Research Paper on Ethics of International Espionage

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1937 Words
Date:  2022-05-12


Espionage is the systematic way in which spies are involved by the government to get military or political secrets, or in other terms it can be defined as the things that are done to bring out the secrets of the enemy or competitors. It is also referred as spying. On the other hand, ethics are involving questions on the truthfulness of a given behavior in accordance to the accepted standards. The people who consumes the information gathered by these professionals are the countries security department and, financial departments, custom departments and other government-related activities, they come up with issues that need to be addressed and they are the one to determine if the intelligence team may engage in ethical or unethical when collecting the information. This a very crucial procedure as it will guarantee security of the country and the citizens at large. There are several ethics that are related to international espionage. Several stakeholders including professional soldiers and the educated have undertaken a number of efforts to come up with appropriate recommendations and conclusions on when to allow the setting aside of the moral considerations of some activities like the spying to get the military officers.

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There are four main conditions which should be met when considering the ethics of espionage; just cause, proper authority, proportionality and lastly last resort. This conditions requires that the efforts by the intelligence services are for a just cause, directed and watched by a proper authority, ensures that collection efforts by intelligence and covert action campaigns get pursued in a manner that is proportional to the risk of leading to undue harm and lastly the intelligence should employ the most contentious spying techniques only as a last resort.. There is a continuous growth and need for national intelligence so as for counter the threats of terrorism and national security that is increasing day by day. However, the opposing perspectives are regarded to be ethically correct while the view of the intelligence practices is regarded as unethical. However, it has to be practised to protect the members of a particular country and their properties. But some who those that majors on the unethical practices of the intelligence services and its challenges consider this activity as very immoral and should not be undertaken at all.

A majority of the countries relies heavily on the intelligence reports to address their ideas and meet their objectives. In addition, the intelligence requires the spies in order to gather their information on the enemy or competitor.This activity emerged after the cold war as the expenses that were initially incurred reduced and the countries changed the emphasis on getting very secretive information about the other countries so as to advance on their weaknesses and to gain advantage economically. In countries which are more democratic, they question the correctness or wrongness of the intelligence activities. So, these countries are mandated by the government who assigns them to act within the law, believes and the societal behaviours, however, in extreme cases they may allow small unethical practices to help in protecting the national security.

The environment in which the intelligence activities are carried out is based entirely on the secrets. This secrecy of the activities makes them susceptible to unethical behaviours when they are doing their responsibilities, but in the recent, the international communities are coming up with ways to regulate their services. For example, they have come up with rules that require the intelligence persons to engage in open sources though they are converted to secretive once they have been accessed.

These states have now introduced ethical lessons to the intelligence persons to help in enhancing these steps. Ethical issues are limited to giving back on the strength and difficulties in the international environment. The international communities have come up with rules to ensure that the intelligence services are done in a more ethical way, this is because they have accepted the importance that is associated with the intelligence reports. They have also accepted the fact that each and every country are investing in intelligence services.

The international espionage may include activities such as collecting contacts, making deals with the appropriate parties from which the information is to be collected and setting up meetings with the same people. Most of these spying activities are employed by the governments of different states. For example, the united states may assign a team to spy on a country like North Korea to find out the weapons they are producing and to which extent is the possible damage should they decide to launch the nuclear weapon. A country may also decide to find out information in a country to get the report on how they are conducting business with the other countries. This may be done to get the competitive advantage over that country.

This is very unethical as it goes against the international morality that has been defined to govern the conduct of the individual states. Also, while the spies are undertaking their duty, they may be exposed to challenges and threats. If things do not go well as intended, it will affect the process being initiated.

