Line urged to take sex crime preventive measures


The provider of the Line communications application for smartphones has been urged to take preventive measures against sex crimes after a boy in Kyoto Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of sharing child porn video footage using the app, sources said Thursday.

The Kyoto Prefectural Government and police have called on Line Corp. to take measures to prevent the spread of illegal and harmful information, such as pornography.

According to the company, this was the first time it has received such a request from a local government or police.

The prefecture and police noted that the arrested 17-year-old high school boy in Uji got acquainted with the recipient of the porn video through a third-party app that allows Line users to share an online bulletin board.

Juveniles can become both perpetrators and victims of crimes, the Kyoto authorities told the company. They called on the firm to introduce a system that blocks easy access to illegal and harmful information.

An official at Line said the company has yet to fully study the request and declined further comment.

  • What measures, exactly, are feasible?

    Even if it were possible to filter for these things, someone could just use another app to do the same.

    LINE is unique for its popularity, but not necessarily for its capabilities. Surely the Kyoto prefectural government can anticipate a shift in offenders’ behavior if they pursue this course, thus they should be throwing their weight around by contacting all major media-messaging apps, lest they appear to be conducting an ineffective witch-hunt of one company.

    Similarly, let’s apply the same rigorous standards inwardly! When there is a crime, major or otherwise, I urge the Kyoto prefectural government to “take measures” to prevent future crimes. Unlike them, I will give a suggestion: Post a watchman or camera everywhere a crime happens! This way we can all be sure to avoid crimes in these places in the future, right? You can’t put a price on safety, after all, can you?