Japanese Police Arrest 2Channel Founder Because Users Talk About Illegal Stuff Occasionally

from the here's-your-award dept

As we wrap up 2012, I think it's an appropriate time announce the first annual "Most Incorrect Law Enforcement Action Of The Year" award (yes, I just made that up). While it would be obvious hyperbole to claim that law enforcement in general is somehow inept or evil, it's been a hallmark year for silly LEOs. We once again saw several countries attempt to make it illegal for citizens to film police in action, despite such filming often occurring in public places. We also discussed how the German government whoopsie'd its way into informing the world of all the ways it monitors its citizens. Seriously, if you're going to go all 1984 on us, at least have the capability to not shove it in my face. These are just a few examples we've seen this year.

That said, for the truly deficient aficionado, you just can't beat the Japanese police, who recently announced charges against the founder of 2Channel (the super popular Japanese forum site), named Hiroyuki Nishimura, because some users of the site have been found to discuss illicit narcotics. And it all appears to have stemmed from one nonsense news report on one single little 2Channel post.
Since last year 2channel, Japan’s largest internet forum, has been subject to pressure from Tokyo police. According to a January 2012 post by Avery (2channel Fights Police Pressure, So-Called “Viral Marketers”), the whole police investigation began after Fuji TV aired a sensational news report about drug dealers making posts on the site. The news report was aired only a few days after 2channel users helped organize street protests condemning Fuji TV’s alleged anti-Japanese bias.

"Their evidence for the drug trade was a single post from 2010 that used code words to refer to MDMA, marijuana, and cocaine….investigators are calling 2ch a “hotbed of crime” because moderators did not delete the single post from 2010. (Over 1,800,000 posts are made on 2channel every day.)"
So, let's get the obvious stuff out of the way, because then we can really have fun. 2Channel is Japan's largest internet forum. It's huge. Policing every post on it would be similar to owners of a private beach checking each individual grain of sand on their property. If such forums are going to exist, forum operators need to be protected from these kinds of charges in order to survive. On top of that, just as with Craigslist, dedicated law enforcement officers should be able to make at least some use of the forums themselves for their own activities, but not if they attack the site's owners.

Great, the normal stuff out of the way. Now let me explain why these charges are really stupid.
Nishimura will be charged with abetting drug dealing. However, some twitter users have pointed out that the statute of limitations for the drug law in question is 3 years, and Nishimura sold 2channel more than 3 years ago.
Oops. So charges are being brought against the guy who simply founded the site that someone else may have once used to talk about something illegal, even though he sold the site 3 years ago and the statute of limitations has expired. I'm certain Unites States LEOs will soon be bringing charges against the long-rotting corpse of E.L. Cord, founder of American Airlines, since terrorists used a plane of his to attack the World Trade Center. I mean, they really have no choice at this point, assuming they want to make a late entry into this year's "Most Incorrect Law Enforcement Action Of The Year" award.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    This was a BIG mistake.

    Don't they know the rules of the internet? NEVER, EVER piss off users of chans.

     

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      identicon
      oh dear, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: This was a BIG mistake.

      i see a cloud of rage beyond imagination descending on on metro.


      would the Japanese techies here please keep us updated along with mike?


      something tells me this is going to be interesting....

       

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    •  
      identicon
      oh dear, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: This was a BIG mistake.

      i see a cloud of rage beyond imagination descending on metro.


      would the Japanese techies here please keep us updated along with mike?


      something tells me this is going to be interesting....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Good to see the japanese are as stupid as everyone else who is policing the internet.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

    I'll just show how silly one of your recent posts was by changing the targets (italicized):
    ------- snip -------
    One simple and trumping response to anyone blaming Law Enforcement for drug dealing, and it's only one word:

    Japan.

    End of story. Find another scapegoat...or, better yet, the actual cause. Retreading old pet tropes actually HARMS the efforts to make sure unspeakable shit like this doesn't happen again....
    ------- end snip -------

    It's the ALL-TRUMPING WORD, Timmy! YOU ARE TRUMPED!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Glen, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:28am

      Seriously?

      You have no real life do you?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        *reads*, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Seriously?

        out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:27am
        Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

        I'll just show how silly one of your recent posts was by changing the targets (italicized):
        ------- snip -------
        One simple and trumping response to anyone blaming Law Enforcement for drug dealing, and it's only one word:

        Japan.

