Protesting anti-download laws with a street clean-up is perhaps an unorthodox way to get your message out.

But that is what the Japan arm of ‘hacktivist’ group, ‘Anonymous’, did yesterday in Shibuya, Tokyo (here is a full gallery from technology website, Gizmodo.) As you can see from the image below, a capture from the press release the group released before the event, they are concerned about the loss of internet liberties after new government regulations came in to force on June 20. They fear ‘innocent’ people being sent to jail for as little as watching a YouTube video.

Anonymous, distinguished by their Guy Fawkes masks, say that few people in Japan know the significance of the new laws, due to media not reporting them, and that they want to spread their concerns, which, they say, are “valid and sincere.”

Anonymous explain their reasoning

Their statement was reported as saying, “Anonymous is neither a group nor criminal. We are united citizens of the world who are concerned that our governments and the content industry are trying to take away our liberties on the internet.”

Last week, the group launched “Operation Japan” which meant trademark strikes on government websites, bringing some offline for hours.

This will not be the last we hear from the loosely associated group in Japan. While it is difficult to pin them down to one ‘leader’ there is clearly a growing movement around the world which, whilst sometimes breaking laws itself to get its message across, hopes to become a powerful influence on government policy.