In Seumas Miller, Mitt Regan & Patrick Walsh (eds.), National Security Intelligence and Ethics. London: Routledge. pp. 89-106 (2021)

Michael Skerker
United States Naval Academy
I develop a contractualist theory of just intelligence collection based on the collective moral responsibility to deliver security to a community and use the theory to justify certain kinds of signals interception. I also consider the rights of various intelligence targets like intelligence officers, service personnel, government employees, militants, and family members of all of these groups in order to consider how targets' waivers or forfeitures might create the moral space for just surveillance. Even people who are not doing anything prejudicial to other states' security can be modeled as ceding rights against diagnostic collection--light touch collection limited to ascertaining if someone is likely an intelligence threat--as part of their duty to support just foreign institutions. Foreign intelligence officers could not perform the same job potential targets can reasonably demand their intelligence agencies perform on their behalf without this ceding of rights. More invasive forms of collection can only be justified if officers can reasonably model their citizens consenting to being the target of the same sort of collection by adversary states.
Keywords intelligence  intelligence ethics  surveillance  right to privacy  espionage  ethics of spying  meta-data analysis
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Espionage.Tony Pfaff & Jeffrey R. Tiel - 2004 - Journal of Military Ethics 3 (1):1-15.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Implications of Data-Mining, Key-Word Searches, and Targeted Electronic Surveillance.Michael Skerker - 2015 - In Bradley J. Strawser, Fritz Allhoff & Adam Henschke (eds.), Binary Bullets. Oxford, UK:
Introduction to Data Ethics.James Brusseau - 2018 - In The Business Ethics Workshop, 3rd Edition. Boston, USA: Boston Academic Publishing / Flatworld Knowledge. pp. 349-376.
Ethics and Artificial Intelligence.Mark Ryan - 2021 - In Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. pp. 1-5.
Freedom and Privacy in Ambient Intelligence.Philip Brey - 2005 - Ethics and Information Technology 7 (3):157-166.
Ethical Machines?Ariela Tubert - 2018 - Seattle University Law Review 41 (4).


Added to PP index

Total views
22 ( #500,525 of 2,462,460 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #36,735 of 2,462,460 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes