Computers, Information Technology, the Internet, Ethics, Society and Human Values

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College,  CUNY

Chapter 7 Secrecy and Security


A government worker takes home a laptop computer from work with information on tens of thousands of veterans including their social security numbers.  The computer is stolen.  The information becomes available to those how might have motive for fraudulent uses.

A search engine places information concerning the search habits and favorite sites of its customers and users on a webserver for use by company analysts.  The server is left open to anyone with internet access.

Webservers with the financial information of students is left on a college server for possible access through the internet.  It is left there long enough for search engines to find it and place the information in their caches.

Computer Ethics: Encryption  Should all digital communication be accessible to government inspection? Is robust cryptography in the hands of the public a threat to our national security? Is the Clipper Chip concept a sound method of preserving police power and individual liberties? With Dorothy Denning of Georgetown University.

Cryptography, Academic Freedom and Censorship by  Robert Webber 

Corporate Policy and Back Doors  by Donna Tupper  

turn to next section

Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.                @copyright 2006 Philip A. Pecorino                       

Last updated 8-2006                                                              Return to Table of Contents