Making Soup Without Liquid: Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues Affecting Technology Decisions in Higher Education


John Oliver, a San Diego-based systems administrator, recently remarked that "any technical endeavor that ignores social aspects is doomed to failure. It's like making soup without liquid." This presentation will discuss the current legal, ethical, and social issues that should influence information technology decisions in institutions of higher education. Topics will include copyright, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and file sharing applications (, NAPSTER, etc.); privacy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; the First Amendment, Academic Freedom and appropriate use; policy development strategies; model educational efforts designed to encourage ethical use of computers; and tips about how to make decisions about technology use in an uncertain legal atmosphere.

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