Anonymous Hackers Target Japan

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Following the passage of a new anti-piracy law in Japan, Anonymous has announced the launch of a new campaign called Operation Japan.

"The revision to the Copyright Law cleared the Education, Culture and Science Committee of the House of Councilors ... and was then approved by a 221-12 vote in an Upper House plenary session. ... The bill makes downloading of such pirated content punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine of up to ¥2 million," writes The Japan Times' Tomoko Otake. "A 2010 revision to the same law made the downloading of such contents illegal, but avoided assigning penalties."

"According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan, 4.36 billion files were illegally downloaded in the country in 2010," BBC News reports.

"Anonymous announced OpJapan via a new Twitter account and a press release on its AnonPR site: 'Japan, home to some of the greatest technological innovations throughout history has now decided to go down the path as well and cave into the pressures of the content industry to combat piracy and copyright infringement. We at Anonymous believe strongly that this will result in scores of unnecessary prison sentences to numerous innocent citizens while doing little to solve the underlying problem of legitimate copyright infringement,'" writes The Register's Phil Muncaster.

"The finance ministry’s website was hacked on Tuesday, with messages opposing the stricter copyright laws posted on a number of its pages," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Gavin J. Blair. "The sites of the Supreme Court of Japan and the Intellectual Property High Court were also reported down overnight, while access to the sites of the two main political parties was said to be restricted."

"Japanese companies such as Sony Corp. had been targeted by Anonymous, but this is the first time government organizations have come under attack," The Daily Yomiuri reports.