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Don't bring your computer viruses to Japan, because they're illegal now

Amar Toor, @amartoo
June 17, 2011
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Tired of getting swamped with spam and malware? Just pack your things and catch the next flight to Japan, where computer viruses are now considered illegal. Under the country's new legislation, anyone convicted of creating or distributing viruses could face up to three years in prison, or a maximum fine of ¥500,000 (about $6,200). It's all part of Japan's efforts to comply with the Convention on Cybercrime -- an international treaty that requires member governments to criminalize hacking, child pornography, and other terrible things. Privacy advocates, however, have already raised concerns over some stipulations that would allow investigators to seize data from PCs hooked up to allegedly criminal networks, and to retain any suspicious e-mail logs for up to 60 days. In an attempt to quell these fears, the Judicial Affairs Committee tacked a resolution on to the bill calling for police to exercise these powers only when they really, really need to.

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