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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!