It is a fact of life that surveillance is on the increase, just about, everywhere. Terrorism and its antidote, high levels of domestic security, have put electronic and digital surveillance into the lives of ordinary citizens around the globe. Japan is no different, with Edward Snowden warning in 2017, that highly invasive surveillance powers are operating in Japan under the auspices of counterterrorism. XKEYSCORE, which is a vast US data collection tool has already been shared with the Japanese security forces. It seems, that the people who will really suffer from this are the ordinary citizens, who have their privacy penetrated by the paranoid seekers of the few who seek to commit acts of terrorism.

The Pragmatic Attitudes of Security Agencies

The thing about terrorism is that as explosive and deadly as its impact is, it only affects a comparatively small number of people, whereas these security measures impact upon the whole population for better or worse. Governments can utilise this surveillance to crack down on all sorts of things. In Japan, the conspiracy law will target all sorts of potentially criminal activity, including taking plants from forestry reserves. The pragmatic attitudes of security agencies and governments makes them dangerous holders of special powers like these. The US is a perfect example of this, where the passing of the Patriot Act saw security forces there secretly bugging the entire population via the monitoring of phone calls.

The Directorate for Signals Intelligence

The types of surveillance devices and equipment is, now, legion. Check this out to see for yourself the enormous range of monitoring and bugging equipment out there. Japanese citizens have a right to be worried about these new laws and what they will mean for them. The Directorate for Signals Intelligence may have a very WW2 style name, but it is clearly playing in the big leagues of domestic spy agencies globally. It is this organisation that is responsible for internet surveillance and listening in to the nation’s phone calls. It currently employs around 1, 700 people and has at least 6 facilities in Japan for its intelligence gathering activities.

Denpa-Bu the Spy Agency

Known as Denpa-Bu in Japan, which means, “electro-magnetic wave section”, it is a highly secretive organisation. The surveillance situation in Japan is a major operation, just, like everywhere else on the globe in the 21C. Edward Snowden worked for the NSA on a US military base in Japan between 2009 and 2012. He says that the Japanese have targeted the entire internet in Japan.


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