Doing Ethics Technique for An Ethical Dilemma

 Discuss about Doing Ethics Technique for An Ethical Dilemma.

The analysis:

In the newspaper report author Markus Mannheim (2016) discuss a survey done by ‘Global Economic Crime Survey 2016’ which state the problem of increasing cyber crime which has overtaken theft as the biggest fraud risk in government agencies. The report expresses concern about the growing hacking that is more rampant in Australia than anywhere else. Organisations in Australia registered a staggering 65% of economic crimes which could be classified as cybercrime.  The report also states that hacking has also topped the list of threats created by various government agencies around the world.

What is going on?

Cyber crime is the term used for illegal activities that are carried out primarily using computers (Yar, 2013). Cybercrime has increased over the years. As per the news report, 65 percent of economic crime in Australia and 28 percent worldwide can be described as cybercrime. Even hacking has topped the list of threats to governments around the world. The data present for public access is more exposed to the threats like identity theft and fraud. The report also shows a growing trend in crimes executed by insiders (Mannheim, 2016). Hence cybercrime incidents should be given due importance, and effective laws should be enacted for punishing the offenders, and people should be made more aware.

What are the facts?

Cybercrime is a growing industry, the returns are great, and the risks are low. According to the estimate, the annual cost to the global economy from cybercrime is more than 400 billion dollar (Intel Security-Mcafee—Antivirus, Encryption, Firewall, Email Security, Web Security, Network Security). It can be observed that these figures are greater than the national income of most of the countries. These figures are the proof that most of the governments and companies underestimate the risk of cybercrime and how it has been proved to be advantageous for the hackers.

What are the issues?

The integral part of cybercrime is computer and internet, and the recent advancement in technology resulting in the fast internet and anonymity has become a boon for cyber-criminal. The criminal can now commit a diverse range of criminal activities with the help of a computer. The most common types of cybercrime are identity theft, hacking, theft, malicious software, child soliciting and abuse (Australian Institute Of Criminology – Home). The criminals committing cybercrime are neither driven by ego nor by expertise. The criminal deceive and exploit people just for easy money. Cybercrime is a greater threat compared to other criminal activities because these crimes can be committed single-handedly and doesn’t require a physical presence at the site.

Who is affected?

Cybercrime at targeted at those who are most unprepared and unaware. Hence small and medium enterprises (SME) are the ideal target for the cyber criminal. The latest Government security breaches survey reported security breaches in 74% of SMEs (Smith, 2016). Individuals too are targeted by phishing. The information, like name, address, credit card details, is collected from unaware internet user through website and is used for identity theft. So it can be seen that any person or organization using internet is unsafe.

What are the ethical issues?

The ethical issues related with cybercrime are an Intellectual property right, privacy and copyrighted electronic material. The data warehouse of a company is used to store a large amount of data related to consumer information and transaction and hacking into such warehouses is common and has a very deep social impact (Scorned Wife Launches First Ashley Madison Divorce Case). Piracy is another instance of violation of intellectual property rights; such websites are functional all around the world and provide pirated material. Even the students around the world copy the entire work of author to save time thus reducing the research quality.

What are the implications of the ethical issue?

The ethical issues that have been discussed in the above section are very important for the systematic function of a process. The individual property rights are violated and the legitimate actors are denied proper respect. If cyber crime goes unchecked, the worst victim will be the general internet user (Mansell & Collins, 2015). Identity theft, phishing, unsafe computers will result in collapsing of internet services.

What can be done about it?

The first and the foremost step that has to be taken are to give cybercrime its due importance. It should be made equivalent to physical crimes, and the laws should be made stricter. For personal protection each one should accept the responsibility to protect themselves from malicious websites and links, merely common sense can help one to fend off such attacks and people should respect rights of others (Quinn, 2014). The researchers should be encouraged to do quality work instead of just copying from a source.

What are the available options?

The available options that can help fend of offenders are (Cross, 2015):

  • Strict laws for the offenders
  • Awareness campaigns for users
  • Making internet more secure

Which one is the best option and why?

A criminal should not be left unpunished hence a stricter rule is mandatory for preventing criminal activities like piracy and credit card fraud. Awareness too is necessary, so that the user can defend themselves against a malicious websites, links and attack, but these steps are not enough on their own as they fail to provide complete protection. Hence the third option is the aptest according to the present scenario (Yar, 2013). The Internet should be made more secure; the access points should all be registered, and unregistered connections shouldn’t be given access. This step will not only prevent the criminals from committing a crime but will also help in solving cases faster.


“Australian Institute Of Criminology – Home”. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Aug. 2016.

“Intel Security-Mcafee—Antivirus, Encryption, Firewall, Email Security, Web Security, Network Security”. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Aug. 2016.

“Scorned Wife Launches First Ashley Madison Divorce Case”. Mail Online. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Aug. 2016.

Cross, C. (2015). How to tackle cyber crime before people even know they’re a victim. The Conversation, (19).

Hyman, P. (2013). Cybercrime: It’s serious, but exactly how serious?.Communications of the ACM, 56(3), 18-20.

Mannheim, M. (2016). Government agencies name cybercrime as their top fraud risk: PwC. Canberra Times. Retrieved 13 August 2016, from

Mansell, R., & Collins, B. S. (2015). Trust and crime in information societies. Edward Elgar.

McQuade, S. C. (2006). Understanding and managing cybercrime. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Quinn, M. J. (2014). Ethics for the information age. Pearson.

Smith, Mark. “Huge Rise In Hack Attacks As Cyber-Criminals Target Small Businesses”. The Guardian. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Aug. 2016.

Yar, M. (2013). Cybercrime and Society. Sage.


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