Japan cancels national hacking contest

Monday, 28 July 2003, 1:45 PM EST

Japan canceled a national computer-hacking contest scheduled for next month after the government came under fire as encouraging cybercrime, a government official said Friday.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry had planned the Aug. 11-12 contest as a way of fostering computer expertise among high school and vocational college students. Teams of up to three students would have tried to hack into opponents' computer systems, while protecting their own.

But after receiving a flood of angry phone calls and mail, the ministry decided to scrap the "Security Koshien" ó a reference to the stadium where national high school baseball tournaments are held ó ministry spokesman Takashi Kume said.

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