Ethics & Technology

Part ‘A’

  1. In context of Utilitarian Theory, this statement may be considered false; however, it still depends on the situation. It would be in favor of greater number of people if even an anonymous whistle-blower blows news which is potentially harmful for the entire company and its employees. For example, a person, with the fear of being killed for breaking the news, anonymously whistle blows the about a huge corruption which may eventually lead to the bankruptcy of the firm, is totally supported by Utilitarian Theory which supports the maximum benefits for the greater number of people (Mill). However, it seemed that anonymous whistle blowing is not a proper practice which must be avoided. Anonymous whistle blowing may result in increasing number of rumors and misinformation.
  2. Such a law is not supported by Kant’s ethical theory. According to Kant, everyone should be treated as a free person equal to everyone else (Velasquez). As per Kant’s Categorical Imperative Formulae, never do something unless you are willing to have everyone do it, even to yourself(Velasquez).

The given law will work against the Kant’s ethical theory where H-1 workers and full-time American workers are treated unequally. They are not being judged by their qualification, experience and quality of work, rather they are distinguished on the basis of American and immigrants’ workers. On the other hand, the situation would have been very awful to those making law, if they would have been in place of those non-permanent based workers.

Part ‘B’

  1. I would consider the first alternative most morally justified which is based on the Principle of Transparency and openness. It is a basic human right that the people in large and the concerned sections of population in particular should be informed about the truth as far as possible. This is not only morally and ethically important but it is also in the long-term beneficial for all parties to know and see the things in their true perspective and not to be mislead or deceived on whatever pretext.

An example of this ethical reality can be given in this way that if there is an electricity shutdown, then it is the duty of the authority to inform the customer in advance about the duration and timings of the shutdown so that they may be able to make alternate arrangements. The other option of concealing the shutdown would not only be morally and ethically bad but it would be unwise on commercial point of view also. The same is true in case of flaws in the security system of a company. In case, the customers are informed in advance of such flaws, then they would take preventives and/or alternative measures, for example, not using internet for sending money during this period. If they are not informed of these flaws, they might suffer losses due to such flaws in the system, the responsibility of which will fall entirely on the company. A related point connected with transparency is making an inbuilt control mechanism, in this case through passwords, codes etc so that the risk of flaws in the system could be minimized as far as possible. This policy would surely benefit the customer as well as the company in the long-term.

  1. In my opinion, there is no harm in offering such a course. This is totally moral. Without the knowledge of computer viruses, it is impossible to learn how to prevent them. As similar to human viruses which are prevented through antibodies which actually contains attenuated form of that particular virus, defending computer viruses needs understanding their mechanism and structure.

The introduction of such courses might prove to be favorable for the society in a sense that there would be more security experts, may be producing more companies providing Antivirus solutions which will eventually lead in more competition. Increase in competition will lead to decrease in price which will eventually saves money for businesses and the society.

The request of the computer-security companies to stop teaching such courses has no sense. The people who are working in these computer-security companies had also learned about computer viruses and malware. That is why they are working there and able to devise anti virus programs. Saying that these new student should not be taught the same is totally unjustified.

First alternate is supported by utilitarianism theory, as it will eventually benefit a greater number of people and deontological ethical theory which emphasis on certain unbreakable moral rules (Deontological Ethics). The first alternate does not hide the truth and therefore supported by Deontology.

References:

  • Mill, John Stuart. com. <http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill1.htm>.
  • Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 21 November 2007. 28 November 2009 <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/>.
  • Velasquez, Manuel G. Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Sixth Edition. Dehli: Pearson Education, 2007.
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