Title of Paper: Focus Paper on Cyber Ethics
Definition: When the technology gets out ahead of us, then we have to work hard on our policies and ethical guidelines to catch up with this new technology.
Data: The area of computer ethics covers a wide range of topics, many of the specific issues fall into one or more of several major categories: privacy, ownership of information, and security. The distinction between public and private is central to the American democratic tradition, for the private domain has long been consider the domain within which individuals freedom is most fully exercised. Computer-based technologies allow governments, corporations, and even individuals to collect certain amount of information about people. Using computers at home and work, individuals leave a huge amount of information about themselves, their reading and buying habits, their business dealings, their personal likes or dislikes. Several people ask if there should be a limit on the power of individuals, corporations, and governments to acquire such information. The growth of computer power and storage, coupled with the vast increase in the amount of information stored in databases, has opened the door to powerful database searches that reveal more about individuals than they would have believed possible. Encryption plays an important role as well. If criminals and terrorists can use encryption they can effectively prevent the government from monitoring their communications. Since digital media can be shared so easily and cheaply and without diminishing the original and without loss of quality, who has the right to copy such items like music and video. In the age of internet, responsibility has become more diffused in several ways. Who has the responsibility to protect customers from cyber stalkers or pornography or unwanted advertisements? Computers systems often decide who gets credit for a loan, in some cases they even decide when a missile is to be fired. To whom do we attribute the responsibility when something goes wrong? As computer-driven systems become increasingly independent responsibility becomes more and more elusive. Computers have also benefited our education with the software such as PowerPoint. Medicine has largely been reshaped into a computer-based technology of testing and this too has had an impact of the relationship between physician and patient. Increasing, we are turning to computerized voting machines, but then there is no original ballot against which to check votes but computer checks assure us that there has been no tampering. Will computers reach the point where they are in charge?
Position: I consider privacy to be an important aspect when it comes to cyber ethics. I wouldn’t want a stranger to find out everything about me and try to do harmful things to me. Although I think it would be handy for the government to try to track down someone who committed a crime, but to have someone actually stalk a person is really unethical. The use of databases should only be used for storage and safety of people. For example, people shouldn’t just search for someone just to stalk them. I don’t like the idea of criminals and terrorists using encryption and effectively prevent the government from monitoring their communications. In my opinion the use of digital media shouldn’t be prohibited but I think people should just buy the right to use that video or song. It’s like going to a store