Ethics Essay Assignment

Choose one ethical issue arising from the use of ICT that has been reported in the press recently, and discuss it in depth. Show why or how the technology creates or contributes to the problem. Produce an essay, discussing both sides of the issue (pros and cons) drawing on both technical and philosophical literature. In addition, argue for your own view of the matter, giving your reasons for your point of view and showing why you believe that they are better than opposing views.
The text book has an obvious United States of America bias. You can choose to provide a comparative discussion that includes how cultural differences impact on the US-centric view of ethical behaviour in the context of the instructions above. You should clearly identify the differences and the country to which those differences relate.
You will be assessed on your ability to reason, analyse and present cogent argument for a particular case. You should outline the main statement you wish to make about your chosen ethical issue along with your reasons and others objections to it. You may use any technique to set out the basic structure of your essay. Module 2 Topic 2 provides you with some different methodologies to enable you to accomplish this task.

1. In the recent years there have been considerable discussions on Internet content regulation. In an examination of this issue, I would expect a discussion of the pros and cons of censorship in general, and how these general principles apply to the Internet, and of the technical issues of Internet content regulation. Your main focus statements could be, for example: Internet content ought to be regulated; internet content ought not to be regulated; information wants to be free (the Hacker ethic); and Content regulation is just censorship under another name.
2. A perennial issue is privacy. Hardly a week passes without some report in the press about something that is causing concern, whether it be some merger, new software, a failure of security, new legislation, or whatever. Your main focus statements could be, for example: Privacy on the internet ought to be protected; The government should determine the extent of personal privacy on the internet. There are of course many other statements that could be made about the issue of privacy.

You are required to submit the following:
A comprehensive and coherent essay containing your critical analysis of an ethical issue in IT.
Your essay should clearly show:
– the main point(s) of the issue;
– the pros and cons for the main point(s) (including your reasons and objections as well as others); and
– a critique of the effectiveness of the arguments presented
The ethics technique worksheet you used to analyse the issue including all the 8 steps. {What s going, what are the facts etc}.

This assignment relates to many of the learning outcomes (subject objectives) for Module 2. It provides an opportunity for you to:
demonstrate factual knowledge, understanding and the application of principles of ethics to ICT-related issues;
demonstrate depth of analysis by examining arguments for one ethical issue related to ICT;
demonstrate coherent and logical presentation of ethics issues in ICT;
demonstrate research and writing skills;
demonstrate knowledge and application of appropriate terminology; and
demonstrate ability to integrate and apply information from various topics and to apply understanding and knowledge to a practical situation.

Marking criteria
Marks will be awarded based on:
the extent to which the assignment instructions are addressed;
identification of main ethical issues;
reasoning/analysis in the form of the quality of your arguments;
the comprehensiveness and coherence of your essay.
factual knowledge, understanding and application of principles of ethics to ICT related issues;
coherence and logical presentation of arguments;
professional presentation including correct grammar and spelling; and
writing and research skills;

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