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Questions Of Ethics In Computer Systems And Their Future

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Questions of Ethics In Computer Systems and Their Future

1) Identify and discuss security issues and considerations evident for

Information Systems

And computerization in the brokerage industry. ( Think about how the

Internet has

already influenced trading.)

"The technology is getting ahead of regulators" claims David Weissman,

director of money and technology at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

If one is to believe the quote above it sounds very ominous for the

regulators and the government to attempt to even bring this media under any kind

of regulation. But, what is it that they the government agencies truly are

looking to regulate? If you take to the argument that this media, the Internet

is truly a public access network, then the control to which they would like to

extend to it would be the most regulated public access system in history. What I

believe the attempt here is to regulate through censorship. Since it is almost

impossible to censor the phone networks without actually eaves dropping on your

phone, they have decided to regulate and censor your written word. The danger in

this is what you write as an opinion may be construed by that government

regulator as a violation of some regulatory act. The flip side to this is if you

did this through another medium such as the phone system nothing would ever come

it. The bigger question here is how much government do people want in there

lives? The Internet was brought into the picture for the public as the next

great technology of this century. It is without a doubt as big if not bigger

than any other public means of communication that has come before it. With that

in mind I think the government is trying to extract it's pound of flesh for what

they believe is missed revenue dollars that could be made in the form of tax


"There are probably insiders touting stocks on the Internet either

anonymously or under assumed names," said Mary Schapiro, president of the

National Association of Securities Dealers, which oversees the NASDAQ market.

The argument that they are both (the government and NASDAQ) currently running

with is the "protection of the investor". When one looks at NASDAQ's complaint

it is fairly superficial, for them it is clearly a loss of income for their

trading environment

, for the government it is a loss of taxes that could be

derived from those trades. Are we to believe that both of these agencies only

have the best intentions at heart for those investors that might be duped. These

issues have been around for along time through the use of other mediums like the

phone system, direct mail marketing, "cold calling" from "boiler plate" houses,

and even unscrupulous brokers who work in legimate brokerage houses. People

today are still the victims of these types of scams through the use of the older

technologies. So how is it that since the older scams are still being used is

one to believe that they will have anymore success tackling the complex nature

of the Internet and the myriad of scams that could generate from it. The success

rate of convictions from past indiscretions is low at best, one only has to look

at the mountain of arrests for "insider trading", that the government launched

during the late 1970's through the middle 1980's to realize for all the hype of

cleaning up Wall Street not a whole lot ever came from the scourging. What it

seems to me is Ms. Shapiro would be better suited to try and align her NASDAQ

forum with the Internet technology to take advantage of the technology rather

than trying to use the government to bully people into being afraid to use the

technology. Her second quote of "there is a tremendous amount of hype," comes

off as nothing but sour grapes and a big opportunity to use her position to

knock the Internet. If she honestly believes she's done everything to insure her

customer base that her system of doing business is any bit as less likely to

fall victim to insider trading and traders touting of stocks beyond what they

should be touted as, she is sadly mistaken. The average investor is going to use

every opportunity presented to them if they think it will give them the

advantage in investing. Just look at places like Harry's at Hanover Square, a

popular bar in the Wall Street area where depending on the afternoon one would

only need walk around the bar to hear the broker types hyping their own stocks

to each other and just about anyone in sight. Are they ready to regulate this

very common practice done for the last



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