In week 5 tutorial class, we discussed about the current issues relating with ethical norms. Our general topic was ethics in different background which are currently happening in nowadays society. The specific topics were business ethics, media ethics, political ethics, medical ethics, educational ethics, sport ethics and internet ethics and we have got a chance to share our knowledge about ethical issue under specific fields. After finishing the discussion within the class, our lecturer gave us a work to share our points of view and knowledge about ethical rules based on one of above 7 specific fields. Therefore, I would like to talk about the most current issue that is internet ethics. The reasons of choosing internet ethics are; currently, I have seen a lot of problems happening around the world through the internet and as I am a student of SICT, I have a big interest on the issues relating with technology specifically about the internet.
Since we are talking about internet ethics, here I would like to share briefly some basic knowledge about the internet evolution. The internet started at the late of 1960 and it became very popular among people starting from 1990s. In the present day, if a person do not know how to use the internet, most people (including me) will laugh at that person because almost everyone in the world are using internet very widely starting from the young age to old age people. Therefore, internet has become very essential part of the todays’ society and as the development rate of internet usage is increased, the side effects of the internet using are also increased. When you take a look at the news or when you chat with your friend, you will realize that the problems of internet using are happening around us almost every day. I am not trying to say that internet using is bad, because personally, I accept that internet brought a lot of goodness for the world. But the most important thing is people should use the internet wisely and sensibly just to avoid the harms cause by internet. The most common issues of internet ethics arise are violation of copyright issues and the privacy issues. In any kind of situation, people should consider their actions in ethical ways and here in general, what I understand about internet ethic is that we should be honest, respect the rights and property of others on the internet.
Under the topic about the violation of copyright issues, duplicating copyrighted content without the author’s approval is that main issue that is currently happening in these days. Nobody would like to be stolen their own property or their own creations by other unknown people. As internet is a main source of all information, people can get easily any kinds of information that they want. At the same time, people will not be hesitated to copy or use others’ property without the owner permission. Everybody knows that stealing is ethical unacceptable behavior, but most people do not realize that using other people property without the owner’ permission can also be considered as a kind of stealing which is also unethical behavior. As I am a student, I also use the resources from the internet because internet is a place where I can find any needs for my study. But as a student also, we should know the proper ways of avoiding violation of copyright issue. There are many ethical ways of using internet especially in copyright issue such as making the proper citations for the sources that we used, using as references and show it as reference list in our works, taking the approval of the owners to use their property, purchasing the cost of the things that we used, and so on. In these ways, ethical issue on violation of copyright (not all, but most) can be solved.
The privacy issue is also a very most concerning topic for everyone who use the internet. By using social sites and other similar web sites, our personal information can be seen easily by everyone on the sites. As the same goes, it is easy for the criminal to abuse or taking advantages by using our personal information. Some people (hackers) hack other people privacy to use in other places for the different purposes. Using other people personal information and breaking others’ privacy without knowing the owner is ethical wrong for absolute reason. Although the internet especially the social websites are very useful for the communication from all over the world, but the users have to be alert of the dangers and they should be aware of the ways to keeping their information safely. But there are some certain cases that hacking and taking other people personal information is considered as ethical behaviors. For example, there are some special hackers who are working for the police and they are finding out the criminals by hacking their privacy. Therefore, we cannot consider everything as ethical or unethical without taking deep consideration and personally, I accept that it depends on the person’s intention. Hence, under the topic of internet ethics, all the users should have to be aware of basic ethical norms of using internet to avoid from the harmful actions.