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Section 1: Ethics in Historical Transition (The Past)
It is common to see the terms morality and ethics used interchangeably, probably due to their origins in Latin and Greek. The word "morality" comes from the Latin, moralitas, meaning the rules and standards of society. The term "ethics" is derived from Greek, ethikos, meaning the rules and norms of specific kinds of conduct or codes of conduct of specialized groups. (A good resource on this topic is the Ethics in America Source Reader, published by Prentice Hall.)
In the Computer Security Handbook (4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), James Landon Linderman defines ethics as: "A system of moral principles that relate to the benefits and harms of particular actions, and to the rightness and wrongness of motives and ends of these actions." The community defines the standards or boundaries within that system for judging what it considers right and wrong, good and bad. These moral standards provide the framework for decision-making by an individual, a group or society.
Ethical Standards: Set, Questioned and Changed!
Women’s right to vote in the United States of America - Students may want to check out Susan B. Anthony's speech "On Women's Right to Vote."
Apartheid in South Africa - Computers and Apartheid may interest students. This was a final project in 1995 for some Stanford students.
Free music downloads on Napster - The incoming freshman today do not have the experience with Napster or the discussions that occurred during the transistion to subscriber music. Napster, Then and Now offers a short history of the file-sharing program. "A Short History of File Sharing" provides the British perspective on the controversy.
(Remember, the Internet has created an international community and it is important that students explore other resources.)
For background on peer-to-peer technology, visit this website; for a a broader perspective of the decline of P2P, see Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies (published by O'Reilly, 2001), sample chapter here.
This should take students from the historical perspective of file sharing and the changes imposed by the community. When students become familiar with the changes to the Internet within the past 5 years they will want to comment!