Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056
The Ethics of Spying – The World Reporter
Connect with us

The Ethics of Spying

Published

on

Article co-authored with Svetlana Izosimova, Master’s student of International and European Relations at Linkoping University, Sweden.

Whenever we come across the topic of intelligence and security services we instantly think about controversy and secrecy. Most of the time this area of government is considered to be a threat to ethics and morality. We can agree that the issue is very important , so in this paper I will focus exactly on the place ethics has in the intelligence services. But what is ethics? It is the method by which we categorize fundamental values in society and which we ought to follow. Exploring the issue in the perspective of good and bad is helping to highlight problems that should be resolved. Raising the ethical questions help to decide a course of action. Without it actions could appear random and even harmful.

The theme is not only important but interesting too for a few reasons. First of all because a strong debate on the conduct of secret services is helpful in underlining the differences between reality and theory in Political Science. Also, it can reveal the hypocrisy and even worse, corruption and abuse of power in the political systems of the most developed countries. Finally, paying great attention to this can be a gateway to further consequences like the disclosure of a politicized intelligence community and to other debates on the resolution of these problems by the means of reform.

5790408612_8952178d3f_z

Source: DonkeyHotey@Flickr

The starting point for the analysis of ethics from the intelligence services’ spectrum is the fact that what we consider to be ethical varies from time to time and from a political system to another. More precisely, those things that could be justified during war time seem to be not acceptable during peace time. In the past, the balance of power put countries in constant fear of one another so survival under anarchy meant more compromises when it came to values like liberty and transparency to the profit of stability and security. Nowadays, most of the Western world’s citizens tend to agree that the international arena is safer due to historical developments. In this situation, there is an opinion that secret services and spying activities should assume only a marginal role in the governance process.

With regard to the political systems, there is a view that the Occident has formed a post-modern system characterized by erosion of sovereignty and shared values. In this part of the world, there would be no need for the traditional international relations instruments that secret services promote and the debate about the ethics of it is very fierce. However, there still exists in the world modern and pre-modern systems that continue to be a threat to the high level of evolution reached by Western democracies. Inside those areas, for a country like  say Israel, which is under perpetual state of threat , that debate has no place.

2262559383_8a869ca7a8_z

Source: MATEUS_27:24&25@Flickr

Another focal point of the discussion on ethics and security is the dilemma between the efficiency of some of the methods used by the services like the gathering of information and data in large quantities, targeted assassinations, the use of drones and the potential violations of human rights that they bring about. A development of this leads into another dilemma between serving the people by employing intelligence gathering instruments meant to protect them from terrorist threats and damaging people’s private lives or trust in the government because of secrecy and controversy.

These dilemmas take shape in real life in the case of whistle-blowers. The motivation of people who decide to leak classified information is a legitimate one. In the US, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution provide guarantees to the citizens against potential threats from their own government. What people like Manning, Snowden, Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie have done is to report misconduct of government officials or institutions. Every wistleblowing case is unique but they are all ethical. In Manning’s case, the revelations were about the abuse of power of soldiers who were taking the lives of civilian innocent people. This case shows that high officials are not responsible  for the acts of the people under their command.

10002044773_412865ded0_z

Source: AK Rockefeller@Flickr

In Snowden’s case, the NSA came under scrutiny for running a huge mass surveillance program on all US citizens and apparently on foreign and ally governments. The scandal it created shows how the abuse of power and violation of human rights and private lives for the sake of security is no longer tolerated by the public opinion. This could be a clear indicator to the people in power how to shape policies from now on and to remember that it is the people whom they are representing that matter in the end, and not their private agendas.

Finally, Joe Wilson disclosed how he personally debunked for the CIA the myth that Iraq was purchasing Uranium from Niger for the construction of nuclear weapons. This myth had been one of the founding arguments proposed by the Bush administration that justified the Iraq invasion. By destroying this supposition, Wilson clearly showed how the American administration falsely claimed to have a right to invade another sovereign state.

4907222713_375427c096_o

Source: jeanne rene@Flickr

In all three cases, the whistle-blowers had to suffer serious repercussions for their actions, instead of being honored for their courage in putting the truth out there. It has nothing to do with morality necessarily. But it is ethical because they followed the American values as the founding fathers proposed them.  The US is after all the land of the free and home of the brave.

As mentioned in the introduction, all these show the distinction between theory and practice and also the malfunctions or breaches in a solid and stable political system like the American one. Such weak points should not have the aim to eliminate the security apparatus itself but to provoke a real debate. This debate should be centered around the question: has the moment arrived to truly reform the system of the intelligence services so that it better responds to the context of globalization, liberal democracy and transparent societies?

References:

Gill and Phytian (2006). Intelligence in an Insecure World. Cambridge: Polity

Herman, Michael (2004). Ethics and Intelligence after September 2001. Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 19 (Summer): 342358

Lowenthal, Mark M. (2012). Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy. (5th edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press

Lyon, David. (2001). Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life. Philadelphia, PA: OpenUniversity Press.


Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056
Up Next

Article 370 and Indian Politics


Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056
Don't Miss

The Facelift of Global Security and Non-State Actors

Continue Reading
Comments

Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056

Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

Published

on

Employee training

There is no question about the effectiveness of employee training and development. It’s incredibly important to help your staff advance their skills and knowledge to help grow a business, but the impact of employee learning has often been understated and even neglected. However, companies are now suggesting that employee training and development is one of the biggest megatrends that have completely transformed the future of work. It has overhauled how businesses should be developing and engaging with employees, and it’s leading to an incredibly diverse and talented workforce that is capable of wonderful new things.

Part of the problem of employee training and development is that it’s difficult to measure its impact on the workplace. Employee performance often isn’t a quantitative measurement that is easy to read and link to their output. This is one of the reasons why the effectiveness of employee training and development has been questioned by management experts.

Thankfully, new strategies have been developed to help measure workplace learning and its impact on companies. Below, we’ve included a helpful infographic that covers some of the most important measurements, such as return on investment and how it is calculated in the context of employee learning and development. It should put the effectiveness of employee training into perspective and will help you better understand when training is needed and how development actually improves your business and its productivity.


Infographic by: Ezra Coaching
Prev postNext post
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Top 10 Simple Health Changes To Boost Your Well-Being

Published

on

It does not matter how old you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, your health should always be a top priority. However, most of us are a little bit guilty of letting our well-being slide from time to time. With that being said, read on to discover some of the simple ways you can give your health a boost today.

  1. Get rid of at least one item in your life that contains toxic chemicals – You may be shocked by just how many items in your life contain toxic chemicals. This includes everything from air fresheners to bed sheets. Get rid of one of these items and replace it with something natural instead. This is something you should make a habit to do every few months or so. You will be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make. 
  2. Deep breathe for at least five minutes – Throughout the day, you should make sure you take the opportunity to deep breathe for at least five minutes. Why? Well, there have been numerous studies that have shown that deep breathing can help to lower stress hormone levels. This means that you will feel better, get an improved night’s sleep, and you will have less anxiety too.
  3. Drink more water – You probably expected this to be on the list, but the importance of drinking more water should never be ignored. Your body needs water for almost every function. If you are dehydrated, this could be the cause of headaches, pains, aches, and a number of other symptoms.
  4. Have one veggie night per week – A lot of people eat far too much meat, red meat especially. So, why not have a veggie night once a week? Not only is this good for your health, but it will be good for your bank balance too. There are so many great recipes online that can give you ideas regarding tasty and creative dishes that do not incorporate any sort of meat or fish. Once you start off with one night per week, you may then decide that you want to up it to two nights, and so on. However, it always helps to start off small so that it is easier and more manageable, and you can then get used to it.
  5. Sign up for an online pharmacy – Nowadays, you can easily order your prescriptions and medications over the Internet via an online pharmacy. This can help you to boost your health because it ensures you never experience delays with your medication. If you are someone who often doesn’t take their recommended course of tablets because you cannot get to the doctors in time for a repeat prescription, then this is definitely a good suggestion for you. Your medication will be delivered to your door with a click of a button.
  6. Make a dedicated effort to lower your stress levels – There is no denying that we live in a very stress-filled world at the moment! The world we live in is one that has heaps of pressure, and it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and keep those stress levels low. However, it is vital that you find a way to do so. After all, if you don’t adrenal fatigue and health can start to take a tumble, which is the last thing you want. For those who are unaware, adrenal fatigue relates to a group of different symptoms that impact people who are under a lot of physical, emotional, or mental stress. From being a single parent to having a stressful job, there are a lot of different reasons why you may be struggling. Therefore, we recommend that you look for different ways to reduce those stress levels so that you can enjoy a more calming and peaceful life. Whether it is doing some breathing techniques or taking more regular breaks so you can have moments for yourself, there are a lot of different ways that you can make sure you are keeping your stress levels to a minimum. The importance of this should not be overlooked, as stress can impact our mental and physical health in so many different ways. 
  7. Do something nice for someone every day – You will be surprised by how good this makes you feel, and by how much this has a positive impact on your health. It’s all about mental well being. When you do something nice for another person, you are benefitting their health, as well as your own. First and foremost, there is no denying that it feels good to hear some nice words for someone or to get a helping hand when you need it. You feel recognised and appreciated, and this is something we all need. At the same time, doing something nice for someone else and seeing their reaction can make you feel amazing too. After all, doing something good for someone is a gift for yourself at the same time. You will find that the deed continues throughout the day, making you feel great and happy within yourself. 
  8. Incorporate some movement into your commute – If you do not have an active job, this is particularly important. Sitting at a computer all day can be bad for your health. One way to combat this is by incorporating some movement into your commute. If you can walk or bike to work, you should give this a go. If not, start parking your car further away from your place of work so that you have to walk there and back. You should also start using the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
  9. Start meal planning – You will find it much easier to eat healthily if you plan your meals. At the start of every week, make a menu of what you are going to cook for dinner every evening, as well as what you are going to make for your lunches every day. Not only will this help you to eat better, but you will save money too. Make sure you incorporate some healthy snacks into your food prep for work. This will stop you from going to the vending machine whenever you are bored or your energy is zapped. The great thing about the times we live in at the moment is that you can easily get recipes and meal prep inspiration online. So, if you are struggling, simply do a little bit of digging online and we are sure that you will find a lot of different options when it comes to meal ideas and clever food prep suggestions for the week ahead. Not only is this going to help you to be more organized, but you will find that it actually saves you quite a bit of money in the process. After all, when we do not have a food plan for the week ahead, we tend to spend a lot of money on items we do not need. Food can end up going in the bin because we do not use it. This ends up in an awful lot of waste, and we should all be looking to reduce this, so meal prep is great in many ways.
  10. Keep a journal – Last but not least, keeping a journal is good for a person’s mental health. You should write down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a long entry; you can simply jot down a few bullet points every evening. This will help you to articulate your thoughts so that they do not wear you down. After all, it can be very difficult to sleep if you have lots on your mind. A lot of experts advise this approach for people who suffer from insomnia. One of the main reasons why a lot of people struggle to get the hours of sleep they need is because they cannot shut off when they go to sleep; their minds are still going at a million miles per hour. They are thinking about what they need to do the following day and any worries or concerns that they may have. Because of this, it very much makes sense to keep a journal so you can offload some of these thoughts and worries and you can have a much more restful night of sleep. Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will see that it actually does make a significant difference when it comes to drifting off and enjoying a good night of rest. 

