Cyberstalking, Personal Privacy, and Moral Responsibility

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This essay examines some ethical aspects of stalking incidents in cyberspace. Particular attention is focused on the Amy Boyer/Liam Youens case of cyberstalking, which has raised a number of controversial ethical questions. We limit our analysis to three issues involving this particular case. First, we suggest that the privacy of stalking victims is threatened because of the unrestricted access to on-line personal information, including on-line public records, currently available to stalkers. Second, we consider issues involving moral responsibility and legal liability for Internet service providers (ISPs) when stalking crimes occur in their `space' on the Internet. Finally, we examine issues of moral responsibility for ordinary Internet users to determine whether they are obligated to inform persons whom they discover to be the targets of cyberstalkers.


Published: Grodzinsky, Frances S., and Herman T. Tavani. "Cyberstalking, personal privacy, and moral responsibility." Ethics and Information Technology 4.2 (2002): 123-132.