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Morality and Technology, or Is it Wrong to Create and Let Loose a Computer Virus

Urs Gattiker, Helen Kelley
Proceedings of the 28th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 1995
ISSN 1060-3425

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Stories about computer-related action (e.g., placing a document about how a computer virus works on an electronic network/bulletin board) were presented to users. Data indicate that women end-users compared to men have a less libetiarian sense of what is right and wrong; as well, younger respondents are more libertarian than their older compatriots. Data also indicate that participants are less likely to endorse civil liberties and more concerned about the harm and violations of social norms when the scenario desrribes a context-specific situation. Researchers and policy makers may be concerned about how to maintain and protect the privacy of individuals, and at the same time ensure moral conduct by end-users who enjoy using the electronic highway. Suggestions are made for developing theoretical models of moral judgment in the cyberspace domain.

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