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By Bruce Sussman
Wed | Jan 30, 2019 | 4:37 AM PST

What if your government got the authority to launch a cyber attack  against your home router, the connected printers at the office and the web cams at your front door?

Japan's leaders have approved just such a plan that will allow the government to attempt hacks against up to 200 million business and home IoT devices beginning mid-February  2019.

The Internet of Things cyber attack effort will be run by Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. Why now?

NHK News reports:

"A communications ministry official asked the public for its support and understanding, citing the need to improve cyber-security in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year."

The plan includes notifying owners of successfully breached devices so they can improve the security of the device. Hopefully that notification comes with instructions on how to improve the cybersecurity of home devices.

Officials admit they may come across camera images or other stored data during the hacking efforts but Institute researcher Daisuke Inoue tells NHK the Institute will ensure no data is leaked.

In Japan, at least in this case, the need for cybersecurity seems to have trumped the desire for privacy. The balance between those two is discussed all the time at SecureWorld conferences.

There is a question that lingers here, however.

Would you trust your government's motives if it announced it was going to hack hundreds of millions of devices to "improve security?"

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