Cyber-security Research Ethics Dialogue & Strategy Workshop
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review (CCR), vol. 4, no. 2, Apr 2014.
4 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2013 Last revised: 30 Mar 2014
Date Written: October 14, 2013
The future of online trust, innovation and self-regulation is threatened by a widening gap between users’ expectations informed by laws and norms, and new capacities for benefits and harms generated by technological advances. As this gap widens so too does ambiguity between asserted rights, interests, and threats. As a result society perceives heightened tensions and risks when engaging the Web. How do we narrow this gap and thereby lower risks of actions online in manner that instills trust, safeguards autonomy, and promotes ingenuity? One part of this solution is to embrace the fundamental principles of ethics to guide our decisions in the midst of information uncertainty. One context where this solution is germinating is cyber security research. These research activities are prerequisite for evidence-based policymaking that impacts us individually and collectively, such as infrastructure security, cyber crime, network neutrality, free market competition, spectrum application and broadband deployment, censorship, technology transfer, and intellectual property rights. Therefore, in the wake of struggles to resolve the aforementioned mounting tensions, ethics has re-emerged as a crucial ordering force. For this reason, ethics underpins the debate among cyber security researchers, oversight entities, industrial organizations, the government and end users about the acceptability of Internet research activities.
Keywords: ethics, trust, cyber security research, law
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