Information Technology and Society

Question 1                                     20 Marks



After years of appreciating the realistic face masks and disguises popular in films such as Mission Impossible and Total Recall, you feel like you’ve finally done it. Working studiously in your garage, you’ve developed a flexible mask product that can make you look like any person in the world, providing the perfect disguise for people that wish to remain anonymous, and a great product to help those with facial deformities.

Excited, you begin to look for investment by attending virtual forums and business events, and after a few weeks you’re approached by a possible angel investor who tells you he can get two million dollars of investment for your product if you agree to provide the first 1000 units to a company in Japan. You’re thrilled, but when you look into the company you find out there are rumours they have ties to the Japanese mafia (Yakuza) and you start to worry that your product might be used for criminal operations. You’re not sure how to feel about this, they are only rumours, but would you feel comfortable if your mask technology was used for a robbery, murder, or perhaps even counterintelligence operations or inter-country espionage?

You decide to consider the scenario and come to a concrete recommendation that you can use about the likely ethical outcomes of using the technology, based on your understanding of workable ethical theories. Answer all of the following sub-questions based on the above scenario, using the following approaches:


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Question 1 (continued)


  • Select one of the four ethical theories and analyse the above scenario to provide a recommendation. Clearly state any assumptions you make during your analysis. (7 marks)


  • Use the ACS code of conduct to analyse the same scenario to provide a recommendation. Clearly state any assumptions you make during your analysis. (7 marks)


  • Compare the two approaches that you selected in sub-question (a) and (b). What are the strengths/weaknesses of each? Do they recommend the same action in this scenario? Will they recommend the same action in general, or could they recommend conflicting actions? In your opinion, which of the two selected ethical theories is the best for analysing ethical and social issues in ICT? (6 marks)


Record a 5 – 8 minute video answering the above questions and upload it to Moodle. Provide any references or notes for your video in the box below. If you need to provide a link to your video, paste it here.












Question 2                                     30 Marks


Consider information security.



  • What is the difference between a worm and a virus? Briefly explain the characteristics of each. Explain how a worm or virus can be used for hacking. (6 marks)









Consider information overload.


  • Define spam. How does spam affect network operations? Provide a reason and explanation as to why spam is a social issue in relation to information overload.

(6 marks)










Consider artificial intelligence.


  • What is machine learning? How is machine learning different than a symbolic artificial intelligence system? Give two examples of applications for each type of artificial intelligence system. (6 marks)











Consider classification and censorship.


  • What is the purpose of classification of media? Give two examples of classification ratings that are used. Explain briefly how classification systems could be considered censorship. (6 marks)












Consider intellectual property and copyright.


  • What is the current length of copyright protection? Explain how and why this number has increased since copyright was first conceived. What are the social implications (advantages and disadvantages) of copyright protection? (6 marks)