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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Information access via the Internet becomes easier, more information becomes available, and more people access that information. Almost daily there are newspaper articles describing security breaches, viruses or other questionable behavior on the Internet. Therefore, the Information Superhighway provides opportunities that have not been previously addressed either legally or ethically. Information Systems (IS) students must not only learn technology and its uses, but must address the social and ethical issues that constantly arise. This paper uses the Internet to develop examples of ethical and legal issues the students face as they graduate into the business organization. A five step ethical analysis offers "five moral dimensions of the information age" - 1) Information Rights, 2) Property Rights, 3) Accountability, Liability and Control, 4) System Quality, 5) Quality of Life. These five themes encompass concerns often raised in discussions about ethics and information technology. Using these topics, some examples for integration of ethics throughout the undergraduate IS curriculum using the Internet, have been developed. These examples need not be limited to a specific IS course, but can be incorporated throughout the Information Systems undergraduate curriculum. Students need to develop an awareness of ethical issues surrounding emerging technologies.

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