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Question:

Discuss about the Email Spamming an Ethical Issue.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Most of the internet users are naive and they don’t understand the risks that are associated with the email spamming. Email spamming is growing and is the biggest problem faced by the internet users now a day. Most of the users can not find any difference between the junk mail and the spam’s (Al-Alwani, 2015). There are many issues produced by the spam email like unwanted irritation caused to the consumer, cause delay in the important email, Loss for the internet service providers as the consumers switches from their service to find consistent email delivery system, reduction in the performance of the internet service due to loss of bandwidth, theft of identity, increase in the possibility of virus attack, crashing of email servers, loss of economy, etc (Kumar & Sharma, 2014).

The report discuses about the ethical issues associated with the spamming of email. A proper analysis is done on the spamming of email and discussed in the report based on the theory of ethics. Solution for the governance of spam email is also discussed in the report that would help the consumer to freely use the internet service and reduce the risk of virus attacks.

 

Ethical Analysis of Spam Email

Generally the spam emails are sent in bulk to all different users from a source and the sending of spam emails need less computer resource but it consumes a larger bandwidth of the network (Gao, 2015). Thus the user can face a decrease in the internet speed and their regular email would get delayed to reach the destination. The spam emails are defined as the emails that are sent without the consent of the user (Boydell et al., 2014). The spam emails are sent for advertisement, promotion and marketing of company they not considered as illegal activity but still it is an unethical issue.

Utilitarianism

It is characterized under a class of typical morals that judges the outcome of a move made by a man about the rightness or misleading quality of the behaviour. By applying this hypothesis the result of a work done by an individual can be resolved. Thus from the theory of utilitarianism the ethical analysis on sending of spam email can be judged. The spam emails are sent to more than 100 million emails for the promotion of the product or advertisement. It is analysed that from the emails 1 of 10,000 respond to the email and buy the product (Roberts & Allen, 2015). About 90% of the people who buys the product are satisfied with the product and the rest 10 % finds the product useless for them (Singh & Thard, 2016). The people who not have any interest in buying the product find the email useless for them and they thinks it is wastage of time and money to read this email they simply deletes the mail from their inbox. The spammers who sent the mails gains lot of money by sending this mails and they continues their work (Drumwright & Murphy, 2014). The senders sending the spam email gains from the email even if one person responds to the mail. It costs 100 times less than the junk email and more emails can be sent at a time. It is found that with the spam email service the majority of the people face problem and less number of people gain from it (Johnson et al., 2014). Thus from the theory of utilitarianism it can be concluded that spamming of email are wrong and unethical.

Deontology

The Deontological ethics decides the rightness of an activity taking into account its consistence with social standards or principles as opposed to results. For instance, it isn't right to slaughter one regardless of the fact that doing as such spares a hundred lives since it isn't right to murder anyone (Zhou, Yao & Luo, 2014). Along these lines, judgments about what is great are regularly suspended for judgments about what is correct. As in the case over, regardless of that it is so great to spare the lives of hundreds, it is morally wrong to execute one individual. The problem of email spamming on viewing from the deontological perspective it is found that a small percentage of the client getting the spam email are happy with the service (Johnson et al., 2014). For example they get to know the internet rates the bank is providing for any loan or any ecommerce websites launching a new product, etc. However, the percentage of annoyed user is much more than the satisfied users thus as the rate of spamming rises there would be a rise in the unsatisfied users. If there is an increase in spamming the users may find alternative of email and discontinue the use of email service (Jones, Towse & Race, 2015). Assessing spam from this point of view unmistakably delineates a much bigger level of misery, which in understanding to the order of deontology considers such a go about as indecent and untrustworthy.

 

Social Contract

The social contract theory is a political philosophy that discusses about the morals and the political obligations based on the contract to form a healthy society. The social contact theory starts at the point of examination of the human behaviour in the present situation (Sarkar & Pandey, 2014). There should be a social contract between the client receiving the spam mails and the sender who sends the spam mails. In this condition, people's activities are bound just by their own energy and inner voice. From this mutual beginning stage, social contract scholars try to illustrate, in various ways, why a level-headed individual would intentionally agree to surrender their regular flexibility to get the advantages of political request (Zhou, Yao & Luo, 2014). The social contract theory states that there must be agreement that no harm would be caused by one person to other. The spam mails can be sent from different countries and fake emails like winning of lottery, asking for account information for giving discount, etc (Jones, Towse & Race, 2015). There must be reliability between two people to act according to the agreement. This contract can be provided by authorities like government to enforce the laws in social environment. The persons under the administration of the government are bound to follow the contract and thus everyone would be safe to each other (Drumwright & Murphy, 2014). But the government cannot control the foreign mails and thus the social contract must be implemented to have got rid f the problem.

