CSC 379:Topics

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Research Assignment Topics for CSC 379, Summer Session II

This page contains the research assignment topics (pending review).

Contents

Important Resources

Available Topics

If you have not signed up for a topic yet, the following topic choices are still available. Jmsevits 18:47, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

New Topics

Internet Radio

intellectual/licensing/radio

RESERVED

Internet radio stations have been hit with escalating fees from the United States Copyright Royalty Board. Internet broadcasters are charged per channel and per performance. One performance is defined as one listener hearing one song. As fees annually rise this could easily cripple all Internet stations residing in the United States. A recently proposed bill, the Internet Radio Equality Act, could overturn the Copyright Royalty Board’s fees. Provide an overview of the issue and the outlook of Internet radio for the future.

For an overview of the history of internet radio, WRAL has a great video interview with a representative from WCPE. WCPE is the first public radio station in the nation to broadcast its programming on the internet. WRAL Video (10:53)

Net Neutrality

commerce/anticompetitive/broadband

RESERVED

Net Neutrality has multiple definitions, but in general refers to government regulation of internet providers and companies that manage the internet's infrastructure in order to provide more equal treatment of the data transmitted on the network. Provide an overview of the ethical issues raised by policy proposals like Net Neutrality and forms of data discrimination on the internet.

Social Engineering

(temporary) risks/security/precautions/socialengineering

RESERVED

If you would like to do this topic, see Security Precautions topic below.

Anti-Competitive Use of Databases

commerce/anticompetitive/databases

RESERVED

If a corporation provides a product or service, and also controls one of the major on-line databases that direct customers to suppliers of that product or service, a conflict of interest arises that tempts the corporation to use the database to steer customers unfairly toward content that favors its own business. One of the early examples was Baxter International's database of medical supplies. Other examples include airline databases and web search engines that can list the proprietor's or paid content more prominently than competitors' or even make it hard for consumers to find out what a competitor offers. Improve this page by including more recent content related the anti-competitive databases and the ethical issues they raise.

Existing Topics

Anonymity

speech/anonymity

RESERVED

This page has to do with anonymous remailers, individual user privacies, etc. It could use some updated links, but mainly needs a study guide and a link added from the topic page to it.

This topic should not contain content about Social Networking

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Codes of Ethics

basics/codes

RESERVED

Deals with codes of ethics and the internet. Could use some more links and the study guide needs better formatting for fluidity.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Conflicts of Interest

basics/conflicts

RESERVED

A conflict of interest occurs when someone's personal interest is at odds with his/her job responsibility (e.g., when someone owns stock in a company from which (s)he could make a major software purchase). A lot has been written about conflicts of interest. Including some general articles is fine, but try to have many recent articles that refer to conflicts of interest in the computer field. The current page requires newer links. Also, most of the links involve the web; it needs more on conflicts of interest that do not involve the web.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Cyberstalking

privacy/cyberstalking

RESERVED

Cyberstalking refers to the use of the internet, e-mail, or other electronic communications devices to stalk another person. Stalking generally involves harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property. It's time for an update and expansion of this page. Type "cyberstalking" to any search engine and pull up a spate of references.

Study guide needs to be revised and broken links need to be fixed.

This topic should contain content about Social Networking only if specifically related to cyberstalking. Do not include any general articles about social networking so to avoid overlap with the existing topic.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

intellectual/electronic/dmca

RESERVED

Address recent uses and ethical controversy surrounding the DMCA. Include discussion of ethical issues raised by DMCA and its enforcement in the study guide. Update broken links.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

E-Commerce Security

risks/security/ecommerce

RESERVED

How do you secure a site for e-commerce? Security and ethical issues of e-commerce such as banking online. Please do not include the issue of fraud, which has its own page. Add a few new links, improve formatting and evaluate the study guide. Study guide currently has no working links.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Ethical Principles

basics/principles

RESERVED

This page is about ethical principles, and should draw heavily from philosophy-related sites. The topic page is in good shape, though rather sparse. It should be enhanced substantially. The study guide should be expanded and all existing errors fixed.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Fault Tolerance

risks/security/fault

RESERVED

With society’s increasingly dependent relationship with technology, there are many important ethical considerations regarding how fault tolerant technological systems are. Failure of systems essential to our lives can have ramifications beyond financial. Examine responsibility issues in related to outages, methods for improving fault-tolerance, and laws for protecting critical infrastructures. Recent occurrences.

This topic should not contain content about Software and Technology Safety unless it is very specifically related to this topic. Do not include any general articles about Software and Technology Safety so to avoid overlap with the existing topic.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Hate Speech

speech/freedom/hate

RESERVED

This page is supposed to focus on the danger of hate groups using the Internet to promulgate their message and recruit members. Unfortunately the current focus is on the controversy over "hate speech," with little relationship to the internet. Please fix it so it is appropriate for an Ethics in Computing site. Try to expand the study guide. Also, the formatting on the topic page should be improved.

All the study guide links need to be fixed.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Instant Messaging

commerce/anticompetitive/instant

Most of the references on this page are three or four years old. The issue is whether a small number of companies should unfairly dominate the market for instant messaging. Update the existing page with new references, and the study guide with new issues.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Internet Downloads

intellectual/piracy/downloads

RESERVED

This page covers the downloading of copyrighted content from internet sites without authorization from copyright owners. Expand with more links (updated ones). Also the formatting of the study guide should be improved. Cover recent ethical issues regarding linking to but not hosting illegal downloads, and the ethics of hosting user-submitted content with insufficient moderation to detect and remove potentially illegal content.

This topic should not contain content about P2P Sharing unless it is very specifically related to this topic. Do not include any general articles about P2P Sharing so to avoid overlap with the existing topic.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Security Precautions

risks/security/precautions

What security precautions do web and network administrators need to take to guard against hacker attacks, such as distributed denial-of-service attacks? What precautions are needed against other forms of hacking? Against cyberwarfare and terrorist threats? Update topic page and study guide to cover current/future precautions related to recent occurrences.

Social Engineering should be included as a major section within this topic. If you would like to make a new page focused on social engineering, you may if you choose this topic.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Software Reliability

risks/reliability

RESERVED - LINKED TO FAULT TOLERANCE

The topic page could use some updated links and both the topic page and the study guide's format should be improved.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide

Vaporware

commerce/anticompetitive/vaporware

RESERVED

Vaporware is hardware or software announced long before its delivery. Vaporware is used as a popular tactic, especially in regards to operating systems and game development. It has many ethical implications for the software development industry in what types of software to produce and for consumers in what types of software/hardware to purchase. What are the benefits, disadvantages? The current topic page is very old and could use more recent links. The study guide should be re-written to incorporate more recent occurrences and to cover the topic more thoroughly.

Current Main Page Current Study Guide
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