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Edward Snowden - Business Ethics Reaction

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Whistle Blowing and the Case of Edward Snowden

Whistle blowing involves revealing information related to illegal or unethical activities occur within an organization. Most of the time these hidden information is covered under the protection of senior management of the organization. As employment contracts are controlled by management of the organization, it is almost certain that there are clauses that forbid the disclosure of these information. If one follows Contractarianism at face value, one would never be able to whistle blow because that will almost always violate the term of one’s employment contract. However, if the contracts was designed in such a way to abet illegal activities, we can argue that they are unlawful contracts. Under common law, an illegal contract is “a contract that the courts will not honour because the purpose of the contract is to achieve an illegal end”. In this case, if the non-disclosure is to protect illegal activities by the government then we can argue that it is an unlawful contract.
Viewing this at another angle, there are also other exception cases where contracts must be violated in order to complete tasks such as in the case of secret service agents or private detectives. A more scrutiny look into the case reveals that Snowden joined Booz Hamilton with a clear purpose of obtaining information about the secrete programs that he believed is harmful to public privacy. In this role, he can be considered as a private investigator who infiltrate the government systems to uncovered hidden unethical acts. In this role, he is not obliged to honour the contracts because that is necessary for him to perform his tasks as an undercover agent.
On the other hand, we can review the action of the NSA and US government on the models. From a Rawzlian model, the management in NSA who decide to implement this surveillance program should…...

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