Some Counterintelligence Dilemmas
Pp. 133-141 (9)
The chapter presents contemporary issues worthy of more detailed attention
in theory and especially in practice of counterintelligence. The first dilemma concerns
the question of ethics in counterintelligence, which has long been a source of
contention among lawyers, sociologists, philosophers, and practicians in the field of
security. The text furthermore highlights the problem of ‘grey zone’ in counterintelligence
and explains why ethical counterintelligence is an oxymoron; it confronts
the reader with the ethical dilemma of the relative importance of national security vs.
individual’s human rights. A slightly less known modern issue is the question of
OSINT and its legality; foreign intelligence services can use OSINT to extend from
ostensibly legal into half-legal or illegal fields of activity and thus avoid
counterintelligence surveillance and the activities of other services. The last issue
presented is the question of trust among partner state services; in 2015 we witnessed
the disclosure of documents revealing the extent of NSA surveillance of leaders,
ministers, and state body officials from Germany, France, Brazil and Japan. These
revelations sparked a debate on the acceptability of spying on ‘friendly’ or partner
states; in itself this is not a new dilemma, however it was previously unknown to the
Disinformation, Eavesdropping, Ethics, Exploitation, Friendly
intelligence, Grey zone, Manipulation, National security, NSA, OSINT,
Oxymoron, Semi-legal, Torture, Trust, WikiLeaks.
Department of Organization and Management, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Kidričeva cesta 55a, SI-4000 Kranj, Slovenia.