Here's the topic from the third paper:
“Pick an example from Chapter 2 or 5 and show if the people who built the software acted ethically according to Appendix A and your general sense of ethics.”
It occurs to me that I haven't noted which textbook we are using. It is A Gift of Fire, by Sara Baase, Third Edition.
Here's my paper, I tried not to include too much reference to the book, but it was needed for this assignment.
A good example of software that has been built upon questionable ethics is the software and procedures that the government uses to obtain personal information about suspected criminals. “The U.S. Patriot Act, passed in the weeks after the September, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, gives authorities the means to secretly view personal data held by U.S. Organizations” from the article Patriot Act haunts Google service on www.theglobeandmail.com. This law conflicts with many other government's privacy laws, which require organizations to protect all private information, and also require that the consumer is informed when this information is obtained, regardless of the process, by a third party. According to the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (Version 5.2) section 1.04 Software engineers shall, as appropriate “Disclose to appropriate persons or authorities any actual or potential danger to the user, the public, or the environment, that they reasonably believe to be associated with software or related documents.” It is my argument that the U.S. Patriot Act causes the potential threat of private data being obtained by an outside party, in this case, the U.S. government, and that this causes an ethical dilemma for software developers, specifically in the U.S.