Presentation on theme: "The Internet and Ethical Values"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Internet and Ethical Values Chapter 1The Internet and Ethical Values
2 Introductory Comments “…the Internet has the potential to magnify the power of the individual and fortify democratic processes.”“..the control of technology through law and regulation has often been a futile effort, ‘correcting’ technology with other technology has been more effective.”Ex) law has had a hard time controlling dissemination of pornography on the Internet but blocking software that filter out indecent material has been more successful
3 Two Assumptions of the text The directive and architectonic (of or relating to architecture or design) role of moral ideals and principles in determining responsible behavior in cyberspace andThe capacity of free and responsible human beings to exercise some control over the forces of technology (technological realism)Technological realism is a philosophy that argues technology is a powerful agent for social change and progress.
4 Cyberethics and the “Law of the Horse” Constraints on our behaviorFrom Week 1, list some institutions that impact our moral behaviorOur Book lists: laws of civil society, social pressures of the communities in which we live and workBook: Code and Other Laws of CyberspaceLarry LessigDescribes four constraints that regulate our behavior in real space and are subject to the same four constraints in cyberspace
5 Four Constraints on Behavior Law – a prominent regulator of behavior because if you fail to follow the law their can be consequencesSocial Norms - understandings or expectations of how I ought to behaveThese can regulate behavior in a far wider array of contexts than any lawMarket – regulates by price, by pricing goods, the market sets my opportunities, and through this range of opportunities it regulatesNature or what he calls architectureThe constraint of the world as it isI can’t see through walls, a constraint on my ability to know what is happening on the other sideNo wheel chair ramp can constrain access to a library for a wheel chair bound individualIn the cyber world, the equivalent of this architectural constraint is code, the programs and protocols that make up the Internet.Law – a prominent regulator of behavior because if you fail to follow the law their can be consequencesSocial Norms – understandings or expectations of how I ought to behavecan regulate behavior in a far wider array of contexts than any lawMarket – regulates by price, by pricing goods, the market sets my opportunities, and through this range of opportunities it regulatesNature or what he calls architectureThe constraint of the world as it isI can’t see through walls, a constraint on my ability to know what is happening on the other sideNo wheel chair ramp can constrain access to a library for a wheel chair bound individual
6 Regulation through the Four Constraints To understand a regulation we must understand the sum of the four constraints operating togetherAny one cannot represent the effect of the four together
7 Cyberspace Hype Cyberspace is unavoidable Cyberspace is unregulable No nation can live without itNo nation will be able to control behavior in itA place where individuals are inherently free from the control of real space sovereigns
8 Lessig’s attack against the Hype He has a different viewNow entering a world where freedom is not assuredCyberspace has the potential to be the most fully and extensively regulated space that we have ever knownUnless we understand this we are likely to miss the transition from freedom into control
9 Connecting Cyberspace to Real Space Similar to the real world, behavior in cyberspace is regulated by four types of constraintsAgain, Law is one of those constraintscopyright law, defamation law, sexual harassment lawIn spite of the hype that cyberspace is wide open, these laws constrain behavior similarly to how behaviors are constrained in real spaceThere are also Norms in cyberspace as there are in real spaceWhen norms are not followed, punishments are meted out
10 Connecting 2 The market also constrains cyberspace as in real space change the price of access and constraints on access differArchitecture, the fourth, is most significant of the fourHe calls this CODE - meaning the SW and HW which constitute cyberspacethe set of protocols implemented or codified in the SW of cyberspace that determine how people interact, or exist in the spaceIt sets the terms upon which we enter or exist in cyberspace, just like the architecture of the real space
11 How Architecture(CODE) constrains Behavior Sometimes one must enter a password, othertimes they don’tSome transactions produce link back to individual, othertimes they don’tSometimes encryption is an option, sometimes it isn’tThese differences are created by code by programmers, they constrain some behavior while allowing others possibleThey are like architecture of real space regulating behavior in cyberspace
12 Real Space and CyberSpace In real space architecture, market, norms, and law regulate behaviorIn cyberspace code, market, norms, and law regulate behaviorAs with real space, in cyberspace we need to look at how the four work together to constrain behavior
13 Example - Regulation of Indecency on the Net Concern sharply grew in 1995Kids using net more frequently mixed with availability of “porn”A paper at the time cited a controversial and flawed study in Georgetown Law Review reported that the Internet was “awash with porn.”Time and Newsweek ran cover articles about its availabilitySenators and Congressman bombarded with demands to do something to regulate cybersmut
14 Why the Outcry?At the time it was written that more indecent materials existed in real space than in cyberspaceMost kids (at that time )didn’t have access to cyberspace, so why the outcry?Look at it differently, what regulates indecent materials in real space?
