New publication on the Ethics of IT-Security

A new German language article, co-authored with Kaya Cassing, was published on “Forschende in der Angriffsrolle: Zum besonderen forschungsethischen Bedarf in der IT-Sicherheit”. Kaya Cassing is part of the EDMT research team and her contribution is part of a PhD thesis. The was published as open access in Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie The abstract reads like this:

As a result of the proliferation of digital technology in our lifeworld, a societal need for protection of computer systems against ever new forms of attacks has emerged. In this contribution, we show that IT security research plays a central role in addressing this need, but also that this role raises certain problems from a research ethical perspective. IT security risks raise structurally new challenges for the societal production of security, which imply that researchers take on the role of attackers. When researchers make their findings on viable forms of attacks public, this increases the threat to IT systems. At the same time, the scientific publishing is normatively guided by the goal of strengthening societal security: the vulnerabilities are meant to be closed and the robustness of IT systems strengthened.

What becomes visible here are conflicts in dealing with IT security risks that imply a need for ethical orientation. In our contribution, we explore the beginnings of systematic ethical reflection that have emerged in the field and been institutionalized in an effort to answer this need. However, since the challenges have not been adequately addressed so far, we propose that IT security research should become a new field in applied ethics so as to provide more adequate orientation to researchers and to discuss its socio-political role at large.

Weydner-Volkmann, Sebastian; Kaya Cassing (2023): “Forschende in der Angriffsrolle: Zum besonderen forschungsethischen Bedarf in der IT-Sicherheit.” In: Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 10 (1): 79–104.
DOI: 10.22613/zfpp/10.1.3. (Open access)

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