Addressing the Central Problem in Cyber Ethics through Stories

Addressing the Central Problem in Cyber Ethics through Stories

John M. Artz (The George Washington University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch012
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Abstract

The central problem in cyber ethics is not, as many might think, how to address the problems of protecting individual privacy, or preventing software piracy, or forcing computer programmers to take responsibility for the systems that they build. These are, of course, legitimate concerns of cyber ethics, but the central problem is how you decide what the right thing to do is with regard to these issues when the consequences of any responses cannot be known in advance. Stated more clearly, the central problem in cyber ethics is - how do you establish ethical standards in a professional field that is defined by a rapidly evolving technology where the consequences of the technology and the impact of any ethical standards cannot be known in the time frame in which the standards must be established? Stories play a very important role in addressing this issue. Specifically, stories provide a means of exploring ethical issues for which the full range of consequences is not currently known. But, in order to justify this claim, a few words of explanation are in order.

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