Japanese police has asked ISPs to start blocking Tor, an open source anonymizer, so that cyber-criminals can no longer rely on anonymous traffic to indulge in criminal activities online.
The dire step has been taken in wake of a recent hacking episode in which a hacker was able to gain control of multiple systems on the national grid and then posted death threats on public message boards. Authorities arrested a number of people when investigating the case, most of which were later proved to be innocent.
Eventually, Yusuke Katayama was arrested, and his computer data ascertained that he was behind the death threats. Apparently, Katayama used Tor to remain anonymous online while posting the death threats.
The episode has led the authorities to start cracking down on the use of Tor across the country. To that end, National Police Agency (NAP) has asked different ISPs to block Tor on their networks. The worrying aspect is that many activists also rely on the software to shield their online identity, so that they don’t have to face adverse consequences for speaking the truth of citing their opinions.
Although the special panel of NAP claims that it is going to curb only the ‘abuse’ of the software, blocking the software altogether is a double-edged sword that can also adversely affect the activists.
Courtesy: Parity News