Sat, Mar 03, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Lawmaker urges tougher Web regulation

Staff Writer, with CNA

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker on Thursday urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to implement tougher Internet regulation after it was discovered that a 17-year-old allegedly involved in a train sex party often visited adult Web sites.

The girl, a high-school dropout, apparently responded to an online ad seeking a female to play a leading role in a sex party with 18 men that was hosted on a train.

According to media reports, she often browsed adult forums on a local Internet bulletin board and posted risque messages because she found it “amusing.”

“The fact that a girl under the age of 18 can enter adult forums indicates a need for Internet service providers to implement stronger regulatory measures under the Children and Youth Welfare Act [兒童及少年福利法],” KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.

The companies should stop avoiding their responsibility by claiming that these are the individual acts of users, she added.

If self-regulatory measures fail, then the NCC should strengthen its Internet management system, Wang said.

The NCC should punish Internet companies that violate Article 94 of the Children and Youth Welfare Act, the non-profit Child Welfare League Foundation said.

The article states that if Internet service providers do not demarcate content according to age and do not restrict children from accessing adult content, they can be fined NT$60,000 (US$2,030) to NT$300,000, and if no improvements are made within a specified time period the fines could be repeated.

Of the 18 people involved in the party, 12 had reported to police as of yesterday. The men would face punishment if they are found to have violated the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), police said.

Meanwhile, the foundation said that the number of children who run away from home because they are lured online is rising, with 152 cases last year alone.

An analysis of the phenomenon shows that children can easily be lured away by online friends when they believe they are receiving more support from online communities than from their parents.

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