Instructor: Dr. Joseph M. Kizza
Office: Grote 212
Class Meetings: Grote 304 MW 1:00 - 2:15 pm
Office Hours: MWF 10:00 - 12 noon and by appointment
Credit: 3 credits
This course examines the ethical issues arising from advances in computer technology and the responsibility that computer professionals and users have in regards to computer use by focusing on the intrinsic link between ethics and the law, how both try to define the validity of human actions, and on the moral and ethical dilemmas created by computer technology that challenge the traditional ethical and moral concepts.
Prerequisites: CPSC 110 or CPSC 160 and Engl 277 or 278 with grades of C or better.
1. Regular class attendance.
2. Active class participation in all in-class agora discussions; this means you must spend some quality
time reading and preparing for class meetings and discussions. For each agora discussion,
a paper will be assigned, read and discussed. For each assigned paper, each student must write a
reaction statement that must include:
4. Besides class discussions, there will also be concurrent online discussions of current issues relevant to the class.
Nature of Online discussions ( e-discussion):
- To reply privately, send a private email to the individual
Try to check your e-mall before each class meeting.
I will use the list to post whatever you need to know (let's save the trees)
5. Individual extra credit assignments for the purpose of propping up a bad grade will not be given.
6. Notes taking is encouraged.
20% agora and video discussions:
- 5% posted commentaries and questions
- 10% online contributions ( 5 minimum - 2% each contribution)
15% Mid-term examination covering text material and content of class discussions.
30% Two essays:
90+ = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D; below 60 = F
(1) Joseph M. Kizza, Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age. Springer 1997.Major Discussion Topics:
(2) Joseph M. Kizza, Civilizing the Internet: Concerns and Efforts Towards Regulations. McFarland
Recommended and Reference Texts:
(1) Joseph M. Kizza, Social and Ethical effects of the Computer Revolution. McFarland Publishers 1997.
(2) Joseph M. Kizza, Computer Ethics, Proceedings, ACM Press, 1996.
(3) (Kevin Bowyer, Ethics and Computing: Living Responsibly in a Computerized World., IEEE Computer Society Press, 1996.
(4) Jacques Berluer and Diane Whitehouse (eds), An Ethical Global Information Society:Culture and Democracy revisited, Chapman & Hill, 1998.
(5) Jacques Berleur and Klaus Brunnstein. Ethics in Computing: Codes spaces for Discussion and the Law. Chapman & Hill, 1997.
(6) Richard G. Espstein. The Case of the Killer Robot. John Wiley, 1997.
(7) Chuck Huff and Thomas Finholt. Social Issues in Computing: Putting Computing in its Place, McGraw-Hill, 1994.
(8) Nancy G. Leveson. Safeware:System Safety and Computers, Addison-Wesley, 1995.
(9) Peter Neumann. Computer related Risks, ACM Press, 1995.
(10) Robert C. Solomon, Morality and the Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics through Classical Cases,Second Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1992.
(11) Karen A. Forcht, Computer Security Management, Boyd & Fraser Publishing, 1994.
(12) Abraham Edel, Elizabeth Flower and Finbarr W. O'connor, Morality, Philosophy and Practice: Historical and Contemporary Readings and Studies., Randon House, 1989.
Week 1: Morality and Ethical Theories and Writing styles
(Chapter 1: Ethical and Social..)
Lecture and discussion of cases
Reading Paper 1: "Should we be cloning around?: Breakthrough raises exciting -- and scary -- possibilities"
Should there be limits on the technology of human cloning?
Week 2: Ethics, Technology and Value
(chapter 2 of Ethical and Social
Guest Speaker: "Writing in the Sciences"
Week 3: Ethics and the Professions
(Chapter 3 of Ethical and Social
Lecture: professionalism, codes of ethics, responsibility and enforcement
Agora discussion: ReadingPaper 1:
Paper one - Position paper assigned
Weeks 4 & 5: Anonymity, Security and Privacy
(Chapter 4 of Ethical and Social
and Chapters 1 and 3
of Civilizing ..)
Lecture and discussion: E-mail privacy and ownership, anonymous re-mailers, whistle-blowing , and spamming
Video: (1) The Net
(2) The Case of the Challenger"Paper one due ( Position paper)
Weeks 6 & 7: Intellectual Property Rights and Computer Technology
(Chapter 5 of Ethical and Social
and Chapter 3 of Civilizing..)
Lecture: copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and right of publicity
Reading Paper 2: "The Interne't Challenge to Privacy"
Video: "Privacy lost"/"Michigan State University Athletees"
Week 8: Privacy and databases
(Chapter 3&4 of Civilizing
Lecture and discussion: The credit bureaus and privacy and databases.
Week 9: Software Issues
(Chapter 7 of Ethical and Social
Lecture, class discussion and individual leaderships:
Video: The Hackers
Week 10: Software safety
(Chapter 7 of Ethical and Social
Lecture and leadership discussion:
Video: Reliability and Risk
Agora Discussion: Reading Paper 2
Week 11: Computer-Augmented Environments: Workplace Issues
(chapter 6 of Ethical and Social
Lecture and class discussion: email privacy, health issues (RSI), outsourcing, electronic monitoring and downsizing.
Video: "Life on the Internet"
Week 12 & 13: New Frontiers: Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Cyberspace
(Chapter 8 of Ethical and Social
Lecture and leadership discussion: Freedom of speech, the CDA and you.
Internet filters and blockers.
Video: " HI-TECH HATE",
See also: Hate Groups
Week 12: Effects of the CDA
(Chapter 4 & 5 of Civilizing
Is there a need for a CDA?
Internet pornography and gambling - how should we control them?
Videos: " HATE GROUPS" and " A Web of Hate"
Reading Paper 3: (to be assigned)
Week 13: Cyberspace and Internet Issues
(Chapter 9 of Ethical and Social
and Chapters 4 &
5 of Civilizing
Lecture and discussion: Regulating the Internet, CDA, Free speech, electronic commerce, pornography, gambling, language and cultural imperialism and the politics of regulation.
Paper two due
Week 14: Cyberspace and the Internet The future
(Chapter 5 & 6 of Civilizing
Agora discussions: Reading Paper 3
The future of the Internet
Video: "Freedom or Regulation".
Self regulation should governments intervene?
Week 15: Review and Discussions of issues in the news
to provide new information and heighten your curiosity.
(2)Guest lectures to get new and sometimes contrary views.
(3)Agora group discussions - to improve your oratory, discussion and presentation skills
(4) Videotapes for video impact and thought provoking situations.
(5) Role-playing and mock trials - for real situation impact.
Other Important dates
If you have a disability which may require assistance or accommodations,
or you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers,
readers, etc..., please speak with your professor as soon as possible.
Students may also contact the Office of Student Affairs (755-4534) with
questions about such services.