Correspondance With LBRY

On May 26th, 2020, LBRY Inc. was contacted by e-mail to comment on some public statements on Twitter. They responded two days later, on May 28th. Both messages are being posted here in full. Only private information has been redacted:

Dear LBRY,

I’m a user on your platform with both an imported YouTube account and a second created account:

I recently published a video where I reviewed LBRY alongside some other sites, and generally had many positive things to say about it. I provide the following link for reference:

Following the publication of this video, however, I was contacted by
some of my viewers about a series of messages posted to your public
Twitter account, namely these:

The implications I took away from these exchanges have made me adjust my opinion of LBRY somewhat, and I will be making a followup video to
express that fact. I would like to include a comment from you, if you
choose to give one. I want to assure you, I’ve gone through this thread
in detail, so I’m aware of the accusations that have been made, and your
responses to them. I’m also aware of LBRY’s architecture and the
safeguards that exist with regard to censorship. My questions are not
related to these points.

My concerns are more related to the fact that LBRY Inc seems to be,
albeit obliquely, accusing Bit Chute Ltd (the operator of the Bitchute
platform) of having a tacitly antisemitic editorial position with regard
to their platform’s content. It’s worth pointing out that Bitchute is a
direct competitor to LBRY in the alternative video hosting space, and as
such LBRY Inc would stand to benefit if Bitchute was censured or
otherwise restricted from doing business over allegations of this
nature. Was it the intention of LBRY Inc or any of its staff to accuse
Bit Chute Ltd of tacit endorsement of, or support for antisemitism when
it commented “If your problem with YouTube is that it’s too “Zionist”,
please, stay on @bitchute”? If not, could your clarify your statement?

Further to that, you commented that “Bitchute seems to go out of it’s
way to court stuff like this (found on the front page in under a
minute)”. My understanding is that Bitchute does not employ algorithms
to filter, boost, or deboost content. Videos that appear on their front
page exist entirely by virtue of user activity. In light of that, does
LBRY consider the existence of content on a platform itself to mean
endorsement of that content by the platform?

You commented that “They court it by knowing it’s there…and not
denouncing it or replying when a racist *explicitly tags them as a place
to go be racist*” and also “Because ignoring it is how people begin to
think it is okay”. This implies that LBRY believes a failure to denounce
an idea is morally equivalent to support for that idea. Does this
accurately reflect the position of LBRY Inc or its staff? Also, is it
the position of LBRY Inc or its staff that the operators of a platform
have a responsibility to maintain an editorial position regarding
otherwise legal content posted to that platform?

Lastly, LBRY frequently advertises that its protocol and open source
nature provides a safeguard against censorship. While it is technically
true that users can share content in a peer-to-peer fashion over the
LBRY protocol, this is not always a stable or viable solution at scale
given internet speeds and cost in some areas. At present, seems
to be the only large scale app offering hosting on the LBRY network. In
the event users wish to use the LBRY protocol but do not wish to use and are also unwilling or unable to host content themselves, are
you aware of any other independent third-party instances of LBRY
services that offer content hosting to the public?

In the event that I do not not hear back from you before the end of this
week (Friday the 29th of May), I will be produce the video without any
comment from LBRY. I hope I can hear back from you before then.

Thank you for your time,



Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough message. I would ask that if you choose to include portions of this response, you make the full response available to your audience as well (not necessarily in the video itself). We all know how the media can be :p

LBRY is making no accusation that Bitchute itself is intentionally antisemitic. We did not intend to harm Bitchute when we posted that message. We were responding to another user that had introduced Bitchute into the conversation. We do believe there is a contingent of virulently antisemitic posters on Bitchute (not “Israel is bad”, but “Jews aren’t people”). It is our company’s preference that those users stay on Bitchute rather than come to LBRY. But this is an expression of a preference, not a threat of action.

Any implication that Bitchute actively courts antisemitic content is a mistake and withdrawn. Whether it’s fair to say Bitchute benefits from antisemitism and whether this should be considered as tacitly endorsing it is, in my personal opinion, debatable. But we do not intend to discuss further publicly.

LBRY does not believe it or anyone is obligated to comment on anything. We also do not believe anyone is obligated to not comment on anything. Ultimately, we believe you should judge LBRY based on whether or not we actually interfere with legal content itself. We have always promised we will never do that, and have never given any indication to the contrary. In fact, I would argue that the company that says, “we dislike this content, but are hosting it anyway”, is more trustworthy than the company that claims to support free speech but is never challenged on something it disagrees with.

The LBRY desktop app does allow peer-to-peer access to everyone, even if in poor bandwidth areas it requires downloading. LBRY is better than Bitchute in openness and censorship in every way. We are continuing to work on the protocol day in and day out to make it better for everyone. Anyone who questions our commitment to that simply isn’t paying attention.

アノニマスの見解 Ep 18.5:香川ゲーム条例アップデート

Hello everybody. It’s rare for us to do a follow-up on a previous Anonymous no Kenkai, but in the time since we released our last video on the Kagawa Game Ordinance, some very interesting news has come out that needs to be shared. If you haven’t watched Episode 18 yet, you might want to pause this video and go watch that for the background information to understand what’s going on. But otherwise, let’s begin.

First, on April 16th, the Kagawa Prefectural Government website published an incident report about the loss of a shared computer in their offices. According to the incident report, a staff member reported the computer as missing after checking the equipment on March 17th. Although they searched for it and interviewed staff, they were unable to find it. The cause of the loss was listed as poor management, and the office decided to store shared computers in a locked cabinet in future. Why expensive equipment wasn’t already secured this way remains an unsolved mystery.

This incident doesn’t seem related or particularly important at first glance, but please remember that Kagawa’s Game Ordinance was approved on March 18th…one day after this computer went missing. This will be important later in the story.

Second, on April 13th, local news network “KSB” published a report based on a Freedom of Information request into the Game Ordinance’s Public Comment period. What they found was that of the 2269 supporting comments, many of them were exactly the same, right down to the use of spaces and line breaks. Most were simply one-line answers such as “I agree” or “I agree with the expectation of a bright future with the passage of the ordinance”. The bulk of these identical comments arrived within minutes of each other, one after the other.

The Kagawa Prefectural Office redacted the personal information of commenters, of course, to protect private information. But some of the information they left unredacted led to an even more interesting discovery.

Starting at 8:47am on January 31st and continuing on until 5:25pm on February 5th, the Prefectural Office received a series of one-line public comments supporting the Ordinance through the contact form on their website. Left unredacted was the header information from each submission, including the useragent string and IP address. Dozens of these messages had identical useragents, and all of them seemed to come from the same IP address… For anybody familiar with networks, this is obviously an internal address. In other words, they couldn’t come from the outside internet. They had to come from a device connected to the same internal network as the Prefectural Office’s webserver, which should only be accessible to Prefectural Office staff.

It’s incredibly interesting that a shared computer in that same office would vanish just one day before the Prefecture voted to pass the Game Ordinance. It’s even more interesting that members of the Review Committee would urge a quick vote due to the overwhelming number of supporting comments.

