Create or share a computer virus in Japan, go to prison

Are you a malicious hacker who likes to wreak havoc on the cyberworld by creating viruses or spamming friends with pornographic photos via email? You'd better rethink your hobby (or career) if you live in Japan, because the government's parliament just outlawed those activities.

The Japanese House of Councillors have voted and the majority rules:

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.

For those who aren't up to snuff on their yen to U.S. dollar conversions, the fines are about and $6,243 and $3,743, respectively.

In addition to the jail time and fines, data can also be "seized or copied from computer servers that are connected via online networks to a computer seized for investigation" which means cloud services and accounts can also be confiscated for evidence. Yikes, being a cyberjerk on the Internet is going to become a lot more difficult and complicated than ever before.

It sounds like a fancy plan for Japan to eradicate viruses, but seriously, do they think computer viruses will suddenly drop off the radar so easily? We doubt it. Whatever, either way it's a step in the right direction. Those who create harmful code that could destroy, sabotage or steal information from another computer should be treated as a criminals and as such subject to prison and high fines. Someone call Obama, as the U.S. is still the world's largest source of viruses.

Slashdot, via Mainichi Daily

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