Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Intelligence And Ethics: Now You Can Check The Codes!

Some would say that ethics in intelligence is an oxymoron.  
Certainly, the ethical challenges faced by today's intelligence professionals are more severe than any other time in human history.

It is interesting to note, in this regard, that all three of the major sub-disciplines of intelligence (national security, law enforcement and business) now have publicly available codes of ethics for their practitioners.

The most recent of these is from the newly minted National Intelligence Strategy:
As members of the intelligence profession, we conduct ourselves in accordance with certain basic principles. These principles are stated below, and reflect the standard of ethical conduct expected of all Intelligence Community personnel, regardless of individual role or agency affiliation. Many of these principles are also reflected in other documents that we look to for guidance, such as statements of core values, and the Code of Conduct: Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees; it is nonetheless important for the Intelligence Community to set forth in a single statement the fundamental ethical principles that unite us and distinguish us as intelligence professionals. 
MISSION. We serve the American people, and understand that our mission requires
selfless dedication to the security of our nation.
TRUTH. We seek the truth; speak truth to power; and obtain, analyze, and provide
intelligence objectively.
LAWFULNESS. We support and defend the Constitution, and comply with the laws of the United States, ensuring that we carry out our mission in a manner that respects privacy, civil liberties, and human rights obligations. 
INTEGRITY. We demonstrate integrity in our conduct, mindful that all our actions, whether public or not, should reflect positively on the Intelligence Community at large. 
STEWARDSHIP. We are responsible stewards of the public trust; we use intelligence
authorities and resources prudently, protect intelligence sources and methods diligently,
report wrongdoing through appropriate channels; and remain accountable to ourselves,
our oversight institutions, and through those institutions, ultimately to the American people.
EXCELLENCE. We seek to improve our performance and our craft continuously, share
information responsibly, collaborate with our colleagues, and demonstrate innovation and agility when meeting new challenges.
DIVERSITY. We embrace the diversity of our nation, promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce, and encourage diversity in our thinking.
The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals has long had a code:
To continually strive to increase the recognition and respect of the profession.
To comply with all applicable laws, domestic and international.
To accurately disclose all relevant information, including one's identity and organization, prior to all interviews.
To avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling one's duties.
To provide honest and realistic recommendations and conclusions in the execution of one's duties.
To promote this code of ethics within one's company, with third-party contractors and within the entire profession.
To faithfully adhere to and abide by one's company policies, objectives and guidelines.
Finally, the International Association of Crime Analysts offers this as ethical guidelines to its members:
Theoretically today’s professional crime analyst is expected to know the details of every crime in his or her jurisdiction, and often to predict when the next will occur. In reality, the title of crime analyst can mean different things even in the same agency. Generally, a crime analyst is one who monitors crime trends and patterns, researches and analyzes similarities and differences in crime details, and reports those findings to the appropriate personnel that can address those crimes either through deterrence or prevention. Many skills and abilities are necessary to complete the crime analysis process. Necessary skills include logic and critical thinking, research skills, organizational skills to organize facts and findings, written and oral communication skills, and computer skills. Necessary personal traits include a desire to aid in the reduction of crime through the legal and ethical examination of crime facts and data.
The professional crime analyst assists law enforcement managers in decision making, supports street officers and detectives with information helpful to their jobs, and provides service to other crime analysts and to the general public. As professional crime analysts, we commit ourselves to the following principles:
Personal Integrity
    Maintain an attitude of professionalism and integrity by striving to perform at the highest level of one’s proficiency and competency, in order to achieve the highest level of quality.
    Remain honest and never knowingly misrepresent facts.
    Accurately represent one’s own professional qualifications and abilities, and ensure that others receive due credit for their work and contributions.
    Seek and accept honest criticism for one’s work, and take personal responsibility for one’s errors.
    Treat all persons fairly regardless of age, race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or nation of origin.
    Practice integrity and do not be unduly swayed by the demands of others.
Loyalty to One’s Agency
    Safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of restricted information or documents.
    Thoroughly research, analyze, prepare, and disseminate quality work products to the best of one’s ability, ensuring that all reports and documents are accurate, clear, and concise.
    Faithfully adhere to and abide by one’s departmental policies, objectives, and guidelines. Support colleagues in the execution of their lawful duties, and oppose any improper behavior, reporting it where appropriate.
Commitment to the Crime Analysis Profession
    Continually strive to increase the recognition of and respect for the profession by participating in professional crime analysis associations, contributing time and effort toward their goals and missions.
    Advocate professional, research-based crime analysis functions within the law enforcement environment.
    Seek training and education throughout one’s career; remain current with trends and practices in crime analysis.
    Contribute to the professional education, training, and development of other crime analysts. Share information and the results of research and development by responding to information requests, submitting information to individuals and organizations, participating in meetings, or publishing articles.
    Present methodologies, results and recommendations through fair, honest, conscientious, independent and impartial judgment.
    Exercise objectivity, impartiality, accuracy, validity and consistency in all research conducted. 
If you are looking for an interesting exercise, have your students or colleagues try to apply all three codes of ethics to this situation.