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Information Technology Acts

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Information Technology Acts Paper
Ryan Beland
BIS/220
Mr. Vozella
7/28/2104

In today’s world we do not start our mornings with an essential meal, a cup of coffee, and reading the newspaper; but with the simple press of one of the most iconic buttons, the power button. The dramatic increase in technology demands the attention of almost every person across the globe as they connect, work, and coordinate daily plans and objectives with those close and far away. Information technology is one of the largest demanded and growing systems users have available.
Information technology is the use of computer and telecommunication based systems; to store, send, manipulate, and retrieve data information across the various environments for the users utilizing the systems (Wikipedia, 2014). From professional, academic and personal situations these systems are more than ever present in the daily routine. The increased demand and use of these systems does make daily tasks easier and quicker to complete, but even the most beneficial tools can come with a cost. The information systems we utilize improve efficiency and effectiveness, but open doors for dangerous, illegal, and unethical actions.
In order to control or limit these technological woes, various laws and procedures have been put in place to protect the users and societies that wish to implement these systems features into their lives. In this paper we will examine two laws specifically what they entail, the ethical dilemmas involved in the creation of these acts, and the necessitating of the information technologies provision. These laws are the Child Internet Protection Act, 2000 and the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, 1986.
The Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), 2000 was implemented by Congress December 20, 2000, and was found constitutional by the Supreme Court June 23, 2003 (Wikipedia, 2014). CIPA law aims to eliminate the availability of crude, obscene, or harmful material that children are exposed to in schools and libraries due to the advancements in technological information relating to the World Wide Web (fcc.gov, n.d.)(Wallace, 2013). CIPA requires that internet safety protocols (filters/guidelines) are established and implemented in order for schools and libraries to be eligible and continuously receive e-rate discounts (federal funding) on internet/internal communication systems (fcc.gov, n.d.)(Wallace, 2013). By the CIPA law; schools/libraries who wish to receive e-rate discounts must follow specific guidelines to remain eligible, yet some schools who wish to not have e-rate discounts are not required to follow CIPA guidelines (fcc.gov, n.d.)(Wallace, 2013). CIPA regulated schools/libraries must also have two separate certification requirements which are; internet safety policies must monitor online student activity, and they must educate students about appropriate online behavior (social networking/ cyber-bullying) which are also provisions under the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act (fcc.gov, n.d.)(Wallace, 2013). The other guidelines to gain eligibility in accordance to CIPA, is schools must adopt an internet safety policy that addresses (fcc.gov, n.d.): * Access to inappropriate material by minors * Safety and security of minor when using chat rooms, email, or direct electronic communication tools * Unauthorized access or other unlawful activities by minors * Unauthorized disclosure/use of personal information relating to minors * Measures that restrict minor access to harmful materials
With young impressionable minds at stake; the internet within these organizations must be monitored to govern what users should and should not be exposed to. The increase in these technological information systems has changed the ethics behind what is and is not okay relating to the materials shared/viewed and the age groups accessing them. No parent or respectful/responsible adult wants a minor to be exposed to sex, drugs, vulgarity, or any action that can change a minor’s view of something in a negative manner in or outside of the home. CIPA even though has been challenged due to its restrictions on what some argue imposes on their First Amendment Rights; it is not out to control individuals lives, but to protect and keep individuals (more so minors) from accessing or being victims to inappropriate materials/persons. CIPAS regulation/guidelines previously discussed help organizations construct a useful and effective system, and motivate these organization to maintain a safe environment by offering selected funding programs (e-rates).
Now let’s examine the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. As technological information and the internet advances so does the abilities of those who use these systems. Individuals are becoming more aware and educated on how to access weak points, read code encryptions, and further breakdown the various barriers (firewalls) established protecting personal, academic, and even professional computer systems. Increased access, speed, and education on computer based systems has required society to develop laws that governs the actions of users to protect against both illegal and unethical acts, that can more than less cause disastrous impacts when relating to government subsidies data. Now a days the government is not the only potential victim; as personal, academic, and professional networks are all at risk with the advancement of technology and its users. The law discussed below focuses on the focal point of its implementation (government) but can realistically be expanded to virtually every network and computer that is used.
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 1986 was implemented to help safeguard individuals from hacking or other cybercrimes that steal or utilize private information (Larken, 2013). Unauthorized access to a computer system and network which results in the viewing, using, or sharing of private information is foreseen as punishable under law in accordance to the regulations CFAA has established (Larken, 2013). Hackers or individuals use malicious software (viruses), steal passwords, create ghost accounts, or design networks specifically for their own use within an organization to further gain benefit or leverage of a company’s/organizations personal/financial information. CFAA regulations do not take into effect though when a user is authorized by the owner/superior to gain access and use a systems network, only if they take, sabotage, or adjust information for their own benefit will CFAA rules be applied (Larken, 2013). Society has been exposed to an array of cyber-attack incidents in prior years (Childs and FiberWAN, NASA, Manning and WikiLeaks) and these incidents will always be present as long as technology and its systems are used (Sanchez, Meade, Marlyland, 2013)(Kelly Rainer Jr, Cegielski 2011). CFAA aims to protect users so organizations and societies most vital and important documents do not fall into the wrong hands. Further ethical dilemmas revolve around handheld computer devices (Phones, thumb drives, tablets). These mobile hotspots make it easier for potential threats to enter organizations, transmit/upload data, which will further infiltrate professional, academic, or personal networks information.
Technology will always be an integral part of life as it runs and holds the key to world’s most important information. As technology grows so does it users, which means so does the unethical/illegal actions, and the laws that will help maintain and regulate these actions. It is important that proper education and etiquette is taught to users, and that users understand any unethical/illegal action will be punishable and pursued by the judicial law.

Resource Page:
Children's Internet Protection Act. (2014). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Internet_Protection_Act
Children's Internet Protection Act. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act
Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. (2006). Retrieved from http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/cioprod/documents/ComputerFraud-AbuseAct.pdf https://ilt.eff.org/index.php/Computer_Fraud_and_Abuse_Act_(CFAA). (2013). Retrieved from https://ilt.eff.org/index.php/Computer_Fraud_and_Abuse_Act_(CFAA)
Information technology. (2014). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_technology
Janssen, C. (n.d.). Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Retrieved from http://www.techopedia.com/definition/27434/computer-fraud-and-abuse-act-cfaa
Larkin, P. (2013). Reasonably Construing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Avoid Overcriminalization. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/06/reasonably-construing-the-computer-fraud-and-abuse-act-to-avoid-overcriminalization
Rainer, R. K., & Cegielski, C. G. (2011). Introduction to Information Systems, Third Edition (3rd ed.). : John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Sanchez, R. (2013). WikiLeaks Q & A: who is Bradley Manning and what did he do?. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/10210160/WikiLeaks-Q-and-A-who-is-Bradley-Manning-and-what-did-he-do.html
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/cipa
Wallace, A. (2013). CIPA: 10 Years Later, There is Still Confusion. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/features/0039/cipa-10-years-later-there-is-still-confusion/54343

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