Press Release
July 7, 2003
Internet Association Japan

IAjapan Releases Demonstration Version of Mobile Phone Filtering System to Public
- A PICS-Compliant Filtering System That Controls Access to Dating Sites and Other Sites With Harmful Content -

The Internet Association Japan, or IAjapan (Naoyuki Akikusa, President), in an effort to counter information on the Internet that is inappropriate for children, has promoted since 1996 the use of filtering systems based on the Rating/Filtering System (Note 1). Such filtering systems are composed of SFS (Note 2), a filtering software compliant to PICS (Note 3), a standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (or W3C; Note 4), and Label Bureaus (Note 5). For further information, please refer to IAjapan's Information on Filtering.

Facilitating the addition of filtering facilities to mobile phones, IAjapan has developed and will release to the public a demonstration system -- consisting of the SFS Browser and Mobile SFS -- that will filter inappropriate information on the Internet.

The SFS Browser was developed as an i-appli software that will work with NTT DoCoMo, Inc.'s i-mode Internet connection service. Mobile SFS, which was developed using the engine of IAjapan's SFS filtering software as its foundation, is a filtering server utilized by the SFS Browser to relay connection to the Internet. Mobile SFS provides PICS-compliant filtering along with filtering based on keywords in contents and URLs. It uses IAjapan's SafetyOnline2 (Note 6) as its filtering standard, allowing it to implement filtering based on information from ratings made by IAjapan.

Note: i-mode and i-appli are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.



Example of demo site menu:
Inappropriate sites are
marked with stars.

Screen when content is blocked:
Filtering software informs the
user the inappropriate site has
been blocked and that it cannot
be displayed.

In recent years, the use of mobile phones with Internet-connection capability has spread among young people, and there has been a rash of crimes relating to child prostitution brought upon by the use of mobile phones and "Dating Sites" on the Internet. With the passage of the "Law concerning the Prohibition of the Act of Enticing Children using Internet Dating Services and Other Matters" by the National Diet, there is a need for a method to curtail juveniles from accessing "Dating Sites."

The SFS Browser and Mobile SFS provide selective and proactive reception of information in accordance with the filtering level needed by the mobile phone user (or person with parental authority; hereinafter referred to as "user"). They will implement a user-driven information system that will respect both the user's right to know and the user's right not to know or the user's right not to show to children while respecting the right to publish information.

By widely opening this demonstration system to the public, IAjapan aspires to be instrumental in promoting awareness as well as improving the filtering mechanisms aimed to block inappropriate information accessible by mobile phones. IAjapan is also considering the possibility of performing a verification experiment using mobile phones for children that are supervised by parents and school staff. In addition, IAjapan will participate in W3C's ongoing formulation of specifications for PICS in order to stipulate specifications that form the foundation of these filtering technologies.

The SFS Browser for NTT DoCoMo's 503i, 504i, 505i and FOMA models can be downloaded from the following URL: (Text in Japanese)

Note: The SFS Browser is an experimental software intended for demonstration purposes only and there may be instances in which it does not filter inappropriate contents when filtering mobile phone contents.

Detailed information regarding the SFS Browser can be found at the following URL. (Note: This page can be accessed by personal computers only.)

For further information/Contact address

Internet Association Japan
Persons in charge: Akio Kokubu or Takayo Okubo
Telephone: 81-3-3452-6420
Facsimile: 81-3-3451-9604


1. Rating/Filtering System

The Rating/Filtering System conducts the rating of web contents based on an objective rating standard, allowing receivers of information to utilize rating results to conduct filtering (the passage or blocking of information) based on his or her value judgements.
There are two types of rating: self-rating and third-party rating. Self-rating is the rating of contents by the publisher of information and considered to be the least problematic with regard to Freedom of Speech. Third-party rating is content rating by a party other than the publisher of information, and usually involves the creation of a rating database that collects rating results. Multiple third-party rating databases may coexist, reflecting different values. Filtering software looks up rating data from a number of rating databases based on the settings made by the user, allowing the user to control information the receiver will see or information juveniles will be allowed to see under the supervision of parents or teachers.

2. SFS (Server-type Filtering System)

Filtering software offered by IAjapan that serves as proxy server between clients (web browsers) and web sites. Connecting to the Internet via the SFS allows the filtering of web page view requests.

3. PICS (Platform for Internet Content Selection)

PICS is a technological platform developed by the W3C since 1995 to provide a technological solution for the problem of Internet social responsibility. PICS is characterized by its ability to selectively receive information based on levels set by the receiver without restricting the publication of information on the Internet. The W3C stipulates only the standard specifications concerning the format, etc., for implementing PICS and does not provide rating standards or software, as these tasks are referred to other organizations. For instance, Microsoft has made available PICS-compliant filtering features in its Internet Explorer browsing software beginning with version 3.0.

4. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (or W3C) is an international consortium founded to lead the Web to its full potential through the development of standardized protocols that will assure both the advancement and interoperability of the Web. The W3C is co-operated by the following hosts: The Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT/LCS), European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM, based in France) and Japan's Keio University. Over 400 organizations are members of the W3C, and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, is overall Director.

5. Label Bureaus

Refers to the rating database server provided by the IAjapan that collects labeling information (URLs paired with rating information). IAjapan's SFS filtering software refers to the Label Bureau when conducting filtering. Other PICS-compliant filtering software can also refer to Label Bureaus.

6. SafetyOnline2

A rating standard formulated by the IAjapan in 2002 that classifies web sites' harmfulness in five levels between 0 and 4. (The higher the level number, the higher the web site's harmfulness.) Detailed information on SafetyOnline2 can be found at the following URL: