Cyber security: mapping the ethical terrain

Occasional Paper 6 cover
Author name: 
Evans, N. Ford, S.B. Gastineau A. Henschke A. Keelty, M. West J.
National Security College

In the NSC’s sixth Occasional Paper, the authors demonstrate that managing the risks of cyber security involves trade-offs: between security and privacy; individual rights and the good of a society; and between the types of burdens placed on particular groups in order to protect others.

Cyber-attacks present diverse and significant challenges to national security. Cyber security aims to protect cyber infrastructure from cyber-attacks and the potential for serious harm to infrastructure, resources and people.

The more reliant governments are on cyber systems, the more vulnerable they are to attacks with serious consequences. However, there is a concern that the governmental cyber security pursuit may subvert fundamental privacy rights.

This paper provides a brief conceptual analysis of cyber security and investigates various approaches to ethical decision-making when acting in response to a cyber-attack. Due to the diversity of potential cyber-attacks, cyber security arguably requires a comparable diversity of approaches.

Published in June 2014, the paper contains articles by six contributing authors. Adam Henschke discusses the importance of publicly justifiable cyber security procedures. Nicholas Evans examines the ‘open culture’ movement and challenges posed to security in the information age. Shannon Brandt Ford highlights concerns about the use of cyber weapons. Adam Gastineau focuses on restrictions on the privacy of individuals with or without justification. Levi West challenges the controversial concept of cyber terrorism.

APPS Themes: 
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