Japanese ISPs Decide That Criminal Confessions Should Be Blocked Online

from the common-sense-is-dead dept

With various governments pushing for laws that require ISPs to block "objectionable" content, it's not hard to come up with scenarios where that will backfire. Of course, who needs to come up with fictional scenarios when reality will serve up examples on its own. Over in Japan, some mentally disturbed individual used the web to detail how he planned to stab a bunch of people. After he carried out the stabbings, rather than focusing on how such sites can be useful in stopping homicidal maniacs before they kill, the Japanese are focusing on figuring out how they can block such content as "objectionable" so that people can't see it. Is common sense dead? How could it possibly make sense to try to hide the fact that someone is confessing to the crimes they plan to commit before they commit them?


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  1.  
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    another mike, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 11:40am

    premeditation

    They want to block perfectly good evidence of premeditation? Throws an insanity plea into question if he was sane enough to not only plan it out but blog about his intentions. Unless being dumb enough to tell the internet about it is his evidence of insanity?

     

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  2.  
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    dorpus, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 11:51am

    It's been happening constantly.

    A couple of weeks ago, a nut slaughtered a bunch of people in Akihabara after announcing his intentions on the net. Since then, police have arrested people every day for announcing plans on the net to commit mass murder. Some of them came close to actually carrying them out too. The problem is that when people are constantly announcing such plans, it creates an atmosphere of permissivity. As you know, Japan is a very peer pressure-oriented culture, where if everyone jumps off a building, then it is ok for you to do it too. By "blocking", they mean that such posts will be reported to police and deleted.

     

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  3.  
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    sonofdot, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 11:55am

    Re: It's been happening constantly.

    As you know, Japan is a very peer pressure-oriented culture, where if everyone jumps off a building, then it is ok for you to do it too.

    That explains a lot about Godzilla movies.

     

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  4.  
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    dorpus, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: It's been happening constantly.

    There is a movie made earlier this decade called "Suicide Circle", which portrays a fad of net-based mass suicides. That is how net-based mass suicides started in real life in Japan. The Japanese movie industry has stopped making such movies.

     

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  5.  
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    Brian, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    They're Doing It Out of Love

    Come on, Mike. These governments are only trying to protect you by attempting to make you blind and stupid.

    Won't you give them a break?

    (Hah! The subject line says "doing it"... Oh son of a bitch. Now I'm going to be blocked in 8 countries.)

     

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  6.  
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    mobiGeek, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Poor thought process, not insanity

    I think it is a matter of wrong-headed thinking that leads to this type of decision. I suspect they aren't trying to suppress evidence from showing up on the web. They likely are of the camp that wrongly believes people carry out these acts because of what they have posted on the web, and the notoriety that their posts will bring post-act.

    To them, it is "common sense" that taking away the ability of someone posting (i.e. bragging) about upcoming acts will prevent the acts themselves.

    Problem here is that "common sense" isn't common and typically doesn't make much sense.

     

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  7.  
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    Tony, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Yes

    Common sense IS dead. Just read the last months' worth of Techdirt and you'll see proof of that.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    what the hell

    Dorpus didn't say something completely and utterly retarded.

    Hang on, I hear hooves knocking at my door...

     

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  9.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    Re: premeditation

    premeditation implies sanity...you had time to think about it and STILL did it...

    insanity really only applies in "acts of passion" or impulse reactions, OR when the defendant has a history of mental illness...in which case his blog should have probably been monitored anyway

     

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  10.  
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    Some, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 3:45pm

    Typical for Japanese Gov't

    You have to understand that hiding things from the outside world and denying them internally is very common for the Japanese government.

    In 2004, the Japanese Health Minister announced to the country that Japan need not fear AIDS, because the Japanese immune system was superior to all others.

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's been happening constantly.

    Bull. I think you'll find that suicides pre-dated movies, not the other way around.

    "The Japanese movie industry has stopped making such movies."

    That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that it was a one-off hit, by any chance? Suicide Club a.k.a. Suicide Circle was made in 2002, and was a short-lived cult movie as per Death Note, Battle Royale and any number of other teen suicide / murder themed movies that appear and disappear with some small controversy. Yet, Japanese suicides have been rising steadily for the last decade despite the absence of new suicide-themed movies being made (link). That's not teen suicides, but in general population, with a significant rise among pensioners - suicides among young teens is actually down.

    Tell me, genius, how this is movie related? It couldn't instead be anything to do with the high pressure, conformist culture of Japan combined with a struggling economy, could it? No, better to point at movies so people like you don't have to deal with the realities of life.

    (note to any new readers: dorpus is the resident troll. My annoyance isn't misplaced)

     

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  12.  
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    dorpus, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's been happening constantly.

    I think you'll find that suicides pre-dated movies, not the other way around.

