Sat, Jun 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

IPO rebuts claims it plans to create a ‘Great Firewall’

Staff writer, with CNA

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) rebutted claims that its plan to block overseas Internet services that seriously infringe on copyrights is in essence a duplication of China’s Internet censorship policy known as the “Great Firewall.”

The Next Web, one of the world’s largest online publishers, reported that China is famous for the Great Firewall, which restricts content, and in particular, sites and services from overseas, preventing its 500 million-plus Internet users from having free rein online.

Next Web said that the policy could now be duplicated in Taiwan, where officials have proposed a list of sites that should be blocked.

The Intellectual Property Office, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on Thursday said that it would only target international Web sites that are notorious for file-sharing and other activities that violate digital content rights and that it would not adopt a policy based on the Great Firewall.

Due to cost considerations, only a few local Internet service providers — Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Broadband Communications and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co — would be asked to block access to certain IP addresses and domain names, the IPO said previously.

The IPO said it will hold hearings to gather input from various sectors, but no timetable has yet been set.

The Next Web report cited a report by international Web site Global Voices as saying that the nation’s IPO has put forward draft legislation to block links at the Internet Protocol and Domain Name System level.

The initiative is designed to make sites from overseas that specialize in copyright infringed content unavailable in the country, it said.

The report suggested that in effect this will see the nation create its own firewall.

Next Web is an online publication which provides news about Internet technology, business and culture.

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