But the even with the stink of corruption hanging so heavily in the air around the Kagawa Prefectural Government, there’s little that can be done now that the Ordinance has passed. It would take a legal challenge in court to stop the Ordinance at this point, ideally on constitutional grounds.

Well, good news…

Just this month, a 17-year old boy in Kagawa Prefecture known only as “Wataru” announced plans to take Kagawa Prefecture to court over the unconstitutionality of and the human rights violations within the Game Ordinance. Namely, that it violates Article 94, the right to self-determination, among a half-dozen other constitutional violations. “Wataru” has retained the services of a well-known lawyer, and plans to crowdfund his legal fees. We’ll provide more information about the crowdfunding campaign as it becomes available.

We hope everybody viewing this can support Wataru’s case, either through crowdfunding or just by spreading the word. The Kagawa Game Ordinance needs to be struck down, and an opportunity like this for the Gamers of Japan, and the world, to Rise Up may never come again. Everybody, let’s make the most of it.

アノニマスの見解 Ep.18:香川県の静止する日

Hello everybody, and welcome back to Anonymous no Kenkai.

Sadly, 2020 has turned out to be a more difficult year than anybody expected. We hope all of you are safe and taking care of yourselves out there.

The Coronavirus has been dominating the headlines for weeks, and while it’s certainly newsworthy, it’s also made it easy for several other stories to get lost in the shuffle, one of which we’d like to address today.

In late 2019, the Kagawa Prefectural government proposed creating a bylaw which would set legal limits on the amount of time minors could spend playing video games. Under this proposal, children under 18 would be allowed to use their smartphones and play games for only one hour per day on weekdays, and 90 minutes on weekends. Additionally, Junior High School students will be forbidden from using their smartphones or playing games after 9pm, while High School students will have a curfew of 10pm.

We mentioned this briefly in our last video, and unfortunately in the time since then, the proposal has become law. On March 18th, the Kagawa Prefectural Assembly approved the proposal with a majority vote, to go into effect starting April 1st. Currently, the bylaw lacks any penalties for noncompliance, instead requesting that parents enforce it voluntarily.

Of course, the global COVID-19 outbreak drowned out most news on the topic, but there was still a strong reaction online in Japan, and to a lesser degree in the media. While there were numerous criticisms of the bylaw itself, more worrying were a series of suspicious irregularities surrounding the bylaw’s review committee and public comment period.

Firstly, the review committee drafting the bylaw apparently didn’t keep any record of the minutes of their meetings… an unusual oversight, given this is stardard practice for almost any governmental committee.

Secondly, during the public comment period, an unusually high number of comments came in; 2615 in total.

And in addition to being unusually high, a disproportionate number of the comments supported the bill… 2269 in total, over 85%. Only 334 comments opposed the bylaw. In contrast, among the 71 comments solicited from businesses inside and outside Kagawa Prefecture, 67 were opposed, with zero comments in support. Put together, all of these numbers cast doubts on the entire public comment process.

It didn’t take long for those doubts to feel justified. Reports surfaced online that a member of Kanagawa’s Kannonji City municipal government, an associate of the Review Committee Chairman and supporter of the bylaw, handed out forms to his friends and colleagues, asking them to check “support” or “oppose” boxes before filling out their opinions. The Representative reportedly collected these papers and delivered them to the Prefectural government himself. The entire process not only unfairly narrowed the matter down to a simple yes/no vote, it also implied pressure to agree with the City Representative handing out the paper. In fact, one paper showed signs of an “oppose” vote being crossed out and changed to “support”.

Even more concerning was a letter received by the digital news outlet Netorabo, published on their Twitter account. In the letter, an employee from a company in Kagawa Prefecture claimed their boss asked to use the names of employees to send pre-written public comments in support of the bylaw. The authenticity of the letter remains unconfirmed, but if true it would explain the unusually high number of comments received.

Considering all of the above information, it certainly seems as though some people in Kagawa Prefecture were very eager to have this bylaw passed by any means necessary. But the question remains, why? What is it about video games that has Kagawa Prefecture’s politicians so worried?

The answer to that question comes with a name… Susumu Higuchi, Director of the government-run Kurihama Addiction Center. Doctor Higuchi’s main area of research is treating alcoholism, but he’s branched out so-called “gaming addiction” as well. Higuchi is a frequent collaborator with the World Health Organization, and was one of the voices supporting their decision in May 2019 to add “gaming disorder” to their International Classification of Diseases. Doctor Higuchi’s opinions on this so-called “gaming disorder” come up frequently among supporters of Kagawa’s bylaw, and it’s fair to say that his research is the foundation upon which it was built.

Interestingly, the WHO’s connection to this matter has some sinister implications, given how blatantly supportive of China they’ve been lately. As we noted in our last video, Kagawa’s bylaw is almost a carbon copy of a similar law passed in China last year. Seeing China, the WHO, and the Kagawa Prefectural government walk in lockstep in this matter is worrying, even if there’s not necessarily reason to believe they’re overtly coordinating at this time. But even putting the WHO and China aside, there’s more than enough to criticize in Kagawa’s bylaw itself.

For one, there isn’t broad agreement in the medical community that “gaming disorder” is even real, and the research on it is far from conclusive. In 2019, critics of the decision to add “gaming disorder” to the ICD cited fears that doing so would only spark a moral panic. If we look to Kagawa as an example, that criticism seems very valid.

But beyond that, the bylaw represents an unwelcome intrusion by government into the private lives of citizens. Does the Kagawa Prefectural government believe parents aren’t capable of making their own decisions without government instruction? If the bylaw has no penalties, and parents are expected to enforce it voluntarily, why should the bylaw even exist? Why should legal activities have arbitrary time limits set by the government?

Will penalties be added to the bylaw in the future? This could create an opening for even more authoritarian government overreach into the private lives of citizens. And with Kagawa setting this precedent, other Prefectures may find it easier to create similar laws of their own.

Will software or hardware makers be asked to modify games or smartphones to comply with the bylaw? The ability to track users by age and usage time would create more opportunities to expand the survillance state.

Lastly, why is this bylaw so narrowly focused on games and smartphones? If children watch TV or read comics, is this more acceptable than doing the exact same activity on a phone? If so, why?

It is interesting to note how this law only seems to target new and alternative media…favoring established legacy businesses like TV stations and book publishers over their online rivals. In an era where young people in Japan are favoring YouTubers over TV stars, and independent creators over corporate mouthpieces, is this bylaw an attempt to prop up legacy media companies?

The fact is, no matter what motivations are behind this bylaw, it’s a worryingly authoritarian encroachment on the freedom of Kagawa’s citizens. The government has no business mandating how parents are meant to raise their children, and they have no right to place arbitrary limits on otherwise legal activities. This bylaw needs to be challenged in court and overturned as soon as possible, before it becomes the new normal.

