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Hi Guys

I would love some feed back on an ethical question I have just spent the last 5 hours discussing and would like to get the ideas of those in the industry and particularly those from and other countries as I’m from Oz and I know our standards are different here.

I have a friend in the US who I chat to by IM and who I discussed on a number of occasions a confidential relationship problem I was having with a third party friend known to both of us. My friend goes online at home through a server (which I was unaware of) and system set up her partner who is an IT professional.

Unbeknown to both if us, her partner recovered or recorded these conversations off the server and forwarded onto our third party friend creating problems that were not needed and making situations worse.

Note there was threat or risk to any other party or involvement of violence, drugs children or any other significant issues.

The partner’s position was that as he owned the server and it was in his basement, he was entitled to do what he wanted with it and what ever was on it belonged to him and that because the equipment existed for him to hack it, no one had the right to expect privacy and lastly that ethics do not matter with respect to issues like this.

I believed this was ethically wrong and that the same arguments or situations could be set up with bugging the local land line, reading other persons mobile phone text messages, scanning mobile phone calls, opening their mail etc and that just because you can do something doesn’t make it ethically right to do so and that for a professional ethics do matter.

I would like your comments on the ethics of this situation and how you feel about the place of ethics in your industry in general.

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Last Post by vikonava
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Hi Guys

I would love some feed back on an ethical question I have just spent the last 5 hours discussing and would like to get the ideas of those in the industry and particularly those from and other countries as I’m from Oz and I know our standards are different here.

I have a friend in the US who I chat to by IM and who I discussed on a number of occasions a confidential relationship problem I was having with a third party friend known to both of us. My friend goes online at home through a server (which I was unaware of) and system set up her partner who is an IT professional.

Unbeknown to both if us, her partner recovered or recorded these conversations off the server and forwarded onto our third party friend creating problems that were not needed and making situations worse.

Note there was threat or risk to any other party or involvement of violence, drugs children or any other significant issues.

The partner’s position was that as he owned the server and it was in his basement, he was entitled to do what he wanted with it and what ever was on it belonged to him and that because the equipment existed for him to hack it, no one had the right to expect privacy and lastly that ethics do not matter with respect to issues like this.

I believed this was ethically wrong and that the same arguments or situations could be set up with bugging the local land line, reading other persons mobile phone text messages, scanning mobile phone calls, opening their mail etc and that just because you can do something doesn’t make it ethically right to do so and that for a professional ethics do matter.

I would like your comments on the ethics of this situation and how you feel about the place of ethics in your industry in general.

It is on his server, he can do with it as he pleases.

If you want to discuss private matters via IM I suggest you use a client that allows for encryption (such as gaim otr).

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Ethically talking.... thats not ethical in any way, but! thats his server, he has the right to do anything he wishes on it.

I wrote once an essay on security and what does security REALLY means some years ago, i have it on paper, maybe ill post it as an article in some webpage, it was interesting.

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I suppose the question I am asking is noit wether he could but wether he should. Just cbecause you own something or can do something does that mean you should. If for example you leant a friend a mobile phone, does that give you the right to pick it up without her knowledge and go through the test messages stored on it. Is there a difference and why??.

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It's perfectly ethical for the owner of the server to do what he pleases with information that passes through it. Companies do this all the time when employees connect via a proxy server at work ... the employer reserves the rights to read and log any unencrypted transmissions that pass through their servers.

On the other hand ... what you seem to have is a moral issue between a couple, technology aside.

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