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Phineas Fisher, a pseudonymous hacktivist famous for leaks from high-profile companies, is offering $100,000 for other hackers to steal and leak controversial corporate documents, Motherboard reports.

Why it matters: Hacktivism — hacking for some perceived public benefit — trailed off in recent years as more hackers chose to monetize their skill sets through thievery and ransom schemes. This offer could reincentivize civic-minded computer crime.

The backdrop: Fisher is well-known in the hacker community for leaking documents from two military surveillance contractors (Gamma, which sells Fisher's titular FinFisher spyware, and Hacking Team), Spanish police officers, Turkish politicians and an offshore bank (the Cayman National Bank and Trust).

  • Fisher claims to have money from "recent, undisclosed hacks" that will be used to pay up the bounties.
  • Fisher told Motherboard that examples of corporate leaks that might be awarded include South American livestock and mining companies, surveillance contractors and Halliburton.

What we're thinking: While adding a financial incentive for public interest hacking might inspire activists, it may also have an effect on traditional crime. Criminal hackers often negotiate ransoms not to damage corporate networks; Fisher's bounty could change negotiations, guaranteeing that if a corporation doesn't pay, hackers still can monetize hacking certain targets.

Go deeper: Hacktivism is down 95% since 2015

Go deeper

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President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

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The big picture: While the forces of automation and AI will eliminate some jobs and create some new ones, the vast majority will remain but be dramatically changed. The challenge for employers will be ensuring workforces are ready for the effects of technology.