A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology 5th Edition by Sara Baase, ISBN-13: 978-0134615271



A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology 5th Edition by Sara Baase, ISBN-13: 978-0134615271

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  • Publisher: ‎ Pearson; 5th edition (February 27, 2017)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 560 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0134615271
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0134615271

For courses in Computer Ethics and Computers and Society.

An objective study of technology ethics that inspires critical thinking and debate.

In Gift of Fire, A: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology, Sara Baase presents a balanced exploration of the social, legal, philosophical, ethical, political, constitutional, and economic implications of computing and the controversies they raise. With an objective computer scientist’s perspective, and with historical context for many issues, Baase covers the issues readers will face both as members of a technological society and as professionals in computer-related fields. A primary goal is to develop computer professionals who understand the implications of what they create and how it fits into society at large. This text encourages readers to think about the ethics and philosophical direction behind topics but doesn’t them lead students to conclusions. The 5th Edition contains updated material on new topics and examples, outdated material has been removed, and several topics have been reorganized. New material appears throughout, including material on current trending topics such as drones and autonomous cars.

Table of Contents:

Scope of This Book
Changes for the Fifth Edition
Our Points of View
Class Activities
Additional Sources
Chapter 1 Unwrapping the Gift
1.1 The Pace of Change
1.2 Change and Unexpected Developments
1.2.1 Self-Driving Vehicles
1.2.2 Connections: Mobile Phones, Social Networking, and the Internet of Things
Mobile Phones
Social networking
Communication and the Web
The Internet of Things
1.2.3 E-commerce and Free Stuff
Free stuff
1.2.4 Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Sensors, and Motion
Artificial intelligence
Smart sensors, motion, and control
1.2.5 Tools for Disabled People
1.3 Themes
1.4 Ethics
1.4.1 What is Ethics, Anyway?
1.4.2 A Variety of Ethical Views19
Deontological theories
Natural rights
Negative and positive rights, or liberties and claim rights
Golden rules
Contributing to society
Social contracts and a theory of political justice25
No simple answers
1.4.3 Some Important Distinctions
Right, wrong, and okay
Distinguishing wrong and harm
Separating goals from constraints
Personal preference and ethics
Law and ethics
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 2 Privacy
2.1 Privacy Risks and Principles
2.1.1 What Is Privacy?
2.1.2 New Technology, New Risks
Example: Search query data
Example: Smartphone apps
Stolen and lost data
A summary of sources of risks
2.1.3 Terminology and Principles for Managing Personal Data
Informed consent and invisible information gathering
Secondary use, data mining, matching, and profiling
Fair information principles
2.2 The Business and Social Sectors
2.2.1 Marketing and Personalization
The issue is informed consent
Paying for consumer information
2.2.2 Our Social and Personal Activity
Social networks—what we do
Social networks—what they do
Responsibility of free services
Life in the clouds
2.2.3 Location Tracking
Tools for parents
Implanting tracking chips
2.2.4 A Right to Be Forgotten
2.3 The Fourth Amendment and Changing Technology
2.3.1 The Fourth Amendment
2.3.2 Background, Law, and Court Decisions
Telephone conversations and wiretapping
Email and mobile phone conversations
Expectation of privacy
2.3.3 Applying the Fourth Amendment in New Areas
Searching and tracking mobile devices
“Noninvasive but deeply revealing” searches
Will Big Brother be listening?*
An observation
2.4 Government Systems
2.4.1 Video Surveillance and Face Recognition
2.4.2 Databases
Protections and violations
Government use of private sector sources
Database example: Tracking college students
2.4.3 Public Records: Access versus Privacy
2.4.4 National ID Systems
Social Security numbers58
A new U.S. national ID system
Real ID
Examples from other countries
2.4.5 The NSA and Secret Intelligence Gathering66
2.5 Protecting Privacy: Technology and Markets
2.5.1 Developing Privacy Tools
2.5.2 Encryption
2.5.3 Blocking Ads
The ethics of blocking ads
A deontologist perspective:
A utilitarian analysis:
Applying John Rawls’s ideas:
Coming to a decision:
Responses from ad blockers and publishers
2.5.4 Policies for Protecting Personal Data
2.6 Protecting Privacy: Theory, Rights, and Laws
2.6.1 A Right to Privacy
Warren and Brandeis: The inviolate personality
Judith Jarvis Thomson: Questioning a right to privacy
Criticisms of Warren and Brandeis and of Thomson
Applying the theories
Ownership of personal data
Judge Richard Posner: Economic arguments for property rights to information
2.6.2 Law and Regulation
A basic legal framework
2.6.3 Contrasting Viewpoints
The free market view
The consumer protection view
2.7 Privacy Regulations in the European Union
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 3 Freedom of Speech
3.1 The First Amendment and Communications Paradigms
3.1.1 Free Speech Principles
3.1.2 Regulating Communications Media
3.2 Controlling Speech in Cyberspace
