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Japan Seeking to Govern Top News Web Sites

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the hey-slashdot-jp-what-does-this-mean dept.

Censorship 146

RemyBR writes "A Japanese government panel is proposing to govern "influential, widely read news-related sites as newspapers and broadcasting are now regulated." The panel, set up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, said Internet service providers (ISPs) should be answerable for breaches of vaguer "minimum regulations" to guard against "illegal and harmful content." The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, is seeking to have the new laws passed by Parliament in 2010."

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146 comments

Right move (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610524)

Good move, America should have done the same years ago. Now sadly, America has been destroyed by dirty neocons.

Can't resist... (1)

Romwell (873455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610550)

Japanese media Unhappy today 1984

Re:Can't resist... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610710)

Is it truly censorship to insist that reporting hold to standards of verifiable accuracy? Is it censorship to insist that mere speculations and claims be reported/identified as speculations and claims? Such things are a different path from the standard thing about censorship, which involves preventing various things from being reported at all. I'm not so sure censorship of the repressive sort is what the Japanese are suggesting.

Re:Can't resist... (4, Insightful)

m94mni (541438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610746)

Are you kidding?

So when a news agency reports about irregularities in the next election, and the government forces the story to be clearly marked as speculation and inaccurate, you see no problem with that?

Censorship regimes take many forms. You still have things to learn.

Re:Can't resist... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611576)

If the source of inaccuracies or irregularities are actually speculation and possible inaccurate, then no I don't see a problem with that. In America, it seems to be a rallying cry for any democrat that loses an election and we would be served better if the extent of accuracy was stated with the story.

Re:Can't resist... (3, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612358)

Censorship regimes take many forms. You still have things to learn.

Xenophobia takes many forms too. And you also have things to learn.

Things in Japan work differently than they do here. In some ways, they have more freedoms than we do. In other ways, they may have fewer. On balance, their system works. It is different than ours, but it works. They have a low crime rate, one of the world's largest economies, very low poverty, and nobody who lives there ever complains about government oppression that I've ever seen. There is no "Patriot Act" in Japan, for example - nothing to the same extent, anyway.

One of the reasons their government probably works as well as it does is that election campaigns only last a matter of weeks, by law, and there are restrictions on how the press reports on them. There is not this free-for-all, superficial shrill screaming back and forth for literally years on end where people are forced to choose up sides and fight rather than work together.

I'm not arguing against freedoms of the press. What I'm saying is nothing is completely unregulated (the press here are not allowed to write libelous articles just because they don't like someone, for example), and it's wrong to assume that the restrictions Japan puts on its press or its citizens are somehow worse than the restrictions we put on our press or our citizens. We don't have some magic formula here that every other country has to copy. Other countries can do things their own way and still allow their citizens to live full and free lives.

Re:Can't resist... (4, Informative)

joggle (594025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612770)

Citizens in Japan don't have nearly as much political power as they do in America. They can not vote for the prime minister but only lower-level members. They can not vote on whether large projects should occur like they can in America. I remember when a proposal to build a high-speed rail test track was on the ballot in Colorado my Japanese friends were astonished that we could vote on such a thing.

People in Japan are very much self-censored through societal pressure. It's really a totally different working environment from what I've seen and rather freedom-reducing since people are strongly encouraged to not stand out but to fit in with the rest as best as you can. This is true at least in Tokyo, but from what a friend of mine who lived for two years in the countryside tells me it's the same there. Youths can stand out but once you reach adulthood it's a totally different story.

Re:Can't resist... (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612818)

badasscat wrote:

Things in Japan work differently than they do here.
------

Would you believe that I actually RTFA - and if it is accurate I certainly agree with you.

"Soon after the war we followed the U.S. model with the government issuing licenses through the FCC," Hizumi said. "As one party, the LDP, came to dominate politics, it sought more control of the media so the FCC was abolished. There is no ombudsman here, so the government controls the media directly. With this new bill, the LDP will seek to do the same for the Internet."

Certainly, such a construct has benefited the LDP, which has enjoyed nearly unbroken rule in Japan since 1955. Since then, government's cozy relationship with big media has become legendary, as has the media's self-censorship, which, Hizumi said, had repeatedly restricted the spectrum of voices heard - until the arrival of the Internet started to open the field up to dissent.

Now as a democrat I will accept that; if the Japanese people have not thrown, and will not throw, that political party out of power - they still have the right to self determination. However: They may also have to censor the international net. I suspect that this is not going to be in the material interest of the Japanese people.

