アノニマスの見解 Ep.13: 「グローバルの基準」という嘘

Hello again everyone. And welcome back to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI.

I apologize for another long delay. Our “OFFLINE” game needed a lot of time to organize, so there was less time to focus on this series. Congratulations to the winner in Tokyo, by the way. Osaka and Nagoya are still unfinished, so if you’re in the area and want to participate, please do. I’ve also been working on the “No One Cares” series over on Bitchute, which is unfortunately English-only. I wish I could translate those into Japanese, but they’re more casual videos so it’s difficult to transcribe and translate on my own. But recently, a new topic appeared that I thought needed to be addressed, so we created this video. This is a topic related to the foreign world, but it affects Japan so Japanese people need to hear about it. But first we need to start with some background.
投稿が遅れて、また頻度が低すぎて申し訳ございません。「OFFLINE」のゲーム管理に時間がかかってしまいまして、ここ最近、動画制作に集中できませんでした。そして東京の勝者の方、おめでとうございます。大阪と名古屋はまだ解決されていないので、該当地域の方は是非ご参加下さい。Bitchute独占シリーズ「No One Cares」も時間がかかるけど、残念ながらそれは英語のみです。訳すことができれば良かったのですが、台本なしの動画なので自分で翻音して訳す時間がありませんでした。しかし最近、何としてでも取り扱うべきトピックがあらわれたので、この動画を作りました。このトピックは海外に関するものですが、日本にも影響を与えるので、日本の皆さんがこれについて知っておくべきことだと判断しました。というわけで、まずはこのトピックの背から説明することにしましょう。

Starting in mid-October 2018, a number of Japanese adult game makers publishing through Sony on the Playstation 4 announced that some of their content would either be censorsed, or outright removed. On October 13th, Developer XSeed Games announced that the “Intimacy Mode” from Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal needed to be removed from the PS4 version of the game, leading to delays. Later on Octorber 15th, website “OneAngryGamer” reported that this was due a new policy by Sony Interactive Entertainment that restricted fanservice content.
始まりは10月中旬、ソニーを通してPlaystation 4向けに発売している多くの日本のアダルトゲームメーカー各社が、自社コンテンツの検閲、または徹底的な削除を発表しました。10月13日に、パブリッシャーのXSEED Gamesは「スキンシップモード」をゲームから削除するため、PS4版『閃乱カグラ Burst Re:Newal』の発売日を延期すると発表しました。10月15日に、ゲームニュースサイト「OneAngryGamer」がその削除はソニーのアダルトコンテンツに対する新しい政策によるものだと報告しました。

From there, the news got worse. In late October, it was reported that all PS4 versions of “Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart” had their fanservice scenes lazily and obviously censored not only in the Western release, but the Japanese release as well. Furyu’s “Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san” had its fanservice scenes similarly censored across all releases. In early November, it was reported that adult-oriented features in the PS4 version of “NekoPara” were being removed while Switch and PC versions remained unchanged.

It wasn’t until early December that SIE Japan president, Atsushi Morita, commented on the policy, stating that “it’s simply a matter of matching global standards. As for the freedom of expression… we have to think about what might be unpleasant for children and shield them from those things while also thinking and assessing ways to find a balance”. A particularly confusing comment, given that none of the above listed games were targeted at children, nor likely be to be bought or played by them, barring highly irresponsible parents.
12月上旬になった初めて、ソニー取締役盛田氏はその成人向けコンテンツの政策についてコメントしました:「表現規制に関してはグローバルの基準に合わせただけ。表現の自由と子供への安全とのバランスを考えると難しい問題であるとは考えている」 意味不明なコメントですね …以上のゲームは子供向けの作品ではありません。その上、子供がこのゲームを買って遊ぶ可能性は低いと思われます(無責任な両親でなければ)。

Compouding this issue is the fact that developers of Japanese games now need to submit their games for inspection and approval through SIE’s headquarters in America. In English. And not just for Western releases; all games, even Japanese language games for the Japanese market. This is a punishing move for many smaller studios, some of which will have little or no English ability. Combined with the censorship policy, this will have the effect of discouraging ecchi and ero games on the PS4 globally, creating financial stress for a lot of companies, and for no real reason.

Needless to say, most Japanese fans reacted with anger and disappointment, many asking themselves why this was happening. Some might blame the 2020 Olympics, and it’s certainly true that many Japanese businesses and politicians want to sterilize Japan’s image ahead of the event. But the reality is, Sony and Japan may have found themselves caught up in a culture war they don’t fully understand.

What many Japanese people might not know is that the Western world, particularly the English speaking internet, is in the middle of a culture war right now. There’s far too much to talk about on this topic than can be accurately summarized. Any number of good videos, blogs, and articles have been written on the subject, nearly all of them English, and there just isn’t enough time to translate them all…even though I wish I could. So for now, a very brief and incomplete summary will have to do.

One side of this war is the so-called “Social Justice Warriors” or “SJWs”, though for my purposes I’ll just call them the Censors. These are people who obsess over race, gender, sexuality, hate speech, and political correctness in all things at all times. These people have always existed, but in recent years they’ve become more aggressive and authoritarian, trying to force their vision of a better world on everybody around them whether they like it or not. Many of these people are activists or NGO workers, but a good portion also work in big tech firms and media, whether mainstream or digital.
内戦の片側に、いわゆる「SJW」すなわち「ソーシャル・ジャスティス・ウォーリアー(Social Justice Warrior)」と呼ばれる「活動家」が存在します、でも今回のトピックのために以下「検閲屋」と呼びます。この人たちは常に人種、性差、性的、ヘイトスピーチ、そして社会正義が気になって仕方ない。こういう人たちが常に存在していましたけれど、最近はいつもより攻撃的、そして権威主義的になってしまっており、よく自分の意見を他人に押し付けてしまっています。多くの「検閲屋」は活動家またはNGO関係者ですが、アメリカの大手テック企業またはマスコミ(主流もデジタルも)に対して影響力を持つ人々もいます。

The other side lacks a catchy name I like, so we can either call them the Shitposters or the Free Speech Axis. These are people who like the idea of free speech, and want the freedom to speak openly and post content online, even offensive or controversial content. Most people associate this with imageboard culture, which is at least partly accurate. To the Shitposters, hurt feelings or political correctness are not a good enough reason to censor or restrict free expression, and they’ll be happy to oppose that censorship wherever it appears.
「検閲屋」から通路を隔てて向かいの人々には心を引く名前がないですが、「クソカキコ野郎(Shitposters)」あるいは「言論自由連合(Free Speech Axis)」と呼んでもいいでしょうか、この人たちは言論の自由に賛成です。そしてネット上で自由に話し、情報を共有したい方です(攻撃的および論争の的な言論も含めて)。「ネット掲示板文化」と同じように考えられ、それは部分的に正しい。「クソカキコ野郎」によれば、傷ついた感情やポリコレは検閲や言論の統制を正当化できない。検閲システムがどこに現れても、彼らはそのシステムを転覆させようとします。

Between these two sides there is an ocean of largely indifferent, politically neutral people who don’t care about free speech or political correctness. They usually have few strong opinions, and just go with the flow, giving them very little influence in this struggle.

