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The Ethics of Information Warfare: Risks, Rights and Responsibilities

Objective

This is a two-year research project on the ethical implications of information warfare. Information warfare is a new form of conflict characterised by strategies designed to strike at communication nodes and infrastructures, and by the deployment of artificial agents as tools of offence (robotic weapons). It has its roots in the military use of intelligence as a strategic means, but has developed thanks to the revolutionary transformations caused by the pervasive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) artefacts on the battlefield. The overall research objective is to provide an ethical analysis of information warfare, which will seek to solve three ethical problems: 1. How can the risks of increasing the number of ICT-based conflicts in the world and hence of civilian casualties be avoided? 2. How can the erosion of individual rights of privacy, anonymity and personal liberty be balanced against the right of a community to be safe from cyber-attacks? 3. How can the levels of responsibilities for the actions performed by robotic weapons be fairly evaluated? The objective will be achieved by developing an interdisciplinary ethical study, combining research in Information and Computer Ethics (ICE) with the acquisition of relevant expertise in ICT and AI. The project will be developed in collaboration with leading European experts, and fully supported by the UNESCO Chair of Information and Computer Ethics, held by Prof. Floridi at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. The novelty and importance of the problems tackled by the project and its interdisciplinarity will enable the researcher to acquire new skills and advanced expertise and to stand as an independent and mature scholar. The project will benefit the Work Programme by enhancing long lasting interdisciplinary cooperation among leading European experts in ICE, ICT, and AI and by promoting a European approach to the ethics of information warfare.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/computer security/network security
  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/ethics
  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/information engineering/telecommunications/telecommunications network
  • /social sciences/political science/political communication
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/physical geography/cartography/geographic information systems

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IEF
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE HIGHER EDUCATION CORPORATION
Address
College Lane
AL10 9AB Hatfield
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 166 040,80
Administrative Contact
Andrée Sheehan-Evett (Ms.)