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Fbi Sets Sights On Transnational Cybercrime
12-26-2006, 09:21 PM,
Fbi Sets Sights On Transnational Cybercrime
Brian Chapman / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

Since a massive crackdown on cybercrime in 2003, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has developed a new mantra: We're watching.

"We are looking at you and...we are investigating your activities," FBI Special Agent Chenni Huang said during a lecture on cybercrime at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.

"Don't think that just because you are behind a computer you can hide from us," she said.

Huang, who is studying Japanese law enforcement techniques with the National Police Agency as a fellow of the nonprofit Mansfield Foundation, added that the difference in laws from country to country made for tricky enforcement.

Under their Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Japan and the United States have teamed up to fight online crime, such as phishing scams and copyright infringement. But "one requirement [of the treaty]," Huang said, "is that for either country to provide assistance, the crime that has been committed--for example in the U.S--has to also be a crime [in Japan]."

"I am impressed with Japanese law enforcement's efforts to combat cybercrime, even though their laws are limited," she said about her time with the NPA.

A particular sore spot is the issue of child pornography.

"What I...find puzzling is Japan, possession of child pornography is not a crime. That is something I can't understand," she said.

Another example is the theft of company secrets. "In Japan...if an employee walks out of a company with that company's customer list, the value of that disk that contains the customer list would be the theft, not the information inside," she said, adding that in the United States, it is the theft of the information that can be prosecuted.

"Because of the way the law is written, their [the NPA's] hands are tied," she said. "But they find a way to investigate the cases that come around. And sometimes they have to use some creative methods to make it work."

(Dec. 26, 2006)

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