Unfortunately, as mentioned before, the Censors have influence in tech and media, which they use to push narratives that suit their ideology. Whether it’s pressuring YouTube and Twitter to ban certain types of content or using smear tactics to misrepresent people in the media, the Censors try to silence and marginalize people who criticize them or their ideology. Recent tactics include “Deplatforming”, where angry mobs pressure platforms into kicking a person off, whether online or off. Even worse, there’s Financial Deplatforming, where the same mobs try to cut their target off from any income. This can include getting people unjustly fired from their jobs, or getting their online ad revenue cut off. It’s also very common for them to associate their critics with the so-called “alt-right”, calling everybody a racist and a Nazi, no matter how nonsensical the accusation is in some cases.

What does this have to do with Japan? The Censors HATE Japanese games and anime, particularly fanservice games with ecchi or ero content. This isn’t just a matter of taste and different opinions to these people, either. To them, games and anime are misogynistic or sexist, and thus nobody can be allowed to enjoy them. The Free Speech Axis, on the other hand, usually likes games and anime. Even the ones who don’t, they believe in free speech enough that they wouldn’t want to censor them anyway.

When we think about all this, the changes in Sony’s policies become easier to understand. Sony Interactive Entertainment recently moved their headquarters to California, a state home to the same Silicon Valley tech giants that support Deplatforming and censorship. While Censors within SIE try to force their ideology on the business, outrage mobs, activists, and NGOs apply pressure from without. As a business, SIE will try to avoid controversy, and thus they’ll try to appease the Censors. The result? Exactly the sort of censorship we see now. Japanese developers being forced to censor their Japanese games, made for Japanese fans, according to the standards of self-appointed moral guardians in a foreign country. These are the “global standards” Atsushi Morita referred to…except they aren’t really “global” at all.
こういう情報を考えると、成人向けコンテンツに対するソニーの新しい政策に対する理解が容易くなることでしょう。SIE(Sony Interactive Entertainment)は最近、本社機能をカリフォルニア州に移転しました。検閲とdeplatformingに賛成なシリコンバレー大手テック企業と同じ州ですね。企業内の検閲屋が会社に意見を課しながら、企業外の激高した群衆、活動家、そしてNGOは圧力をかけます。企業としては、当然SIEは論争を避けようとします、つまり検閲家を鎮めようとするでしょう。その結果は?面前にある検閲政策です。日本のファンのために日本のゲームを作っている日本のゲームメーカーは海外の道徳的基準に従って自社のゲームを検閲しなければなりません。これが盛田氏が述べた「グローバルの基準」です。しかしながら、全く本当の意味での「グローバル」ではありません。

As we stated before, the majority of people are indifferent to this topic, and have no strong feelings about Japanese games, positive or negative. The Censors represent a fringe minority of opinion. But because they’re a very loud minority, with influence in tech and media, they can coerce the majority to follow their ideology. And Japanese media tends to echo the media overseas, so the same lies get copy-pasted into Japan without any critical assessment or alternative view.

The tragedy is, Japanese fanservice games and anime have a huge audience overseas. These fans don’t want anything censored, or changed from the Japanese version. They want Japanese developers to make Japanese games for Japanese audiences, then translate those games and share them with the rest of the world. Only Sony, and the Censors influencing them, are forcing these rules on everybody against their will.

So what can we do about it? First, this whole situation illustrates what we’ve said time and time again; centralization is bad. Large companies like Sony are vulnerable to pressure, and their monopoly control of their platforms mean a small group of people can enforce unpopular rules on everybody. If you are a Japanese game maker, big or small, avoid platform exclusives, ESPECIALLY on the Playstation. Some people might point out that Nintendo is being more reasonable than Sony, and this is true…for now. But Nintendo can change their policies in the future, just like Sony did.
では、私達に何ができるでしょうか? まずは、この状況は我々が繰り返し唱えたことを示します。集中制御化(centralization)は良くない。ソニーみたいな大企業は圧力に対して脆弱です。そしてプラットフォームに対する独占力のおかげで一握りの人々が恣意的なルールを施行できるようにします。大手であれ、中小であれ日本のゲームメーカーなら、特定プラットフォーム専用のゲームを作らないことをおすすめします、特にPlaystationは。任天堂はソニーよりマシだと言う人がいます、そしてそれは確かに事実です…今のところは。しかしソニーと同じく、任天堂も何時か将来ある時点で政策を転換することもないとは言い切れないでしょう。

If possible, you want to release on any many platforms as you can. But if you do have to focus on one platform, consider focusing on the PC. While Sony and Nintendo have total control over their platforms, PC games are much harder to block or censor. Supporting different operating systems is also helpful…a Japanese game maker that includes Linux support will win a lot of goodwill.

Even with PC, beware of centralized distribution platforms like Steam. Valve’s policy on adult content is notoriously inconsistent, and they’re currently in the process of banning games with high school settings and even demanding that games cut out characters that appear too young. Alternatives like GOG or Hat Rack are good, but it’s still unwise to trust any one platform. Distributing the game from your own website is the best way to avoid platform censorship, but ideally you want to put your games on as many different platforms as possible, including your own website to ensure your customers always have options.
PCで販売しても、Steamみたいな集中型配信プラットフォームには気を付けた方が良いでしょう。Valveの成人向けコンテンツ政策は一貫性のなさで有名です。現在、Valveは学校内の環境でのゲームを拒絶しているし、ゲームから若過ぎるように見えるキャラクターの削除を要求しています。GOGHat Rackみたいな代わりのプラットフォームはいいですが、実を言うと1つのプラットフォームを信用しない方が良いでしょう。自分のサイトで発売することは検閲を避けるための一番の方法ではありますが、できるだけ多くのプラットフォームで発売することをおすすめします(自分のサイトも含めて)。それによって顧客は豊富な選択肢を得ることができるでしょう。

Beware of Financial Deplatforming. The Censors have not been shy about attacking people who resist them, and if you trust payment platforms like PayPal, Patreon, or others they will come under pressure from activists. This is a more difficult problem to deal with, but the best answer is to use as many methods as possible. Use PayPal or Patreon if you must, but always have alternatives ready. While cryptocurrency isn’t a silver bullet for all your problems, it is a useful backup plan that’s difficult to censor. Accounts on BitFlyer or other exchanges are easy to make, and platforms like Bitbacker.io make it easier to crowdfund without having to worry about the Censors.