15 Why (U.S. View)1) US laws regulate distribution of indecent materials to kidsID checks to check age of buyersLaws requiring these businesses to be far from kids2) Norms - possibly more important than lawsNorms constrain adults not to sell this to kids3) Market Norms - To buy this costs money and most kids do not have money4) Architecture - difficult in real space to hide the fact that you are a kidSo, constraints on being a kid are effective in real space
16 Cyberspace is Different Though In real space hard to hide that you are a kid, in cyberspace the default is anonymityEasy to hide who one isPractically impossible for the same laws and norms to apply in cyberspaceKey difference is the regulability of cyberspace, the ability of governments to regulate behavior thereCurrently, cyberspace is less regulable than real space, less governments can do
17 Why? Key difference is the code that constitutes cyberspace Its current architecture is essentially unregulable (at least in 1995)The architecture of 1995 and 1996 essentially allowed anyone w/ access to roam w/o identifying who they were - Net95One’s identity was invisible to the net thenOne could enter w/o credentials, w/o an internal passportUsers were fundamentally equal, essentially free
18 Communications Decency Act (1996) With Net95 as the architecture of the network at the time-- this statute was declared unconstitutionalBecause, at the time, any regulation attempting to zone kids from indecent materials would be a regulation that was too burdensome on speakers and listenersAs the net was then, regulation would be too burdensomeKey problem was that the court spoke as if this architecture, net95, was the only architecture that the net could have
19 But... We know that the net has no nature, no single architecture Net 95 is a set of features or protocols that constituted the net at a particular period in timeNothing requires it to always be that way (remember malleability?)Court spoke as if it had discovered the nature of the net and was therefore deciding on the nature of any possible regulation of the net
20 Univ of Chicago - Harvard Story Author was professor at UoC, to gain access to net, just plug into a jack (located throughout Univ)Any machine could do it and you would have full, anonymous, free access to the netIt was this way because of the administrationThis policy established the architectural design of the UoC net
21 @HarvardOne cannot connect one’s machine to the net unless the machine is registeredThat is, licensed, approved, verifiedOnly members of the Univ community can register their machineOnce registered all transactions over the net are potentially monitored and identified to a particular machineAnonymous speech on this net is not permittedAccess can be controlled based on who someone is, interactions can be traced
22 Two Views Controlling access is the ideal at Harvard Facilitating access is the ideal at Univ of ChicagoThese two views are common today at Univ’s across AmericaUoC is Net95Harvard is not an Internet but an Intranet architecturewithin an intranet, identity is sufficiently established such that access can be controlled and usage monitored
23 PhilosophiesThey both are built from TCP/IP but at Harvard you have Internet Plus, the plus means the power to controlThey reflect two philosophies about access and reflect two sets of principles or values on how speech should be controlledthey parallel difference between political regimes of freedom and political regimes of control
24 The Point Nothing against Harvard or Chicago Wants us to see that at the level of a nation, architecture is inherently politicalIn cyberspace, the selection of an architecture is as important as the choice of a constitutionThe code of cyberspace is its constitution, it sets terms for access, sets the rules, controls their behavior, a sort of sovereignty competing with real space sovereigns in the regulation of behavior of real space citizens
25 Architecture ShiftFrom an architecture of freedom to an architecture of controlAs it becomes an architecture of control it becomes more regulableUS government is moving the architecture in these directionsHow? The government can regulate the architectures in cyberspace so that behaviors in cyberspace become more regulable
26 Spinello’s View on Lessig’s Work Describes Lessig’s work as a neat regulatory frameworkFeels that Lessig includes ethical standards in the broad category of normsSpinello believes cultural norms should be segregated from ethical ideals and principlesCultural norms are variable social action guides that are relative and dependent on a given social or cultural environmentFundamental principles of ethics are “metanorms” they have universal validity remaining the same whether we are doing business in another country or in cyberspace.
