ethics, definitions & theories Author of presentation Itobore Oshobe Supervisor Dr. Arkaduiz Liber March 2012
Agenda• Definition of terms• Ethical theories• Debatable issues – Privacy encroachment issues • Threats to privacy – Property protection & criminal issue • Intellectual e.g. patent& copyright law • cybercrimes – Personal and social issues• Codes of Ethics in Computing
DefintionsIntroduction• Ethics is the field of study that is concerned with questions of value, i.e., judgments about what human behavior is "good" or "bad" in any given situation. Ethics are the standards, values, morals, principles, etc., which are used to base ones decisions or actions on; often there is no clear "right" or "wrong" answer.• For example, how would you decide which person should live or die?
The Source of Ethics• In moral realism, ethical principles are thought to have objective foundations; that is, they are not based on subjective human reasoning.• In moral relativism (also known as situational ethics), ethical issues are thought to be subjective.
Grounding principles of Moral systems• Religion – Murder is wrong because it oﬀends God – hard to apply in a pluralistic society• Law – Murder is wrong because it violates the law. • In theory: Laws applies equally to all members in a society • Actual :Laws are not uniform boundaries • are some laws are morally wrong e.g. death penalty• Philosophy – Murder is wrong because it is wrong. – An act is wrong inherently or because of social consequences
Foundation• Different Approaches to Ethical Issues• Deontological theories• Utilitarian theories• Contractarian theories• Ethical Egoism – The widely accepted principles used in modern society – However ethical egoism is not widely accepted but basis for discussion
Utilitarian theory• Utilitarianism is the belief that if an action is good it benefits someone and an action is bad if it harms someone.• 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
Deontology• Immanuel Kant’s moral theory• Deontological Ethics : is the belief that people’s actions are to be guided by moral laws, and that these moral laws are universal Cited as a basis for the most laws
Contractarian theoriesSocial 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• Used to govern the forfeiture of right. Such as the right to be free i.e. if you violate the law you go to prison
Ethical Egoism• Nicollo Machiavelli• (The Prince) - rationalization of war• “Machiavelism” "The end justifies the means"• is the ethical position that moral agents ( people or organizations) ought to dowhat is in their own self-interest
The Role of EthicsWhat are ethics?Ethics are the rules we use to determine the rightand wrong things to do in our lives.Normative ethics involves determining a norm ofethical rule that underlies ethical behavior.Applied ethics refers to the application ofnormative ethical beliefs to real-life issues.
What Is Computer Ethics?Ethical judgments are no different in the area ofcomputing from those in any other are, ascomputers raise problems of privacy, ownership,theft and power, to name but a few examples.Computer ethics: The study of ethical issues thatare associated primarily with computingmachines and the computing profession – A branch of applied ethics
Typical problem of computer ethics• “A typical problem in computer ethics arises because there is a policyvacuum about how computer technologyshould be used.” james h. moorComputers technology is “malleable” i.e canbe shaped or molded to do any activity .
Privacy encroachment issues• Threats to Privacy – Public Information Availability – Commercial compromise of Privacy – Government compromise of Privacy – Workplace compromise of Privacy
Public Information Availability – Few laws regulate selling personal information. – Person specific advertising and sales – “Data broker” Database companies comb personal information such as birth records ,marriage licenses website registration forms information criminal and provide this information to anyone with a credit card and access to the Web.
Commercial compromise of PrivacyTracking and identification technologies• Cookies – They can also be used to record user interests and preferences, which can then be used by companies to target advertisements.• Global Unique Identifiers in hardware and software • E.g. office 97 and 2000 used to identify users removed in subsequent version• Location Tracking – Apple is watching you – the iphone tracking fiasco of 2010 bug or feature test?• facial recognition on social sites
Government compromise of Privacyright of privacy vs. law enforcementEavesdropping – To better monitor e-mail messages, the FBI Internet wiretap programs named Omnivore, Carnivore, and DCS1000.Encryption Restrictions – Encryption software makes it harder for the government to monitor e-mail messages. – The FBI has warned that its role in protecting the nation will be negatively affected by this.
Workplace compromise of Privacy• Employer vs. employee point of view• Laws do not protect employees from being monitored by their employers.• Companies are rightly concerned about employees conduct: – Giving trade secrets to competitors – Creating sexual harassment lawsuits by circulating offensive jokes via e-mail• Can prevent “whistle- blowing” – What happens when employer is the government e.g. Bradley manning
Property Protection Issues• Intellectual property – Copyright & trademarks • Anti-copyright – Copyleft Movement• Damage Due to cybercrimes
Intellectual Property• A copyright protects artistic and literary endeavors.Ethical debatable issues• Knowledge: private greed Vs. public good.• Profit vs. affordability E.g. suspension of copyright laws• Freedom of expression and access to information• Ownership rights vs. Right to communicate: share and learn in a globalized world.
Anti-copyright• Anti-copyright – refers to the complete or partial opposition to prevalent copyright laws• Groups advocating the abolition of copyright – Pirate Cinema, The League of Noble Peers, Association des audionautes, Kopimism Church of New Zealand.
CopyLeft Movement• Copyleft• is a play on the word copyright• the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work – The GNU General Public License, originally written by Richard Stallman, was the first copyleft license to see extensive use
Damage Due to cybercrimesHost of cybercrimes Activities – Malicious software • Computer Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses – Fraud and Theft (including identity theft) – Forgery(document & identity) – Blackmail – Denial of Service Attack (DoS)Weapons for “Good” ? E.g. Stuxnet & flame virus aimed to end Iran nuclear proliferation because is violated U.N treaty
Protecting Freedom of Speech• Hate speech sites against people of certain races, religions, or beliefs.• Cyberbullying • sending disrespectful texts, e-mail messages, or photos. • Not a crime to insult someone. Very controversial topic to prosecute• Pornography contain sexually explicit material • Not only commercial • e.g Sexting mostly by teens . • Trending even in the FBI • “FBI battling rash of sexting among its employees”. CNN article headline.
Codes of Ethics in ComputingThere are many examples of ethical code currentlypublished that can be tailored to fit any organizationThree well known examples of Code of Ethics for ITprofessionals are listed below:• RFC 1087 by the Internet Architecture Board• The Code of Fair Information Practices by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.• Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics defined in 1992 by the Computer Ethics Institute
Codes of Ethics in ComputingTen Commandments of Computer Ethics• Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.• Thou shalt not interfere with other peoples computer work.• Thou shalt not snoop around in other peoples computer files.• Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.• Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.• Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid.• Thou shalt not use other peoples computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.• Thou shalt not appropriate other peoples intellectual output.• Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing.• Thou shalt always use a computer in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans