Legal, Social, and Ethical Issues of the Internet
Kenneth Einar Himma, Seattle Pacific University
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 ...