2 Japanese Men Arrested for Selling Drugs over Mixi Social Network

When people talk about the legalization of drugs it’s usually followed by a rumination of the idea of ‘drug stores’ like beer stores.  What’s less obvious is what would happen online if it was all legal.  Even when it’s illegal, people still use the web to sell drugs, and recently two men in Japan were caught using mixi — the most popular social network in Japan — to sell stimulants.

As reported in the Mainichi Daily News, the two men were found to have been selling stimulants to people all across Japan by using their own Mixi group called “Ganso! Shabu Commu” which translates to Real Stimulant Community.  One of the men, Tadashi Tawara, a former politician, called himself Iceman referring to the ‘ice’ slang for the stimulants.

The specific charge is shown below:

The two specifically stand accused of selling one gram of stimulants to a 29-year-old unemployed man from Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture, for 32,000 yen in October 2011. The buyer was also arrested for violating the Stimulants Control Law.

As mixi grows in popularity, certainly there is going to be more resources necessary to keep an eye out for hateful and illegal groups on the site, but Japan, like the West and unlike China, is a country whose young people demand their privacy and freedom.  It is unlikely that mixi is simply forwarding this information to the police, but rather that the police did their work by using the public social network as evidence.

image: takayuki via shutterstock