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Introduction to Cyber-ethics

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1 Introduction to Cyber-ethics
Issues for ICT Professionals School of Architecture, Computing, and Engineering University of East London 5 March 2014 Dr Josephine Anne Stein Principal Research Fellow in Innovation Studies emerita Law and Social Sciences/LSS

2 Overview Ethical issues for ICT professionals
Definitions and basic concepts Western moral tradition and evolution What is the relevance of ethics to ICTs? Cyber-ethics issues and dilemmas Practical approaches to applying ethics JA Stein 2

3 Ethical issues for ICT professionals
Data protection and other legal matters Hacktivism Business computer ethics Surveillance at work Ethics in the Cloud Online privacy JA Stein 3

4 British Computer Society Code of Conduct
Public interest Awareness of legal environment Avoid discrimination Duty to relevant authority Compliance and expert judgement Confidentiality and disclosure Manage task within time and budget Duty to the profession Professional competence and integrity JA Stein 4

5 Definitions: Ethics The study and philosophy of human conduct, with emphasis on the determination of right and wrong. The basic principles of right action especially with reference to a particular profession (New International Webster’s Dictionary 1996) a code of behaviour, especially of a particular group, profession or individual. The moral fitness of a decision, course of action, etc (Collins Dictionary 2002) JA Stein 5

6 Why ‘Cyber-ethics’? Computer ethics Internet ethics Cyber-ethics
Customised or bespoke software (machines) Internet ethics Netiquette (www, ) (content) Cyber-ethics LAN  Internet  Cloud (environment) JA Stein 6

7 Definitions: Morality
the quality of being moral; that which renders an action right or wrong; the practice of moral duties apart from religion; virtue......ethics (Chambers Dictionary 1998) a set of shared rules, principles and duties applicable to all members of a group or society which we follow in our day-to-day living.....They help us to distinguish between right and wrong (E Turner) JA Stein 7

8 Moral philosophy and applied ethics
Moral Philosophy or “metaethics”: philosophical reflection on the nature of moral judgement critical analysis, identifying moral principles Applied ethics: practical approaches to under- standing real-world moral issues, making explicit beliefs and values based on philosophical principles: individual rights and autonomy ownership authority and relativism objectivity, trust, privacy social distribution of responsibility, damage and risk JA Stein 8

9 The nature of authority
Expertise and subjectivity validated knowledge and credentialed expertise scientific method, experience, opinion who is qualified concerning moral judgement? An authority or someone in authority? is doing the right thing about avoiding punishment? is authority conferred or earned? when and why does one reject authority? From power-based to rule-based to value-based morality JA Stein 9

10 Ethics in the Old Testament
Ten Commandments, abridged and paraphrased (Exodus 20) Honour your father and mother Don’t commit murder or adultery Don’t steal or covet what isn’t yours Don’t lie Other Old Testament examples Don’t accept bribes (Exodus 23) Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him (Exodus 22) JA Stein 10

11 Christian ethics Incarnation: God as taking human form
taking personal responsibility for one’s actions ....but external divine authority still available to judge, offer absolution from sin or punishment of the guilty Teachings of Jesus Christ loving all, including the outsider, the rejected, the enemy; faith, hope and charity, settings norms of humane behaviour defying local authoritarian power, leading to JC’s execution Resurrection vindication of JC’s embodied human/divine authority Rise of the Church and the Bible as authoritative closing the biblical canon in 405 AD, ‘Christendom’ JA Stein 11

12 The rise of secular humanism
Reformation and Protestantism (16th century) Martin Luther and the rebellion against corruption Henry VIII and the Church of England Enlightenment (18th century) rise of rationality and human-centred philosophy Modernism (early 20th century) triumph of “progress” in delivering prosperity now instead of promises in “eternity” or afterlife, based on universal scientific principles Postmodernism (mid-late 20th century) rejection of the “grand narrative” in favour of “constructed identity”, anti-realism and pluralism JA Stein 12

13 Systems of ethics: From ancient Greece to the 21st Century
Deontology: rules, rights and duties Divine command ethics Kantian ethics Contractualism Hobbes Social contract Consequentialism Utilitarianism Virtue ethics JA Stein 13

14 Deontology Rules, rights and duties
Divine command ethics: Claims made about obedience to God “Son of Sam” murders George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq Acceptability in academia JA Stein 14

