Feeds

Japanese Feds urge ISPs to support Tor ban plan

Anonymous on the internet? You must be up to no good

Application security programs and practises

Updated Japan’s technology-illiterate police have put themselves in the firing line once again after recommending what amounts to a blanket ban on the use of the Tor anonymiser network in the country.

The FBI-like National Police Agency is set to ask ISPs to "help site administrators" to block communications if the customer is found to have “abused” the service online, according to The Mainichi*.

Given that there’s no way of actually checking what Tor is being used for in a particular instance, as it anonymises traffic, the implication is that if someone is using it they must be up to no good.

The recommendations were made at the end of last week by an NPA panel set up to work out how best to tackle cyber crimes using Tor.

The panel claimed it has been used in the past to commit internet fraud, help paedophiles groom kids online and, tellingly, enabled leaks from Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department.

Most recently it was used in a high profile case in Japan which exposed the NPA’s lack of cyber savvy.

A hacker known as Demon Killer disguised his IP address using the system, and took control of other PCs with the iesys.exe virus to post bomb threats on popular message boards.

In a massive loss of face for the NPA, the Feds arrested four suspects who turned out to be victims of iesys.exe - which was used to send the offending emails from their computers – and even managed to extract false confessions.

One suspect was held for weeks before Demon Killer posted another message while he was still in custody.

The hacker then led the NPA a merry dance, luring them to an island near Tokyo where they captured a cat carrying a memory stick in its collar containing the source code for the virus. Thirty-year-old IT worker Yusuke Katayama was finally arrested soon after once the cops studied CCTV footage from the area.

It might not be particularly popular among Japanese law enforcers, but Tor has a more laudable reputation elsewhere, having been used to good effect by pro-democracy activists in the Middle East during the Arab Spring.

It remains to be seen what kind of backlash from the ISP community and Japanese netizens the new police recommendations lead to. ®

* The Mainichi has emailed El Reg to clarify that "website administrators" will in fact be tasked with identifying Tor users from a list of IP addresses publicly listed as being used in a chain of computers that are used by Tor and blocking them with the "help" of the relevant ISPs.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.