Computer Ethics

Course Syllabus

Course Information:

Kennesaw State University, Fall 2007, CSIS 4515. Computer Ethics. (3 credit hours).

Meets: Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m., CL 2003.

Course Requirements:

Prerequisite: “C” or better grade in CSIS 3310 or
ISA 3300; ENGL 3140. Note – this course counts as an elective for IS majors, but NOT CS majors.


Computer Ethics addresses a definition of ethics, provides a framework for making ethical decisions, and analyzes in detail several areas of ethical issues that computer professionals are likely to encounter in business. Each area includes information regarding U.S. Law. Topics include philosophical, business, and professional ethics, privacy, criminal conduct, property rights, free speech, access, and reliability.

Ethics cannot be memorized, but must be debated and lived. Thus, an important part of the class is the inter-active class discussions and exercises. During each class, the instructor will include a presentation on the topic for the day and will review the homework assignment. Students will then use the lessons from the reading materials, assignment, and presentation in an inter-active in-class discussion and exercise. The exercises range from analyses of hypothetical ethical dilemmas to practical applications in business.

Instructor Information:

  •     Ann K. Moceyunas
  •     Phone: 404-252-0598
  •     Fax: 404-975-4420
  •     e-mail:
  •     Web site:
  •     Office Hours and Location: As a part-time instructor, Ms. Moceyunas has no office on campus. However, students can call or e-mail her to arrange telephone conference times.

Class Attendance, Assignments, and Grading

Class attendance is highly encouraged as the important stuff happens in the class discussions and exercises. You are expected to participate in class discussions and small group in-class exercises (although you will not be graded on class participation). If you cannot attend a class, you are encouraged to seek notes from a classmate. You are responsible for materials covered in class that may not be contained within the textbook or other reading materials. Assignments must be submitted in class on the day due; if you cannot attend class, you must submit the assignment via e-mail (see above) no later than 8:00 a.m. on the day due. If you cannot be in class for the Mid-term or Final exams (e.g. a business trip), you need to make special arrangements with the instructor prior to the exam date. Grading of assignments and exams is included in description of Assignments. Accceptance of Assignments after the due date and time is at the discretion of the Instructor (and may only be requested for circumstances beyond the control of the student; problems with computers and email shall not be considered out of the student's control).

Academic Integrity

Every KSU student is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, as published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs (available at Section II of the Student Code of Conduct addresses the University’s policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism and cheating, unauthorized access to University materials, misrepresentations/falsification of University records or academic work, malicious removal, retention, or destruction of library materials, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student identification cards. Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handles through the established procedures of the University Judiciary Program, which includes either an “informal” resolution by a faculty member, resulting in a grade adjustment, or a formal hearing procedure, which may subject a student to the Code of Conduct’s minimum one semester suspension requirement.

Required Reading

Michael J. Quinn, Ethics for the Information Age, 2nd edition (copyright, 2006)

Schedule of Classes and Assignments

Assignments and dates may be subject to change. Students are responsible for all changes made to the calendar as given by the instructor during the class sessions. Changes will also be noted at the Web site Updates page. Instructor reserves the right to administer pop quizzes, either online or in-class and to adjust points for graded assignments to accommodate pop quizzes.

Instructions regarding preparation of homework assignments:

1. Written assignments must be word-processed, in a business memo format (no hand written documents will be accepted).

2. The heading must include:

To: Professor Moceyunas
From: <your name>
Date: <date>
Re: Assignment <number>; <Title>.

3. Copy and paste the assignment questions into the document (this will help me grade your assignment more quickly), except for the long hypotheticals (you will know which ones those are).

4. Pay attention to your writing. Written assignments will be evaluated for conciseness, analysis, clarity of writing style, and depth of thought, grammar, and spelling.

5. Written assignments must be submitted by email or in-class on or before the due date by 8:00 a.m.

6. Even if you submit your written assignment by email by the deadline, print a copy of your written assignment and bring it with you to class. We will use your response to the written assignment for in-class exercises.

7. If you cannot attend class, submit your written assignment by 8:00 a.m. on the Due Date by e-mail with an attachment (in MS Word or RTF) to the instructor, Ann Moceyunas at Name your file with your last name and the assignment number. For example "moceyunas 4.doc".

8. Check the Updates page to the course Web site for any changes to written assignments that are announced in class. No extra credit is available. Assignments are to be the work product of the student alone, unless the Assignment specifically indicates that it is to be done with one or more other students.

Class / Date / Topic


Reading Assignment

Graded Assignment

Points for Graded Assignment

  • Class 1
  • August 17, 2007
  • Introduction to the Course
  • Review syllabus
  • Introduction to ethics



  • Class 2
  • August 24, 2007
  • Catalysts for Change
  • Milestones in computer development.
  • Spotting ethical issues.

Quinn – Chapter 1.

Assignment 1 - Study Guide and Ethics in the News.


