Google Employees’ Ethics, and the Pentagon

business_ethics_highlights_2Do corporate employees have a patriotic duty to engage enthusiastically to projects that are conducive to their nation’s national security interests? Or do they have a moral duty not to participate in projects that they think will contribute to war? And whichever of those views you support, how far does that view extend? What other kinds of examples might be included? The article below is a good starting point for thinking about this. (But note: the article itself doesn’t make the claim made in the headline!)

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LINK: Google code of ethics on military contracts could hinder Pentagon work (by Brittany De Lea for Fox News)

Google is among the frontrunners for a lucrative, multibillion dollar contract with the Pentagon, but ethical concerns among some of its employees may pose a problem.

The Defense Department’s pending cloud storage contract, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), could span a decade and will likely be its largest yet – valued in the billions of dollars. The department issued draft requests for proposals to host sensitive and classified information and will likely announce the winner later this year.

While Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle are viewed as the major contenders for the job, Google’s employees have voiced concern about creating products for the U.S. government. More than 3,000 of the tech giant’s employees signed a letter Opens a New Window. , released this month, addressed to company CEO Sundar Pichai, protesting involvement in a Pentagon pilot program called Project Maven….

What do you think?


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About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

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