Note: I am not claiming that article is accurate. I am not very familiar with Japan.

I_Voter

There are better ways to stop libel. (5, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610830)

See US Liable Laws [wikipedia.org] for a good, civil way to take care of malicious harm. Barriers are high to prevent abuse, it's done after the fact and has nothing to do with the government except for the government providing a neutral judge and documentation of the case. Free speech is so important that prior restraint is reserved only for extreme danger like nuclear weapon design [wikipedia.org] and even then it's debatable. Other restraints like the DMCA are laughable and will be struck down sooner than later.

Setting up a powerful board with a vague mandate is a very different kettle of fish. Analogies to broadcast don't hold internet water. The public interest in pull media demands freedom and neutrality where the public interest in once scarce spectrum demanded accountability. We have all seen how abused that power over broadcast was ... because we now have free internet news for fact checking. That free media has proved more consistent, informative and reliable than broadcast ever was. "Regulation" of the internet will make it look more like broadcast than reliable or truthful. Without care, it will be pure censorship and can also be used to smear and cause harm without redress.

It is hard to believe that this basic issue has escaped the attention of those planning "accountability".

Re:There are better ways to stop libel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610894)

Wait are you telling me that the United States is avoiding censorship but a more advanced civilization is not? *brainexplodes*

That's not how it works here on YRO.

No, the US is not avoiding censorship. (1, Informative)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611408)

The US has a legal and philosophical framework that expressly forbids censorship but has ignored it in crucial ways. Broadcast monopolies have been a universal dissaster for free press and democracy but were technically required until about twenty years ago. The unanimous clamoring for "traffic shaping" by ISPs and telcos, if granted will propagate broadcast monopolies onto the internet. It's hard to tell if that or a government panel would be worse but both are unacceptable. Our high minded constitution also forbids phone taps, email reading and web snooping without a warrent. It's debasement is a travesty.

Re:Can't resist... (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610834)

do you live in the U.S.A? could you imagine the Bush regime making the standards for "verifiable accuracy", look at their distortions to justify war and warmongering, cover-ups for environmental damage and interfering with scientific studies, etc.

Re:Can't resist... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611592)

Well, the lack of standard clearly show how we have been hurt by not having them with your post. I guess if we continue to say something, sooner or later it becomes the truth.

Re:Can't resist... (3, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612138)

do you live in the U.S.A? could you imagine the Bush regime making the standards for "verifiable accuracy",

Yes...because all the other administrations have been so much better. Please.
I'll be glad when Bush is out of office. Because then you'll have to blame the lies, cover-ups, and simple fuckups of the government on someone else.

Hell no, I wouldn't want the Bush admin having control over these 'standards'. I wouldn't want any other administration having that power either.

Re:Can't resist... (2, Insightful)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610952)

If you read the article, you'll see that this problem apparently extends beyond simple fact-checking. For example, categories such as "religion" and "political party" are already being filtered by rules which are ostensibly meant to make mobile content safe for under-18s.

I have no problem with holding the media to account, but the goverment should not be doing so when it has a vested interest in the output it would be monitoring. Further, the legislation wouldn't limit government control to matters of fact or accuracy (difficult categories to establish in the first place.)

Re:Can't resist... (5, Informative)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611040)

The LDP are on their way out. They got their butts kicked in the last election and lost the upper house. They haven't been able to sustain a majority of their own in 10 years and have enlisted the help of the Soka Gakkai[1], pardon me I mean the New Komeito Party.

The LDP have had a total monopoly on Japanese politics since WWII. It would be most amusing for this to pass, the to-be-regulated web sites "move" out of Japanese jurisdiction and life goes on as before. Japanese always ignore warning signs[2] when noone is looking, so I wouldn't expect this to amount to much no matter what.

[1] Soka Gakkai and IKEDA Daisuke are to Japan what the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard are to the US. My source? I was unhappily married to one.

[2] I have a really cool digital photo of the highway bus terminal in Tsukuba. There
s a sea of bicycles completely burying a sign in back which reads "no bicycle parking here".

Re:Can't resist... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611568)

Even if they moved outside of their control, they would need ways to gather information inside their control or face becoming irrelevant. It would be these reporters and local offices that they could control.

Re:Can't resist... (5, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611798)

Well don't leave us hanging here! Were you married to L. Ron Hubbard, or Ikeda Daisuke?

Re:Can't resist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612198)

LOL you were married to soka gakkai? Wow.

electronic voting on its way in ... (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612748)

so maybe the LDP isn't going to be on its way out for very long.

