Software Development and Human Rights
There is an article in this week's ZDNET (http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6213376.html) via TechRepublic (http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/career/?p=211&tag=nl.e606) about the development of software features that might violate people's human rights or be otherwise immoral in some way (leaving aside hacking). What do you all think? Are we as developers responsible for how our software is employed by the end user?
I would say just as bad as the guy who welds the metal sheets for ICBM's. Although you could opt that a off-by-one bug on missile guidance system could mean the difference between a military communications post and a school full of children :P
Any technology can be used for evil purposes. There is a hint of neo-luddism (it's even mentioned explicitly) in that interview.
Are we as developers responsible for how our software is employed by the end user?
Of course... it's called ethics. Google the BART system whistle blowing case.
that could be the worst interview I've ever read. The interviewer asked such softball questions and played way to dumb. Software developers have been concerned with moral issues for a long time. In fact, in my university the only mandatory class for CS majors is a class on morality and information technology.