If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, you probably already know about Japan’s new ban on illegal downloads (see our previous article on the subject). Basically, there is now a set amount of fines and jail time that may be associated with illegal downloading of copyrighted audiovisual material, which a person can be charged with if the copyright holder complains. It also bans the ripping of protected content. As usual when it comes to this type of legislation, there are arguments to be made for both sides.
Of course, this is exactly the type of thing that incites the internet-based vigilante band Anonymous to take righteous anger-filled action, which is exactly what is happening here. Anonymous issued this threat to the Japanese government:
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
According to SanCom, a few Japanese government websites have encountered DDOS attacks, which might be Anonymous getting started. They have already taken credit for the system intrusion detected by the Japanese Ministry of Finance. Still, many remain skeptical about this, as it’s unclear what sort of positive effect annoying Japan’s government will have. Many Japanese on 2chan seem to find the whole thing very silly.
If you’re interested in following this branch of Anonymous’ actions or asking them a question, you can check out their Twitter @op_japan.
Sources: Sankaku Complex, Wall Street Journal,