Japan police seek Yahoo! help in exam cheat probe

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The Yahoo homepage is seen on a computer screen in Washington DC in 2010. Police asked Yahoo! Japan on Tuesday to assist them in their hunt for tech-savvy cheats who used the Internet giant to help in gruelling entrance exams for elite universities.

Police asked Yahoo! Japan on Tuesday to assist them in their hunt for tech-savvy cheats who used the Internet giant to help in gruelling entrance exams for elite universities.

At least one applicant is believed to have used a mobile phone to send exam questions to Yahoo's question-and-answer site Chiebukuro ("Pearls of Wisdom"), where the queries were answered while the exam was still in progress.

The cheating -- believed to have taken place at four top universities in Tokyo and Kyoto in recent spring exams -- has made national headlines.

The exams are the culmination of an intensely competitive school system and a highly stressful time for candidates because graduating from a top college or university has long been a virtual guarantee of a well-paid job.

Tokyo and Kyoto police have asked Yahoo! Japan to provide access records to help identify the culprits, the Yomiuri Shimbun said in its evening edition.

The online queries, including on maths and English exam questions, were posted by a user with the online name "aicezuki", possibly an accomplice of a candidate who cooperated from outside the exam halls.

Police will check communications data such as Internet protocol addresses and seek court warrants for the search and seizure of evidence if necessary, said Kyodo News, quoting unnamed investigation sources.

A ! spokesman said the company was ready to "fully cooperate" with police but added: "We cannot comment on details, including on whether we have received such requests from ".

Education Minister Yoshiaki Takaki said his ministry would take "every possible measure" to prevent such cheating from happening again.

"It seriously damaged the fairness of and trust in entrance examinations that should be carried out correctly," he said. "It was extremely regrettable."

Local media suspect at least one person sitting the exams of taking pictures of questions on their mobile phone and sending them to an outside associate who placed the queries online, where other Internet users can answer them.


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Citation: Japan police seek Yahoo! help in exam cheat probe (2011, March 1) retrieved 16 January 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-japan-police-yahoo-exam-probe.html
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