3.2.1 What Is Offensive Speech? What Is Illegal?
What was already illegal?
3.2.2 Censorship Laws and Alternatives
Major Internet censorship laws
Alternatives to censorship
Video games
3.2.3 Child Pornography and Sexting
Child pornography law
3.2.4 Spam
What is the problem?
Cases and free speech issues
Blocking spam
Antispam laws
3.2.5 Challenging Old Regulatory Structures and Special Interests
3.3 Decisions about Legal but Objectionable Content
3.4 Leaking Sensitive Material
3.5 Anonymity
3.6 The Global Net: Censorship and Political Freedom
3.6.1 Tools for Communication, Tools for Oppression
3.6.2 Aiding Foreign Censors and Repressive Regimes
Providing services, obeying local laws
Selling surveillance tools
3.6.3 Shutting Down Communications in Free Countries
3.7 Net Neutrality: Regulations or the Market?
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 4 Intellectual Property
4.1 Principles and Laws
4.1.1 What Is Intellectual Property?
4.1.2 Challenges of New Technologies
4.1.3 A Bit of History
4.1.4 The Fair Use Doctrine
4.1.5 Ethical Arguments About Copying
4.2 Significant Fair Use Cases and Precedents
4.2.1 Sony v. Universal City Studios (1984)
4.2.2 Reverse Engineering: Game Machines
4.2.3 Sharing Music: The Napster and Grokster Cases
4.2.4 User and Programmer Interfaces
4.3 Responses to Copyright Infringement
4.3.1 Defensive and Aggressive Responses from the Content Industries
Thwarting copyright infringement with technology
Law enforcement
Banning, suing, and taxing
Digital rights management
4.3.2 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Anticircumvention
Circumventing access controls
4.3.3 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Safe Harbor
4.3.4 Evolving Business Models
Infringing business models
4.4 Search Engines and Online Libraries
4.5 Free Software
4.5.1 What Is Free Software?
4.5.2 Should All Software Be Free?
4.6 Patents for Software Inventions*
4.6.1 Patent Trends, Confusion, and Controversies
Patent licensing and patents as weapons
Court decisions and attempts at solutions
4.6.2 To Patent or Not?
In favor of software patents
Against software patents
Evaluating the arguments
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 5 Crime and Security
5.1 Introduction
5.2 What is Hacking?
5.2.1 The Evolution of Hacking
Hacking Era 1: The joy of programming
Hacking Era 2: The rise of hacking’s dark side
Hacking Era 3: Hacking as a destructive and criminal tool
Shades of hackers
5.2.2 Hacker Tools
5.2.3 Is “Harmless” Hacking Harmless?
5.3 Some Specific Applications of Hacking
5.3.1 Identity Theft
5.3.2 Case Study: The Target Breach
5.3.3 Hacktivism, or Political Hacking
5.3.4 Hacking by Governments
A sampling of incidents
Cyber warfare
5.4 Why Is the Digital World So Vulnerable?
5.4.1 Vulnerability of Operating Systems and the Internet
Operating systems
Vulnerability of the Internet
The Heartbleed bug
5.4.2 Human Nature, Markets, and Vulnerability of the Internet of Things
5.5 Security
5.5.1 Tools to Help Protect the Digital World
Evolution of credit card fraud and protection
Anti-malware software and trusted applications
Authenticating websites
Authenticating users
Multifactor authentication
5.5.2 People Who Can Help Protect the Digital World
Cybersecurity professionals
Decision makers in businesses, organizations, and government
Software designers, programmers, and system administrators
5.5.3 Hacking to Improve Security
Penetration testing
Responsible disclosure
5.5.4 Backdoors for Law Enforcement
Interception and encryption issues in the late 20th century
The backdoor controversy revived
5.6 The Law
5.6.1 The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Unintended applications
5.6.2 Criminalize Virus Writing and Hacker Tools?
5.6.3 Penalties for Young Hackers
5.7 Whose Laws Rule the Web?
5.7.1 A Crime in One Country but Not Another
French censorship
Applying U.S. law to foreign companies
5.7.2 Libel and Freedom of Speech
Differences among free countries
Libel law as a threat to free speech
5.7.3 Culture, Law, and Ethics
5.7.4 Potential Solutions
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 6 Work
6.1 Fears and Questions
6.2 Impacts on Employment
6.2.1 Job Destruction and Creation
6.2.2 Changing Skills and Skill Levels
The worries
Positive developments
6.2.3 Are We Earning Less and Working More?
6.3 Changing Work Patterns: From Telecommuting to Gigs
6.3.1 Telecommuting
Problems and opposition
6.3.2 The Sharing Economy, On-Demand Services, and Gig Work
Evolving forms of transactions
Advantages, disadvantages, and problems to be solved
Safe drivers?
Contractor or employee
Opposition from governments and competitors
6.4 A Global Workforce
6.5 Employee Communication and Monitoring by Employers
6.5.1 Social Media Content
Screening job applicants
What gets employees in trouble
6.5.2 Separating—or Merging—Work and Personal Systems
6.5.3 Monitoring Employer Systems and Tracking Employees
Monitoring employee use of computer systems
Law and cases for employer systems
Monitoring location, wearables, and equipment
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 7 Evaluating and Controlling Technology
7.1 Evaluating Information
7.1.1 The Need for Responsible Judgment
What is real? What is fake? Why does it matter?
Example: Wikipedia
The “wisdom of the crowd”
Vulnerable viewers
Narrowing the information stream
Abdicating responsibility
7.1.2 Computer Models
Evaluating models
The importance of testing
Example: Modeling car crashes21
Example: Modeling climate
