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No spying clause

No spying as a clause in all forms of diplomatic instrument, treaty etc.
  [vote for,

Spying, apparently, is a problem. Yet, there is no effective accountability on the part of those who send spies. The Russian government can send spies into the US, and the US can only punish the spies themselves. That just seems stupid, as it's clear that the Russian government will just send more to fill their shoes.

This idea is to create a high level accountability in the form of bilateral no-spying clauses as part of all diplomatic instruments and treaties. For example, for Russian passports to continue to be recognised at the US border, Russia and the US should have first to sign a no-spying agreement. If China and Taiwan wish to bring in trade deals, they should attach a no-spying agreement to it. If a country wishes to remain a member of the UN security council, the country should have to first sign bilateral no-spying agreements with all other members. The list goes on and on and on ... opportunities to insert such clauses will arise during the normal course of international diplomacy.

The clauses should spell out the consequences of breaching the no-spy agreement, including:
- Rapid extradition of serving or retired government, intelligence service, and civil service members with authority over such activities to face imprisonment (e.g. the Russian president could be extradited and jailed for giving authority sending spies to the US - possibly to an international espionage court)
- An instant end to diplomatic or treaty privileges attached to the clause (e.g. end of diplomatic recognition, end of UN membership, end of trade regime, end of double taxation agreement - where possible this should be with ALL countries not just the one spied upon)
- Substantial monetary compensation to the country spied upon for breach of trust and in token of the projected benefits that the spies had brought to their home government before detection

In this way, any spies which are caught can be dealt with merely by sending them out of the country, because the real punishment will be upon those who sent them.

This is both fair (the persons responsible bear the brunt of the punishment), and diplomatic (any diplomatic relationship must be based on mutual trust - which is betrayed by any spying).

vincevincevince, Jul 08 2010


       [21Q], the idea here is not to change whether we are able to catch spies and find out who sent them (this is already done). The idea here is to change the course of action which may be taken following such detection of spying by a foreign nation. At present, there are no legal consequences for the government of Russia for sending spies into the USA - instead the most that can be done is to have the spies locked up. Contrast this to war crimes, where it is clearly recognised that those with authority should bear the brunt of the criminal penalty - not those foot soldiers who are bound to obey orders.
vincevincevince, Jul 08 2010

       [bigsleep], if what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you - then why are spies imprisoned when caught? It's either wrong, in which case neither side may engage in it, or right, in which case neither side may punish those engaging in it.
vincevincevince, Jul 08 2010

       I thought this was going to be an idea about some way of preventing Father Christmas from snooping around and prying into all your personal stuff when he delivers presents.
hippo, Jul 08 2010

       //It's either wrong, in which case neither side may engage in it, or right, in which case neither side may punish those engaging in it.//   

       It's one of those things that everyone wants to do to other people, but doesn't want done to themselves. By asking another nation to sign a no-spy clause, you are also limiting your own nation's ability to gather useful information.   

       On the recent US spy-captures, it's no coincidence that there's a rumoured "spy-swap" being organised where the 9 or 10 US spys are planned to be handed back to Russia in exchange for a few people captured by the Russians - of course, the British and US governments flatly deny that they would be engaged in anything as nefarious as spying on foreign countries, and the people being handed back are simply unfortunate civilian nationals - and so the merry dance continues.
zen_tom, Jul 08 2010


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