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January 21, 2024

Computing Policy Ethics

Computing Policy Ethics

Reasons for Installing a Filtering Software for blocking Adult Content Websites

Aristotle’s famous four cause concepts of the ethics of purpose expound on the reason for supporting the installation. Formal cause outlines the logic of the software. The reason behind the installation of the software is to uphold the moral well-being of children visiting the library facility (Moor, if Aristotle were a computing professional 14). Secondly, material cause entails the composition of the software. It contains filtering components that block the websites containing materials deemed inappropriate for children.

Similarly, efficient cause evaluates functionality.  The software verifies a website address or a link against databases of websites used for malicious purposes, which is very useful.  According to Moor (if Aristotle were a computing professional 14), output cause examines the software’s projected success. The software is very successful since it can limit user internet access by filtering options such as keywords.

Computing Policy Ethics

Computing Policy Ethics

Conceptual issues on the nature of computerized activities are essential in the formulation of new computing policies. Based on the principles of justice, moral impartiality is allowed for policy implementation, especially in testing whether exceptions to the existing guidelines are justified. In analyzing the public library situation, lack of internet content restrictions is morally harmful to the young population who use the same computers. The filtering software installation policy is ideal based on just consequentialism ethics since moral impartiality does not provide an exception. By providing an exception, other public facilities will do so. The consequences of giving the underage community access to adult-rated content cannot be publicly allowed. Every rational, impartial person will regard the filtering software installation policy as just.

The majority of internet users in the facility are adults. Formulating a policy that will enforce access restriction will be based on the implied behavior of the users. Parental guideline laws that determine age limits for behavior activities are in the context regarded as just. Such laws form part of the ethics of principles. For instance, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) stipulates that subject filtering solutions in schools and libraries prevent indecent images and harmful files. The laws are properly enacted and do not unjustifiably violate anyone’s fundamental human rights. Computer ethics evaluate the application of policies in the assessment of the morality of conduct. According to Grodzinsky and Tavani (32), internet filter software boosts cybersecurity defenses, thus preventing the sharing of copyright-protected files via peer-to-peer file sharing sites. Spafford (46) notes that it also covers the facility against hackers using malware, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks.

Computing Policy Ethics

Reasons for not installing a Filtering Software for blocking Adult Content Websites

The problem of infringement of privacy is fundamental in the context of this paper. The software’s installation process should not proceed as it conflicts with salient privacy issues such as decisional, informational, and accessibility privacy. Additionally, the internet filter software could collect information about the user’s internet activities for sale to third parties without their consent (Lester n.p). Theoretically, the classification of privacy anchors on seclusion, control, non-intrusion, and limitation. There is a linkage between privacy and the ethics of existentialism. It holds that existence comes before essence (Tavani 13). Therefore, the importance of the internet user access policy is not significant; what matters is creating personal responsibility and values of your own life. Each individual holds decisional privacy of what to do with his or her own life. The concept claims that there are no moral standards for evaluating conduct.

Ethics promotes virtue, with human nature seeking happiness based on rationality. The installation does not improve the pursuit of most mature individuals in the set-up to gain rational pleasure from the facility’s resources. Markedly, consequentialism evaluates the justification of an action based on its consequences. Evaluation of outcomes relies on the selection of the most suitable benefits to the largest group under the ethics of utilitarian consequentialism (Moor, Just consequentialism, and computing 68). Therefore, based on utilitarian consequentialism, the software’s installation should not proceed as it prevents adults from having the best internet experience, with them being the majority of internet users.

Computing Policy Ethics

Evaluation of consequences in hedonic consequentialism relies on the ability to generate pleasure without causing pain (Moor, Just consequentialism, and computing 65). Failure to install the software will not cause immediate pain to the facility’s computers’ young internet users. Meanwhile, it will leave the adult internet users with enough freedom to enjoy their internet activities. However, the problem of consequentialism is that it is difficult to forecast the result of an action before its execution.

According to Moor (Just consequentialism and computing 67), collectively, all individuals desire knowledge, security, freedom, ability, and opportunity and resources that he describes as gifts of autonomy. Naturally, human beings are concerned about their happiness and independence with little consideration of others’ happiness and freedom. In such a situation, ethics dictate that one should not harm enjoyment or decrease others’ autonomy gifts. Ideally, the benefits of autonomy are elementary human rights. As such, the principle of justice demands their protection.

Computing Policy Ethics

Possible Alternative

The facility should partition computer rooms based on age. Those computers for use by children are installed with filtering software, while those for the adult sector do not need the installation. For successful implementation, entry to adult computer rooms should require the user to produce a national identification document. The partitioning anchors on the user population need to ensure consideration of everyone. Such an alternative ensures that an individual’s happiness and autonomy are protected and promoted simultaneously.

Position and Reasons behind it

I support the installation of the internet content filter software for the public library. In their efforts to exploit opportunities brought about by change, most software producers produce software without ethical consideration. For instance, most website developers ignore the imposition of so-called parental guidelines restricting the underage population from accessing adult content. Such a situation has created an ethical gap in the public library facility in our discussion context that is solvable legally and socially by installing internet content filter software. As mentioned above, the existence of policy vacuums on technology usage creates legal and social issues. Inadequate knowledge of the appropriate use of a new technology substantially drives gaps in computer ethics.

Computing Policy Ethics

 The just consequentialism concept utilizes beneficial consequences in assessing the merits of the filter installation software as an impartiality test (Moor, Just consequentialism, and computing 68). It ensured that the policy was just, and it could be made right. The benefit of just consequentialism is that reasonably good consequences of a computing policy do not ignore justice’s fundamental issue. Therefore, based on just consequentialism, ethical computing policies should protect the happiness and gifts of autonomy of the others at the very least if it cannot promote them. Similarly, the distinction between interest-focused and right-focused concepts of privacy is essential in the formulation of ethical computing policies. It is necessary to view privacy as individual interests rather than fundamental rights.

According to Grodzinsky, Keith, and Marty (358), software developers cannot evaluate individual customers’ ethics or their perspectives, hence the need for computing policies for imposing ethics in technological developments. Internet privacy is no longer an issue for users. According to Lester (n.p.), with advancements in technology, anonymous web-browsing services are available that adult users can exploit.

Works Cited

Grodzinsky, Frances S., Keith Miller, and Marty J. Wolf. “Ethical issues in open source software.” Readings in Cyber Ethics (2003): 351-366. http://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/computersci_fac/20

Grodzinsky, Frances S., and Tavani, Herman T. “Online file sharing: resolving the tensions between privacy and property interests.” ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 38.4 (2008): 28-39. https://doi.org/10.1145/1497054.1497056

Lester, Toby. “The Reinvention of Privacy”| It used to be that business and technology were considered the enemies of privacy. Not anymore. The Atlantic, 2001, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/03/the-reinvention-of-privacy/302140/.

Moor, James H. “If Aristotle were a computing professional.” ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 28.3 (1998): 13-16.

Moor, James H. “Just consequentialism and computing.” Ethics and Information technology, 1.1 (1999): 65-69.

Spafford, Eugene H. “Are Computer Hacker Break-Ins Ethical?” Journal of Systems and Software, vol 17, no. 1, 1992, pp. 41-47. Elsevier BV, https://doi.org/10.1016/0164-1212(92)90079-y.

Tavani, Herman T. “Philosophical Theories of Privacy: Implications for an Adequate Online Privacy Policy.” Metaphilosophy, vol. 38, no. 1, 2007, pp. 1–22. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24439672 .