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No More Unrestricted Internet At Work

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the near-future-scenario dept.

Censorship 797

Schlemphfer writes: "You can forget about using private email or surfing the web while at work if these bozos have their way. And judging by the Reuters article, it looks like they might. Basically what they're doing is trying to scare senior management into thinking that allowing employees unrestricted use of the net will cripple a company with viruses and lawsuits."

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Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184497)

Your ad here. $5/week.

I remember when this was news (0)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184505)

Ahh, 1997.

Already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184509)

ITs already like this at our work... "Email virus" is the reasone they give...

Mine too (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184636)

Im at a pretty nice sized company, and they already block the email port completely. I can not use email no matter what except the corporate mail.

Most people smart enough to set up their own email in outlook express believe it or not, are quite concious of viruses.

Yes, we get them ALL the time. its amazing what people do. But lots of people don't care, they feel its better to open it at work than at home :D BTW, there are no provisions on company mail far as I know to block virused attachments.

I delete attachments.

So there is still company email, and webmail (yahoo, hotmail, etc.).

Personally, I just use pine...
Out web goes through the corporate proxy. I disabled that on my computer. what do I need that for?

They load all kind, ok ok ok, I'll stop here. Out IT department is the most horrible money wasting department in the company with all their "security" related crap they stuff on the computer, etc...I rolled my own install ;)

Yeah. (1, Insightful)

Shaman (1148) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184510)

Not to mention the unbelievable time-sucking vampire that is ICQ, IRC, AIM, etc.

Re:Yeah. (4, Interesting)

xiaix (247688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184623)

Aim and the rest have their legitimate uses too. We save hundreds of dollars in communication costs with our overseas factories, and the response time is better than with the telephone (even if they are on a call, they can still answer an IM).
Additionally, the occasional personal use tends to reduce the number of personal phone calls coming in dramaticly, so as long as it isn't excessive, we tend to let it slide.

Crippling. (2)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184511)

trying to scare senior management into thinking that allowing employees unrestricted use of the net will cripple a company with viruses

It will. Haven't you ever worked in IT before? Christ, what I wouldn't give to go back to the days of dumb terminals and VAXen, so I wouldn't have to deal with all of these Windows infections.


Yup. (3, Insightful)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184553)

Frankly, I'm surprised that this hasn't become more widespread, and long before this. My present employer's internal network was crippled for days by the nimda worm, all because some idiot salesdroid double-clicked on an attachment in her Hotmail account.

As the sole unix admin there, I mostly got to sit back and chuckle evilly, but half a week's lost productivity is no laughing matter when you're tallying up the balance sheets at the end of the month.

The bottom line here is that you are being paid to work, not to check your personal email, IM your friends, or post to Slashdot. If that seems unreasonable, start your own damn company.

Re:Yup. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184612)

Did you know that the anonymous sales droid that your talking about most likely creates the cashflow from sales that pays your wages or consulting fees. So... if you don't believe that this person is intelligent enough to protect the business network, why don't you get really creative and train them to protect your companies assets. Of course if you do a good job in this you would deserve to receive extra compensation... i.e. take a negative and turn in into a positive. That's how I think. Joe.

Re:Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184613)

Lemme guess, you're all for this "no-internet access" for employees, HOWEVER, as the admin, you're pretty much immune to such a policy, correct? You're still free to check your email and any website you wish when there's some free time, so why should you care?

Re:Yup. (2)

earlytime (15364) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184662)

it's your damn fauly, if the servers were patched, the worm never would have spread! Don't just blame MS, their products, but lazy admins are a major part of the outlook/iis worm recipe.


Re:Crippling. (4, Insightful)

banky (9941) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184573)

We went the other route: 100% Mac on the desktop. Immune to the overwhelming majority of virii (about the same as Linux, I think), we can Netboot from OSX Server, and the engineers get OSX for its Unix-y goodness.

Re:Crippling. (3, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184629)

We went the other route: 100% Mac on the desktop.

Speaking as an Apple employee and shareholder, thank you. Tell all your friends ;-)


What is the problem?? (2, Insightful)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184516)

For goodness sakes' people--your at work. Your not getting paid to check your email or surf for personal pleasure. Your getting paid to work for the company. It is also the companies connection, so they should be able to make those restrictions if they so choose. I don't understand why people get so up in arms about this.

Re:What is the problem?? (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184572)

Plus, the internet DOES suck up a tremendous amount of time. People are just mad because they LIKE reading slashdot on company time.

Re:What is the problem?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184601)

For goodness sakes' people--your at work. Your not getting paid to check your email or surf for personal pleasure.

Yeah, and I'm at work for 16+ hours a day. Fact is I have no other time to check my email, nor to use the conveniece of web-banking and shopping. In fact without being able to do this at work my existence would be untenable.

