Chapter 13: Bulk data collection, national security and ethics
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The rise of internet communications has necessitated a rise in digital national security intelligence collection - currently at a scale never seen before in liberal democracies. Bulk data collection (BDC) is a tactic used to gather such intelligence. To collect data in bulk means that the scope of collection will likely pick up many records that are not associated with current targets. Therefore, BDC entails that the data of many people not a threat to national security will be collected - thereby violating their privacy and possibly causing harm. These rights violations and harms must be justified for this practice to be acceptable in liberal democracies. In this chapter, I use Just Intelligence Theory (JIT) to tease out ethical issues of BDC - and suggest constraints under which such a tactic could still be justified.

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