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Laws and Regulations in Information Technology

Ethics in information technology refers to the study of ethical issues and concerns arising from the use and advancement of electronic technologies. It mainly aims to identify and answer questions regarding the morality and behaviors of individuals as accorded by a nation’s laws. Congress, for instance, creates laws and regulations that are designated to protect society from itself. Numerous legal issues are related to information technology. They include net neutrality, data protection, non-compete laws, security liability, digital ownership, and data gathering. Ethical and legal issues form the basis for the protection of society.

Net neutrality- refers to the perception of Internet Service Providers to treat all online data the same. ISP argues that all customers should be treated equally and that for no reason, no company is obligated to block or disrupt internet services to their competitors. IT industries can send shockwaves to other companies to promote equal use of data for all internet users.

Data protection- data protection is a crucial element for privacy that enables internet users to be assured of the safety and security of their personal information. Hackers can gain access to the personal information of customers and internet users. The users need to confirm the structural soundness of their network to prevent the entry of viruses and malware into their computers. Additionally, internet users should be assured of data protection to prevent cyber security breaches.

Non-compete laws. Non-competes refer to the agreement that workers sign with their employers, preventing them from joining their competitors once they leave. IT companies have been in the frontline of advocating for this law. However, with the current situations, it may become particularly difficult to stay in the same for a long time following frequent transitions and shift workers. Therefore, this clause has become a legal challenge for most IT workers. This hinders innovation and creativity as workers are only tied to doing the same things over time.

Security liability. The security systems of most digital networks have become computerized to protect vital customer information. However, an increase in security systems is accompanied by enhanced surveillance to curb the inherent risks accompanied by the use of such services. Therefore, IT professionals need to adopt ways of balancing the risks and freedom of creating security networks that are effective and ethical to their users.

Digital ownership- digital mediums have made it easier for information to flow from one person to another freely. To transmit this information, legal and ethical considerations must be considered. Therefore, ownership should be established to enhance the digital realm. With technological advancements, information has become easier to access on the internet. This has promoted stilling of ideas from others without their consent. Because of this, companies in the entertainment industry have pushed for better protection rights for their properties by fighting against piracy and promoting copyrights for their intellectual properties.

Information technology laws refer to the legal use of computers and the internet. These laws regulate how information is disseminated from one person to another and guide the protection of intellectual properties. There are several laws and regulations involving the ethical behavior of individuals and organizations using information technology. Internet laws are formed on the basis and context of geographical borders and political boundaries regarding the global transmission of data. These laws include net neutrality, free speech on the internet, and internet censorship. These laws deal primarily with the laws of the united states and do not represent the global view. Some of the laws are effective and working, while others do not promote ethical behaviors of individuals using information technology.

Free Speech on the internet

Among the laws involving ethical use of information technology that has proven effective is Free Speech on the internet. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 highlights human protection of their freedom of Speech in media forms (Johnson and David 2013). Therefore, it guarantees all citizens the right to express or hold their opinions without any obstacle to seeking or dispatching information to any media. This law has been very effective in ensuring that the ethical behaviors of individuals and organizations using IT are upheld. IT has made it easier for people to express their views, ideas, and opinions regarding different topics. It includes access to new happenings currently, educational tools, and resources, among others.

Additionally, individuals can make changes to articles and online information. This makes them add their opinions on what already exists. This law allows citizens to express themselves interference of government’s rules and regulations. Before the government can intervene in public comments made by individuals on the internet, the information must threaten national peace and coherence (Johnson and David 2013). Therefore, the government must provide substantial justification for interference with freedom of speech to regulate speech content as provided by the supreme court.

Internet censorship

Internet censorship is one of the laws formulated by Congress to guide the ethical behaviors of both individuals and organizations using information technology. It refers to the control of what the public can access, publish, or view on the internet as enacted by regulators of that information. This law puts some restrictions on the type of information uploaded or posted on the internet. One of the laws is not effectively working in the united states. This is because even though measures are put in place to protect some information on the internet from the public, some people still find ways of gaining access to that protected information. This can act as a breach of user confidentiality, and some of them may feel that their privacy is not being upheld.

Cyberspace has allowed the transmission of Speech as a way of communication regulated by the government. However, it has not been very effective in ensuring user privacy. Open Net Initiative was adopted to investigate the state’s involvement in practices that seem to be surveilling its citizens on the use of some technologies. Furthermore, this initiative aims to generate pictures related to such practices by the government. This initiative has released several reports on how internet speech has been compromised in most countries. Some of the issues that have made internet censorship less effective include cyberbullying, cyber racism, cyber sexism or sexual harassment, and cyber homophobia (Barlow 2016), among others.

Cyberbullying refers to the repetitive and intentional use of negative comments about an individual or organization by use of the internet. It is one of the factors that has made internet censorship not work effectively due to the distress and risks it brings to the human’s well and psychological well-being (Barlow 2016). Cyberbullying has a great impact on human rights, including alteration to physical and mental health, inability to work properly, and denial of freedom of expression, among others.

Cyber racism is also another factor that affects the effectiveness of this cyber law. Some information is posted on the internet may promote racism and discrimination. Although the government of the US has tried to implement measures that can prevent cyberbullying, its efforts have proven futile. Countries like China have banned the use of Facebook, and this has proven effective in protecting against cyber racism acts.

Cyber-sexism refers to sharing of sexual content on the internet. Some malicious ways people can undergo cyber embarrassment are through emails or text messages, as revealed by the Workplace Sexual Harassment Commission Survey of 2012 (Barlow 2016). The report revealed that websites and the internets are the leading ways of cyber-sexism. This issue has made the internet Censorship law less effective because appropriate mechanisms of dealing with it have not been found.

Cyber homophobia is another form of cyberbullying that has been on the rise and has made internet censorship less effective. With the introduction of online social networking tools like Twitter, it has become difficult for the government to control this type of bullying which mainly involves abusing language on social media platforms to abuse others like the LGBTIs and other socially abused groups (Barlow 2016). For these reasons, this law regarding the ethical use of IT has failed to work as projected.


Essential infrastructure and services and punishment of hackers

Hacking has been one of the major challenges involved in Information technology. It refers to the unethical acquisition of data or information without the consent and knowledge of the publisher or owner. Hackers have come up with new hacking and stealing of IDs through information technology. One of the laws that can bridge the gap and deal with this form of theft is the Net Neutrality Law or Essential infrastructure and services (Barlow 2016). This law involves regulation of the net structure to prevent hacking and theft of ID. The use of routers and transmission infrastructure allows receipts and sending of data to both private and public entities.

Net neutrality can be one of the cyber laws that can have positive implications on tracking down and bridging the gap in controlling e new hacking method or ID theft. Structuring the network in a way that locks out any form of hacking or ID theft would make internet users regain confidence in the use of information technology as a means of communication (Barlow 2016).

Other laws that can be useful in dealing with such cases include inflicting punishment to any form of cybercrime through arrests and imprisonment of the involved parties. The imprisonment of hackers will shape individuals and make hackers afraid of the consequences of committing the crime.

In conclusion, the government has designed laws and regulations to protect society through information technology. These laws are meant to punish hackers for crimes against companies and people. Some of these laws are working effectively, while others have proven futile. This article has addressed some recommended laws that can punish hackers for their crimes.


Barlow, J. P. (2016). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Johnson, D. R., and David, G (2013). Law and Borders – The Rise of Law in Cyberspace. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2013-11-05.


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