26 Jul 2011

Japanese man arrested for storing virus on personal computer

Arrests for the distribution of a computer virus is nothing new, but in Japan a man was recently arrested for actually having a computer virus on his machine with the purpse of distributing it, the first arrest of its kind under a new Japanese law.

Yashuhiro Kawaguchi allegedly loaded the virus online using the file-sharing software Share, giving it a title which suggested it was child pornography. Police suspect approximately 2,000 computers have been infected with the virus and Kawaguchi reportedly has admitted to the crime, saying he wanted to punish those who use file-sharing.

The country's penal code was recently changed to ban storing a virus on a computer with the intent of infecting others and those convicted under the new law face up to a two year prison sentence and a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($6,400).

The new Japanese law is part of the country's attempt to meet the terms of the Convention on Cybercrime, which has sought out to bring into line various national computer- and internet-related laws. However, the law has been lambasted by privacy advocates who say it goes too far.