In the world of business ethics, we often say that complying with the law is the baseline. Being ethical means going beyond the law, doing the right thing even when you don’t have to.
What we rarely say is that ethics also includes your responsibility to disobey the law when that law is unjust.
Complying with the law is easy. Going beyond the legal requirements is harder. Defying an unjust law takes courage.
The difficult part is determining if a law or an order is unjust. Reasonable people can disagree. Apple has thought about the recent Court Order and decided it wasn’t right.
We may or may not agree with Apple’s decision. But, in this most recent case, the company is exercising the highest form of business ethics.