Nov 122013
 
 November 12, 2013  Non-U.S., Workplace

Legislation proposed in Japan would subject civil servants and employees of government contractors to more regular and intensive background checks in an attempt to prevent national security leaks. The Mainichi reports:

Government ministries and agencies are to conduct “proper evaluations” every five years on public servants as well as private citizens working for government subcontractors to see if they are prone to leak classified information under highly controversial national secrets protection legislation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is keen to push through the Diet during the current extraordinary session.

The check items for the “proper evaluations,” that tread deeply on the privacy of those individuals concerned, are: 1) their relations with spies and terrorism, and the addresses, names, birth dates and nationalities (including past nationalities) of their spouses, parents, children, brothers, sisters, their spouses’ parents and their spouses’ children as well as people outside of their families who live with them; 2) records of their crimes and official reprimands; 3) records of their illegal activities involving handling of information; 4) their drug abuse and its effects on themselves; 4) their mental ailments, 5) their drinking habits; and 6) their credit standing and economic status. Apart from asking those individuals directly involved those questions, there are cases in which inquiries would be sent to their acquaintances and other institutions.

Because the inquiries are supposed to be conducted on the basis of the consent of the individuals concerned, the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office says that such inquiries do not constitute an invasion of privacy.

Read more on The Mainichi.

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