Ethics can be defined as a discipline in which one attempts to
identify, organize, analyze, and justify human acts by applying
certain principles to determine what is the right thing to do in a
Involves freedom of making a choice and the responsibility for
the results of the action
From the 1940s through the 1960s there was no discipline
know as computer ethics.
In the mid 1970s computer ethics was defined as a field in
which one examines” ethical problems aggravated, transformed
or created by computer technology.
– Stage 1:technological introduction
– stage2: technological permeation (technology gets integrated into
every day human activities)
1-- Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
This catch-all encompasses the remaining nine
2-- Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer
work. Sending an e-mail bomb -- thousands of messages to
disable the recipient's e-mail in-box or server -- is an extreme
example. Spreading false rumors online can also interfere
with others' productivity. So can forwarding jokes without
checking if recipients are receptive to them.
3-- Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's computer
files. The weak security built into Windows 95 and 98 makes
it easy to open the work of coworkers by walking up to their PCs.
4-- Thou shalt not use a computer to steal. A
blatant example is hacking into a computer to loot
a person's credit card number or a company's
trade secrets. See Commandments 6, 7, and 8
for more subtle, and widespread, transgressions.
5-- Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false
witness. Sending unsolicited, untargeted bulk e-
mail messages, or spam, is bad in part because
most spammers conceal their identity
6 -- Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not
paid. Some organizations are tempted to buy one copy of a program and copy
it onto many computers. Groups such as the Business Software Alliance go
after such pirates tenaciously, and when caught they're hit with stiff fines and
Using a shareware program long-term without registering it is also the equivalent
of stealing it. Because so few people voluntarily register shareware, the authors
of these programs have had to build in time limits for their use.
7 -- Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without
authorization or proper compensation. Some employees don't think
twice about using their employer's computers or Internet connection
for personal reasons.
– Organizations are getting more protective of their computer possessions. Xerox
recently fired about 40 employees for looking at pornographic Web sites at work.
Once, I was nearly fired for using my employers computer fro freelance work.
8 -- Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.
The Internet makes it easy to copy others' words, artwork, music
9 -- Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program
you are writing or the system you are designing. "Big Brother"
programs let you capture the keystrokes or record the Web surfing
of employees without their knowledge. Companies similarly can
intercept any e-mail sent through their equipment. Morale can suffer
if you don't inform employees of these practices beforehand.
10 -- Thou shalt always use a computer in ways that ensure"
consideration and respect for your fellow humans. This is another
Illegal File sharing
David Wright, Ph.D, director of curriculum innovation and e—learning
at the University of Dayton
– Students involved with illegal file sharing, and saturating the
bandwith they have on campus. The more the student shared files,
the less technology was available to everyone else.
– Students can download file sharing software from the web at no
charge. Programs such as eDonkey. Morpheus. Kazaa or
limewrire enable student to illegally share music, videos and other
Computer Ethics 101. By: Dahl, Judy. Distance Education Report,
8/15/2005, Vol. 9 Issue 16, p3-8, 3p; (AN 17938488)
Ethics in Informatics. By: Curtin, Leah L.. Nursing Administration Quarterly,
Oct-Dec2005, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p349-352, 4p; (AN 18845299)
Remembering the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics. By:
Goldsborough, Reid. Community College Week, 11/15/99, Vol. 12 Issue 7,
p17, 1/2p; (AN 2539373)