Compare and contrast Online Censorship between Japan and Sweden.

Compare and contrast Online Censorship between Japan and Sweden

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…the Swedish government in addition passed a legislative package that would grant the National Defense Radio Establishment (Forsvarets Radio Anstalt – FRA) extensive surveillance power over online activities, in an effort to combat external threats6. (Munch 2013)

In Sweden there is no law that compels Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to sites. ISPs voluntarily collaborate with police to block a centralized list of sites trafficking in child sexual abuse. (Geens 2012)

And yet such a system is not ideal, argues Marcin de Kaminski, an Internet researcher at the department of Sociology of Law at Lund University. Thats because there is no transparency in how the blacklist is maintained. There is no way to legally appeal a list entry, for instance, he says, and there is no third-party control of what is actually blocked. (Geens 2012)

The risk, then, is that an unregulated block list could end up being used as a political tool perhaps not in Sweden, where trust in the police is high and there is widespread disdain for censorship but in other countries looking to adopt the Swedish model of Internet regulation. Even though the Swedish blocklist has these flaws, says de Kaminski, it is used as a role model in the European discussion about block lists. (Geens 2012)

…the government released a final report, compiled by a study group set up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, which set out plans to monitor and regulate the Internet in Japan. The proposed regulation targets all Web content, including online forms of traditional media such as newspaper articles and television broadcasting, while additionally covering user-generated content such as blogs and Web pages. (Salzberg 2008)

Days later, at a meeting on Dec. 10, the same ministry requested that mobile-phone carriers NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, SoftBank and Willcom commence filtering Web access on mobile phones for users aged under 18. Responding to concerns over online dating sites, the filtering policy is broad in scope and covers forums, chat rooms and social-network services. (Salzberg 2008)

With all these changes, the Japanese Internet the future medium of communication in Japan may come out looking very different. Sadly, it may only be once this happens that its users, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, appreciate what they once had and what they lost. (Salzberg 2008)

…gambling websites that did not have a license to operate in Sweden would be blocked. And ISPs of course would be responsible for blocking off access to their websites, right down to the IP level. Even though the investigation is clearly in its early stages, the fact that it is being considered at all has come as a shock to Swedes and the broader internet policy community. Sweden has maintained a firm line against any form of filtering or blocking, even when under intense pressure from other countries. (McCarthy 2016)

Although Swedish law is quite firm on the issue of filtering and blocking, the current government has repeatedly signaled that it has a different philosophy. It has repeatedly fought in court and lost to have the Pirate Bay”s Swedish domains suspended. (McCarthy 2016)

It also passed a law requiring ISPs to store all the IP addresses of its customers in an effort to track down illegal file sharers. That was also struck down by the courts but the government held two investigations in order to find a way to reapply it and then do so back in 2014. (McCarthy 2016)

CNN and other news sources seemed unaware that in Japan, unlike in the United States, laws that restrict depictions of sexuality in media actually are a very serious freedom of speech issue, and have been so since immediately after WWII. (Rebaza 2014)

Many feel that bureaucrats and police have no business deciding what people are allowed to read in order to protect a vague and constantly-shifting idea of “public morality” (Rebaza 2014)

Obscenity issues were shown to be connected with copyright problems in 1999 when a a female creator of sexually explicit doujinshi for the popular children”s game and anime series Pokemon was arrested for copyright infringement, apparently after someone complained about the explicit material to copyright holder Nintendo. (Rebaza 2014)
Works Cited
Geens, Stefan. “Internet Freedom in Sweden – a Primer.” Dliberation. WordPress, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

McCarthy, Kieren. “Net Neutrality-lovin” Sweden Mulls Law to Censor the Internet.” The Register. The Register, 22 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

Munch, Merlin. “Do as the Swedes Do? Internet Policy and Regulation in Sweden a Snapshot.” Internet Policy Review. Alexander Von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, 10 May 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

Rabeza, Claudia. “Organization for Transformative Works.” The Censorship Problems Faced by Anime and Manga Fans. OTW, 11 July 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

Salzberg, Chris. “Japan Toughens up on Internet Regulation | The Japan Times.” Japan Times RSS. The Japan Times, 16 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

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