Finally, a process we started almost three years ago has reached a milestone: the first public draft of The Menlo Report: Ethical Principles Guiding Information and Communication Technology Research and its Companion Report were posted on the DHS and SRI web sites (respectively) last month.
DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate, through its PREDICT program, sponsored this report on ethics in Information and Communication Technology Research (ICTR). The culmination of a multi-year effort by network and security research stakeholders to lay out a guiding framework to identify, navigate, and resolve ethical issues in ICTR, this report is intended to be a dialogue launch point for the community of researchers, oversight entities, and policymakers to reflect on ethical issues in security and network research. Public comments are encouraged via the Federal Register through 27 February 2012. I’m pretty sure all comments are responded to and/or integrated into the next version of this report. Hopefully the report will also be the topic of discussion at some conferences and workshops this year, so that the community can get out ahead of these issues before we find ourselves facing legislative overreaction to catastrophe (or even perceived catastrophe). Please consider reading and submitting a comment.