[ISN] Unauthorized Computer Access to be punished

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Nov 19 1998 - 14:06:20 PST

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05at_private>
    The National Police Agency (NPA) unveiled Monday a plan to be used in
    drafting a bill to criminalize and punish unauthorized access of
    restricted computer networks. 
    The plan will, among others, require businesses to save computer entry
    logs to aid police investigations, the agency said. It marks the first
    step toward giving Japan a legal weapon against hacking, a transborder
    crime that can lead to the commission of other illegal activity. 
    The NPA intends to submit the bill at the next regular Diet session to be
    convened in January after consulting with the public, the private sector
    and related agencies and ministries, NPA officials said. The plan will be
    posted Tuesday on the agency's Internet website, they added. 
    Except for Japan, the world's eight leading economies already treat
    hacking as a criminal activity. Existing Japanese laws only provide
    punishment against destruction of computer files through unauthorized
    The number of illegal access cases in Japan has risen this year, with 635
    cases already recorded by the end of September, compared with the 492
    cases reported for the whole of 1997, according to statistics compiled by
    the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. 
    The plan aims to protect computer networks owned by private firms, public
    offices and research institutes, to which only a limited number of
    individuals are given authority to access from the outside through the use
    of secret ID passwords or security codes. 
    It does not target illegal access into personal computers used in homes,
    the officials said. 
    The plan prohibits as illegal access the use of another person's password
    to enter a restricted computer system, or taking advantage of a system
    glitch to gain access into a computer. The agency does not set a specific
    punishment, leaving the matter for consultation. 
    Apart from the proper management of passwords, businesses will be obliged
    to report the discovery of alleged illegal access cases and to save
    computer entry logs for three months. 
    Individuals who provide their ID passwords to unrelated parties without
    authorization will be treated as abetting illegal access and will be
    subject to punishment should they fail to cease such action despite
    repeated warnings. 
    The agency said it will accept suggestions or comments from the public
    about its proposed plan until Dec. 16. 
    KYODO NEWS 16/11/1998
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