s. Art of Answer Writing In Ethie Case Study 5. 2018 GS Paper 4. unacademy SHUBHAM SINGH
Question 12 (Case 6) 12. Edward Snowden, a computer expert and former CIA administrator, released confidentiat Government documents to the press about the existence of Government surveillance programmes. According to many legal experts and the US Government, his action violated the Espionage act of 1971, which identified the leak of State secret as an act of treason. Yet, despite the fact that he broke the law, Snowden argued that he had a moral obligation to act. He gave a justification for his "whistle blowing" by stating that he had a duty "to inform the public as to that which is done in there name and that which is done against them." According to Snowden, the Government's violation of privacy had to be exposed regardless of legality since more substantive issues of social action and public morality were involved here. Many agreed with Snowden. Few argued that he broke the law and compromised national security, for which he should be held accountable. Do you agree that Snowden's actions were ethically justified even if legally prohibited? Why or why not? Make an argument by weighing the competing values in this case (250 words)
Approach: Page 1 Page 2. Page 3 1. Identify stakeholders. (1 min) Give argument in 3. Was it ethical?? 5. Suggest what could have been best favour and agat it.way forward. 6. conclude. 2. Explain competing values. 4.Conclude whether it was ethical or not: MANAGEME ETHI MOR
Various stakeholders. 1. Government. 2. Edaward Snowden 3. People. MANAGE ETHIC
Explain competing values Conflict between Individual Organizational duties and duty towards larger Public Interest. . .Duty of Individual to obey law or follow Ethical Standards. Value of safety and security of Citizen against value of Right to Privacy. MANAGE ETHIC
Was it illegal? Yes: Law Prohibit any individual to leak confidential data to public, his action violated the Espionage act of 1971 . Thus his action can be considered illegal
Was it ethically justified? Yes: . He acted out of good faith to Protect Public interest. . Being Public servant, Snowden have moral obligation towards Citizens. By acting as Whistle blower, values of Transparency and accountability in Governance is ensured. Since Snowden acted out of Altruistic faith with no ulterior motives his action can be considered Ethica .
Was it ethically justified? NO His action created chasm between citizen and state and bred distrust. leaking information collected in fiduciary capacity is unethical Broke organizational trust. Going directly to press without exhausting other institutional mechanism laid to undue media sensationalism Victimization of Snowden after leak of classified data created deterrence for other Whistle Blower. . . .
Way forward: Although Snowden was acting out of good faith to protect larger Public Interest but, due diligence should have been deployed instead of adopting radical overtures. Right approach could have been: Il material evidences where citizen privacy are encroached by state. Snowden should have approached competent authority like department of Justice or supreme Court to claim his case. Only after exhausting all institutional mechanism Snowden should have taken direct Public route and leave upon citizen to enforce accountability under democratic framework. .
Way forward: dual resonsbilother vihf Public. Best approach is to reconcile this duality and not make it dichotomy A public servant is expected to work within the boundary of the law and could overlook law only under compelling reason when all other institutional mechanism has failed.
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Star* and Verified Educator, Visiting Faculty @SPIPA GUJARAT, completed full course of Ethics, Art & Culture, written 6 UPSC Mains.