I see no news in Japan of the mess electronic voting has made in the USA, just vague references to the foolish Americans not being able to get it right, and the Japanese vendors of course aren't making the same mistakes as Diebold.

(Oh? Where was the paper trail, even?)

might actually work... (1)

edn4 (1214790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610554)

well, at least they aren't hoping to create a new internet... just severely limit the current one. The sad thing is, I could see this plan working with the pressure on ISPs.

Re:might actually work... (1)

rfc11fan (922027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610748)

So maybe we'll have to return to the use of radio and fax to share the truth with Japan.

Never fails (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610568)

Governments, no matter how benign, really hate unfettered access to information.

The most discouraging part is a majority of people seem to agree ("...well, as long as it's to fight the terrorist...").

The most predictable part is someone will say "...this isn't about free speech".

A truism: "When somebody says 'this isn't about free speech', it almost certainly is".

Re:Never fails (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610580)

A truism: "When somebody says 'this isn't about free speech', it almost certainly is".

Yes, usually what they really mean is "don't let those pesky human rights concerns get in the way of what I want to accomplish." For some reason, we put up with people like that. It's rather pathetic really.

Re:Never fails (1)

JoshuaDFranklin (147726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610804)

This is not a new thing related to terrorists. Japanese newspapers have been heavily regulated since after World War II, mostly to supress overly nationalistic editorials (or, during the Cold War, Communist).

Re:Never fails (2, Funny)

KPU (118762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610920)

Because controlling the press is the best way to prevent an authoritarian government?

Re:Never fails (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612984)

Because controlling the press is the best way to prevent an authoritarian government?

Damn that made me laugh, I wish I had mod points.

Knee-jerk didn't read article, dismiss Japan (2, Interesting)

joneshenry (9497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611034)

No, the most predictable thing on Slashdot is posters who don't read the articles and who parrot the most popular opinion.

The article doesn't mention anything resembling terrorism as the reason. What the article discusses in some detail is that the Japanese ruling political party, the LDP, has ruled the country virtually unchallenged for decades. The slightest bit of thought shows that the LDP has achieved almost every single goal of what the most progressive Democrats are advocating in the United States: universal health care, effective mass transit, a constitutional ban against the use of the military except to defend the nation, unparalleled Internet connectivity and infrastructure, all within the framework of a liberal democracy. (And for many environmentalists, Japan has achieved the ideal of negative population growth.) As part of the system that rules Japan, college entrance exams are used as a filter to establish that those who ascend to rule Japan are part of a meritocracy. This and not terrorism is the context of Japanese concerns to save the children. As has been discussed by the Christian Science Monitor, the Japanese are probably far more willing to accept Internet filtering to protect the children out of fear of web sites that discuss topics such as group suicides [csmonitor.com] .

And given that the Japanese system works better than almost any other in the world (only a few Western European nations even have an argument), a response of apathetic indifference by the majority ruled by that system is indeed perfectly rational and defensible. The bloggers who fear being censored represent the malcontents, the rejects, the people who were not quite good enough, the people who have not demonstrated their ability to responsibly maintain what the Japanese system has built to the envy of the rest of the world.

Re:Knee-jerk didn't read article, dismiss Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22611524)

Wow. Just...wow. Do you actually believe that the Japanese system is perfect and that anyone who dissents is a malconent? Stalin would be proud of you, comrade.

Re:Knee-jerk didn't read article, dismiss Japan (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611800)

I don't think that's what he's saying at all. He's saying that the people who will complain are not the people who are particularly 'oppressed' by the system, but the small (but extremely vocal) minority that has not succeeded in the system, and hence dislike it.

It's somewhat of a truism that most people who succeed in a system wish to maintain it; what the grandparent seems to be suggesting is that the majority of Japanese 'succeed' in the system and therefore would not object, or in fact, would support, this move.

He's also saying that he thinks the Japanese have succeeded in creating a successful liberal-democratic society along the lines of the Scandinavians, and that by 'successful' it has [mostly] achieved the goals of liberal democracy (if that term even has meaning anymore these days).

Re:Never fails (1)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611586)

"When somebody says 'this isn't about free speech', it almost certainly is".

"Well, what sort of chance does that give me??? Alright then! It IS about free speech."

"!!!SEE!!! It *IS* about free spech!!!"

(with apologies to Monty Python)

Putin-like (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610594)

"Soon after the war we followed the U.S. model with the government issuing licenses through the FCC," Hizumi said. "As one party, the LDP, came to dominate politics, it sought more control of the media so the FCC was abolished. There is no ombudsman here, so the government controls the media directly.

