The Ethics of Sharing
Call for Papers for Vol. 15 - July 2011
- Deadline for extended abstracts: January 31, 2011
- Notification of acceptance to authors: February 8, 2011
- Deadline for full articles: April 30, 2011
- Publication: July, 2011
Sharing has emerged as one of the core cultural and ethical values native to the networked environment. It is built both into the technical protocols that make up the Internet, and holds together distributed, mediated communities and
organizations (even if they try to limit sharing to members inside the organizations).
In information ethics, sharing has implicitly been discussed in terms of privacy, intellectual property, secrecy, security and freedom of speech, which together define the social character of the information environment. But recent developments such as WikiLeaks have shown that there is a need to go beyond discussing the legitimacy of access or restrictions. We need to address the motivations and ethical positions that compel people to share information, even at considerable risk to themselves. Has sharing of information a special virtue of the information society? How are choices of sharing or withholding information justified? Is sharing subversive of the new global information regime, or an integral aspect of it?
This issue of IRIE brings together contributions towards an ethics of sharing that embeds the technological potentialities in lived social experience. In our understanding, information ethics "deals with ethical questions in the field of digital production and reproduction of phenomena and processes such as the exchange, combination and use of information."