Fordham, New York City's Jesuit University
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Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Department of Computer & Information Sciences


 Semester:  Fall, 2007
 Course Number:  CSLV 4650
 Course Title:  Cyberspace: Ethics and Issues
 Instructor:  Dr. Robert K. Moniot
    Office LL 821-A, Phone (212) 636-6302
    Office hours: TF 2:30-3:30 PM
    Other office hours by appointment (I am in most anytime)
 Class Hours:  TF 1:00-2:15 PM, Room LL 417
 Required Text:  Computer Ethics, 3rd ed., by Deborah G. Johnson ISBN 0-13-083699-0

Course Outline: We will explore issues of personal and social morality in the context of the new technological developments related to the use of computers. The first part of the course will be devoted to constructing a framework within which these issues can be analyzed: the basis of ethical theories, and their application to practical decisions in life. The remainder of the course will be organized around a series of seminar discussions of student-presented papers. In the papers, the students will be expected to analyze the ethical issues raised by the use of computers and information technology.

The topics of the papers to be presented by students may be selected from areas such as the following: intellectual property, software piracy, music and video piracy, privacy and information access, defective software, misuse of software, computer crime, viruses and hacking, cryptography and national security, and computer communication and freedom of expression. This list is not intended to be definitive, and students are encouraged to find other relevant topics of interest.

Most of the resources for this class are on the Blackboard web site. For convenience, the syllabus, due dates, and schedule of presentations are also available on the publicly accessible web page:

It will not be necessary for the students to have any specialized training in computer or information science. Most of the issues can be understood without any detailed knowledge of the workings of the underlying technology. In any case, the analysis of these issues from a moral perspective is not dependent on their technological basis.

This course fulfills the core requirement of a Senior Values Seminar. It is not applicable toward the major in Computer Science.

Protocol: Attendance is mandatory, and is graded, mainly on the extent to which students contribute to the discussion.

Grade will be based on class participation (15%), an in-class presentation (20%), a midterm paper (20%), a final exam (20%), and a final term paper (25%).

Late papers will be accepted, but with a penalty that increases with time. The midterm and final papers are to be based on research and written in proper scholarly style, with references for all sources consulted. See the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or similar work for guidelines on proper citation style. Academic integrity is very important to the mission of the university. Plagiarism or failure to properly cite sources will result in an F on the paper and may result in an F for the course.

If you believe that you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to participate in the activities, coursework, or assessment of the object of this course, you may be entitled to accommodations. If so, please schedule an appointment to speak with me immediately or you may go to the Office of Disability Services (Room LL-207, x6282).

Robert Moniot 2007-09-07