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List of Abbreviations and assumptions made
National Security Agency
United States of America
Doing Ethics Technique
Australian Computer Society
Information and Communications Technology
1.It is assumed thatEdward Snowden is living in the United States of America.
2.It is assumed that he is accused and for his act the charges of the legal preceding are imposed on him.
This assignment shows the information about the case study of the employee of National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden. He leaked information of NSA to the paper media that this agency is doing a record of the calls and the internet of the common man. He copied some of the data of this agency to create the evidence inform of the media that the practice for which he is telling is correct and accurate. He has done the whistleblowing step of saving the democracy of the country. The National Security Agency practices are also for protecting the population of United States of America (USA) but these practices are not according to the law. In this assignment, the ethical consideration of this case is discussed in the report format. The consideration is done with the help of theDoing Ethics Technique (DET). In this process, there are different questions evaluated in the ethics perspectives. After that, there is the evaluation of this case according to theAustralian Computer Society (ACS) code of ethics. In this evaluation, this case is understood with the different perspectives of the Australian Computer Society and it is analysed that this case is justified or not from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professional context.
Analysis of Situation using the Doing Ethics Technique (DET)
The 'Doing Ethics' technique (DET) is the techniques that are used for the analysis so of the scenario in the ethical context. This technique enables the individual to think of the particular scenario in the perspectives of the ethical context.
What's going on?
Edward Snowden was an Intelligence Community Officer of the National Security Agency (NSA). He knows that there is the data mining that is done by the National Security Agency surveillance program. In which there is the call record done by the National Security Agency and the social media activities and other internet activities are tracked by the National Security Agency. The whole population of the United States of America is under this data mining done by National Security Agency. Edward Snowden leaks this information and made available to the Guardian and The Washington Post (Free Snowden, 2018). There is the different perception of this person in the country. Each and every person used to think differently about this person. Some of the people used to say that he is the Whistle-blower while other says he is the Traitor (Ethics Unwrapped, 2018).
What are the facts?
It is the fact that the US government regulated NSA used to do the data mining of the calls of the people. This NSA records the social media activities and the other mobile and the internet activities of the United States of America. This is the agency that does such activities to control bad practices of the people. Another main focus is to control the terrorist activities in the United States of America. According to the DET, theNational Security Agencyis saving the whole country population from the terrorist by performing this data mining practices. On another hand, it can be said that the privacy of the population is at risk because of the practices that are followed by the NSA (Ethics Unwrapped, 2018).
What are the issues?
The main issue that is raised by the Edward Snowden was the personal life of each and every person is on the record in name of the security of the terrorists. While considering this issue in the ethical context it is totally wrong the privacy of each individual from the population is leaked because of the nation’s security(Miguel, 2014).
The personal secrets, the love, feelings and other things of an individual is at risk because of the Surveillance Program of the National Security Agency in which the data mining practices are performed by the NSA. This is unconstitutional practices that are done by the NSA without any permission of the population and before the whistle blown by the Edward Snowden this practice was unknown to common man.
Who is affected?
The common man or whole population of the United States of America is getting affected by this surveillance program. This is because there are the different patents and the important information of the different organisation that used to be communicated on the internet are on record and if leaked by any of the employees of the National Security Agency then it would be not a beneficial thing for that particular organisation as the business would get affected(Miguel, 2014).
Personal sentiments and the mention of any couple that is conducted on the phone or on the internet used to on record by the National Security Agency surveillance program. This practice is unknown to the people of the United States of America. This is the unconstitutional practice that can affect the personal life any individual(Al-Saggaf, & Burmeister, 2012).
What are the ethical issues and implications?
According toclassical ethical theory to the sense of Public good is raised is by Edward Snowden. This man violates the contract of the National Security Agency but safeguard and follow the social contract of the democracy that is followed by this man. Edward Snowden was not ethically culpable. The reason behind this was as the law was itself unconstitutional(Cromey, 2012).
On the other ethical consideration in perspectives of the population security, this man affected the harm to the national security. This man did the country a great service as it should be known by the people that their personal actions and the practices are on record. This helps the people in knowing the different actions that are taken by the National Security Agency in name of the national security that is unlawful at all(Al-Saggaf, & Burmeister, 2012).
What can be done about it?
Edward Snowden just leaks the information that the National Security Agency surveillance program used to record the information of the common man, the information of the phone and the internet(Brodhead & Higbee, 2012). This man only copied some of the data to prove his blame. He does not leak any data that affects the security of the United States of America. He only leaks the practices of the surveillance that are committed by the NSA in which the data mining practices are done by this agency. This man breaks the contract of the NSA but he pays a tribute to the democracy as people get to know about the things that are being done with them that is unknown to them and that is also unlawful. This man does not commit such a large crime so he should not get a large punishment under the law (Free Snowden, 2018).
What are the options?
There can be different options that can be adopted the first one is Edward Snowden should be free from the charges that are on him. Another option is he can be sentenced to the jail for violating the contract law between the National Security Agency and him. There can be a mercy that can be given to this man under the law in which the years of imprisonment that can be given under the law should be less as he does good work for the population and saving the practices of the democracy(Brodhead & Higbee, 2012). Currently, he is not in the USA; he is Russia so there are no actions are taken under the law on him.
Which option is best - and why?
Ethically the practices that are done by the National Security Agency are unlawful. This agency is not doing the lawful practices. Edward Snowden also breaks the contract of the NSA but ethically he had done right work for democracy of the country. So the mercy should be given to this man in the terms of prison and after the small period of time, this person should be released with respect(Bowen & Zheng, 2015).