    Did I say suicide didn't pre-date movies?

    That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that it was a one-off hit, by any chance?

    The phenomenon of internet-based mass suicides did appear after that movie.

    It couldn't instead be anything to do with the high pressure, conformist culture of Japan combined with a struggling economy, could it? No, better to point at movies so people like you don't have to deal with the realities of life.

    I do not recall denying such factors anywhere. Actually, my post mentioned them.

     

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  13.  
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    jbomb, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: premeditation

    There are numerous tests for premeditation, and premeditation is not as simple a concept that it can be tossed so easily into categories. The act of premeditation, after all, involves "meditation". That alone is a difficult to describe and difficult to prove concept. Insanity does not necessarily preclude one from meditation.

    For example:
    Though he has no prior history of insanity, Abe thinks that his son must be killed. He hears voices in his head that say that God wants his son dead. Abe brings his son to the edge of town, and puts him on a rock, readies a prepared dagger, and gets ready to stab his son to death. A bystander sees Abe try to kill his son. Abe screams that the bystander is sent by the devil. Abe throws stones at the bystander. Then Abe "snaps out of it" and says "the voice told me to stop, and that this was just a test from the voice". *

    This shows that Abe premeditated: He prepared the dagger, he brought his son to the remote spot. He knew his action would lead to his son's death. But he didn't rationalize the implications of his actions. Clearly, although he premeditated, Abe was insane.


    * Of course, this is the story of Abraham, the very basis of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions, or "Abrahamic Megacults" as they are often referred to. As the story goes, he would later go on to chop up his own penis with a sharp object, and people for thousands of years to come would call him a great prophet. I suspect he "had issues".

     

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  14.  
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    jbomb, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 6:44pm

    Premeditation and insanity and Japan's emphasis on "the group"

    In the U.S. legal system, "irresistable impulse" is one standard for measuring whether or not there is insanity from a legal perspective, this is true. Also, as you mention, there is the test of "severe mental disturbance" which might impede the perpetrator's knowledge of the nature and qualities of his action.

    But a separate test of "knowing right from wrong" or "knowing the consequences of one's actions" is another test for sanity. I suspect that in Japan, there are other tests, too. Perhaps some are similar.

    In the end, I think the Japanese Government is more concerned about "copycat crimes", and the glorification of these actions. In other words: The effects of this publicity upon future acts by others.

    I would bet that "car Jacking" would never have been so popular in the United States, were there not so much publicity around it. News helicopters interrupting their regular broadcasts and so forth. People sometimes do crazy stuff because they've seen it done a few times. This is true everywhere.

    Japan's cultural views of "the self" and "the group" often prevent people from acting out in high profile "its all about me" individualistic ways.

    But if enough individuals do act out, and their actions and motivations are publicized, they establish a "new group" for like minded people to join. A peer group of misguided individuals. Peer groups, in Japan, are a very strong concept.

     

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  15.  
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    Actually, no. But perhaps China is the country yo, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Typical for Japanese (??) Gov't

    I find that "2004 Health Minister" un-cited quote kind of silly. Clearly you are confusing Japan with another country.

    By 1989 (fifteen years prior), Japan had been rocked by a tainted blood supply scandal. During the scandal, numerous people were infected with HIV-tainted blood. Thousands of Japanese went in for testing and testing centers were overwhelmed.

    The idea that an official in Japan's Health ministry would be 15 years behind the curve ... announcing "we need not fear AIDS" (15 years after a blood scandal) ... well, I don't buy it. I think you've mixed up your countries.

    This constant (and unfounded) fear of a possible *weak* Japanese immune system is prevalent. It is shown in their extremely high condom use, long before AIDs burst into the global scene.

    In part because their country has no land borders with other nations, there has always been a cultural fear that foreigners would bring disease and the Japanese immune system would be too WEAK to cope. The opposite of what seems to be implied in your statement.

    But there is one country with a history of denial of epidemics: China, whose epidemic figures from the early days of AIDS are still a "State Secret". In other words, 20 + years later they still won't go public with the number of deaths. Deaths that they repeatedly denied as they were occurring. (Bird Flu was treated similarly in China early on)

     

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  16.  
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    mobiGeek, Jul 3rd, 2008 @ 8:16am

    Re: Yes

    Critical thinking is dead. Just look at your previous post, devoid of relevant content, and you'll see proof of that.

    Which part of the dozens of articles and thousands of comment posts in "last month's worth of Techdirt" are you trying to use as your "proof"?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    oregonnerd, Jul 3rd, 2008 @ 5:14pm

    Japan, ISPs, and blocking

    Have any of you by any chance lived in Japan? I did as child and adult and I'm learning quite a lot from your comments.
    --Glenn

     

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