Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community

Discussion Requirements

Active participation in all discussions is required.

Before writing your comments:

Review the Discussion grading rubric to see what is expected for an excellent discussion, in order to earn full credit.

Review some resources to help you synthesize, such as the following:

Sullivan, J. (2011). Strategies for Synthesis Writing. Retrieved from http://www.findingdulcinea.com/features/edu/Strategies-for-Synthesis-Writing.html

A substantive comment should be approximately 300 words or more for every response.
Cite sources within your comment to support your statements for every response. (4 Responses Total)
Include at least two references minimum, properly formatted, not just a link.

Review some resources to help you synthesize, such as the following:

Sullivan, J. (2011). Strategies for Synthesis Writing. Retrieved from http://www.findingdulcinea.com/features/edu/Strategies-for-Synthesis-Writing.html

SYNTHESIS MY DISCUSSION WITH THE 4 RESPONSES

SYNTHESIS MY DISCUSSION WITH THE 4 RESPONSES

SYNTHESIS MY DISCUSSION WITH THE 4 RESPONSES

Read the initial comments posted by your classmates and reflect upon them.

Formulate one new comment of your own. It must be a logical and thoughtful response that synthesizes the comments of at least 3 classmates into one comment. Be sure to synthesize; do not simply reply to each of the 3 classmates or restate their comments.

NOTE: You are not required to cite sources and include a reference list for the second post if it is simply your opinion. However, if your opinion is based on facts (as it should be), it is good practice to strengthen your position by citing sources.

Be sure to meet all of the criteria in the rubric, as noted in the instructions above.

Third post for each module discussion:

Read the initial and secondary comments posted by your classmates and reflect upon them.

Directly respond to at least one classmate in a way that extends meaningful discussions, adds new information, and/or offers alternative perspectives.

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MY DISCUSSION

Classmate and Professor,

The international community is an indefinable group of nations with a mandate of solving global issues when they occur. For example, most nations in the world are part of the United Nations group that is trusted to a universal international community where governments solve global issues or solve the conflict between countries (Greenwald, 2013). To solve global problems, all the employees or nations’ representatives must hold a code of ethics that will guide them on what to do at a particular time and what not to do at a specific time. Therefore, the international community needs to have a code of ethics to effectively and efficiently run its operations.

According to the principle of professional ethics for the intelligence community, IC deals with internally faced and public-facing purposes (Intelligence, 2020). The mentioned acts as primary values that are its significant elements and differentiate its employees and officers as intelligence professionals. Regarding this, the international community must have a code of ethics so that the intelligence professional knows at what point they should reach not to interfere with the nation’s agenda and sovereignty (Keeney et al. 2019). For example, during the Corona Virus pandemic outbreak, the World Health Organization, a branch of the United Nations warned people about the severe impacts of the virus. Through the intelligence professionals, all nations were cautioned and given measures to follow to protect the citizens. However, the USA President disregarded the action calling the pandemic China Virus and telling people not to fear. In such a context, the WHO official knew the USA President was writing a death wish for its citizen, but they cannot interfere with a nation’s administrations because of the code of ethics.

Integrity and accountability is a vital element for analysts to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. Running by code of ethics, the analyst knows what is expected of them and recognizes limits in their work line. The principle of diversity, excellence, stewardship, integrity, and lawfulness acts as international community ethical conduct for employees and officers irrespective of their role or agency association (Intelligence, 2020). Furthermore, having a code of ethics would not create fear and uncertainty because the professional knows what they are supposed to do to support the international community’s objective. Having a code of ethics is a reminder that they must adhere to them and work professionally to avoid causing more problems to nations.

Pedro

References:

Greenwald, G. (2013). XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet.’ The Guardian (U.K.), July 31, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-t…

Intelligence, O. o. (2020). PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS FOR THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. Retrieved from https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizat…

Keeney, A. J., Albrithen, A., Harrison, S., Briskman, L., & Androff, D. (2019). An international analysis of human rights and social work ethics. The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Ethics and Values, 2.

 

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RESPONSE 1

Mod 2 Post 1

Classmate and Professor,

The Intelligence Community or IC technically has a set of principles of professional ethics and not a specific code of ethics. These two concepts are similar but not the exact same. After some tedious research, I discovered that one of the definitions of a principle is “laws or tendencies in nature that are constant and definitive” (Thomas, 2020). In addition, a code can be used by an organization as guidelines to conduct themselves with integrity and honesty based on best practices, and may also outline the mission and values” (Hayes, 2020).

