Japanese Government Warns Google Around Its New Privacy Policy

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(MIC) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI) announced [J] on February 29 that they jointly notified to Google that its privacy policy which would be newly introduced on March 1 must respect laws and regulations, also inform users the change well.

Google, as well as on other countries and regions, has been asking Japanese users to read its new integrated, cross-service privacy policy.

Japanese Government Tries To Distribute Fake Pirated TV Drama Over P2P File Sharing Networks

Jpaan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(MIC) on January 20 released [J] that they are running an experiment to distribute files which name look like pirated TV drama videos from January 23 to 29.

The fake drama videos will be distributed at least on two popular Japanese peer-to-peer file sharing tools/networks, Winny and Share.

The contents of the drama-named file [J, pdf], if you download and open, to show caution that both upload and download pirated files are illegal.

# Download was illegalized since 2010 in Japan

The experiment traces if those people who see the caution will be enlightened and stop file sharing on Winny/Share.

The caution text is with signatures by following organizations;

The Association of Copyright for Computer Software(ACCS)
Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC)
Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association, Inc.(JIMCA)
Recording Industry Association of Japan(RIAJ)
The National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan(NAB)

[Update] NHK reported this [J] on the evening news nationwide. NHK told that the total number of Winny and Share users is about 150,000 per day. Japanese torrent users are 240,000 on the peak day.

via Internet Watch [J]

10% Of Ministry Staff Open Suspicious Mail Attachment On Surprise Security Drill In Japan

Japan’s National Information Security Center reported on January 19 that the results of its security drill with 60,000 staff in 12 government organizations around malicious mail attachment [J, pdf].

According to the report, from October to December 2011, the center held security training to the 60,000 staff, then sent two mails which you could not identify the sender information. The first one was with a mocked attachment file, and the second one was with a link, both were to open the server which record which staff ran the attached application and click the link.

About 6,000 people, 10.1% opened the first attachment, and 3.1% opened the link.

via TV-Asahi [J]

Japanese Government Allows ISPs to Target Ads by Browsing History

Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (総務省) working group recently published an opinion stating that certain network monitoring technologies (Deep Packet Inspection) can be used by Internet Service Providers to serve targeted advertising to users, but only after the user has been clearly notified of these practices. This news made the top page of Sunday’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

As all user communication with websites and other internet services travel through the user’s Internet Service Provider, these Providers theoretically can monitor or even modify these messages. ISP’s often do a simple version of this, looking only at the headers of packets (including the sender and the recipient of the information), in order to operate firewalls or to slow down certain types of traffic, such as file-sharing. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is a variant of this method whereby the ISP inspects the actual messages being transmitted, including online purchases or search terms, rather than just the headers. Proponents argue that such technology can lead to better targeted and thus more effective advertising.

Naturally, such technology can also lead to privacy concerns. In the past, US Congressional concerns hampered the widespread use of similar DPI-based targeted ads by NebuAd. Such case law from the United States, as well as similar cases in Europe, were also reviewed in the Japanese Ministry report.

The report (PDF, summary PDF, both in Japanese) is the second recommendation from the Workshop on Various Issues Related to IT Services Considering the User’s Perspective (利用者視点を踏まえたICTサービスに係る諸問題に関する研究会), finalized after a public comment period. The report considers the implications of technology such as DPI-based ad targeting in light of Japanese case law on privacy and telecommunications issues (section II.6, pp. 54-59), and concludes that such technology cannot be used without constituting a breach of private communications if it does not first receive approval from the user (p. 58). However, elsewhere in the report it is stated that an opt-out mechanism must be in place (p. 59), suggesting that the system need not be opt-in.

It will be interesting to follow the public’s response to this opinion and to this type of advertising, if and when they are implemented by ISPs.

Japanese Government Site For Whistle-blower Finally Launches, Still Insists Non Existing “.com”

As we reported [1][2], Japanese government opens a website for people to inform wasted tax money or irrational rules issues directly to them.

The domain name, after squatted, is “http://www.cao.go.jp/” which guarantees the website is by government. However, they do not stop using “Hatomimi.com” [J] logo and tries to send confuse people to the squatter’s site.