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The Internet is Evil!

By bmetzler in News
Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 04:36:47 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

I just got the print edition of Industry Week and inside I found this article on the subject of corporate internet policies. The right to unrestricted access on the internet is a hot subject, and I thought a discussion for the employers side would be interesting and thought-provoking.

Libraries aren't responsible for users actions on the internet, and should try to do more providing of information then restricting. However, corporations have an private ownership of their resources, and usually determines what exactly what is and isn't allowed. But at the same time an employer shouldn't need to be monitoring in a 'Big Brother' type of manner. The article had a good point about only monitoring if there was reason to suspect resources were improperly being used.

Anyways, should an employer moniter all e-mail, and web usage? What is ethical, what is legally required, and what is the solution?


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The Internet is Evil! | 4 comments (4 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
This will become more and more of a... (none / 0) (#1)
by joeyo on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 03:15:45 PM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

This will become more and more of an issue in the coming years.

"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

Re: This will become more and more of a... (none / 0) (#2)
by Skippy on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 07:26:02 PM EST

First off, we can do without the sensationalist headlines. We get enough of those on Slashdot.

The article seemed to be pretty uneven. First they say:
"The Internet is just the source of the problem," says du Fresne. "The problem is that, during the day, someone obtained offensive material from the Internet and brought it into the workplace."
Which is just silly. The source of the problem is an employee who doesn't know what is or isn't appropriate. But then the go on and say something intelligent like:
"Monitoring frequently creates a problem with employee morale," says Valenza. "It is better to have an open-door policy so that if something offensive occurs the offended employee will feel free to tell management, which can then monitor."
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
Some people's attitudes blows my mind (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 08:52:34 PM EST

So few people seem to be able to understand that that when getting paid to be on a company's site and using tools paid for by the company and resources that must be paid for on a per use basis by the company that they should only engage in personal business with the permission of the company.

What's up with using an employer provided net connection to day trade stocks or look at pr0n? That's just plain wrong. That's the equivalent of using corporate lines for personal long distance or 900 service calls. That's just not appropriate.

From my view, my employer has never even IMPLIED that my time on their site is private in any way shape or form. I'm getting paid to do their stuff, not mine. Sure, I'd rather do without net monitoring, phone tapping and security camera's, but that is the employers right at their place of business. I have an equal right to go work elsewhere. And at least most employers are right up front about mentioning that they reserve the right to monitor phone or net use. Not many cameras are the hidden type, either.

Now, if my employer started monitoring my home net connection, I'd be the first one up in arms...

Re: Some people's attitudes blows my mind (none / 0) (#4)
by rusty on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 01:14:44 AM EST

This is all true. Like most things, there are clear-cut "That is Wrong" cases. But there are also cases that are not so clear. Should my employer read all of my email? Should I be warned clearly and in no uncertain terms before they do this? If i received a sealed letter addressed to me, at my employer's address, it would be a federal crime in the US for them to open it. Should email not be subject to the same provisions, and if not, why not?

I agree with you, in all the examples that you mention. However, a little thought, and it's easy to come up with liminal cases where it's not clear whether it's a company's right to monitor, or an invasion or betrayal of a "reasonable expectation of privacy."

Luckily I work for a cool company that lets me run this site on their bandwidth, and anyway, I'm root on the mail server. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The Internet is Evil! | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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