Re:What is the problem?? (2, Interesting)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184638)

Let me tell you, I worked EUC (End User Computing, a fancy name for troubleshooter) for a rather large and well known company (who shall remain nameless) and while it is true that we were working for the company and working on company time, it was a welcome breather durring lunch and inbetween the calls ("my computer doesn't work!") to be able to sit back and cruise slashdot, or spiffo ( or other sites to get a good laugh or catch up on the days geek news. Some days there just wasn't enough work to justify us being there (shhh, don't tell them I said that) but we had to be there, and slashdot saved us many a dull hour

Re:What is the problem?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184644)

I agree! While they're at it, get rid of the water cooler, windows (the things you look out, not the OS), pictures people might stare at, and anything else that *might* be a distraction in the workplace. We also need to put more research into mind control, so we can prevent people from any daydreaming during working hours.

Sheesh, if they employee's doing his/her job to satisfaction, I don't see what the problem is. If some shmuck brings down the network with a virus, or just plain isn't pulling their own weight, boot their ass then. Most jobs these days are barely tolerable as it is. Taking away the one benefit people might have will just knock down the morale a few more notches.

It will hurt them (1)

L-Wave (515413) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184521)

Sorry,but in my opinion, if they don't allow developers access to the extranal web, they will definatly be hurting themselves. Developing a different style of work, I believe a person can not jsut sit down a develop code for eight hours straight w/out a break. Usually it takes time to get away from the code and "take a breather" and going back to the code to figure out what is wrong. Really, a "breather" would most likly reading your favorite new site or something (slashdot?), if you restrict access, you will have a bunch of annoyed developers roaming the building in search of the elusive "full coffee pot" . heh, okay, off my rant/troll/whatever you want to call it =)

Re:It will hurt them (2, Funny)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184581)

Dear sir,

Please speak to my employer.

::wanders off to look for the coffee pot::


[slashdot for mental health!]

Re:It will hurt them (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184600)

I'm sure that in most cases if a business case can be made for it, it will pass. Some people do web research, some people relax by doing a little web browsing, etc. But there's no doubt that the internet has been the goof-off's best friend - and that a clampdown would result in a net productivity gain.

Re:It will hurt them (1)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184641)

If I unplug the ethernet cable from the back of my computer I'm automatically 50% less productive.

Part of the geek's brain resides on the internet. How many times a day do you find yourself up on the 'net doing research related to some project you're working on?

I agree that people who do not use the 'net for research should be cut off. But then, I think that in general.


Re:It will hurt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184664)

You really think that a productivity gain is an automatic given? You don't think for a second that people will just find something else to waste their time on? People will always goof off a certain percentage of the day, it's just convenient that the Internet is there to blame.

Gasp! You might actually find people socializing more often!

Re:It will hurt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184603)

Sorry, but the word "Extranal" just sounds -wrong-, a la goatse.

Scare Tactics (-1)

Kubik - The Original (559361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184522)

It seems to me that if these admins don't want unrestricted internet access in the workplace, then they are probably too lazy to setup security for their workstations to prevent viruses. It really isn't that difficult (or expensive) to setup some sort of firewall to prevent these kinds of problems.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184526)

If you are at work you don't need to be emailing jokes and reading Slashdot, which is why I am posting anonymously

They're right. (1)

Elentar (168685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184527)

Can't argue with what they're saying - security increases as you restrict access. If they don't have a problem keeping employees happy, who's to care?

For that matter, why bring the Internet to an employee's desk at all? Why not go back to a 1980's-era environment with a legacy communications package and a clunky internet email gateway? What good is this whole 'internet thing', anyway?
(end sarcasm)


GOOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184528)

How wonderful! It's good to know that USA economic & technological superiority is going downnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn... It's nice to see them sabotage themselves like that. The rest of the world will be happy. THANKS!!! :)

employee satisfaction (1)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184529)

When the current economy is pretty much the employer's market, the big guys can always impose more restrictions and come up with just about any logics behind it, to squeeze out every ounce of 'productivity' and to cut cost.

Sooner or later it will be the employee's market again, and lets see what the turnover rate is for a company that impose this rule. I also doubt that by not allowing employees to have some breaks using emails and web privately, productivity increases.

It's about control... (5, Informative)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184531)

At work we have somewhat of an answer to viruses. 20 file extensions including exe, pif, scr, com, bat, vbs, vbe, and others are filtered at the server into a "Quarantine" folder and reports are generated every few hours on it and piped to a line printer for our review. We deal with them from there by either giving them to the employee, or by responding to who sent it with an automagically generated email.

Additionally, all mail is screened against the server's pattern file, which tries to update itself hourly. If sometimes passes through mail, it'll be found if on a server, and the client software, which updates its pattern file upon logon, will find things as they're opened.

All with unnoticable performance difference. We haven't had a virus infection in a LONG time now.

Worms like Nimda are a bit more annoying, but we take things like this seriously, and by doing so, avoided Nimda and others completely.


