Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Podcast: Government Hacking V. Human Rights

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Podcast: Government Hacking V. Human Rights

Article excerpt

The government can hack you ... legally. It sounds like a dystopian sci-fi novel, but all around the world, governments are increasingly breaking into personal computers and smartphones to carry out spy operations.

Yet Amie Stepanovich, who specializes in cybersecurity and privacy law at digital rights group Access Now, says most types of government hacking can violate international human rights. If targeted government hacking is absolutely necessary for law enforcement purposes, Ms. Stepanovich, who recently released a paper on this topic, says the government should adhere to strict human rights safeguards - including warning its hacking targets as soon as possible.

"Notice has to be given eventually, and as soon as practical, after the activity has occurred," she tells the podcast. "It can't go on that they hack a device and never inform the person they have done that. …

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