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Ethics and Privacy Charity Harvill 8-3 Young Junior High
Ethics and Privacy Is anything private anymore? Automated invaders. Virus protection, detection, and disinfection. Human invaders. Intellectual property. The future of ethics and privacy.
Ethics and Privacy Intellectual property is ideas put into action, such as writing, music, art, computer code, and inventions that can be protected under copyright or patent laws. Many people are victimized by the ability of organizations, corporations, the government, and private citizens to access, store, and retrieve vast amounts of information on individuals in databases. This power over computerized information brings up ethical questions and responsibilities for all computer users.
Ethics and Privacy Ethical questions deal with moral principles and values. Is it ethical for individuals, companies, or the government to store personal data about individuals without the individual knowing about it? We know when we have been physically robbed, but we may not know that someone has gained access to our private information.
Ethics and Privacy The types of automated invaders are:
Viruses—a program that contains destructive code which copies itself onto other computer files.
Worms—destructive code that “worms” its way through computers by boring through files.
Bombs—destructive code set to go off at a certain time or when a specific action is taken.
Trojan horse—destructive code disguised as something desirable, such as a shareware graphics program. Once inside, it wreaks havoc, erasing or scrambling files.
Ethics and Privacy In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social websites, auction sites, online payment processors, or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Even when using server authentication, it may require tremendous skill to detect that the website is fake. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.
Ethics and Privacy Antivirus and virus disinfectant programs are used to protect your data from automated invaders. An antivirus program checks each floppy disk automatically as it is inserted into the disk drive and scans all data from telecommunications devices. A virus disinfectant program uncovers viruses lurking on your hard drive.
Ethics and Privacy Human invaders are called hackers. “Hacker” originally meant a person who was absorbed with computers. Today a hacker is one who secretly gains access to others’ computer files without permission.
Ethics and Privacy Hackers are usually between the ages of 12-25, and they take pride in finding phone numbers and then cracking the security codes that allow access into the network. Often no real damage is done, and most computer crime, such as theft of electronic funds and the stealing of confidential data, are committed by insiders, at the cost of billions of dollars per year.
Ethics and Privacy When can property be stolen from someone without his or her knowledge? With the theft of intellectual property, the original owner can still be in possession of the original property and have no knowledge that a theft has occurred. Software code is intellectual property. When software code is stolen, a copy is made the rightful owner still has the original. To protect software against unwanted or illegal duplication by writing computer code within the programs that prevents simple copying is called copy protect.
Ethics and Privacy Why is intellectual property so easy to steal? First it can be done in the privacy of one’s home, etiher by copying a friend’s program disk or by going into an illicit bulletin board and downloading a copy of a pirated program. Secondly, the theft itself may only take a few seconds-and the hacker is neither seen nor heard. Often people unwittingly steal intellectual property because they are unfamiliar with copyright laws. The unauthorized copying and use of a computer program is called software piracy.
Ethics and Privacy “Site licenses” grant the user the right to make a specified number of copies of a software program for use on multiple computers. At Young we have site licenses for our software. The Copyright Act of 1976 allows the user to make a backup copy of copyrighted software for his or her personal use, but makes it illegal for the user to make and distribute copies.
Ethics and Privacy There are four types of software: Commercial software (Copyrighted software available for purchase) Freeware (Copyrighted software that is given away free of charge but is still the property of the owner and the user doesn’t have the right to distribute copies.) Shareware (Copyrighted software that is distributed free of charge on a trial basis.) A nominal fee is charged if the user decides to keep it. Public Domain Software (Software donated for public use that can be freely copied and distributed.)
Ethics and Privacy Providing protection against the theft of intellectual property puts the government in a precarious position. There are trade-offs between regulating access to data and building a democracy based on freedom of information. As technology improves, we are provided with not only greater convenience but also with ethical choices involved in implementing that technology.
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