As for net access, we do run reports on the proxy logs occasionally. Employees understand that they have little privacy in the workplace and that if we see them goofing off (except for after hours or at lunch), they do get an email regarding it. But we haven't had to do that in years. They more or less behave, because we trust them and they trust us.


Re:It's about control... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184617)

Why do you print it out? Why not just send them to a folder in your mail account? Do you have something against trees?

Re:It's about control... (1)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184646)

It was an idea, emailing it, or putting it in a folder in an exchange store, but sometimes you'd forget about it.

But when you hear a printer print a line (and not page feed either, just print one line and thats it) occasionally you go "Oh ya, printer" and head over there to see what's on it.

We also ship a lot of other information to it too, like sporking disks, low disk space, high memory consumption, high CPU use, etc. And with paper, we at least always have a hard copy.

We only go through 500 or so pages a year anyways

Yea, dont want any WORK happening. (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184532)

The studies show people with internet access at work waste 2 hours per day on it.

So the internet lowers productivity by 25% just by connecting to it. Anyone with any brains at all would pull the plug.

Re:Yea, dont want any WORK happening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184556)

But studies also show that it increases productivity by up to 50% for a net gain of 25%.

Re:Yea, dont want any WORK happening. (3)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184569)

I wish they would limit it at home too so I would get some work done because I wouldn't spend so much time on /. !!

Re:Yea, dont want any WORK happening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184593)

2 hours? What a bunch of underachievers. I spend at least 6 hours a day on the ole intarweb. My salary is huge if you divide it by the hours I actually spend working.

Re:Yea, dont want any WORK happening. (1)

fdsa (78632) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184597)

So, without internet access, people will spend those two hours drinking coffee, calling home, etc. Do you seriously think many people actually spend the whole 8 working hours on work?

Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184534)

Instead of disabling all email why don't they just uninstall f*ckin Microsoft Outlook; the cause of ALL of the email viruses.

Re:Security (2)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184650)

I'll go for that. And no one can argue that there aren't free alternatives. Pegasus Mail [] is free, and it's immune to auto-executing worms. The only kind that can still run are executables, but the way the program displays mail means the user has to try a little harder to find the file and run it. Add to that the fact that mass-mailing worms are currently written to look at Microsoft address books and not Pegasus's, and you have a pretty good solution.

And it ain't a half-bad e-mail client.

Not true for everyone (5, Funny)

JoshuaDFranklin (147726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184535)

I'm the guy with the passwords to the routers
connected to the T1 lines.

There are already a few hundred routes in the
tables... who's going to notice everything from
my workstation misses the filtering appliance?
Oh that's right, it's my job to make sure no one
*else* does this, too. ;)

Re:Not true for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184656)

Well, I'm the guy with the passwords to your routers connected to your T1 lines.

Guess I'll just surf the net on your company's dime if my own won't let me.

It's a joke. Geddit?

Re:Not true for everyone (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184658)

remind me to get in touch with you if I ever go work for the same company you do.

what's wrong with these guys... (5, Insightful)

bje2 (533276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184536)

what's wrong with these computer at home is way too slow to download all that porn...

seriously though, i'd go crazy if i had to work 8 hours straight without any, what if i shoot over to Hotmail to check my personal e-mail, or over to ESPN to check out the latest sports news, or even here to post my thoughts on the latest tech news topics...and that doesn't even count the numerous times i use the internet to look up java related things on Sun's website or trouble shoot my Websphere problems over at IBM...

what's the point of having all that information available at our finger tips if we can't use it...

Bozos? Gimme a break! (1)

jim_pearson (226020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184537)

Lemme see.... ya' didn't pay for the connection.... You aren't doing something work related... you might (and "might" is enough) introduce threats to the corporate network... you might (and "might" is definitely enough) open your company to drastic legal liabilities....

WHY should you get free use of the net at work? Remember, if you're "at work" you're getting paid for your time... so it ain't yours to do with as you please - it's the company's. Wanna surf porn / icq with someone pretending to be an 18yo cheerleader / look up your drug's interaction information / trade stocks / buy pez dispensers / etc? Get a computer at home, get a web connection and do it there!

(Unless, of course, your company is in the porn / 18yo masquerading / drug research / stock trading / pez buying business, that is. : ))

Re:Bozos? Gimme a break! (2, Funny)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184619)

What is more productive?

Scenario A: Employee needs break desperately, has net access and goes to /. to participate in brain-stimulating discussion regarding a variety of issues from copyright law to hardware to GPL issues. Returns to work refreshed and ready for a challenge.

Scenario B: Employee needs break desperately, does not have net access, wanders outside to smoke and oggle female co-workers. Returns to work with a hardon and a brain that is more fuzzed than before.

Proposed rule: Limit all NON-GEEK employees from accessing the internet. They mess with the bandwidth that could be better spend downloading the latest Slackware distro.