Avoid DRM and strict copyright policies. This is difficult for many Japanese studios to accept or understand, but while you might think that strictly controlling the flow of your work will protect your income, it will always have the opposite effect. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you build goodwill with your audience, they will reward you with success. Piracy is a market problem, not a criminal problem. If you make your work easy to find, easy to get, and reasonably priced, the majority will choose to support you.

Finally, and most importantly, don’t believe media or companies that badmouth your games. There are thousands of fans of your work across the globe who want to buy what you make, and it’s only a fringe minority trying to censor you. They have a loud voice because of their influence in media and tech, but they won’t support you even if you censor your games. There’s a saying in English…”Get Woke, Go Broke”…which is going to be very difficult to translate into Japanese. But basically, even if you pander to the Censors they will not buy your games. They don’t want to support you, they just want to put you out of business. So ignore them. Focus on your real fans, in all parts of the world, and remember that the Free Speech Axis always has your back.
最後、最も重要なことに、成人向けゲームの悪口を言う企業やマスコミを無視しましょう。世界中にあなたのゲームを買いたい多くのファンがいます、そしてそれを検閲しようとするのが非主流派だけです。その非主流派がテック企業やマスコミに対して不釣り合いな影響力を及ぼすけど、ゲームは検閲されても彼らは支援しません。英語ではことわざがあります…「Get Woke, Go Broke」…はっきり言ってこのフレーズは直接日本語に翻訳するのが難しいです。しかし一言で言えば、検閲屋に迎合してもユーザー達がゲームを購入してくれることはないでしょう。検閲屋は日本のゲームメーカーを支援する気はさらさらなく、倒産させたいだけなのです。だから彼らを無視すればいい。世界中にある本当のファンに集中することにしましょう。そして「言論自由連合」が最後まで応援するということを忘れないで下さい。

I’d like to give a shout out to YouTuber appabend, whose videos on this subject formed the bulk of my sources. He’s a good source of information, and you should subscribe to him if you want to hear more. His videos are in English, but any bilingual Japanese who can help subtitle his works, you’d be helping Japanese audiences a lot. Check him out.

Moving into the new year, the future of the internet is looking pretty rough. It’s going to take all of our efforts to carve out islands of free speech that can survive this wave of censorship, but if we keep our eyes open and plan ahead, together we can weather this storm.

This was アノニマスの見解, and until next time… 待ち受けなさい。

アノニマスの見解 Ep.12: 公開ブロックチェーンの落とし穴

Hello everyone, and welcome back to アノニマスの見解. It’s been a while since the last episode. My apologies for the long delay.

Unfortunately, the forces of censorship and surveillance didn’t take a break during this period, and there’s a lot to catch up on.

As you might already know, Site Blocking has taken a turn for the worse, with DoS attacks against alleged pirate sites being proposed in government run study groups. CIRO and the Directorate for Signals Intelligence haven’t gone anywhere, and there’s no shortage of new hardware AND software vulnerabilities that threaten your privacy.

But today, we’re going to talk about something different; cryptocurrencies, and how they related to the idea of financial privacy. But first, some background.

In June of this year, Coincheck, one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced that it was suspending all trading in Monero, Zcash, Dash, and Auger… all currencies that are designed around the idea of user privacy. This was after the Financial Services Agency threatened stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies in Japan, strongly implying this was a response to government pressure.

Later that same month, the National Police Agency arrested multiple website operators for putting “Coinhive” into their websites. Coinhive is a distributed program that uses the computing power of website visitors to mine for Monero. But the NPA arrested them for violating a law banning computer viruses, implying they believed Coinhive to be a virus, even though there is no official judgement that this is accurate.

Finally, just last month, the National Police Agency announced their budget for 2019, including 2.7 billion yen to fight cyber threats. In that budget was a plan to purchase a blockchain surveillance system from overseas which would allow the NPA to gain a “bird’s eye view” of all transactions on the blockchains of major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and possibly others. While no information on this system has been announced, there is a high possibility that this surveillance system will be “Elliptic”, one of the most well-known and popular blockchain surveillance tools.

Based on all of this news, it’s easy to understand that the Japanese government is struggling to assert control over the world of cryptocurrency in Japan. Privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Monero are attacked, while surveillance tools to watch open blockchains are installed. The media talks about these measures as necessary to fight criminal money laundering. But as we’ve said in previous videos, empowering an authority to protect you doesn’t protect you from the authority itself. And government surveillance over individual finance can create many negative and unintended side effects.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that historically, total surveillance and central control over individual finance was not the norm. Whether through cash or barter, individuals have been able to privately exchange value for centuries. Regulations evolved over time as a means to counter abuse, but total surveillance and control over finance is a relatively recent development. However, many developed nations now favour credit or electronic payment systems over cash. Some countries, like India, have even tried to eliminate cash entirely, though often with disastrous results.

While a cashless society seems convenient, it comes with one very big problem; it takes power away from individuals and gives it to large, centralized institutions. With cash, two individuals can exchange value freely. I can invite my friend over for dinner, give him cash in exchange for something, and nobody can really interfere in our transaction. But with cashless electronic payment, the company running the system can monitor every transaction, and even deny transactions it doesn’t approve of. In a worst case scenario, it could even cut a user off from the system entirely. We saw a vivid example of this in 2010, when multiple banks and credit card companies arbitrarily and simultaneously cut Wikileaks off from donations. The power of centralized financial institutions to crush dissent is very real.

The threat of this power is two-fold; on the one hand, government pressure can have critics arbitrarily cut off from all finance. But on the other hand, the threat of being cut off also discourages dissent, and encourages self-censorship.

This is where cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin enter the picture. Being a peer-to-peer system, cryptocurrencies have no central control. Much like cash, they allow individuals to trade freely with each other. But unlike cash, cryptocurrencies allow these trades to happen at any distance. Two users in different countries can freely exchange value, as long as both are connected to the internet. Certainly there is the possibility of criminal abuse, just as with cash. But it also creates a check against the abuse of centralized power.

However, there is one massive Achille’s Heel to many cryptocurrencies; the public blockchain. The blockchain is a completely public ledger of every transaction on the network. Every detail of every transaction is recorded and shared publicly. This means your wallet address, your IP address, account balance, and every transaction are public knowledge. Not even bank accounts or credit card companies share this much information about their users.

So, while cryptocurrencies allow free exchange of value between individuals, the total panopticon of the public blockchain means the association between individuals can still be policed. Cryptocurrencies still need to be exchanged for cash via exchanges, and if the government can monitor every transaction on the blockchain, they can still order exchanges to cut off users they don’t like. If you donate Bitcoin or Ethereum to an opposition party, or a government critic, your account can be flagged by the authorities. If you use Bitcoin or Ethereum to pay for anything personal or embarassing, this can be used to blackmail you. Knowledge of perfectly legal but private activities can easily become a tool of control.

