Wikileaks Case Study

2225 words 9 pages
Case Facts:

• WikiLeaks is an international, online, self-proclaimed not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of undisclosed and secret information, news leaks, and highly classified media from anonymous sources and whistleblowers.
• The head of the online organisation, which was founded in 2006, is Australian born, Julian Assange.
• Its purpose is to provide whistleblowers with a domain to publish their case to the public and preserve their identity (Lennon 2010).
• Exposes various government and privately owned organisations.
• First major act of exposure was the publication of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's emails by WikiLeaks (DeFraia 2012).
• Another act of exposure released on its website
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In this case, the greatest good for the greatest number would be for WikiLeaks to release the classified information to the general public as they are the greatest number. This decision would negatively affect the organisations that are being exposed as well as their employees. Even though employees at these firms may subsequently lose their jobs because of the exposure of confidential information, the general public will be the greater benefactor as they will be made aware of the immoral actions of these organisations and thus be more cautious when it comes to interacting with them. Therefore I recommend the release of information to the general public.
KANTIANISM:
From a Kantian view point, the decision maker is obligated to act in the best interests of the general public as they are the main stakeholders. From the ethical dilemma, which is either to release classified information to the general public or not to release classified information to the general public, two maxims are developed. In this case they are:
To always be honest with the general public
Or
To never be honest with the general public
Applying the Categorical Imperative:
To always be honest with the general public
The above maxim passes the universalisable test,

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