In an effort to standardize best practices on safe harbour for security research, the collaborative effort has been launched. The project builds on work previously done by Bugcrowd and CipherLaw’s Open-Source Vulnerability Framework, Amit Elazari’s #legalbugbounty, and Dropbox’s efforts to protect security researchers.

“Security is core to our values, and we value the input of hackers acting in good faith to help us maintain a high standard for the security and privacy for our users. This includes encouraging responsible vulnerability research and disclosure. This policy sets out our definition of good faith in the context of finding and reporting vulnerabilities, as well as what you can expect from us in return,” the team wrote in a post on GitHub. will work will security researchers to extend Safe Harbour for vulnerability research, work to understand and validate reports, work to remediate discovered vulnerabilities, and recognize researchers’ contribution to improving security if they are the first to report a vulnerability and that report triggers a code or configuration change.

According to its website, the framework ill balance legal completeness, safe harbor for researchers and program owners, and be readable to everyone.

Research performed under the policy should be authorized in accordance with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act or similar state laws, exempt from the DCMA, exempt from restrictions in the Terms & Conditions that would interfere with conducting security research, and lawful and helpful to the overall security of the Internet.

To encourage research and avoid confusion between good-faith hacking and a malicious attack, it has laid out the following rules:

  • “Play by the rules. This includes following this policy, as well as any other relevant agreements. If there is any inconsistency between this policy and any other relevant terms, the terms of this policy will prevail.
  • Report any vulnerability you’ve discovered promptly.
  • Avoid violating the privacy of others, disrupting our systems, destroying data, and/or harming user experience.
  • Use only the Official Channels to discuss vulnerability information with us.
  • Keep the details of any discovered vulnerabilities confidential until they are fixed, according to the Disclosure Terms in this policy.
  • Perform testing only on in-scope systems, and respect systems and activities which are out-of-scope.
  • If a vulnerability provides unintended access to data: Limit the amount of data you access to the minimum required for effectively demonstrating a Proof of Concept; and cease testing and submit a report immediately if you encounter any user data during testing, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Healthcare Information (PHI), credit card data, or proprietary information.
  • You should only interact with test accounts you own or with explicit permission from the account holder.
  • Do not engage in extortion.”