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Blog / Japan makes virus writing illegal

Tuesday, 21 June 2011 at 13:47

Japan passed a law last week aimed at discouraging cybercriminals from writing or deliberately spreading malware or viruses.

The ruling stipulates that anyone found guilty can be on the receiving end of either a fine or, in the worst cases, up to three years in prison.

The important factor to note about the new legislation is that up until it was passed, one could only be reprimanded for writing malware or a virus if it had been proven to have caused damage. With the new rules in place, simply writing the code is deemed enough for punishment.

Individuals who create and willingly spread or supply computer viruses "without any reasonable excuse" can face up to three years in jail, or a fine of up to around US $6,000. Buying and storage of viruses is punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years, or $3,500 in fines.

Interestingly, the new law also gives police power to seize the email communications of suspects from ISPs, raising concerns amongst privacy campaigners that the police have too much power.

What do you think of the new legislation? Do you think it’s the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from cybercrime or do you think the responsibility lies with the individual? Let us know here on the blogs or on the Facebook Community


Source: AVG Blogs | AVG Free Edition

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    Saami_Powell 2 November 2011

    The responsibility for protecting themselves from malicious harm falls squarely on the shoulders of the private individual whether it be a single laptop or a corporate network. The responsibility for catching and punishing the creators of malicious code falls squarely on the shoulders of the community. Since the Government is responsible for the overall welfare of the community the responsibility for punishing the creators of malicious code falls squarely on the legislators. Taking a step towards governance of an otherwise grey area in legal procedure by the legislative council shows an overall sense of connection with the community and the said governing body should be lauded for committing themselves to this path. Other governments should watch and adopt a copy of this law relevant to their own circumstances, and the sooner the better.

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