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Japan Passes Controversial 'Anti-Conspiracy' Bill (privateinternetaccess.com) 93

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Virtual Privacy Network Blog, News: Earlier today, after an intentionally rushed consideration process, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed a new mass surveillance law conveniently called the "anti-conspiracy bill." With the vague wording of the bill, anyone suspected of planning any of [the 277 acts listed in the bill] could be put under targeted surveillance. Of course, the Japanese government has promised not to overstep their boundaries and emphasized that the new law is only meant to increase security before the 2020 Olympics. Among the noted crimes that would be punishable in Japan under the new anti-terrorism law is copyright violation, which is a criminal offense not a civil offense in Japan. Both the Japanese Bar Association and the United Nation's Special Rapporteur have spoken out against the law, saying that it will severely curtail civil liberties in Japan.

BBC laid out some of the most ridiculous things that someone in Japan can now catch a potentially terrorism-related charge for even planning or discussing on social media the acts of: Copying music; Conducting sit-ins to protest against the construction of apartment buildings; Using forged stamps; Competing in a motor boat race without a license; Mushroom picking in conservation forests; Avoiding paying consumption tax. The stated rationale of the government is that these now-illegal acts, such as copying music to CDs or foraging for mushrooms in conservation forests, could be used to fund terrorist activities. Hence, planning or thinking about them is bad. If this sounds like the Thought Police, that's because it is.

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Japan Passes Controversial 'Anti-Conspiracy' Bill

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  • bad habits (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @05:06PM (#54629203)
    ...recur in Japan. Arbitrary power leads to arbitrary government and tyranny. Sounds like Japan is going to continue to implode on population.
  • by alzoron ( 210577 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @05:09PM (#54629225) Journal

    ...if they promise not to use it?

    • you didn't notice the crossed fingers behind the back i take it? (a wink might have been hard to see of course)

    • Power is like a gravity well. There is a continuous, natural push to accrue ever more power. Without constant efforts to push back, it inevitably accrues, until we're back to oligarchy.

      This is one important reason why they imposed term limits on the presidency.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      On the other hand, being Japanese, they probably can get away with just apologizing when they are found out having lied.

  • Sad to see this happening there, but it's not like japanese government don't have previous bills that are borderline thought police like.
    It's a country that I'd like to visit again and possibly even spend a longer time in the future, but this is pretty bad. I already discarded visiting the US in the near future, the last thing I want to see is even more countries using terrorism as an excuse for overbearing state surveillance.

  • The occupation government clamps down as the olympics approach, getting ready to smash some skulls as the general sense of nationalism in Japan grows, along with several "extreme" right-wing groups.

  • by zlives ( 2009072 )

    fuck the Olympic cartel

  • by NettiWelho ( 1147351 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @05:44PM (#54629437)
    So japan wants to do same legally everyone else is doing illegally. Atleast they're being kind of honest when they pass an actual law.

    I wish my country also would publicize what the actual rules are.

    In Finland, you can be suspect to a crime based on "evidence" inside your apartment and not observable unless already performing a house search. ie. search was ordered prior to establishing any cause.

    You can bring the victim of the original crime, doctor, whose clinic was burglarized to appeals court to prove police perjury in lower court. Cops said narcotic drugs could've been stolen, doc says cops knew an hour before the search started drug vault was still locked and untouched.

    Cops also give statement under oath that they performed visual observation giving them cause to suspect me personally between points a-b, which in reality were lacking line of sight due to concrete wall without windows. I brought pictures proving this to court.

    Court simply withdraws mention of possibly stolen drugs in new verdict, cops escape punishment, the person arrested on false pretext gets shafted with court bills.

    If the government just fucking upfront said they're going to do the fuckever they wan't all this unnecessary bullshit could've been avoided.

    In Finland, having dog hair on the bottom of your shoe can result in your house being raided at 3 am by 5 cops and the interrogation about non-existing imaginary stolen drugs lasts 7 hours. Supreme court simply refuses to admit the case without statement and whole process dies.
  • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @05:50PM (#54629465)

    in response to the lessons of WW2. ...Japan is one that hasn't changed enough.

    They keep moving toward (real) nationalism. Not this "'Merica!" kind, but "change the history books" kind. They would rather forget and hide all the atrocities than accept and learn from them.

    (There are tons of great people in Japan, but the ones who have influence and power are NOT the same people.)

    For all the shit we give Germany over WW2. Nobody ever bothers to read up on the near equal horror of Japan. Human experimentation on live subjects? Yes. Belief in superior race? Yes. Death marches? Yes. An nationalistic ideology so strong they had volunteer suicide bombers? Yep. Systematic rape (and murder) of millions of women and children? Yep. Experimentation of biological and chemical weapons on prisoners? Yep. (Google Unit-731)

    • Oh, and one more thing. The argument people ALWAYS use against the USA. "We firebombed their cities."

      Fun fact: Japan firebombed the shit out of Chinese civilians.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Oh, and one more thing. The argument people ALWAYS use against the USA. "We firebombed their cities."

        Fun fact: Japan firebombed the shit out of Chinese civilians.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        And the Americans bombed Japanese cities, Coventry (that's in England, for the geographically challenged) had the living shit blown out of it multiple times by ze Germans. It was war. In the 10 worst bombing campaigns of WWII, only one allied city made the list (London). We were a shit load better at unloading ordinance than they were.

