Book Resources

Questions to Discuss for Chapter Two:

Applications: Is Tor Unethical?

March 30, 2017

  1. Describe an ethical and an unethical use of Tor. What framework are you using in making this distinction?  Did you think about a specific environment which might make using anonymity more or less ethical?

  2. Do you regard anonymity as a human right?  Why or why not?

  3. If there were a tool which could be used to uncover a user’s anonymous profiled who do you believe should have access to that tool and under what conditions?

  4. How would the ethical imperative to self-regulate your own behavior in regard to anonymity differ depending on the environment in which you were living and working?  Could you think of an environment which would make self-regulation in regard to anonymity less or more ethical?

  5. Is transparency a virtue?  For whom?  When displayed by whom?

Go to Tor site

Discussion Questions for Chapter Two:

Applications: The Ethics of Trolling

March 30, 2017

  1. What is your view of trolling?Is it inherently a bad thing or can it sometimes serve a useful purpose. How might one distinguish between ethical and unethical trolling?

  2. Is regulation necessary to regulate the act of trolling, or should regulation come either from a community or the participants themselves?


Read More about Trolling

Discussion Questions for Chapter Two:

Current Issues: Ethics of Wikipedia

March 30, 2017

  1. In his article “Why you can’t cite Wikipedia in my class,”, Neil Waters, a professor of history at Middlebury College, describes how several of his students cited the same historically inaccurate “facts” about early Japanese history because they found these facts in an article in Wikipedia. He argues that you can’t knowledge, since it is theoretically possible for a majority of people to believe something that is nonetheless incorrect. He argues that for Wikipedia to survive, it will have to make trade-offs between openness and accuracy. Do you agree with Waters?

  2. CNN provides a list of the ten most controversial Wikipedia pages. The authors argue that over time, numerous arguments have broken out among the editors and contributors about content related to topics like Jesus, Mohammed, George W. Bush, Global Warming and anarchism.  Do you feel that it will ever be possible to achieve consensus within a community regarding what we know about these controversial topics or do these topics point to the limits of coming together as a community to make knowledge?

Activity One

Visit the MIT Moral Machine website. Here you can take quizzes and think through moral dilemmas involving machines, such as driverless cars. You can also use the platform to design your own scenarios and share them with classmates.

Activity Two

Myskja states that trust is a particularly important value to think about in regard to cyberspace ethics, since we are so often uniquely vulnerable to exploitation and deception in cyberspace.He references practices like phishing, identity theft and cyber bullying. What are the pros and cons of deciding as an individual or corporation to practice truthfulness in cyberspace?

Activity Three

Read the inset on the “Ethics of Tor” and anonymous browsing in cyberspace. Would a Kantian believe that we have an obligation not to use or create utilities like Tor? Do you agree?