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No extensions are given: Penalties of 5% per day of the total assignment mark apply to late submissions (accepted up to 5 working days after the due date). If there are circumstances that prevent the assignment being submitted on time, an application for special consideration may be submitted to the Student Hub. 

This assignment is worth 15% of your final mark.

This is an individual assignment and is to be completed by you working Alone (use the green Statement of Authorship for Individual Assignments).

Copying, Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the submission of somebody else’s work in a manner that gives the impression that the work is your own.  The Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering treats academic misconduct seriously.  When it is detected, penalties are strictly imposed.  Refer to the subject guide for further information and strategies you can use to avoid a charge of academic misconduct.

Referencing: All submissions should be fully referenced whenever using information that has been sourced from journals, websites (including the date of accessing), etc. Your submission should conclude with a bibliography that cites all the references that you have used and/or referred to in your deliberations and used in your submission.

Assignment Instructions (Background reading: LMS: Ethics Lecture (Week 5) and the Ethics Practice Class (Week 6) and in particular the document PC6 Sample Worksheet Solution)

Question 1: Is there an Ethical Dilemma? Read the case study below and then briefly discuss any ethical issues related to all of the people mentioned by name in the scenario. (Maximum 1 typed page)

Question 2: Four-step Ethical Analysis and Decision Making Process Do the more structured ethical analysis and decision making process (as done in Practice Class week 6, following the procedures outlined in Kallman and Grillo). Complete this analysis using the headings that follow:

Step I. Understand the Situation

A) List and number the relevant facts b) Which of these raise an ethical issue? What is the potential or resulting harm? c) List the stakeholders involved 

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Step II. Isolate the Major Ethical Dilemma

Step III. Ethical Analysis


A. If action in Step II is done, who will be harmed?
B. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be harmed?
C. Which alternative results in the least harm?
D. If action in Step II is done, who will benefit?
E. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will benefit?
F. Which alternative results in the maximum benefit?
Consequentialism Comments (on the choices at C. and F.):

Rights and Duties: G. List relevant abridged rights and neglected duties. Rights and Duties Comments:

Kant’s Categorical Imperative:

H. If action in Step II is done, who will be treated with disrespect?
I. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be treated with disrespect?
J. Which alternative is preferable?
K. If action in Step II is done, who will be treated unlike others?
L. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be treated unlike others?
M. Which alternative is preferable?
N. Are there benefits if everyone did action in Step II?
O. Are there benefits if nobody did action in Step II?
P. Which alternative is preferable?

Step III Discussion

Step IV. Making a decision

a) Make a defensible ethical decision

b) List the steps needed to implement your defensible ethical decision _____________________________________________________________________________ Case Study - Transcript

Harry was a bright network programmer working at a private company called ACE Inc., one of the major graphics software providers in Australia.  His job at ACE included computer security.  He had developed a sound reputation both within and external to ACE for being proactive (always trying to anticipate a problem before it happened) as he tried to provide solutions or preventative measures before any damage could be done to the company’s resources – especially its software and data.  He maintained a keen interest in and had an extensive knowledge of all the problems concerned with ACE’s security procedures.

As Harry was excited by his work, he pursued his interests in security software at home on his own computer.  Over a period of time, Harry developed an anti-virus program in which he took great pride.  As there were many competitors vying for market share in this lucrative environment, Harry realised that, to make his program stand out from other competitors, he would design it and make it operate in a network environment.

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Harry continued developing his program: he purchased extra hardware and software to create his own small network to continue developing his design. As the program neared completion, Harry dreamed of creating a start-up company that would take his prototype and upgrade it to be a commercial distribution: marketed for all users, no matter how complex a network environment was involved.

The basic features of the program, for which Harry was very proud, included:

 A sophisticated Graphics User Interface (GUI).
 Help screens and graphics for every activity.
 Procedures for backing out of any potentially hazardous activity (a way forward and a way back at every progress point).
 It could recognise and destroy both old and new viruses.
 It described any virus that it found in detail by its type, its source, and its structure.
 Additionally (one of the features that Harry was most proud of) there was a validation feature.

The user could copy each virus to a diskette (or quarantined memory location), and modify the existing virus and then let the program loose on this new, redesigned version of the virus. The program never failed to destroy the new virus every time!

