Termination or Accountability? The Controversy over the United States’ Use of Cyberintelligence
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The paper explores the debate over the role of United States governments in American cybersecurity. This issue has been brought to the attention of the broader public by the controversial case of Edward Snowden, who claimed that the U.S. government (and its allies) acted criminally by aiding and abetting its own agents in the unlawful collection of information on U.S. citizens. In the debate that followed, a range of legal and ethical questions regarding democratic states’ cyberintelligence gathering capacities were raised. Notably, there has been a tendency in the literature to portray the challenge thus raised in terms of an unbridgeable chasm, with “liberty” on one side and “security” on the other. By adding a new perspective to our understanding of the problem of protecting the U.S. cyberspace, this paper addresses the question of how transparent and publicly accountable the U.S. government should be when upscaling its cyberintelligence capabilities. The study also considers the practicality of cyberintelligence reforms in the U.S. demanded by Edward Snowden.
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