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Ethics in the Age of Information

             The information age is the age we live in today, and with the .
             information age comes an age of ethics. When we deal with the new .
             technologies introduced every day, we need to decide what we must .
             consider ethical and unethical. We must consider all factors so that .
             the use of the information readily available to many persons is not .
             abused. "Information technology will be the most fundamental area of .
             ethical concern for business in the next decade" (Houston 2). The most .
             widely used tool of the information age is the computer, whether it be .
             a PC or a network of computer systems. As we enter the information age .
             the newness and power of information technologies tests the ethics of .
             the average person, not just the criminal and causes thousands of .
             computer crimes to be committed daily. The most common computer crime .
             committed daily, some aware and many not, is the illegal sharing of .
             computer software. Software is any of the programs used in operating a .
             digital computer, as input and output programs, as defined by Funk and .
             Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary. When you purchase computer .
             software, you purchase it with the understanding that it will be for .
             use on a single computer, once installed on that system, it is not to .
             be loaded on any other computer. However many people are not aware of .
             this understanding, and many load a program on a couple of computers .
             or on a whole network of computer systems not aware that they are .
             committing a crime. Even though you probably will not be prosecuted .
             for loading a program on a friends computer, this is where your ethics .
             come in. Do you consider anything when you share a program with .
             others? If not then consider the programmers of the software who are .
             denied compensation for their developments every time you distribute a .
             piece of software. "Why is it that people who wouldn't think of.
             stealing pack of gum will copy a $500 piece of software" (Houston 3)? .

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