  • Class 3
  • August 31 , 2007
  • Cyberethics
  • How law, ethics, and religion intertwine.
  • Are Cyberethics Different?
  • Spotting Ethical Issues

Quinn - Chapter 2, Sections 2.1 - 2.4.

Assignment 2 – Gods of Business.


  • Class 4
  • September 7, 2007
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Philosophical Ethics: Consequentialism, Deontologism, Social Contract Theory.
  • Ethical Analysis

Quinn – Chapter 2, Sections 2.5 - 2.10.5.

Read The Ethical Evaluation.

Assignment 3 – Captchas, Part 1.


  • Class 5
  • September 14, 2007
  • Professional Ethics
  • Definition of a Professional
  • Applying Professional Codes

Quinn – Chapter 9, Sections 9.1 - 9.5; substitute for Section 9.3, the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, available at: (print your own copy and bring to class).

Assignment 4 – Captchas Part 2.


  • Class 6
  • September 21, 2007
  • Business Ethics
  • Reasons for and Components of Business Ethics Policies
  • Applying these policies.
  • Whistleblowing

Quinn – Chapter 9, Sections 9.6

Assignment 5 - Business Ethics Policies.


  • Class 7
  • September 28, 2007
  • Networking
  • Free Speech
  • Pornography
  • Police Sting Operations
  • Review for Midterm

Quinn - Chapter 3, Sections 3.4 - 3.9.

Assignment 6 – Ethical Analysis of the Online Game.


  • Class 8
  • October 5, 2007
  • Midterm Review of Concepts
  • Midterm Examination of your comprehension of course concepts and ability to recognize analyze ethical problems.
  • Assign Roles for "Back Door" Assignment.

Midterm Review (online)

Midterm Exam (will cover all materials from Class 1 – 7); bring your own clean copy of the ACM Code of Ethics.


  • Class 9
  • October 12, 2007
  • Computer Reliability , Part 1
  • Review Midterm Exam Results
  • Responsibility vs. Liability vs. Accountability
  • Therac 25 Case Study
Quinn - Chapter 7, Sections 7.1 - 7.5, 7.7

Assignment 7 - Software Licenses and Warranties.

Note: Last day to withdraw without penalty.


  • Class 10
  • October 19, 2007
  • Computer Reliability, Part 2
  • Software Warranties
  • Discussion about The Back Door

Quinn - Chapter 7, Section 7.8

Assignment 8 - The Back Door

Assignment 13 - Part 1.


  • Class 11
  • October 26, 2007
  • Privacy, Part 1
  • U.S. Privacy Law
  • Data collection principles
  • Data mining

Quinn – Chapter 5, Sections 5.1 - 5.10.

Read Privacy Outline and print for class.

Assignment 9 - Protecting Privacy: Design of Health Clinic Appointment Management System


  • Class 12
  • November 2, 2007
  • Privacy, Part 2
  • Intellectual Property, Part 1
  • Intellectual Property Basics: Trade Secrets, Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks
  • Assign Roles for Assignment 14.

Quinn – Chapter 4, Sections 4.1 - 4.6.

Assignment 10 - The File Sharing Cases.


NOTE: this class has been moved to November 16 (originally scheduled for November 9).

  • Class 13
  • November 16, 2007
  • Intellectual Property, Part 2
  • File Sharing
  • Open Source Debate
  • Guest Speaker, David Teske, attorney with Alston & Bird, to talk with us about Open Source

Quinn - Chapter 4, Sections 4.7 - 4.9.

Now due on November 16, 2007.

Assignment 11– Open Source.


NOTE: this class has been moved to November 9 (originally scheduled for November 16).

  • Class 14
  • November 9, 2007
  • Computer Crimes
  • Criminal Liability vs. Accountability

Quinn – Chapter 6, Sections 6.1 - 6.5.

Now due on November 9, 2007.

Assignment 12– The Killer Virus.


  • Class 15
  • November 30 , 2007
  • Work & Wealth
  • Global Outsourcing
  • Presentations of Assignment 14
  • The Digital Divide
  • Review for Final Exam.

Quinn – Chapter 8, Sections 8.3 - 8.5.

Assignment 13– Digital Inclusion - Is there still a Divide?


  • Class 16
  • December 7, 2007
  • Final Exam
  • Final Examination of all course concepts and ethical analyses.

Final Review (online)

Final Exam in class


Grading Scale

Your grade shall be determined by the total number of points that you earned, based on the following scale:

A = 90 to 100

B = 80 to 89.9

C = 70 to 79.9

D = 65 to 69.9

F = below 65


Last updated: August 9, 2007. Computer Ethics is a course taught in the CS/IS Department at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia. Opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the author, Ann K. Moceyunas. Certain Portions Copyright © 1996 -2007 Moceyunas P.C. All rights reserved. Have Questions? Contact Ann Moceyunas at