n South African Computer Journal - Agents, security and ethics : a framework for analysis : research article




The domain of information security research is no longer exclusively of a technological nature as it has become permeated with aspects of human behaviour. Similarly the broad field of ethics is no longer only a human issue, as is reflected by the establishment of computing ethics as a separate research area. Advances in the past decade have led to the emergence of among others, new technologies, frameworks and methodologies in the field of computing. Examples include the Internet, global connectivity and agent technology - in particular agents. The attribute brings with it a concomitant human characteristic that is assigned to an inanimate technological object. It is even plausible to think of . This raises issues concerning information security as well as the ethical and social behaviour of intelligent agents.

In this paper we thus briefly discuss agent computing and its impact on the environment in which it exists. In particular we focus on some relevant security and ethical issues associated with agent computing. The purpose of the paper is to present a framework within which the security and ethical behaviour of agents can be evaluated and analysed.


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