If you’re a resident of Japan, in or out of Kagawa, the best thing you can do is talk about this problem with as many people as possible. If you’re outside Japan, spreading awareness of Kagawa’s draconian new bylaw with others can still help. There are many out there who don’t know about this, or if they do, they don’t fully understand just how authoritarian the Kagawa Prefectural government is being. It may not be the most important thing in the world compared to the Coronavirus, but it still deserves to be talked about. And if ever there was a time for Gamers to Rise Up, it would be now.

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI… and until next time, MACHIUKENASAI.


In late February, a power outage at our hosting provider permanently corrupted our server. For the past two days we’ve been rebuilding the server from scratch, and Anonymous No Kenkai PeerTube is finally back in business.

Unfortunately, the federation and subscription database was wiped out, so anybody who was subscribed or federating before now, please go back and federate/subscribe again. Thanks.

アノニマスの見解 Ep.17:資本主義ふりをする中国

Hello everybody, and welcome back to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI

It’s been far too long since our last episode, but there’s been no shortage of projects to keep us busy, and my English-language Bitchute series, “No One Cares” has been eating up a lot of my time as well. But a topic has finally emerged that needs our attention, because today we’re going to talk about China. More specifically the Communist Party of China, and their foreign policy.
お久しぶりです。前回の動画から随分と長い間が経ってしまいました。プロジェクトが山のようにあるおかげで、いつも忙しくなってしまいます; 特に、英語のBitchuteシリーズ「No One Cares」には多くの時間費やしてしまいました。とはいえ、ついに我々の注目に値する新たなトピックが現れました…「中国」です。具体的に申しますと、「中国共産党」、そして彼らの「外交政策」についてです。

China made headlines several times throughout 2019, for a variety of reasons. Their Social Credit system has earned our attention in previous videos, and earned revulsion and horror from people the world over. China’s behaviour in response to protests in Hong Kong has also earned the world’s attention and criticism, even if more in the independent media than the mainstream.

But it was actions regarding their financial stake in foreign businesses that made the most waves. In October of 2019, two major incidents caught the public’s attention. First, the Chinese government demanded an apology from the NBA when General Manager Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors, causing China to cut off broadcast of their games as punishment. Almost within the same week, Activision Blizzard punished E-Sports player Blitzchung after he spoke in support of Hong Kong independence during a Hearthstone tournament livestream.
しかしながら、先程述べた問題よりも中国における対外投資の方が、実際のところ最も注目を引きました。2019年10月に、2つの事件が世間の注目を集めました。ヒューストン・ロケッツのダリル・モーリー・ゼネラルマネジャーが香港デモを応援するようなツイートを投稿しました原因で、中国政府は米NBAに謝罪を要求しました、そして罰としてNBAゲームの放送を停止しました。その週の後になって、ハースストーンの世界大会に、eスポーツプレイヤーBlitzchungは同じく香港デモを支持する声明のせいで、米ゲーム大手のBlizzard Entertainmentからペナルティを受けました。

In both cases, Chinese investment in a foreign company was used as leverage to pressure them into censorship in line with Chinese policy. In essence, China exported its censorship to other countries through its foreign business ties. The phenomenon became public enough that it garnered a response from President Trump, and even an episode of South Park.

Of course, this is hardly new. It’s already common knowledge that Hollywood has been designing its movies to maximize marketability in China for several years. Google briefly planned to design a censored search engine for the Chinese market, before (at least ostensibly) abandoning the plan in 2018 due to internal protests.

But even considering that, the recent growth of Chinese foreign investment (particularly in the video game industry) has been notable. As of late 2019, the Chinese entertainment giant Tencent has acquired stakes in over a dozen different gaming companies ranging from 5 to 100%, including well known names like Riot, Epic, Ubisoft, Activision, and Discord. Early 2020 even saw Japan’s Platinum Games accept a capital investment from Tencent as the basis of a partnership. While Platinum’s CEO assured fans that the partnership had no effect on the independence of the company, the news nonetheless raised some eyebrows.

And with good reason. Chinese investment in the gaming sphere has come with several strings attached in the past. Tencent’s 5% stake in Ubisoft, for example, came in exchange for being a silent partner with no option to expand its voting rights. But in Novermber of 2018, Ubisoft tried to change the visual elements of its game Rainbow Six Seige globally in line with Chinese standards. This was quickly reversed after fan backlash, but regardless Tencent’s lack of voting rights in the company didn’t seem to have any effect on its ability to dictate changes.
そして、不安を感じる理由は十分にあります。これまでに、ゲーム産業における中国から条件付き投資の例は数あります。例えば、TencentがUbisoftの5%の株を取得した時、Tencentを経営における議決権の一票として数えない、従って経営方針に口出ししない「サイレント・パートナー」として投資することを条件として株主として認められました。それにもかかわらず、2018年11月にUbisoftは「レインボーシックス シージ」というゲームのビジュアルをグローバルに中国の政策にかなうように変更しようとしました。ファンからの反発のおかげで決定は撤回されましたが、Tencentはサイレント・パートナーであるにもかかわらず、それでもUbisoftの決定を左右できるに見えます。

In July of 2019, Taiwanese game maker Red Candle was forced to pull their latest game offline after the Chinese government revoked the business license of their Chinese distributor. The reason? The game featured an image of a Winnie the Pooh meme mocking President Xi Jinping.
2019年7月に、中国政府は中国国内のとある流通業者の事業免許を取り消した後、台湾のゲームスタジオRed Candleの最新ゲームの発売を完全に停止しました。その原因は、習近平国家主席を「クマのプーさん」に見立て嘲笑うといった内容のミームがゲームの中に仕込まれていたことです。

But why does any of this matter? Well, game fans certainly don’t want to see their favorite games censored by China. But even people who’ve never played a video game have reason to be worried.

In 1978, China’s economic reform was hailed as a first step in making the country more free. The theory was that economic incentives would encourage the government to allow greater liberty for all. The degree to which this has been successful is open to debate, but it all hinges on the assumption that China’s motives for participating would be just to make more money.

But what if that wasn’t the main reason? Money, after all, is just an abstraction for access to resources. Control over resources equals power. And if there’s one thing an authoritarian government wants a monopoly on, it’s power. I would argue China’s real motive for participating in the global economy was more about exerting power over others; make as much money as possible through State controlled companies, and then invest that money in foreign businesses, or attract them into the country. Afterwards, the threat of withdrawing those resources can be used to manipulate those companies into toeing the Chinese line.
とはいえ、中国の《真意》とは一体何なのでしょうか? マネー(お金)は基本的に資源へのアクセスの抽象的目安にしか過ぎません。資源の支配権こそが権力への鍵なのです。そしてまた、独裁政権は飽くなき権力の独占を渇望するものです。世界経済に参加する中国の真の動機は、「他の国にも中国内の権力を及ばせる」ことであると考えられます。国営企業を利用しできる限り利益を得て、さらに対外の企業に投資することで、中国市場に惹きつけます。そして、その時に「投資の撤退」という選択肢が、対外企業を中国政府の方針に従わせるのです。

And if we use Hollywood and the gaming industry as an example, it’s obviously working. Large companies often cite the need to access the Chinese market to ensure future growth. And for small game studios, employees speaking off the record have admitted that access to the Chinese market can be the difference between staying afloat or going under.