Having completed as many trials as possible at home, Harry then approached his manager, Jill, the Head of IT Security at ACE, offering his program to ACE at a discount price, as his first customer.  Harry was aware that ACE had its share of infections and that his program could greatly improve its security.

Jill expressed many misgivings about his program. She told Harry that he had in fact developed an extremely dangerous program. “If ACE were to make it available on the network it would be like leaving a kid in the candy store.  ACE won’t buy this program!  In fact I am sure that ACE wouldn’t touch it even if it were free! It’s just entirely too dangerous.”

Harry was shocked. He considered his program to be an unquestionable asset.  How could Jill take it on herself to refuse it? He decided to give up his dreams of making money and, instead, became a consultant on the internet in his own time by releasing his program (source and executable) on a Bulletin Board System and providing help to prospective users on the program’s features.  On deciding to release the program, he published it under the name Safe-T and consulted under the name Lock Smith.

When Jill discovered what Harry had done and that Harry was indeed Lock Smith, she immediately fired him. Harry has now been out of a job for two weeks. But there is considerable interest from his program on the internet, and Lock Smith receives many new enquiries daily.

Jill’s manager, Brockley Smetherton, the executive Head of IT at ACE (who had privately considered Harry to be a bit of a “loose cannon”) has always had a high opinion of Jill and supported Jill’s decision to sack Harry with no further review of the case. Brockley has just received an urgent email from Ima Bigwig, the owner of the company. Ima has been briefed by an independent head-hunter about an innovative developer on the internet called Lock Smith. In her email, Ima instructed Brockley to find Lock Smith and offer him a position immediately to bring his expertise to ACE. Brockley, knowing who Lock Smith is, pours himself a strong cup of coffee and considers the situation…

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Hints: It is important that your ethical analysis is fully supported by providing ethical reasoning for each step/suggestion/conclusion that you performed during your analysis. That is, provide and argue (only ethical arguments will be accepted) each step and/or conclusion/action that you present. Note that these events have happened and cannot be changed however many ethical points can be made as to the conduct of each player, what should/could have occurred, and the consequences of such actions, etc.! Your conclusion must be the solution to your identified major dilemma – along with the relevant supporting ethical reasoning.  The process has been clearly outlined in Tutorial 5, where a case study concerning Landscape was examined using the student worksheet. It is strongly recommended that your analysis of this assignment closely follows the worksheet template – i.e. use the same headings however apply your analysis to the assignment problem. The marking scheme is given on lms (a summary of the marking scheme is also given below). Additionally there is a proposed solution provided in Tutorial 5 (for the Landscape case study) which outlines the expected detail expected in your submission.  {Note that many submissions will come to different conclusions – the differences that each submission may arrive at is not the real/main issue for this assignment – it is performing (and recording) the logical steps, and, most importantly, your supporting logical (  ethical) reasoning that you have applied at each step that has led you to that particular (step and final) conclusion.}

 Submission Details A hard copy of your assignment should be placed in the relevant submission box on the ground floor of the Beth Gleeson Building (behind BG139).

NOTE: YOU MUST ATTACH a signed green Statement of Authorship for Individual Assignments to your submission.

Fields on the statement of authorship which must be completed include: Unit Code: CSE5PE (or CSE3PE)  Unit Name: Professional Environment    Assignment No. 1 Name of Document: Ethics Assignment Lecturer name: Geoff Holt Plus your student details – clearly written.

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 Marking Scheme

Question 1: Is there an Ethical Dilemma?      [9 marks]
Question 2: Four-step Ethical Analysis and Decision Making Process
Step I. Understand the Situation       [9 marks]
Step II. Isolate the Major Ethical Dilemma      [3 marks]
Step III. Ethical Analysis Consequentialism        [4 marks]
Rights and Duties        [4 marks]
Kant’s Categorical Imperative      [3 marks] 
Step III Discussion        [9 marks] 
Step IV. Making a decision
a) Make a defensible ethical decision      [2 marks]
b) List the steps needed to implement your defensible ethical decision [7 marks]

 Return of Assignments Assignments will be available for collection from the General Office within 2 weeks of the final allowable submission date. Students will be advised via email and on the LMS when assignments are ready for collection. Details of collection (location/date-time) will be promulgated on lms when ready.

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