Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Journalists, citizens, patriots and traitors

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. The ethics dilemmas of media practitioners, who cover armed conflict, illustrate those increasingly faced by all journalists, who cover national security outside of war zones -- specifically, those who acquire or publish intelligence acquired from breaches or leaks by government insiders, foreign intelligence services, private entities, or non-state actors. The world of intelligence is, after…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Journalism in armed and ‘silent warfare’ (espionage and information war)

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. Reuters handbook asserts that "[i]ndependence is the essence of [its] reputation as a 'stateless' global news organi[z]ation, and is fundamental to the trust that allows [it] to report impartially from all sides of a conflict or dispute." In 2010, however, media scholar, Jay Rosen, dubbed WikiLeaks the "first stateless media organization" explaining that it is…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Anonymity, sources and spies

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. In the wake of recent large-scale leaks of classified information from current and ex-employees of the U.S. government, media practitioners have begun to acquire, process, analyze, and disseminate intelligence by publishing it in full or redacted form. Within this ecosystem, media practitioners are collecting, vetting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence from confidential human sources. Those sources…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Evolution of intelligence collection and influence operations

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. Since ancient times nation-states have used espionage to collect intelligence or to conduct influence operations to achieve strategic or decision advantage over adversaries in foreign relations and warfare. The First Gulf War is commonly referred to as the "first information war." It was also "followed by a plethora of publications on the strategic use of…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Journalism v. intelligence

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. Both journalism and the intelligence professions involve information. Certain journalistic and intelligence practices may also appear similar: for example, the use of confidential sources (HUMINT), or in the case of open-source collection and analysis (OSINT), their historical origins. The BBC, for example, was created, writes Laura Calkins "'to intercept the broadcast transmissions...for the benefit of…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Introduction

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. Public attention often focuses on the ethics of intelligence collection and operations by the United States government, including its possible harms to private individuals and democratic societies: from technical collection or so-called "mass surveillance" to enhanced-interrogation techniques or torture to targeted killings or assassinations. The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), it has been said, has a…

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Ethics of Intelligence for the Media: Hello world

This post is part of a series about the ethics of intelligence for the media. When writing about ethics for media practitioners who collect, analyze, or disseminate classified intelligence or hacked material, one should engage with the public as well as with experts; given that journalism is a social profession with ethics that evolve in part from consensus. Moreover, the information landscape has blurred the boundaries between that profession and…

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