It sounds like a Putin-style media. Free-press is getting harder to find in the world.

Re:Putin-like (4, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611086)

It sounds like a Putin-style media. Free-press is getting harder to find in the world.


No its much easier. With the Internet its very very easy to find free press. /. is a good example, Wikileaks is another. CNN and Fox news aren't exactly much "free-press" and if this is "top news sites" that is probobly exactly what the Japanese government seeks to regulate the CNNs and Fox news of Japan not the /. and Wikileaks although they are probably next. So no, free press isn't hard to find, it is much easier then 50 years ago, you no longer need a printing press and paper just a 'net connection and a computer to report.

strange... (5, Insightful)

superflytnt (105865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610600)

"The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party"

There's something a little odd about that name, don't you think?

Re:strange... (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610652)

"The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party"

There's something a little odd about that name, don't you think?

Sounds like the USA to me. "Liberal" and "Conservative", yet no matter which is elected the government expands in size and power. Clever, isn't it? That there might be no real difference between them is a fact about which we are more honest when it comes to other countries, apparently.

Re:strange... (5, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610924)

"The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party"

There's something a little odd about that name, don't you think?
Sounds like the USA to me. "Liberal" and "Conservative", yet no matter which is elected the government expands in size and power. Clever, isn't it? That there might be no real difference between them is a fact about which we are more honest when it comes to other countries, apparently.


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!

Salt and pepper (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611808)

The difference between 'liberal' and 'conservative' is much like salt and pepper. The flavor is tremendously different and use to flavor different things... But they are still seasonings and still used on a lot of the same food because they do the same thing - add flavor. Democrats and Republicans are very similar in that they ARE the government. There is an extreme conflict of interest between the government itself and the people's interests. Both want to expand government, but for different reasons.

Re:strange... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612250)

Sounds like the USA to me. "Liberal" and "Conservative", yet no matter which is elected the government expands in size and power.

Generally, it most screwed up when both the Executive Branch (President), and the Legislative Branch (Congress) are controlled by the same party. If Bush had had a Democrat controlled Congress, things might not be so screwed up. Now that we have a Democratic controlled Congress...a Democrat president will screw things up just as bad, but maybe in a different direction.

There is no real difference, though. They both just like to bitch about the other party.
"If 'we' say it, it's great. If 'they' say the exact same thing, it is wrong and evil."

Re:strange... (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610668)

Next you're going to tell us there's something wrong with Democratic People's Republic of Korea, too.

Re:strange... (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610794)

Next you're going to tell us there's something wrong with Democratic People's Republic of Korea, too.
Well for a start, their title is wrong :o

Re:strange... (1)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610676)

"The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party"

There's something a little odd about that name, don't you think?
Not really.

American conventions of liberal Democrats vs. conservative Republicans is simply an *American* labeling of political affiliations. And even then it's just a function of our current time period

To give you a domestic example of this being switched, remember those crazy "Radical Republicans" of the late 1850's, early 1860's that has the "Radical" notion that blacks were human beings too?

Or to show you how foreign countries don't use the same nomenclature, there's the National Democratic Party of Germany [wikipedia.org] which is "viewed by its opponents and the mainstream media as a de facto neo-Nazi organization".

Re:strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22611100)

The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party. Liberal is a clearly defined word, and their party name is at odds with that definition. Of course, so are a whole bunch of other parties, so it's not something to get excited about.

Re:strange... (3, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611830)

The definition of 'liberal' has changed drastically since its arguable inception in the early 17th century. The development is fascinating and also, to a great degree, logically sound, but that's another issue entirely.

Suffice it to say that the word 'liberal' is not a clearly defined word. John Locke, for example, did not support democracy. Liberalism in its most original form was essentially a philosophy supporting freedom and equality for the people in all forms. Eventually this morphed into liberal socialism; which supported the state providing for individuals so that they had equality of opportunity as well as freedom of opportunity. Modern liberalism, as a rule, continues along this trend, integrating more elements of socialism into it.

Re:strange... (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612908)

> Or to show you how foreign countries don't use the same nomenclature, there's the
> National Democratic Party of Germany which is "viewed by its opponents and the
> mainstream media as a de facto neo-Nazi organization".

    Then there was the National Socialist German Workers Party. No xenophobes, they even accepted a former Austrian corporal as their leader. And the rest was history.

