The Ethics of Intelligence: A new framework, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Ethics of Intelligence

A new framework, 1st Edition

By Ross W. Bellaby


190 pages

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This book starts from the proposition that the field of intelligence lacks any systematic ethical review, and then develops a framework based on the notion of harm and the establishment of Just Intelligence Principles.

As the professional practice of intelligence collection adapts to the changing environment of the twenty-first century, many academic experts and intelligence professionals have called for a coherent ethical framework that outlines exactly when, by what means and to what ends intelligence is justified. Recent controversies, including reports of abuse at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, allegations of extraordinary rendition programmes and the ever-increasing pervasiveness of the ‘surveillance state’, have all raised concerns regarding the role of intelligence in society. As a result, there is increased debate regarding the question of whether or not intelligence collection can be carried out ethically.

The Ethics of Intelligence tackles this question by creating an ethical framework specifically designed for intelligence that is capable of outlining under what circumstances, if any, different intelligence collection activities are ethically permissible. The book examines three of the main collection disciplines in the field of intelligence studies: imagery intelligence, signals intelligence and human intelligence. By applying the ethical framework established at the beginning of the book to these three important intelligence collection disciplines, it is possible to better understand the ethical framework while also demonstrating its real-life applicability.

This book will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, ethics, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Intelligence, Ethics, and Intelligence Ethics Part I 1. Harm, Just War and a Ladder of Escalation Physical Integrity Part II: TECHINT 2.Imagery Intelligence 3. Signals Intelligence and the Information Nation Part III: HUMINT 4.The Dark Arts 5. Blackmail and Torture Conclusion

About the Author

Ross W. Bellaby is lecturer in the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, and has a PhD in International Relations from Aberystwyth University.

About the Series

Studies in Intelligence

The growing interest in intelligence activities and the opening of hitherto closed archives since the end of the Cold War has stimulated this series of scholarly monographs, wartime memoirs and edited collections. With contributions from leading academics and prominent members of the intelligence community, this series has quickly become the leading forum for the academic study of intelligence.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Intelligence