It’s worth noting, this isn’t only a problem from the government. A total public blockchain means anybody can find all of this information easily. But, with specialized surveillance tools like Elliptic, the speed and scope of government surveillance is a much bigger threat.

So what can we do about it? First, we need to understand that totally public blockchains are bad for individual users. Unfortunately, this means that using Bitcoin or Ethereum will always be a risk. We need to start using, promoting, and fighting to normalize cryptocurrencies that embed privacy into their infrastructure, like Monero, ZCash, Dash, or Augur. If you have cryptocurrency in public blockchains, consider moving some of it to more private cryptocurrencies. And finally, reject centralized corporate control and build markets and businesses that respect the privacy of their users. No one person can change the world alone, but each individual can change the way they do business. And if we all change together, then maybe the world can change with us.

This was アノニマスの見解, and until next time… 待ち受けなさい。

アノニマスの見解 Ep.11: 著作権への理解

Hello Internet. And welcome back to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI.

It’s been an eventful few months in Japan. Since April, the Japanese government and NTT Communications have started blocking pirate sites for manga and anime. The industry in Japan has been complaining that these sites are costing them sales, pointing to declining revenue and blaming pirate sites (although they have yet to prove a causal connection between the two).

Japan is already notoriously tight-fisted about intellectual property. Last year, JASRAC expressed a desire to extort money from music schools on the suspicion that they might be playing copyrighted music. YouTube’s troubled ContentID system is largely the result of lobbying from Japanese corporations. And it isn’t just large corporations either. Smaller creators have been at the center of IP conflicts, including the creator of Teaching Feeling and more recently, the situation with Asgar Kishidan.

But Japan is hardly the only country to have this mindset. Just recently, the EU has introduce something called “Article 13”, which could require European ISPs to demand all online platforms screen user uploaded content for copyright violations, and prevent the availability of content deemed infringing. Sound familiar? Unlike ContentID, though, Article 13 would demand all online platforms in the EU adopt these measures or face penalties.

There are a variety of reasons to oppose laws like these. Whether its site blocking, YouTube’s ContentID or the EU’s Article 13, monitoring user activity for copyright protection necessarily entails creating a surveillance infrastructure, which will inevitably be abused. Automated copyright systems also fail to understand nuance, and issue false positives that violate Fair Use and other public interest exceptions to copyright.

But as so-called “pirate sites” and “illegal file sharing” continue to spur more and more draconian laws, perhaps we need to examine the issue more deeply. Because the root of this problem might not be content piracy at all, but a lack of understanding about the purpose of copyright and the idea of “digital goods”.

The idea of copyright emerged in the 18th century, following the creation of the printing press. The ability to easily print books threatened the income of writers, and so the government created laws to protect their right to benefit financially from their work. This began with laws like the British “Statute of Anne” and the Copyright Clause in Article 1 of the US Constitution.

At the time, copyright was a temporary and limited monopoly right. This encouraged the investment of time in the creation of new works. However, after a period of time for the creator to profit, the work would enter the public domain, allowing society as a whole to benefit from it. The needs of the creator were balanced with the public good.

As time went on, however, things changed. The length of copyright was extended. Intellectual property rights came to be owned not by individual creators, but corporations. And copyright was seen less as a temporary right to publish, and more as a permanent property right. In the US in particular, the length of copyright was extended every time Mickey Mouse was about to enter the public domain. The Walt Disney Corporation wouldn’t want to lose its most valuable property, now, would it?

But as the rights of copyright holders were expanded, the public good suffered. When the right to profit from a created work is virtually infinite, there’s less incentive to create new works. Even worse, copyright has had a profoundly negative impact on the preservation of older works. Anybody who attempts to restore, remaster, or archive an old movie or song could potentially be sued for copyright infringement by a rights holder, even when the work is no longer available. This has led to books and songs literally disappearing from the world, as making archives of them is literally a crime. There’s also the “orphaned works” problem, where the original copyright owner is unknown, so their work can’t be used for fear of potential future lawsuits.

But the biggest problem with modern copyright law is the emergence of the digital age, and the ability to render creative works in digital form. Modern copyright law is still rooted in an old concept of discrete physical copies. Books are printed on paper, CDs stamped out of plastic, etc. Making illegal copies used to be difficult and costly, and was usually only done to sell the copies for profit.

But now, digital reproduction is as easy as hitting Control C and then Control V on your keyboard. Data can be sent halfway around the world in seconds, at near zero cost. Many internet users violate copyright laws in small ways every day, without realizing it. Have you ever copied a photograph from a website and messaged it to someone? Or posted it on an imageboard? Congratulations, you could be guilty of copyright infringement. If that seems unreasonable, then maybe we need to rethink how copyright law should work in the modern world.

Of course, creators should still be able to profit from their works. The reasons given 300 years ago still make sense today. But protecting intellectual property rights at the cost of other more important rights (such as communications privacy and free speech) is an insane solution. If you create a surveillance panopticon just to protect the financial interests of companies, you create a net loss to society.

If companies and creators want to thrive in the digital age, they need to accept the new reality and try to serve this new market. First, they need to accept that they can’t treat digital contents as “goods”. Information cannot be treated as a commodity because it has no scarcity; it can be reproduced and distributed at near zero cost. Additionally, digital distribution means the logistics costs are drastically lower. Considering this, the price of most digital contents are unneccesarily high. And companies that refuse to embrace digital distribution are just putting unneccesary barriers between themselves and their customers, which does nothing but reduce their sales.

In addition, they need to accept that “remix culture” is a part of the internet. From MAD videos to photoshop competitions, non-profit remixing is a natural part of how people enjoy media online. This is far from harmful to copyright holders. On the contrary, this is how many people learn about new works, and some of them go on to be paying customers.

Finally, contrary to what most companies think, users want to support creators that they like. If a creator builds goodwill with his audience, they’ll support him out of appreciation more often than not, even if they could easily copy his work for free. But if the creator is hostile to his audience, don’t be surprised if they’re hostile in return.

While many people want to treat piracy and copyright infringement as a legal problem, the fact is, it makes more sense to treat it as a marketing problem. If the price and the market model don’t reflect the demands of the market, piracy will emerge as a consequence. But if creators adjust their model to meet the demands of the market, they might find that the problem solves itself without the need for any laws at all.

Of course some companies, especially the very large and very old ones, will refuse to change. But the scribe and the buggy whip maker tried to resist the rise of the printing press and automobile respectively. And the only place either of them belong now, is in the history books.

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

アノニマスの見解 Ep.10: フィッシング・バカ日記

Hello again, Internet. And welcome back to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI.

