Ethics on the Internet.

Essay by zhangluyangUniversity, Bachelor's January 2004

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Ethics on the Internet

1. Introduction

As the computer era evolves each day, our society is gradually forming into a gigantic chain through the increasing use of the Internet. Human beings interact with each other every day by using the Net. Just as ethics evolve as human societies grow and change, so similar ethical questions are raised during the evolution of this global electronic community.

How can ethics be defined? They are our moral code. Ethics describe how we determine what is good and right from what is bad and wrong. They are somewhat abstract yet definitely the art of the human race. They distinguish us from other creatures in nature.

As electronic communication becomes essential to the daily lives of more and more people, ethical questions take on a practical urgency. For sometimes the hacker can kill. According to Britain's Scotland Yard, someone broke into the weather computer network, interrupting the weather forecast for the English Channel.

In this case, this unauthorized entry led directly to the loss of a ship at sea.

(John Markoff. The New York Times, Vol. CXLI II, page E7, October 24,1993. Cited on:15).

2. Foundations

This section I will interpret what ethics and the Internet are in detail. How does the Internet works? And what range of services does it provide?

2.1 Ethics

Ethics is the field of study that is concerned with questions of value, that is, judgments about what human behavior is "good" or "bad". Ethical judgments are no different in the area of computing from those in any other area. Computers raise problems of privacy, ownership, theft, and power, to name but a few.

Computer ethics can be grounded in one of four basic world-views: Deontologism, Relativism, Consequentialism or Teleology, or Categorical or Imperitavism. Deontology is the study of rights and...