Cyber Ethics Essay

Over three decades since the inaugural use of the internet, the platform has grown to be the biggest communication platform globally. No one could have predicted such a massive growth when it was first initiated (Spinello, 2011, p.1). However, with the massive growth have come massive ethical concerns. Undoubtedly, there is a need for the stricter rule to govern the use of the internet. Internet users are also should be encouraged to conduct themselves ethically whenever using this communication platform. Despite the variation of ethical concerns within the cyberspace, cyber ethics are distinctive ethical issues. Spinello and Tavani (2004) definecyber ethics “as the study of moral, legal, and social issues involving cyber technology” (p.1). The development and use of cyber technology have introduced distinct moral issues that never existed before. This paper examines the uniqueness of these moral problems.

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Cyber technology makes the cyberethics distinct. Computer ethics vary from another ethical field because of the scope, depth and novelty that defines the requirement of conceptual revision and policy adjustment. According to Spinello and Tivani (2004) what makes cyber ethics unique is the technology involved. It can never be doubted that technological development improves every time. The technology invention made today has never existed before. Application of cyber technology has often resulted in policy vacuums and informational content that leads to shifts in the concepts of ethics. These shifts make ethics involved in cyber technology different from the wide scope of ethics.Technology provides space for cyber ethical issues to be perpetrated globally. An internet user can bully several other users, simultaneously (Tavani, 2002, p.42). Also, an internet user can access other users who might fall victim of their bullying from the different geographical location. These scenarios are not possible with other ethical realms.

The solution of cyber ethical issues is not within the realm of routine procedures. Cultural relativism demands ethical issues be addressed situationally using the set down laws and customs within the local setting. However, it must be considered that cyber technology is a global interactive platform. Applying local customs and law will not be feasible globally (Spinello&Tavani, 2004, 47). Within the World Wide Web, the flow of information takes little regard to local customs and laws. It is therefore arbitrary to try to apply the customs of one particular culture. Since every culture has their laws and customs, there is a need for these cultures to enact rules that regulate the cyberspace. The absentia of these rules in a given set up creates a vacuum within that cultural set up making the ethical issues that would arise as a result of the use of cyber technology to be very distinct of their other moral must be considered that ethical issues as addressed by cultural relativism and ethical routine are not very applicable in the technological context.

Ethical issues in the cyberspace are made unique by the invisibility of the cyber operator. Moor (1985) discusses three issues that are evident with the invisibility of the internet user. First, there is an intentional abuse of the hidden identity of the internet user. In other ethical situations, the perpetrators of the ethical problems are often visible. For instance, bullying in the real world must involve physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim. However, in the cyberspace, the identity of the user is concealed. Therefore, to solve the ethical issues that will arise in this situation, there will be a need for distinctive solutions proving that cyber ethics are a unique set of ethical situations. Another ethical issue related to the invisibility of the cyberspace is the invisible programming values. These programs are invisible to other computer and internet users except the writers. However, the programs can be used to manipulate the functioning of other users system or even access their data. These kinds of ethical situations are unique to cyber technology. Finally, the programs are sophisticated and therefore can be used to perform complex algorithms and calculations. There is, therefore,a need for distinctively sophisticated solutions to solve the problems that would arise in such a situation.

Ethical concerns of cyber technology are made unique because of the speed at which it possible to influence cyberspace. With the other ethical situation, the impact may not be as fast as the impact elated by the cyber technology. Individual communication through electronic media is faster than any offline medium (Spinallo&Tavani, 2004, p.32). Just like it is fast to make intentional communication, the speed at which information might reach unauthorized persons is also very high. As such it is important that unique set of ethical conditions are set to govern these speed and protect the privacy of internet users. Also, the speed at which user’s online information can be reproduced also make cyberspace ethics unique. No communication media can match the reproducibility rate of online information.

In conclusion, cyberspaceoffersa unique set of ethical situations. This is majorly so because of the anonymity of online user, the invisibility of cyberspace operator, the complexity of cyber technology and the distinctive nature of technology itself. It is therefore important that cyberspace ethical issues be offered unique solutions since the routine solutions and cultural relativism don’t seem to apply in the cyberspace.

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Spinello, R. A. (2017). Cyberethics: Morality and law in cyberspace(4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones et Bartlett Learning.
Spinello, R. A., &Tavani, H. T. (2004). Readings in cyberethics(2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Tavani, H. T. (2002). The foundationalist debate in computer ethics. The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics,251-270. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511845239.016
Tavani, H. T. (2016). Ethics and technology: Controversies, questions, and strategies for ethical computing(5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.