The principles of professional ethics for the IC are mission, diversity, truth, excellence, lawfulness, stewardship, integrity (ODNI, n.d.). If there was a specific code of ethics in the IC, I do believe it would create fear and uncertainty. Since the analysts have a career that may require them to gather information utilizing methods that may not always seem ethical. I do not believe a concrete and enforceable code of ethics would help analysts perform their jobs better.

When you are making efforts to protect national security, there may be times when it could be necessary to bend the rules. However, it would be necessary to follow a code of ethics, if there were a set of laws that requiring them to do so. Although, there would be a great argument to advocate for the use of a code of ethics for analysts. This is a reasonable way to prevent blurred lines and minimizes the gray area, and it also provides security for the members performing the job.

Ashley

REFERENCE:

Hayes, A (01 Jul 2020) What is a code of ethics? Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/code-of-ethic…

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (n.d.) Principle of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community. Retrieved from https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/CLPO/Principle…

Thomas, D (12 July 2020) What’s the difference between principles and ethics. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-betwe…

RESPONSE 2

INITIAL: IC vs Code of Ethics

All,

The Intelligence Community has more of a list of values verse a code of ethics. According to the Principle of Professional Ethics for IC, it states seven characteristics (Mission, Truth, Lawfulness, Integrity, Stewardship, Excellence, and Diversity) that are expected of everyone that is a part of the Intelligence Community. The reason I think that the IC does not have a code of ethics is that there seems to be no mention of accountability and personal responsibilities for each individual action. There should also be an emphasis on reinforcing the trust relationship with the American people. The current code of ethics for the IC does not specify where boundaries, thus leaving it up to be perceived individually by members of the IC.

Having a concrete and enforceable code of ethics would most definitely help analysts perform their jobs better. If analysts are aware of the boundaries in which they are expected to operate, they would do so especially if they know there will be consequences if they operate past those set boundaries. It’s like the sport of basketball, every player knows that they must play within the boundaries of the court and if they cross those designated lines they will be penalized. So, no matter how fast they run, jump, and shoot the basketball they do their best to stay within the boundaries of the court and do so. Having concrete and enforceable code of ethics should not create fear and uncertainty amongst analysts. Those codes of ethics is there to protect you as an analyst and the welfare of the American people. We know everything is not black and white so therefore the intelligence community must create a process that allows for the handling of situations that might possibly break one of the codes of ethics as it relates to national security and the welfare of American citizens.

OMAR,

REFERENCE:

Bailey, C. E., & Galich, S. M. (2012). Codes of Ethics: The Intelligence Community. Retrieved January 5, 2021, from file:///C:/Users/omar/Downloads/83454-Article Text-100127-1-10-20140922.pdf

PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS FOR THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. (n.d.). Retrieved January 5, 2021, from https://www.dni.gov/index.php/how-we-work/ethics

RESPONSE 3

Green Module 2 Post 1 – IC Code of Ethics

Good Evening Class,

As some have already stated, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published the Principle of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community. There are seven key principles including, mission, truth, lawfulness, integrity, stewardship, excellence, and diversity (ODNI, n.d.). Because the DNI is the head of the intelligence community (IC), I would argue that this applies to all down-trace IC elements. In fact, most organizations within the IC have their own set of ethical values that, in many cases, reaffirm the DNI’s guidance. All individual principles are of utmost importance; however, in my opinion, the most important is lawfulness.

We are a nation governed by laws, these laws set precedent and govern our left and right limits regardless of an individual’s status within the community. Some may argue, especially in 2021, that this is “blind faith” or that it is “wishful thinking” that individuals (especially within the intelligence community) are held accountable for their actions. There are several checks and balances in place to ensure accuracy, timely, and, most importantly, only legal actions are sanctioned within the IC. Do I believe some step outside their role and commit lawless actions? Yes, I absolutely believe this is the case. It is no different than any other profession in that individuals with power will sometimes prey upon those without. I do not believe that a strict code of ethics will dissuade these individuals from perpetuating their actions, just as laws do not always dissuade criminals from committing crimes. Some Americans believe that IC organizations exist to commit atrocities and monitor the American public. This myth, formulated by conspiracy theorists and perpetuated (in some cases) by the media establishment and/or Hollywood, does nothing more than sow fear and mistrust of the IC amongst the American citizenry.

This mistrust is the exact reason the IC must abide by the code of ethics, set forth by the DNI, and why all IC officials must abide by all applicable US laws that govern their actions. I would submit that the vast majority of IC components understand their limits (especially with regards to US person collection) and operate within those limits. It is not logical to believe that analysts face fear or uncertainty within their operational confines. They are well aware of these limits and are aware of potential punishment for breaking these barriers. Newer analysts or operators may have fear or uncertainty, but this can be fear will likely be curtailed through training and experience. It is unfounded to believe that analysts are utilizing US person info in order to spy needlessly on unwitting American citizens. While ethical dilemmas likely hinder some intelligence operations, it is unquestionable that individuals operate within the confines of their legal authority. In saying this, I do believe there are operations abroad that may draw some warranted ethical concerns.

