Hunter Biden’s Laptop Raises Ethical Questions

Dear Editor,

Hunter Biden’s laptop, containing “incriminating” emails, being discovered close to an election, is suspicious. The laptop could be a hoax. Unethically/illegally obtained “evidence” could be manipulated. The way the computer was obtained is a legitimate question concerning authenticity and ethics.

The computer repair technician’s explanation is more understandable than portrayed. According to several written articles, the computer contained “explicit” images of potentially underage girls. If true, the technician had an ethical, and in many jurisdictions legal, obligation to turn the laptop into authorities. Authorities would then be obliged to investigate every file to discover other illegal acts. When photos used film, photo techs were required to report illegal images. Police then looked through houses for other evidence. Certainly, every American has private, even embarrassing, information on their computers. We rely on technician’s professionalism when requesting repairs. A technician shouldn’t intentionally look through files if they just needed to replace a battery. However, if the documents were obvious, or the level of service required looking through files, noticing may have been unavoidable. If the repair technician found potentially illegal photos on a computer, he/she had an obligation to contact authorities no matter how noticed.

The repair occurred during the impeachment. It would be highly unethical, even creepy, for a technician to intentionally self-investigate electronic activities of an actor for personal curiosity. If a government agent pressured the technician to unlawfully obtain the laptop to investigate alleged illegal acts, this would be abuse similar to what happened to the president. This level of abuse would raise authenticity questions. However, if the documents were obvious, or the tech’s job required looking through files that were potentially illegal based on widely reported potentially inappropriate acts, it was ethical to turn them into authorities.

This all began when a “whistle blower” claimed President Trump requested a foreign country investigate potential illegal/unethical Biden relationships. Prior to the impeachment, few people knew of the alligations. In order to impeach the president, the “whistle blower” promoted the alligation. Had this not occurred, both the technician and federal agents looking into the pictures, would likely have ignored the emails. This could have been just an inappropriate photo investigation only. In many ways, if real, this may be a strategy coming back to haunt the DNC. If the president was not impeached, the background issue would have remained unknown, these emails would likely have been overlooked.

Alan Burke