Spying Through a Glass Darkly: The Ethics of Espionage and Counter-Intelligence

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Oxford University Press, 2022 - Philosophy - 251 pages
CÚcile Fabre draws back the curtain on the ethics of espionage and counterintelligence.

Espionage and counter-intelligence activities, both real and imagined, weave a complex and alluring story. Yet there is hardly any serious philosophical work on the subject. CÚcile Fabre presents a systematic account of the ethics of espionage and counterintelligence. She argues that such operations, in the context of war and foreign policy, are morally justified as a means, but only as a means, to protect oneself and third parties from ongoing violations of fundamental rights. In doing so, she addresses a range of ethical questions: are intelligence officers morally permitted to bribe, deceive, blackmail, and manipulate as a way to uncover state secrets? Is cyberespionage morally permissible? Are governments morally permitted to resort to the mass surveillance of their and foreign populations as a means to unearth possible threats against national security? Can treason ever be morally permissible? Can it ever be legitimate to resort to economic espionage in the name of national security? The book offers answers to those questions through a blend of philosophical arguments and historical examples.
 

Contents

Introduction
1
Building blocks
12
Political Secrets
37
Defending Espionage
55
Economic Espionage
72
Deception
92
Treason
113
Recruitment
142
Technology
174
Mass surveillance
198
Epilogue
227
Bibliography
231
Index
247
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About the author (2022)

CÚcile Fabre is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow in Politics at All Souls College. Previously she taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh. She holds degrees from the Sorbonne University, the University of York, and the University of Oxford. Her research interests include theories of distributive justice, issues relating to the rightswe have over our own body and, more recently, just war theory and the ethics of foreign policy.

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