This article contributes to the current discussions concerning an adequate framework for intelligence ethics. The first part critically scrutinises the use of Just War Theory in intelligence ethics with specific focus on the just cause criterion. We argue that using self-defence as justifying cause for all intelligence activities is inadequate, in particular in relation to the collection and use of intelligence for preventive purposes. In the second part of the paper, we tentatively suggest an alternative moral framework for preventive intelligence, understood as intelligence activities with no specific suspicion or aggressor. We suggest that the moral permissibility of such activities requires a civilised moral framework, in which openness, transparency and informed consent constitute crucial elements.