Description: CS 107 or 110, or an introductory computer course and permission of instructor. Study of the larger ethical and social issues of computing, including the role of a digital society in the modern world.. Practical and theoretical applications of computer privacy and security, including network security measures and encryption protocols. Ethical theory and its application to problems in computing. Seminar discussion on value systems, social impact, and human factors, and about use and misuse of computers. Application of computing skills to service in local nonprofit agencies. Four hours lecture, plus lab.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
List of Topics:
Readings: Readings will be taken from:
The course will consist of the following graded components with the percent contribution to the grade listed. Grades (including +/-) are assigned as follows: A 90% and above; B 80--89%; C 65--79%; D 50--64%; F 49% and below. For CS majors, C = 70% is the lowest passing grade.
The project will consist of a ten-page paper analyzing a real-life ethical or societal issue relevant to the course. You will also give a presentation on the contents of this paper. This may be sone individually or in pairs. These presentations will be scheduled for the final exam period. There will be no final exam.
Blog/journal (15\%). Each student will keep a blog (weblog), which serves the purpose of an online journal. (Please see www.livejournal.com or www.blogger.com for examples; we will host our own site, using MovableType to allow students to easily add their entries.) In this, you should record your thoughts on the contents of the course, including (but not limited to) the progress of your service learning, your thoughts on topics that have been covered in class and (especially) related current events, and links to other relevant material on the Web. You are especially encouraged to link to other parts of the 'blogosphere'. As always, you are expected to post and conduct discussions with respect for all participants. Flaming, name-calling, or insults will not be tolerated. We will also maintain a separate bulletin board/discussion group for class discussion and exchange; the purpose of the blog is an online setting for each student to express his/her own ideas, as opposed to free-form discussion.
Student performance on this aspect of the class will be evaluated by both the instructor(s) and the onsite liaison at the end of the semester. Students who do not satisfactorily complete this portion of the course will not receive a passing grade in the class.
The following is an unordered list of potential topics to be covered in this course.
Potential Weekly schedule
(Note: this is very tentative, and likely to change.)
Week 1: ``Code.'' Code as social structuring; code as law; code as programming; codecs implementing privacy, security, efficiency, and economy. Alan Turing, the code-breaker. [handout, video]
Theory and results of service learning. [Baase Ch. 1, handout, online]
Week 2: History of code. Early codecs. Public and private key. sDES. [Baase Ch. 3, Stallings Ch. 2, handout, online]
Week 2-3 DES, AES, RSA, and other cryptological products and protocols. Discussion of Public Key Infrastructure - trust models, key exchange, certificates [reserve, Stallings Ch. 3, handouts, online]
Week 3 Privacy and security on computers. Technologies, laws, customs. [Baase Ch. 2, Stallings Ch. 1&9, online]
Week 3-4 Privacy and security on networks. Technologies, laws, customs. [Baase Ch. 2, Stallings Ch. 4&7, Baird Pt. 3, online]
Week 5: First student presentations, midterm.
Week 6-7 Intellectual property issues. Who owns programs? Who owns the Web? Patent and copyright. Open source, GNU GPL/lesser GPL, Creative Commons, peculiar qualities of information goods, digital rights management - watermarking, usage tracking. [Baase Ch. 6, cf. Lessig]
Week 8: Cybercommunities. Digital society. Democracy, access, diversity, issues of online identity [Baase Ch. 5, Stallings Ch. 5, handouts, online]
Week 8-9: Reliability and risk. Protection, consequences, cases, also legal and ethical resposibility and liability [Baase Ch. 4, Stallings Ch. 11, online]
Week 9: Computer mischief and crime. Hackers and crackers. also viruses, some piracy. [Baase Ch. 7, Stallings Ch. 10, online]
Week 10: second presentations, midterm
Week 11: Ethical theories. Deontological vs. utilitarian, with many subforms. Applications of theory in computing. [Baase Ch. 10.1, Johnson Ch. 2, Edgar Pt. 1, handouts, online]
Week 11-12 Practical and professional computer ethics. Codes of practice. Ethical programming. [Baase Ch. 10.2, video, Johnson Ch. 3, Edgar Ch. 10, handouts]
Week 12-13 Application of ethics in computing - case studies. [Baase Ch. 10.3, Parker, Johnson, Edgar, Baird, additional cases online]
Week 14 Social impacts of computing. Computers and work. Ethical and moral decisions of the past and future. [Baase Ch. 8 & 9, Lessig]
Week 15 ``Code'' revisited. [no additional reading]