Some would argue that this isn’t exclusive to China… and they’d be right. Any nation with enough market power can play the same trick, and some have. And no matter who’s doing this, it’s a problem. It uses the economy as a weapon to subvert the free will and agency of individuals, and left unchecked it also undermines the sovereignty of nations. Japan is already starting to imitate Chinese Social Credit with things like Line Score and J-Score, and the recent move by Kagawa Prefecture to set legal time limits on playing video games sounds uncomfortably similar to a Chinese law passed just last year. And the last thing any country needs to do is be more like China.

So what can we do about it? There are no easy answers, of course, but there are a few things we can at least keep in mind. As individuals, we can withdraw our financial support from companies that bend the knee to China, and give our support to companies that resist. On the national level, countries should keep their sovereignty and independence in mind when crafting trade policy. The United States, for example, has been criticized for engaging in a trade war with China… but the fact is, US trade restrictions can actually help smaller nations wean themselves off dependence on the Chinese economy. Japan in particular would do well to use this opportunity to shift away from China and cooperate with other nations in the region instead.

Companies caught in this conflict have an ever harder decision to make. Money is the lifeblood of a business, and few would voluntarily choose to make less of it. But chasing short-term profit makes it easier to be manipulated into self-destructive choices by bad actors. And if the only way for a company to succeed is to play by the CPC’s rules, then perhaps the only winning move is not to play at all.

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI, and until next time… MACHIUKENASAI.



Disconnectのアーティストとまだ話し合ってるけど、皆が忙しくなって新しい同人誌を作ることが出来ませんでした (´_`)






プロジェクト自体ホームページ [英語]:








「あれ?これはTorと変わらないじゃん」と思う方、実は違う!でもTorとLokinetの違いについて話すと、難しくなりますね… 実際に、Torには悪用出口ノード問題がありますね。誰でも出口ノードを作れるだからこそ、ノードに介する通信は監視され、保存される恐れがあります。Lokiの場合、ノードの管理には専用仮想通貨の資源が必要です。完璧じゃないかもしれないが、ある程度に悪用ノードの問題を抑えると思われます。そして正直に言うと、Torには競争が必要だと思います。一つのソフトに頼りすぎると、バッドエンドに終わるかもしれない。



日本語版マニュアルのプレースホルダー [開発途中]:



悪用ノードの問題にもかかわらず、Torは万能プライバシーツール、そしてまだおすすめできます。でも日本ではかなり有名なのに、実はTorブラウザのユーザマニュアルはまだほぼ日本語にローカライズされていません。何と!Torプロジェクトのスタッフと話し合って、我々はローカライゼーションに協力し始めました。でも訳さなきゃいけない文は山ほどあるので、もっと助けを借りたい (ι´Д`)ノ



プロジェクト自体ホームページ [英語]:


OnionShareはTorネットワークを利用するファイル共有ツールです。ソフトが自動的にTor秘匿サービスを設定して、onionアドレスにファイルをホストします。一時的、それとも永続的なダウンロード両方ができます。バージョン2.2から、簡単なhtmlファイルでワンタッチのダークネットサイトを作れます。プライベートにデータを共有したいなら、ぜひOnionShareを使って下さい!(しかも、日本語版は我々の仕業だ ೕ(•̀ㅂ•́ ) )



鳥は可愛いですね… (人´∀`*)










アノニマス:文化庁著作権課へ、コメントの求めに応えて、「OnionShare v2.2」

In early October, the Copyright Division of the Agency for Cultural Affairs put out a request for public comment to let the public give them feedback about their hard work to protect the content industries of Japan.


This hard work includes:
-proposals that would violate Article 21 the Japanese constitution
-proposals that would make sharing link URLs a criminal act
-proposals that would make taking screenshots a criminal act
-proposals that would make copy-pasting the content of news articles a criminal act
…and so on. We’d like to thank the Agency for their hard work. Great job.

…などなど。 文化庁の良い大人の皆さん、かねてより上記の「苦労」に関しては、まっ・・ことにご苦労様です!よくできました!!(笑)

Since the Agency for Cultural Affairs has been kind enough to ask the public for our views, we have no choice but to respond with our honest opinion. Our comments and criticisms can be broadly divided into six areas: strictness, public domain and fair use, unfairness, antiquated laws, legal issues, and issues with the government’s basic stance.

さてさて、ちょうど文化庁著作権課がご親切にもパブリックコメントを募集していましたので、これを機に我々も率直な意見を述べる以外、もはや選択肢がございませんっ!・・・というわけで、今回我々が提示する論題は次の6ヶ条となります。すなわち、1:厳格過ぎる法適用 2:パブリックドメインと公正使用(フェアユース)3:不公平 4:時代遅れの法律 5:法的問題 そして6:政府の基本スタンスとの問題です。

-Currently News content can be taken down due to copyright violation, but can’t news reporting be made an exception?
-A link itself is not a copyrighted work, and “Leech Sites” do not actually host any copyrighted content.
-The act of posting copyrighted content is not always necessarily an infringement of that content.-Since the infringing act of posting copyrighted content ends once the material has been uploaded, linking to that content after the fact cannot be considered a crime in itself.
-If a balance isn’t maintained between the public good and the private profit of corporations, this law will be seen as unfair by the Japanese people and lead to a weakening of respect for the law in general.


2:Public Domain and Fair Use
-Can news reporting be considered an exception? Can images, audio, and text from news not be made part of the public domain?
-We would like parody provisions like those in France to be included.
-Before expanding copyright protections, we would like you to think about the length of copyright terms and the lack of Fair Use provisions in Japan.


-Won’t allegations of infringement by large corporations, government agencies, or religious groups be used as a tool to suppress the speech of citizens?
-It seems as though these copyright laws are written not from the point of view of the citizen, but rather excessively back the position of large corporations, governments, religious groups, and rights management agencies.
-There seem to be many criticisms of site blocking, access restriction, and Leech Site countermeasures by well-informed people.


4:Antiquated Laws
-Because the spirit of copyright law was written in a time before the Net, they need to be reconsidered and amended to be in line with the reality of the present day.
-Hyperlinks form the basis of the internet, and this may negatively effect the free exchange of information and freedom of the internet.


5:Legal Issues
-While a Request for Injunction against alleged infringers exists under Patent Law, rules regarding such for indirect infringement do not exist in Copyright Law.
-Based on the precedent of alleged infringers ignoring Requests for Injunction, similar Requests to Leech Sites will be difficult to enforce under present circumstances.
-The Leech Site countermeasures shown in the current Draft Proposal to Revise the Copyright Act for Exceptions Regarding the Registration of Programming Books call into question whether the legal system is unified and consistent.


6:Issues with the government’s basic stance
-The fundamental problem with pirated works is their upload, and so download should not be such a main area of focus.
-Furthermore, since downloading was criminalized, criminal penalties were enacted, and the requirement for formal charges from a victim was removed in 2009, there has not been one single arrest. This calls into question the effectiveness of these measures.
-On the other hand, strengthening regulations on downloading restricts the internet freedoms of the public, and atrophies their ability to use the internet.


