ISACA Journal
Volume 6, 2,014 

Book Reviews 

Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace, 5th Edition 

Richard A. Spinello | Reviewed by Maria Patricia Prandini, CISA, CRISC 

Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace, 5th EditionNew technologies are redefining the way people live and relate to each other. New modes of studying, shopping, enjoying free time, meeting people, voting and interacting with government and health institutions were unthinkable just 30 or 40 years ago. Based on these developments, many people get excited when thinking of all that could be done by taking advantage of these new opportunities. IT professionals are especially fond of adopting new ways of improving business performance.

However, as with almost everything in life, nothing comes without a price. And so, this rapid technological development, brought in particular with the emergence of the Internet, is not taking place without social costs and moral dilemmas. In fact, every day the notions of privacy, freedom of speech and intellectual property are being challenged by the ease for publishing, copying and disseminating information under different formats and by so many channels. And since most data reside in servers located somewhere in cyberspace, despite being unconnected to the servers, information can still be seen or treated by unauthorized people. IT professionals cannot ignore these facts.

And here is where Richard Spinello’s Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace becomes particularly valuable. This book helps readers understand the moral and social problems that technology can cause. It is important to know and understand these negative consequences in order to make responsible management and IT decisions and to avoid any adverse results on people.

In the six chapters of this book, Spinello discusses Internet ethical values, cyberspace regulation and content control, freedom of speech and intellectual property on the web, privacy issues, and the different perspectives of cybercrime. Dealing with complex moral issues, most of which are very debatable, Spinello manages to explain them thoroughly, showing different points of views and real-life examples.

Introduced in an easy-to-understand way, this book presents up-to-date, real-life case studies dealing with Google, Facebook, the Lulz Sec Hackers and eBay, among others. These cases and a set of questions included at the end of every chapter challenge the reader to think critically about the moral issues of cyberspace and contemplate the consequences.

Even though he explains how these developments can negatively affect society, the author takes a positive perspective, defining his book as “optimistic about the tenacity of the human spirit and the depth of moral conviction, even in cyberspace.”

Every IT professional should be aware of the challenges posed by cyberethics, and this book represents an opportunity to do so. This book reminds the IT professional to develop, implement, operate and control technologies with the protection of human values in mind.

Editor’s Note

Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace is available from the ISACA Bookstore. For information, see the ISACA Bookstore Supplement in this Journal, visit, email or telephone +1.847.660.5650.

Reviewed by Maria Patricia Prandini, CISA, CRISC, who has a long career as a public official in different positions related to information technology at the Argentine Government. Prandini was involved in the development of the National PKI and the foundation of ARCERT, the first governmental computer security incident response team (CSIRT) in Argentina. She is the immediate past president of the ISACA Buenos Aires (Argentina) Chapter.


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