7Security Ethics Essay Example

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7Security Ethics



Security involves safeguarding individuals’ well-being, their rights and protecting them from any harm that can result from the surrounding. Security adds value to the human life as people live without any fear of been harmed. Lack of security in the society has resulted in deaths, demonstration of the public and displacement of individuals from the dwelling places (Browning et al., 2013). Insecurity has been observed through several ways (Burke, A. 2007): Through wars and conflicts, Stealing and robbing, Climatic changes (Graham, 2015), (Lewis, 2015), Properties insecurity among others.

The rise of insecurity

Security need has been rising everyday with the development of the technology and increase in levels of knowledge among the people. Types of securities are (Stahn et al., 2013): financial security, IT security, food security, airport security, human security, societal security, energy securities, health security, legal security and home security. Different concepts of security have also arisen, and the include (Browning et al., 2016):

The industrialization of security

Security is being treated as a product that can be bought and sold, ordered and delivered. There are security consultants who give advice on all issues concerning security. There are those who need the security so desperately that they cannot live without it. Then we have the professionals whose carrier is supplying security to the needy ones thus dividing the world into security users and security suppliers.

Technology advancement is helping to solve the security issues while on the other hand it is creating more insecurity crisis. Security is becoming a technical challenge, and more scientific research tools are employed to form better, more precise, more comprehensive solutions to security problems. The product of differentiation of security- the more security is becoming an object of the society, the more differentiated it becomes, the more divided, adapted to the consumers, individualized and commoditized.

Globalization of security

Security is been globalized and expanded beyond boundaries. The conflicts which used to be tied to geographical boundaries are expanding to the territory and the to the world at large. The emergency of risks is increasing every day.

The production of insecurity

Insecurity tends to grow in proportion to the rate of response to security. Employing guards, making walls, employing CCTV’s the measures prevents danger to some point. They also generate trust among the society, individuals because less trust in security measures generate insecurity. Ethical issues are the things that are considered good or bad depending on different theories of explanations.

There are different types of ethics which include (Gray et al., (2014), corporate ethics, legal ethics, medical ethics, ecological ethics, bio-ethics, and ethics in sciences, in business, religion and the security, ethics are everywhere we have mankind surviving. Both ethics and security are human features which relate to one way or the other. In some way, they form the humanity because we cannot be human without the ethics and the security (Hilton et al., 2013).

Evolution of Security -In the old days, security was mostly bound to the spirit and spirituality, it was a theological issue of concern. It was viewed as a psychological and of moral respect. The Greek version described the state of security as the peace of mind. They people differentiated security as subjective security and objective security. Subjective security originated from virtual beliefs and emotions while objective security was from the real, factual and observed threats that were visible among the mankind. They viewed security as a personal issue and not to do with the society, state or groups. The Latin’s described security as in knowledge, in persuasion and thought, and this has brought to the conception of security today.

The Cold War

Cold War brought the wider knowledge and understanding of security. It was made clear that security was national in its scale and coverage. Cold War describes security as a condition without threat, general protection against potential danger. Ethics is not a model of correct behavior, but it is about self- reflection. Ethics shows that we have choices and opportunities to choose from. It gives the insight that we have different ways of behaving. The ethics form the differences between safety and security.

Safety describes the threat of different kinds. It implies the existence of an objective danger. It is the protection against dangers that already exists but that have not yet hit us. While security plays with the individuals experience and exposure. It refers to a world of many possibilities, indicating the vulnerability of the human kind. Insecurity shows that human beings are exposed to danger, that they know it, and that they know relatively what kind of danger there is and not when it will hit and how (Danne, 2014).

Thus, insecurity is more about human beings and not the uncertain danger that is out there. It is not about the insecurity and the unknown dangers but ourselves and exposure to the unknown dangers. Through insecurity, the individuals are made. Insecurity is humanity itself through passion, emotion, and sensitivity. Security professionals are expected to make ethical decisions in their line of duty. Ethics involves duty, responsibility, and personal character. Aristotle once said, that there are eleven virtues that lead to a comfortable and good life. They include being courage, doing good, lack of pride, justice, being true, charity and following the codes that are considered good.

While the security officers are to follow certain codes of conducts in their line of duty ( Charles et al., 2015); the codes include following rules and regulations, be disciplined, be decent, and protect everyone as the rules guide them. The security personnel are given the abilities to protect all people in their capacity and create safe environments. They should be ethical in operating their duties whether on duty or out of duty, when monitored or not monitored.

Sometimes they portray unethical behaviors like using more power than intended and sometimes they involve themselves in undiscplinary cases. Sometimes performs criminal acts (Edwards, 2014).


It view morality as that what an individual perceive as good or bad. That what they believe as good or bad act as the guiding rule in carrying out their activities. Those against it, find it contradicting as everyone would be right even when they are doing wrong.


Jeremy and Stuart are the founders of the Unitarianism, which indicates that moral choices are made from what one perceive as good and not wrong. When someone lies so as to cover-up or to secure another person’s life can be considered good according to this principle. There is less harm done by that lie than risking the person’s life and tell the truth. It is considered right if the act is followed than doing the action.

Ethics would take another direction and argue that it is not the action that forms good for a particular situation but good to the society. Hence, telling the truth would always make right rather than hiding under lies. It is considered morally right in our society (Burke and A. (2016).


The theory elaborates on good or wrong as it adds more force and creates pain. Hedonism is the person who exerts the force on the other. There are those individuals are hedonist and they believe that way.

