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Ethics and the internet......

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posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 01:57 PM
Just curious where everybody stands in relation to the ethical questions of internet software piracy, hacking etc...The question being...If these things were not taking place, tthe software would likely not be forced to be developed or evolved to make them safer...and if so wouldnt these illegal/ amoral activities actually be of benefit to those whom do not engage in them by forcing developers to craft superior safety features? your opinions? hypothetically speaking, would you (or do you) engage in any of these activities?

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 02:06 PM
i try to avoid software that colects inforation on me all together (i.e. google chrome). not for the reason that i would be doing something i wouldnt want anyone to find (except maby some google searches that rhyme with "morno" lol) I just dont want them to have a "file" on me, my likes, my dislikes, my intrests, what maps i look up, my common places of being. it makes me uncomfortable and god forbid if anything ever did happen where the goverment was looking for me i wouldnt want them to be able to call google and get every bit of internet activity ive ever done, every ATS post, every message to a friend.

As to your question about how they would gain product info.... there is surveys and stuff like that, im sure google wouldnt have any problem finding thousands of people to fill them out willingly. hell i would answer a survey so long as they didnt track my internet activity.

My .02

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by canuck7500

Well, in terms of hacking.

The real hackers actually don't use the exploits themselves. All they are trying to do is make a name for themselves, prove what they are capable of, hence, when they find a security flaw, one of the first things they do is prove it to a security company, like Nortons. Basically, they are bragging... and rightly so.

The ones you have to look out for are the Script Kiddies. Usually in their pre-teens or early teenage years.
They look on the internet for things actual hackers have found, and try it out themselves. Only, they don't care about making a name for themselves, because it wasn't them who discovered the flaw. So basically with the script kiddies, it becomes internet vandalism.

From the security companies standpoint, they have a limited amount of time from when the Hacker alerts them to the security flaw, to when a Script Kiddie exploits it. Often this time line is dictated by the hacker as a test of the companies worthiness.
As a bargaining chip, security companies will often employ the hacker himself, if the security hole he found was impressive enough. His job from then on is to purposely try to get around the security programs, and let them know how he did it.

Essentially, the Hackers support the security companies for their own gain.
This is why I think Microsoft having their independent security programs on Vista is a bad idea... most hackers hate Microsoft with a passion. Hence, they won't be turning in all the problems they've found, the majority will be passed straight to the Script Kiddies to go do some damage with, all out of sheer spite. (Normally hackers and script kiddies don't get along.)

Outside of this, if the security company doesn't hire the Hacker, other companies often do through less legal channels.
Essentially, competitive companies might chose to hire someone to electronically trash the rival company.
Hence, where many viruses come from. Most are simply attempts to destroy another companies database etc... the problem is, there's nothing to stop the virus from getting out onto the internet once it's done its job destroying the other companies information.
Make no mistake, many companies indulge in Electronic Corporate Warfare.
You have to break a few rules to survive in a competitive world.

Now, software piracy... that's where it gets iffy.
It depends on what you think software is... and also what you think piracy is.

You see, many people think of software as a physical object. Once stolen, it has been taken from someone. This is a bit of a problem, as "Piracy" is a term which depicts taking from someone... not cloning.

Many in the open source community (linux etc.) believe that software is no different from a cooking recipe. All it is, is a series of instructions for your computer to follow, to make you (x) result.
From the open source coders point of view, you can't copyright an IF statement... nor can you copyright the concept of a LOOP command.
You also can't copyright the order it's used in.
So how can you copyright a program, if all it is, is something hundreds of other programmers have already done before you?
You can't arrest someone for making the same meal you did, nor following the same instructions.

The open source community feels strongly enough on this point that everything they write is free to use. Free to copy. Free to alter and edit. The only difference being, that the original person who wrote the code, gets to keep his name on the recipe.

Considering the open source community is a very real threat, and is becoming an even bigger threat by the day to Microsoft and other proprietary software companies... I'd say their novel ideas of open source software is working, wouldn't you?

When I think about software piracy, I can't help but think of "Rap Artists" going after each other for "Stealin ma beats yo"...

You mean that 'thud thud thud thud thud thud thud' noise?
That noise that's been around since humans first started hitting things and making a rhythm?
How can that possibly be copyrighted?

Same as, how can you possibly copyright an IF sequence?

The hilarious part about all of this is... Apple didn't make it's operating system, Xerox did. Apple's newest operating system X and up wasn't made by them either... that's a modified UNIX system you're looking at.

Microsoft didn't make DOS.
Microsoft also didn't make windows, wanna know who they stole that from?

And they're trying to COPYRIGHT?!
They have no right to their own software in the first place.

Now, as for music and video piracy. That's an undecided topic for me. I think it should be up to the artist who made the music, not the company that was SUPPOSED to be only burning the CD's and printing labels.

Yep, the recording industry was originally just supposed to take your music, and put it on Vinyl disks, and print off cardboard sheaths.
They didn't pay you... you paid them.
You had to do the rest of the work yourself, all they were was a printing press.

