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Establishing ethics in the computer virus arena

Paul Ferguson
September 1992

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The introduction of the computer into our already complex arsenal of tools has opened a door to a world in which the limits are seemingly boundless. The possibilities of electronic information and data exchange alone are enough to boggle the mind. However, with the computer's acceptance and its growing implementation, a debate has arisen concerning the manner in which it is being utilized.

Today, we have a virtual stone wall separating two basic trains of thought. On one hand, there are those who wish to make all computer information and resources publicly available, regardless of impact or damage afforded to unwitting users. On the other hand, we have computer professionals, advocates and users who think potentially damaging information should be more effectively managed and controlled, disallowing damaging code to escape into the public domain.

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