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Phone Number Disclosures Eyed in Fight against Online Abuse

Phone Number Disclosures Eyed in Fight against Online Abuse

   Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's communications ministry plans to add telephone numbers of social media users to the scope of information victims of online bullying can demand from the operators of the virtual communities for disclosure.
   The plan was submitted to Thursday's meeting of a panel of experts tackling cyberbullying. The panel will also discuss simplifying procedures for victims to request the disclosure of information about the bullies, aiming to draw up an outline of necessary revisions in July.
   Rules on the disclosure of information regarding those making online posts are stipulated in the law on limitation of liability for internet providers and related ministry ordinances. Currently, victims can demand the disclosure of the names, physical addresses and internet protocol addresses of post senders, but not phone numbers.
   As some social media users do not register their names and addresses, victims of online abuse must first contact social media operators to obtain IP addresses and then contact mobile phone carriers to demand the harassers' names and physical addresses.
   By requiring social media operators to disclose phone numbers, victims will be able to collect the names and physical addresses of the perpetrators from mobile carriers through a bar association, and to reduce their burden as a result.

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