Digital Ethics : A UKeiG White Paper

McMenemy, David (2016) Digital Ethics : A UKeiG White Paper. Other. UKeiG, London.

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This white paper discusses the topic of digital ethics and considers the topic within the background of theories on ethics and how they apply within the digital realm. It explores the issues of internet governance, net neutrality, freedom of expression, and privacy and considers how they impact on the work of the information profession and wider society. Issues around internet governance challenge us from the point of view of net neutrality and the tensions between the original ethos of the Internet pioneers and the enhanced role of governemnts and corporations in Interent governance. The concept of “code” as law, introduced by Lawrence Lessig, is explored in terms of how it challenges ethical behaviour. Freedom of expression is a constant challenge as we are presented with calls to limit acess to certain information types, and are increasingly charged with considering filtering systems to do so. The increasing emergence of online trolls also challenges freedom of expression rights. Privacy is under challenge via both government and corporate interests in our activities and our data. Overall the need to be aware of fundamental rights versus how those rights may impact on wider society is the primary concern around digital ethics.