Video: Government Hacking 101
A short video explaining how governments compromise the security of our devices and infrastructure to feed their surveillance objectives.
7th June 2018
Related learning resources
What PI is calling for
PI holds governments to account for their powers.
PI has led the push for privacy to be recognised globally.
There should be no barriers to timely fixes in security -- including updates, patches, and workarounds -- particularly considering implications for users of various socio-economic status and citizenship. Security updates should be distinguishable from feature updates.
A growing number of governments around the world are embracing hacking to facilitate their surveillance activities. But many deploy this capability in secret and without a clear basis in law.
Government hacking powers must be explicitly prescribed by law and limited to those strictly and demonstrably necessary to achieve a legitimate aim. That law must be accessible to the public and sufficiently clear and precise to enable persons to foresee its application and the extent of the
Prior to carrying out a hacking measure, government authorities must assess the potential risks and damage to the security and integrity of the target system and systems generally, as well as of data on the target system and systems generally, and how those risks and/or damage will be mitigated or
Prior to carrying out a hacking measure, government authorities must, at a minimum, establish: A high degree of probability that: A serious crime or act(s) amounting to a specific, serious threat to national security has been or will be carried out; The system used by the person suspected of
Prior to carrying out a hacking measure, government authorities must make an application, setting forth the necessity and proportionality of the proposed measure to an impartial and independent judicial authority, who shall determine whether to approve such measure and oversee its implementation
Government authorities must not add, alter or delete data on the target system, except to the extent technically necessary to carry out the authorised hacking measure. They must maintain an independently verifiable audit trail to record their hacking activities, including any necessary additions
Government authorities must notify the person(s) whose system(s) have been subject to interference pursuant to an authorised hacking measure, regardless of where the person(s) reside, that the authorities have interfered with such system(s). Government authorities must also notify affected software
Government authorities must immediately destroy any irrelevant or immaterial data that is obtained pursuant to an authorised hacking measure. That destruction must be recorded in the independently verifiable audit trail of hacking activities. After government authorities have used data obtained
Government authorities must be transparent about the scope and use of their hacking powers and activities, and subject those powers and activities to independent oversight. They should regularly publish, at a minimum, information on the number of applications to authorise hacking approved and
When conducting an extraterritorial hacking measure, government authorities must always comply with their international legal obligations, including the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention, which express limitations on the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction. Government authorities
Persons who have been subject to unlawful government hacking, regardless of where they reside, must have access to an effective remedy.