Cyberethics Case Study Arguements

Case 1-Snowden Leaks-

Employer Perspective:

Issues of concern

  1. Trust
  2. Loyalty

A future employer’s perspective of these two concerns would definitely make a case to hire Edward Snowden anywhere in the security field a tough to impossible sell.  His acts of data leaking were terrible show of knowing his employers intentions.  He applied for the job, he knew what the NSA was about, and he chose to accept a contract on these terms.  With this is mind, his actions are completely wrong and unjustifiable.  Snowden has obviously proved he cannot be trusted with sensitive information.  He single handedly may have ruined the single most effective way our nation defends itself.  Nation Security thrives on intelligence gathered because usually terroristic attacks have been planned month or years in advance, and the more time the NSA employers have to analyze data and connect the dots, the more likely attack plots will be snuffed out before it can even be close to being executed.  Now that these security “leaks” have been leaked, this may make National Security a lot more difficult.

The action employers would have to take about Snowden is to simply never hire him.  He is obviously not a loyal or trustworthy employee.  He can go into a job with full knowledge of what happens in it, accept the terms, then leaks loads of classified information.  Snowden being considered a hero seems absolutely insane seeing how he made compromised the United States’ intelligence operations, and he knowingly accepted a government job only to stab them in the back.  I am not saying what our government was doing was completely right, but Snowden was completely wrong for spilling the beans, and if he ever is looking for a job again, I am sure he would have a tough time getting back into the IT world where security is everything.  With the decision to never hire him, I would make sure to hold a workshop of some sort to remind people what they signed up for and that if this is truly against your personal beliefs, leave now and there will not be any hard feelings.  It is simply not possible to run this kind of operation with leakers; it puts mud in the tires, and does not help the cause one bit.

Argument: Snowden’s leaks were unethical

  1. He knew his responsibilities when he took the job
  2. He compromised American intelligence which could lead to bigger problems than mass surveillance
  3. His leaks may weaken the whole nation’s security

Conclusion: Snowden’s actions were unethical because he acted in defiance of his responsibilities at the NSA, and his leaks compromised American intelligence which could lead to bigger threats in the future because without as much intelligence, our country may not have the necessary information to stop terroristic tragedies from occurring.

Case #2 Pfc. Chelsea (Bradley) Manning:

List of Concerns

  1. Loyalty

If a future employer were to look back on what Bradley Manning had done, their opinion of him would be a debatable topic.  On one hand, he did leaks thousands of secret military documents to wikiLeaks, but in his case, many of them were on the topic of murdering innocent civilians.  There is a certain conscious all of us humans have and we know when simply something is not right.  Looking at many of the  accounts he leaked, it is shameful to our soldiers who represent the country I’m proud to live in, disgracing what our nation stands for by killing for sport, and violating many human rights.  In Bradley Manning’s defense, it was a very noble act to stand up for the proper treatment of fellow human beings.  I think that most humans would agree that despite the lack of loyalty to his position, he witnessed humans being killed for sport, and their corpses defiled.  This is a disgusting display of our nation’s military, and the soldiers who committed these crimes should be prosecuted.  Bradley Manning does not deserve the time he is receiving and if I were an employer, I would hire him knowing that he has a great conscious, he knows what is right and wrong, and he is willing to stand up for what he believes in.  That sounds like a great, honest, hard-working employee to me and I think his punishments are unfair for simply revealing tragedies involving our own armed forces.

Argument: Bradley Manning decision to leaks US documents was ethical

  1. He exposed war crimes
  2. He wanted to show the country how horrible war was
  3. His intention was to deter war from happening and ultimately save lives

Conclusion:  Bradley Manning’s leak was ethical because his intention was to deter war and to save lives, rather than cause harm to his own nation.

Case #3- Julian Assange-

List of Concerns

  1. Controversial Figure
  2. Sexual Assault Accusations

Julian Assange has to be one of the hottest topics of the last couple of years.  He is the founder of WikiLeaks, one of the most controversial websites on the planet, and he himself is a controversial figure on his own.  He leads a website that dedicates it’s time to publishing leaks, usually government, for the public to see through normal anonymous sources.  He is known for his constant bashing of the western governments and is leader in promoting that data should be free to everyone, and that there should be no secrets.  This attitude towards governments has made him a popular target for prosecutors in countries such as the United States and Australia.  As an employer, more than likely in a publishing firm, his controversy could be looked at in two different ways.  One would be a negative connotation; his controversy is something the company would not want to deal with.  The firm would probably be under attack from people who do not agree with his ideals, and their every move would make the news.  On the other hand, the controversy could be a great publicity thing!  Ecspecially a small firm, or a massive and well known firm could use the controversy to be constantly on everyone’s minds.  A lot of publicity would come with the territory of hiring Assange which some companies would love.  It all depends on what your company is looking for.  Personally, I’d give the guy a job.  He is a good journalist, he sparks controversy, and best of all he gets people to read his articles and know about what he does even if they couldn’t care one bit!  He could sell a lot of paper, magazines, or whatever the company is for simply having one article in the whole publication.  The one concern is the Sexual Assault charge in Sweden.  This charge has been widely debated and there is not a lot of evidence to help either side in the case, and Assange has made it clear that this is obviously part of a “smear” campaign against his name.  I can actually see this being true, and despite the accusation, I feel like I would hire the guy.  His name alone can sell anything.

Argument-Julian Assange operated the website WikiLeaks ethically

  1. Wikileaks is like any other publisher and is protected by the 1st amendment
  2. Assange publishes stories from anonymous sources so there is nothing illegal about publishing the information
  3. Publishers have the right to protect their sources, meaning that even if Assange knew his sources, it is completely legal to withhold their names.
  4. WikiLeaks lives on the value that the wrong-doings of power should be known to the public and challenged on an ethical level.

Conclusion: Julian Assange and Wikileaks is a completely legal and ethical publishing company that seeks only to publish the truth about the world’s governments.


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