Sample Midterm


This is the actual midterm that was given in this class in fall 2004.

  1. What are the two formulations of the categorical imperative? (10 points)
  2. What are "logos," "ethos," and "pathos"? (10 points)
  3. Describe the Supreme Court case Katz versus the United States. Who was Katz and what was he accused of? What did the Supreme Court rule, and why is this decision important? (15 points)
    • How is a free market approach to privacy different from a consumer protection approach? What are the arguments in favor of each? (10 points)
    • Suppose that "Java du Jour," a chain of cafes with free wireless access, is monitoring unencrypted traffic over its network to find email addresses. Addresses found are added to their mailing list, and also given to the cafe's "corporate partners" for their mailing lists. They are mining not only the addresses of customers, but everyone who customers send email to--anything that looks like an email address that goes over their LAN, for any customer not encrypting their communications. The fact that they might do something like this is on page five of the seven-page click-to-accept license you must click every time you first log on at the cafe. Analyze the situation from both consumer protection and free market approaches to privacy. What responses if any would each approach suggest? (15 points)
  4. You work for a small software company that has been hired to write software for a chain of cafes, Java du Jour. The customer would like you to write code to gather all email addresses sent unencrypted over its wireless LAN (as described in the previous problem). Is writing the software ethical? What might someone in this situation do? Analyze the problem from act utilitarian, rule utilitarian, deontological, and stakeholder analysis points of view. Also refer to the ACM and software engineering codes of professional practice. (Copies provided with your exam.) (40 points)