Just as they said they would, roughly 80 members of Anonymous took to the streets in Tokyo on Saturday to pick up garbage in protest of recent revisions to Japan’s laws against illegal downloads. In their iconic black suits and Guy Fawkes masks, the group took part in the “anonymous cleaning service” operation, which called for the picking up of litter in the parks and streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.
The world-wide group, usually known for their hacking in the name of activism, took responsibility infiltrating the Finance Ministry’s website in the end of June. They chose to do something more productive in an effort explain to the people of Japan what they stand for and why they are concerned over the adding of severe punishments like jail time to violations of copyright laws. Anonymous denounces these revisions, as they lead to an increase of government surveillance and loss of privacy for internet users.
Anonymous has felt that the media in Japan hasn’t done an adequate job representing the truth about the law revisions and that citizens haven’t been truly informed of the issue. In planning the protest, members said they didn’t want to follow the same style as the recent mass anti-nuclear rallies, so they chose to do something more constructive. One Anonymous member, who works in the computer industry as an engineer, commented that this was the first Japanese-led operation, and others overseas have been amused by the ‘cleaning service’ theme as something unique to Japan.[Via Gulf News]