Menlo Report: Ethical Principles Guiding Information and Communication Technology Research [2011]   [open pdf - 118KB]

"This report proposes a framework for ethical guidelines for computer and information security research, based on the principles set forth in the 1979 Belmont Report, a seminal guide for ethical research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Despite its age, the Belmont Report's insightful abstraction renders it a valuable cornerstone for other domains. We describe how the three principles in the Belmont report can be usefully applied in fields related to research about or involving information and communication technology [ICT]. ICT research raises new challenges resulting from interactions between humans and communications technologies. In particular, today's ICT research contexts contend with ubiquitously connected network environments, overlaid with varied, often discordant legal regimes and social norms. We illustrate the application of these principles to information systems security research -- a critical infrastructure priority with broad impact and demonstrated potential for widespread harm -- although we expect the proposed framework to be relevant to other disciplines, including those targeted by the Belmont report but now now operating in more complex and interconnected contexts. We first outline the scope and motivation for this document, including a historical summary of the conceptual framework for traditional human subjects research, and the landscape of ICT research stakeholders. We review four core ethical principles, the three from the Belmont Report (Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice) and an additional principle Respect for Law and Public Interest."

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United States Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate: http://www.cyber.st.dhs.gov/
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