Ethical Hacker Vs Hacker Philosophy

Essay add: 28-10-2015, 12:03   /   Views: 165

This report deals in identifying the ethical issues of Kevin Mitnick and his computer hacking history and weather the accusations and they way FBI prosecuted his case were correct or not .Each of the issue raised would further be discussed by using the three ethical theories of Consequence-Based, Duty-Based and Character-Based. Apart from that the general role of a computer professional will also be described later on in this report in terms of using their knowledge and expertise in terms of hacking. Hence this report will be divided into two parts the first part focusing on highlighting the ethical issues and his prosecution and second would deal with the computer professional part.

A detail description of his history of hacking is mentioned in the case scenario which will be described later on in the report. Firstly a brief introduction of ethics and its three theories would be discussed which will make it easy to understand and to implement it on the Kevin Mitnick case.

Ethics has been described in many ways by different people over the history including same great Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and so on. Greeks mostly defined ethics as the study of what was good for the infidel and the society. The easiest way to describe ethics would be differing and reflecting a human being character in terms of what is good or bad, right or wrong, fair and unfair, responsible or irresponsible. It will lead a human being moral character to be in good conduct.

Ethics can also be referred as to what humans are suppose to do if they follow the prescribe standards of right and wrong, which normally would lead him in terms of rights, his benefit to society, his obligations etc. Also ethics and can be referred as studying of moral character of human being and developing it to an ethical standard.[1]

"Ethics begins when elements within a moral system conflict."[1]

'Ethics exists in many forms in branches, literatures, eras, traditions. All of them following the root hub of ethics but the form of ethics which is highlighted and followed in our case study for this report are what is called Cyberethics.


To understand the meaning of cyberethics a person should be aware of the term Cybertechnology. All the devices used in modern era in the field of cyber space such as hand held devices, personal computers, mainframes, networks and mainly the Internet can be termed as a part of Cybertechnology.

'Cybertechnology in terms refers to a broad spectrum of technologies that ranges from stand alone computers to the clustered of networked computing, information and communication technologies' [2]

Different definitions of cyberethics exists mostly dealing with ethical issues with certain type of online activities for e.g. pornography, gambling etc. It can be referred as certain types of laws which are not monitored by the judicial or law governing bodies but from and individual himself which go beyond his moral values which would be something different from cyber law which has to governed and monitored by a governing body.

'Cyberethics can be defined as the field of applied ethics that examines moral, legal and social issues in the development and use of Cybertechnology' [2]

Ethical Theories

Since this report has to follow certain type of ethical theories in order to identify the ethical issues a brief description of each one of them has been mentioned below.


As the name suggest consequence based theories produces the most desirable outcomes for it member morally. The providing of ultimate standards for consequence of actions against which the moral decisions were evaluated is highlighted in this theory. The goodness or right identified by consequence would be something regarded as Consequence-Based ethical theory which gives some outcome for someone. But whose outcome would be the question here that who should benefit from this outcome? This argument has mostly been provided by some big Utilitarian thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Henry Sedgwick etc. The argument provided by them normally follows the theory that an act of some individual or a whole social policy would be acceptable if it's providing great benefits for a majority of individuals which would be affected with the given policy or from the provided act by the certain individual.'Jeremy Bentham states that

' People are driven by their interests and their fears, but their interests take precedence over their fears, and their interests are carried out in accordance with how people view the consequences that might be involved with their interests. "Happiness" on this account is defined as the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain'. [3]

This form of ethics mainly explains that whatever happen sand outcome or result is achieved should be in a favor of large number of population rather than that of a certain minority. They should provide happiness to everyone rather than just one person who would be satisfied when a certain kind of act is performed.


Duty based Ethical theory is something which gives the concept of Deontology derived from the Greek word Deon which means Duty. The concept of Deontology is the approach in which goodness and right would be achieved by studying the act of an individual or social policy rather than the consequence which its leads too.

Immanuel Kant was one of the Deontological thinkers who always criticized Utilitarian thinkers saying that morality must be defined as the duty of an individual to one another rather than consequence which are produced when a certain individual performs a certain type of action.

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