Re:strange... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610704)

Don't worry, in Poland one of our major parties is "Law and Justice [wikipedia.org] ", a Christian-fundamentalist party that makes Dubya look like a good boy scout. One of main parts of their platform is "eradicating corruption", and I think you can guess how well they fare. The name obliges, after all.

Re:strange... (1)

Korveck (1145695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610750)

Literal meanings of party names in Asia quite often do not represent their true ideologies. Most of them just put democratic/liberal in their names just to sound good, or whatever.

Re:strange... (5, Informative)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610838)

"The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party"

There's something a little odd about that name, don't you think?


Only if you assume that American political terminology is standard for the rest of the world.
 
In most places "liberal" is equivalent to what Americans call "libertarian," and the parties Americans call "liberal' are known as "labor" or "left".

Re:strange... (4, Insightful)

Samgilljoy (1147203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611172)

Only if you assume that American political terminology is standard for the rest of the world.

In most places "liberal" is equivalent to what Americans call "libertarian," and the parties Americans call "liberal' are known as "labor" or "left".

Just want to second that. Here in the U.S., conservatives have labored since the 60's at least to redefine the term "liberal" for their own benefit. They achieved success in late 70's/early 80's. At this point, few people know any meaning for the term other than what the political class uses. Still, everyone is pretty far away from Latin liberalis at this point. I wonder whether the concept behind that term will ever be strong enough again to merit a word that unambiguously denotes it.

"Liberal" in U.S. political discourse is the result of an extremely successful and masterful propaganda/marketing campaign. I despise the result, but damn, you have to admire such conceptual and linguistic control of the masses.

Re:strange... (2, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611294)

Don't forget that Evangelical Christians labored since the 70s to redefine the term "conservative" for their own benefit. They achieved success rather quickly with Jerry Falwell uniting the evangelical christians to hi-jack the Republican party. Now the term "conservative" more closely defines a set of social control principles that force everyone to act like the Calvinists. It has little to nothing to do with conservation of traditional governmental practice.

Re:strange... (2, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611180)

In Europe at least "liberal" parties are usually centrist or at least closer to the political centre than the conservative parties. It's pretty rare for a party with "liberal" in the name to be considered conservative here, though not that unusual for them to be considered right wing.

Re:strange... (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611756)

In most places "liberal" is equivalent to what Americans call "libertarian," and the parties Americans call "liberal' are known as "labor" or "left".

Actually, what Americans call 'liberal' we call 'moderate Conservative'. What we call left-wing, Americans call pinko Commie traitors.

Re:strange... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612040)

Indeed, here in Australia the conservative party is called the Liberal party and the 'liberal' party is called the Labor party.

To make things worse the current Labor PM calls himself a fiscal conservative, the greens call themselves conservationists, and the conservatives claim to support liberal democracy.

Reconciling this confusing terminology is simple. They ALL claim to support UHC, therefore they must ALL be commies. /sarcasm

Re:strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612560)

Even in America, political conservatism and classical liberalism are synonymous; conservatives preferring to return to the liberalism of an earlier era.

The dichotomy between conservative and liberal comes from their non-political definitions: apply shampoo liberally, apply ointment conservatively; one meaning "more", the other meaning "less".

In American politics, both major parties seem to want "more" government, so since the 1970s. the limited-government Libertarian Party [lp.org] has become America's third-largest political party with more elected officials than all other third-parties combined. It's still microscopic compared to the two major parties.

In most places "liberal" is equivalent to what Americans call "libertarian," and the parties Americans call "liberal' are known as "labor" or "left".
In fact, the U.S. Democratic Party is indirectly allied with the U.K. Labour Party through Socialist International (SI). The two remaining splinters of the original U.S. Socialist Party are Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) [dsausa.org] and Social Democrats USA (SDUSA) [socialdemocrats.org] . Both co-nominate the Democratic Party's nominees rather than their own candidates. Until recently, both DSA and SDUSA were members of SI, but now, only DSA is a full member of SI.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:strange... (3, Informative)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611060)

Truthfully here Democrats and Republicans are cut from the same powerhungry, force-your-dictatorial-philosophy cloth in spite of the differences in the lies they extrude through your enemy and mine,the Press.
Makes you wonder: A.if Japan has the equivalent of a Libertarian party.
                                                              B. why we haven't had another revolution yet.
Makes ya think,donut?

Re:strange... (1)

soundhack (179543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611092)

Not really, in that People's Republic of China and Democratic People's Republic of Korea are neither.

