This chapter presents several ethical frameworks that are useful for analysing ethical questions of cybersecurity.
It begins with two frameworks that are important in practice: the principlist framework employed in the Menlo Report on cybersecurity research and the rights-based principle that is influential in the law, in particular EU law.
It is argued that since the harms and benefits caused by cybersecurity operations and policies are of a probabilistic nature, both approaches cannot avoid dealing with risk and probability. Therefore, the chapter turns to the ethics of risk, showing that it is a necessary complement to such approaches. The ethics of risk are discussed in more detail by considering two consequentialist approaches (utilitarianism and maximin consequentialism), deontological approaches and contractualist approaches to risk at length, highlighting the difficulties raised by special cases. Finally, Nissenbaum’s ‘contextual integrity’ approach is introduced, which has become an important framework for understanding privacy, both descriptively and normatively.
A revised version of this framework is proposed for identifying and ethically assessing changes brought about by cybersecurity measures and policies, not only in relation to privacy but more generally to the key expectations concerning human interactions within the practice.