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Investing on Internet Ethics

Nov 9, 2007
The focus of Ethics and the Internet (E&I) are on us rather than on the technology itself. At great human and economic cost, resources drawn from governments, industry and the academic communities have been assembled into a collection of interconnected networks called the Internet. Begun as a vehicle for experimental network research in the mid-1970's, the Internet has become an important national infrastructure supporting an increasingly widespread, multi-disciplinary community of researchers ranging, from computer scientists and electrical engineers, to mathematicians, medical researchers, astronomers and space scientists.

As is true of other common infrastructures (e.g., roads, water reservoirs and delivery systems, and the power generation and distribution network), there is widespread dependence on the Internet by its users for the support of day-to-day activities. The reliable operation of the Internet, and the responsible use of its resources, is of common interest and concern for its users, operators and sponsors. Network infrastructures underscore the need to reiterate the professional responsibility every Internet user bears to colleagues and to the sponsors of the system. Abuse of the system thus, becomes a matter above and beyond simple professional ethics.

Information means power. This old maxim has become more and more pertinent in our modern information society. The development of information technology has been dashing and, if future predictions are anything to go by, the pace of change will only increase. Ethical and moral issues in computer ethics and are among the most vital social aspects of information technology. But, there are currently two major problems in the area. First, inconsistent moral behavior, leading to immoral acts such as virus creation and capital theft and second, lack of awareness concerning information technology security and IT-related crimes. Not even IT experts have an adequate knowledge of computer ethics, though there is every indication that ethics should be a part of their professional baggage. As for the development of ethical skills, it is not just a matter of education; rather, it is an on-going process that every professional should be aware of.

Educational institutions play an important role in this respect. In addition to imparting technical knowledge, they should also teach computer ethics. Educational issues and ethical awareness are important as they provide the motivation for complying with learned ethical principles. Ethical decision-making formulas and applicable theories are helpful for sharing information about the application of ethics. This information can then be disseminated by educational institutions. Professionals must have the capability to make broad-minded, objective ethical decisions based on know-how. They also have to do their level best to create a working environment and atmosphere where ethical dilemmas can be discussed openly, objectively and constructively.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Investing , Business, and Finance
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