Image from Steve Bowers

Invasion of an embodied sentient being's mind against eir will, for the purpose of tele-operation. This is done by manipulation through the victim's uplink to the local information nets. Most commonly, as implied by the name, this is used to tap into the victim's senses or to override control of movement. However, a skilled bodyjacker may also implant false sensory information, create remove or edit memories, or even edit or erase aspects of personality if e desires. Complete personality erasure is considered to be murder. Continued tele-operation and occupation of the victim's body, together with personality erasure and replacement, is considered a form of subsumption. Bodyjacking for the purpose of committing a crime is called shacking. Bodyjacking is most often committed against vecs and cyborgs, and some varieties of neogens, because "breaking in" is easier if the victim has a standard design. However, a skilled bodyjacker (usually either a being who is one toposophic level above, or is assisted by expert software) may invade the less standardized structures of ordinary bionts such as humans, as long as a direct neural interface of some sort is available. Most personal uplinks have firewalls and other safeguards against such action, and most network protocols also have precautions, but only someone without any form of uplink or DNI to the Net is completely immune to bodyjacking.

Bodyjacking by ordinary citizens is a crime in civilized polities, and the penalties for such action may be extreme, depending on the purpose and extent of the invasion. Tele-operation of a consenting adult's body is not considered a crime in most places, but some cultures frown on engaging in such a practice for mere entertainment or profit, and restrict it to emergencies or special instructional or ceremonial occasions. Some polities do allow their policing and public safety services to tele-operate a sophont citizen's body within a very narrow range of circumstances, usually to save a life or to prevent serious crimes. Outside the Sephirotic sphere, some polities reserve the right to invade any citizen's mind and body in this way at any time, with or without an official reason. Of course, these authorities do not refer to such acts as bodyjacking.
Related Articles
  • Hijack, Backup hijack - Text by Steve Bowers
    The crime of illegally copying an uploaded or stored personality, generally obtained during or after the backup procedure. These illegal copies can then be sold on the black market as virtual slaves, for use in computation or for entertainment.
  • Subsumption
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss
Graphic by Bernd Helfert, modified by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 22 March 2006.