7.2 Neo-Luddite Views of Computers, Technology, and Quality of Life
7.2.1 Criticisms of Computing Technologies
7.2.2 Views of Economics, Nature, and Human Needs
Does the technology create the need for itself?
Nature and human lifestyles
Accomplishments of technology
7.3 Digital Divides
7.3.1 Trends in Access in the United States
7.3.2 Reaching the Next Billion Users*
7.4 Control of Our Devices and Data
7.4.1 Remote Deletion of Software and Data
7.4.2 Automatic Software Upgrades
7.5 Making Decisions About Technology
7.5.1 Questions
7.5.2 The Difficulty of Prediction
7.5.3 Intelligent Machines and Superintelligent Humans—Or the End of the Human Race?
The technological singularity
Responding to the threats of intelligent machines
7.5.4 A Few Observations
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 8 Errors, Failures, and Risks
8.1 Failures and Errors in Computer Systems
8.1.1 An Overview
8.1.2 Problems for Individuals
Billing errors
Inaccurate and misinterpreted data in databases
8.1.3 System Failures
Voting systems
Abandoned systems
Legacy systems
8.1.4 Example: Stalled Airports at Denver, Hong Kong, and Malaysia
8.1.5 Example: HealthCare.gov21
Planning, management, and testing problems
Security weaknesses
Improvements and “back end” problems
8.1.6 What Goes Wrong?
Reuse of software: The Ariane 5 rocket and “No Fly” lists
8.2 Case Study: The Therac-25
8.2.1 Therac-25 Radiation Overdoses
8.2.2 Software and Design Problems
Design flaws
8.2.3 Why So Many Incidents?
8.2.4 Observations and Perspective
8.3 Increasing Reliability and Safety
8.3.1 Professional Techniques
Safety-critical applications
Risk management and communications
Development methodologies
User interfaces and human factors
Redundancy and self-checking
8.3.2 Trust the Human or the Computer System?
8.3.3 Law, Regulation, and Markets
Criminal and civil penalties
Regulation and safety-critical applications
Professional licensing
Taking responsibility
8.4 Dependence, Risk, and Progress
8.4.1 Are We Too Dependent on Computers?
8.4.2 Risk and Progress
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Chapter 9 Professional Ethics and Responsibilities
9.1 What Are “Professional Ethics”?
9.2 Ethical Guidelines for Computer Professionals
9.2.1 Special Aspects of Professional Ethics
Volkswagen’s “defeat device”: An example of widespread ethical failure1
9.2.2 Professional Codes of Ethics
9.2.3 Guidelines and Professional Responsibilities
9.3 Scenarios
9.3.1 Introduction and Methodology
9.3.2 Protecting Personal Data
9.3.3 Designing an Application with Targeted Ads
9.3.4 Webcams in School Laptops6
9.3.5 Publishing Security Vulnerabilities
9.3.6 Specifications
9.3.7 Schedule Pressures
A safety-critical application
Getting a product to market
9.3.8 Software License Violation
9.3.9 Going Public with Safety Concerns
9.3.10 Release of Personal Information
9.3.11 Conflict of Interest
9.3.12 Kickbacks and Disclosure
9.3.13 A Test Plan
9.3.14 Artificial Intelligence and Sentencing Criminals
9.3.15 A Gracious Host
Review Exercises
General Exercises
Class Discussion Exercises
Appendix A The Software Engineering Code and the ACM Code
A.1 Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice*
Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (Short Version)
Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (Full Version)
Principle 1: Public
Principle 2: Client and Employer
Principle 3: Product
Principle 4: Judgment
Principle 5: Management
Principle 6: Profession
Principle 7: Colleagues
Principle 8: Self
A.2 ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct*

Sara Baase is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Computer Science, San Diego State University, where she won awards for outstanding teaching. Her textbooks in computer science have been translated into several languages. Dr. Baase received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Timothy M. Henry has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, and was awarded a PhD in Applied Math Sciences from the University of Rhode Island. He began his IT career as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and among his early tours, he was the Information Resources Manager (what is today a CIO) at the Coast Guard’s training center in Yorktown, VA. Dr. Henry then switched over to education and taught mathematics and computer science courses at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. As his time there ended, he was offered a great opportunity to work with ‘bleeding-edge’ technology in a research and development environment and oversaw projects for law enforcement, first responders, healthcare, and education. For the next decade he continued to work as a project manager on large corporate- or state-wide information systems. During that time, he obtained his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

He then returned to a university setting where he has been teaching ethics, programming, cybersecurity, and project management for over 15 years. He now serves as IT Graduate Director at the New England Institute of Technology.

In addition to co-authoring A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology with Sara Baase, he has co-authored two data structure textbooks with Frank Carrano, Data Structures and Abstractions with Java and Data Abstractions and Problem Solving in C++: Walls & Mirrors, which won the 2016 McGuffey Longevity Award from the Textbook and Academy Authors Association.

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