Anonymous Declares War on Japan Over Illegal Downloads

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Hacker collective Anonymous has declared open season on the Japanese government for its passage of a draconian ban on illegal downloads and ripping, briefly taking down several government websites in a series of cyber-attacks.

The “Personal Illegal Downloads Punishment Act,” was recently proposed by the opposition LDP and their cultist stooges the Koumeito, and sailed through the Diet with no debate or opposition – 221 for, versus 12 against, with only the fringe left-wing maniacs of the Communists and Social Democrats, and a single Democrat, voting against.

As might be expected, the music industry’s belief that it will miraculously boost its declining sales was the most vocally espoused argument in favour of the law.

The most significant provision of the law is to punish offences of unauthorised downloads of copyrighted commercial audiovisual content with a maximum of 2 years in jail and ¥2,000,000 in fines.

The law also bans all ripping where it involves circumventing a protection system – which, in the best tradition of poorly conceived laws, apparently manages to leave ripping audio CDs legal as there is no protection system involved, whilst banning all format shifting of DVDs and BDs.

The download portion of the law comes into effect in October, whilst the ripping ban is due in January.

Some summary points about the “illegal download” law as it is currently understood:

Downloading copyrighted material was already technically illegal since 2010, but no penalties were attached

The law only applies to commercially (paid-for) distributed copyrighted audiovisual recordings

As a result the law actually leaves games, software, manga and text out – all these are still “legal” to download illegally

There are mixed opinions as to whether “downloading” includes caching or streaming – it has been pointed out that it may well ban YouTube if it does, and the final decision probably rests with police and how much they want to arrest a given person

It is a “shinkokuzai” law – for police to act, there has to be a complaint from a victim

This means police need a specific complaint to act upon – it seems unlikely copyright holders will be able to obtain this kind of information themselves in the case of private downloads, although public downloads are another matter

However, police have shown themselves willing to independently goad copyright holders into pressing charges by providing them with information from unrelated cases

As it potentially criminalises most of the computer-using population of Japan, there is some suspicion that police intend to use their new powers either to bring additional charges against people whose computers they have seized as a matter of course, or to initiate house searches in the hopes of finding additional offences with which to charge victims.

If Japanese police follow their typical pattern of behaviour (as they have done with uploaders), they will likely not crack down hard on all downloaders and infringing sites, but instead make occasional examples of offenders, or use the law to bring extra charges against people arrested for other reasons (handy if the original charges do not stick and thought to be a means of point-scoring for officers and prosecutors) or against sites considered inconvenient.

In response to all this, Anonymous has reared its ugly head, issuing an “official” press release in which it throws down the gauntlet to the Japanese government, who are doubtless quaking in their various Tokyo mansions:

Greetings land of the rising sun, we are Anonymous.

In recent years the content industry, politicians, and governments throughout the world have dramatically increased their efforts to combat internet piracy and copyright infringement. Unfortunately in doing so they have often taken the wrong approach which has lead to draconian laws, infringements of basic rights, and severely stunting the growth of technological innovations.

Japan, home to some of the greatest technological innovations throughout history has now decided to go down the path as well and cave into the pressures of the content industry to combat piracy and copyright infringement. Earlier this week Japan approved an amendment to its copyright law which will give authorities the right to imprison citizens for up to two years simply for downloading copyrighted material

We at Anonymous believe strongly that this will result in scores of unnecessary prison sentences to numerous innocent citizens while doing little to solve the underlying problem of legitimate copyright infringement.

If this situation alone wasn’t horrible enough already, the content industry is now pushing ISPs in Japan to implement surveillance technology that will spy on and every single internet user in Japan. This would be an unprecedented approach and severely reduce the amount of privacy law abiding citizens should have in a free society.

To the government of Japan and the Recording Industry Association of Japan, you can now expect us the same way we have come to expect you in violating our basic rights to privacy and to an open internet.

We Are Anonymous
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget
Expect Us

They have apparently wasted no time in making their presence felt – the websites of the Supreme Court of Japan, the Democratic Party of Japan and the Cabinet Office have all reportedly suffered DDoS attacks.


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    237 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    01:35 27/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    that's what happens when you elect people who don't even know how to use a computer, much less how the internet works.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:44 27/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    > politicians can't tell a computer from a brick

    > they try to regulate them

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:01 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They make people life into hell by imposing additioal tax.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:42 28/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They probably think there are laws and regulations the can pass to prevent this type of thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:35 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Anonymous is just a collective group who pounce on soundbites. Other than making fancy declarations and soundbites, they haven't done much other than DDos the SONY PSN, and a couple of Government/corporate websites. DDOS and charismatic statements don't necessarily translate into desired results.

    I've seen Anonymous make statements on government sponsored surveillance/censorship legislature or bills that infringe upon US constitutional rights such as surveillance Drones(supported by Obama), NDAA(signed by Obama), SOPA/ACTA/PIPA/CISPA/TPP, and yet, those laws haven't been stopped(the only reason SOPA was killed was because the large companies such as Google, Amazon, Ebay, and Mozilla rallied against the bill).