Since the digital age came around, the recording agencies have quickly realized they AREN'T ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING... but their still getting paid.
So they decided to make themselves look like they're standing up for the artists, by suing their fans who want to listen to the music.
But the artists aren't seeing much of the profit... it's all going back to the recording agencies WHO AREN'T ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING.

So hence, it should be up to the ARTIST, not the AGENCY.

Me, I write piano pieces.
But I've always felt strongly on the idea, that people who want to listen to my music should be able to do so without fear of me attacking them financially. And hence, my work, is free to copy, I make that very clear in the description of every file.
I wrote the music to be listened to, I'm not going to take offense to it for doing so!

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 04:16 PM
I'd say that 'hacking' has various shades of grey rather than being a purely black&white subject area...

In my example, the academic course I've chosen to study has a large CAD-software component to it, which are complex programs to learn to use profiently. If I order a trial-disk of, say AutoCAD, on installation it allows you 30 days' trial period before ceasing to function and requiring a £1000+ payment for the full operating licence.

However, I would defy anyone who has used such complex software such as AutoCAD, Soundforge, etc, etc to be able to learn all they need to over those 30-days so what happens is a resourceful student will find a crack for the time-lock that enables a person to over-ride the trial-period and continue to learn all the aspects of that software to gain an employable skill, and once that point is reached, will be happy to buy a full licence

If it were the case that the developers REALLY wanted to keep the time-trialled software secure from being able to be cracked, they wouldn't make it so easy for someone with a bit of nouse to be able to do so...

I'm all for this, but will not use such cracks in order to adjust the software to use for commercial gain, but merely to learn how to use it to the point where commercial-use and paid service for its' use will make the purchase of a fully licenced copy a viable business investment

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 04:27 PM
nice post
im also glad alot of the hacking info has been posted already.

hacking is a massivly open ended term, and can mean anything from building your own pc from scratch to the kind of fantasy stuff in the film "war games" ,although most of it is UBER mundane and boaring, why i lost intrest like 10 years ago when i realised i was just a noob and to be even "not even near good" would take alot of something i dont have, as it takes an insane amount of time and dedication to looking at pages of code. (a few hours and my eyes are toast and everythings jumping about on the screen).

now, to software / music piracy.

music : i recently got my first track on vinyl and released, within a few months i found it on a gabber download site, and twice on youtube. . . and im not bothered in the slightest. My hope is that someone hears it and likes it, and buys teh record if its still avaliable (was only a 300 copy run). the way i see it with music is that we should be able to try something before buying it, if they like it, they can go buy it, as most ppl do!

i have pretty much the same stance on software, although i do feel that alot of software is drasticly over priced, and those companies kinda deserve to be pirated. cough *microsoft*, cough cough *adobe*

generaly speaking i try somethgin, if its worth it ill pay for it, if not it is off my computer in the required 24 hours. (if that still makes a difference, or maybe just an game rom thing)

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 05:51 PM
Being on the receiving end of hacking twice in the last 4 yrs and two ruined hd's later. (Don't play yahoo backgammon)

I would describe it as psychological rape. If I were to tally the loss of time and parts and the frustration of spending an entire day totally rebooting my system it would easily be a grand.

These are despicable people who get some mansonish trip out of ruining someones whole day.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 06:47 PM
reply to post by jpm1602

I bet if you were to look at the social-background of the average PC hacker, you'd see it was kids who had their lunchmoney stolen, heads flushed down the toilet, and generally bullied and excluded from the school social-life mainstream who now have their chance at a 'nerd's revenge' on a world that was so so cruel to them in their earlier years

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 06:57 PM
I don't see the problem with most hacking,the ones who are out just to be malicious those are the ones I disagree with but nothing at all wrong with a bit of reverse engineering nothing at all.Piracy im a bit stubborn on at the moment I feel in the music world if it were worth buying people would buy it but most of it isn't not even close,heck I guess this could go for anything eh?

posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 03:12 AM
thanks to everyone who replied..... I am in strong agreement with johnsky in his opinions about software ownership...i was also very interested in citizen smiths comments in regards to free trial software as it was a very similer situation that inspired this thread... I had downloaded a free software trial with a one week duration but before i had an opportunity to try it i was called out of town for work. When i returned i was disapointed to learn the trial had expired. Being a relatively novice computer user i began enquiring in a few computer chat rooms about the possibility of removing the registry keys or possibly changing the computers internal dating so as to allow myself another opportunity to try the software. I was promptly informed that nobody would assist me due to terms and conditions against "hacking" the companys software. I personally feel no moral ambiguity as i was only attempting to recieve the free trial that was offered. I was never looking to permanently "steal" this software, i just feel i work far to hard for my few dollars to pay in excess of 200 dollars for a software i havent even tried yet and have no idea if it will actually benefit me. Again thanks to everyone that posted their thoughts!

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