Worksheet and Lab Exercises for Ethical Issues: Internet Content Providers and Internet Service Providers



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Worksheet and Lab Exercises for Ethical Issues: Internet Content Providers and Internet Service Providers

Andrew Meyenn

CSTA Member

Wesley College

Melbourne, Australia
1. Define the term Internet content provider (ICP).
2. Define the term Internet service provider (ISP).
3. List the main ethical issues related to ICPs.
4. List the main ethical issues related to ISPs.
5. List the laws that apply to ICPs.
6. List the laws that apply to ISPs.
7. Match the ethical issues you have outlined to each of the laws you have listed.
8. What features of Internet technology make enforcing laws difficult? Are any specific laws much more difficult to enforce than others?
9. For each of the laws you decided are difficult to enforce, comment on the role of personal ethics as a way to guide people's use.
10. Research your school's Internet use policy and identify the ethical principles it is based on.
11. Research the code of practice of either your own ISP or the school's ISP and comment on the ethical principles it is based on.
12. For each of the following scenarios, apply the ethical analysis methodology to determine an appropriate course of action.


Scenario Analysis 1: Ethics and Content Providers


You and two friends get together and decide to set up a Web site. The purpose of the Web site is to share ideas about your common interests, which include music. You and your two friends think the Web site will be interesting to the public. Your parents agree and are happy to pay the Web-hosting fee.
You are aware of the Napsterâ„¢ music file-sharing case but think that no one will be concerned if your Web site allows some sharing of music. Accordingly, you set up some files that can be downloaded free of charge; they are copies of commercially available songs. It is not long before other like-minded students begin to send you copies of songs they have made. Users of your site quickly begin to swap music. Students simply register a login name and then have access to your site. You and your friends are not concerned because nobody is selling the music.
a. Establish who is involved -- who the actors are.

b. Describe the ethical problem from the viewpoint of each of these people.

c. Contrast these views.

d. Construct an open situation where each party is aware of the other.

e. Outline the major ethical problem and suggest a way to resolve the current problem and to ensure it is unlikely to occur again.


Scenario Analysis 2: Ethics and ISPs


A group of students at a school denigrate a classmate in a sequence of chat sessions that last over a period of one month.
The ISP and the school code of practice forbid the use of a chat session of this nature.
The classmate is identified by name, but the other students do not directly name themselves. The denigrated student is not involved in the chat session. However, during the first week of the month the student becomes aware because she or he hears people talking. The student reacts by becoming withdrawn and begins missing school. The student refuses to talk about the issue with the parents, but the parents become concerned and contact the school. An investigation unearths the role of the chat room. The parents then want to know why the school's ISP did not detect the misuse of the chat room. The ISP claims it is the school's responsibility, not the ISP's, and wants to know why the school did not monitor the chat rooms.
a. Establish who is involved -- who the actors are.

b. Describe the ethical problem from the viewpoint of each of these people.

c. Contrast these views.

d. Construct an open situation where each party is aware of the other.



e. Outline the major ethical problem and suggest a way to resolve the current problem and to ensure it is unlikely to occur again.


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