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Ethics On The Internet. Essay

2413 words - 10 pages

Ethics on the Internet1. IntroductionAs the computer era evolves each day, our society is gradually forming into a gigantic chain through the increasing use of the Internet. Human beings interact with each other every day by using the Net. Just as ethics evolve as human societies grow and change, so similar ethical questions are raised during the evolution of this global electronic community.How can ethics be defined? They are our moral code. Ethics describe how we determine what is good and right from what is bad and wrong. They are somewhat abstract yet definitely the art of the human race. They distinguish us from other creatures in nature.As electronic communication becomes essential to the daily lives of more and more people, ethical questions take on a practical urgency. For sometimes the hacker can kill. According to Britain's Scotland Yard, someone broke into the weather computer network, interrupting the weather forecast for the English Channel. In this case, this unauthorized entry led directly to the loss of a ship at sea.(John Markoff. The New York Times, Vol. CXLI II, page E7, October 24,1993. Cited on:15).2. FoundationsThis section I will interpret what ethics and the Internet are in detail. How does the Internet works? And what range of services does it provide?2.1 EthicsEthics is the field of study that is concerned with questions of value, that is, judgments about what human behavior is "good" or "bad". Ethical judgments are no different in the area of computing from those in any other area. Computers raise problems of privacy, ownership, theft, and power, to name but a few.Computer ethics can be grounded in one of four basic world-views: Deontologism, Relativism, Consequentialism or Teleology, or Categorical or Imperitavism. Deontology is the study of rights and duties (or responsibilities). It establishes what are the fundamental rights of humans and the responsibilities that attend those rights. Ethical relativism claims that there are no universal moral norms and consequently there is no universal right or wrong. Relativists rely on three fundamental concepts. Consequentialism bases assessment of "rightness" or "wrongness" of an action on the consequences of the action. A categorical imperative is an absolute and universal moral obligation. The principle of universality suggests that we should follow rules of behaviour that could be universally applied to everyone.The Ten Commandments for Computer Ethics:1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's files.4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization.8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of...

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