Published on Apr 19, 2013
Hello Japanese National Police Agency.
We are Anonymous.
On April 18th, 2013, you released a report that recommended ISPs in Japan block IP addresses related to the Tor network. Your reasons for doing so are easy to understand.
On February 12th, you arrested Yusuke Katayama who you suspect to be behind the series of anonymous threats posted to the internet using both a computer hijacking program, and the Tor network.
Before arresting him, however, you wrongfully arrested several suspects whose computers had been hijacked. While this is unfortunate, it is understandable that even the police can make mistakes in the course of an investigation. More worrying, however, is the fact that you coerced confessions from these wrongfully arrested, innocent Japanese citizens.
Of course, these facts eventually came to light, and the National Police agency was confirmed to be as technologically illiterate as everybody had always expected. This was deeply humiliating for you. Unfortunately, your response is both typical of your kind and yet, deeply regrettable.
Because you are unable to cover up your actions, you instead blindly lash out at the Tor network, a mere tool used by the real culprit.
What is regrettable is that Tor is not the dark and dangerous shadow network that you and the mass media would like to paint it as. Tor is merely a tool, and like all tools, it can be used both responsibly and irresponsibly.
The truth is, the Tor network helps people in repressive countries, such as Tibet, bypass censorship and communicate with the outside world. It helps whistleblowers safely expose unethical behaviour by powerful people. Tor can and is used every day for noble ends.
At our last count, there were 52 Tor nodes operating in Japan, several of those exit nodes. Each and every one of those nodes contributes to the strength and stability of the network, and the exit nodes in particular help users in less fortunate countries than ours.
By discouraging Tor use in Japan, you weaken the strength of the entire network. You reduce the options for people in repressive regimes. And you rob your own people of a legitimate and perfectly legal tool they can use to protect their privacy in a world that regards it as less and less important with each passing day. We urge you to withdraw this report and renounce your recommendation for ISPs to block the Tor network in Japan.
While governments are quick to label Anonymous as criminals or worse, we Anonymous in Japan are neither criminals nor cyberterrorists. We are activists, and we believe in protesting peacefully and legally. As such, we strongly discourage any other Anonymous cells around the world from engaging in any DDoS protests or website defacements. To do so would only encourage the NPA to be more aggressive in censoring the internet, and weaken the position of Japanese ISPs and telecom companies who are against the NPAs decision.
To civil rights groups and Internet freedom activists around the world, we urge you to make public statements denouncing the NPAs recommendations. To tech media, we urge you to report on and carry this story, so that this act of censorship cannot be allowed to happen in the dark.
To the National Police Agency, we strongly recommend that you focus on learning the necessary skills and tools to remain relevant in the 21st century. Network technology and the internet are here to stay. The genie cannot be put back into the bottle. Rather than trying to stamp out what you cannot understand, we hope that you can learn to adapt and join us in the modern day.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.