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An important message for guardians of children under 18 in Gunma Prefecture

Children under the age of 18, except those with prior permission, are required to use an internet filter on their cell phones.

A part of the Gunma Prefectural Code of Sound Growth of Children will be amended as of January 1st, 2012, which requires children and youth under 18 to have an internet filter on their cell phones. If there is a reason the child does not need a web content filter, his/her guardians have to report the compelling reason to the cell phone company when purchasing a new cell phone or canceling the usage of the current filter.
The following are the cell phone companies that provide internet filters as of September, 2011: NTT Docomo, au, Softbank, Willcom, eAccess

What is an internet filter?

It is a filter that cell phone companies provide to regulate and protect children from indecent and violent content or online dating services on the internet. There are several different levels of internet filters. One is called the "White List System" which offers higher restrictions. Another one is called the "Black List System", offering fewer restrictions.
If you want to use a more effective filter, there is one that only allows a child to see designated websites.

Why do children need an internet filter?

There have been an increasing number of internet-related crimes reported in Gunma, which targets children and youth. It is easy for anyone to access inappropriate and violent content on the internet from cell phones without a filtering system. In order to protect children from harmful content, web content filters are very important.

What are the valid reasons for not using an internet filter?

A child needs to have one of the following reasons:

What kind of procedure should I take when my child is purchasing a cell phone?

Remarks

If you want to use an internet filter on your child's current cell phone, you can request the service by calling the child's cell phone carrier. If your child's cell phone was purchased before the code was implemented, it is not required to have a filter but is highly recommended to have your child's safety.

For families and guardians

When setting up an internet filter...
Please decide which level of filter you will use on your child's phone according to the child's age.
Although internet filters are very effective tools to protect youth from indecent content, they cannot prevent 100% of inappropriate information. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's survey conducted in the second half of 2010, approximately half of the social welfare crimes were triggered by social network services. Some SNS sites are proved appropriate and children can visit these sites even with internet filters on their phones. It is also important for guardians, children and other family members to talk about internet usage and set rules.

Guardians, how should you supervise and monitor children's cell phones?

You can also use other management systems that cell phone companies provide.

Contact: Gunma Prefecture Department of Life and Culture
Division of Youth Services and Combat Falling Birthrate
TEL: 027-223-1111 (Extension 2394) 027-226-2393 (Direct)

(Effective December 2011)

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