After over 250,000 U.S. State Department documents became public by WikiLeaks, the organization's founder warns that big business may be next in line for a security breach. Companies have reason to worry. The WikiLeaks documents revealed embarrassing information, such as references to the prime minister of Italy as "feckless and vain" and to North Korea's leader as a "flabby old chap." If documents and internal communications of "a major American bank" are revealed, as Julian Assange promises, a company may suffer deep embarrassment.
- What are the ethical considerations of making companies' documents and internal communications public? What is the value to society? What are the potential risks?
- Does the possibility of your email or other documents becoming public concern you? Does this encourage you to rethink how you write messages? How?
- How can individual managers working for a company protect themselves from these attacks?
- Look at emails you have sent over the past six months. Which would cause you embarrassment if they were published in the Wall Street Journal?
- Write an email to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Take a position: either convince Assange to continue his pursuit of business OR convince him to stop his pursuit. Be sure to explain and support your position.