Japanese police is having a hard time when it comes to crimes in the cyberspace. Just last year a hacker, going by the name Demon Killer, took remote control of systems across the country and posted death threats on public message boards. The police arrested four people based on the IP addresses from which the messages were posted and reportedly ‘extracted’ a confession. But, even after the arrests the death threats continued, which forced police to apologize in public.
The man-hunt continued and police did manage to capture and charge Yusuke Katayama with the crimes. Katayama’s PCs were seized, analysis of which revealed that the 30-year old regularly used Tor to anonymize his online activities. This particular discovery, among others, was one of the reasons behind formation of a special panel by the NPA for investigation of such crimes.
The Mainichi notes that panel formed by NPA has compiled a special report wherein some of the other crimes cited by the panel include financial fraud; leaks of confidential police information and predatory behaviour of child abusers.
Activists on the Internet or those living in countries with oppressive regimes use Tor to carry out their online whistleblowing activities anonymously. The special panel’s report notes “abuse” of Tor has to be blocked but, the meaning of ‘abuse’ is not clear here and we believe that the real intention here is to completely block Tor.