Mon, Feb 23, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Web masters of pornographic sites could be indicted

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The police's Internet Crime Investigation Squad yesterday said that Web masters may be indicted if they provide free Web space for their members or Web surfers to exchange pornographic information, including videos, pictures and audio files.

"If this happens, the Web masters have committed moral offences and law enforcement officers will investigate and indict them where necessary," said Eric Lee (李相臣), the chief of the squad.

Lee's remarks referred to two famous Web sites, and, being accused of distributing pornographic information to the public, when most of their members and visiting surfers are teenagers and children.

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) held a press conference on Wednesday where she complained that these two Web sites provided a free Web space for surfers to exchange or distribute pornographic videos and audio material. However, Web masters did not do anything to avoid the distribution of pornography.

According to a local Web master who wished to remain anonymous, it is difficult to screen the files uploaded by its members or surfers.

"For example, although only allows its members to share music files, Web masters will not be able to tell whether the files are pornographic files or simple music files if the person who uploads them change the file names. This is not difficult to do at all," the Web master said.

However, Taipei District Prosecutors' Office Spokesman Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達) said that Web masters definitely have to be held responsible for what their customers do on their Web sites.

"Their customers are their members and Web surfers. Web masters have the access and means to control traffic on their Web sites so they definitely have to be held responsible for the contents there," Chen said.

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