Japan makes virus creation illegal

People who write or deliberately spread malware can expect to be fined or receive up to three years in prison, under laws enacted by the Japanese parliament today.

Up until now, you could only expect to feel your collar felt by the computer crime authorities in Japan if the malware you had created had caused some damage, now just the act of writing it would seem to be enough.

Under the new law, police will also be able to seize the email communications of suspects from ISPs, raising concerns amongst the country’s privacy campaigners who have warned of the police getting excessive powers.

According to news reports individuals who create and supply computer viruses “without any reasonable excuse” can face up to three years in jail, or a fines of up to ¥500,000 (approximately US $6,000).

Acquisition and storage of viruses is punishable by a prison sentence…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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