crime

Hacker group Anonymous takes down Wakayama website to protest dolphin killing

39 Comments
By Philip Kendall

International hacking group Anonymous has stated that it breached and shut down the official Wakayama Prefecture website on Tuesday as a taste of what may come should local fishermen continue to hunt dolphins. The prefecture is home to Taiji, the coastal town that shot to infamy in 2010 following an exposé in the film "The Cove," which documented the mass slaughter of dolphins that takes place in the area each year.

At 9:05 a.m. Tuesday, a message from Twitter user @YourAnonPriest stated that Taiji (which is, in fact, a city rather than a prefecture) was “offline”. Animal news site The Dodo reports that when checked, the website was indeed inaccessible, though it came back online a few minutes later, with the same Twitter user stating that the intrusion had been a “warning”, and hinting that more attacks could follow should the Japanese government not bow to pressure and put an end to the hunt.

Dolphin and whale hunting has been a part of Taiji City’s heritage since the 17th century, with dolphin hunts taking place each year between September and April. Animal rights groups have long protested the annual killings, which involve herding migrating dolphins into a narrow cove before trapping and slowly killing them, but Taiji spokespersons, particularly following the release of the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove," protested that the fishermen in the area are acting within the law, and contested much of scientific evidence put forward by the film.

Sources: The Dodo, Twitter

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Environmentalists angered by new research that suggests dolphins have low IQs and behave violently -- Nanao Bay: 98% chance of seeing dolphins in the wild -- Trial begins between Australia and Japan over whaling

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39 Comments
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that the intrusion had been a “warning”, and hinting that more attacks could follow should the Japanese government not bow to pressure and put an end to the hunt.

LOL, I'm sure the citizens really care that their website may be unavailable. Most government operated websites in Japan look straight out of 1996, with the little view-counter and everything. I doubt most folks in Taiji even realized they had a website to begin with. But carry on Anonymous, carry on. Your thoughts are in the right place.

26 ( +29 / -4 )

I agree with the above! Nice sentiment, but yeah, surprised they even HAVE a computer. My local (large) city hall looks like an old library from the 1800s; paper, ink and stamps everywhere, and the occasional computer running 'Windows98'.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I love dolphins and all the creatures of the Earth. However, I disagree with people's attempts to prevent the dolphin slaughter at Taiji. These people have been living this way for a long time and this is how they put food on the table for their families.

-16 ( +13 / -29 )

These people have been living this way for a long time and this is how they put food on the table for their families.

Since 1969. That's not a long time. And the meat is so polluted (even Taiji town officials have described it as 'toxic waste') that it cannot be considered a staple.

15 ( +24 / -7 )

Non-violent direct action works.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

These people have been living this way for a long time and this is how they put food on the table for their families.

Very few people eat dolphin in Japan. Their deaths are pointless. If they wanted to put food on their tables, they always have the ability to farm the land and grow tea. You know, something that is actually in demand and doesn’t bleed.

5 ( +13 / -7 )

I think their website can be down for a few months without a big problem LOL

Thanks for wasting your time anonymous

-3 ( +8 / -12 )

most people didn't care about dolphins till flipper made it a popular animal and recent research show that they are violent creatures

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

"Stop killing dolphins or the website gets it!"

The fishermen and people of Taiji must be shaking in their gumboots.

11 ( +12 / -4 )

I doubt anyone who engages in the practice of hunting and/or eating the dolphins has the intelligence to use the internet, given their mercury levels and all, so I'm not sure how strong the effect will be, but good on them still.

0 ( +12 / -11 )

If Anonymous had truly intended damage, they would have taken down their fax machines.

15 ( +16 / -2 )

If Anonymous had truly intended damage, they would have taken down their fax machines.

lol, true! Better yet, steal all the ink for the archaic stamps!

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Hacker group Anonymous takes down Wakayama website to protest dolphin killing

...and THAT'S a crime ? I would have thought the "killing part" would be a crime.

5 ( +9 / -5 )

The Cybercrime Task Force had failed miserably.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is getting interesting, got to pop some popcorn. Wonder if Taiji would let us foreigners sponsor the dolphins and pay a ransom for their release. I gots some money in me wallet.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Justice has been served for the dolphins. Take that officials.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

What century do the people in Taiji live in????

6 ( +11 / -6 )

I would have thought that if anonymous were serious, they would have brought down something much bigger? Something hard hitting which is actually used by Japanese people, like Twitter, Mixi, or Line.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Something hard hitting which is actually used by Japanese people, like Twitter, Mixi, or Line.

Well they needed twitter to tell everyone the website was down, otherwise nobody would have known.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

if anonymous were serious, they would have brought down something much bigger? Something hard hitting which is actually used by Japanese people

Most Japanese people are not involved in the Taiji slaughter, most do not support it (mainly because they do not know about it, and if you tell them about it they likely won't believe you). Why hurt people who are not involved? That would be terrorism. I'm not sure that shutting down a local website for a couple of minutes is all that effective, but at least it targets the people with whom the hackers have a gripe.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Japan seems to have a lack of awareness about cyber security. Anonymous probably could have done much worse but it was just a "warning". Dolphin is loaded with mercury but with Fukushima I wonder if they may have other toxins.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Anonymous are cowards! Why don't they try to take down systems of far more concerning threats?!