What am I supposed to do ??? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184539)

If I'm at work and management bans access to the internet, I won't be posting messages and reading newsgroups all day. Then what am I supposed to do?? Work???? What's that???

Security in the workplace (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184540)

There's constant tension in the workplace between adequate security and allowing employees to get their job done. If you've worked in any moderately sized company, you'll notice that there are several obvious things that the security department should do, but don't. Less use of plain-text passwords, more thorough searches at R&D sites, checking of CDRs, the list goes on and on. But much of this ends up costing the company more in terms of productivity lost because the employees are being hassled.

Certainly, there's room for an ebb and flow of security standards, but they're a limit to how oppressive they'll be, at least to the engineers. If things like web surfing have a few legitimate uses (eg. looking up technical documentation), there's no way it'll hampered much, because managers would quickly start complaining on behalf of their workers.

Stupidity finds no end (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184541)

Who knows ?

There are already enough stupidities to go around in corporate scene. Add this to the mess is nothing.

My friend actually worked in a company which actually COUNTS THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE GOES TO TOILET !

No kidding !

Re:Stupidity finds no end (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184657)

The company was a research company, right?

I bet they were researching the habits of coke users in the workplace.

Urgent Linux news (Not a troll! Check proofs!) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184542)

I would like to bring to the attention of my fellow Slashdot readers some troubling news: Linux is being used by Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, and other terrorist organizations with equally cool sounding names as an affordable and powerful tool for purposes of recruitment, passing coded messages regarding planned terrorist operations, and other insidious purposes. I will attempt to show some of the more obvious proofs I have discovered to back up my arguments.

  • The presence of an Islamic calendar (cal-islam.elc) as included with the xemacs package. This calendar is likely being used for determining significant dates (such as September 11) for terrorist attacks.
  • The word "terror" is mentioned several times in the Linux kernel source code (svr4.c in the abi/svr4 directory). This file was written by Mike "Jagdis" which is an obvious Islamic reference to terrorism.
  • The phrase, "terrorist act" is actually present in drivers/char/ip2main.c.
  • There are several references to the WTC buildings, again in the Linux kernel source code (in the drivers/scsi directory).
  • The freetype code includes the file internal/tterrors.h -- an obvious reference to "international terrorism".
  • Various files in drivers/char and drivers/scsi refer to "religious disputes" and "religious issues" (likely, the issues between God fearing American christians and evil Islamic terror mongers).
  • The word "plane" (a reference to the tragic airplane hijackings of September 11th) appears in several places in the drivers/char/drm directory.
  • Various references to the words "evil", "destroy", "bomb", "warrior", and "hate" scattered in places too numerous to mention.
  • The word "hijack" appears in Documentation/kernel-docs.txt, and "hijacking" in drivers/char/ChangeLog, which is also an obvious suggestion for future attacks.
  • The file fs/jffs/intrep.c contains the phrase, "Might as well commit suicide", which is an obvious suggestion to would-be terrorists to commit suicide bombings.
  • One of the maintainers goes by the name, "Andreas Bombe", with the e-mail address, [mailto] . Obviously this is a hidden message indicating the next target for terrorist bombings is some place in Munich, Germany.
  • Take a look at the book cover [] of ``Professional Linux Programming'' and decide for yourself which of the 15 authors has obvious terrorist links.

I am sure I have only scratched the surface of this disturbing conspiracy. I strongly urge the Slashdot readership to support American companies such as Microsoft [] who only hire patriotic American citizens and to boycott any company which is involved with Linux (as they are directly supporting terrorists). I sincerely hope the CIA or FBI can look into the actions of open source developers. People like Linus Torvalds should be taken into custody and have all assets seized.

Act now before it is too late!

How much has net research saved companies? (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184545)

How much does your company benefit from researching a problem on the net? I can't even count the number of times I've hit google and found an answer while on hold with a vendor, or asked a friend on jabber and gotten a response and had a problem fixed before getting a callback "within your service contract"

I don't know what the cost is for random secretaries emailing urls around, but my use of the net has always helped a company far in excess of any time wasted checking my personal email.

Foolish. (4, Insightful)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184548)

Crippling access to anything often denies legitimate uses of things and forces the employees to come up with outrageous work-arounds if they're smart enough. If they're not, then they just bother the IT staff to death with a million questions as to why they can't do the research needed, or recieve the .exe file that they need to complete their work.

I remember being in a school that had open internet access, then going to another school that had limited internet access and constantly being frustrated by the limitations imposed. I couldn't download the application I was working on and test it on a new machine, I couldn't go to a website talking about Middlesex county. There were a lot of legitimate things that I wished to do that I was blocked from, yet I could go to satanic websites, pro-life websites with all sorts of horrid imagery, and more.

