Hacking is NOT a Crime is a non-profit organization advocating global policy reform to recognize and safeguard hacker rights. We seek to raise awareness about the pejorative use of the terms "hacker" and "hacking" throughout the media and popular culture. Specifically, the negative stereotype with which the terms are so often associated. Hackers are often vilified and portrayed as unethical individuals.

Many hackers refrain from publicly disclosing privacy violations and security vulnerabilities due to the potential legal consequences. This is creating an increasingly hostile digital frontier for everyone. Information is powerful and wants to be free, but it may be deemed threatening to those seeking to control its dissemination.

We collectively advocate the decriminalization of hacking. Because good-faith activism and research are fundamental rights.


Over the past several decades, global media outlets and popular culture have been using the term "hacker" to describe privacy and security enthusiasts who commit unethical acts. Given the esoteric nature of privacy and security, and the profound impact they now have on our everyday lives, it's easy to understand why our persona is mischaracterized: fear, uncertainty, and doubt tactics create profitable news cycle narratives and movie plots.

Contrary to this misperception, being a hacker is a lifestyle and mindset; an identity. It is not a fashion statement or a movie character. A hacker is simply an inquisitive critical thinker who solves complex problems with unorthodox means. The actions and methods by which these problems are solved — be they social, financial, economic, political, technological, or otherwise — is called "hacking".

It's important to note the subtle conflation of and distinction between ethics and legality. Actions may be ethical/legal, ethical/illegal, unethical/legal, and unethical/illegal. We do not under any circumstance condone or support unethical/legal and unethical/illegal activities. We do however, condone and support ethical/legal activities and seek to reform policies which criminalize ethical/illegal activities.

We therefore assert that all hackers are implicitly ethical. For it is not simply the motive by which our persona should be characterized, it is the intent by which it should be. Hacking therefore, should not be a crime because hacking is NOT a crime. It is merely an ethical endeavor of exploration and problem solving which must be decriminalized.