If you Create or share a computer virus in Japan, you’ll go to prison.

If you are a hacker, or a computer programer who want’s to create havoc with your malicious programs, boy do we have news for you! Japan’s parliament passed legislation this past Friday criminalizing the creation, or distribution, of computer viruses in an attempt to crack down on cybercrimes.

The new legislation means that if you actively engage in the creation, reproduction, or distribution of a malicious virus you will end up in a prison cell. The new bill will revise the Penal Code passing the House of Councillors by an unprecedented majority.  The Japanese government will try to conclude the Convention on Cybercrimes, they hope that a treaty amongst other governments will have an International cooperation when it comes to investigating crimes in cyberspace.

The legislation makes the creation or distribution of a computer virus, without a reasonable cause, punishable by up to three years in prison, or 500,000 yen ($6,250 Dollars) in fines. The second part of this law will make the acquisition or storage of one virus punishable by up to two years in prison or 300,000 ($3,750 Dollars) yen in fines.

The new law will take things one step further, by making it punishable to send pornographic images to random people. This is to prevent spammers from sending you unwanted images. Additionally, the law will make it legal for the investigators to seize or copy data from any computer connected to the internet if the investigators have a reason to believe your computer is distributing viruses and other malicious programs.

The government has submitted similar legislation in the past, but they failed to pass the law due to opposition from Councilors who thought this was just an excuse to attack certain groups of people by simply believing they were committing a cyber crime. However, this year the opposition diminished due to the constant attacks against large Japanese corporations, Companies,  and Financial institutions that have caused Japan a tremendous monetary loss.

This is definitely a good direction for the fight against cybercrime, but unfortunately the US is accredited with the nation that creates the most viruses.  Unless all the other governments get together with this deal as the treaty calls for, there is still much more work to go when it comes to Cyber Crimes.

Slashdot, via Mainichi Daily