Character Based

The spam email send by the spammers can be of two types that is image based or character based. The image based spam emails consume higher bandwidth than the character based Spam’s (Roberts & Allen, 2015). Thus it is unethical for the spammers to send image based spam emails to the users. They should adopt an ethical way for promotion of the service or advertisement for this character based with minimum number of characters in the emails can be used (Zhou, Yao & Luo, 2014). The minimum characters used in the mails would consume less bandwidth and thus not affect the internet speed of the user. The character based emails should be sending ethically to the users and there must be an option available to the client to block the emails if they are not interested to receive any spam emails further (Arora, 2012). The introduction of the option of blocking the spam email would be ethical and thus reduce in the consumption of the network bandwidth and the user would get more speed for the delivery of the general emails sent by the user. The ISPs can add filter to their mail servers and set the character limit of the mail and treat the mail as spam (Ouyang et al., 2014). They can also track the email source and block it permanently such that they cannot reach the destination. The ethical issue regarding the character based email service may arise but it can also be mitigated and less than the issue caused due to spamming of the email.

 

ACS Code of Ethics

Under the Australian Computer Society “Who should govern spam emails?” element is choosen for further discussion.

The governance of the spam emails should be done by the government or any other authorities bodies who can control the whole network and the email servers. The email spam is not considered as an illegal activity in most of the countries however some laws must be enacted to control the spamming of the email (Rowe, 2015). The email spamming has increased vastly in the recent days and if it is not controlled it grows on increasing and the customer can face problem when sending an urgent email (Farkas, 2014). They may face a lag in the delivery time and the email servers may even crash due to over loading. The senders of the spam emails gather email address by spoofing and other unethical activities and the user is unaware of the activity (Roy et al., 2013). Virus or malware can be transmitted to the destination computer if the spam email is sent from a virus affected source. The sender can also access the destination computer by implanting malware and spyware through the emails. The sender can access all the important mails of the destination and thus it is important to apply a code of ethics to the email spamming system to reduce the attack.

Thus there is a need for governance and it could be done by the government by implementing new laws or the ISPs implementing filters for the spam emails that would reduce the traffic. The users can also filter their emails according to their needs and not receive any spam email from unknown souce.

 

Conclusion

A proper ethical analysis is done on the spam email and it is found that the sending of spam email cause annoyance to the user and thus it is unethical to send emails to the person who gets annoyed receiving it. From the perspective of the consumer it is truly wrong to send spam. It is a direct result of the insignificant truth that there are undesirable messages that occupies the client. Some are even tricked by these messages, giving them the wrong data or problematic items by one means or another. Regardless of the possibility that it is used for the profit of the vender (chiefly encouraging their own particular bliss, in the matter of what the deontology delineates – that the best great might be accomplished) still the activity is illicit. Some way or another, it could offer joy to a few, however at last the greater part will endure, in this way making in discontent inescapable. Some mitigation techniques like implementation of the character based email or control of the spam by imposing rules that limits the spam email. Thus can be concluded that the email spamming is an unethical issue and it should be mitigated by finding new technologies.

 

References

Al-Alwani, A. (2015). Improving Email Response in an Email Management System Using Natural Language Processing Based Probabilistic Methods.Journal of Computer Science, 11(1), 109.

Arora, M. (2012). E-Security Issues. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY, 3(2c), 301-308.

Boydell, N., Fergie, G., McDaid, L., & Hilton, S. (2014). Avoiding pitfalls and realising opportunities: reflecting on issues of sampling and recruitment for online focus groups. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13(1), 206-223.

Drumwright, M. E., & Murphy, P. E. (2014). Ethical Issues of Social Marketing and Persuasion. The Handbook of Persuasion and Social Marketing [3 volumes], 175.

Farkas, B. L. (2014). U.S. Patent No. 8,667,074. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Gao, Y. (2015). Security Ethics and Economics.

Johnson, M. E., Brems, C., Hanson, B. L., Corey, S. L., Eldridge, G. D., & Mitchell, K. (2014). Conducting ethical research with correctional populations: Do researchers and IRB members know the federal regulations?. Research ethics, 10(1), 6-16.

Jones, H., Towse, J., & Race, N. (2015). Susceptibility to email fraud: a review of psychological perspectives, data-collection methods, and ethical considerations. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 5(3), 13-29.

Kumar, S., & Sharma, R. R. (2014). An Empirical Analysis of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail. Paradigm, 18(1), 1-19.

Ouyang, T., Ray, S., Allman, M., & Rabinovich, M. (2014). A large-scale empirical analysis of email spam detection through network characteristics in a stand-alone enterprise. Computer Networks, 59, 101-121.

Roberts, L. D., & Allen, P. J. (2015). Exploring ethical issues associated with using online surveys in educational research. Educational Research and Evaluation, 21(2), 95-108.

Rowe, N. C. (2015). Distinctive ethical challenges of cyberweapons.Chapters, 307-325.

Roy, S., Patra, A., Sau, S., Mandal, K., & Kunar, S. (2013). An Efficient Spam Filtering Techniques for Email Account. American Journal of Research, 2(10).

Sarkar, S., & Pandey, P. (2014). MONITORING & FEEDBACK ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK FOR A HIGH-PERFORMANCE DISTRIBUTED WEB CRAWLER. International Journal of Information Technology & Computer Sciences Perspectives, 3(2), 1002.

Singh, J., & Thard, N. (2016). Ethics and Its Importance in E-Marketing-An Empirical Study. International Journal of Multifaceted and Multilingual Studies, 3(5).

Zhou, B., Yao, Y., & Luo, J. (2014). Cost-sensitive three-way email spam filtering. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, 42(1), 19-45.

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