It focuses on what satisfy one’s individual interest while overlook others interest. Ethics considers that what satisfy individuals need as the right action to that particular person.The theory does not take others into consideration hence rejected by many philosophers.

The rights approach

It is based on an individual right to make their choices. The individuals have the right to truth, to confidentiality, for good health and to be protected by the laws (Hoffman et al., 2015).

The common good approach

Plato, Aristotle and Cicero came up with theory of common-good approach. It puts that common idea benefit the community. The community could involve a group or a body of people.

All that are in the group are benefited. Lack of security is not good as it disrupts the entire society or the community (Social security administration, 2013).

Humanitarian intervention

The intervention pulls in two ways; one is through a realist perspective where States are prohibited from using armed forces against territories of other states unless when protecting her citizens. Hence, intervention is prohibited but only when penalizing the wrong deeds and protecting those who are right.

In this case, factors influencing intervention are closely monitored before carrying on the process. The human rights violation is kept at the front line in the decision-making process (Mulazzani et al., 2013). Ethical obligations overlook both sovereign equality and national state interest. Lack of framework of intervention, more and more humanitarian crisis will be unavoidable. Ethics of intervention are based from traditional days when people used war to revenge and ask for their rights.

Leaders had the right and a role to enforce certain laws and norms where for example we have had non-Christians molesting Christians (Ghosh et al., 2015). There are natural laws which guide the way of handling such cases.

There are the common rules among communities that were used by the ruling parties, who would judge and penalize the wrong doers. It also supports that each person must respect the other, we should respect one another so as to mutually benefit each other. Human rights are obligated and should be followed to the letter to protect those who have not done wrong. Through the use of intervention and pressure help the human beings to co-exist. are put in place. Those against humanitarian argue that the ruling authorities are usually above the law as they represent the common people, hence no law can be passed against them. Intervention results to temporal outcomes but not permanent ones.

The states, should work in accordance to protect common people, abide by the laws to protect the people’s rights and get in where the human rights are overlooked, (Burke et al., 2016). In case, intervention is resulting to conflict then the method should be a peaceful one. The aim of humanitarian intervention is not only to use force, but its main aim is also to defeat the oppressor.

Surveillance Ethics

Surveillance involves close attention to another person. It is not to pay attention to just one person but to pay attention to some entity in particular and for a particular reason. It involves, watching, listening and smelling as in the case of using dogs to detect crime. The ethics of surveillance consider the moral issues when surveillance is used. It is a value-neutrality activity used for good or ill or whether it is always problematic. The ethics of surveillance concerns the threat to individuals or group privacy, and the balance of power between the individual, the state or the individuals’ employers.

Surveillance sorts people into categories for ends which are either good or ill. Like when the CCTV’s are employed, they have been observed they are more focused to the young, the males or ethnic minorities (Barley et al., 2011). Which when watched, they will be likely be found doing something wrong than someone else. It would result to disproportionate response rates by the security response, and stern measures are taken. It is an evidence of alienation and rejection of individuals in the society (Kennedy et al., 2015).

Health concerns and ethics

On health related matters, the laws should protect the health status of individuals and those of the society. Society health problems lead to the spread of infections to the individuals. The individuals are affected either directly or indirectly. Direct effect occurs when individuals contract the communicable infections and start seeking medical attentions (Anderson, 2012). While indirectly the individuals are affected psychology especially when a member of the family or a friend contracts the infection.

Often, the security personnel’s overlook individual health conditions and are more concerned about the society health status. As a result, they separate the infected individual from the rest. This is morally unacceptable as it is compromising the life of the single individual. The life of each person is equally important as that for the others hence everyone need to be protected. The religious ethics strongly support the protection of each person’s life no matters the type of infection. It is wrong to kill a person unless the death occurs naturally. On the other hand, the ethics philosophers will criticize the idea by arguing that, public health is more important than individual’s health. One person’s life should be compromised to save the life of several people living around. Losing one single life is morally good than to lose all the life’s found in society (Tennison et al., 2012).


In conclusion, security and insecurity are linked with the individuals and the human values. Security is an expression of the philosophy of life. It expresses the people’s perspective on life, personal anxieties, and aspirations. Security is also about what we are willing to sacrifice or about that which we are willing to fight or even die for. Hence, security is more of social, cultural and an ethical concept (Nyman et al., 2016).

Security replaces human values on those things that human kind consider basic for their survival. But it should not be compromised with the material and technical values that do not mean life. It involves both things and people who value specific things as a way to survive. As a result, solid, strict and effective measures should be employed as social and cultural means to safe guard the well-being of the mankind. It will shape our understanding of security and insecurity, the know-how of what threatens what we value and the knowledge of how to take care and protect our properties.

Human beings should by all means be protected from insecurities anything that violates the right should be eradicated. The human security should involve both the individuals and their societies at large. Safeguarding individual’s security will secure the society from insecurity crisis while when we protect the society increase the individuals trust to the presence of security measures around them.

When enforcing laws and order, the human ethics should come to play to prevent suppressing one side as we benefit the other. Different codes of ethics like utilitarianism, hedonism, and the others should be considered to ensure there is balance in the provision of security and order.

Finally, the security personnel’s should be informed of their operation to avoid going against the security ethics in their line of duty. They should ensure they are on the right action to prevent causing harm to unintended side. The governments and the leaders should ensure the security persons are qualified, skilled and have the required knowledge as they work towards protecting the societies and individuals (Edwards, 2014).


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