    • by meglon ( 1001833 )

      They keep moving toward (real) nationalism. Not this "'Merica!" kind, but "change the history books" kind. They would rather forget and hide all the atrocities than accept and learn from them.

      You haven't been paying attention to what conservatives are doing in places like Texarse, or pretty much most of the south.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I am surprised to see your comment getting Score:5

      I am from a small Asian country living in Japan for about 15 years.
      I have experienced fair amount of bad and good of Japan.
      I do not know anything about Germany, but whatever you are saying about Japan is mostly false.

      >>Japan is one that hasn't changed enough.
      Any sources?

      >>They keep moving toward (real) nationalism.
      Any sources?

      >>Not this "'Merica!" kind, but "change the history books" kind. They would rather forget and hide all the atrocitie

  • They should do like the US, and just put everyone under surveillance regardless of whether any suspicion of any activity exists.

  • Named using doublespeak and rammed through the legislature, under the pretense of increased security. Well doesn't that sound familiar.

    Oh, you're going to object to draconian laws curtailing free speech and eroding personal privacy, that just happen to have a measure or two thrown in to protect corporate profits? Do you sympathize with terrorist criminals or are you one yourself?

    At the rate the world is going, I wonder when freedom and liberty will stop mattering entirely.

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      I wonder when freedom and liberty will stop mattering entirely.

      For all? Not sure that's ever existed, though if it did it kind of died out in the McCarthy era and the continual "war" on nouns (communism, crime, drugs, terrorism.. probably missing one or two in there,) and while liberty has rallied a couple times since then, it hasn't really revived. We're pretty good at inventing reasons to oppress people.

      Of course that's just in the US. If you take a larger view of the world, there's definitely always been places where freedom and liberty have been unknown concepts

      • I'm just reminded that even in countries that give a lot of lip service and make a lot of noise about liberty and freedom, the old expression "the price for liberty is eternal vigilance" is something never to forget.
  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @08:23PM (#54630155) Journal

    Precisely the same reason was laid out for granting Austrailian soldiers legal immunity for shooting at groups of citizens prior to the 2001 Olympics. Looking at what has happened to the Olympic infrastructure that was to be granted to the people of Brazil I think it is fair to say that the Olympics is a boondoggle factory of epic proportions.

    For Japan in particular, considering the media blackout surrounding Fukushima it is more that likely the government and olympic officials don't want anyone talking about the toxic radionuclides that have been distributed over Tokyo. Since you can't get any reliable information about it I'm sure the brave Japanese people who are trying, whilst suffering the criminal negligence of TECPO and the regulator, will be shut down soon.

    I would like to have a look at the text of this legislation and what is on that list however it wasn't posted with the story. As has become usual here, we are talking about this law in ignorance of what is in it. I tried to find the text of the Act for the last 45 minutes and whilst I see a lot of stories from around the world about how it was rammed through and how there was a brawl in the house about the passage of the war bill, it seems incredibly difficult to find the text of Japanese laws.

    Free speech is a joke under such laws and I wonder how long the illusion that these acts of government are in place to serve the people can be maintained.

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      the government and olympic officials don't want anyone talking about the toxic radionuclides that have been distributed over Tokyo

      I somehow doubt you need to invoke a conspiracy theory at this point to explain either the Olympics being a security boondoggle, nor a right-wing government imposing ridiculous laws in the name of fighting terrorism. Its happening all over the world, Fukushima or not.

      Never mind the fact that the Fukushima disaster was 6 years ago. Which would make them about 6 years too late to bother implementing blackout laws. That means its either not nearly as big of a coverup as you're wanting to believe, or it is a

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        I somehow doubt you need to invoke a conspiracy theory at this point to explain either the Olympics being a security boondoggle, nor a right-wing government imposing ridiculous laws in the name of fighting terrorism. Its happening all over the world, Fukushima or not.

        I don't see it as a conspiracy theory, I see it as a politically convenient excuse. Government has a technique for acquiring a type of power. There is no conspiracy in saying the state acquires power, that is what it does. So it can only be described as thought policing, because that is what it is. Both right and left wing parties participate as they certainly aren't looking after the interests of the populous if a direct attack on freedom of speech is sustained and passed into law, in a democracy.

        This is

        • by Altrag ( 195300 )

          I see it as a politically convenient excuse

          A politically convenient excuse for what? You don't really need much of an excuse to implement a surveillance bill these days. Just follow in the footsteps of the UK and the US and ignore your populace when they complain. Everybody's doing it!

          This is what the Soviet government did to their people

          I'm not saying oppressive laws aren't a problem. I'm saying that using Fukushima and arbitrary "media blackouts" 6 years after the fact would be both strange and unnecessary.

          This is about how long the Australian amendments took to become permanent law

          Kind of irrelevant. A bill for modifying corporate tax rates or something similarly mundan

  • Maybe Japanese lawmakers go the full length and make comming to work on time a felony too.

    After all, holding a steady job is a fantastic way to finance terrorism. And a cover. And with the right job, even access to large buildings,city centers, subways during rush hour.

    Yes, this is sarcasm.

  • I remember when living in Japan, you used to have CD rental stores. You could rent a CD for a day for ~100Yen, At the time 20 years back or so, a new cd was around 3,000 yen or about double US prices. Of course right by the counter was a stack of minidiscs to buy, which probably explains why that format took off in Japan and not in the USA.

    http://neojaponisme.com/2005/0... [neojaponisme.com]

    The above link explains that the media manufacturers apparently had more clout than the music industry and thats why the stores were p

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