Grown up cyber bullies in Japan

Japan’s version of the “Comment Crew” – a Shanghai-based group believed to be behind Chinese hacking of Western computers – aren’t working inside a military unit like the alleged Chinese hackers, reports Asia Times

images“They are often foreigners with jingoistic views similar to Japanese “netto-uyo” (“Internet rightists”). Their targets include journalists, anti-nuclear campaigners, English teachers and anyone who questions the Japanese government’s handling of immigration, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the killing of dolphins and whales, and Japan’s hardline stance against China, South Korea and North Korea.

“One target, Joshua Swift, a mild-mannered American who used to work in the pharmaceutical industry in Fukushima, says he had trouble finding a job in America to support his Japanese wife and three kids because Japan’s “Comment Crew” hounded him out of Japan and ruined his name online. His “crime”? His mother in Kansas tried to raise donations from relatives through a popular online charity site to fund their evacuation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant.

“It’s ugly,” says Swift, who spent 12 years in Japan and now fears going back. “Sites such as Japan Probe just target people. They have no sense of ethics or morals. They get away with it because the Japanese authorities couldn’t care less what they’re doing.”

“In the view of Swift and others such as US-based lawyer and blogger Rick Gundlach, the cyber-bullies’ belligerent actions and violent threats, which might lead to punishments, sackings, arrests or libel suits in other countries, raise questions about how Japanese organizations supervise employees who spend valuable time and energy “playing” online before, during, and after office hours, creating a drag on the nation’s economic productivity.”

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