Lecture Notes on Cyberethics

Below this section, you’ll find my original post.  This section is some of the updates and points we discussed on 13 April 2010.  I didn’t get to the section on Copyright and Creative Commons, but I’d be happy to give you my long-winded thoughts on that if you really care.

Updates to 2010 Lecture:

  • Discussion of Facebook Privacy Policy Updates in December 2009–Article from eff.org on Facebook Privacy Changes
  • Under “Google” Section we also discussed the impact of Street View in Google Maps and touched on Google Buzz.
  • Also related to Google, we discussed the recent changes to Google.cn, the Google China website.  You can take a look at the services currently blocked by the Chinese Government at this link.  You can also read Google’s official statement on the China changes here.
  • I also didn’t get into the section on WikiLeaks, but I think that’s important to understand that there are people in the world that see it as their duty to ‘free’ information.  WikiLeaks is one such group of people.  I would recommend checking out their links, but their site is currently down as part of their fundraising efforts.  You can visit their main site to get some basic information about their site.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about this information.

This post is the electronic component of my lecture on Cyberethics.  This lecture was originally presented at TCL on 28 April 2009.

Some popular views on Cyberethics:

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

  1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
  2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.
  3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people’s files.
  4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
  5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
  6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.
  7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization.
  8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
  9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write.
  10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.

Request for Comments 1087

  1. Seeks to gain unauthorized access to the resources of the Internet.
  2. Disrupts the intended use of the Internet.
  3. Wastes resources (people, capacity, computer) through such actions.
  4. Destroys the integrity of computer-based information, or
  5. Compromises the privacy of users (RFC 1087, 1989).

The Code of Fair Information Practices

The Code of Fair Information Practices is based on five principles outlining the requirements for records keeping systems. This requirement was implemented in 1973 by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

  1. There must be no personal data record-keeping systems whose very existence is secret.
  2. There must be a way for a person to find out what information about the person is in a record and how it is used.
  3. There must be a way for a person to prevent information about the person that was obtained for one purpose from being used or made available for other purposes without the person’s consent.
  4. There must be a way for a person to correct or amend a record of identifiable information about the person.
  5. Any organization creating, maintaining, using, or disseminating records of identifiable personal data must assure the reliability of the data for their intended use and must take precautions to prevent misuses of the data (Harris, 2003).

Contemporary Issues in Cyberethics:

Privacy

  1. Google (What does Google Know About You? )
    1. Google Search-What you search for
    2. Google Reader-What news and blogs you read
    3. GMail-What you send
    4. Google Desktop-What’s on your Computer
    5. Google Calendar-Your schedule
    6. Google Search-Indexes Facebook, etc
    7. Your mobile number
    8. Your phone calls and voice mails-Google Voice
    9. Google Checkout and AdSense-Your financial info
  2. Government (Speed Cameras, Red Light Cameras, CCTV, Wiretapping)
    1. Speed Cameras and Red Light Cameras
    2. CCTV (Mostly Britain) but used in banks, schools, amusement parks and also NYC and Chicago

Intellectual Property Rights

  1. Facebook and MySpace-Who Owns Your Data?
    1. In Feb 2009, Facebook published a version of ToS that Stated “You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”
    2. Ultimately held a vote to change some of the most limiting language above.
  2. Copyright v. Creative Commons
    1. Copyright does not cover ideas, just how they are expressed.  Mickey Mouse is copyrighted, but not every cartoon mouse is covered.
    2. Copyright Myths and Truths
      1. Notice Not Required-Simply because a work does not have a copyright notice does not mean it’s not covered.  All original work belongs to the author.
      2. Internet Not Public domain-Just because it appears on the Internet does not mean it is not protected.
      3. Derivative works-  Only criticism and parody covered.
      4. What is Fair UseConsiderations of Fair Use
        1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
        2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
        3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
        4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
    3. Creative Commons-Not opposed to copyright, but a more flexible way to provide rights to content.
      1. Copyright is “All Rights Reserved.
      2. CC0 -No Rights Reserved
      3. CC-By-NC-ND –Attribution-Noncommerical-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported-  Most restrictive.  Some Rights Reserved

Censorship and accessibility

  1. Google and Yahoo in China
    1. Yahoo and bloggers
      1. Shi Tao–
        1. Wikipedia Entry for Shi Tao; Amnesty International Article on Shi Tao
        2. Sentenced to 10 years for spreading state secrets
      2. Li Zhi
        1. Wikipedia Entry for Li Zhi; Reporters Without Borders Article on Li Zhi
        2. Sentenced to 8 years for criticizing corruption in China
    2. Google and “The Great Firewall of China”
      1. Google.cn used to censor content based on Chinese regulations.  Specifically mentions of democracy, Taiwan, and Tiananmen Square revolt.
      2. Google recently redirected Google.cn to Google.com.hk–Still filtered by the Great Firewall, but not by Google
  2. Wikileaks
    1. Bank Julius Baer–Illegal activities in Cayman Islands Branch
    2. SOP for Camp Delta (Gitmo) (PDF)
    3. Leak of Copyrighted Scientology Documents
    4. Publish CRS Reports

Personal Cyberethics

  1. Photos, Videos, Private thoughts
    1. Sharing videos, pictures, letters, emails, and texts
  2. Craigslist.org
    1. House Parties
    2. Moving Scams
    3. Sex for Sale and Assaults
  3. Plagiarism as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the “use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”
    1. Examples
      1. Hiring Writers
      2. Essay Mills
    2. Solutions
      1. Copyscape.com
      2. TurnItIn.com

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