Given enough time the chances you could be asked by your employer to do something you deem unethical go up. It could be setting up someone to get fired that the company does not like but needs a reason. It could be being asked to place misinformation. It could even be asked to keep secret that your country is spying on every aspect of every person they can access no matter what country or who they are.
It is a given that no two people have exactly the same level of morals and ethics. It is like saying if you want to start an argument with your neighbor, selecting politics or religion as a topic will get that done in short order. Difference in opinions can be an inch or so, or miles apart. So when views are close not much is felt and for the most part it can be written off as not knowing all the facts and perhaps it is OK. But when you are asked to go against your core values and the right and wrong foundation that your parents taught you when you were young, you do pause.
In some cases people may out and out refuse. Example given if you are asked to overlook a flaw in some part that if it fails could cause people to die. Some people may out and out say no and would be backed up by any number of regulations and procedures. There are others who just don’t care and will turn and look away. The company may threaten you with insubordination, but it is a line you can not cross, threat or not. You can not have some form of greed contribute to loss of life.
In a different situation the client patient confidentiality can be violated if the person is a threat to himself or others. So there is a clear moral and ethical line that is there that seems to reflect do no harm to others that seems to transcend all professions.
So when it comes to spying, the voyeur otherwise known as a Peeping Tom violates the law. Yet when the NSA intercepts their compromising photos being email to their lover, it does not seem to matter and falls under what you don’t know can’t hurt you plus we are professionals. The same disclaimer applies when every aspect of a persons personal life is being stored on some hard drive. The smart phone technology that can place your location within a few feet tracks your every move and is stored. Who you call, how often and for how long is there too.
So is it morally ethical to tell people this is going on. If they don’t know it can’t harm them is the argument. We have seen many attempts over the years and it is still ongoing that governments want to control what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults. Laws that want to impose on sexual behavior are common, but difficult to enforce, but that closed door seems to be getting more and more transparent thanks to technology.
Can you imagine someone remotely activating your computers built in webcam watching you have sex. Based on what we know now about the NSA, we can comfortably assume it happens more than not. The thought of some NSA employee comparing your sexual performance to their favorite porn star does not sit well. On the same thought, no need to bug a room, just access the same computers built in microphone. Somehow the chances that information is in Edward Snowden’s yet to be released NSA documents seem fairly high as well.
So this brings us to the point of thought that what about us is truly secret. This information does not hurt us, but it does violate us. Surveillance Rape may be a phrase that will become common in the months and weeks ahead as the level of violation is the same, it just uses different parts of the body to penetrate into private places. So with that thought, there is a very big chance the moral and ethical values of Edward Snowden mirror many of us when you eventually learn all of what drove him to do what he did.