Ethics and the Internet: Duty-Based Ethical Theory Essay

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Ethics and the Internet

Duty- based ethical theory (Deontology)
Duty-based ethical theory is also called deontology. Deon means duty or obligation in Greek word. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) wrote a critique of pure reason in 1781. He believed that there are higher principles that are good in every time, everywhere and in very situation. According to him, morality must be based on duties obligation that humans have to one another. So morality has nothing to do with promotion of happiness. He followed two distinct principles, one is we have a rational nature that distinguishes us from animals and other is human being are ends in themselves not means to end. At the time of an ethical dilemma, we should ask ourselves that, "to whom do I owe duty and what duty do I owe them". Kant deontology has often been associated with what is called the good will. He believed that if we all human being followed his categorical imperative; we would have genuinely moral people. In 1930, Ross argues that when two or more moral duties clash, we have to look at individual situation to see which duty is overriding, that also depend upon individuals circumstance. He also provides a list of prime duties such as honesty, benevolence and justice etc.
In today's context, The Internet and other communication technologies have created unprecedented opportunities to share information, opening up paths for pro-democracy groups, activists, journalists and individuals around the world to organize, and hold their governments accountable. But new technological tools are vulnerable to exploitation by governments aiming to crush dissent and deny human rights. All governments struggle to balance a need to deal with serious issues such as security, hate speech, and child safety for their citizens but in repressive societies, these concerns often serve as convenient pretext to engage in censorship or surveillance of the Internet that violates the rights and privacy of users and threatens the free flow of information. Filtering the Internet to stop potentially harmful or illegal material from reaching the general population is a controversial subject, and one that has received considerable attention this year after the UK appeared to be edging ever closer to implementing such a scheme.Other countries have been considering filtering Internet content too, and it so happens that today, Australia has decided not to go ahead with a mandatory filter, while Egypt has done the complete opposite.We’ll start in Australia, where an all-encompassing Internet filter was put forward in 2007, but the plan stagnated for several years. Today, Australia’s Communications Minister has announced the government will no longer pursue its “mandatory filtering legislation,” but will instead use a list created by Interpol to block the worst offenders.According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the major Internet providers have agreed to this, and it will see 90-percent of Internet subscribers without access to those sites featured by Interpol. Initially, the mandatory filter would have blocked sites with illegal sexual practices, sexual violence, drug use and those which “advocated terrorist activity.” The communications regulator would have also populated the list with sites