ITGS Syllabus

Monday, September 11, 2006

Topic 129

Ethical considerations relating to the use of encryption by Sung-Hwan

An encryption is one of the cryptology that is used widely in the world these days due to the development of communication. An encryption is a process of making the information unreadable to others those that sender doesn’t want to be read. There is lots of encryption, but basically it changes the information into other form and it requires a key to decrypt it.

For example, if I were to send an e-mail “How are you?” to my brother, this text will be encrypted by a computer following a certain rule. Therefore, if a rule was to substitute each letter with the letter that is two down from it in alphabet, then ‘H’ will become ‘J’, and ‘o’ will become ‘q’. My encrypted e-mail will look like “Jqy ctg aqw?”, and others looking at this text will see nonsense. But my brother’s computer will decrypt this text using a key, or a rule which is ‘substitute each letter with the letter that is two down from it in alphabet’ and get the original text I am sending.

Since this encryption method is very difficult to solve without the key, communication systems use this. So, is this encryption ethically wrong to use? Not at all, because it is widely used in the world, and if everyone is using it, it is very unlikely that it is ethically wrong to use encryption. Also, this encryption is used to defend the information from others so it is a good use.

This encryption might make the job harder for hackers and the government officials, who are trying to catch terrorists and bombers, but I think government could somehow retrieve information from us to due to this reason. Since the government was the one who developed encryption first in secret for the military use which was found out by public and now used in the communication. Therefore, even though encryption seems very safe, I think government already has some secret thing that will be able to penetrate the encryption. For example like a secret machine called ‘TRANSLTR’ made by government in the book “Digital Fortress’ by Dan Brown, that is able to break through any codes.

Since making the job harder for hackers isn’t ethically wrong, and government might not be affected by encryption, I think it is ethically approval to use encryption. Therefore, encryption is an ethically approval method to use, since it is used as a security and a protection of a privacy.


Post a Comment

<< Home