Most attempts at controlling content end up being failures. Bring this to the attention of those seeking to control the information you recieve and you'll get a confused look, they'll pause and say "I don't know why you couldn't access that site. You should be able to."

I think it would be better to leave things open and dock the pay of any employee who violates "Guidelines". Let 'em hang themselves. Set up the "filters" not as filters that block the person but as flags that flag the IT staff regarding potential illegal use. The IT staff could then investiage and initiate a "three strikes" scenario. Strike one- warning, strike 2- docked pay, strike 3- no more internet access no way no how.


Wasn't yours to begin with.... (3, Insightful)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184549)

People seem to think they have a right to surf the net and send anything they want from work. Well, that's not the way it is. The computers and Internet connections are owned by the company. They don't pay people to do that stuff.

Due to viruses and other problems I've blocked any attachment capable of carrying a virus. Yes, it's sometimes a hassle but that's the way it is now. Management has requested we monitor the type of sites people visit just to make sure there isn't a big problem. So far they haven't requested user lists or specific sites. They won't until XXX sites start getting out of hand.

Viruses, security holes, and loss of productivity have caused these limits to be placed. Want to surf for fun, do it at home.

Re:Wasn't yours to begin with.... (5, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184611)

Blockquoth the poster:

They don't pay people to do that stuff.

Sounds fair. Now, of course, I'll just stop doing any sort of work outside the contracted time. Inspirational idea in the shower? Too bad. Clever way to save the company money thought up during the commute? Guess someone else will have to think it up during approved times.

This is part of the insane attitude that one's workers are one's worst enemies. Letting people do these little things is far from bad for business. It is most likely actually good as it creates an environment where people feel invested and where they have the wild concept that maybe their employer sees them as more than "production units".

But of course that assumes there's actually value in labor, and that's anathema to the modern capitalist.

Re:Wasn't yours to begin with.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184647)

Most people don't think of ideas outside of work hours.

Re:Wasn't yours to begin with.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184621)

I would have thought most companies already have rules about web usage (only work-related sites) and use them only for those that appear to be abusing it (hmm..Joe's spent 6 hours yesterday on ebay and hotmail). Given the sexual harrassment lawsuits, the XXX sites would certainly be the first on the list to be blocked.

Whatever (2)

waldoj (8229) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184550)

I just can't have a problem with this. As somebody who has been both employer and employee at tech firms, I can say from both experience and idealism that there ain't nothing wrong with employers filtering Internet access. When you're at work, your time is your employers'. Inherently.

If you are unhappy with the fact that your evil corporate money-grubbing employer doesn't want you dicking around on company time...well, good luck in getting a new job.

-Waldo Jaquith

Re:Whatever (1)

JordanH (75307) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184648)

Over 90% of Internet access from work is almost certainly "dicking around", as you say. But, that other 10% can be a big time saver.

I just subscribed to Safari ( on my own dime the other day. It's already saved me a lot of time in pouring through manuals (or worse, a trip to the bookstore to get the manual).

Then too, there's a lot of applications that I access on the web.

I am sick of all the stupid video "humor", though. Big waste of bandwidth. I wouldn't mind a bit if all that was blocked.

The folly of this BS (3, Insightful)

jmorse (90107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184552)

This won't work for people who do more than automaton work. If you restrict net access or filter sites in any way, you risk employee burnout, employee morale, and employees' ability to research job-related stuff. If my company used filtering or blocked my internet access, I might not be able to get the information I need to do my job. What happens when I need to look for API documentation?

This is kind of like curing athlete's foot by amputating the patient's leg.

Re:The folly of this BS (2)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184598)

"What happens when I need to look for API documentation?"

You have MSDN (or whatever the documentation is for your API) installed on your hard drive.

Yes, I sometimes look up Win32 API calls on the internet, but usually when I am out doing a contract somewhere and haven't got MSDN docs installed anywhere.


Re:The folly of this BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184665)

Well, that's when you go to your supervisor and tell them that you need access in order to do your job. Most of what's being discussed in the article is already being done. Think about it. Your employer doesn't pay you to look at porn, ebay, etc. If most of the urls you are hitting are tech related and can be useful information for your job, they probably aren't going to care. Filtering email attachments is a valid practice given the potential for damage on MS desktops. I doubt anyone is going to burnout because they can't hit the web.

Re:The folly of this BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184666)

> If you restrict net access or filter sites in any way, you risk employee burnout, employee morale, and employees' ability to research job-related stuff.

No wonder civilization lay in shambles for 1000's of years before the Internet was invented! Everyone was burned out, had low morale, and couldn't do any research. Oh wait, people did absolutely fine. Burnout and low morale are signs you're being managed into the ground. Giving people a lollipop isn't going to fix the real problem. And if your job requires research that doesn't come on dead trees, it should be mirrored onto a local site. That way your coworkers and the person after you doesn't lose it. Very few people actually need to do the searching though. The vast majority of people don't ever need direct Internet access to do their job or do their job easier/faster/better. Only a tiny fraction of what's left needs it all the time.

