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Issues in Information Technology

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By brentbruno1
Words 961
Pages 4
Brent C. Dugan IT101-AT6
Ethical issues in Information Technology
Information Technology And Resource Use

As of Autumn 2003, leadership of the Network for E (N4E) is being taken over by Professor Scott Matthews of Carnegie Mellon, one of its founding members. Jon Koomey began a leave of absence from LBNL beginning in August 2003 (his LBL email and phone will still reach him while he's on leave).
Koomey et al., "Sorry, wrong number: The use and misuse of numerical facts in analysis and media reporting of energy issues.", which contains the most complete summary of the controversy over electricity used by office equipment, was published in the 2002 issue of Annual Review of Energy and Environment (also LBNL-50499). vol. 27,. pp. 119-158. Email for a copy.
Baer et al. "Electricity requirements for a digital society" was published at the end of 2002 RAND Corporation, MR-1617-DOE, ISBN 0-8330-3279-8. They concluded that projections of information technology totalling 50% of electricity use in twenty years are completely implausible. Instead, their scenarios project something under five percent for office and communications equipment in all cases by 2020.
Ethics In Information Technology
Are the ethical decisions that a technology user must make fundamentally different than those facing the ordinary person? No, because it is difficult to resolve competing interests no matter what the nature of action or behavior is contemplated. Is the existence of competing interests' reason enough to impose a set of rules, or codes of conduct, within the technology environment?
Unfortunately, the large number of activities, and their complex nature, conducted by information technology professionals, and users, can sometimes have serious repercussions, and affect the well being of many individuals. When these activities include, theft, destruction, or fraud, most would agree these types of activities are wrong. However, when can the behavior with respect to, privacy issues associated with databases and electronic mail, and electronic monitoring be considered wrong? Developing a set of rules, or codes of conduct will identify accepted actions for technology users.
Social and Ethical Issues in IT (Information Technology)
This program takes viewers to where information technology meets everyday life, offering six self-contained stories within three specific themes: Chapter 1) Power and Privacy, includes "Privacy Threat" and "Power to the People," which looks at Data Mining, SPAM, Cookies, and Identity Theft; Chapter 2) Control and Security, includes "Security Gets Smarter" and "Copyright," which looks at code-makers, code-breakers or 'hackers,' Linux (open access code) and Watermarking; Chapter 3) Trust and Accuracy, includes "In Search of Truth" and "Accuracy Counts, " which looks at Freedom of Information and Safety-Critical software. The program concludes with a comprehensive six-point guide to ethical decision-making. VEA Productions, Inc. 07DR JSCA 30 min.
Uniquely Cloned
Perhaps for the first time in history, computers give us the power to make an exact copy of some artifact. If I make a verified copy of a computer file, the copy can be proven to be bit for bit identical to the original.
Uniquely Stored
One of the unique properties of computers is that they must store integers in “words” of a fixed size. Because of this restriction, the largest integer that can be stored in a 16-bit computer word is 32,767.
Uniquely Malleable
Another unique characteristic of computing machines is that they are very generalpurpose machines. As James Moor observed, they are “logically malleable” in the sense that “they can be shaped and molded to do any activity that can be characterized in terms of inputs, outputs, and connecting logical operations.”
Uniquely Fast
On Thursday, September 11, 1986, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 86.61 points, to 1792.89, on a record volume of 237.6 million shares. On the following day, the Dow fell 34.17 additional points on a volume of 240.5 million shares.
Uniquely Cheap
Because computers can perform millions of computations each second, the cost of an individual calculation approaches zero. This unique property of computers leads to interesting consequences in ethics.
Uniquely Discrete
In a stimulating paper “On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science,” Edsger Dijkstra examines the implications of one central, controlling assumption: that computers are radically novel in the history of the world. Given this assumption, it follows that programming these unique machines will be radically different from other practical intellectual activities. This, Dijkstra believes, is because the assumption of continuity we make about the behavior of most materials and artifacts does not hold for computer systems. For most things, small changes lead to small effects, larger changes to proportionately larger effects. If I nudge the accelerator pedal a little closer to the floor, the vehicle moves a little faster. If I press the pedal hard to the floor, it moves a lot faster. As machines go, computers are very different.
Uniquely Coded
Computers operate by constructing codes upon codes upon codes -- cylinders on top of tracks, tracks on top of sectors, sectors on top of records, records on top of fields, fields on top of characters, characters on top of bytes, and bytes on top of primitive binary digits. Computer “protocols” like TCP/IP are comprised of layer upon layer of obscure code conventions that tell computers how to interpret and process each binary digit passed to it. For digital computers, this is business as usual. In a very real sense, all data is multiply “encrypted” in the normal course of computer operations.

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