27 Spinello and LessigSpinello believes that ethics and cultural norms must be kept distinctExplains that this defies popular notion of ethical relativism which he says often equates the twoEthical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture. That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced.We could spend weeks on just this one term, author writes that “a full refutation of that viewpoint is beyond the scope of our discussion here.”
28 Quote from contemporary philosopher Phillippa Foot“…All need affection, the cooperation of others, a place in community, and help in trouble.”What does this connect to from our Introduction to Ethics (Week 1)?
29 Spinello’s Final Comments on Lessig The observed weakness does not invalidate Lessig’s frameworkChief contribution the four constraints of the real world also regulate in cyber spaceAnd, the structures of software can potentially do even more than laws to curtail freedom. (Provide more constraints)
30 Extending Lessig’s Framework Spinello believes the model can be improved by adding fixed ethical values as a constraining force citingJames Moor- list of core human goods includes life, happiness, and autonomyJohn Finnis, list of intrinsic goods: life, knowledge, play (and skillful work), aesthetic experience, sociability, religion, and practical reasonableness (which includes autonomy)
31 A Moral IdealSo, the ultimate good, the human flourishing of ourselves and of others should function as a prescriptive guidepost of enduring value, serving as a basis for crafting laws, developing social institutions, or regulating the InternetApplying this to policy making can be difficult so we have ethical principles such as the golden rule or from Kant, “act so that you treat humanity always as an end and never as a means”Author thus feels that the role of morality is the ultimate regulator of cyberspace that sets the boundaries for activities and policies in figure 1-1 on page 7, it sits above the four constraints of Lessig.
32 Iron Cage or Gateway to Utopia (p7) There is skepticism about anyone’s ability to control the evolution and effects of the technologies of networking and computingAuthor asks, are our attempts to regulate cyberspace merely a chimera? (a fanciful notion?)Some philosophers have regarded technology as a dark and oppressive forceMenaces our individuality and authenticityViews of technology determinists – see technology as an independent and dehumanizing forceMost interpretations of technological determinism share two general ideas:that the development of technology itself follows a predictable, traceable path largely beyond cultural or political influence, andthat technology in turn has "effects" on societies that are inherent, rather than socially conditioned or produced because that society organizes itself to support and further develop a technology once it has been introduced.
33 Other PhilosophersFrench philosopher, Jacques Ellul writes, technique has become a dominant and untranscendable human value.The totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency in every field of human activityFeels that modern technology has irreversibly shaped the way we live, work, and interact in this worldSimilarly, Max Weber, coined term iron cage,Meaning, how technology locks us in to certain ways of being or patterns of behaviorA more fragmented, narrow-minded society dominated by a crude instrumental rationalityMartin Heidegger saw technology not merely as a tool that we can manipulate but as a way of “being in the world” that deeply affects how we relate to that world.
34 A Not so Bleak ViewTechnology neutralists argue that technology is a neutral force, completely dependent on human aims and objectivesthis view holds that technologies are free of bias and do not promote one type of behavior over anotherTechnology is just a tool and does not compromise our human freedom or determine our destiny in any appreciable wayUp to us to whether the tool is a powerful force for good or bad
35 The Ideal ViewTechnological utopianism regards certain technologies as making possible an ideal world with improved lifestyles and workplacesAn optimistic philosophy believes humanity can eradicate many of technology’s adverse effects and manipulate this tool effectively to improve the human condition
36 Author’s ConcernsTechnological neutralism and utopianism seem problematicTechnology does condition with givens that are virtually impossible to overcomeLangdon Winner describes this as the adjustment of human ends to match the character of the available meansAuthor writes that it is an exaggeration to claim that computer and network technology locks us into a virtual but inescapable iron cageMiddle ground between these extremes is technological realism“although technology has a force of its own, it is not independent of political and social forces.”Indicates this is echoed in Lessig’s work, sometimes code is an instrument of social and political control, it is not always neutralWe do have the capacity to redirect or subdue technology when it becomes necessaryAuthor agrees with Charels Taylor, “We are not, indeed, locked in. But there is a slope, an incline in things that is all too easy to slide down.”
