This page supplements Ethics for the Information Age by providing links to interesting Web material that can be incorporated into lectures or classroom activities.
General Robert A. Greene at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire has produced a terrific Web site containing an extensive list of links to interesting stories and other content relevant to the topics discussed in the book. (Look under Philosophy 308.) Greene's list is much larger than the list of links on this page, and it is particularly easy to use because it is organized according to the chapters in Ethics for the Information Age.
Edward F. Gehringer at North Carolina State University has created a large Web site devoted to ethics and information technology. The articles are divided into eight major categories: basics, speech issues, intellectual property, privacy, commerce, risks, computer abuse, and social-justice issues. LegalMatch has come up with a Web site devoted to cyberspace law. The page has links to other sites with information on legal issues related to cyber crime, freedom of expression, intellectual property, privacy, and more.
The Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility Web site contains links to recent news stories related to a wide variety of issues discussed in the book.
The Internet Society has the history of the Internet written by the Internet's creators. "You can't just create and innovate without thinking." That's the message of Atti Riazi, chief information technology officer at the United Nations, who argues that technology firms must take responsibility for the harmful consequences of the products and services they introduce.
Chapter 2: Introduction to Ethics In this well written, accessible essay, Ephrat Livni argues that "practically everything we do in life has ethical repercussions" and concludes, "The best way to live an ethical life isn’t to find all the answers, but to be willing to wrestle with difficult questions."
Lawrence M. Hinman's Ethics Updates is an excellent online resource for teachers of ethics. If you are unsure how to explain Kantianism to your students, I suggest you view Dr. Hinman's lectures and examine his PowerPoint presentations. He clearly elucidates Kant's key insights and summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of his ethical system.
You might wish to have a critical discussion of the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics, first formulated by Ramon C. Barquin. Do the students agree with all of the commandments? Are they complete? If you need help getting started with a critical analysis of the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics, check out N. Ben Fairweather's commentary.
Chapter 3: Networking In "How Better Tech Could Protect Us from Distraction," Tristan Harris describes how social networking apps force users to choose between spending too much time on them or missing something important. He proposes a different way to measure the success of these apps: net positive contribution to human life.
Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, has created "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us", a stimulating video that highlights the cultural significance of the Web, particularly now that tools enable people to add their own content.
The Web site OnGuardOnline.gov provides educational videos about online scams, malware, and more.
Chapter 4: Intellectual Property An interesting copyright infringement case involves George Harrison's unconscious appropriation of the melody from The Chiffon's "He's So Fine" into his song "My Sweet Lord." Giving your class the opportunity to listen to both songs can lead to an interesting discussion. Do they think the melodies are the same? The Copyright Website lets you play both songs.
More generally, the Copyright Website has a wide variety of audio and visual examples of alleged copyright infringements. Most of the audio infringements are blatant; hence they are unlikely to lead to as good a discussion as the George Harrison case.
Many people have posted "mash ups" of copyrighted material on YouTube. They range from the innocent (a music video mashing Disney's Beauty and the Beast with "It Is You (I Have Loved)", sung by Dana Glover, from the DreamWorks movie Shrek) to the playfully devious (a fake trailer for The Shining) to the twisted (a mash up of Toy Story with Requiem for a Dream). Should "mash ups" be considered a legitimate way for people to create new works of art, or do they violate intellectual property rights?
Creative Commons has built a nice Web page that contains more information about its alternative to the traditional copyright. The short video "A Shared Culture" extolls the virtues of people sharing their creative work and explains how Creative Commons licenses remove the legal impediments to such sharing.
Magnatune is a record label that distributes MP3 files under Creative Commons licenses. Many contributors to the photo database Flickr are using Creative Commons licenses to protect their intellectual property.
Chapter 5: Information Privacy The ACLU has created a short, entertaining, yet disturbing video focusing on how access to data about our electronic transactions can harm our privacy. Could what is portrayed in this video really happen?
In October 2015 a ruling by the European Court of Justice invalidated the “safe harbor agreement” allowing American companies such as Google and Facebook to transfer the personal data of its customers in Europe.
The pervasive use of facial recognition could have some benefits, such as speeding entry to subway systems and improving airport security, and explained in this video from CNN. Should we be concerned about the possible abuse of such systems?
Chapter 6: Privacy and the Government The ACLU has created a short video, What's NSA Surveillance Got To Do With Me?, addressing the revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting telephone meta-data on millions of Americans.
A cartoon in The New York Times illustrates that when it comes to privacy, our actions do not always match our rhetoric.
Chapter 7: Computer and Network Security The governmentsecurity.org Web site is a great source of current articles related to computer and network security.
Another important source of up-to-date information related to Internet security is the site run by CERT. Note that the information on the CERT Web site is more technical than the stories on the governmentsecurity.org Web site.
Chapter 8: Computer Reliability Self-driving cars are appearing on our roads. Their widespread use may well reduce congestion and make the roads safer, but some accidents will still occur. How should autonomous vehicles be programmed to respond to unavoidable accidents? Patrick Lin introduces some of the ethical issues in the video, "The Ethical Dilemma of Self-driving Cars."
This CNN Money video from December 8, 2016, features an interview with Lior Ron about Uber's experiment with self-driving cars in San Francisco.
The NASA Web site has nice, narrated slide shows celebrating the first and second anniversaries of the successful landings of the Mars Exploration Rovers.
Chapter 9: Professional Ethics In addition to the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice reprinted in the text, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has adopted the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
The Society of Internet Professionals has adopted the SIP Code of Ethics that has several clauses related to spam and controversial Web sites.
The Government Accountability Project runs a Web site designed to provide support to whistleblowers and those who desire greater accountability from government and corporations. The site contains current news stories related to whistleblowing.
Chapter 10: Work and Wealth The Global Envision Web site is a rich source of articles and photographs related to globalization. Quoting from the site's home page, "Global Envision takes the global free market system as a starting point for reducing world poverty." The site contains material supporting and questioning the benefits of globalization.
The World Bank plays an important role in globalization.