Back to the Future (2, Interesting)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184554)

In the 19th and early 20th century, at the heart of the industrial revolution, working conditions were appalling. There were no government restrictions on what employers could require from employees.

As a result of the socialist labour movements, both through their political arms and through strikes and other actions, work place reforms were put in place.

Age limits were raised, limitations on salary cutting was introduced and dangerous machinery was forced to be made safer.

Now, at the beginning of the 21C, we have forgotten those gains and how they were made. We have forgotten that employers must be kept in check by organized employees.

If you stand alone, they will monitor every aspect of your lives, from email to web surfing, to drug use. The actions in this article are only the beginning.

Remember that old saying, which is now so relevant - in Union is Strength.

Re:Back to the Future (1, Flamebait)

chazzf (188092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184610)

If you stand alone, they will monitor every aspect of your lives, from email to web surfing, to drug use. The actions in this article are only the beginning.

Pure and utter FUD. No one forces you to work for them. Email uses company resources, esp. time and bandwidth. That is a legitimate concern. Drug testing is not unusual, and can be justified. Suppose the company doesn't want a drug-user working for them? Entirely their right. As it is your right to leave if you don't like the policy.

Funny, the communists (your name suggests an affiliation thereof) aren't known for the opportunity to choose.


Typical Use Just as Bad... (2)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184559)

I run an e-mail system/network for a medium sized business. I won't discuss our policy but even users that follow the policy to the letter, they are still open to viruses, trojans, internet worms and SPAM from e-mail that I haven't developed filters protect against. If you don't know about it how can you protect? (for the most part -- I spend an hour a day tracking this garbage). I have had women in the 50s receive pornographic e-mail SPAM that I know they wouldn't have signed up to receive and got past a RBL. You do your best to filter without creating false positives but data must travel back and forth for business to flow.

These e-mail filters from outside companies might make it harder to be sued for sexual harrasment because you are showing an active pursuit of purity but it does not prevent the porno from making its way into your system 100%. You can protect the inside of your company so it doesn't go out but its hard to protect it from those people outside of your network that want to pass on the "funny, dirty picture" with one of their friends that happens to be your employees.

Web filtering is a lot easier to do and doesn't require and expensive commercial package. Squid + SquidGuard have been a perfect match for my purposes.

My solution when C-level management calls for these sort of filters is by giving them what they ask for -- all the way. After a few days, they will always want them relaxed. I always find it funny its never the grunts that are the ones abusing e-mail, its always the suits! :)

Long, non-widened page! (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184560)

