Ethics and Online Source Information
What is Ethics?
In my opinion, ethics give people free will to make right choices. People have free will to make choices that are governed with responsibility, accountability, and liability. We have a responsibility to perform in an ethical manner and be accountable for our choices or actions. Regardless of the circumstances and choices we make, there are consequences if we make the wrong choice. The question of whether an action or choice is ethical or not is fundamentally based on whether something is right or wrong. From an ethical standpoint, unethical choices and risky behavior can lead to increased liabilities. The liabilities result in the loss or damage sustained by a company or other party as result of an unethical and sometimes illegal decision. Although we exercise free will on a continuous basis, we are governed by the decisions we make and my belief is that the decisions we make daily do not just affect us. These decisions affect other people, such as family, friends, coworkers, instructors, neighbors, etc. The most prominent example of ethics can be recognized in the field of technology based on the growing amount of rapidly changing legislation and acts that under consideration in order to protect people from unethical practices.
One of the most recent examples of ethics and technology conflicts in the United States are privacy issues and how we cite, distribute and publish intellectual property on the internet. For instance, many corporations and people take advantage of the open access of the internet and the lack of legislation governing the right to post and upload information to the internet. Today, nearly every household in the United States has a computer with internet access and faces the challenge of ethical or unethical choices about the information they view and download. A majority of the problems we face today can be traced back to use of the internet regardless of whether it was for work or personal use. Crimes such as identity theft can be considered as data breaches because they are unauthorized, sabotage, manipulation, and fraud. How we deal with ethical dilemmas when confronted with decisions about how to treat confidential and personal information are the basis for business ethics. We should never hurriedly make decisions and lessen the severity of ethical dilemmas. Instead we should carefully to consider the facts, values, stakeholders involved, options available, and the potential loss or profit that will result from your choices or actions.
Why is regulation needed?
The current legislation exists because a large percentage of the population has exhibited unethical behavior that warrants legal intervention to prevent this behavior from reoccurring and to punish repeat offenses.
Regulations such as The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) have recently made headlines. My interpretation of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is that it protects...