Topic: Week 3 Assignment
You have been working for the XYZ Computer Corporation as an entry-level software engineer since you graduated from college last May. You have done very well so far; you are respected by management, are well liked by your fellow employees, and have been assigned to a team of engineers that has consistently worked on the most critical and valued projects and contracts that XYZ Corp. has secured.
Their most recent contract is for a United States defense project involving the missile defense system, and again you have been assigned to the team that will develop software for this project. However, you are staunchly opposed to the projectâ€™s objectives, so you ask to be reassigned. Your supervisor and coworkers, as well as upper management, are disappointed to learn of your strong feelings about this project. You are asked to reconsider your views, and you are promised a bonus and a substantial pay increase if you agree to work on this project during the next year. You also discover from a colleague that refusing to work on this project would greatly diminish your career advancement at XYZ and may even make you vulnerable to future layoffs. To compound matters, you and your spouse are expecting your first child in about three months and you recently purchased a home.
What would you do? Describe the process of ethical deliberation that you would undertake in trying to resolve this dilemma.
In the days and weeks immediately following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, some political leaders claimed that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures; in times of war, basic civil liberties and freedoms, such as privacy, need to be severely restricted for the sake of national security and safety. Perhaps as a nation, the value that we have traditionally attached to privacy has diminished significantly since then.
Initially, the majority of American citizens strongly supported the Patriot Act, which passed by an overwhelming margin in both houses of Congress and was enacted into law on October 21, 2001. However, between 2001 and 2005 support for this act diminished considerably. Many privacy advocates believe that it goes too far and thus erodes basic civil liberties. Some critics also fear that certain provisions included in the act could easily be abused.
Examine some of the details of the Patriot Act and determine whether its measures are as extreme as its critics suggest. Are those measures consistent with the value of privacy, which Americans claim to embrace? Do privacy interests need to be reassessed, and possibly recalibrated, in light of ongoing threats from terrorists?
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