-10 ( +3 / -12 )

Why can't Taiji learn something from Toshima Island? Turn this hell cove into a Beautiful Blue Cove Dolphin Oasis? A place where tourists would want to come and even take dolphin excursions to see dolphins swimming and jumping for joy in the wild! From what I've read this is a poor village of apprx. 3000 people and these dolphin killers are the only ones living in the big houses! Sure is a contrast! Sounds like something fishy has been going on in this little village and the Truth to their dirty little secret has been exposed! Tourist trade would bring prosperity to everyone in this village year round! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_sgV47UFyo

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Dolphin meat when sold should be labelled dolphin and not whale meat, and should carry a health warning warning of the dangers of mercury.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I think Anonymous is very interesting. Generally speaking, their targets have been right-on - harassing groups that are legally protected, but despicable (I'm thinking of the Westboro Baptist Church, among others). And I have to admit that it's nice to see these kinds of groups get pushed around in response to the ugly things they do. That said, it's been nice so far because I've generally agreed with Anonymous's choice of targets. If they start throwing their weight around and choosing more borderline targets...that begins a slippery slope, and suddenly we have to worry about Anonymous as well. The ol' vigilante act can be a double-edged sword.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The action of shutting down the site

http://www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/prefg/071500/iruka/dolphin_fishery.html

is perfectly consistent with the one sided bigoted aggression shown towards the fishermen so far.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Justin , so lets get rid of all violent creatures then... I reckon we should start with humans....we are the most violent ones

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oddly enough killing the dolphins is not a crime but hacking is, I know it's just a small site but there are others in that community which may rely on it, not everyone in Taiji is a fisherman you know.

X

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Such horrific killing is NOT Japanese 'heritage', according to “The History of Taiji,” edited and published by Taiji town in 1979:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/candacewhiting/2014/01/20/taiji-dolphin-drives-started-in-1969-and-are-not-a-part-of-japanese-tradition/

Nobody even eat the dolphin meat due to high levels of mercury tested. Such hunt is for money, to sell kidnapped dolphins and whales to aquariums worldwide. The albino dolphin has just be sold for $500,000. It is GREED for money, not 'heritage'.

Japan Today need to correct your article about 'heritage'.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@ TEACHER X you wrote "Oddly enough killing the dolphins is not a crime but hacking is" Hillarious what is the difference between killing and hacking? If the fishermen are hacking the dolphins to death then it is a crime! Ok play on words!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Resent EIA report says 'toxic catch' of dolphins unsustainable & based on old, flawed data. Japanese government faulted.

http://www.eia-international.org/toxic-catch-japans-unsustainable-and-irresponsible-whale-dolphin-and-porpoise-hunts

The world has a responsibility to stop such unsustainable hunt. Extinction and ecosystem collapse is everybody's concern, and not a Japanese 'dietary' or 'heritage' matter.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

At least "Anonymous" is trying to do something rather than bitch & moan like most of you people. It doesn't matter that Japan is in the stone ages. What matters is doing SOMETHING! This slaughter of Dolphins is not essential to the survival of the Japanese people, it is, however, essential to stop this slaughter for the survival of Dolphins & other marine species. In fact, most Japanese do NOT eat Dolphin & don't want to. The Dolphin that is murdered is often sold in markets as some other animal, so the people actually have no idea what they're eating. In interviews, the majority of Japanese people said they would never eat Dolphin IF they knew that's what they were eating. So, this slaughter is not wanted or needed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There's probably a lot of question marks coming out of the heads of those fishermen. Both sides need to talk to one another and understand eachother's stances rather than play childish games. Both Governments definitely need to get seriously involved in this as well before it gets out of hand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@kaimycahl Nice play on words!LOL

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

dolphins have only been included in this barbaric hunt since 1989. They were never included before this unless by accident. The only reason they now include dolphins is because of the moratorium on some of the whales they used to catch. this is a profit driven enterprise and the over-kill is the result of greed....makes me wonder how much they compost. not the first time this Japanese have gone this route.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is interesting is ignorance of following an archaic idea that the dolphin actually affect the fishing numbers. The primary excuse for starting the kill in 1989.

When front and centre the factory ships processing vast quantities of by catch have left oceans around the planet desertified.

The Japanese academics involved in marine biology must all be on the payroll of the Japanese Fishing Fleet. Because sustainable fishing practice and evidence of correct strategies have been known for decades.

This tribal meme the dolphins are responsible for loss of fish stocks needs to become the relic it is.

...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do think that dolphin meat is poisonous, however, and if those Taiji folks want to "put food on the table" for their families, they would do better to go out and hunt dear, overpopulations of which (no wolves to hold in check) are causing environmental damage in Japan and also malaffecting crop yeilds.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For those of you who justify the slaughter as "the only way the fishermen can put food on the table", haven't you ever heard the saying: "There's plenty other fish in the sea"? They're not just words - they're actually TRUE.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Paul Richards, please tell me or point me toward the research numbers that show (if I understood your comment correctly) killing dolphins will not increase fisher men's catch for the fish they are in competing for. It would only make sense to me that fewer top predators would mean more fish in the foodchain below.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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