Information Ethics in the Electronic Age

Current Issues in Africa and the World

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About the Book

This collection of essays explores the ethical issues that arise when information technology seems to exceed and even contradict the purpose of its creators. The studies focus upon the management of information technology, specifically the Internet, considering the most ethical ways of generating, using, and controlling information technology in our time.
Section One includes essays pertaining to Africa’s place in the 21st century, including democracy, information flow, connections with the world through the Internet, telecommunications, Uganda and the digital divide, and an examination of a pilot study in South Africa for developing a universal tool to measure information poverty. The essays of Section Two cover topical library issues, such as professional information organizations and their ethic codes, communicating ethics when teaching electronic research to undergraduates, pay-for-placement search engines, consumer health information services, laws applying to confidentiality of library records, privacy control after September 11, cybercrime investigation, and the technologies protecting copyright. The essays were originally presented at the “Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century” symposium held at the University of Memphis on October 24-27, 2002. Each includes references and helpful Internet resources.

About the Author(s)

Tom Mendina is a librarian at the University of Memphis, and the chairman of EEI21–MEMPHIS.
Johannes J. Britz is a professor of information science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and an adjunct instructor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Mendina and Johannes J. Britz
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 197
Bibliographic Info: tables, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1742-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8132-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Ethics of Electronic Information in the Twenty-First Century      1

SECTION ONE: AFRICA

1. Africa and Its Place in the Twenty-First Century: A Moral Reflection      5

2. The New Morality and Democracy in Africa: The Role and Responsibilities of Leadership and Governments for ICT Development in the African Union      7

3. Information Imperialism: Moral Problems in Information Flows from South to North      15

4. Telecommunications Infrastructure in the African Continent (1960–2010)      22

5. The Digital Divide: An Ethical Dilemma for Information Professionals in Uganda?      28

6. Africa’s New Awakening and ICT: Toward Attaining Sustainable Democracy in Africa      36

7. Information Poverty: A Measurable Concept?      47

SECTION TWO: INFORMATION ORGANIZATIONS AND THE HANDLING OF INFORMATION

8. Professional Information Organizations and Their Ethics Codes: A Quantitative Review      65

9. “I’m Sorry, Dave, I Can’t Let You Do That”: Communicating Ethics When Teaching Electronic Research to Undergraduates      73

10. Pay-for-Placement Search Engines and User Consequences      81

11. Challenges Confronting the Construction of Digital Libraries in China      88

12. Ethical Issues in Digital Reference      99

13. It’s Not Just a Matter of Ethics III: Current Status of the Ethical Provision of Consumer Health Information Services in Public Libraries in California and South Carolina—A Preliminary Report      107

14. Is Universal Service a Universal Right? A Rawlsian Approach to Universal Service      114

15. Confidentiality of Library Records: Laws, Ethics and Practice      123

SECTION THREE: INFORMATION ISSUES IN THE POST-NINE-ELEVEN WORLD

16. The Control of Privacy after Nine-Eleven      131

17. Ethical Issues Involving Biometric Technology      139

18. Ethics of Push Technology and the Emergence of Norms      147

19. For a New Nanny State: The Role of National Information Services in Postindustrial Societies      155

20. The Role of ISPs in the Investigation of Cybercrime      163

21. Should Law Protect the Technologies That Protect Copyright?      173

About the Contributors      185

Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“much of value”—Public Libraries; “useful”—Libraries & The Cultural Record.