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This article was published on June 17, 2011

    Japan enacts criminalization of computer virus creation

    Japan enacts criminalization of computer virus creation
    Francis Tan
    Story by

    Francis Tan

    Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

    Japan’s parliament enacted a legislation criminalizing the creation or distribution of computer viruses, and authorizes agencies to request communications logs from Internet service providers to crack down on the growing problem of cyber-crimes.

    It is the Japanese government’s move to support the Convention on Cybercrime, a treaty ratified by 31 countries that stipulates international cooperation in investigating crimes in cyberspace.

    According to the report, the legislation makes the creation or distribution of a computer virus without a reasonable cause punishable by up to three years in prison or 500,000 yen in fines, and the acquisition or storage of one punishable by up to two years in prison or 300,000 yen in fines.

    Critics, however, say the move could infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed privacy of communications. The law controversially allows data to be seized from computer servers subject to investigation. Furthermore, authorities are granted the ability to acquire communications logs from Internet service providers that are kept for up to 60 days.

    Japanese investigative authorities have so far had trouble pursuing a series of cyberattacks due to the absence of a domestic law. Due to the privacy concerns involved, the upper house’s Judicial Affairs Committee is waiting for a resolution for proper implementation by the authorities.