If the law does not keep pace with technological developments, and it always seems to be at least one step behind, the consequences can be devastating, even in the seemingly simplest of things. What could be more technologically routine these days than email? And yet.
Justin Ellsworth was a Marine who gave his life for his country. By all accounts he was a brave and fine Marine and we all owe him the highest debt of gratitude. But we were also left with a serious question, what to do with his email? His parents wanted access. They wanted to see what their son had to say. However, email is a private sort of thing. Yahoo, his email provider, had a terms of service agreement with him. And while we sympathize greatly with his parents, there is also a precedent to be concerned about. One can't simply waive away the privacy issue as a decision to release the information could have serious consequences for email privacy for us all. So the issue needs to be discussed, thought through, and resolved. That is why we have cases like this in a class like this, so we can think these things through and try to respect the family, the deceased, and the needs of society. So I ask you:
Should Justin Ellsworth's Parents have been given access to his email?

Case Expectations:

Please answer this question in three to five pages. Be sure to assess, separately with thorough explanations, the utilitarian and deontological considerations.
Please go to the web and to our cyber libraries and find as much as you can on this case.
You can read about it by going to Proquest:

Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased?
Susan Llewelyn Leach Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Monitor. Boston, Mass.: May 2, 2005. pg. 12; Retrieved on August 28, 2012 from PProquest.

Yet many legal experts say Yahoo! acted correctly. It denied the family's informal request and only yielded under court order. "I would hope that the Yahoo! position here would become a trade practice - that e-mail would only be released if a judge approved it," says Gerald Ferrera, executive director of the Cyberlaw Center at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass.
For Yahoo!'s part, the company says it still stands behind its commitment to treat each user's e-mail as private and confidential. "We are pleased that the court has issued an order resolving this matter ... and allowing Yahoo! to continue upholding our privacy commitment to our users," says Yahoo! spokeswoman Mary Osako.
Most people leave their privacy in the hands of e-mail providers, rarely reading through the terms of service and privacy policy before clicking the "I agree" box. Yahoo! states that its accounts are nontransferable and that "rights to the Yahoo! I.D. and contents within the account terminate upon death." Destroying the data once the contract ends simplifies life for Internet service providers (ISPs), says Mr. [Alan Chappell].

General Expectations:
Your paper should be double-spaced with 12-point font.
Your paper should have a separate cover page and a separate reference page for your in-text citations in addition to the body of your paper.
Use APA-style.
Be sure to proofread your paper.
Upload your paper to Coursenet by the end of the module.
Modular Learning Objectives
By the end of this module, the student shall be able to satisfy the following outcomes expectations:
Explain the utilitarian aspects of informational privacy for employers
Explain the utilitarian aspects of informational privacy for employees
Explain the basic deontological aspects of informational privacy for employers

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