Almost exactly one year ago, in March of 2017, we talked about surveillance and the cost of enforcement in Episode 3. At the time, the Japanese government was steamrolling through the Conspiracy Law and giving the Police worrying new powers to spy on the population.

Since then, we’ve heard very little about the Conspiracy Law, or government surveillance in Japan. But no news is not necessarily good news. Covert surveillance being what it is, we often only hear about it when it’s already too late, and rarely through mainstream channels. In fact, there’s reason to believe that the Japanese government is actively involved in monitoring its citizens right now. But as usual, to understand how, we need to look at some other news.

In October of 2017, Kaspersky Labs discovered a new breed of Android malware, which it named “SkyGoFree”. When news about SkyGoFree started appearing in early 2018, it was obvious this was a cut above your common Android trojan. Rather than serving up spam or installing crypto miners, SkyGoFree gave the attacker full control of the device. It could track location, record audio and keystrokes, and exfiltrate all data, including from the clipboard. It even had the ability to use “geofencing”; If GPS data showed the device was inside a target location, the microphone could automatically start recording and send the data to a remote server.

SkyGoFree also had custom payloads that targeted specific Social Media applications, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and (of particular interest to Japanese users) LINE. It could also secretly connect to malicious wifi hotspots, even if the user had wifi deactivated, making it easier to monitor targets.

Fortunately, SkyGoFree can’t very easily install itself on a target device. The usual method for infection is to direct a target to a fake website that imitates their mobile carrier, then trick them into downloading and installing an infected APK. SkyGoFree victims were almost exclusively found in Italy, so this isn’t a worldwide phenomenon. But the capabilities of this malware suggested it wasn’t some low level criminal operation. SkyGoFree was very likely developed as a Lawful Intercept tool for government and corporate use.

Who made SkyGoFree? That remains unknown, but Kasperky’s analysis of the source code found two things. First, comments were written in Italian. Second, certificates and control servers repeatedly used the word “negg”. Most media outlets talking about SkyGoFree have been careful to avoid making any accusations…it’s good way to get in legal trouble, so that’s understandable. But the fact is, there is an Italian IT company called “Negg International”, which offers cyber-security and mobile app services.
誰がSkyGoFreeを作ったかまだ不明です。でもカスペルスキーによるソースコードの分析に基づいた2つの手掛かりがあります。まず第一に、ソースコードのコメントはイタリア語で書かれました。第二に、「negg」という名前は認証と指令管制サーバーで用いられます。法的責任を恐れ、ほとんどのニュースサイトは非常に用心してSkyGoFreeについて報告していましたが、実は「Negg International」というイタリアのITセキュリティーとモバイルアプリ企業が存在します。

Attribution in cyber-security is notoriously difficult, and while the evidence pointing at Negg is compelling, it could just as easily be a red herring to throw off investigation. However, Italy is no stranger to spyware manufacturers. The now-infamous “Hacking Team” was an Italian company, after all. And after their fall from grace, it’s hardly impossible to imagine others would try to fill the gap.
サイバーセキュリティの世界にあって、責任帰属は非常に難しい問題です。Negg Internationalを示す証拠は有力ですが、真犯人は発覚を避けるための煙幕を作ったという可能性もあります。しかしそうは言っても、イタリアはマルウェア開発企業になじみがあります。評判の悪い「Hacking Team」はイタリアの企業でした。Hacking Teamが信用を失墜した後で、他の企業が市場の隙間を埋めると思ってもおかしくはないでしょう。

Now on to our second story. In March of 2018, The Citizen Lab reported that Egyptian and Turkish ISPs were redirecting non-HTTPS traffic to phishing sites that infected them with FinFisher brand government spyware, as well as cryptomining malware. This redirection was made possible by a piece of equipment called a “middlebox”, which transforms, inspects, filters, or otherwise manipulates traffic that passes through it.
次の話に進みましょう。2018年3月に、Citizen Labという人権団体の報告によると、エジプトとトルコのプロバイダーはユーザの暗号化されていないウェブトラフィックを偽サイトまでリダイレクトし、FinFisherという政府向けスパイウェアまたは仮想通貨マイニングマルウェアを感染させたという新事実が明らかにされました。これは「ミドルボックス」というネットワーク装置によって可能となりました。プロバイダーはミドルボックスを使って通信を傍受し、リクエストに応じて変更を加えることができます。

The middleboxes in question were PacketLogic brand devices, manufactured by a Canadian company, Sandvine (which was merged with an American company, Procera Networks, in 2017). Among other things, PacketLogic middleboxes are capable of something called “deep packet inspection” or “DPI”. This lets them study the contents of user web traffic, and change, redirect, or block it as desired.
問題になっているミドルボックスは「PacketLogic」というブランド名の装置でした。メーカーは「Sandvine」というカナダの企業です(そして2017年にProcera Networksというアメリカの企業と合併されました)。他にも多数の機能がありますが、Packet Logicのミドルボックスにはディープ・パケット・インスペクション(DPI)の機能があります。DPIを利用すれば、プロバイダーが通信の内容を傍受、変更、リダイレクトが可能で、思うがままにブロックすることができます。

Using Sandvine equipment, ISPs in Turkey and Egypt would detect unencrypted web traffic and redirect it to phishing sites, most likely at the request of the government, who could use spyware infected phones to spy on their citizens, and use cryptominers to fund their own black budgets.

So why is this important? What do Italian Android spyware and Turkish ISP middleboxes have to do with surveillance in Japan?

First of all, it’s already known that the Bureau of Public Security was in the market for Italian spyware in 2014. At the time they were buying Hacking Team’s “GALILEO” software, but it’s unknown whether they actually purchased it, or whether they used any other suppliers.
先ずは、2014年に日本の警視庁公安部がイタリアのスパイウェアの購入を希望していたことは既に知られています。あの時に彼らはHacking TeamのGALILEOスパイウェアを買おうとしましたが、結局Hacking Teamまたは他の供給者のスパイウェアを買ったかどうかは知られていません。

Regardless, the fact that they want spyware makes it safe to assume they intend to use it, and that they’ll seek to keep their spyware arsenal up to date. It is well within the mandate of Public Security to monitor anti-war, anti-globalism, and other social movements. The Conspiracy Law only makes it easier for them to do so.

Secondly, the same PacketLogic devices used in Turkey and Egypt also exist in Japan. In July 2015, Procera announced that Softbank would use PacketLogic middleboxes for their LTE network. It’s unknown whether these devices are deployed on other telecom carrier networks, but it’s likely they have similar equipment.
次は、エジプトやトルコに利用されたPacket Logicミドルボックスは日本にも利用されています。2015年7月に、Procera Networksは、ソフトバンクがPacket LogicをLTEネットワークに使用すると発表しました。他のテレコム会社が使うかどうかは知られていませんが、類似の装置は利用されている可能性は少なくないでしょう。

So, to recap: Public Security is responsible for monitoring social movements. Public Security almost certainly uses spyware. At least one Japanese telecom giant uses equipment that can infect smartphone users with spyware. And the Conspiracy Law makes it legal to use spyware on civic groups. Is the Japanese government actually doing this? Maybe. But doo they have the ability to do it? Absolutely.