37 Ethical Values and the Digital frontier (p10) Several theories that embody the moral point of viewKant describes the principle that we must respect humanity in all our choices and actionsRights-based theories discuss core human goods in terms of protection of human rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinessUtilitarian approach emphasizes happinessModern ethical frameworks fall under 2 broad categories teleological or deontological1st means goal or end, these theories argue that the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on whether or not they bring about the end in questions (like happiness)Deontological consider actions to be intrinsically right or wrong and do not depend in any way on the consequences they effectThese frameworks emphasize duty and obligation
38 Utilitarianism (p11)This is a teleological theory and is most popular version of consequentialismClassic utilitarianism was developed by 2 British philosophers:Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart MillRight course of action is to promote the general good, can be described in terms of utilityUtility refers to the net benefits (or good) created by an actionAnother way to think of this is, persons ought to act in a way that promotes the maximum net expectable utility, that is, the greatest net benefits or the lowest net costs, for the broadest community affected by their actions.On one level, utilitarianism asks us to make moral decision by means of a rational, objective cost/benefit analysis
39 Example pgAn organization has to make a decision about random inspection of employeeIt is perfectly legal but some managers wonder if it is the right thing to do as it seems to violate privacy rights of employeesRightness in the utilitarian ethical model is determined by consequences that become clear in a cost/benefit analysis3 possible choices: 1) not inspected; 2) inspected but policy clearly displayed; 3) inspected, not policy displayedLook at pg. 13 for a table summarizing costs and benefits (first write one for the class on the board with their own ideas of benefits and costs
40 Summary of Utilitarianism Theory has strengths but some serious flaws tooIn certain contexts, could be used to justify the infliction of pain on a small number of individuals for the sake of the happiness or benefits of the majority.No intrinsically unjust or immoral acts for the utilitarian which poses a problemWhat happens when human rights conflict with utility?This theory lacks sensitivity to the ideals of justice and human rights
41 Contract Rights (Contractarianism) p 12 uses rights based analysisa deontologic theorylooks at moral issues from viewpoint of the human rights that may be at stakeA right is an entitlement or a claim to somethingContractarianism differs from utilitarianism in that the consequences of an action are morally irrelevant for those who support contractarianismrights are enjoyed by all citizens, and the rights of the minority cannot be suspended or abolished even if that abolition will maximize social welfareA problem with most rights-based theories is that they do not provide adequate criteria for resolving practical disputes when rights are in conflicteg those who send spam claim they are exercising their right to free speech but those receiving it say that it is intrusiveHow do we resolve this?Rights based theories are not always helpful in making this determination
42 Moral Duty (Pluralism) P14 This framework is based not on rights but on dutyImmanuel Kant is one of the foremost philosophers of this approachThe moral point of view is best expressed by discerning and carrying out one’s moral duty.A duty-based, deontological ethical frameworkSometimes referred to as pluralism
43 Immanuel Kant Consequences of an action are morally irrelevant Actions only have moral worth when they are done for the sake of dutyAccording to Kant’s systematic philosophy, our moral duty is simple: to follow the moral law which, like the laws of science or physics, must be rationalAnd, like all rational laws, the moral law must be universalKant, is one of the more difficult to read philosophers but quite interesting.A good example (for readability and understandability) can be found on pg. 16 (you read).
