Ethics Assessment 2
Select one of the case-studies below. Expand on the case to describe the ethical issues in this case using at least one of the following concepts from the course:
a)Engineering as social experimentation (Week 3)
b)Risk and safety (Week 4)
c)Ethics in the workplace (Week 6)
d)Ethical aspects of ICTs (Week 7)
e)Engineering and the environment (Week 8)
Your answer should be no longer than 2000 words.
This assessment should be submitted by Thursday 9th December 2010 (Week 10).
Case 1 – Jailbreaking
‘Jailbreaking’ describes how to hack the operating system of a device to remove the restrictions placed on them by the manufacturers; if you jailbreak an iPhone you can run any apps on it rather than just those which have been approved by Apple. Apple have argued that jailbreaking prevents the company from being innovative, and that they need copyright protection in order to develop devices like the iPhone, and provide a platform for app developers. However, in July 2010, US federal regulators announced that it was no longer illegal to ‘jailbreak’ an iPhone. Yet this ruling only applies to the phones – it is still illegal to hack the operating system of other devices. In August 2009 Matthew Crippen from Anaheim, California, was taken into custody after running a home business in which he jailbroke X-boxes. When interviewed, Crippen said that he didn’t intend to conduct illegal piracy, but instead wanted users to be able to use decrypted copies of games rather than those which were ‘DRM-laden’. If convicted, Crippen faces up to ten years in prison.
Case 2 – British Petroleum
The ‘Deepwater Horizon’ was a drilling rig based in the Gulf of Mexico and was leased to British Petroleum (BP) by Transocean. On April 20th 2010 methane gas shot up out of the well and exploded on the platform, causing the rig to collapse and sink. 2 days later an oil leak was discovered which later became the largest...