.I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could . be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .ar e .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you . are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have . to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling . you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .pe r .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens . and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .fil ter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .ma ny .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .c ertainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .peop le .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE . WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish . all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .y ou .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .n arrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because . you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness . filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enou gh .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .whe n .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .l ame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there . i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .wh ole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .anno y .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginni ng .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wi de .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wid e .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .co oler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used . to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry . about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that . you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .th at .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you . have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defea ter .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people . will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .ho pe .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is . just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS . BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .c ould .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pag es .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages . you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .h ave .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .tell ing .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charater s .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .hap pens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lamenes s .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .h ow .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment . I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many . people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .P AGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I . wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .d ont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .th ose .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .b ecause .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .la meness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .ha ve .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .su cks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put . some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in . there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .t his .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesn t .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the . beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .l ike .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be . as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .m uch .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are . used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .w orry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you . that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .li ne .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and . you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter . defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .p eople .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certai nly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .T his .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDE NING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all . pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .w ide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow . pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you . dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filte r .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .c haraters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .th at .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame . lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wo nder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole . comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .to o .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .b ecause .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .p ages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as . this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .t han .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .rea ding .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about . the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .do n't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .rea lly .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .t o .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .te xt .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will . read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it . doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just . the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK . I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could . be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .ar e .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you . are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have . to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling . you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .pe r .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens . and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .fil ter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .ma ny .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .c ertainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .peop le .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE . WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish . all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .y ou .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .n arrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because . you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness . filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enou gh .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .whe n .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .l ame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there . i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .wh ole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .anno y .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginni ng .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wi de .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wid e .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .co oler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used . to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry . about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that . you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .th at .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you . have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defea ter .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people . will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .ho pe .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is . just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS . BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .c ould .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pag es .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages . you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .h ave .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .tell ing .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charater s .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .hap pens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lamenes s .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .h ow .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment . I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many . people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .P AGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I . wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .d ont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .th ose .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .b ecause .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .la meness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .ha ve .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .su cks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put . some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in . there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .t his .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesn t .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the . beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .l ike .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be . as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .m uch .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are . used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .w orry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you . that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .li ne .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and . you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter . defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .p eople .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certai nly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .T his .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDE NING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all . pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .w ide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow . pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you . dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filte r .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .c haraters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .th at .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame . lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wo nder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole . comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .to o .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .b ecause .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .p ages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as . this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .t han .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .rea ding .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about . the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .do n't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .rea lly .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .t o .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .te xt .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will . read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it . doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just . the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK . I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could . be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .ar e .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you . are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have . to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling . you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .pe r .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens . and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .fil ter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .ma ny .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .c ertainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .peop le .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE . WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish . all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .y ou .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .n arrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because . you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness . filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enou gh .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .whe n .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .l ame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there . i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .wh ole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .anno y .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginni ng .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wi de .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wid e .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .co oler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used . to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry . about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that . you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .th at .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you . have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defea ter .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people . will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .ho pe .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is . just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS . BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .c ould .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pag es .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages . you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .h ave .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .tell ing .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charater s .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .hap pens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lamenes s .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .h ow .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment . I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many . people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .P AGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I . wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .d ont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .th ose .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .b ecause .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .la meness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .ha ve .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .su cks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put . some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in . there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .t his .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesn t .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the . beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .l ike .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be . as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .m uch .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are . used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .w orry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you . that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .li ne .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and . you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter . defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .p eople .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certai nly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .T his .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDE NING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all . pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .w ide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow . pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you . dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filte r .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .c haraters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .th at .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame . lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wo nder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole . comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .to o .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .b ecause .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .p ages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as . this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .t han .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .rea ding .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about . the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .do n't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .rea lly .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .t o .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .te xt .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will . read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it . doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just . the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK . I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could . be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .ar e .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you . are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have . to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling . you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .pe r .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens . and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .fil ter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .ma ny .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .c ertainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .peop le .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE . WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish . all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .y ou .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .n arrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because . you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness . filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enou gh .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .whe n .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .l ame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there . i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .wh ole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .anno y .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginni ng .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wi de .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wid e .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .co oler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used . to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry . about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that . you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .th at .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you . have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defea ter .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people . will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .ho pe .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is . just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS . BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .c ould .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pag es .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages . you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .h ave .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .tell ing .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charater s .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .hap pens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lamenes s .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .h ow .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment . I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many . people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .P AGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I . wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .d ont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .th ose .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading

I hate you KEVIN EALY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184660)

Klerck's real name is Kevin Ealy. He lives in Charleston North Carolina. He lived at 14 Stanhope Road, Goose Creek, South Carolina about a year ago. He might be employed somewhere in the technology/computer business, attending school, or living off his parents. He posts on [] very often with his username [] like he has no life. Kevin has a website [] . He uses Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. He might look like this [] minus the gigantic penis of course. He enjoys photography with his Kodak(?) digital camera and is a member of an internet art club. Probably not much older than 20 or 21 and might live with his parents. He might also troll under the names of Patrick Bateman [] and Mr. Nutty.

Please distribute this information in order to destroy the pathetic life of Kevin Ealy.

If you have any further information, please reply.

Thank you.

Limited resources (2, Informative)

Victa (186697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184562)

Whilst it may be a bit extreme to say "criple" ther is some justification there...

I am the system administrator at a college here in Australia and if we did not filter/limit the kids access to the internet then all the bandwidth on our (meager) internet connection would be soaked up by kids wasting time on MUDs, IRC, HotMail, Chat, Online games, Warez sites, and other such activities, and the staff and students who actually try to do some work (research/E-mail etc) would have a hell of a time trying to get anything done.

So whilst I agree that private use of the 'net should be allowed, there is limits that need to be put on WHAT private use is allowed. Not only to free up the bandwidth for legitimate uses, but also free up computers for thos that wish to work rather than just waste their time...

Re:Limited resources (1)

Cirvam (216911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184642)

soaked up by kids wasting time on MUDs

Muds don't exactly use up massive amounts of bandwith, I mean you can play most of them on a 14.4K modem, probably even something slower. If your school is that hard up for bandwith your in trouble.

Is this so bad? (2, Insightful)

javaman235 (461502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184564)

What you gave you the idea that you HAVE the right to deal with your own shit on somebody else's time??? I actually thought this was one of the prime arguments to using Linux on the desktop: It gives the manager top level control over the applications that can be used while employees are on the clock, so that the employer can define the workflow on the computer, rather than having people you are paying by the hour checking their email surfing etc. That just doesn't make sense...

Of course their are exceptions...Not allowing developers access to the internet for research and such is suicide...But for many jobs this is perfectly valid.

Time to vent (2, Insightful)

tweek (18111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184566)

Jesus christ! Has anyone on slashdot EVER worked in a corporate IT environment?

Let's take this quote right here which sums it up:

"The message is: 'I'm afraid you'll have to do it after hours at home, which is where you should be doing it in the first place,"' said Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research for Finish-based F-Secure Corp.

