Software Forensics/Forensic Programming legal and ethical resources

(maintained by Rob Slade)

The best reference in computer ethics is probably still

"Computer Ethics", Johnson

A simplistic work which nevertheless raises most of the important questions is

"Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids", Winn Schwartau

A philosophical paper on the need to change the way we look at scientific credit and copyright raises a number of issues related to reverse engineering. Another intriguing look at the issue of copyright is found in chapter four of

"The Transparent Society", David Brin

The law is not served quite as well, and is subject to both national and jurisdictional differences. US law is in a particular state of change at this time. However, some references which may raise some of the general issues are:

"Syslaw", Rose/Wallace

"Borders in Cyberspace", Brian Kahin/Charles Nesson

A paper on forensic linguistics looks at the reasons why expert testimony may or may not be accepted. Another looks at proposed standards for digital evidence. There is also a list of resources for forensic linguistics.

There is a site that discusses recent developments in US law. Information on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) is available at UCITAOnline and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, a recent US act is said to allow copyright holders to attack sites that may be helping to break copyright. There are Web pages for the Bill itself (in PDF) and a press release with links to the Bill and discussion of it.

For the course given at BCIT, a number of resources are available on the BCIT server at

A number of academic papers are available online in Printer Definition Fromat (.PDF) or PostScript (.PS). Both formats may be viewed with The GhostView add-on for Ghostscript. Both are freely available. Information on downloading the software may be found at the Ghostscript Home Page,, GNU Project Ghostscript, and GNU Project Ghostview.

Software forensics/forensic programming table of contents: here or here.

Top level menu for security related book reviews: here or here.

Security glossary: here or here.