In an increasingly globalized world, we should strive to make Computer education more global, with global ethical themes that are recognizable and relevant both nationally and internationally. The ethical implications of the widespread use of Internet might be both enormous and to some extent still unknown.
To fight sexual abuse of children in digital media using project based teaching in relevant fields of education, is just such an example of a global ethical theme. And it is a theme that exemplifies one of the challenges as for ethical issues in the information age. In some cultures erotically pictures of pre-teen kids are allowed (Web sites containing Teen models, – USA), while in others it is considered to fall within the law of child pornography (Any picture placing a minor in a situation that could be interpreted as sexual, – Norway). In such instances whose laws and values should apply?
The theme of sexual abuse of children on the Internet is a theme that contains many of the important questions we as users of Information Technology are faced with. Is any picture of a naked, or half naked, kid on the Internet an abusive picture? Is all contacts between grown ups and kids on Chat a potential abusive situation, and if so should it lead to immediately surveillance of the grown up? Are individual rights to privacy an obstacle to the protection of kids online?
Project Getting Involved is now an integrated part of computer science education at Nesna University College, and the fight against sexual abuse of children and the use of ICT to distribute this kind of criminal content has been elected as the main ethical profile of the College. We hope that this project will be a tool in our teaching of Computer Ethics that to some extent will help our students to identify and analyze some policy vacuums and perhaps even find solutions that might resolve them.