Ethics applied to the online environment. Although cyber ethics has become an important topic for elementary school children, high school students, college and university students, and those in the workplace in recent years, the treatment of what is and is not cyber-ethical behavior varies from place to place.
Perhaps one of the most creative treatments on the subject is the list of cyber commandments (that is, “Thou shall not” acts) available from the Computer Ethics Institute. They include some of these “Thou shall nots”:
• Appropriate other people’s intellectual property (IP)
• Ignore the social and legal consequences related to the software program one is writing or the computer system one is designing
• Illegally copy or use proprietary software that has not been paid for or for which credit has not been given
• Interfere with others’ computer or online work
• Snoop into or alter others’ computer files or data
• Use a computer to bear false witness
• Use a computer to cause harm to others
• Use others’ computer resources without prior authorization
• Use the computer in ways that ignore the consideration of and respect for fellow human beings
See Also: Computer, Cyber Etiquette; Ethic; Harm; Intellectual Property (IP); White Hat Ethic.
Computer Ethics Institute. Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics. [Online, 1992.] Computer Ethics Institute Website. http://www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/its/cei/ overview/Ten_Commanments_of_Computer_Ethics.htm.