Introduction to Computer Information Systems and Ethics

This text provides a comprehensive overview of how information systems relate to ethics. While reading, consider the relationship between ethical action and legal remedies. Many people think that the ethical issues raised by new technologies are just the same issues in a new form. Do you agree or disagree? Has technology created a new class of ethical issues? What are the difficulties raised by creating new laws and regulations to solve these issues?

History of Computer Ethics

Computer Hoaxes and Digital Manipulation

Example of a photo that has been digitally manipulated (edited)

A computer hoax, or virus hoax, is an inaccurate statement or story spread through computers, typically through an email. Usually the email warns the user about a virus or worm and instructs the user to forward the message (which spreads the virus) or recommends that the receivers download an infected file attachment. These virus hoaxes can often be distinguished by their lofty and enticing wording or by claims that sound formal and authorized. These types of emails use people's fear of the internet to manipulate their actions and thus spread a virus or computer hoax; many consider these fake emails to be worms in and of themselves because of this.

Digital Manipulation is editing or altering any type of digital content. The most commonly thought of is photo-shop, which is editing an image so that it has little to no resemblance of the original image. This can be anything from adjusting the "exposure" on a photo or using an airbrush tool, to combing two photos to make one or adding portions that were not in the original (such as a large moon covering half the sky behind the Chicago skyline). But digital manipulation also includes altering text, music, movies, or voice interviews. The main issue when it comes to ethics in digital manipulation is ensuring that copyrights are not violated and the original digital information is not misused or misinterpreted. Also, intentions and purpose are key in deciding "how far is too far" when it comes to photo-shop or other editing methods.