In light of the above concerns, we would like to strongly urge the reconsideration of the download criminalization proposals.


We would also like to urge the public to submit your comments to the Copyright Division of the Agency for Cultural Affairs at the following address. The deadline for these submissions are October 30th, so don’t delay.

However, we can’t just end with asking the government to protect our rights. It is always important to cultivate the power to protect them ourselves. Towards that end, we would like to announce some good news. In March of this year, we announced “OnionShare”, a file sharing program using the Tor network. Just this month, OnionShare has released an important update.


As of version 2.2, OnionShare can now be used as a simple web host for Hidden Service sites inside the Tor network. By hosting an index.html file and associated content on your own system using OnionShare, you can quickly and easily create a Hidden Service website.


We urge all people to take advantage of this update. And remember…only you can protect your own freedom and privacy online.


アノニマスの見解 Ep.16:検閲屋からAdpocalypseまで

Hello everyone, and welcome back to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI

It’s been a while since the last episode. 2019 has been an eventful year, and we’ve been busy with various projects. But at long last, it’s time to talk about something very close to home…YouTube.

It’s no secret that the platform has many problems, and the ones feeling the worst of it are the Content Creators. ContentID and malicious copyright strikes were already problems for a long time, but recently YouTube has been much more aggressive about Demonitization. Japanese viewers are almost certainly familiar with the problem…it’s so ubiquitous it’s mentioned by VTubers and non-political Japanese YouTubers alike.

Of course, in typical YouTube fashion, Demonitization is neither reasonable nor balanced. Videos are inexplicably demonetized for the smallest infractions, or sometimes no infractions at all, while certain channels can blatantly break the rules and suffer few or no consequences.

At the same time, the YouTube algorithm seems to promote large, corporate content more while burying small independent Creators. Meanwhile, the Media around the world seems to routinely demonize YouTubers, casting them in the most negative possible light at every opportunity.

But is all of this unrelated, isolated cases? Or could there be a common thread connecting these problems, and if so, what is it? This is a puzzle with many pieces, and before we can put them together, we first need to study them individually.

A lot of what we want to talk about here won’t be new for our English-speaking audience. This topic has actually been covered extensively by a variety of English language channels. But it isn’t covered so extensively in Japan, or at least not that I’ve seen, so it’s important to provide this information for local viewers.

When talking about the YouTube situation, we need to understand five different groups; YouTube itself, Content Creators, Corporate Advertisers, The Media, and the NGO/Activists (or “the Censors” as we’ve referred to them in a previous video). All of these actors have their own goals, but as we’ll see, many end up pushing in the same direction.

First, YouTube and the Content Creators. Many people think YouTube’s main purpose is to operate a video platform, but they’d be wrong. YouTube’s main purpose is to sell advertising space. The Creators are only useful to YouTube by giving them free content to advertise on, and attracting an audience to advertise to. This was more or less confirmed by a Washington Post report, where a former YouTube moderator claimed “our responsibility was never to the creators or to the users, it was to the advertisers”. Certainly, Content Creators can earn a small percentage through the Partner Program (unless they get demonetized), but in general the Creators are volunteer labor for YouTube’s bottom line.



Second, the Advertisers. Their goals are simple…they want to sell their products. YouTube provides them with a big audience of potential customers, but there’s one problem…not all of this content is “family friendly”. Having their ads appear next to controversial content creates the risk of bad press, which damages their brand. So they want to maximize their advertising benefit while minimizing their risk.

Next, the Media. Whether print, broadcast, or digital media, they’re the dying remnants of an old era. Based on an informal survey, both online and off, Japanese people below a certain age seem far more likely to get their entertainment from YouTube than anywhere else, and I imagine that pattern will hold globally. While the Media does often USE YouTube, they don’t generally make content FOR YouTube, which makes it difficult for them to compete directly with Content Creators. Media companies have huge budgets, hundreds of staff, and expensive equipment…but in many cases, they’re outperformed by individuals with nothing more than free software and a webcamera. Independent Creators are also usually better at making a closer, more authentic personal connection with their audience, something that old-guard Media companies can’t easily do.

Finally, the Censors…working through NGOs and activist groups. As discussed in ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI 13, these are people fixated on identity politics who want to force their worldview on others against their will, and for all opposing viewpoints to be silenced. They have connections inside YouTube and the Media, and exploit both to deplatform opponents and critics alike.

So how do all these pieces fit together? What’s the chain of events that led us to the present situation?

First, it starts with the Censors. For whatever reason, they decide a target needs to be deplatformed. This target could be an individual, or a group, but the tactics are the same. Using their contacts in the Media and NGOs, the Censors carry out a smear campaign of their target.

One famous example is Pewdiepie. Just one naughty word during a stream was enough for him to become the target of every major newspaper, branding him a neo-Nazi or worse. Another example is the so-called “Alternative Influencer Network”, or AIN. The AIN is a network of YouTubers outlined in a report by Rebecca Lewis, member of a left-leaning NGO called “Data & Society”. The report suggests that the “far right” uses this network of alternative media and opinion YouTubers to spread propaganda and radicalize people online.
有名な例は人気ユーチューバー「Pewdiepie」です。彼がゲーム実況ストリームの中の単なる1つの下品な発言のせいで、主要新聞に「ネオナチス」や「レイシスト」というレッテルを貼られました。他の例はいわゆる「オルターナティブ・インフルエンサー・ネットワーク」(別名:AIN)。AINは左翼系NGO「Data & Society」の会員「Rebecca Lewis」が作った報告書に述べられている政治的ユーチューバーのネットワークです。Lewisの報告によれば、このネットワークは人々を右翼系団体に採用するため、そして極右思想の宣伝するために使われていると思われます。

Naturally, the AIN report is plagued with bad data and massive leaps in logic. It made connections between YouTubers that didn’t make sense, and grouped all opposition to progressive talking points as “far right” for the purpose of problematizing it. The report was carefully analyzed and debunked by Software Engineer Mark Ledwich in a Medium post in late 2018, but by that point the damage had already been done, and arguably the AIN had fulfilled its purpose.
当然、AIN報告書は誤ったデータや論理の飛躍だらけです。Lewisは関係の全くないユーチューバーを無理やりにお互いに結び付けて、問題にするために広範囲の異なった批判の意見を「極右過激派」という誤ったラベルを貼りました。AIN報告書はソフトウェア・エンジニア「Mark Ledwich」のMediumブログで徹底的に分析され、暴露されました。とはいえ、その頃には、被害は既に与えられてしまっており、AINの本当の目標は達成されました。

While these sorts of tactics are seen less often in Japan, they do exist…Huffington Post Japan posted an article in early August talking about the “Intellectual Dark Web”, an almost identical smear campaign against academics who dared to disagree with liberal orthodoxy. HuffPo Japan ridiculously claims the members of this “Dark Web” are a “Dark Renaissance” that stands in opposition to human rights and democracy…claims that are as laughable as they are false.

