A Case Study on Firesheep App

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Question 1: Questionable issues in NETBEANS IDE 8.2 EULA

The NETBEANS IDE 8.2 End User Legal Agreement indicates various conditions that seem questionable. One of the conditions include the provision of links to conditions set in other platforms such as the Java Development Kit, JAVA SE and Oracle JDBC. These conditions are not out rightly stated in the user agreement but links are provided to them. Such provisions may indicate that something is being hidden from the customer or user of the NETBEANS IDE 8.2. The license terms as provided may be overlooked by the user and emerge conflicting. Also, in the preamble, the license of the software states that the software is designed to take away the users freedom and share it upon change. This is contradictory to the General Public License which intends to guarantee the user’s ability to share and change free software. General Public Licenses are designed to ensure that the user has freedom to redistribute copies of the software as they wish. However, despite this provision being available, users who wish to use it have to pay and receive a code that will enable them to change the software or use part of it in some other programs. This implies that, one buys a software which they think is “free” (in terms of freedom; not price), and ends up paying again if they want to change it or use it in other programs. This aspect is against the General Public License which provides that “free” software ought to provide unlimited freedom to the user. The restriction in the NETBEANS IDE 8.2 software contract to it being termed as a free software since they apply to the distribution of copies and application of any changes to the software [1].

Question Two

The technological advancement tends to affect people in both positive and negative way. However, their innovative platforms dependent on available technology as opposed to individual’s perception ([2]). Firesheep app, which was created by Eric Butler, contained both advantages and disadvantages. The app provided extended services to the Firefox browser in 2010. According to the case study, I realized that individuals invent an innovative platform that could be used either negatively or positively, depending on the circumstances. Based on positive perspective, I think Firesheep helped to sensitize the media on security problems; where various apps like Firefox browser were exposed to possible threats. For example, the announcement of Twitter and Facebook-enabled social media users while using Firesheep further exposed its positive side. The above description, therefore, reveals how the invention of this platform by Butler helped many online sides to be vigilant and observable while using new platforms. The good side of Butler’s is also shown in how the app provided ethical advantages. By creating Firesheep, the inventor assisted online users to understand the impacts of inadequate security on social media programs.

The bad side of Butler’s invention is how it infringes personal privacy. According to him, the invention could enable easier access to someone’s accounts on certain online platforms like Facebook, thereby violating personal privacy. In addition to this, Firesheep could result in security threat and cyberbullying among various online hackers ([2]). By combining good and bad side of Butler’s invention, it is true that the inventor of new technology fails to have moral responsibility on the use of their invention to the public. Instead, the majority of them invent technology expecting to trend and gain fame as opposed to providing reliable services.

Work Cited

[1]Bugzilla.redhat.com, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/attachment.cgi?id=318099. [Accessed: 17- Nov- 2018].

 [2]A. Coronado, "Computer Security: Principles and Practice, Second Edition", Journal of Information Privacy and Security, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 62-65, 2013.

September 04, 2023

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