Japanese Police Arrest 2Channel Founder Because Users Talk About Illegal Stuff Occasionally
from the here's-your-award dept
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.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.
"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.)"
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.