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Lesson Six: Computer Ethics A.) Ethics in general 1. We often see pirated CDs, software and VCD are selling at the night market. Buying pirated software is an example of unethical activity in computer ethic. 2. A guideline is needed to stop the current technology products from being exploited for example replicating originals CDs and selling them as pirated software, this unethical behavior can be controlled by the code of conducts. 3. Under the Malaysia Copyright act 1987, any individual charge with piracy will be fine up to 10,000 for each copy or up to 5 years imprisonment or both. 4. Computer ethics is a system of moral standards or values used as a guideline for computer users. B.) The ten commandments of computer ethics 1. The United States Institute of Computer Ethics has come out with the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics. 2. These principles consider the effective code of conducts for the proper use of information technology. 3. The ten commandments of computer ethics i. You shall not use a computer to harm other people. ii. You shall not interfere with other people’s computer work. iii. You shall not snoop around in other people’s computer files. iv. You shall not use a computer to steal. v. You shall not use a computer to bear false witness. vi. You shall not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid. vii. You shall not use other people’s computer resources without authorization or proper compensation. viii. You shall not appropriate other people’s intellectual output. ix. You shall think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing. x. You shall always use a computer in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans. C.) Guidelines on the e-mail and Internet usage 1. The Department of Public Services of Malaysia has provided guidelines on the email and Internet usage as reference to the staff. 2. This guidance cover the usage of e-mail account, mailbox maintenance, e-mail preparation and delivery, mailing list and the Internet. 3. Some guidelines from the Department of Public Services of Malaysia: a) Use only individual e-mail address to forward individual opinion. b) Keep the identity name and password a secret to avoid the misuse of your email without your knowledge. c) E-mail must be active to promptly reply the necessary actions needed for any matters. d) Ensure the total mail kept in the box is within the computer storage capacity. e) Scan files regularly to avoid the transmission of virus from one computer to another. f) Do not send e-mails that contain classified information which can be used to tarnish other people or country. g) Choose a suitable time to search Internet to save access time and cost. h) Beware of prohibited sites which could affect one’s moral, organization or nation. i) Print only relevant documents that you think can be used in future to save cost. D.) Unethical computer code of conducts 1. Have you copied materials from the internet and claims that it is your own and submit them as an assignment? If you have, you are reaching the computer code of conducts. In other word, you are breaking the law of intellectual property by stealing someone else’s idea. Intellectual property refers to any products of human intellect that is unique and has a value in the market place. This covers ideas, inventions, unique names, computer program codes and many more. 2. Examples of unethical computer code of conducts include: a) modifying certain information on the internet, affecting the accuracy of the information b) selling information to other parties without the owner’s permission c) using information without authorization. d) involvement in stealing software e) invasion of privacy 3. With the advancement of ICT, it is easy for anyone to retrieved your information from the Internet. You may not release that when you fill a form on the Internet, your information may be exposed and stolen. 4. Kevin David Mitnick was a famous hacker. He accessed computers without authorization. He deprived the privacy of many individuals by hacking into network of a few companies. He also managed to get valuable data unethically for his own usage. E.) Ethical computer code of conducts 1. Have you ever ask for permission to download materials from the internet such as music, articles, graphic and other material. If you have, you are following the computer code of conducts. There are many web site with restriction where the public is allowed to use their material. Users may have to pay royalty to the owner or quote the website in their assignment or project, in order to be able to use this material. 2. Examples of ethical computer code of conducts include: a) sending warning about viruses to other computer users b) asking permission before sending any business advertisements to others c) using information with authorization Summary 1. Ethics refers to a standard of moral guideline that is used to determine proper behavior. 2. There are two codes of conducts that can be referred to which are the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics by the United States Institute of Computer Ethics and the e-mails and Internet guidelines by the Department of Public Services of Malaysia. 3. Unethical computer code of conducts include modifying the accuracy of the information, selling information to other parties without the owner’s permission, using information without authorization, involvement in stealing software and invasion privacy. 4. Ethical computer code of conducts include sending warning about viruses to other computer users, asking permission before sending any business advertisements to others and using information with authorization.
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