Case Study About Moral of Hacking

681 Words Mar 1st, 2016 3 Pages
Contemporary Practices in Information Technology 7WCM0005/7WCM0006 (SDL)
Case Study - Coursework 1
The morality of hacking - Gary McKinnon – Did he break the British Computer Society Code of Conduct?

Gary McKinnon was a Scottish Systems Administrator who in 2002 was accused of carrying out the “biggest military computer hack of all time”. McKinnon claimed that he was merely looking for evidence of a cover-up of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) activities.
The US authorities claimed that McKinnon deleted files from US military operating systems which led to a shut-down of military computers. Some sources claim that what McKinnon did was a harmless incident whereas others regard it as a serious attack on US computer systems.
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Section Two – 60% a) Consult the list of fundamental principles of the BCS code of conduct and identify those that are relevant to the moral and ethical problem brought up by the Gary McKinnon case.

b) Search the list of items in each section of the BCS code to see which are most directly related to the Gary McKinnon case.

c) Determine whether the actions of Gary McKinnon align with or contradict the statements in the BCS code. If the action is in agreement with all of the items in a section of the BCS code that provides strong evidence that the action is moral. If the action is in disagreement with all of the items in a section of the BCS code, it is safe to say the action is immoral.

Section Three - 20% - Reach a conclusion about the morality of Gary McKinnon’s actions and whether he broke the British Computer Society code of conduct.

(Notes. Usually the contemplated action will be supported by some clauses in the code and opposed by others. When this happens, we must use our judgment to determine which of the clauses are most important before we can reach a conclusion about the morality of the contemplated actions.
The chapter on Professional Ethics in the recommended text book (pages 363-369 ) contains a methodology for the evaluation of moral problems and this methodology is applied to four case studies. You should use these case studies for guidance and also refer to the content of Unit 2 of the module on

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