Friday, January 25, 2008

Despair

A name to remember: Nakatsuji Masato.

The first man ever arrested for...well...what really?

I was watching last night's NHK 9 pm news. The second main story of the broadcast was a report on the first arrest ever for writing a computer virus. "Oh, well somebody has to be first, I guess," I thought to myself, though I was puzzled by the detailed knowledge displayed of the virus' effects and its purpose.

Then, without introduction, the screen was filled with an extreme closeup of child-woman Ueto Aya wearing a red Sherlock Holmes outfit. The film quality lighting and the editing made it clear this was professional video work. In the video clip she urged the public to scan for viruses and protect their computers with security programs.

It was an incredibly jarring intrusion--without introduction or explanation. NHK does not have ads--so what was going on?

Neither the announcers nor the voiceover explained the origins or the meaning of the Ueto clip, as if they assumed that the viewer could figure out the relationship without help (a really odd assumption for the 9 pm news crew--because normally they explain everything, thrice).

NHK did, however, note something odd. The announcers admitted their story was a false one: Nakatsuji Masato had actually not been arrested for writing a virus. Because he would send the script embedded in a copyrighted animation character's image, he had been arrested for violating copyright laws.

So, in truth, no one had actually been arrested for writing a virus. Indeed, no one could be--because, as the program then explained, there is no statute that makes writing a computer virus illegal. One of the experts in news piece explained that such a bill making writing a virus a crime had been presented to the Diet...but that it had never actually come to a vote. The expert unsurprisingly urged the quick passage of the bill into law, as the problems of computer virus writing poses a clear threat to public order.

And then it happened again--a video clip of a red Sherlock Holmes gear-clad image of Ueto Aya encouraging better computer security.

I just sat their stunned, thinking, "What the hell was that?"

This is the hell.

Advertisement on the Marunouchi Line
January 25, 2007

Advertisement on the Marunouchi Line
January 25, 2007


Everywhere, in every direction, on every space open to advertising on the Marunouchi Line train this morning--Ueto Aya and her red Sherlock Holmes getup. Courtesy of the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry.

I felt sick. Sicker than I have felt in a long time--gripped with a sense of cold hopelessness at the craven immorality of what the government had done.

They had arrested a person, broadcast his name everywhere, branded him a criminal--in order to justify an advertising campaign. For a crime he could not commit because it does not exist--because it is not a crime under the law.

Some poor nobody, some poor sad sack, selected from out of the great lumpen mass to serve as an example--sacrificed in order to justify a budget item.

Who now among us can feel safe? Who can ever hope for just treatment under such a system?

9 comments:

calligraphykid said...

Heck! This scares me.

Is there also a government connection behind the "Hey viewers, are you watching this on a flat screen TV? If not, why not? Don't you know that flat screen TVs made by Japanese companies are not only getting bigger and better but becoming more affordable. Just LOOK at all these flat screen TVs!" 'news' stories that NHK feels compelled to run every two months?

Willie said...

Have you seen the BBC lately? It's so full of government and MI6 crap that it's sickening.

There's also the question of the journalist at Forbes, Benjamin Fulford, saying that he discovered the creator of a virus was the leading anti-virus software company in Japan. This is not what an establishment magazine wants to hear.

I don't know any of the details, but it sounds about right for this old world.

Janne Morén said...

To be fair, I strongly suspect writing and releasing a virus really is illegal in Japan as elsewhere - destruction of property; sabotage; illegal intrusion; and perhaps unauthorized wiretapping, attempted fraud and breach of privacy as well, depending on what the code was designed to accomplish.

And for good and bad (mostly bad to be sure) copyright violation really is a crime, and this is one rare instance where the holder of the IP can fairly argue that they incur a real if minor loss, in the strongly negative association with the malicious code.

Yes, using something like this to push a government campaign is distasteful and even unnerving. But that does not mean the creep who got arrested didn't fully deserve to be. The world is not made up of polar opposites, where the opposite of something bad must therefore be good. That's the kind of oversimplification that has caused Bush to do a lot of harm as a result, for instance.

MTC said...

Janne -

From all indications, Nakatsuji is a nobody...chosen because he was incompetent enough to get caught...announced with incredible fanfare...without even an estimate of how many computer users may have been affected.

Even creeps must be treated humanely and afforded a presumption of innocence...which after this media circus, Nakatsuji can never receive.

Garrett said...

I had three thoughts as I watched that last night:
1. How'd they catch him? Worst cyber vandal ever.
2. Please, oh please, no. Not another item to heighten the paranoia over computer viruses in Japan.
3. Does Ueto Aya ever turn down a job? Anyone else favor making a couple of blocks somewhere in Tokyo an "Ueto Aya-free Zone"?

Mark Century said...

I'm in love with Aya Ueto and now find that my romantic interest is agent for the NWO control grid??

I've got to get to her and start the deprogramming before it's too late!

Mark

chanapong said...

video aya
http://asiaastar.blogspot.com/2008/01/aya-ueto-ai-no-tame-ni-ace-wo-nerae.html

chanapong said...

Aya Ueto sexy girl

vfdvgf said...
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