The Ethics of Intelligence Collection
There has been heavy criticism of the IC largely focused on domestic intelligence collection. In July 2013, the U.K. Guardian newspaper’s Glenn Greenwald showed a 2008 NSA PowerPoint presentation about the X-Keyscore program—which he published nearly in full—as proof that any NSA could easily query a massive NSA database that holds “nearly everything a user does on the Internet.” Sample searches include looking for Intel by email address, phone number, files looked at, search terms used, or even cookies on a person’s computer. *A slide on “finding targets” suggests why a person might be in the NSA’s crosshairs: Someone “whose language is out of place for the region they are in,” “someone using encryption,” and “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.” (The presentation again reinforces that anyone going to extreme measures to protect their privacy becomes a target, with use of encryption and VPN mentioned as reasons to seek information on someone.) The PowerPoint looks much like one worked up by a database vendor for a Big Data conference—but with much more references to jihad, Iraq and Osama Bin Laden. It claims “300 terrorists captured” based on Intel from the tool. Most of this criticism has an ethical dimension contending that the Intelligence Community not only did something incorrectly, but also should have done better in some ethical sense. *Greenwald, G. (2013). XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet.’ The Guardian (U.K.), July 31, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data Assignment Review the Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community. Define a “Code of ethics” and the elements of an ethical dilemma. Explain whether the Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community is or is not a “Code of Ethics” as called for by Hudson (2010). Explain whether you believe there is or is not a universal code of ethics among professional intelligence officers Find a professional code of ethics from another profession (medical, nursing, law enforcement, military, legal, or a similar profession) and provide a link to the code. Summarize the key points of the chosen code of ethics, including penalties for breaking the code (in 1 paragraph). Compare what you believe is the most important aspect of the Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community with your chosen code, and highlight any differences. Properly cite your quotations that you use to support your statements.