Re:strange... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611632)

Not really. Liberal and conservative is more of a local thing then an international one. Some people like to relate on an international level which places things like the liberal democrats on the conservative side. But inside the country, they are probably more liberal then some of the parties, more specifically the ones in power when they came about.

Re:strange... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611874)

Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only slashdotter who noticed that! However, it's probably no more odd than the name of the party that ruled Mexico for so many decades: the Party of Institutionalized Revolution. I always wondered how it could be both institutionalized and revolutionary, but AFAICT, nobody South of the Border found anything strange about it.

Re:strange... (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612058)

Conservatism = Wisdom Libertarianism = Freedom They are not in conflict. What is in conflict is all the fiction surrounding them. Labels divide and are used to disempower and destroy unity.

now let's see if there's a backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610638)

I wonder whether there will be anyone in Japan campaigning against this, or will they just sit there and accept that restricting media is "normal"? I really hope to see some reaction against this... Does anyone know the exact motivation? Is it to limit free speech, has there been a specific event or events that triggered this?

What this means (2, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610644)

We are allowed to make fun of other people, but not companies or government officials.

Ass Butter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610726)

I'd say its been 8 or 9 years since the last time I rammed a stick of butter up my ass while jerking off and fingering my asshole. I did it because it felt really good but that's not the point of this story. I want to tell you of the events proceeding this fateful masturbation. I'm sitting there watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and around 15 minutes go by and I feel a sticky wetness on my ass cheeks and ballsack. This is when I realized that the butter I had shoved up my asshole had melted and leaked out onto my couch and it had a very distinct putrid stench to it. It had mixed with my shit to create something far worse than shit. It was probably the worst thing I've smelt in all my life. It actually smelt many times worse than the time I had stuck a pickle up my asshole and forgot about until the morning after. While standing there taking in this wonderfully putrid smell I realize that I cannot be the only one to smell this. So I waledk quickly upstairs with my ass cheeks clenched not wanting to spill a drop of my shit butter. I pull out from my sock drawer a heavy woolen sock and unload the contents of my asshole into it. I thought the smell was bad before. I now had the urge to do a barrel roll out my window to escape the horrid odor. I quickly tied the top of the sock and left my house. As I walked down the street a brownish-yellow liquid slowly dripped from the bottom of the sock. The neighborhood kids became very curious as to what was going on and as they approached they caught a whiff of the putrid smell emanating from the sock. This is when Joanna, my neighbors 13 year old daughter vomited what looked like a freshly eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over the street. I nearly came in my pants at that moment. I had the sickest hard on. In fact the only thing keeping me from raping Joanna while she lay in a pool of her own vomit was my sock full of shit butter. I knew I had something to do and I was damn sure going to do it. I kept walking. I finally made it to my local grocery store. An epic journey it had been. Every asshole in the vicinity could smell the putrid odor but nobody knew where it came from. I can still hear them in my mind. "What the fuck is that smell." "This smell is so bad I think I am going to kill myself with a hammer" one man said. I even saw a fellow depraved maniac in the corner of my eye. I could tell because he had the same smile that I did. He was laughing with the same glee. I'm sure he's raped a severely mentally challenged child in his lifetime. I know I have. That's when I saw him. The old nigger who sat in front of shoprite saying hello to every asshole strolling by. I fucking hated this man. I couldn't tell you why. I just hated him. He could smell my shit butter. I could tell because he was gasping for air. I quickly approached him thinking "this will be the greatest day of my life. Nothing could stop me now." This is when I felt a sudden burst. I realized later that I had shot a load off in my pants right at that moment. I was arms length from the nigger now. I clenched the sock tight with both hands and swung it at the niggers face with all my might. I hit him in the cheek with such force that the brownish-liquid had sprayed out all over his face. He immediately threw up. I sat back laughing as he washed out his eyes with bottled water. He asked "why?" and I responded by dumping the rest of the socks contents on his head. Truly, I did it for the lulz. While everybody was distracted I walked into shoprite and quickly shoved as many apples as I could up my ass. It was 4. I left shoprite with the most satisfaction I have ever felt in my life. I remember thinking "wow, I'm such a great person, I get 4 free apples, and I get to go home and jerk off to CP." When I think back on that day, I can always remember how sweet those apples tasted. Nothing sweeter.

it will only force the free press underground (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610754)

and with Japan as technologically savvy as it is there would be small underground pulp newspapers, pirate radio off shore on fishing boats & etc...

Cultural schizophrenia (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610764)

Japan's twisted culture is epitomized in the phrase: "The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP..."