We said this one year ago, but it bears repeating: if you are part of any social movement in Japan, you cannot afford to assume you are not a target. Even one lapse of judgement with your smartphone can turn you into a walking wiretap. Cyber-security is everyone’s problem, and it only takes one person to compromise the security of an entire group. So if you don’t want to be the weakest link, here’s some advice for you to follow:

Always check the URL of a site you visit, especially if you need to enter passwords or other sensitive data. Phishing sites often use similar-looking URLs, so if you feel something is suspicious, check carefully. Also, make sure the site is using HTTPS. You can usually see a green lock icon next to the URL. If a site that looks like your mobile provider or internet company is pressuring you into downloading an “update” or “virus cleaner”, consider that it might be a trick and do some research first.

If possible, use different devices for your activism and your daily life. If you have a smartphone you use for casual web surfing and social media, do not use it to communicate with your activist group. You’re more likely to visit infected sites or click on links during personal web surfing, so using the same device for both increases your risk considerably. It’s easy to go to a used electronics shop and buy a seperate laptop, phone, or tablet cash and carry. For bonus points, install a non-commercial OS like Qubes, Copperhead, or at least Lineage.

Don’t use the same accounts either. Even if you have to use the same device, using personal e-mail or social media accounts for activism is dangerous for the same reasons. Ideally, you should be using non-commercial open-source services hosted outside the country for things like e-mail and cloud storage.

Using a pocket wifi device is better than using an internal SIM card, or public wifi. Personal pocket wifi gives you more control over when your device is connected or not, as well as how many people are using the connection.

Use Tor or a out-of-country VPN for all online activism. When connecting your devices to the internet, you need to remember that your ISP is probably helping to spy on you. An encrypted tunnel to an out-of-state VPN makes it harder to monitor or tamper with your traffic.

Don’t use Apple products for activism. iCloud may be safe against most criminal hacking attempts (usually), but Apple has been happy to cooperate with government spying requests in China and elsewhere. iPads and iPhones are also harder to modify and change OS on. Android is far from perfect, but at least it gives you more options.

Similarly, don’t use big name social media for activism. Find and use an open source platform that does not rely on the central control of a commercial entity. Like Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and LINE will share your information with the police if ordered to.

Encrypt. Everything. Always. Never ask yourself if it’s necessary. It’s always necessary. It costs you nothing but time, and a little effort in the short term can save you a lot of trouble later on.

And finally, encourage all your members to share the same security practices. You can have the best security in your group, but if everybody else is infected with spyware, it doesn’t matter.

As the world spins deeper and deeper into dystopia, cyber self-defense becomes more and more a crucial life skill. If you get lazy about your security now, you might find it’s far too late when you come to regret it.

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

アノニマスの見解 Ep.9: 「私の安全に対して誰が責任を持っているのか?」

Hello internet. And happy birthday to ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI, which is now one year old.

Sadly the series has lagged behind “once a month” like I had originally planned, but I’d rather focus on quality over quantity, so every two months might be more realistic. My apologies.

We spent a lot of time over 2017 talking about the Why and How of personal privacy and anti-surveillance. We talked about the dangers of the filter bubble and the skinner box, we talked about the dangers of government surveillance power, and we also talked about the tools you can use to protect yourself from both. But there is one more issue that needs addressing. What if these anonymity and privacy tools are abused?

As much as some try to paint the question as concern trolling, it is a valid one and it needs to be addressed. Encryption tools like Tor and PGP are free and available to all, which means they’re available to criminal groups as well. Crimes can be planned in encrypted chat. Harassment and abuse can hide behind Tor or a VPN. Private information can be anonymously leaked to the internet. The so-called Dark Web is home to a lot of morally questionable, even outright criminal onion sites.

To be clear, these are all terrible things. And they need to be opposed, and victims protected. But every time a bad actor earns the spotlight by doing these things, people point to their abuse and claim this is the reason why privacy tools should be kept out of common hands. But is this really fair?

It would be cliche to talk about how any tool can be abused; knives can cook dinner or slit throats, trucks can delivery goods or ram into crowds, etc. It would also be cliche to talk about how everybody has curtains on their windows and locks on their doors. These arguments, while valid, don’t really get to the heart of the matter. To understand this issue, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “Who is responsible for my safety?”

Safety is important, of course. It ranks second in Maslow’s hierarchy after physiological needs. But not everybody will see eye to eye on best way to maintain it, especially on the societal level. In our modern world, the standard is to entrust the government and police with our safety. And to a certain degree, that works. But it comes with a price.

When you outsource your security, you’re taking power out of your own hands and giving it to someone else. This opens you up to considerable risk. Sure, the police can protect you from criminals. Maybe. But if the police become corrupt, who’s going to protect you from them? If you give up the ability to defend yourself, or make self-defense illegal in the name of “public safety”, all you’re doing is exposing yourself to more danger in the long run. There are more than a few countries who put all of their trust in the State and ended up regretting it. Power does corrupt, after all. Even if you like and trust the police now, things can easily change in the future.

Ask yourself this: which would you prefer, having multiple weaker enemies and the ability to defend yourself, or being completely helpless against one powerful enemy?

Chinese people gave their government total control of the internet. Now the Communist Party of China monitors every citizen, and controls every word. North Korea is even worse. The Americans gave in to fear, and now look at the surveillance police state they live in.

Modern Japan is largely a safe country. The police do their job reasonably well… though when they make mistakes or go too far, the consequences can still be terrible. But in the online world, things are a bit different. As we’ve already talked about before, police and governments around the world seem to think that a Total Surveillance Panopticon is a good solution to policing the Internet. We, of course, disagree.

We feel that individuals on the Net are best served by having access to the tools and the knowledge to defend themselves. Yes, bad actors will take and use these tools too. But there are bad actors everywhere in life, and the only way to be completely safe at all times is to live in prison. The police will still investigate and arrest criminals, as they should, but everybody should also have the right…and the responsibility…to learn the basics of online security, and make their own choices about what risks they want to take. Anyone who tries to take that right away from you could potentially end up a bigger threat than any criminal.

And as for these bad actors themselves, the ones using privacy and anonymity tools for harmful ends, there’s really only one thing to say to them…

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI. And until next time…MACHIUKENASAI.

