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Information cultures consist of the values, beliefs and behaviour relating to information ownership and management, while information ethics applies to the moral application of data. The author’s experience of Russia and its information culture provides a striking case study of the disastrous social and business consequences of an absence of information ethics. This paper was delivered in its original form at the First World Congress of Business, Economics and Ethics of the International Society of Business, Economics and Ethics (ISBEE), held in Reitaku University, Tokyo, in July 1996. The author is Associate Professor of Information Systems in the School of Business, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut 06430–5195.