Censors in the Media and NGOs push these smear campaigns, but the Media in general has every reason to help them. To mainstream Media, popular YouTubers are their competitors on this new platform. As such, every YouTuber that gets shut down decreases the market share of that competition. Business is war, after all.

Once the Censors and the Media have pushed their smear campaign far enough, eventually the Advertisers take notice (or are made to notice). Wanting to minimize the risk of brand damage, the Advertisers threaten to pull funding from YouTube if their ads appear next to all the “far right” content they’re hearing about in the news. Whether these reports are true or not, whether they’re fair or not is unimportant. The only thing that matters to them is brand image.

As major brands are a big source of income for YouTube’s advertising market, the site is quick to respond to their complaints. The rules suddenly become stricter, and channels find themselves mass demonitized for reasons that are hard to understand. This is what’s called an “Ad-pocalypse”…a name that should be familiar to English YouTubers, but may not be so familiar to Japanese audiences. An article on the site “Nuts & Freaks” is perhaps the best Japanese-language write up of the subject, and I encourage all viewers to read it to better understand this phenomenon.

While it sounds like YouTube is a victim in all of this, the fact is YouTube also has an interest in helping this process along…and not just because of the Censors within their own ranks. With thousands upon thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube daily, the supply of advertising space on the site is huge, which keeps the market value of advertising low. Reducing the supply of available advertising space means driving the market price of that advertising up…something YouTube would definitely be interested in.

Similarly, smaller independent YouTubers are harder to control and more likely to do or say something controversial, which upsets Advertisers. But big corporate channels don’t have that problem. And so the YouTube algorithm favors big corporate “family friendly” content while shutting out the smaller Creators, in order to keep the Advertisers happy.

In fact, YouTube may be going a step further in their desire to control their platform…by propping up YouTubers of their own creation. A YouTuber by the name of Jennelle Eliana has recently become wildly and inexplicably popular, getting thousands of views, likes, and followers seemingly out of nowhere. Many YouTube users have reported finding themselves automatically subscribed to Jennelle Eliana without having done so themselves.
実は、YouTubeは自身のプラットフォームをより直接的に管理するためにさらに一歩進めているのかもしれません・・・、Youtube運営側が自ら創ったユーチューバーを支援することによって・・・。というのも、最近「Janelle Eliana」という名前のアメリカ人ユーチューバーが、驚くほど早く人気になっています。短期時間にもかかわらず、異様に多くの視聴数や「いいね」、そして登録者数まで上がっています。多くのYouTubeユーザーがアカウントは何の確認・承諾なしに、自動的にJanelle Elianaのチャンネルと登録されたと述べました。

There’s too much to go into here and now, but in a nutshell it appears that YouTube is artificially generating Jennelle Eliana’s popularity…and given that YouTube is one big black box system, it’s certainly possible. But if it’s true, it would finally give YouTube total control over the ad space on their platform. And it would finally complete the transformation of YouTube from an open platform for the average everyman…into Cable Television 2.0.
話が長く成るので、今回は詳しい説明を割愛させてもらいますが、手短に言えばJenelle Elianaの人気は人工的に生じさせられている可能性が十二分にあります。YouTubeのアルゴリズムはブラックボックス・システムなので、視聴者の反応データを簡単に改ざんできます。でも、もしこれが本当の話であれば、YouTube上の広告スペースの完全な支配の最終段階の到達を意味します。そして、ようやくYouTubeの変化は完了されます。民主的ユーザー生成コンテンツのプラットフォームから、単なるケーブルテレビの第二世代に変化されるでしょう。

At the end of the story, once all the dominos have fallen, everybody has gained something. The Censors deplatform their targets. The Media weakens their competition. The Advertisers protect their brands. And YouTube drives the price of ad space up while reducing the risk of rogue users. The only party who loses in this scenario is you…the users and the Content Creators.

Of course, there will always be cases of demonetization that aren’t based on smear campaigns from the censors. Some Content Creators will take things too far on their own, and YouTube or Advertisers will respond on their own. But at the same time, the cycle of activist smears leading to Adpocalypse has happened too often to ignore.

So what do we do? In truth, the source of this problem is simple…YouTube’s near total monopoly over the video hosting space online. A monopoly that’s only made possible by the deep pockets of Google, or rather Alphabet Inc. And by the daily use and attention of us, the users and Content Creators.

The most painfully accurate thing said to me about YouTube was this: “the worst thing Google ever did is convince us that hosting video online was free”. At great expense, Google has provided us free space to host our videos, free services, and even free money in the form of the YouTube Partner Program. In exchange, they set our standards so high that no other company on Earth can possibly satisfy them.

Any competitor to YouTube will be unable to afford the same quality of service. So unfortunately, if we want to weaken Google’s grip on power we need to learn to settle for less.

PeerTube, a decentralized alternative we’ve promoted, does not offer advertising space or monetization for users. Individual instances need to pay for hardware or hosting, and for domain registration.

But what PeerTube does offer is true creative freedom and autonomy. No advertisers can complain about you, no YouTube staff can delete your channel. You and you alone control your experience online. That’s a price worth paying.

If you’re a Content Creator on YouTube, consider learning how to set up a PeerTube instance, or else creating an account on one that exists. If you’re a user, make the effort to seek your favorite Creators on alternative platforms, or encourage them to expand to those platforms if they haven’t already. For those who move to decentralized alternative networks, make the effort to support them financially if you can.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But if real change is ever going to happen at all, it needs to start with you and me from the bottom up.

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI, and until next time…MACHIUKENASAI.


(1) 2018/08電気通信事業法及び国立研究開発法人情報通信研究機構法の一部を改正する法律(平成30年法律第24号)の施行に伴う省令の制定について(NICT法の一部改正に伴う識別符号の基準及び実施計画に関する規定整備関係)

(2) 2018/09/26国立研究開発法人情報通信研究機構の中長期計画の変更案に対するサイバーセキュリティ戦略本部の意見(案)

(3) 2018/11/01国立研究開発法人情報通信研究機構法附則第八条第四項第一号に規定する総務省令で定める基準及び第九条に規定する業務の実施に関する計画に関する省令案に係る意見募集の結果新旧対照表

(4) 2019/01/25国立研究開発法人情報通信研究機構法(平成11年法律第162号)附則第8条第2項に規定する業務の実施に関する計画の認可申請の概要

(5) 2019/02/01IoT機器調査及び利用者への注意喚起の取組「NOTICE」の実施

(6) 2019/02/14IoT機器調査及び利用者への注意喚起の取組「NOTICE」で使用するIPアドレスについて
(7) 2019/06/28IoT機器調査及び注意喚起の実施状況について



ポートスキャンを仕掛けているのは、ポート番号で21(FTP)、22(SSH)、23(TELNET)、80(HTTP)、443(HTTPS)、その他では 8000、8080 です。単発ではなく、短時間に集中的&連続的にスキャンしているようです。

Let’s imagine a scenario together. Imagine a world where, in a crowded urban metropolis, nobody locked their doors. As a result, burglaries are skyrocketing. This problem could easily be solved by everybody just locking their doors, but for some reason they don’t.