Re:Cultural schizophrenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610976)

Only because you think "Liberal" means New Deal Democrat. Liberal in the sense of Classical Liberalism IS Conservatism in the W.F. Buckley, Milton Friedman sense. It is Americanism in the Constitutional sense. We just tend to call Classical Liberalism "Libertarianism" in the US these days.

Re:Cultural schizophrenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22611228)

It isn't the "conservative" "democrat" thing that people find odd. It's the "conservative government" of the "liberal..." party that they find odd.

You can call your democrats conservative, I don't care. But you can't freaking call your conservatives liberal!

Precedent already set: Japan powerless to rule web (5, Informative)

etymxris (121288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610792)

See 2ch.net:

There are numerous civil actions against Hiroyuki by individuals and corporations for slander and defamation. Hiroyuki so far ignored every court order and has never shown up for any trial and he has lost every civil case brought against him by default. Hiroyuki does not hold any sizable asset in Japan and any financial gain by Hiroyuki (bar what the court rule as necessary living expense) is subject to foreclosure. 2channel's assets are all held overseas; the servers are located in California and the domains are owned by a United States registrar. Moreover, technically, Hiroyuki does not own 2channel. None of the winners of civil action collected any money from Hiroyuki.

In January 2007, a small court in Japan, making a judgement on yet another slander case, announced that 2channel's holding company was bankrupt and it would be repossessed. This claim was openly mocked by Hiroyuki on 2channel's splash page, and nothing of the sort happened, although 2channel's Japanese ISP ended its operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2ch#Free_speech [wikipedia.org]
Basically, any website that doesn't want government regulation will just relocate its servers to the U.S. Due to the differing laws, they will not be able to subpoena IP logs or have any way of getting at the people that post to the site. The owner of the site may have some trouble if he continues living in Japan, but there will probably be ex patriots in the U.S. willing to "own" the site to avoid such trouble.

Re:Precedent already set: Japan powerless to rule (4, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610890)

just relocate its servers to the U.S. Due to the differing laws, they will not be able to subpoena IP logs or have any way of getting at the people that post to the site.

Sure, just post it to wikileaks.

Re:Precedent already set: Japan powerless to rule (1, Troll)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611302)


If I were worried about my site being shut down due to offending people with money/power, I sure wouldn't host it in the U.S. Find a country without DMCA takedowns, secret courts, and "terror" lawsuits that come with automatic gag orders, in other words, some place with more freedom than the U.S.

Holding to account (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610818)

A government not liking their people talking about and attempting to hold crooked politicians to account (whatever country). What a surprise, not!

Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22610908)

Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and popular story that a few benefit from to the detriment of the many. It is vital that the general population does not become to aware because this would disrupt all systems founded and based on popular ignorance.

The last thing we need is a open source subscriber based intelligence service where importance is determined collectively, and the discourse and content results from collaboration of minds not behold to any special interests but in the interests of our collective benefit. The idea of freeing science and innovation from political constraints must be worrisome for some.

"The future of the Media is a subscriber based infrastructure which is superior in design to potentially biased, advertising supported, centrally controlled information reporting. Or an organization that has parents with special interests to protect or favors to impart. Conventional advertising is flawed and costs the consumer billions in out of pocket expense. Let us elaborate." ~ http://newswire.pro/ [newswire.pro]

We are already seeing the effects of collective power and it is good.

Re:Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (1)

zoltankemeny (1217722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611214)

Actually the power you're referring to is not collective at all. It is individual at its source because singular people are making the choice to determine what media is superior. Collective power is what you see when individual power is denied, like the government restriction and conventional advertising you refer to.

Re:Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611482)

Indeed. I wish people would figure out that what's good for the individual is good for the collective. If not, the collective is fatally flawed and needs to be disregarded or disposed of.

Having said that, I don't really believe in a "collective" in the political sense (although I am without doubt that there is such a thing in the natural and spiritual sense). You can speak of it as though it were a real thing, but it's not. It's more of a construct, an illusion; it's something that politicians find very convenient. I almost never hear the terms "collective" or "greater good" or "for the benefit of the nation" etc used for any purpose other than justifying the subservience of the individual to the state.

Corporations don't have intelligence, or emotions, or souls, or any sort of life. Nor do governments. Such hierarchies are just inanimate objects, tools utilized by people to achieve their goals. The idea that a sentient, sapient human being should submit to an inanimate object to preserve someone's political power is a direct insult against what it means to be human. You wonder why the world is in such turmoil right now? I say it's because a way of life built on such a fatally flawed idea is destined to crumble, sooner or later.

