An Examination of Cross-National Differences on Computer-Related Ethical Decision Making

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As countries continue to heavily export information systems technology, the question comes to mind; "Will this technology be used in the manner in which it is intended?" This is not to pre-suppose malevolent intent, but is rather to query the ethical disposition of the customers of such technology. Legalities are defined by a culture, and ethics are, in theory, the basis of these legalities. If ethics between trading nations differ, then it is reasonable to expect that legal problems will arise during these nations' commerce. This problem can be best represented in the recent problems of alleged copyright infringement by certain Asian nations, as claimed by software manufacturers and the US Federal Government. According to the Asian companies purchasing the software, there were no illegal activities. Whether or not there were illegalities is for international political systems to decide. Whether or not there was unethical behavior is another, more fundamental question.