    So simply put, Anonymous declaration against the Japanese Federal Government should be taken with a grain a salt. The only way to defeat such legislature is to engage the Japanese themselves. Those fluent with Japanese should be organized and a campaign to groom Japanese activists should be formed. Activism and campaigning translate into collective action, not DDOSing, or eloquent statements.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Anonymous is not a group. It's an anonymous not "the". They/we are an idea, not an organization. Everybody can be anonymous when they wish or when it's convenient for them. But you should know that, Anonymous.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:19 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    the standard (japanese) political dinosaur hardly has any idea of what this 'anonymous' is, nor do they know what a 'ddos' is and to be fair, nobody can gauge the voting power of anonymous, the only thing that is proven to matter to a politician, besides bribes

    Avatar of Kiljoy616
    Comment by Kiljoy616
    15:27 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    What a retarded posting, RIAA stooge.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 27/06/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Like being a hippy ever fucking worked

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    07:05 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Yes, Anonymous as an entity alone cannot make a huge difference, neither can any organization alone.

    The purpose of these announcements and the press which they bring is to draw attention to an issue in a new perspective. Now it could be called attention-whoring if you wanted, but it depends very highly on the method in which things are handled. DDOS attacks are impermanent, and it's a good thing they are. Stupid people will believe it's the first of escalating attacks, but realistically, it doesn't affect business for long, which would be much more than an inconvenience and make them a true nuisance even to those of whom they are trying to protect the rights. Anything more and Anonymous's message would backfire.

    The things they do are enough to make the news, and make the statement heard by many people, many groups, with the potential to inform the uninformed of the reality they may be ignorant of or denying outright.

    That is how things get changed. How you package your message to the masses is very important. Hippies sitting around being useless and playing shitty music and smoking pot only makes me want to see them run over by bulldozers. Maybe when hippy music was strong and decent it had some power to affect people, but now there's nobody with any real skill in that arena, so concerts don't mean anything anymore. Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert's stunt had more effect these days than something like that.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    05:50 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It would make some Japanese aware of what this issue law would do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:25 27/06/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    They are just anonymous attention whores that are obsessed by trivial superficial "issues".

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:44 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Attention whores do not label themselves with generic terms. Lulzsec are attention whores. Anon are not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:51 27/06/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Because basically "Anonymous" is a cyber terrorist organization. They might have good intentions but the logic is that if you do what the terrorist demand this whill only encourage them to do it again every time they want something.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:00 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    @ 08:43

    By your logic, every form of active protest is a form of terrorism. Yep, sounds quite American to me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:35 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    I swear, Americans sure love to throw the word "terrorist" around ever since 9/11, don't you?

    Snap out of your brainwashing, read a dictionary, and learn what the word means before you apply it incorrectly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:32 28/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ anon 07:14

    Then please tell me, what is a peaceful sit-in blockade like say, in front of a government building or on a railway to disrupt nuclear waste transports (a frequent occurrence here in Europe) in your opinion then? And how is it different from preventing access to a website and putting a protest banner on it (which can later easily be removed by the site operators)?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:18 28/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Good intentions are not enough. Your deed has to be objectively good. Of course if you disagree that objective morality exists, that's fine but that's a conversation ender right here since you have no reason to criticise anyone else.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:42 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Anonymous is disruptive, but calling them terrorists is simply false.

    Stop abusing the fucking word. Terrorists means someone trying to intimidate you into doing something or to force you to live into fear.

    Someone using illegal tactics is an extremist. Most terrorists are also extremists, but that's not a requirement (consider MAFIAA).

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:02 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    how are they terrorists, how are they striking fear into anyone. It's a form of digital protest they cause no physical harm or disruption, they do not threaten the lives of anyone. They simply make aware important issues.

    Avatar of Jazz
    Comment by Jazz
    16:58 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love how the internet lumps every American into one group: "American".

    I'm American and I'm not brainwashed .-.
    That's what my government tells me at least ;)

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    11:20 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    According to Fox news they blow up vans and are steroid users.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:39 02/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    From the above post: "They have a campaign of "do what we say or else we'll cause you hardship" and thus terror." In what world are you from that you can say hardship and terror are on the same level? Going to a job you don't like is a hardship. Are these people actually causing physical harm or death to any one in any way? Hardly. They make websites go down or leak personal information that 'inconvenience' a handful of people (in relation to the greater internet popluation) for a few hours, days, and in a few cases weeks. Yes, what they do is annoying to their 'victims' but in terms of actual damage done to peoples lives, they're soft cute puppies compared to the rabid feral dogs that are actual terrorists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:14 28/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anon @ 10:00

