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Major government spying contractor hacked

Major government spying contractor hacked
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Another day, another hack. That's what it's starting to feel like, at least. Today's victim is especially worrying though.

It's an Italian company whose job is to spy on computers on behalf of government agencies around the world. It's been accused repeatedly of unethical practices like hacking into citizens' files and selling them to the highest bidder.

The company, known as the Hacking Team, first noticed a breach when someone changed its Twitter name to the "Hacked Team." Following the name change, the outside hackers posted a link to 400 gigabytes of data about the information the company collects.

The hackers took control of the company's Twitter account for over 12 hours and used it to release snippets of data and documents. The data confirms the company's shady dealings, along with revealing its extensive clientele list.

According to the data, the Hacking Team is responsible for carrying out missions for government agencies from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

“These are the equivalents of the Edward Snowden leaks for the surveillance industry,” Eric King, the deputy director of Privacy International, told Wired. “There are few countries [Hacking Team] aren’t willing to sell to. There are few lines they aren’t willing to cross.”

It feels a little like "what comes around goes around" to me, but how do you feel? Do we need this type of spying or is it totally unethical? Tell me by commenting below.

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