        End of story. Find another scapegoat...or, better yet, the actual cause. Retreading old pet tropes actually HARMS the efforts to make sure unspeakable shit like this doesn't happen again....
        ------- end snip -------

        It's the ALL-TRUMPING WORD, Timmy! YOU ARE TRUMPED


        WHAT THE FU-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        or at least that's how i see it.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:39am

      Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

      Until you answer the question you so cravenly ignore, why should we pay attention to you? Are you scared?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:41am

      Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

      Wow. The point rocketed so fast past your head that you'll actually have to WAIT for the WOOOSH sound.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Rikuo (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:50am

      Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

      And yet again, I (and others) am left wondering just what the hell that specific combination of words and letters is supposed to say or mean. Seriously, I haven't got a clue (fuck! Now I am hasn't_got_a_clue! dammit!)

       

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    •  
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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

      Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

      I....but.....WHAT?!??!?!

       

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      •  
        icon
        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

        Re: Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

        Reality and OOTB are disjoint sets.

         

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        •  
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          Ninja (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

          Actually, the post is on par with law enforcement hability to do it right it seems. I'd say that both law enforcement AND ootb are disjoint with reality.

           

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      •  
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        Gwiz (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

        Re: Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

        I....but.....WHAT?!??!?!

        The word you're looking for is.... "anyway."

         

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      •  
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        Ninja (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:19am

        Re: Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

        He spent the ability to reason properly for the next 10 years with an earlier post that even got voted insightful.

        The poor thing.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:11am

      Re: Oh, Timmy. So SOON with a counter-example from JAPAN?

      Does anybody know what this blithering idiot is actually talking about?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    CN, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Don't forget...

    So when do they arrest makers and creators of cell phones and land line phones? I think it is reasonable for me to *guess* that someone talked about illegal drugs on them at least once.

    Pretty sure those conversations come up periodically in cars as well.

     

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  •  
    icon
    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Most Law Enforcement is Excellent

    "While it would be obvious hyperbole to claim that law enforcement in general is somehow inept or evil,"

    This doesn't go nearly far enough. Most Law Enforcement Officers are honorable and excellent people doing a job which is necessary and for which they don't get enough credit.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      yep, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Most Law Enforcement is Excellent

      i agree.

      its not that cops are bad TM.

      its just that good cops sometimes are led or involved with bad people.


      and they don't say anything about it because of the damn blue wall of silence and it takes balls to go against the department. especially with a bunch of crooked blood sucking leaches that will have your job if you do something


      had a case around here where they had to hire a private investigator because people in our local department were too scared to talk about corruption police brutality etc.

      and when its found out? slap on the wrist or nothing at all.

      although i cant absolve everyone of responsibility because people should know better and should stand up for what is right.

      like my dad used to say many will sit when its time to stand and that's going to be the end of everything.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    South Park predicted this eventuality.

    Let the Suance commence!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Next thing you know, the Japanese will be trying a dead man

    Just to keep up with the "Neighbors"

    Why Russia Is Trying a Dead Man
    17 December 2012 | Issue 5036
    By Jamison Firestone

    At the end of November, the Prosecutor General's Office announced the upcoming trial of Sergei Magnitsky, a man who's been dead for more than three years. Putting a dead person on trial hasn't been done in Europe in more than 1,000 years. The reason is obvious: a dead person can't defend himself, no matter how absurd the charges.

    The story of this latest twist in the Magnitsky case begins with his death on Nov. 16, 2009. Magnitsky's death in detention led to the automatic closing of the criminal case against him.

    In July 2011, the Kremlin's human rights council published its conclusions about the arrest and death of Magnitsky. They were unequivocal:

    1. Magnitsky's arrest and detention were in breach of the European Human Rights Convention.

    2. Magnitsky was beaten by prison officials before his death.

    3. In contravention of the law, Magnitsky was prosecuted by the same officers he earlier implicated in corruption.

    4. Authorities resisted full investigation into corruption and fraud uncovered by Magnitsky.

    5. The Russian courts failed to provide any legal redress to Magnitsky.

    These were not conclusions Russian law enforcement officials wanted to hear. They led to an avalanche of criminal complaints, many of which were filed by Magnitsky's mother, against those who participated in the theft Magnitsky reported and in his illegal arrest and death. Therefore, in July 2011, the Prosecutor General's Office decided to legitimize the case against Magnitsky by reopening it.