Analysis of the situation from the point of view of an ICT professional using the ACS code of ethics
ICT professional used to do the different type of work in the different organisation. Each ICT professional have the different type of information that can be important for the individual. Australian Computer Society (ACS) has the different provisions that give the guidelines to the ICT professionals about their working and not leaking the important information of any in individual(Heeney, 2017).
This can be understood from an example that ICT professional that used to work in the banks. The ICT officer that works in the bank has the access to the different important information of the clients and the customers of the bank. This is the ethically justified that if the information is not leaked by that officer. It also ethically justified that the important information of the customers sustains with the banks is after the permission of the customers and under the laws (Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics, 2018).
But the case of the National Security Agency surveillance is not ethically justified as they are doing the practice of data mining that is unconstitutional and unlawful. They are doing the practice that is not permitted by the population of the United States of America.
According to the ACS, it can be honour, dignity and effectiveness of the profession of information technology that the information of the people that National Security Agency sustains is leaked by the Edward Snowden is unlawful. Even the information of the people that are given to The Washington Post and The Guardian as an evidence is considered as leaked information under the ACS. But it was necessary that to leak that information for the sake of the democracy and the unconstitutional practices that are done by the NSA.
According to the ACS, personal commitment and the contracts that are signed by the Edward Snowden is violated by this man. But ethically this person has done the correct practices that are in favour of the democracy of the country as there can be the situation the whole control of the National Security Agency on the country(Heeney, 2017).
According tothe ACS, the ICT employee has to work with the competence and honesty for the sustainability of the organisation. Edward Snowden was working with competency and honesty. But he used to pay more honest to the democracy of the nation which results can be seen in the future years(Yerby, 2013).
According tothe ACS, code of ethics of the ICT professional used to do work while considering the social implications. The work should be such that which not affects the personal interest of the customers and the population that are taking services from the ICT professional. In the case of the Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency practices of the surveillance were affecting the personal interest of the people to which this agency is serving. The reason for this is the functioning of this agency is not only to record the phone and the internet activities of the people but also to provide the national security (Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics, 2018). There can be the different methods that are adopted by this agency for providing the security to the public. So there is no need of recording the personal lives of the people in name of security?
For example,there are some cases like the case of the David Coleman Headley even in this case the National Security Agency not predicted that this person is indulged in the terrorist activities as if it is predicted by the National Security Agency from its surveillance program then the Mumbai Attacks 2008 not took place.
Conclusion and Recommendation
From this assignment, this can be concluded that ethically Edward Snowden had committed the act that is ethically correct as the National Security Agency was not working according to the constitution of the country. The recording of the calls and the other activities of the public are recorded by the National Security Agency without making aware the public about this. The act that is done by Edward Snowden is also unlawful as he breaks the contract of the National Security Agency and leaks this information that the surveillance program of the National Security Agency includes such practices. He paid a tribute to the democracy. The reason behind this is there can be the situation in which with lots of privacy and the personal information even of the government there is the risk that this agency can control the United States of America. This would also result in the Nation’s insecurity from the inner agency that is National Security Agency. Hence, ethically the act of the Edward Snowden is justified. The recorded information of the National Security Agency is of no use as it can be understood from the example of the David Coleman Headley who is indulged in terrorist activities and plan to attack city of India that is Mumbai and the United States of America agency National Security Agency unable to track and refine the records of this man before the attacks as United States of America representative in the United Nation always that it is against terrorism that is occurring in the world.
1.It can be recommended that the Edward Snowden should be sentenced to Jail but he had not committed such a big crime and he even pays a tribute the democracy while doing this practice.
2.The mercy should be given in the number of years for the Jail punishment that would be ordered by the court.
3.It is recommended that this person should provide a security after the imprisonment as there can be the risk of this person life.
4.Ethically this person intention is not incorrect and the work done by this person is not at all incorrect. Therefore this person image should not be affected by the top people that are the officers of the National Security Agency.
5.Even this person violated the law of the contract of the National Security Agency but this act is not at all against the United States of America.
1.Al-Saggaf, Y. and Burmeister, O.K., 2012. Improving skill development: an exploratory study comparing a philosophical and an applied ethical analysis technique. Computer Science Education, 22(3), pp.237-255.
2.Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics, 2018. Code Of Ethics. [Online] Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics. Available at: http://teaching.csse.uwa.edu.au/units/CITS3200/ethics/acs-ethics.htm. [Accessed: 23 January 2018]
3.Bowen, S.A. and Zheng, Y., 2015. Auto recall crisis, framing, and ethical response: Toyota's missteps. Public Relations Review, 41(1), pp.40-49.
4.Brodhead, M.T. and Higbee, T.S., 2012. Teaching and maintaining ethical behavior in a professional organization. Behavior analysis in practice, 5(2), pp.82-88.
5.Cromey, D.W., 2012. Digital images are data: and should be treated as such. In Cell Imaging Techniques (pp. 1-27). Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
6.Ethics Unwrapped, 2018. Edward Snowden: Traitor or Hero?. [Online] Ethics Unwrapped. Available at: http://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/case-study/edward-snowden-traitor-hero. [Accessed: 23 January 2018]
7.Free Snowden, 2018. The Courage Foundation. [Online] Free Snowden. Available at: https://www.edwardsnowden.com/. [Accessed: 23 January 2018]
8.Heeney, C., 2017. An “Ethical Moment” in Data Sharing. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 42(1), pp.3-28.
9.Miguel, A., 2014. Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins: Revised and Expanded. Orbis Books.
10.Yerby, J., 2013. Legal and ethical issues of employee monitoring. Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, 1(2), pp.44-55.