15 Categorical moral obligations: Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804)
Duties as fundamental Morality a matter of objective, dispassionate rationality Intent as the basis of moral judgement: autonomy assumed Hypothetical (non-moral) imperatives: If you want to be healthier, stop overeating If you want to be happier, make more & better friends If you don’t want to be killed, hand over your money Categorical (moral) imperatives: “common sense” rules that apply to all (universality) does not distinguish means from ends absolute: exceptions as never justifiable JA Stein 15

16 Contractualism Mutual advantage based on rational agreement
explicit, codified (formal contract) implicit, understood (paying for a restaurant meal) intuitive expectation of social behaviour (psychological contract) Thomas Hobbes ( ) limits of altruism and sympathy inequalities in power amongst people  need for absolute ruler “social contract”, authority and governance JA Stein 16

17 Consequentialism and utilitarianism
Consequentialism: the consequences of an action alone determine its morality the ends justify the means Utilitarianism: not the same as usefulness....a goal classical: “the ultimate good is something that most people actually desire” modern: “satisfaction, rather than happiness” ethical hedonism: pleasure the only ultimate good the greatest happiness of the greatest number In philosophy, pleasure, happiness and hedonism are more sophisticated concepts than as everyday terms, but.... JA Stein 17

18 Virtue ethics Aristotle and purpose in life Augustine, Aquinas
Excellence, flourishing as source of happiness Augustine, Aquinas Specification of virtue in terms of health, aesthetics, knowledge, authenticity, integrity, justice, friendship, holiness JA Stein 18

19 Computer ethics Postwar period:
the rise of ‘artificial intelligence’ and fears of social domination by computers large-scale computation enabling greater lethality of military weaponry large-scale data manipulation enabling the centralisation of social control (especially government): privacy and dignity Microcomputers, networking and personal computers software and IPRs hacking Internet and bandwidth privacy and protection from malicious individuals dependency in the age of informational capitalism Cloud computing JA Stein 19

20 Conceptualising computers and ethics
Software Hacking the Internet the Cloud “Computer and information technology creates new possibilities; it instruments human action in new ways. The ethical issues that are thereby created are not out of the realm of human under-standing, but they have unique features with which we must come to grips.” (Johnson) JA Stein 20

21 Computers and society: the case of software
Software (Johnson) A series of mental processes that cannot be owned, an internal structuring of a computer that forms a part of the machine, or a standalone product with commercial value? Traditionalist view: adapt existing tools such as patents and copyright? But can this approach capture the novel features and their (sometimes unintended) applications? Social context: moral, cultural, political ideas “the study of computer ethics turns out [to] be the study of human beings and society -- our goals and values, our norms of behavior, the way we organize ourselves and assign rights and responsibilities” JA Stein 21

22 Are computer ethical issues unique?
New entities: programmes, software, microchips, Websites, video games (MMORPGs), the Cloud Scale of organised activity: data collection, calculation, statistical analysis Scale of calculations: new types of knowledge in fields such as meteorology, economics, military technology Inherent unreliability of computer systems: new ways of thinking about risk, accountability and liability Power and pervasiveness: dependency on computers for all aspects of modern living, sometimes life itself JA Stein 22

23 Practical applications of ICT ethics
Personal choices: careers, ownership of consumer goods Protection of children and vulnerable people in our care Policy, regulation and law both public and corporate policies gender, race, disability, equality and dignity issues regulation of service provision and content intellectual property rights rights to privacy Conduct of democracy Codes of professional conduct JA Stein 23

24 Data Protection Act (1984) DPA requirements include Eight principles
Registration of personal data Description of purpose of use Person responsible for subject access requests Eight principles Fairness, specification of purpose, appropriateness, adequacy, accuracy, timeliness, accessibility and security The act is a mechanism to enforce 8 data protection principles which state that personal data shall Be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully Be held for specified purposes only Be used or disclosed for those purposes only Be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to its purpose Be accurate and up to date Be held for no longer than necessary Be able to be accessed and corrected by the individuals to which it relates (This is the key principle of the act since it establishes the right of individuals to know what an organisation has on file about them.) Be secure (Appropriate security measures must be taken against unauthorised access to alteration, disclosure or destruction of personal data) JA Stein 24

