Bruce W. Johns
Module 1 Case Assignment
ETH501 - Business Ethics
Dr. Shondria Woods
July 29, 2011
Should Bank of America refuse to process payments and do business with WikiLeaks?
WikiLeaks a company of mystery and without scruples that will release information on anyone or anything that it thinks it may be able to discredit. In my belief ethics upon both WikiLeaks and Bank of America are scarred and will lead both to doing things that are unethical and could be illegal. Bank of America is one of our nation’s largest banks that has throughout its history has conducted business in almost every country and with many governments including our own; has been given the opportunity to receive and gain information that could bring down the economy of the United States and lead to a financial meltdown of the U.S. and the world. So processing payments in support of a web based information mill such as WikiLeaks by these large banks could complete the ethical dilemma that the US and many large banks are being ethically challenged.
With ethical challenges being evaluated and the amount of people and the organizations that are involved if such a leak should happen will cause devastation upon many companies and individuals that could lead to the meltdown of trust for our banking system. I think that if we take a true ethical evaluation of the circumstances that we will find that both entities have utilitarian and deontological ethics when it comes to providing as well as suppressing information that may be released because of a so called hard drive that Julian Assange from a high profile individual from a large US bank could cause. I will break down these ethical issues and try to determine if the leaks would benefit or discredit our US banks and if the overall outcome would devastate more than it could benefit. So taking on the ethical stance that such an issue would cause, I would like to evaluate Julian Assange and which form of ethics that he stands for utilitarian or deontological. Mr. Assange developed WikiLeaks to debunk the methods government and individuals use to keep information from reaching the public. He started this site when he was defending himself in court for visitations with his child. In the case of WikiLeaks and Bank of America this individual that stands behind the idea that freedom of speech and the First amendment of the US constitution. So he rests his ideas and methods of providing information on his website as if it is a sanctioned method of providing information to the public through online media. Does the general public believe that WikiLeaks is a full and truthful source of information or just a site that an individual with unproven information to release and discredit whomever he feels to discuss at whatever time he feels he would like. If we just look at Mr. Assange at this point I would say that he is hiding behind deontological principal of ethics. Like most media organizations and journalists they look to the first amendment to freedom of speech. Mr. Assange could say that he has the right to speak his mind and the government has the duty not to stop him from what he wants to say. If Mr. Assange has the information that could show that these banks are doing things wrong by the people that utilize the banks and maybe he believes in the utilitarian principal that if he shares the information more people could benefit or save themselves from misfortune than those that would not have been hurt by the information that is located on a hard drive of a highly positioned executive in one of the major US banks. This individual has built his company around shadows and without a corporate entity. Many of his servers are hidden around the world and supporters of his cause right or wrong have donated their time and services within their own homes and companies to store information on servers that are not physically...
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