Ethics of Information Communication Technology (Ict)

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ETHICS OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

Paper prepared by Tengku Mohd T. Sembok, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the Regional Meeting on Ethics of Science and Technology 5-7 November 2003, Bangkok

UNESCO Regional Unit for Social & Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHSAP)

241

ETHICS OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

1. INTRODUCTION
Globalization and digital convergence in the emerging knowledge society has raised complex ethical, legal and societal issues. We are faced with complex and difficult questions regarding the freedom of expression, access to information, the right to privacy, intellectual property rights, and cultural diversity. ICT is an instrumental need of all humans for the gathering of information and knowledge, and as such, should be guaranteed as a basic right to all human beings. All over the world, rights that are already legally recognised are daily being violated, whether in the name of economic advancement, political stability, religious causes, the campaign against terrorism, or for personal greed and interests. Violations of these rights have created new problems in human social systems, such as the digital divide, cybercrime, digital security and privacy concerns, all of which have affected people’s lives either directly or indirectly. It is important that the countries of the Asia-Pacific region come up with an assessment of the situation, followed by guidelines for action to combat the incidence of malicious attacks on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic data and systems, computer-related crimes, such as forgery and fraud, content related offenses, such as those related to child pornography, and violations of intellectual property rights (IPRs). Further, threats to critical infrastructure and national interests arising from the use of the internet for criminal and terrorist activities are of growing concern after the September 11 incident. The harm



References: World Development Report, 1999/2000. World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2000.

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