About

This is the course blog for I453: Information Ethics.  This course explores the ethical and professionalization issues that arise in the context of designing and using information technologies. We will study the major ethical theories and frameworks that have shaped the field of information ethics and use them to address topics relevant to the informatics profession, including privacy, intellectual property, cybercrime, games, social justice, gender equity.  This course will help you read the literature of ethics to develop, articulate, and refine your own ethical framework; analyze the information issues and debates you encounter in light of that framework; and argue your position effectively in written and oral form.

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4 thoughts on “About

  1. This week we looked at an article pertaining to Nigerian 419 scammers. The article showed the devastating effects of the scammers on one man’s life. I think the article was really questioning who should be held responsible for these scams and what role as society do we play in educating people on such issues. Should an elderly male in the United States with not very much technical knowledge be convicted or should the U.S. government go after these Nigerian scammers? I feel as if this is a major underlying theme in the article. The government’s establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did help target some of these issues but millions of dollars are lost every year due to these scams. In the case of the article I do believe the elderly man knew what he was doing was wrong but until he was in too deep. The Nigerian government has been very slow at controlling the issues with these scammers. So should the U.S. government take action against the Nigerian government or should people just be better educated? Also do you think that people should always be convicted of these crimes or should every case be looked into to figure out who is really responsible for the crime?

    I found this article on 419 scams particularly interesting because it shows how far these scammers are willing to go to get what they want, and how this is becoming a more pressing issue for not only our government but other countries as well.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/13/south-african-police-419-scam

  2. This article reports about U.S. Navy SEALS being punished by the military for working as paid consultants for the new video game Medal Of Honor: Warfighter. They were accused of releasing classified information.The punishment included docked pay for two months. This is relevant to our Ethics course because one of the issues we discussed included the ethical aspects of depicting war in the theaters that our country is currently engaged in. Here, the military has sent a message saying that they do not want active members of their elite commandos being involved with consulting video games. The Navy labeled this as misconduct. One of the military officers was involved in the mission in which Osama Bin Laded was killed.

    Since these military officers were punished, this does not mean that active military campaigns are not going to be developed as video games. Maybe it is good that the games depict a more realistic vantage point as opposed to one that is more fanciful. The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor granted. Six servicemen were awarded the Medal of Honor (3 posthumous) for action in Afghanistan. People who play shooter military games may have a clearer idea of war than many who only see what the media news agencies play. A lot of actual war footage can’t be shown on the news. If more people actually saw what happens in war, it could possible change public opinion on it. If SEALS want to reveal what they have done for the country, they should be allowed to be honest without fear of losing what they have worked for.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/us-usa-defense-seals-idUSBRE8A808J20121109

  3. This article reports on the Syrian government disabling access to the Internet, landlines, and cell phone networks. During what is considered by many to be a massacre occurring, there are armed rebels and pro-regime soldiers battling in the streets throughout the country. The pro-regime say the social networks are being used against the nations national security. It has been said that the government has been using spyware to monitor activists in the country in the interest of understanding the actions of groups who may threaten national security.

    Recently the whistle blowing site Wikileaks has released thousands of government official’s email correspondance, including ones between President Assad and his wife, Syrian government financial transactions to other nations, including 68,000 emails in Russian.

    These details show that there is a lot of cyber activity involving Syria during their civil war. Videos of the street battles are posted online very often showing the bloody aftermath and live shootouts. The oppressed definitely find power in their ability to communicate so this is a major blow to them. The Syrian government must feel completely vulnerable to cyber attacks. Cyber war is a new theater of war so you better be ready for anything.

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