Computer Ethics - Essay Example

Anthropological relativism Is the concept of right and wrong Is decided by a society’s actual moral life structure. Demonology Is the belief that people’s actions are to be guided by moral laws, and that these moral laws are universal. The origins of Deontological Ethics are generally attributed to the German philosopher Emmanuel Kant and his ideas concerning the Categorical Imperative. Kant believed that in order for any ethical school of thought to apply to all rational beings, they must have a foundation in reason.

Kant split this school into two categorical imperatives. The first categorical imperative states to act only from moral rules that you can at the same time will to be universal moral laws. The second categorical imperative states to act so that you always treat both yourself and other people as ends in themselves, and never only as a means to an end. Utilitarianism is the belief that if an action is good it benefits someone and an action Is bad if it harms someone.

This ethical belief can be broken down Into two different schools, Act Utilitarianism and Rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism Is the belief that an action Is good If Its overall effect Is to produce more happiness than unhappiness. Rule Utilitarianism is the belief that we should adopt a moral rule and if followed by everybody, would lead to a greater level of overall happiness. Social contract is the concept that for a society to arise and maintain order, a morality based set of rules must be agreed upon.

Social contract theory has influenced modern government and is heavily involved with societal law. Philosophers like John Rails, Thomas Hobbes,John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau helped created the foundation of social contract. Virtue Ethics is the belief that ethics should be more concerned with the character of the moral agent (virtue ether than focusing on a set of rules dictating right and wrong actions, as in the cases of demonology and utilitarianism, or a focus on social context, such as Is seen with Social Contract ethics.

Although concern for virtue appears in several philosophical traditions, In the West the roots of the tradition Ill In the work of Plato and Aristotle, and even today the tradition’s key concepts derive from ancient by information ethics, a branch of philosophical ethics established by Lucian Florid’. The term computer ethics was first coined by Dry. Walter Manner, a professor at Boston University. Since the sass the field has started being integrated into professional development programs in academic settings.

History[edit] The concept of computer ethics originated in 1950 when Norte Wiener, an MIT professor and inventor of an information feedback system called “cybernetics”, published a book called “The Human Use of Human Beings” which laid out the basic foundations of computer ethics and made Norte Wiener the father of computer ethics. Later on, in 1966 another MIT professor by the name of Joseph Whizz-bang published a simple program called ELISE which performed natural engage processing.

In essence, the program functioned like a psychotherapist where the program only used open ended questions to encourage patients to respond. The program would apply pattern matching pattern rules to human statements to figure out its reply. A bit later during the same year the world’s first computer crime was committed. A programmer was able to use a bit of computer code to stop his banking account from being flagged as overdrawn. [citation needed] However, there were no laws in place at that time to stop him, and as a result he was not charged.

To make sure another person did not follow suit, an ethics code for computers was needed. Sometime further into the sass Don Parker of SIR International, who was an author on computer crimes,[3] led to the development of the first code of ethics in the field of computer technology. [citation needed] In 1970, a medical teacher and researcher, by the name of Walter Manner noticed that ethical decisions are much harder to make when computers are added. He noticed a need for a different branch of ethics for when it came to dealing with computers. The term “Computer ethics” was thus invented.

During the same year, the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) decided to adopt a professional code of ethics due to which, by the middle of the sass new privacy and computer crime laws had been put in place in United States as well as Europe. In the year 1976 Joseph Whizz-bang made his second significant addition to the field of computer ethics. He published a book titled “Computer power and Human reason” which talked about how artificial intelligence is good for the world; however it should never be allowed to make the most important decisions as it does not have human qualities such as wisdom.

By far the most important point he makes in the book is the distinction between choosing and deciding. He argued that deciding is a computational activity while making choices is not and thus the ability to make choices is what makes us humans. At a later time during the same year Babe Monstrosity, a professor of Computer Science at the City College of New York, published an article titled “On approaches to the study of social issues in computing”. This article identified and analyzed technical and non-technical biases in research on social issues present in computing.

During 978, the Right to Federal Privacy Act was adopted and this drastically limited the government’s ability to search bank records. During the same year Terrible Ward Benumb, the professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University as well as Director of the Research Center on Computing and Society there, developed the first ever curriculum for a university course on computer ethics. To make sure he where the subject students had to write about was computer ethics. In 1985, he published a Journal titled “Entitled Computers and Ethics”, which turned out to be his most famous publication to date.

In 1984, the Small Business Computer Security and Education act was adopted and this act basically informed the congress on matters that were related to computer crimes against small businesses. In 1985, James Moor, Professor of Philosophy at DartMouth College in New Hampshire, published an essay called “What is Computer Ethics”. In this essay Moor states the computer ethics includes the following: “(1) identification of computer-generated policy vacuums, (2) clarification of conceptual muddles, (3) formulation of policies for the use of computer technology, and (4) ethical Justification of such policies.