Why not? Maybe they’re too lazy, maybe they’re stupid, or maybe their just don’t believe they’ll be targeted. Whatever the reason, the problem isn’t getting better.

The police, of course, are overwhelmed. They put out notices asking people to lock their doors, but it doesn’t have much impact. So finally, they come up with a more extreme plan.

The police hire people to go door to door in every neighborhood, testing each door to see if it’s locked. If they find an unlocked door, they enter the house and leave a warning note. They then write down a list of all the addresses that don’t lock their door and keep it at the police station.

Naturally, this plan has one problem…entering somebody’s house without permission or a warrant is illegal. But the police solve that by having the government pass a law that makes it temporarily legal for the police to perform “specified access” to unlocked houses.

Does this sound like a terrible idea filled with potential for abuse? We agree! Unfortunately, Japan’s NICT does not.

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology announced a plan in February of this year, called NOTICE…”National Operation Towards IoT Clean Environment”. NOTICE is a plan to improve the national level of IoT security. Unfortunately, many hundreds (if not thousands) of IoT devices are either poorly secured, or not secured at all. Many use default passwords, which makes them easy targets for malicious programs like 2016’s Mirai virus.
情報通信研究機構(NICT)が今年の2月に、「NOTICE」という計画を実行しました…”National Operation Towards IoT Clean Environment”。NOTICEは日本国内のIoTセキュリティーを高めるための計画です。残念ながら、多くのIoTデバイスにはセキュリティ上の脆弱性があり、さらにはセキュリティー対策自体が全く施されていないデバイスすら存在します。多くのデバイスはパスワードがデフォルトのまま設定されており、ウィルスにとっていいカモになっています(例えば2016年のMiraiウィルス)。

The NICT wants to encourage better security practices, which is good. Unfortunately their method of doing this is very bad. Under NOTICE, the NICT plans to run brute-force dictionary attacks on all IoT devices in Japan, testing default passwords to try and access them. If the attack is successful, they will notify the owners and advise them to change their password. It’s also likely they’ll be keeping records of which devices were successfully accessed.

Of course, this plan had one problem…the type of brute-force attack the NICT wants to use under NOTICE is considered unauthorized access, and is illegal under Japanese law. Which is why, in 2018, the Japanese government created amendmends to the Telecommunications Business Law and the National Research and Development Institute of Information and Communications Technology Law. These amendments stipulated a class of “specified access” as an exception to unauthorized access, essentially making it temporarily legal for the NICT to perform unauthorized access to private networks.

There are thankfully some limits on the NICT’s new “specified access” powers…for now. Legal targets are limited to those that meet the criteria set forth by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The NICT’s brute force attacks will employ only passwords less than 8 characters, those used in past cyber attacks, and those using only identical or consecutive characters. Sadly, these limitations are of little comfort. More on that later.



While the goal of improving Japan’s network security is commendable, the NICT’s plan under NOTICE may have a number of unintended consequences.

Firstly, legalizing government hacking of private networks opens to door to abuse by other branches of government. We already know that CIRO and the Japanese Directorate for Signals Intelligence are monitoring the Japanese internet, and cooperating closely with America’s NSA. There’s potential that they might be tempted to deputize the NICT to perform “specified access” to a private network on their behalf, protected by the legal shield created by the 2018 amendments.

The ability of the NICT to successfully contact the owners of private network to warn them is also an issue, as is the likelihood that those owners might not notice (or might ignore) this contact. As a result, the NICT will end up maintaining a list of unsecure IoT devices in Japan…a list that will itself become a target for hackers, who will have faster and easier access to victims. In this way, the NICT might make Japanese networks less secure rather than more.

Finally, the limits on the “Specified Access” exemption is no guarantee of limited powers. The Japanese government has a long history of creating “temporary” or “limited” powers, and then expanding or extending them after the fact when they find a reason to do so. As far as the Japanese government is concerned, a promise and 100 yen couldn’t buy a can of coffee.

To be clear, the goal of improving IoT security is a good one, and we certainly encourage all users of IoT devices to stop using default passwords. One visit to Insecam-dot-org and you’ll see why it’s dangerous to leave network devices unsecured. But the plan under NOTICE is not a good solution, and will very likely create more problems than it solves.

So what can we do about it? Well, one thing network operators can do is block the NICT from accessing their networks entirely. In fact, the NICT has helpfully provided a list of the IP addresses they’re using under NOTICE, and which ports they intend to scan. If they find some or most of their “specified access” attempts being blocked outright, that might send a message to the NICT about the popularity of NOTICE.

A list of these IP addresses, as well as a timeline of information about NOTICE, are provided above. Please feel free to use this information as you see fit.

And for the love of God, please change the passwords on your IoT shit.

アノニマスの見解 Ep.15:”EUNOMIA”又は”私は如何にして心配するのを止めて社会信用システムを愛するようになったか”


Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of “ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI”. And a very exciting episode it is, because we’ve got an insider leak of some interesting info about a project called “EUNOMIA”, in coordination with the Fediverse’s own “Free Speech Axis”.

Long time viewers of this series might remember Episode 5, where we talked about Mastodon, GNU Social, and Plemora. In particular, you might remember a man by the name of Gargron, also known as Eugen Rochko. He’s going to be important to this story, so you might want to go watch that episode if you don’t know why he’s important.
このシリーズの長年のファンは「マストドン、GNUソーシャル、Plemora」についての第5話を覚えてるかもしれませんね。特に、「Gargron」(別名Eugen Rochko)という男も思い出すかもしれないですね。彼がこの話にとって重要なので、新登録者はぜひ第5話をご覧下さい。

But first, let’s talk about “Fake News”. Fake News is a really big problem these days, if you listen to media and politicians. Spies, extremists, and scammers are all supposedly using the internet to spread fake stories and trick the public into believing the wrong information.

And of course, the same media companies and politicians are ready…eager, even…to offer solutions to the problem. Journalists name and shame online personalities. Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Twitter routinely engage in purges of “fake news” from their platforms, silencing or even banning accounts that spread it. How exactly they discern fake news from truth remains a mystery, unfortunately…

Some governments, notably China, have taken stronger measures. China’s infamous “social credit” system does a lot of things, but apparently one thing that can reduce your national loyalty score is “spreading fake news”…of course, the Chinese government gets to decide whether news is fake or not. The military government in Thailand, meanwhile, has been very active in using its own “Computer Crime Act” to arrest its critics, claiming they spread “false information”.

But the civilized nations of the Western world insist that they’re different from their totalitarian counterparts. Their campaign against fake news is sincere, and in the best interests of democracy. Interestingly, though, they have little to say about the fake news they participate in creating. Fake news like the Covington High story, where multiple supposedly reputable American news outlets spent days reporting flat-out lies about a group of high school boys, while Twitter looked the other way as outrage mobs led by celebrities harassed and threatened children. Thankfully the truth was livestreamed, but where was their concern for fake news then?