44 Understanding KantKant’s universal law is expressed as what is called the categorical imperative:“I should never act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law.”The imperative is “categorical” because it does not allow for any exceptionsA maxim (as used here) is an implied general principle or rule understanding a particular action
46 Difficulties with Kant’s Framework Kant’s moral philosophy is very rigidNo exceptions to the moral laws derived from the absolute categorical imperativeLying is always wrong even though we can think of times where it might seem reasonable (to save a life)In examples like this, there is a conflict of moral lawsThe law to tell the truth and the law to save a life in jeopardy
47 Another duty-based philosopher (William D. Ross) Believes we must follow several basic duties that we know through simple reflectionThe duties are conditional and not absoluteUnder normal circumstances we would follow a particular dutyBut, in those unusual situations where duties conflict with one another, one duty may be overridden by another duty that is judged to be superior (at least in this environment).Ross, unlike Kant, allows exceptionsOne criticism of Ross’ work is that his list of 7 moral duties is incompleteBut, like other frameworks we have discussed, it does have some merit
48 New Natural Law (p18)Often neglected in business and computer ethics booksClaim is its too “impractical” and too closely associated with the philosophy of St. Thomas AquinasThe new natural law (John Finnis and Germain Grisez) is faithful to the theories of Aquinas but modified to address contemporary moral problemsThey claim the first practical principle is: “Good should be done and evil avoided, “ where good means what is intelligibly worthwhile
49 More on the New Natural Law What is the good?Finnis considers 7 human goods key to human flourishing: life and health, knowledge of the truth, play (and some forms of work), aesthetic experience, sociability (includes friendship and marriage), religion, and practical reasonablenessThis framework provides another way to look at ethical dilemmas in cyberworldIt asks us to consider whether certain policies or actions are consistent with human flourishingDoes Spamming pass the test?Pg. 21 has a table with a summary of the theoretical frameworks that we have discussed and the general questions that one asks in determining if an action is moral or not.
50 Normative Principles (p21) When ethical theory is too abstract, an approach called principilism can be used.Often used in biomedical ethicsThese moral principles are derived from an compatible with all of the moral theories previously mentioned in the textThey describe prima facie duties that are always in force but may conflict on occasionThis term was introduced back on page 17 (re-read)–noun 1.at first appearance; at first view, before investigation.2.plain or clear; self-evident; obvious.adv. At first sight; before closer inspection: They had, prima facie, a legitimate complaint. adj. True, authentic, or adequate at first sight; ostensible: prima facie credibility.Evident without proof or reasoning; obvious: a prima facie violation of the treaty.
51 PrincipilismPrinciplism is a system of ethics based on the four moral principles of:1. Autonomy--free-will, one’s capacity to be autonomous or self-determiningWhen someone is deprived of their autonomy, their plans are interfered with and they are not treated with the respect they deserve2. Beneficence—a positive duty, to do good, we should act in such a a way that we advance the welfare of other people when we are able to do soWhen do we have such a duty to act?1. the need is serious or urgent2. we have knowledge or awareness of the situation, and3. we have the capability to provide assistance (“ought assumes can” is the operative principleAuthor comments, that this principle has some relevance when we evaluate society’s questionable duty of beneficience to provide universal Internet service.
52 Prinicpilism Continued 3. Nonmaleficence--not to harm, and or, “above all, do no harm”4. Justice– follows a basic formal principle: “Similar cases ought to be treated in similar ways.”Justice requires fair treatment and impartialityDetermining “similar” cases leads to an underlying principle for how we should distribute the benefits and burdens of social lifeLeading to theories of distributive justice“all goods should be distributed equally”; although John Rawls has argued that an unequal distribution of goods is acceptable when it works for the advantage of everyone especially the least advantaged (called the difference principle).Or, benefits or resources should be distributed according to the contribution each individual makes to the furtherance of society’s goalsAnother, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”Not choosing one over another, moral judgments should be based in part on the formal principle of justice.
53 Concluding Principilism Advocates for principilism argue that from the beginning of recorded history most moral decision-makers descriptively and prescriptively have used these four moral principles; that they are part of or compatible with most intellectual, religious, and cultural beliefs.