Re:Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (1)

zoltankemeny (1217722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611598)

I don't really believe in a "collective" in the political sense Then what is good for the individual is good for the individual, not good for the "collective." I agree with you that it's a construct, but you used the term first and I felt obligated to stay within that term instead of causing unwanted confusion. I really liked the last paragraph, though. Very Discordian.

Re:Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611650)

I don't really believe in a "collective" in the political sense Then what is good for the individual is good for the individual, not good for the "collective." I agree with you that it's a construct, but you used the term first and I felt obligated to stay within that term instead of causing unwanted confusion. I really liked the last paragraph, though. Very Discordian.

What I was saying is that a group (be it a nation, etc) of free, empowered individuals who are subjects of no one, with the right to do anything they please so long as they don't harm another person or interfere with another person's freedoms in any way, is the best sort of "collective" I could imagine. This of course would bear little or no resemblence to the "all march to the beat of one drummer" that constitutes what is usually thought of as a "collective." FYI, I did not use the term first; see the post to which I was replying.

Re:Yes, we need to maintain the fictions and story (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612102)

Yes the collective depends on the free radical, the eccentric, the rule breaker, the outcast for it's survival, discovery, invention and evolution.

This is why individual freedom of expression is never suppressed it would be detrimental to the collective.

A good example is China it has created an environment that blocks innovation conditioning everyone to be the same and forcing types of behavior. It has failed to fully implement collectivism by giving every individual a vote.

As such it needs to copy the innovation of other countries.

It's starting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22610988)

the powers that be are realizing that the web is a more powerful force than they first reckoned.
They will start to try to censor and control it, place by place.

great here come the nipzis! (1, Troll)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611154)

I guess we know what japan's priorities are.

Re:great here come the nipzis! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611742)

I guess we know what japan's priorities are.
Uhh... you didn't know what they were before?
Japanese culture has always been wildly different from that of 'the west'.

It's just odd that you'd call them nazis for censoring, but not for fining & caning citizens and foreigners alike into compliance with some very strict laws.

How ironic (1)

soundhack (179543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611332)

This is true globalization, if japanese news gets hosted in countries such as the US to avoid government oversight while American music/movies/porn gets hosted in countries like Japan to avoid the RIAA/MPAA/etc.

"Censorship" again (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611458)

Consider this. Mass media IS regulated. You cannot print WHATEVER you want in Washington Post or NYT. You cannot say WHATEVER you want on radio. You cannot show WHATEVER you want on television. There is FCC. There are rules that papers, tv and radio stations must go by.

Now, if some website is circulating news with similar audience, would not it be fair to traditional media to apply the same rules to non-traditional competitors of the traditional media? Internet has matured, dudes and dudettes, and became a mainstream media.

Learn to live with that and play by the same rules traditional media is playing.

The only problem I see hear is the implementation of those rules. I do not know how they are going to do that.

Re:"Censorship" again (1)

John_Sauter (595980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22611722)

Consider this. Mass media IS regulated. You cannot print WHATEVER you want in Washington Post or NYT. You cannot say WHATEVER you want on radio. You cannot show WHATEVER you want on television. There is FCC. There are rules that papers, tv and radio stations must go by.

Now, if some website is circulating news with similar audience, would not it be fair to traditional media to apply the same rules to non-traditional competitors of the traditional media? Internet has matured, dudes and dudettes, and became a mainstream media.

Learn to live with that and play by the same rules traditional media is playing.

The only problem I see hear is the implementation of those rules. I do not know how they are going to do that.

I think a better solution to the "fairness" problem would be to unregulate mass media. Why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York Times, TV stations and radio stations say whatever they want?

Re:"Censorship" again (2, Insightful)

Murrquan (1161441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612052)

There is an argument that broadcast media must be regulated, seeing as how it takes place over public airwaves. I don't see how that applies to printed media or the Internet, though.

Dear Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22611562)

You've got ninjas and samurais as your past warriors.
You've got a taste of a nuke as the only country in the world, yet you recovered.
You're one of the leading economies in the world.
You're leading in in crazy technological gadgets as well.
You're the home of anime.
You actually have interesting tv-shows.

Why fuck it up now?

What I'd wonder is ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612350)

What is the definition of a "news site"?

For example, if I have a personal site on my home machine, and I put up pictures and a few stories from our recent vacation, does that make my site a news site?

Will I be regulated as a news organization if I let the world know what members of my family (including the cockatiels and the conure) have been doing recently?

There are good historic reasons to worry about such things ...

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