During the same year, Deborah Johnson, Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the University of Virginia, got the first major computer ethics textbook published. It didn’t Just become the standard setting textbook for computer ethics, but also set up the research agenda for the next 10 years. In 1988, a librarian at SST. Cloud University by the name of Robert Huffman, came up with “information ethics”, a term that was used to describe the storage, production, access and dissemination of information.

Near the same time, the Computer Matching and Privacy Act was adopted and this act restricted the government to programs and identifying debtors. The sass was the time when computers were reaching their pinnacle and the combination of computers with telecommunication, the internet, and other media meant that many new ethical issues were raised. In the year 1992, ACM adopted a new set of ethical rules called “ACM code of Ethics and Professional Conduct” which consisted of 24 statements of personal responsibility. 3 years later in 1995, Gordian Cassocks, a

Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, Coordinator of the Religious Studies Program, as well as a Senior Research Associate in the Research Center on Computing and Society, came up with the idea that computer ethics will eventually become a global ethical system and soon after, computer ethics would replace ethics altogether as it would become the standard ethics of the information age. In 1999, Deborah Johnson revealed her view, which was quite contrary to Cassock’s belief, and stated that computer ethics will not evolve but rather be our old ethics with a slight twist.

Internet Privacy[edit] Internet Privacy is one of the key issues that has emerged since the evolution of the World Wide Web. Millions of internet users often expose personal information on the internet in order to sign up or register for thousands of different possible things. This act has exposed themselves on the internet in ways some may not realize. In other cases, individuals do not expose themselves, but rather the government or large corporations, companies, small businesses on the internet leave personal information of their clients, citizens, or Just general people exposed on the internet.

One prime example is the use of Google Streetwise and its evolution of online photography mapping of urban areas including residences. Although this advanced global mapping is a wondrous technique to aid people in finding locations, it also exposes everyone on the internet to moderately restricted views of suburbs, military bases, accidents, and Just inappropriate content in general. This has raised major 2011. For more information on this topic, please visit the Electronic Privacy Information Center website.

Another example of privacy issues with concern to Google is tracking searches. There is a feature within searching that allows Google to keep track of searches so that advertisements will match your search criteria, which in turn means using people as products. If you are not paying for a service nonlinear instead of being the consumer, you may very well be the product. There is an ongoing discussion about what privacy means and if it is still needed. With the increase in social networking sites, more and more people are allowing their private information to be shared publicly.

On the surface, this may be seen as someone listing private information about them on a social networking site, but below the reface, it is the site that could be sharing the information (not the individual). This is the idea of an Opt-Len versus Opt-out situation. There are many privacy statements that state whether there is an Opt-Len or an Opt-out policy. Typically an Opt-Len privacy policy means that the individual has to tell the company issuing the privacy policy if they want their information shared or not.

Opt-out means that their information will be shared unless the individual tells the company not to share it. [4] In reference to Computer Ethics, there is a lot to be said about Internet Privacy. For more discussion e also: Internet Privacy Internet Control[edit] Given the internet’s vastness and ease of accessibility, the amount of users it sees regularly grows very fast every day. People from all over the world are finally accepting the internet as a means of common access to their information, news, social networking and personal entertainment.

Now that the demographic makeup of Internet users increasingly mirrors the demographics of society as a whole, it’s important to examine the relationship between higher-order consumer behavior constructs and Internet use to gain deeper insights into the behavior of consumers on the internet. 5] As more businesses and corporations come to understand this, the idea of the internet having a source of control comes into thought. The term “internet control” however, is a rather broad, catch-all category that subsumes both censorship and surveillance.

As such, it is sensitive to violations of both the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy. [6] With the internet’s massive popularity, power struggles of the world have begun to transfer onto the internet and the issue of internet control becomes more prevalent. Independent users, businesses, search engines, and any possible source of information is trying to intro, manipulate, bias and censor their information on the internet whether they realize it or not.

This gives public view to certain issues or events that may be modified or not modified at all, which could easily bend opinion in frightening ways. There are many real life examples of this. Some of the most evident deal with companies trying to get the public to buy-in to certain things by controlling the way you see things online. Similarly, companies can also include hidden code in proprietary software that scans the computer for various programs that are installed and other files that may be contained on the computer.

This practice is comparable to unethical methods of fleet management and it refers to the situation that a service-oriented company exploits a number of similar devices, which are hired by consumers and which are installed at the customer’s premise; providing a survey of installed, whether the device is in use or not, what state it is in and so forth. [7] Another important construct of internet control comes from how news is now delivered to us.

The internet gives news companies control in the sense that they have the ability to alter the way the public views certain issues or events through edified information, which could easily bend opinion in frightening ways. International news could easily spread across the globe in very little time, with sometimes little confirmation over what is real and not. This form of “internet control” can easily be used to influence the way people perceive certain topics and ideas. It is an issue that is being seen worldwide.