    Active protest is not the same as terrorism or vandalism. A protest is an action expressing disapproval or an objection to something. Anonymous is not doing that alone, they are vandalizing websites. That's not exactly terrorism but it's not mere protest either.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    07:48 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anonymous may have its best Interest for the internet.Sad truth is they made a lot of enemies in the government and Corporations they have attacked in the past even if this attack goes through Its only adding more fual to the fire.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Id say when they compromise tons of peoples credit card information, that is something that would strike fear...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Terrorist is the correct word, you dipsticks. They have a campaign of "do what we say or else we'll cause you hardship" and thus terror. If I say "Do what I say or I'll burn down your house!", that is terrorism. Fucking children with idealistic romantic bullshit in their brains who don't want their heroes to be sullied, I swear. And by the way, the "I swear you Americans and your use of the word terrorism", guess what... your government uses the word too. So knock off this European superiority bullshit as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:06 27/06/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    I almost forgot that attacking servers and what not is simply a daily hobby everyone does and isn't intimidation in trying to force another group down, my bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:47 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Internet, it is a series of tubes

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:30 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's a series of tubes, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:19 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They cant even properly use a toilet let alone a computer

    Avatar of kintama00
    Comment by kintama00
    08:19 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    finally some1 said it :D

    Avatar of jorge
    Comment by jorge
    00:56 27/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    GO ANONYMOUS !!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:15 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    YEAH GO ME!

    Oh wait, you don't mean anonymous posters...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:35 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You know, posts like this actually contribute to the Anonymous collective. It builds group spirit or whatever you want to call it. Or transfers culture. It's not us being sit-in, DDOS kind of activists or anything, but those activists definitely come from within the Greater Anonymous.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    We are not a collective. We are random fags on the Internet.

    -Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:45 30/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't put words in my mouth, and don't quote yourself, that just strange.
    alternativly: Don't quote myself, me.

    Avatar of PhillB
    Comment by PhillB
    14:52 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    EXPECT THEM!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:58 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    anon is leejun XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:31 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    anon is leeroy jenkins

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:37 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.9)

    This is like a childhood hero come to life.

    Comment by Anonymous

    or someone with a big ego and to much time on thier hands. They are to much into the romance of it all for me to take them seriously. Dont send out a letter with a bunch of jumbled up nonsense stolen from the movies, if you're trying to make a difference, you dont pussy-foot around. Bide your time, plan a strategy, and destroy everything that you're against with so much force that your enemy wont even think twice about doing it again. If I had any hacking ability, I would have waited until someone got arrested, then made them into a sort of (what's the oppisite of scapegoat?) marter? by somehow making it to where the main sites give free downloads to everyone, forcing the sites to close themselves down. Then finding these "spy" programs and dealing with them. If they dont have them man power or skills to do that, then they shouldnt be broadcasting themselves like heros of the people.

    Avatar of Hubbles
    Comment by Hubbles
    Comment by Anonymous
    01:14 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    lol dont worrie about it xD i remember when beta max could first record tv, ass holes was like "its illegal to tape public tv", then music tape recorders came out and the ass holes retorted "taping music off radio stations is illegal" lol after awhile no one will even give a damn.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    Jesus how old are you?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:20 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    I'm 2012 years old. LOL.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ anon 04:24
    "sabotaging gov website isn't going to help, do you really think those guys who pushed this law cares about broken websites"

    *sigh* why is it that so many people just can't seem to grasp the simple concept of raising awareness, and how DDoS'ing a web site is like a peaceful sit-in protest.

    The reason why DDoS attacks by Anonymous work is because the huge media appeal they have. Everyone is going to hear about it and the law experts are going to debate in TV shows and write columns in newspapers. Usually, after a few months, it results in the politicians making some kind of cop-out.

    The real question here is will it work with the very unique dynamics of Japanese society.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:07 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You can be 10 and fuck someones mother. All that requires is the ability to get an erection. Or younger if you count strapons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:57 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    old enough to sex your sister

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:24 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    aren't you suppose to be 2017 yrs old? since our calendar is off by 5 years and no one bothered fixing it.

    my honest opinion to anon group is maybe they're over-reacting to things, sabotaging gov website isn't going to help, do you really think those guys who pushed this law cares about broken websites?

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    04:59 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Wasn't our calendar off about 300 years? Someone invented 300 years of history as far as I know.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:18 27/06/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    old enough to fuck your mother!

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    03:58 27/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Well said, but i remember music taping began 30+ years before video taping possibility at home, if my old memory serves me right. I bought my 1st good tape machine, an Akai M-9 in 1969 and a VHS in early 80`s. I saw first video recorders in shops 1976.
    There was tape recorders for sound available for consumers in early 1950`s.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:34 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    There was also the Betamax Tape which was short lived.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    03:26 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @1:14 lol that's so true. take me for example, i didnt give a damn during the dvd era, and i sure dont give a damn now XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:13 27/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    History is actually one of the most important weapons in this war.

    Everything to do with copyright infringement on those archaic devices is entirely relevant still.








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