 and have never become addicted to it or wanted to rape someone. Can someone please tell me why? And it's not just me, I have many friends as well that have done the same or similar. I know those are the two biggies, but Japan has plans to block even non-violent/pornographic material it deems "unsuitable" such as any references to drugs (even anti drug). And of course social networks. Oh nothings worse then a social network! All those pedophiles on them! Because, obviously, when under the magical number 18, one cant tell the difference between a pedophile and a normal person. Funny how I never ran into a pedophile in my life, and I've been a MySpace and then Facebook user since I was about 14 or so. Way to go Japan, help raise the bar on one of the biggest piles of nonsense of the 21st century, the belief that every single person under an age you deem magical is not capable of handling certain content. Haha. Gosh this generation is stupider then the racists of the 1800s.

  1. facebook_Bill

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    Let Justin Decide

    Yes Justin, you are OK but there are lots of people who cannot tell the difference. Do you live in Japan? How does this decision affect you? Do you think the Japanese govt cares what you think? Well, I can tell you for sure that they don't care what you think. I live in Japan and I know that the govt does stupid things all the time, just like in the US, i.e. Gun laws, Patriot Act. So if you have problem with this, come on over and show the govt why they are so stupid. Convince them why they are wrong.
    You and your friends don't even register as one one hundredth of a percent on any scale, so just because you can tell doesn't mean everyone else can. Look at how many people bought houses with no down payment, this is just an example of how stupid people can be.
    Also, I think this is a parental decision not the govt. The govt is telling them to have it installed so that the parents can enable it, if they choose so, as they are the ones who sign the contract and are responsible for the payment as well.

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