In China, technological development and social transformation provide the basic structural conditions. A fledgling civil society of online communities and offline civic associations, the logic of social production in the internet economy, and the creativity of Chinese internet seers combine to sustain online activism under conditions of growing political control of the internet in China. [8] Moreover, the broad topic of internet control is still expanding and showing signs that information, spam and censoring has gone from paper and television to internet and computers.

As more people tune into the web nowadays, the power struggles of the world will transfer more and more onto the internet in the quest of control, user dominance, bias and censorship. [9] [10] Computer Reliability In computer networking, a reliable protocol is one that provides reliability properties tit respect to the delivery of data to the intended recipient(s), as opposed to an unreliable protocol, which does not provide notifications to the sender as to the delivery of transmitted data.

A reliable multicast protocol may ensure reliability on a per-recipient basis, as well as provide properties that relate the delivery of data to different recipients, such as e. G. Total order, atomicity, or virtual synchrony. Reliable protocols typically incur more overhead than unreliable protocols, and as a result, are slower and less scalable. This often is not an issue for nuncios protocols, but it may e a problem for multicast protocols. TCP, the main protocol used in the Internet today, is a reliable nuncios protocol.

UDP, often used in computer games or other situations where speed is an issue and the loss of a little data is not as important because of the transitory nature of the data, is an unreliable protocol. Often, a reliable nuncios protocol is also connection-oriented. For example, the TCP/IP protocol is connection-oriented, with the virtual circuit ID consisting of source and destination IP addresses and port numbers. Some unreliable protocols are connection-oriented as well. These include ATM and Frame Relay, on which a substantial part of all Internet traffic is passed.

Identifying issues[edit] Identifying ethical issues as they arise, as well as defining how to deal with them, has traditionally been problematic. In solving problems relating to ethical issues, Michael Davis proposed a unique problem-solving method. In Davit’s model, the ethical problem is stated, facts are checked, and a list of options is generated by considering relevant factors relating to the problem. The actual action taken is influenced by specific ethical standards. Computer Ethics

Ethics deals with placing a on acts according to whether they are “good” or “bad”. Every society has its rules about whether certain acts are ethical or not. These into laws. When computers first began to be used in society at large, the absence of ethical standards about their use and related issues caused some problems. However, as their use became widespread in every facet of our lives, discussions in computer ethics resulted in some kind of a consensus. Today, many of these rules have been formulated as laws, either national or international.

Computer crimes and computer fraud are now common terms. There are laws against them, and everyone is responsible for knowing what constitutes computer crime and computer fraud. The Ten Commandments of computer ethics have been defined by the Computer Ethics Institute. Here is our interpretation of them: 1) Thou shall not use a computer to harm other people: If it is unethical to harm people by making a bomb, for example, it is equally bad to write a program that handles the timing of the bomb.

Or, to put it more simply, if it is bad to steal and destroy other people’s books and notebooks, it is equally bad to access and destroy their files. ) Thou shall not interfere with other people’s computer work: Computer viruses are small programs that disrupt other people’s computer work by destroying their files, taking huge amounts of computer time or memory, or by simply displaying annoying messages. Generating and consciously spreading computer viruses is unethical. ) Thou shall not snoop around in other people’s files: Reading other people’s e-mail messages is as bad as opening and reading their letters: This is invading their privacy. Obtaining other people’s non-public files should be Judged the same way as breaking into their moms and stealing their documents. Text documents on the Internet may be protected by encryption. 4) Thou shall not use a computer to steal: Using a computer to break into the accounts of a company or a bank and transferring money should be judged the same way as robbery.

It is illegal and there are strict laws against it. 5) Thou shall not use a computer to bear false witness: The Internet can spread untruth as fast as it can spread truth. Putting out false “information” to the world is bad. For instance, spreading false rumors about a person or false propaganda about historical vents is wrong. 6) Thou shall not use or copy software for which you have not paid: Software is an intellectual product. In that way, it is like a book: Obtaining illegal copies of copyrighted software is as bad as photocopying a copyrighted book.

There are laws against both. Information about the copyright owner can be embedded by a process called watermarking into pictures in the digital format. 7) Thou shall not use other people’s computer resources without authorization: Multiuse systems use user id’s and passwords to enforce their memory and time allocations, and to safeguard information. You should not try to bypass this authorization system. Hacking a system to break and bypass the authorization is unethical. ) Thou shall not appropriate other people’s intellectual output: For example, the programs you write for the projects assigned in this course are your own intellectual output. Copying somebody else’s program without proper authorization is software piracy and is unethical. Intellectual property is a form of ownership, and may be protected by copyright laws. 9) Thou shall think about the social consequences of the program you write: You have to think about computer issues in a more general social ramekin: Can the program you write be used in a way that is harmful to society?