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10/29/2009

Ethics in Computing

Ethics in Computing. During a class discussion in our Information Technology (CS-250) course at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia we were examining the ethics of computing. History has shown us that the use of technology can be for good or for bad intentions. For example, nuclear technology provides us with medical therapies and clean energy but has also been used as a weapon of war. The automobile has provided society with an easily accessible travel vehicle but also results in many deaths each year and degrades the environment. Computers and the Internet have had profound impacts on society.  Many positive changes to business, entertainment, and social networking have been due to computer technology.  But there are also negative aspects to the computer revolution. As a professional computer scientist or computer engineer, you should help advance the field of study by adhering to a set of ethical standards that illustrate the positive aspects of modern computer technology.  Computer scientists need to be at the forefront of identifying unethical uses of computer technology. We came up with the following list of intentional unethical uses of computers. Can you identify any others?

1. Hacking

2. Spam

3. Phishing

4. Pirating 

5. Stealing Data

6. Identity Theft

7. Cyber Bullying

8. Spreading Viruses

9. Cyber Snooping

10. Online Gambling

11. Online Illegal Solicitation

12. Cyber Squatting 

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In the computing community, the primary meaning of "hacker" is a complimentary description for a particularly brilliant programmer or technical expert. (For example, "Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is considered by some to be a hacker.") A large segment of the technical community insist the latter is the "correct" usage of the word.

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