アノニマスの見解 Ep.7: 分散型、非集中系

Hello again everybody

It’s been a while since the last ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI, and I apologize for the delay. Comiket kept us busy, but that’s behind us now, so we’re back to business as usual. Thank you to everybody who came out to our booth to visit us and pick up a book. Disconnect Volume 4 is now available as a free PDF download on our site, in English and Japanese, so go check it out.
前の「アノニマスの見解」からずいぶん時間が立って申し訳ない。コミケで手いっぱいだったが、もう終わったからいつものパターンに戻ります。チャノロジーのサークルに来てくれたみなさん、ありがとうございます。Disconnect Vol.4のPDF版、英語版も日本語版も、私たちのサイトから無料ダウンロードできますので、ぜひ見て下さい。

So what’s the topic going to be this time? Well, today we’re going to talk about “decentralization” and what it means for a free internet. We’ve already talked about the value of anonymity and the necessity of encryption, but decentralization is another very important pillar of internet freedom. But why? And what exactly does it mean?

Perhaps the best way to describe decentralization is to describe what it isn’t. And to talk about that, we need to look at few news stories.

1) nemuismywife: Near the end of August, a Japanese Twitter user (@nemuismywife) had his account suspended after he posted a “death threat” against a mosquito in his living room. As of the posting of this video, the account has not been restored and Twitter Japan has made no comment, in spite of the story being picked up by both the BBC and Yahoo News.
1) nemuismywife: 8月末に、「nemuismywife」という日本人のツイッターユーザーが冗談で「蚊へ死の脅迫」を投稿しました。すると、すぐに、アカウントは凍結されました。いまだに、彼のアカウントは凍結されたままです。このことは、BBCとヤフーニュースに取り上げられてるにもかかわらず、Twitterから声明が全くない。

2) Haruka Yume no Ato: In early September, it was announced that the pirate manga link index site “Haruka Yume no Ato” was shut down after a coordinated police raid in 8 prefectures. The owners and operators of the site are being investigated for violation of the Copyright Law, in spite of the fact their site hosts no content itself. Haruka Yume no Ato creates lists of links to sites outside Japan where pirate manga can be found, but apparently just hosting links to other peoples’ content is enough to get the police involved these days.
2) はるか夢の址: 9月初めに、海賊版マンガのリンク情報収集サイト「はるか夢の址」は警察に急襲され、閉鎖されました。サイトの内容には海賊版マンガが全くないにもかかわらず、所有者はダウンロード法違反の疑いで取り調べられてる。「はるか夢の址」は国外の海賊版マンガダウンロードリンクのリストを作るだけですが、それだけでも警察の目を引くのに十分ですね。

3) YouTube’s Sandbox: In the wake of America’s recent moral panic over Nazis, YouTube (owned by Google) created a system where selected users could flag “offensive” videos. These flagged videos would then have their comments and sharing features disabled, effectively isolating them without technically banning or censoring them.
3) YouTubeのサンドボックス: アメリカでの「ナチス復活」という茶番を受けて、YouTube(親会社Google社)は特定ユーザーがビデオに「不適切」というフラグを付けることができるシステムを作りました。フラグ付けてるビデオのコメントと共有機能は無効にされるので、厳密に言えば検閲されてないが、実際上は隔離されます。

Perhaps Google and their army of amateur volunteer moderators have nothing but good intentions. But mob justice isn’t known for being fair or accurate. Case in point, I present to you the video “Paint Colors in Reenacting”, a video by “Reenactor Guy”. The video is about how to paint props for World War 2 reenactment. In spite of it having nothing to do with neo-Nazis or racism, the video was flagged as “offensive” and isolated for several days.
Googleとそのボランティアモデレーターは善意にあふれているかもしれないが、暴徒による正義は公明正大とは言えない。例として、「Reenactor Guy」と名前のユーザーから「Paint Colors in Reenacting」のビデオを紹介したいと思います。WW2の戦闘を再現するために小道具の塗装する方法のビデオです。ネオナチまたはレイシズムと全く関係ないなのに、ビデオは「不適切」とフラグ付けられて、数日間隔離されてしまった。

It was eventually returned to normal, but only after Reenactor Guy appealed, and even then he was given no explanation or apology. But this isn’t Google’s first dance when it comes to content censorship.
後に元に戻されたが、Reenactor Guyが抗議した後だった。しかも、YouTubeから説明も謝罪もなかった。しかも、Google社の検閲はこれに始まったことではありません。

4) The Controversial Case of the Daily Stormer: Around the middle of August, a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent resulting in the death of one Heather Heyer. In the media storm that followed, a website called the Daily Stormer posted an article about the deceased that…upset some people.
4) 「Daily Stormer」の物議を醸す事件: 8月半ばに、アメリカのシャーロッツビル市の抗議デモが暴徒化して、Heather Heyerと名前の女性の死につながりました。マスコミの興奮のただ中で、「Daily Stormer」というサイトが死亡者に関する物議を醸す記事を載せました。

Now, the Daily Stormer is billed as a right wing neo-Nazi website. I’m not one to take labels at face value anymore, but having visited the Daily Stormer to investigate, I can say I’m not a fan of their content.
「Daily Stormer」は右派ネオナチサイトといわれます。私はレッテルを額面通りに受け取るのを好まない人ですが、Daily Stormerのコンテンツを直接経験して、嫌だと感じました。とにかく、特に好きというわけではない。

Neither, apparently, was their domain registrar. The Daily Stormer was given 24 hours to move or be delisted. They moved to Google’s domain management service, but just hours after they did, Google not only refused to serve them, but placed their domain on “client hold”. This meant that the Daily Stormer couldn’t activate or use their domain name, nor could they move it to another service. It’s been several weeks, and the Client Hold has not been released, with no sign that it will be.
ドメインネームの登録機関だってDaily Stormerを好まないみたい。Daily Stormerは、彼らに「24時間以内に他の登録機関に切り替えないとサイトをサービスから除く」と言われました。Daily StormerはGoogle社のドメイン管理サービスに変更したが、数時間後Googleはサービスを断っただけではなく、ドメインを凍結した。つまり、Daily Stormerはそのドメインを利用できず、そしてサービスを切り替えるもできなかった。それから数週間後、ドメインはまだ凍結してある、そしてGoogleが所有者に返還しようとしないみたい。

For many, this was great news. Neo-Nazi hate speech had been shut down on the internet. And that was a good thing…right?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. See, there are no apparent rules or limits on Google’s ability to use these “client holds”. If the Daily Stormer was breaking the law, it should have already been a police matter long before this. Does this mean Google just seized their domain because they didn’t like their content? Are there any limits to this power, or rules governing its use? If Google can do this to the Daily Stormer, who else can they do it to?
実は、事態はもう少し複雑です。まずはGoogle社がドメインを凍結する権力には規則や限界がありません。もしDaily Stormerが犯罪行為をしたら、警察はすでに関与するはず。つまり、GoogleはDaily Stormerのコンテンツを好まないというだけでドメインを凍結したということでしょうか?凍結権力には規則や限界は何ですか?GoogleはDaily Stormerにこんなことができるなら、他のサイトにも同じことできるのではないでしょうか?

