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    Case Study: Publius

    Number of Pages: 8

     

    Summary of the research paper:

    This 8 page paper discusses a computer program called "Publius"—and the ethical issues it raises. Specifically, it considers whether or not it is ethical to market Publius, knowing that it will make it easier for wrongdoers to hide their tracks. It also considers the ethical questions surrounding the release of this software, including whether the creators of Publius should be held responsible for any criminal acts that may be carried out and kept secret because of this new technology; whether AT&T is also liable; and whether governments should allow implementation of the system. The discussion uses the ethical theory of Utilitarianism to determine the answers. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_HVPubliu.rtf

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    Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
    of the questionable legislation enacted in the aftermath of the attack, privacy is harder than ever to find. But one company offers software that guarantees to keep private information  strictly confidential. This paper discusses that company and its product-a program called "Publius"-and the ethical issues it raises. Specifically, it considers whether or not it is ethical to  market Publius, knowing that it will make it easier for wrongdoers to hide their tracks. We also want to answer the ethical questions surrounding the release of this software,  including whether the creators of Publius should be held responsible for any criminal acts that may be carried out and kept secret because of this new technology. We also  want to discuss AT&Ts responsibility in the same way, since they helped the creators develop the system; and finally, we will consider whether or not governments should allow implementation of  the system. Well use the theory of Utilitarianism as a basis for our investigation. Discussion First, how does Publius work? The program works by "encrypting files  - from text to pictures and music - and dividing them into fragments ... to be distributed over a number of servers" (Schwartz, 2000). When a user wanted to  retrieve the document, hed go to a directory kept on "a Publius-affiliated Web site" and then the "network itself would do the work of reassembling the pieces of the requested  file" (Schwartz, 2000). Publius spreads files over a number of servers, so that efforts to censor material are almost impossible, and that is seen as a problem by some,  and yet welcomed by others. Lets look at the issues of concern here in general, before we begin to analyze them closely. First, as always, those who are concerned 

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