The study of ethics involves questions of "right and proper conduct"Ã¯Â¿Â½ "" what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong "" in our behavior toward one another. Every society has its rules about whether certain acts are ethical or not. These rules have been established as a result of consensus in the society and often written into laws. In the world of computing, it is tempting to oversimplify ethical problems by reducing them to issues of computer crime and data security.
When computers first began to be used in the society at large, the absence of ethical standards about their use and related issues caused some problems. However, as their use became widespread in every facet of our lives, discussions in computer ethics resulted in some kind of a consensus. Today, many of these rules have been formulated as laws, either national or international.
Every part of computer ethics can be described in terms of using an analogous situation from our every day lives.
For example, obtaining illegal copies of copyrighted software is a bad as photocopying a copyrighted book; or use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect: just like public buses or banks, people using computer communications system may find themselves in situations where there is some form of queuing and you have to wait for your turn and generally be nice to other people in the environment. Another example, which was brought up in the textbook, is breaking into bank's computer system versus physically breaking into the bank. In my opinion, "the existence and use of computers has created new and unique ethical issues"Ã¯Â¿Â½ is not true.
The problem that we are having with computer ethics is not in determining of what is the right or wrong thing to do. The...