Click and Dagger: Cyber-Espionage and the Need for a New Ethical Paradigm
Coker, Michael Tyler
White, Gladys B.
Referred to as the second oldest profession, espionage has been employed by states since time immemorial in the furtherance of national security. With the rise of computer-based technology and the integration of cyber into everyday life, it should be no surprise that intelligence services are utilizing such modern-day conveniences for the purpose of gathering information. However, less clear is the ethical guidance employed by cyber-espionage practitioners used to justify such activities.This thesis focuses first on the understanding of how espionage moved from the cloak and dagger to the click and drag, as well as the ethics of cyber and their development.It then examines the appropriateness of just war theory as an adjudicator of ethical behavior in the conduct of espionage, as some have suggested, reaching the conclusion that such a framework is too broad to contend with the issues inherent to espionage in general.It next deconstructs the more recently proposed just intelligence theory as an inapplicable arbiter of ethical conduct of cyber-espionage operations, which it fails to fulfill due to the unparalleled aspects of cyber.With just war and just intelligence theories serving as a foundation and in conjunction with the previously referenced cyber-ethics, this thesis proposes a new ethical framework to contend with the moral issues unique to cyber, and provides real-world test cases to elucidate the applicability thereof.Such an undertaking is done in the hope of ensuring a more just and equitable online environment, which attributes are hoped will be manifested in the real world as well.
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