Legal, Social, and Ethical Issues of the Internet

Kenneth Einar Himma, Seattle Pacific University


Free Speech on the Internet

Legal Protection of Free Speech

Moral Legitimacy of Free Speech Rights

Internet Issues

Online Hate Speech

Intellectual Property

Internet Issues

Information Privacy

Moral Legitimacy of Information Privacy Rights

Public and Private Information

Internet Issues

Computer Security

Legal Protection of Computer Security

Moral Legitimacy of Computer Security Rights

Internet Issue: Hackers




Cross References


Further Reading





Use of the networked world has resulted in many social and individual benefits. The World Wide Web, for example, makes it possible for people to access a wealth of information from the comfort of their own homes. E-mail capabilities enable individuals to communicate information from one country to another at a fraction of what it would cost to do so by making an international telephone call. Bulletin boards and discussion lists provide large groups of like-minded persons with a forum in which they can exchange ideas. All of these media are fully available to the user at any time of the day.

The unique capabilities of these new technologies, however, have also given rise to novel legal, social, and ethical problems. The ability to communicate information to potentially millions of people facilitates socially desirable expression, but it also facilitates expression ...

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