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| Words: 2100 | Submitted: 09-Jan-2015
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DescriptionEthical challenges faced by information and technology communication (ICT) firms
The case study looks into the ethical challenges faced by information and technology communication (ICT) firms. It looks into the subsequent response these firms made with the formation of the global network initiative (GNI).
The main theme to the case study is the issue of censorship. Censorship is the policy of restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions and impulses which have or are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order which that authority considers itself bound to protect (Maclay 2010). In a 2009 report, the press freedom organisation, Reporters Without Borders identified 12 countries as enemies of the internet for their efforts in preventing their population of accessing undesirable information. These countries include Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam (Crane & Matten 2010).
The case study focuses on China. In 2005 the OpenNet Initiative found China operates the most extensive, technologically sophisticated, and broad-reaching system of Internet filtering in the world (Mackinnon 2008).The reason for it its existence is based on state critique theory, which posits that the goal of the Chinese leadership is to suppress dissent, and to prune human expression that finds fault with elements of the Chinese state, its policies, or its leaders (King et al 2013)
What constitutes ‘undesirable information’? The idea of censorship plays an important role in society. It is undeniable that for the safety of the general public certain things need to be censored. However where do you draw the line?
It should be noted that freedom of expression and privacy are natural rights. Natural rights are certain basic, important, unalienable entitlements that should be respected and protected in every single action. Freedom of expression is a principle inherent in western culture and is the basis of democracy (Crane & Matten 2010). Also Kants 1st maxim stated act only according to the maxim by which you can at the same time will, that it should become universal law. (Crane & Matten 2010). With this in mind, a company should behave in a way that is consistent throughout. In terms of privacy safety, most arguments developed by legal theorist and philosophers fall under two categories; One category consists of Utilitarian arguments that appeal to the consequences, and the second is Kantian arguments, that links privacy to being a person or having respect for people (Boatright 2006). Yahoo and Google both came under the spotlight for their reactions to the censorship issue
Yahoo came under intense scrutiny for their role in the arrest of Chinese journalist Shi Tao (Maclay 2010). Yahoo’s Hong Kong office breached Shi Tao’s privacy and ...
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