5) China Bans Anonymous Posting: On Friday, August 25th, the Chinese government announced a new set of regulations that would force internet services to register all their users under their real names starting October 1st of this year. In justifying these regulations, the Cyberspace Administration of China cited a law from 2000 that specified what kind of content was forbidden on the Chinese internet, including “inciting hatred, spreading rumors, and insulting or slandering others”. Sounds familiar. The rules are broad and vague enough to cover nearly anything, which I’m sure is the point.
5) 中国での匿名禁止: 8月25日金曜日に中国政府は、ISPが今年の10月から実名でユーザーを登録する義務を負うという新しい法律を発表しました。この法律を正当化するのに、「中国サイバー管理部」は「ネット上の禁止事項」を指定する2000年からの法律を挙げました。禁止事項の中に、「ヘイトを引き起こすこと、デマを飛ばすこと、そして人を侮辱するまたは中傷すること」が入っています。聞き覚えがあるよね。もちろん、この法律は過度に広範そして曖昧だからこそ、全ての政府決定を正当化します。計画通りにね。

Now, it’s worth noting, the Chinese government has been attempting to ban anonymous speech and force real-name registration for years, with limited success. It’s also worth noting that the Daily Stormer is already back up, proving that internet censorship isn’t as easy as some would like. Yet.
注目されるのは中国政府は何年間もネット上の匿名性を禁じようとしてきたが、ほとんど成果がないことだ。さらにDaily Stormerもすでに戻ったことから、ネット検閲はそう簡単ではないと証明されます。今のところだけだが。

But it does point out the problem of centralization. Whether it’s corporations acting on their own, or following the orders of the State, internet services are vulnerable to control and censorship when they have a single, central point of failure. When one person, or a small group of people, have the power to control what you can or can’t see, that power will be abused. Maybe not today, but the mere fact that such power exists will eventually attract those who want to abuse it.

“But Anon, we need these powers to shut down Hate Speech and stop racists!”

Even if I agreed with that idea, there’s one problem with this. Any tools or laws that can be used to silence so-called “hate speech” can also be used to silence any other kind of speech. Once the power is created, there are no limits on how it can be used, or who it can be used against. History has shown us that Hate Speech Laws are often turned against their creators, and used to suppress criticism and free speech. Every time you support these laws, all you’re doing is tying a noose around your own neck.

So what’s the answer? Well, as I’ve said before, the best way to respond to an unjust law is to make it impossible to enforce. And the best way to respond to the threat of centralized services is to decentralize as much of the internet as possible.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other centralized services rely on a central hub to function. If that central hub is compromised or disabled, there goes the entire service. By contrast, a decentralized system has no hub. Instead, it’s made of many individual nodes that can freely and voluntarily connect to each other. Even if one or more nodes are compromised, the rest of the network can route around them. And data shared by one node can be spread to all other nodes, making it difficult if not impossible to censor.

In fact, there are several examples of decentralized or partially decentralized services that already exist. One of the most famous examples of this is BitTorrent and its various clients, which have enabled file sharing for over a decade now. Mastodon and GNU Social, while not completely decentralized, are still federated, and provide some measure against total censorship that users like nemuismywife might appreciate. Similarly, Matrix and XMPP are chat protocols that can be run by anybody, and interoperate with other instances of the same software.

Many YouTubers are fleeing to alternative platforms, and one that’s caught my attention is BitChute. Instead of central servers like YouTube, BitChute uses WebTorrent, a browser-based torrent client that allows users to peer, seed, and share the content they watch straight from the browser. BitChute is still in its early stages, and not everything seems to be working quite as advertised yet, but it’s a promising start.

Finally, the most interesting. Of course everybody knows 2ch, Futaba, 4chan, and 8chan. Imageboards have been around for years, and while they were once seen as bastions of unfettered free speech, lately that illusion is starting to fade. Everybody probably knows about Hiroyuki secretly datamining 2ch for years, and that he’s doing the same thing to 4chan after buying it. Even 8chan isn’t immune to this, if the “8leaks” posted to endchan are anything to go by. Once again, centralization provides a single point of failure. And once again, the solution is decentralization. Enter NNTPChan. An open source imageboard that repurposes the News Network Transfer Protocol to share posts across multiple nodes. While each individual node is hosted on its own server, any post made on NNTPChan is quickly duplicated on all other nodes, making it nearly impossible to censor. NNTPChan can be accessed via Tor, the Invisible Internet Project, I2P, and the regular clearnet, but all posts are shared between all nodes regardless of source.
そして一番いいものを最後の楽しみにとっておきました。みんなは2ちゃんねる、ふたば、4chan、または8chanを知ってると思う。掲示板は長い歴史を持つ、そして言論の自由の保護領域と見られた時があったが、最近そのイメージは消えてなくなる。ひろゆきが2chにデータ・マイニングをしたことはよく知られてる、そして4chanを買ってからそこで同じことをやり始めました。endchanに掲示された「8leaks」によれば、8chanもユーザーを監視するという衝動を抑えられないみたい。再び、集中型サービスには単一障害点を生じさせる。そして再びに、解決法は分散化である。皆さんに、NNTPChanを紹介したいと思います。ネットワーク ニュース トランスファー プロトコル(NNTP)を利用して提出されたデータを様々なノードの間に共有するオープンソースな掲示板です。個々のノードはそれ自身のサーバー上にありますが、全ての投稿は全ノードに重複されますので、投稿を検閲することは不可能に近い。Tor、不可視インターネットプロジェクト(I2P)、あるいは表層ウェブからアクセスできます、でも投稿の源泉にもかかわらずすべてのユーザーはお互いに読めます。

All of these recommendations are just a starting point, and I encourage all of you to start looking into decentralized, open-source alternatives to as many online services as you can. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and all the other centralized corporate platforms may be powerful, but they’re only as powerful as we collectively allow them to be. You don’t have abandon everything immediately, but if you start diversifying now, you make it easier for yourself in the future.

I’m a big believer in practicing what I preach, which is my I’ve already moved the entire ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI series to two new video platforms: Vid.me and Bitchute. I’ll continue to use YouTube for now, but I’ll also be uploading all videos to these platforms simultaneously. That way, the day Google goes too far and cracks down too hard, walking away from YouTube won’t be so difficult. When that day comes, I hope you’ll be joining me. But, as always, the choice is yours. Just remember…if you choose to keep the slave collar of big centralized services around your neck, don’t be surprised if it’s too late by the time you come to regret it.

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