Then there’s the RussiaGate scandal…two years of politicians and media companies insisting that US President Donald Trump was a secret Russian asset, until an investigation disproved it as conspiratorial nonsense. No matter one’s opinion on the man, these are reckless and irresponsible lies.

These are only two examples, but there are more…far too many to go into here. And in none of these cases do the media or politicians admit responsibility. Yet they want to tell us what news is fake or real?

The reality is, no matter where you go, its not uncommon for the authorities to say one thing and do another. And the unilateral solutions they impose always seem to create more problems than they fix.

And that brings us to our main topic, “EUNOMIA”…an EU initiative to create a software solution to solve the fake news problem. …yeah, I think you can see where this is going.

From the European Commission’s own website, they describe EUNOMIA as “a fully decentralised, intermediary-free and open-source solution for addressing three key challenges: which social media user is the original source of a piece of information; how this information has spread and been modified in an information cascade; and how likely it is to be trustworthy…EUNOMIA actively encourages democratic citizen participation in content verification by allowing voting on content trustworthiness and influencing the reputation of content generators and sharers”.

In other words, EUNOMIA is going to keep track of who said what, when, and where. It’ll track who shared that information, and with whom. Finally, it’ll host an online popularity contest to decide who’s telling the truth or not, and brand people with a number score based on the results. I think it should be clear how much of a bad idea that is. It sounds worryingly close to Chinese social credit.

But who cares, right? It’s just the EU, and Facebook and Twitter are already heavily censorsed hellscapes. Well, yeah…about that. Remember when we mentioned Mastodon and Gargron? Guess who’s on the list of contributors to the project…getting paid 63,290 euros to participate? Eugen Rochko, Gargron himself.
でも大した問題ではないでしょう?EUの問題ですし、FacebookやTwitterはすでに監視されてる。いえいえ、実際はその点には面白い話があるのです…動画の冒頭でマストドンとGargronさんについて述べましたよね?6万3千ユーロの引き換えに、誰がEUNOMIAの開発に参加しているのでしょうか?Eugen Rochkoさん、Gargron本人です。

Why would the creator of Mastodon be working on EUNOMIA? Maybe because Mastodon, and the wider Fediverse, is intended to be its testbed. In fact, the EUNOMIA project description itself clearly states that it is “ideal for evaluation on similarly open, decentralised and federated new social media networks”.

To be clear, the Fediverse…a decentralized federation of alternative social media services…is the place where people go to escape the censorship, authoritarianism, and surveillance of mainstream social media. It’s a place where they can speak freely and tell jokes without fear of being banned, or even arrested. What EUNOMIA proposes is to bring in the worst aspects of both mainstream social media and Chinese style social credit. No surprise it’s so unpopular.

Of course, the creators of EUNOMIA are quick to deny this. The project’s own Mastodon-dot-social account says it will “not in any way involve Mastodon social, and…will not involve anyone without their explicit consent”. All well and good, but it’s worth noting that we have no guarantee that this will always be true, or even if it’s true now.

Comparisons to social credit are also denied, since the project claims its purpose is “to assist social media users in determining trustworthiness of information”. In other words, it isn’t a central authority deciding what’s true, it’s just a tool to help other people vote on what they think is true. Personally, I don’t enjoy the idea of crowd-sourced social credit any more than the centralized variety. If anything, the outrage mobs and groupthink we’ve seen on Twitter makes me fear social credit by mob-rule even more.

But aside from that, there’s no escaping the reality that such a system would necessarily entail tracking and analyzing conversations, necessitating a panopticon-like surveillance of discourse across the Fediverse. Even if they claim that participation is voluntary, once the infrastructure is built, how easy would it be to just expand it after the fact? Or for other people to inherit the project and expand it later? This could especially be worrying to Japanese Fediverse instances, as these software tools will likely be localized and imported by certain characters if they prove successful in the EU.

Moreover, the idea of voting or scores to rate trustworthiness implies a system that discourages individuals making their own assessments about the truth, and instead blindly trusting the opinions of the majority. The creation of cliques and groupthink in such a system would be inevitable, and any search for truth would quickly be drowned out.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had these concerns, because somebody inside the EUNOMIA project decided to leak chat logs from their internal discussions. And some of the things they have to say only deepen my concerns.

For one, EUNOMIA will likely involve datamining instances via public APIs. No surprise, given datamining firms like SYNYO GmbH are key members of the project. They claim it will be opt-in and anonymized, but given the volume of data they’d likely need to build their models, its hard to believe that promise will last long. As for anonymisation, studies have shown how easy it is to re-identify users from aggregate datasets.
まず第一に、EUNOMIAはインスタンスの公開APIを使ってデータマイニングを行うそうです。「SYNYO GmbH」というデータマイニング企業がプロジェクトに参加するので、驚くほどではない事実です。収集はオプトインのみ、個人情報は匿名化されると言われますが、統計模型を築くために大量のデータが必要だと思います。自主的参加が足りない場合、その約束を守れるのでしょうか?そして匿名化について、データ匿名性を奪うのは意外と簡単だということを調査は示しています。

Secondly, EUNOMIA appears to be using some very questionable sources as reference for their models…namely the New York Times and Facebook. Remember, the NYT was central to spreading both the Covington High lie and the RussiaGate hoax. And Facebook has repeatedly been exposed as a biased actor in the way it controls how information trends on its platform. Hardly credible experts on identifying fake news when they couldn’t even identify their own.
第二に、EUNOMIAは統計模型を築くには信頼性に疑問のある情報源を利用している。特にNew York TimesとFacebook。忘れないてはなりません、New York Timesはコビントン高校とRussiaGateのデマを広めることに最大の影響を与えました。そしてFacebookがトレンディング・トピックを歪曲していることがすでに発覚しました。自分で作ったフェイクニュースを発見できなければ、情報の信用性を究明する資格があるのでしょうか?

Lastly, they internally refer to criticism of the project as “paranoia”, downplaying the validity of concerns and showing a lack of self-reflection, or even an understanding of why the Fediverse reacts negatively to them.

Bottom line, given the people involved, the histories of behaviour, and the attitudes on display, there are a lot of red flags surrounding the EUNOMIA project. What we can do to avoid it or mitigate the damage it may cause isn’t clear, yet. But identifying the threat is a good first step. The leaked info is linked in the description. I’d also like to make a Japanese translation eventually.

Fake News does exist, and it can be a problem, but it’s not going to be solved by an app or an algorithm. Technological solutions cannot fix human problems, and trust scores do nothing to encourage critical thought. If the goal of EUNOMIA is to help people determine trustworthiness without defining it, then objective metrics shouldn’t be involved at all, no matter how democratic the process leading up to them. The only thing that can help social media users to seperate fact from fiction is critical thinking, common sense, and personal responsibility when both producing and consuming information. And if they lack those qualities, then no piece of software is going to save them.

To every member of the Fediverse, the answer is clear; Say No to Eunomia. And Eugen…if you really want to make the Fediverse a better place, consider donating your 63,000 euro bribe to a media literacy program instead.

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI, and until next time…MACHIUKENASAI