JP: EDITORIAL: Leak of terrorism data

Well, I didn’t post a security breach from Japan the other day because the news report I read  suggest that no PII were involved.   But an editorial today on indicates that PII were involved — and perhaps dangerously so:

As Japan prepares to receive foreign government leaders who will gather in Yokohama for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, an incident that shook police counter-terrorism measures from their foundation occurred.

Confidential information believed to be internal documents of the Metropolitan Police Department and other authorities spread on the Internet through file-sharing software. Many of the leaked documents seem to have been made by the Third Foreign Affairs Division of the MPD’s Public Security Bureau to investigate and gather intelligence on international terrorism. The division was set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

They include information on foreigners believed to have collaborated with police investigations and plans to question Muslims based on requests by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. In short, police strategy on fighting terrorism has been exposed. A large volume of personal information, including the addresses and mug shots of ordinary citizens and their contacts, was also leaked.

The potential damage to people whose names have been exposed is serious. Some people who provided information to police were listed as having suspected ties with terrorist organizations. If their cooperation with investigators is exposed, their safety could be jeopardized. Under such circumstances, no one would be willing to talk to police.


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