Analysts or operators working abroad likely have a far greater opportunity to commit unethical actions as part of their cover or as part of ongoing analytical assessments. A report by Peter Suciu, of Clearancejobs.com, sheds some light on these potentially questionable actions. He notes that the CIA’s ethics program has often been a topic of concern because many believe it to be a legal roadmap versus a comprehensive ethical training doctrine. He further claims that even skeptics of the IC admit those questionable “gray-area” activities, which would be unethical in a different setting, are often necessary to ensure our national security and ultimately protect American’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (Suciu, 2018).

Kyle

References:

Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI]. (n.d.). Principle of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community. Retrieved January 4, 2021, from https://rb.gy/stfxk0

Suciu, P. (2018, July 16). Ethics in the Intelligence Community – Is There Room for Improvement? Retrieved January 4, 2021, from https://rb.gy/7cjpby

RESPONSE 4

INITIAL DISCUSSION

Class,

The intelligence community (IC) has a code of ethics which is necessary. The U.S. intelligence community is committed to the highest ethical standards of conduct in pursuit of its goal to provide policymakers with needed intelligence. Accomplishing this mission demands integrity, good judgment, and dedication to public service from all members of the community. While the IC affirms each person’s accountability for his/her individual actions, it also recognizes that the shared mission and the shared enterprise of the IC require a shared set of core values and ethical conduct to which each member of the IC must be held accountable. Furthermore, the IC acknowledges that an organizational culture grounded in trust and faithfulness to the Constitution is essential to supporting these core values and ethical conduct. The following Statement of Core Values and Code of Conduct are intended to build, maintain, and protect that trust, recognizing that each member of the IC is responsible for doing his or her part by upholding the highest standards of competence and character. The nature of IC operations is such that the IC Code of Ethics is focused on expounding the IC’s core values in lieu of a detailed list of ethical requirements. Understanding of and adherence to the IC’s core values provides a framework for ethical action in defense of the nation.

A concrete and enforceable code of ethics does help analysts perform their jobs better. The intelligence cycle captures the complex process of producing valuable intelligence for the policymaker by packaging it into five discrete stages: planning and direction, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination. Throughout each stage, significant ethical issues arise that analysts, collectors, and policymakers must consider as they contribute to the intelligence community’s mission to evaluate security interests to inform policy decisions. Intelligence analysts play a unique role in each stage of the intelligence cycle, making it a particularly useful framework from which to construct an ethical code specific to the analytic community. Professionals protect their sources and disclose both corruption and questionable activities pursuant to law, rule, regulation, and executive order.

I believe it does create fear and uncertainty. The IC is a complex enterprise with approximately 100,000 military and civilian U.S. government personnel (Sanders, 2008). Of this number, roughly 20,000 work as analysts, a category that includes both intelligence analysts who work primarily with information obtained from a single type of source, such as imagery, intercepted signals, clandestine human intelligence, diplomatic and attaché reporting, and “open source” or unclassified information and analysts who routinely work with information obtained from many sources (all-source analysts) (for a review, see Fingar, 2011). The distinction between these two types of analysts was once seen as fundamental. Today, it is widely understood that all analysts must use information and insight from multiple sources. For example, imagery analysts must use signals intelligence (SIGINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT) to clarify what they observe in imagery intelligence (IMINT).

Mykonos

Reference

American Bar Association. “About the ABA.” http://www.americanbar

.orgiutility/aboucthe_aba.htmi (accessed October 23, 2011).

American Dental Association. “Core Precepts.” http://www.ada.orglcore

precepts.aspx (accessed October 23, 2011).

 

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BACKGROUND 2

Module 2 – Background

INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY: ETHICAL AND LEGAL LIMITATIONS ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

Required Reading

Greenwald, G. (2013). XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet.’ The Guardian (U.K.), July 31, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-t…

Nussbaum, B. (2007). Protecting global cities: New York, London, and the internationalization of municipal policing for counter-terrorism. Global Crime, 8(3). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1744057…

Steiner, J. (2009). Needed: State-level, integrated intelligence enterprises. Studies in Intelligence, 53(3). Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-o…

U.S. Government (2004). Intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act of 2004. Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ458/pdf/P…

U.S. Senate (2004). Summary of intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act of 2004. Retrieved from http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_rpt/s2845-sum…

Required Websites

The NSA’s X-Keyscore program revealed by the U.K. Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/…

Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community: https://www.dni.gov/index.php/how-we-work/ethics

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