So there you have it: some of the best ways to give your health a boost. The suggestions that have been provided are really simple and easy, so there is no excuse not to give yourself a bit of TLC. we are sure that you will start to notice a difference as time goes on. However, as is the case with anything, it requires patience and persistence. You cannot expect to turn your health around in one night.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Why Buy A Business, Rather Than Start One

Published

on

There are good and bad sides to buying a business and starting your own business from scratch. For lots of people, the positives of buying an established business outweigh the positives of starting a business. Here are the reasons why buying an existing business could be the right choice.

Easier To Secure Finance

All businesses will need finance. Unless you can fund your business yourself, you’ll need to secure financing from investors. Most lenders will be more willing to lend money to an established business that they can already see is doing well, rather than risk an unknown factor. 

Income From Day One

One of the downsides of starting a business is that most start-ups will go through an early stage where they don’t make much, if any, money. For some entrepreneurs, this stage can last for several years. 

During this stage, you will need to pay out for things like your premises, as well as equipment, installation of equipment, stock, materials, fixtures and fittings, legal and professional fees, a license, uniforms, and more. 

If you don’t have finance in place or another form of income, this stage can be very tough for a new business owner. If you buy a business, you can start earning from day one, and avoid this tricky period where you might be out of pocket.  

Established Brand

When you buy a business that already exists, you are also buying into a brand that is already known, recognizable, and has a track record. You get the business complete with all the trademarks, copyrights, and websites associated with it, as well as the business locations

This means that your business will already have customers, lenders, suppliers, and other contacts that are confident in the business already. 

Instant Customer Access

An existing business also has customers already, which can help you succeed straight away. You can use a range of strategies and marketing to build on the existing customer base, but won’t have to struggle to build a customer base from scratch. 

Established Network Of Contacts

When you start a business from scratch, a lot of your time and energy has to be put into building up a network of contacts. 

All businesses need to have supplier and marketing contacts, so buying an existing business that already has those contacts in place allows you to hit the ground running.

Like money lenders, suppliers and marketing companies are more likely to offer you more favourable terms if your business has been around for a while and they know it.  

Focus On Growing The Business

When an entrepreneur starts a new business, they will have to put a lot of their energy into getting their business off the ground. This takes a lot of time and can be very tiring. 

On the other hand, when you take over a business that is already established, you’ll be freer to focus on the areas of the business that most need your attention, aiding the growth of the business as a whole. 

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056

Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1): Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_7ae_0.MYI' (Errcode: 30 - Read-only file system) in /home/thewosf4/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 2056
Employee training
2 weeks ago

Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

boost-your-well-being
1 month ago

Top 10 Simple Health Changes To Boost Your Well-Being

buy-a-business
1 month ago

Why Buy A Business, Rather Than Start One

refrigerated-transport
2 months ago

Temperature Controlled Transport: What is it?

digitization-of-medicine
3 months ago

Digitisation of medicine: better digital medical devices

Trending