State anti-Internet piracy campaign launched, 200,000 youths enlisted to report illegal file transfersSouth China Morning Post
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
By Rickin Majithia
The government has recruited 200,000 members of youth groups to spy on internet activity and report illegal file transfers as part of an anti-internet piracy campaign launched yesterday.
Senior Superintendent Tam Yiu-Kueng, of Customs' Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau, said the involvement of youth groups provided his department with extra monitoring capabilities.
"Initially we used 700 cadets from the Civil Aid Service for a three-month period," he said. "In that time we received over 800 reports of people illegally uploading... We were then able to inform the copyright holder and subsequently ask the website to remove the illegal content. If only 700 youths brought us such good results in three months, I think
we will be very successful when the full 200,000 start helping us on July 19."
The campaign, jointly organised by the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau, the Customs and Excise Department and the Intellectual Property Department, includes two television and radio ads to encourage parents to monitor their children's internet activities.
Intellectual Property Department director Stephen Selby stressed the need for parental involvement. "We can't do this by ourselves, it is important for parents to watch what their kids are doing on the Net," he said.
At the launch, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong Wing-Ping said the government is considering releasing a public consultation paper on internet privacy this year. The document would also
cover copyright protection in the digital world, he told the launch ceremony.
"We will study how to facilitate copyright owners to take civil action against infringing activities on the internet as well as the role of internet service providers ... Because it involves privacy we must be
very careful - but we will study the examples set by other countries first," he said.
"The important thing is that it is not just enforcement and prosecution which matter.