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Invitation to Computer Science 5 th Edition Chapter 17 Making Decisions about Computers, Information, and Society.

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Presentation on theme: "Invitation to Computer Science 5 th Edition Chapter 17 Making Decisions about Computers, Information, and Society."— Presentation transcript:

1 Invitation to Computer Science 5 th Edition Chapter 17 Making Decisions about Computers, Information, and Society

2 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition2 Objectives In this chapter, you will learn about: Case studies involving: –MP3 –PGP –Hackers –Technology and ethics –Genetic information and medical research What we covered and what we did not

3 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition33 Introduction In this chapter: –We introduce skills that will help you to think and reason carefully when making personal decisions about computing

4 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition44 Case Studies Case 1: The Story of MP3-Compression Codes, Musicians, and Money –1989: Fraunhofer Institute patented MP3 in Germany –1997: Tomislav Uzelac created the first commercially viable MP3 playback program –1998: WinAmp was offered for free on the Internet –Peer-to-peer file sharing: set up by Napster

5 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition5 Figure 17.1 Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Created by Napster

6 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition6 Asking Ethical Questions Ethics –The study of how to decide if something is morally right or wrong Consequentialism –Focuses on the consequences of an act to determine if the act is good or bad Utilitarians –Answer the question Good for whom? with a hearty, Good for everyone!

7 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition7 Utilitarian Argument #1: MP3 Copying is OK Market research –Shows that MP3 downloading has increased the sale of music CDs

8 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition8 Utilitarian Argument #2: MP3 Copying is Not OK The decline of music CD sales –Long-term effect of widespread copying of copyrighted materials Dialectic –Used by ethicists to try to get better and better ethical decisions –Ultimate goal is for both sides to “win” by moving closer to the truth from two different perspectives

9 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition9 Case 2: PGP: The U.S. Government vs. Phil Zimmermann 1991 –Phillip Zimmermann developed an encryption algorithm called “Pretty Good Privacy,” PGP In any analogy between two “things,” there are both similarities and differences

10 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition10 Case 2: PGP: The U.S. Government vs. Phil Zimmermann (continued) Analogy #1: is Like a Private Conversation Analogy #2: is Like Phone Conversations Some similarities and differences in Analogy #1 –The presumed audience may be larger than intended –Private conversation is high-bandwidth –Conversation happens in real time –Having capability costs money

11 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition11 Case 2: PGP: The U.S. Government vs. Phil Zimmermann (continued) Some similarities and differences in Analogy #2 –Phone calls typically include more information than s –Both phone calls and s are done at a physical distance –Phone calls are meant to be in real time, but s are asynchronous

12 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition12 Case 2: PGP: The U.S. Government vs. Phil Zimmermann (continued) Analyzing the ethical significance of the similarities and differences –Three methods of communication all differ in the amount of information exchanged –PGP allows users to return to the default of privacy –What are the consequences of enforcing a ban on PGP, and what are the consequences of allowing people to use PGP?

13 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition13 Case 3: Hackers: Public Enemies or Gadflies? Hacker –Someone who breaks into computer systems and launches Internet worms and viruses or perpetrates other computer-related vandalism

14 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition14 Analogy: Breaking into a Computer is Like Breaking into Someone’s House Similarities between burglars and hackers –In both cases, the intruders are there without our permission and without us being aware of their presence Differences between burglars and hackers –Burglar is likely to take something from your house, and that removal will deprive you of something –Hacker takes your intellectual property and privacy

15 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition15 Utilitarian Argument: Costs and Benefits of Hacking Challenges when using a utilitarian argument in a dialectic about hacking –It is sometimes hard to predict consequences with any accuracy –There seems to be a distinction between “good hackers” and “bad hackers”

16 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition16 Deontological Argument: Hacking with a Golden Heart Utilitarian and other consequentialist arguments –Focus on the consequences of an act to determine if the act is ethical Deontologist –Focuses more on the intent of an act and how that act either is or is not a defensible, responsible act

17 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition17 Deontological Argument: Hacking with a Golden Heart (continued) The “hacker ethic” claims –Information sharing is a powerful positive good –It is the ethical duty of hackers to facilitate access to information and computing resources –System cracking for fun and exploration is ethically OK as long as the cracker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of confidentiality

18 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition18 Thinking Straight about Technology and Ethics Paramedic ethics for technology –Who are the stakeholders in this situation? –What does each stakeholder have to gain or lose? –What duties and responsibilities in this situation are important to the stakeholders? –Can you think of an analogous situation that doesn’t involve computing? –Either make a decision or revisit the steps

19 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition19 Case 4: Genetic Information and Medical Research Step 1: Identify stakeholders Step 2: What is at stake? Step 3: Identify duties and responsibilities Step 4: Think of analogies Step 5: Make a decision or loop through the method again

20 Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition20 What We Covered and What We Did Not Technical decisions –Involve human values, whether we recognize it or not When you have to decide if something involving technology is right or wrong –Remember to think carefully about consequences and duties

21 Summary Ethics –The study of how to decide if something is morally right or wrong Dialectic –Used by ethicists to try to get better and better ethical decisions Deontologist –Focuses more on the intent of an act and how that act either is or is not a defensible, responsible act The “hacker ethic” claims –Information sharing is a powerful positive good Invitation to Computer Science, 5th Edition21


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