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Cmu Ethics

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Submitted By yixinsun1992
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Yixin sun

1. (5 pts) What are the ethical issues alluded to in this blog?

An academic institution(CMU) has been providing information to the FBI that led to the identification of criminal suspects on the dark web. But the the role that academics are playing in the continued crackdown on dark web crime has been questioned. The academic helped to identify the suspects by attacking the whole system. They may take use of a set of vulnerabilities in the Tor software and set up a number of relays in order to monitor the activity of a Tor user.

CMU has been accused of behaving unethical in the process, because:

1) bunch of innocent users of Tor has been involved, and their privacy rights have been violated. If this kind of FBI attack by university proxy is accepted, no one will have meaningful 4th Amendment protections online and everyone is at risk," the Tor Project wrote.
2)Another concern is that FBI Paying a University to Attack Tor Users. That attack crosses the crucial line between research and endangering innocent users. This attack also sets a troubling precedent: Civil liberties are under attack if law enforcement believes it can circumvent the rules of evidence by outsourcing police work to universities. If academia uses "research" as a stalking horse for privacy invasion, the entire enterprise of security research will fall into disrepute.

2. (5 pts) Apply one of the ethical theories from the readings (“Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Ethics”) to justify the actions of the CMU researchers. Alternatively, explain why the actions of the CMU researchers cannot be justified under any of the ethical theories.

Applied Ethics.
This issue should be classified in to the field of Applied Ethics since it satisfied two necessary features:
First, the issue is controversial in the sense that there are significant groups of people both for and against the issue at hand. Those who cares individual privacy are against what CMU researchers have done in terms of the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution, which protect Americans from violations to the privacy from law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. While those cares more about public security, especially drug issues and child security are more likely to support the attack behavior conducted by CMU out of the point that some private rights should ceded in exchange of overall wellbeing of the society.
Secondly this issue is distinctly moral issue. That means it concerns more universally obligatory practices.

The conduct of CMU can be regarded as unethical because it violates several principles, which represents a spectrum of traditional normative principles 1) Social benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for society. 2) Rights: acknowledge a person's rights to life, information, privacy, free expression, and safety.
The first principles, social benefit, is consequentialist since they appeal to the consequences of an action as it affects the individual or society. Once the attack of CMU is regarded as “okay” or ‘tolerable ’, it will open a precedent in which Civil liberties are under attack as long as law enforcement believes it can circumvent the rules of evidence by invading the protected information system.

American largely support gun ownership, despite the fact that the state has experienced mass murders of its own. Because people in this country believes that fundamental freedoms and inalienable rights are the most property that cannot be deprived in any excuse.

3. (5 pts) Do you agree with the author of this blog that the actions of the CMU researchers is unethical? Explain why or why not.

I do agree. I thick the action of CMU is unethical.

The attach of CMU actually creates a precedent which jeopardizes every American's online privacy by giving law enforcement easy access to an unprecedented cache of personal information. This type of legislation goes against the fundamental values of our country where individuals are treated as innocent until proven guilty. Besides, I think Information professionals should take the response of concerning with user privacy and individual rights instead of breaching the user’s privacy just because THEY CAN!…...

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