Computer Ethics

In the article, Gibbs (2012) talks about cyber bullying, whereby Paula Broadwell, the biographer of the then Central Intelligence Agency, CIA director, General Petraeus sent harassing anonymous email messages to Jill Kelley. Upon investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI the emails were traced to Broadwell and further helped unearth an affair in which she had with the CIA director. 

FBI used Electronic Communications Privacy Act to legitimize the investigations and thus by examining messages in Kelley’s email account they found that Broadwell was the bully. Gibbs (2012) further notes that the Petraeus scandal broke out because of unethical behavior and reliance on email to communicate. People engage in unethical behavior since dealing with computers eliminates the human interface thus making people to lose the empathetic human connection. Lack of such connection makes people lack courtesy and politeness. There is also a lack of computer-mediated communication hence leading people to engage in unethical behavior (Gibbs, 2012). 

Further, a 7-grade student hacked a shared computer and changed his grades thus leading to a book being written about computer ethics.  The book was launched to educate the readers about ethical online behavior. Thereafter, a proposal was made for a national dialogue consisting of policy-makers and politicians to make the use of computers ethical, mature and informed.

Computer ethics therefore, requires people to adhere to the “commandments of computer ethics” to ensure no harm on other computer users. No one should use a computer to harm another person. Moreover, people should not interfere with other people’s computers by infecting their computers with viruses thus destroying files (Masrom & Ismail, 2008). Further, spying on other people’s files amounts to unethical behavior though documents on the internet may be protected by encryption.


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