Freedom of Speech vs Privacy Rights

It is beyond any doubt that the innovative use of computing technology has revolutionized the way work is being done by individuals as well as organizations providing increased ease and comfort to the users but they have also created ethical dilemmas in the use and abuse of this technology. These dilemmas have raised ethical concerns for individuals or organizations using computing technology. One such issue involves the violation of the privacy rights of these individuals and organizations. Computing technology poses a significant threat to the privacy rights of the users and threatens their freedom of speech.

This means that computers do not protect the privacy of users by protecting their information from being available to others. Moreover, the freedom of speech promoted by the growth in technology has allowed the users to indulge into unethical and immoral activities on which there has been no check. As computer technology and internet is growing and increasingly becoming a part of our every day lives, a new and important science of ethics has emerged called ‘computer ethics’. Computer ethics pertains to every activity done on or related to computers. (Baase, 2003)

Freedom of Speech

The advent of the internet has encouraged more free expression of ideas and thoughts. It has allowed individuals to communicate freely with each other throughout the world. Internet has the ability to promote the freedom of speech and it has given a universal access to free ideas. Individuals and organizations are kept aware of the events and incidents going around in the world due to this technology which is only possible through the use of computers. They have access to wide range of information related to any subject or any matter (Forester and Morrison , 1993).

They can just say about anything or post any message over the internet. There are online communities related to particular topics where people express their decent or indecent ideas and opinions freely without caring for the morality of the subject. Internet has become a place where people speak whatever they have in their mind and inform others about their thoughts opinion whether others like them or dislike them. There are no rules and regulation to keep control on what the individuals are saying or seeing.

Even people have access to adult content on different sites and nothing can be done to control this activity. If some one has an internet connection over their computers then no one can restrict them from doing immoral and unethical things. This freedom of speech has raised numerous ethical issues. People go about saying and watching unethical stuff over the internet on their computers and nothing can be done to stop these individuals. They have forgotten their ethical and moral values and beliefs and have plunged into this darkness of the computer world. (Ermann and Shauf , 2002)