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  • National Police Agency, MPT Agree on Illegal Access Bill
  • March 10, 1999 (TOKYO) — Japan’s National Police Agency and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications agreed on basic policies for a bill to prohibit illegal log-ins via the Internet.
    The bill will go through a Cabinet meeting on March 9 or 12 before being presented to the Diet (Parliament), and is expected to be approved in the current session of the Diet.

    However, the NPA and the MPT decided not to include the controversial issue of mandatory log-saving in the legislation this time, and instead left the matter for further examination.

    “We took into consideration the fact that saving log records is not compulsory anywhere else in the world,” said Hirofumi Kitamura, senior superintendent and deputy director of the Community Safety Planning Division of the NPA’s Community Safety Bureau.

    In its draft plan made public in November 1998, the NPA proposed that providers and business firms be obliged to retain their records of log files to access servers and public servers for a uniform three-month period.

    Likewise, the MPT in its draft plan of November 1998 shelved its hope to make Internet service providers responsible for personal information management.

    “Management of personal information is essentially another issue to be considered separately from the problem of illegal access. We would like to consider its legislation in some other form,” said Shusaku Indo, deputy director of MPT’s Computer Communications Division.

    The main reason for the ministry’s opposition to mandatory saving of log records was that providers’ log records could mean invasion of members’ privacy.

    The extent of what makes accesses illegal has nevertheless been broadened compared with what was originally planned. Internal accesses among a company’s branches connected by a proprietary line, if illegally logged in, would constitute a crime from different buildings.

    “We hope people will always aware of the risk of illegal accesses when connecting with outside parties through the network,” said MPT’s Indo. However, only when a damaged business firm takes a case to the police will it be considered an in-house crime.

    The bill also carries a provision that if the victims take the matter to the Public Safety Commission, they will be able to have police support.

    The NPA and MPT will make further adjustments with the Cabinet Legislation Bureau and the Ministry of Justice, and decide on the extent of penalties and date of implementation.

    The punishment is expected to be about a year’s imprisonment and a fine of a few hundred thousand yen (121.60 yen=US$1).

    (Nikkei Internet Technology)



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