My initial ethics blog got a nice on-line comment from Paul. He was curious as to the reality of global ethics and liabilities. Great question and adding that to a question I received  via emails it brings up a very nice topic initially.
Ethics are the guideposts we have to live within.
Globally there are core ethics that traverse the various national borders of the world. Architects should in the end build solutions that solve the problems they are taking on. They should wherever possible live within the budgetary constraints of the solution. If the solution cannot be built for the budget allowed than the architect should and must be responsible for reducing the features to be delivered by the solution. In the end that expectation and goal within solutions is the same world wide.
Now there are specific governmental regulations that impact the ethics of a software architect. Where a country specifically bans the use of a specific software solution or doesn’t allow external communication or many other limits for a solution.

Core Ethics Government controlled ethics Ethics beyond software Architecture Liability
These are the things all architects should in do all cases Mandated ethical responses to certain specific requirements The human ethics that supersede professional ethics failing any of these three can have huge liability issues for your solution and your company

It is easy of course to write about the core ethics that all architects should complete. It’s a generic enough term that globally everyone would disagree about what the core ethics are. Resulting of course in the reality of human interpretation. So let’s lay out some core software architect ethics for everyone and see if they stick.
Software Architects should:

  1. Verify the requirements
  2. Map the requirements to the technology not based on the influences of commercial companies but on the right direction for the technology and the company
  3. Evaluate all technologies based on the merit of the solution (coupled with the reality of your organizational hardware platform).
  4. Share

At a high level these will be applicable globally. You can complete 1-3 without impacting any forms of government or human ethics. The fourth one may be prohibited (it is in some parts of the world today) but that may simply make your sharing circle smaller.
It gives us a starting point…
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