In 350 BC, Aristotle was writing the first Ethics treaty mankind has ever known – the famous Nicomachean Ethics. In this treaty, the Stagirian philosopher described what later on was confirmed in the Western Ethical reflection field.
“Business Ethics” is nowadays a very common subject. On both national and international markets, there are many different institutions and organizations promoting this debate, providing an opportunity for different specialists to reflect on this issue.
Talking about Ethics, relating to Intelligence, is for most, on a national level, something new. We’re talking about more than a project’s social responsibility – giving back to the society, or increasing the value of what’s in the last resort this business’ and any other’s ultimate support is one of the things constituting what we call Ethics.
Thinking about Ethics in Intelligence services is far more complex, for this type of services is typically related to handling extreme situations, and critical security and information contexts. For someone working in a different field of business, there are only subjects which require a certain personal statement. The best example is the case of a doctor and the famous abortion issue. While, in some fields of business and/or professions, there are some ethically more complex cases, which require a personal awareness and decision regarding a particular type of action, this kind of problem is ever-present in the Intelligence line of business.
When we at IntellCorp say we’re “ethically independent”, we really mean it. This simply means that, no matter what, our own policy will never allow us to make any decision based on any kind of moral position, regarding any specific service. In IntellCorp, ethical independence means not taking any side nor having any type of personal, political, moral, and corporative interests in operations run by IntellCorp. What matters to us, in every case undoubtedly, is the strict compliance with all laws and protocols, both nationally and internationally, in any jurisdiction in which we’re performing. This suspension of our own value judgement, combined with the most absolute confidentiality, regarding everything we do, is a unique aspect of our professionalism. Internally, we’re governed by the motto:
We go where no one goes; we do what no one wants to do.
This motto tells a lot about our integrity as a group; we were born to work in extreme situations, and the fact that we live like this makes us reflect deeply on what’s visible and invisible in this world, as we’re required to have a wider conscience regarding what comes after. Successfully carrying out the operation we’re hired for is our number one concern; Whether it’s a pure Intelligence, Counterintelligence or Security mission, in its wider or stricter meaning, our main purpose is our client’s satisfaction, by all legal means possible.
This reflection makes us emphasise, once again, that IntellCorp is not a usual company. We have what most companies have as their core: a mission and a vision – but as Intelligence professionals, we do not create or give opinions or judgements. We’re back to this article’s beginning: around 350 BC, Aristotle related the term éthos (ἔθος) to the common idea, associated to this, a certain kind of personal nature (later on, the term mores would derive from this). In contrast, according to Hesiod, around 700 BC, the term êthos (ἦθος) was related to the place where animals usually stayed overnight (the nest, the den). This detail may seem irrelevant, but maybe it isn’t; disregarding etymological discussions, it’s important for us to emphasise that, in the operational field, IntellCorp does not have habits or customs in a moral sense; we’re compromised to a world-class excellence and we’re moved, in the first and last instance, by completing the respective operation. On the other hand, we at IntellCorp like to think that we don’t have this usual place to stay overnight; we’re chameleonic, as everything we stand for boils down to two main purposes: protecting and carrying out our client’s objectives, but also looking into all formalities and laws associated to every mission.
As we have already seen before, this does not stop IntellCorp, as a business, from being completely responsible; this means that outside the strict operational context, as individuals in our society, we are bound to values, which one way or another, condition our personal identity. As a risk industry’s business unit, managing danger, threats and vulnerabilities, we want to contribute, as a company and business plan, to awareness-raising regarding common dangers, threats to individuals, companies and States.
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