Friday, August 14, 2009

Ethics for the Intelligence Officer

Interesting piece that Schneier quotes. I can't get to the article, but the quote is the point.
Draft Statement of Ethics for the Intelligence Community

Preamble: Intelligence work may present exceptional or unusual ethical dilemmas beyond those of ordinary life. Ethical thinking and review should be a part of our day to day efforts; it can protect our nation's and our agency’s integrity, improve the chances of mission success, protect us from the consequences of bad choices, and preserve our alliances. Therefore, we adhere to the following standards of professional ethics and behavior:

  1. First, do no harm to U.S. citizens or their rights under the Constitution.
  2. We uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law; we are constrained by both the spirit and the letter of the laws of the United States.
  3. We will comply with all international human rights agreements that our nation has ratified.
  4. We will insist on clarification of ambiguities that arise between directives or law and the principles of this code. We will protect those within our institutions who call reasonable attention to wrongdoing.
  5. Expediency is not an excuse for misconduct.
  6. We are accountable for our decisions and actions. We support timely, rigorous processes that fix accountability to the responsible person.
  7. Statements we make to our clients, colleagues, overseers and the U.S. public will be true, and structured not to unnecessarily mislead or conceal.
  8. We will resolve difficult ethical choices in favor of constitutional requirements, the truth, and our fellow citizens.
  9. We will address the potential consequences of our actions in advance, especially the consequences of failure, discovery, and unintended or collateral consequences of success.
  10. We will not impose unnecessary risk on innocents.
  11. Although we may work in secrecy, we will work so that when our efforts become known, our fellow citizens will be proud of us and of our efforts.
Interesting in that I find this hard to stomach when the operative is answerable to the politician who doesn't have to meet these requirements.

No comments: