Security

Ethical Dilemmas in Take-Down Research

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Executive Summary

The authors discuss nine ethical dilemmas which have arisen during the investigation of 'Notice and take-down' regimes for Internet content. Issues arise when balancing the desire for accurate measurement to advance the security community's understanding with the need to immediately reduce harm that is uncovered in the course of measurement. Research methods demand explanation to be accepted in peer-reviewed publications, yet the dissemination of knowledge may help miscreants improve their operations and avoid detection in the future. Finally, when researchers put forward solutions to problems they have identified, it is important that they ensure that their interventions demonstrably improve the situation and do not cause undue collateral damage.

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