In a research paper [pdf] published in the journal Review of Policy Research, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert and Research Manager Masashi Crete-Nishihata discuss “the growing number of complex ethical and legal issues around cyberspace research, particularly in the area of security”.

While conducting research at the Citizen Lab, they have also confronted some of these ethical and legal issues directly, and there was little to no precedence for guiding the choices that were made.

A closed door workshop was convened in January 2011, which aimed to further develop “an ethical, normative and legal framework” to guide Citizen Lab’s and other’s research in cyberspace. This effort resulted in a number of important insights and suggestions for areas for further research and these are summarized in the paper.

Read the research paper here [pdf].