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Balancing Cybersecurity and Individual Liberties (Cyber Security Seminar Series, part 2)

Date & Time:
11:00:00 - 12:00:00,
Wednesday 1 May, 2013


Online insecurity is like a Hydra with many heads – from e-commerce and online banking scams to malware; from hacking to cyberwar. It requires Herculean efforts to slay the Hydra, but, unfortunately, fighting insecurity may easily cause serious ethical problems, since security measures can also undermine individual liberties such as privacy, freedom of speech and expression. For such measures often rest on the collection, storage, access, or elaboration of individualsí personal information. Clearly, any democratic government, fair society, and responsible organisation need to identify a balance between online security and civil rights, in order to implement the former successfully while respecting and furthering the latter. The paper discusses a criterion for such a balance to be ethically sound. It is claimed that cyber security measures and individual rights are not necessarily antithetical, and that they should both be considered fundamental aspects of individualís well-being in the information age.

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  • Name: Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo
  • Affiliation: University of Warwick
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  • URL:
  • Bio: Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo is Research Fellow in Cyber Security and Ethics at the Politics and International Studies Department (PAIS), University of Warwick, and Research Associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. Her work focuses mainly on the ethical analysis of cyber security practices and information conflicts. Until 2012, Dr. Taddeo held a Marie Curie Fellowship working on the ethics of information warfare. She is co-editor of Ethics of Information Warfare, a volume forthcoming for Springer and guest-editor of Online Security and Civil Rights a special issue for Philosophy & Technology (Springer).