It is very unethical for the government to spy on the civilians of its state, a times the government may decide to eliminate those that may hinder them from getting the information. This should also unethical and should be discouraged

The issue of ethics is based on what is acceptable and is moral that is characterized by the laws and values of a given society. It can be defined as a group of behavioral guidelines determined by certain beliefs. The guidelines can be national laws. Spying needs ethics and intelligence. Intelligence is gathering of information indirectly. For instance, the Information may lead to suspect being arrested and placed in a given place for interrogation in a way that is abstnate to human rights law, this will require intelligence which is based on interrelationship between ethics and laws, which is morally questionable yet legal or morally justitiable but illegal. For example, the use of massive interrogation skills in order to prevent a terrorist from attacking is considered morally justiable despite the fact is illegal because the life it would saves. The same statement can be made regarding gathering of foreign intelligence through legal, but espionage and mass surveillance.

There are different ways on the way ethics is applied to espionage by intelligence practitioners. The first perspective is that if one uses immoral means can lead to immoral state and hence affecting the condition of state by weakening its security. The second one which states that no area of activity of human, can claim a prior entitlement to need moralist to quiet. The research illustrates that ethic has no place in intelligence simply because it means that the only way to give protection to the state is by undermining the values that it consists. Though is allowed that the government may take steps to assign spies to take surveillance of certain activities, they should this based on the ethics that govern the international community at large.

While undertaking the steps to get information, only morally upright procedures should be put into practice. For instance, during the project acoustic kitty, the central intelligence agency of the united states decided to implant a microphone in a cat, then they took the cat to a place which they needed to gather the information, they took the cat to Kremlin to go and record the talks. But instead they did not plan well and the cat was killed in the process. This very unethical it is not moral to mistreat the animals.

The government agencies, however, strive to conduct themselves ethically whatever the challenges. Espionage can thus be justified e.g. as the case when determining the legality of stealing information from other countries the benefit of the government. This can be supported to some extent when it is the only alternative that is available, and all the attempts have failed. But in the real sense, it is highly condemned and should be avoided as much as possible. As there are so many consequences that are related to this step as it results to mistrust and reduction in security of the state and the civilians, during this process a lot of time is wasted that could have been used productively to get other secret information. When these people are caught, for instance, violence can erupt this is unethical. When the agencies are caught, it brings shame and destroys the international relations.

The continued mistrust among the countries widens when one of them get to know that either one of them is spying on them. This makes the states to increase the investment in the espionage sector so as to keep pace on the increasing demand for this, this results in tensional increase between the countries. If this gets to advance levels, it can make the countries to be at war.

The international espionage also threatens the international peace and the general relations of the countries. Spying on the neighbours may result in serious destructions such as trade, security and tourism. However, it is morally right to seek secretive information when they are aimed at national interests. Because keeping track of other nation's ideologies can help in gaining competitive advantage economically and protect the member countries from being exposed to possible dangers.

On the other hand, the team that has been assigned to undertake the information seeking steps can also use torture to acquire this information. Though torture is regarded philosophically as morally wrong, it depends on the perspective in which it is undertaken. Utilitarian argues that if it is the only way through which a very crucial information can be obtained, then it is advised to be used. For instance, there are developments in a country that are planning to launch a deadly attack on a specific country. The intelligence service is allowed by this argument to torture the respondent when found to get the full detail of the impending attack. However, this is not accepted by nature depending on the societal beliefs.

During the cold war period, several agencies were used to spy on the enemies. And the general understanding of the ethical practices raised a lot of questions. As they did not understand the role of the intelligence service in relation to ethics.

The concept of ethics is viewed on what is right or wrong by the philosophers. These are determined by the behaviours, values and rules of a specifically given society. Based on the international intelligence and the duties they partake; national laws are also put into this category since they play an important role in shaping the behaviours and the practices that address the traditions and the human rights.

Intelligence procedure should not violate any persons right either directly or indirectly. But it should be conducted because it leads to very vital information which may lead to the prosecution of the world wanted persons who have done so much harm to the communities of the different nations. for example, in a situation whereby the intelligence service team arrests an individual and flows him up to their country for more questioning, this is not acceptable by the human right officials as this violates that particular person rights. Since ethics are related to law to some circumstances.

The research has found out that espionage in a specific state does not have the direct impact on a particular person, but what matters is the occurrence of unethical issues that accompany these processes. There should be clarity on the relationship between the law and ethics. There are circ...

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