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Cablegate: Japanese Police Arrest Inventor of Computer Virus

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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STATE FOR EAP/J TED BRYAN
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINT ECPS ECON TINT JA
SUBJECT: Japanese Police Arrest Inventor of Computer Virus

1. (U) Summary: Japanese police in Kyoto have arrested Masato
Nakatsuji, alleged to have invented and distributed a computer
virus. The search and subsequent arrest were based on
suspected violations of Japan's copyright laws, as it is
believed that the virus was delivered embedded in a video file,
and the tampering and subsequent distribution were done without
the consent of the video's rights holder. The case, as noted
in the media, highlights the lack of legislation in Japan
criminalizing acts of cybercrime such as the creation and
dissemination of viruses. The Government tried to pass
legislation in 2004 to criminalize certain acts of cybercrime,
but the bill was never enacted. End summary.

2. (U) Kyoto prefectural police recently arrested Mr. Masato
Nakatsuji, alleged to have invented and distributed the Harada
virus, according to a report in Yomiuri Newspaper. Police
searched the home of Nakatsuji, a graduate student, on
suspicion of violating the Copyright Law. He is suspected of
having created a number of computer viruses and to having
embedded them in copyrighted animation as a means of
distributing them. He chose popular videos to spread the virus
faster. His latest virus was called "Harada" because it was
spread in a video featuring an acquaintance of Nakatsuji's
named Harada.

3. (U) Nakatsuji reportedly delivered the virus by posting the
infected video files on Winny, a popular Japanese peer-to-peer
file-sharing network. Unrelated to the current case, Winny's
inventor, Mr. Isamu Kaneko, was arrested in 2004 and later
fined 1.5 million Yen for Copyright law violations.

4. (U) According to Hisamichi Okamura, a lawyer and expert on
information law, a core problem is the lack of adequate legal
measures to counter computer viruses. The Government used the
Copyright Law in this case, but it might not apply in other
cases, so this highlights Japan's lack of more specific tools
available under legislation criminalizing acts of cybercrime
such as the creation and dissemination of malware.

5. (U) Another reason for Japan to pass legislation on cybercrime
would be to enact the Convention on Cybercrime, which Japan
signed in 2001. The Government proposed a cybercrime bill in
2004 but it stalled in the Diet in the face of political
opposition to certain elements. The Government has now
proposed a new bill to criminalize cybercrime and enact the
Cybercrime Convention, but it too is currently under discussion
in the Diet.
SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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