    Under Russian law, a case against a dead person can be continued only at the request of his family for the express purpose of attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of the deceased. Neither Magnitsky's mother nor any of his relatives have requested that this discredited case be reopened. They demanded that the case against Magnitsky be closed and that the original embezzlement scheme that Magnitsky first disclosed be reinvestigated, along with the officers who arrested and abused him. The complaints filed by the Magnitsky family relied heavily upon the conclusions of the presidential human rights council.

    It is clear that the Russian government needs to justify Magnitsky's arrest. It needs to turn attention away from the fact that corrupt officials from the tax agency and Interior Ministry became wealthy after stealing $230 million from the state and also that they jailed and tortured Magnitsky in an attempt to cover up their crimes. Notably, nobody has been convicted in Russia on these charges. Meanwhile, on Friday U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Magnitsky Act, which will deny visas and freeze U.S.-based assets of Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky's death and the related embezzlement scheme.

    And to add insult to injury, the government is attempting to try a dead person. Who shall speak for the dead? Boris Kibis, an Interior Ministry investigator, assigned Magnitsky's mother the status of a "legal representative of a deceased defendant," which is a legal term that has no basis in Russian law. She refused this role and asked to be removed from this illegal posthumous prosecution, only to be summoned for questioning, where it was made clear that there could be serious consequences if she didn't cooperate. When she protested, the Interior Ministry tried to replace her lawyer with one of their own.

    In the end, starting in January, Magnitsky's 62-year-old mother will be forced to defend her dead son at his trial in the capacity of "legal representative of a deceased defendant."

    Magnitsky's mother will not be allowed to introduce any evidence from the presidential human rights council or from any other independent investigation. If she refuses to take part in the cruel mockery and humiliation of being forced to participate in a show trial of her dead son, she could be prosecuted.

    This is the real face of President Vladimir Putin's "dictatorship of law." Get used to it. It is a sign of things to come.



    Injustice and stupidity is alive and well everywhere.

     

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    icon
    timlash (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Tim, you ignorant slut!

    There are some Italian seismologists who had to go to jail this year that probably think they deserve "Most Incorrect Law Enforcement Action Of The Year" award.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    the really interesting thing to find out and broadcast would be the name of the total prick who orchestrated the whole screw up. now that would be worth posting on the 2channel forum!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Well, now I'm interested in what Fuji TV has been up to.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

      Re:

      Fuji TV caters to the racist part of the Japanese people, this is what they are up to, and the fact that they are big should tell you what that means.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    This is how curses like "May you come to the attention of those in authority" are created.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    commence operation shitstorm

     

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  •  
    icon
    Deleet (profile), Dec 20th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Fuck the police

    There already are websites for collecting stories about incompetent policemen. I think Maggie mentions them once in a while (https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/), altho I can't seem to recall the name of the site right now.

    It is not too surprising that fuckups happen often in the US. Why? Because of the IQ cap on policemen. Yes, they have a cap. (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/01/too-smart-to-be-a-good-cop/#.UNPHHYaGdcM)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 11:00pm

    As we wrap up 2012, I think it's an appropriate time announce the first annual "Most Incorrect Law Enforcement Action Of The Year" award (yes, I just made that up).


    Perhaps someone should nominate them for one of Usenet's notorious "kook awards". The "Loony Maroon Award" seems particularly apropos for charging the wrong target, who is doubly not responsible after having sold the site, and after the statute of limitations had run out.

    Of course, if everyone that does something stupid that gets reported on by Techdirt got nominated, the copyright maximalists would run away with all of the kook awards and leave none for anyone else.

    (A recent instance of a "Loony Maroon Award" nomination is archived by google at: http://tinyurl.com/c4exo49)

     

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    icon
    Bergman (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:07am

    I wonder, do Japanese police officers ever discuss illegal topics in the police station?

    Will we next hear about how the top cop in Japan is being held liable for comments made by his officers? Or that the men who built the building are under arrest for criminal conspiracy?

     

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