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The Morality in Cybersecurity

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

What are the current moral issues with internet security? Many grey areas within this broad range of scope are difficult to clearly define in the modern day. Most of us freely browse the internet thinking we have the rights to certain aspects of the internet and privacy in your information to a certain degree, and then become surprised one day when it leaks and be surprised that nothing can be done about it. How can we avoid this issue?

Current U.S. Cybersecurity Laws Guideline

  • Unfair or deceptive acts or practices

  • Credit card fraud

  • Fraud in connection with identification documents and information

  • Fraud in connection with access devices

  • Fraud in connection with computers

Basically, these laws make it illegal to invade someone’s privacy in order to steal from them. But they also outlaw hacking that isn’t malicious.

Hacking - Not as Negative as It Seems

While most users consider hacking to be in most cases malicious and should be punished by law, it is known that the government itself participates actively in hacking for crime and even other surprising cases. In the link provided above in the previous section, the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act outlaws hacking or breaking into private networks and systems.

It is in no question that famous hacking incidents and other data breaches are carried in bad manners, such as the 2017 Petya cyberattack, while internet security experts such as Google's Project Zero use hacking projects to uncover security flaws with the intention of fixing them. Because of this and many similar incidents, lots of people believe that cybercrime laws should take into account the intent behind hacking, and not just the act itself.

Internet Anonymity - A Double Edged Sword

While most of us believe that the ability to remain anonymous on the internet is a safety privilege and beneficial to all, it comes with another side of evil uses.

Doxxing is the act of hacking someone’s personal information (including their address, contact information, and banking details) and posting it anonymously online. In August 2014, hackers posted social security information, PayPal details and other private information belonging to the game developer Phil Fish. Fish later announced he would be leaving the games industry. Other doxxing victims have included Mel Gibson and the LAPD police chief. Perpetrators might argue that these people got what they deserved, but their actions are hard to defend.


What's to be Expected?

In all, the governments of most nations, including the U.S. and those in Europe, tap internet traffic as part of national security programs. As with all moral issues about internet privacy, there are two sides to the story—that of the person giving up their private data, and that of the person storing it.

Without an internet police, many of us feel threatened from hackers and potential violators of our privacy; where on the other hand if surveillance becomes too invasive we then feel a lack of privacy from our end.

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