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The Australian National University

Public seminar

Cybersecurity: mapping the ethical terrain

Speaker: Associate Professor Mick Keelty, Dr Adam Henschke, Mr Shannon Ford
Date: Wednesday 11 June 2014
Time: 5.45pm – 7.00pm, refreshments served from 5.15pm
Venue: Molongolo Theatre, Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU
Vodcast: Watch this seminar
Seminar flyer: Cybersecurity: mapping the ethical terrain

Mick Keelty


Governments and society are increasingly reliant on cyber systems. That reliance makes us vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can have powerful impacts on people’s lives. Because of this, in liberal democratic societies governments have a duty to ensure cybersecurity in order to protect their citizens and, arguably, the people of other nations. But as recent events following the revelations of Edward Snowden have demonstrated, there is a risk that their pursuit of cybersecurity might overstep the mark and subvert the fundamental right to privacy.

In this NSC seminar, the presenters will demonstrate that managing the risks of cybersecurity involves trade-offs: between security and privacy; individual rights and the good of a society; and between the types of burdens placed on particular groups in order to protect others. These trade-offs are often ethical in nature, involving questions of how we act, what values we should aim to promote, and what means of anticipating and responding to the risks are reasonably – and publicly – justifiable.

Associate Professor Mick Keelty is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University in Canberra. He was commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) from 2001 to 2009. He served two terms as AFP commissioner and has thirty five years of policing experience at local, national and international levels.

Dr Adam Henschke
works in the areas of ethics and cybersecurity. He is a Research Fellow at the National Security College, Australian National University, a Research Associate with the Centre of Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CSU Canberra, and was recently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong. He co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War and is currently co-editing a book on the ethics of cyber warfare.

Mr Shannon Brandt Ford is a Lecturer in Intelligence and Security Studies with the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, CSU Canberra. He spent ten years as a Defence Strategist and Intelligence Analyst, and has taught at the Australian National University, the Australian Defence Force Academy (University of NSW) and the Australian Defence College. Mr Ford was the Chief Investigator on a recent National Security College funded research project
on the ethics of cybersecurity.

An occasional paper containing five articles looking at different ethical aspects of cybersecurity will be launched during this event. (Hard copies will be available.)



Updated:  13 June 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College