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Trust and Ethics October 19, 2013

Posted by cgreigmu06 in Security.

Trust:  The belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. [1]

Ethic:  The rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad. [1]

When looking at both definitions you can see how each definition may or may not relate to each another, but it brings up the debate if you are an ethically good person can you also be a trusting person?  For me when applying this knowledge to the big picture a person who you can trust is more likely to have good ethical values.  This same idea can be applied to writers of computer code.  A computer code or application is more likely to be secure if the person or corporation is trusted and has morally good ethical behavior.

For individuals that are not trustworthy and or have ethically bad values knowing who does have morally good behavior and is trustworthy can be to their advantage.  It would be easier for untrusted individuals to hide virus, worms, etc. in a trustworthy computer code than for the untrustworthy person to publish their own code [2].

There is really no way to know that a code is truthful unless you know the code is trustworthy because you wrote it or you have gone line by line through the code and believe it to be trustworthy [3].  Whenever we as individuals use someone else’s code we hope that they have provided a code that is free from virus and is helpful to our overall goal.

Having code writers that can both be trusted and have morally good ethical values will make using someone else’s code, application, etc. a more enjoyable experiences for all users.  Stricter laws and better teaching of good behavior is a way to help prevent or control the threat of untrusted code [4].



[1] Online, http://www.merriam-webster.com/

[2] Hollander, Rachelle. Computing Ethics: Ethics Viewpoints Efficacies. Communications of the ACM. Mar2013, Vol. 56 Issue 3, p33-34. 2p.

[3] Thompson, K.I.. Reflections on trusting trust, Commun. ACM 27. H (Aug. 1984), 761-763.

[4] Lynch, Melody B, Why Employers Shouldn’t Rely Too Heavily on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Enforce Violations of Computer Use Policies. Employee Relations Law Journal. Autumn2013, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p46-49. 4p.



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