The Internet, Ethics and Morality

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The "Information Superhighway", or Internet, is a powerful medium for today 's information driven society. From it 's humble beginnings as a series of networks established to help the military and government share resources, it has become a place for people to engage in commerce and also for people to interact socially in both business and personal faculties. Along with the excellent opportunities for meaningful communication in this new atmosphere, the Internet has evolved as an open, democratic cyber society marked by free speech and volunteerism. It is a community gathering place for people to share ideas, concerns, stories and opinions, and to give help and assistance to one another. (Mills-Scofield) There has also arisen a series of problems. Whenever any major development in society is conceived, such as when telephones were introduced, problems ensue. The Internet, because of its modern nature is not really well dealt with when it comes to existing ethical and moral issues. Being that the Internet has fostered a new class of community that requires a unique category of moral values and ethical considerations. Things are always going to be dealt with differently when it comes to any revolutionary type of medium. For instance how can the federal government regulate interstate trade when it is electronically transmitted information? It is a whole new category, how could the constitution have predicted? Although there are many differences, The Internet mirrors today 's society to a large degree, with its blend of good and bad. Many of the issues facing the U.S. and the world, such as those related to race or gender, for example, are also issues on the Internet. And various subcultures, such as militias, GenX and philosophical movements, are represented. (Mills- Scofield) They go on further to say, Like all societies, the Internet has its unwritten rules--its"netiquette. Last year, a law firm caused a major uproar by posting an ad for its services on 6,000 Usenet


Bibliography: 1. 1. Agre, Philip E. Institutional circuitry: Thinking about the forms and uses of information. Information Technology & Libraries. 14(4): 225-230. 1995 Dec. 2. 2. Hiltz, Starr Roxanne and Murray Turoff. The Network Nation, human communication via computer. Reading Mass.:Addison-Wesley, 1978. 3. 3. Ketchersid, John. Pick a platform for publishing papers., Network World. 13(2): 42-43. 1996 Jan 8 4. 4. Laudon, Kenneth C. Ethical concepts and information technology. Communications of the ACM. 38(12): 33-39. 1995 Dec. 5. 5. Murray, Charles.The partial restoration of traditional society. Public Interest. (121): 122-134. 1995 Fall. 6. 6. Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community, homesteading on the electronic frontier. Reading Mass.:Addison Wesley, 1993. 7. 7. Snizek, William E. Virtual offices: Some neglected considerations. Communications of the ACM. 38(9): 15-17. 1995 Sep. 8. Tetzeli, Rick. Viva the digital revolution? -- Dreams and Nightmares Along the Information Highway. Fortune. 132(10): 237. 1995 Nov 13.

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