An online watchdog group from Japan is currently planning to introduce a system under which everyone sharing child porn-related content from their PCs or other devices would be urged to delete the material. The system in question is studied by the Internet Content Safety Association (ICSA), an outfit comprised of mostly private-sector ISPs, in order to keep such content from being spread on the Internet through file-sharing software.
The system, expected to be enforced next spring, will need the collaboration of the National Police Agency. It will work the following way: prefectural police authorities will use their cyberpatrol systems to identify IP addresses of people sharing child porn through file-sharing software. His data will be passed on via the NPA and ICSA to ISPs, who will then send e-mail warning to the subscribers in question, urging them to delete the material.
Although it’s not against the law to download such content, some file-sharers may be unaware that they are sharing kids porn through such clients. In case the users fail to delete the questionable content and leave it available to be uploaded, they could be charged with public display of kids porn or other acts in violation of the law banning child prostitution and child porn.
The ICSA, the NPA and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry are going to hold discussions on the sharing of details on potential infringers and sending notifications through e-mail.
In the meantime, the Shiga prefectural police and ISPs have already conducted a similar countermeasure against the spread of kids porn since September, in order to target users of the file-sharing client known as Share. By May, they sent notifications in a total of 90 cases, and all of those users deleted the questionable material.
The ICSA is an outfit which comprises major ISPs and other online companies. The association has mainly blocked access to sites that contain kids porn-related content. Nevertheless, the measure can’t be used to block access to such material via file-sharing client.
According to the NPA, the organization investigated almost 1,600 cases of child porn in 2012. Of them, over 500 cases involved the use of file-sharing applications, which is up 40% from 2011. In May 2013, the Japan government compiled a second round of measures against the spread of kids pornography. The authorities also outlined tasks which required special consideration within the next 3 years.