25 Data Protection Act (1998) Implementing European standards as per the Legal protection of databases Directive (1996) Registration Enlargement of jurisdiction to cover more types of data systems Manual data Videotapes, CDs, etc. Information Commissioner empowered to issue fines from 6 April 2010 JA Stein 25

26 Implications of the Data Protection Act for ICT professionals
Awareness of requirements for registration; exemptions Treatment of personal data Use and disclosure of data Adequate but not excessive Accuracy and timeliness JA Stein 26

27 Data protection and the Internet (I)
Exemptions for personal use of data DPA Section 55 at work Pornographic websites Sexually explicit s Disclosure of data to third parties JA Stein 27

28 Data protection and the Internet (II)
Web site cookies, application forms and transparency Confidentiality and public services Use of personal data for secondary purposes Authorisation Public interest disclosure Informed consent JA Stein 28

29 Computer Misuse Act (1990) Unauthorised access to a computer
Unauthorised modification of data held on a computer Hacking Infecting computers with viruses Attempt to control international computer crime JA Stein 29

30 File-sharing, IPRs… and Democracy
Napster mp3 file sharing started in 1999 and was shut down in 2001 by judicial order More than 60% of Internet traffic p2p sharing music, movies, books and games (June 2010) Encryption and IP address migration Piratbyrån - The Pirate Bay: 25 million visitors/month (2008) – only hosts bit-torrents and not files so cannot be shut down – but  conspiracy case Market economy vs. capitalism (concentrated power) Democracy and Human Rights: Piratpartiet and privacy JA Stein 30

31 Digital Economy Act (2010) Copyright/anti-piracy
Compels ISPs to report persistent offenders Powers to restrict or cut off Internet access granted to the Secretary of State to instruct ISPs Ofcom enforces ISPs obligations Control of content: Video game classification Copyright material on websites The controversy continues Implementation wrt piracy delayed until 2015 JA Stein 31

32 Professional responsibility v. Legal responsibility
Compliance with the law Contribution to the formulation of law and professional practice Technological expertise Ethical/professional judgement Disclosure (whistleblowing) What if the law itself is ethically wrong? JA Stein 32

33 Business computer ethics
Ethical behaviour as essential to maintaining trust that is the basis for doing business: clients, customers and suppliers competitors, especially when collaborating employees, shareholders and stakeholders empirical observation: “ethical behaviour works” (Langford) Computers pervasive in all aspects of business, and businesses of all sizes are highly dependent upon them Computers allow very complex processes to take place which are not transparent to consumers or regulators JA Stein 33

34 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)
allows monitoring of by employers legalises interception of by the security services JA Stein 34

35 Cloud computing and cyber-ethics
Control and responsibility Users relinquish control over both computation and data Dispersed responsibility for data and computational integrity Disappearance of geographical and functional boundaries Multi-purpose, multi-use Accountability? JA Stein 35

36 Online Privacy : Why is it important?
Personal autonomy, security and dignity Freedom of association Political freedom and democracy Intellectual property Commerce and employment Protection from cyber-crime JA Stein 36

37 What does secrecy mean in a virtual social environment?
Privacy Anonymity Identity Security Confidentiality JA Stein 37

38 Privacy Theories of privacy:
Non-intrusion privacy: being free from interruption and interference Seclusion privacy: personal privacy and being alone Control/access privacy: having control over information about oneself Limitation privacy: context-dependent limits to access to one’s personal information JA Stein 38

39 Internet privacy Datagathering and cyberstalking Dataveillance
Merging electronic records Personal data mining Search engines Social networking online What is properly personal and private, and what is in the public domain? Information Technology and Dataveillance Roger Clarke (1987) JA Stein 39

40 Anonymity online Liberation (Cyborg Manifesto)
– or deception? ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog’ Trust and accountability (e.g. misrepresentation and hacking) cartoon by Peter Steiner has been reproduced from page 61 of July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker, (Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20) Donna Harraway JA Stein 40

41 Identity in the virtual world
Personal, social and legal identity Aliases Constructed identities Digital effigies JA Stein 41

42 Security: a highly emotive topic
Technological security (PETs) Identity theft, impersonation and fraud Surveillance and “counter-terrorism” Psychological and sociological origins (“existential insecurity”; “risk society”) Security through cooperation JA Stein 42

43 Confidentiality and trust
Friendship, kinship Caring professions Medical Social Educational Religious Employment Social contracts, social capital JA Stein 43

44 Evolution of virtual society
Communities Personal / family / diaspora Occupational / professional Interest group Organisations and institutions e-government e-commerce JA Stein 44

45 The social regulation of the virtual world
Regulating human behaviour Individual Institutional Social Social values of the Internet Development of expectations of identity in a postmodern medium Confidence in secure transactions (financial, personal) Anarchy, communism (Linux, open source software, freeware) JA Stein 45

46 Secrecy and governance in the virtual world
Technological approaches are insufficient Formal and informal approaches to the governance of the www Social norms differ according to national, religious, ethnic and other distinctive features of various societies – including online societies Netiquette and the evolution of a digital society in a virtual world: JA Stein 46

47 Promoting an ethical approach and the problem of moral philosophy
Internet ethics is derived from Western moral philosophy, thus based on Judeao-Christian and European cultural heritage The foundations of different ethical frameworks cannot be fully rationalised – and therefore, conceptualisations of ethical standards and approaches to governance (e.g. deontology, utilitarianism, notions of human rights etc.) don’t lend themselves to multicultural rationalisation JA Stein 47

48 Universal ethics Values? (worth, esteem, etc.)
Is privacy an intrinsic social value or is it instrumental ? Truly universal ethics are based on virtues: Honesty and trustworthiness Benevolence and generosity Excellence Courage Honour and respect Justice (e.g. as a means to achieve some desirable or undesirable social outcome) JA Stein 48

49 Virtual and virtuous ? Honesty and trustworthiness: Wikipedia
Benevolence and generosity: on-line petitions and appeals Excellence: peer-reviewed journals Courage: resistance to political oppression Honour and respect: netiquette Justice: ? JA Stein 49

50 Virtual secrecy? No technological solutions to social problems, but no legal solutions either Tailoring secrecy to purpose Protection of legitimate confidentiality in professional and business/financial world Protection of personal privacy and dignity Social scepticism wrt identity – education Informal and informed cooperative social promotion of on-line virtue JA Stein 50

51 Psychology of moral autonomy (Lawrence Kohlberg)
Preconventional level: self-benefit and the avoidance of punishment Conventional level: family, group or social norms uncritically accepted as standards of morality Postconventional level: individual recognition that right and wrong is not reducible to self- interest or social convention autonomous individuals who think for themselves and do not assumes that customs are always right seek to live by general, universal principles such as moral integrity, respect, and the “Golden Rule” JA Stein 51

52 Limits to rationalism Feminist critique: “ethics of care” (Carol Gilligan) context-dependent on maintaining personal relationships: masculine ethics based on abstract rights and rules contrasted with feminine context-oriented reasoning Persistence of religious morality in contemporary society empirical observation that religious experience (including conversion) is attributed to God impossible to acquire religious belief through reasoning fundamentalism mainly in text-based religions: no moral ambiguity -- also balanced ‘scripture, tradition and reason’ Computer Power and Human Reason (Joseph Weizenbaum) Decision vs. choice Judgement, compassion and wisdom JA Stein 52

53 Moral Heuristics Is it honourable? Is there anyone from whom we would like to hide the action? Is it honest? Does it violate any agreement, actual or implied, or otherwise betray a trust? Does it avoid the possibility of conflict of interest? Are there other considerations that might bias your judgement? Is it within your area of competence? Is it possible that your best effort will not be adequate? Is it fair? Is it detrimental to the legitimate interests of others? Is it considerate? Will it violate confidentiality or privacy, or otherwise harm anyone or anything? Is it conservative? Does it unnecessarily squander time or otherwise valuable resources? JA Stein 53

54 Example: Ethical analysis of plagiarism
Identify and list as many different forms of plagiarism as possible Select four of the most egregious forms of plagiarism What are the main ethical issues? Identify the stakeholders What ethical principles apply? What formal guidelines apply? What are the long-term implications, including prevention strategies? JA Stein 54

55 Plagiarism…..don’t….. When to reference “Lifting” material
Padding Over-reliance on sources Other hazards: Self plagiarism Collusion Commercial (dis-)services UEL guidelines, policies and strategies JA Stein 55

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