Where does ANYONE get off thinking company resources are PERSONAL resources? How is this a limitation of ANYONE'S rights? Do you think you have the right to drive the company car across the country for a personal vacation? Do you think you have the right to use the company FedEx account to send Christmas presents to your sister in New York? Then how in the hell do you think you have the right to use company network resources to send personal email and use ICQ? Would your boss let you sit there and read the newest John Grisham novel when you should be working? Then why do you think you are allowed to read slashdot all day?

People need to grow up. When you are at work, you should work. If your company is NICE enough to let you use resources for personal use then fine but you do NOT have a right to do anything with something that isn't yours.

Christ I need a beer.

Re:Time to vent (2)

Anonynnous Coward (557984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184631)

Jesus Christ! The examples you cite (car, FedEx account) both actually have some cost to the company that's significantly greater than zero. An employee spending some time on the web does not--if he weren't surfing, he'd be doing something else to slack off, and if he doesn't produce, as the capitalist toadies here have pointed out numerous times already, he can be fired.

This is a "security" software company using the press (if you can call Yahoo! News the press) to try to drum up some business with scaremongering tactics. The people in their virus-writing division have probably been slacking off surfing the web, thus reducing the demand for anti-virus software, so they've got to sell something.

Christ, I need a Jaegermeister [] !

P.S.: In answer to your first question, no, I've never worked in a corporate eye-tee environment. I prefer the company of intelligent, productive people to that of hyperpolitical, network nazi, tattle-tale tech wannabes that infest most corporate eye-tee environments.

Re:Time to vent (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184653)

The examples you cite (car, FedEx account) both actually have some cost to the company that's significantly greater than zero. An employee spending some time on the web does not--if he weren't surfing, he'd be doing something else to slack off, and if he doesn't produce, as the capitalist toadies here have pointed out numerous times already, he can be fired.
Well, HOT DAMN! CPU cycles and Internet bandwidth are ZERO COST?! Then WHAT the HELL am I paying for them for?

Uh, It's a privilege, not a right... (2)

UsonianAutomatic (236235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184568)

Granted, I would be pretty upset if my external e-mail and internet access were taken away, but my employer would be well within their rights to do so.

I use the internet quite a bit while at work; it's an invaluable programming reference. Any surfing beyond that, though, is technically an abuse of company resources. I'm pretty good about sneaking over here to Slashdot only on short breaks, but there are times when I let the mouse wander a little more than I should.

In a big company, lots of employees surfing around and forwarding stupid jokes and viruses to one another can cost a company in terms of both bandwidth and lost productivity.

Having internet access at work is nice and all, but a God-given right it ain't.

And this is a bad thing because? (2)

chazzf (188092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184575)

I have to agree with the above posters that companies have a legitimate point here. Flash animations, greeting cards, personal email, pr0n...all this stuff takes bandwith folks. Moreover, all this stuff will travel over the COMPANY's network on COMPANY time.

Worse, let's say Dumb Secretary #1 opens up an ILOVEYOU-type virus (I saw such a case on the evening news at the time.) Boom-infected machines that will have to be cleaned up. This is most certainly a BAD THING.

Now, before I'm flamed by the personal freedoms crowd, let me point out that work is a privilege. You have been hired by said company to perform said tasks. You have not been hired to bid on eBay, manage your stocks, or visit the Hamsterdance. Those people who need access, like developers, will likely be granted it. The article means companies in general, some tech firms probably won't mess with it.

We'll have to see where this goes, but I say let's wait and see.


Blame those responsible (1)

Lips (26363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184576)

When it comes to security issues, why is it so hard for companies to demand that the software they buy is fit for purpose? The software is designed for the internet, surely they know by now, that the internet is bad place, so they should create it with this in mind.

It all comes back to crappy software.

Not viruses and lawsuits... (2)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184578)

I think corporations biggest threat is lost productivity time from programmers reading slashdot. (I bet I'm about the 75th person making this comment).

No personal email? (2)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184580)

Without personal email, how would I do my job the one day each week our Exchange server decides to stop routing Internet email? Err, well...maybe that's what our exchange network's real goal is, and they are just randomly phasing it in a little at a time.


woo (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184587)

Revolution OS is on the sundance channel if anyone cares. Off-topic but I'll post it at +1 so it takes a few minutes to get modded down.

Slacking is a mentality, not a problem with rules (0)

clangro (564048) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184588)

You can put as many rules into place as you like, but an employee that just doesn't feel like working at the moment simply won't work.

Right now he might be checking the news and sport scores on the internet, and if you remove that, he'll go to his buddy in sales and talk about the game last night instead for a few minutes. Then you can put in rules to prohibit conversation off of break times, and then he'll just space out at his desk. Most people slack at their job for some part of their day. It's human nature, but unfortunately, these spin doctors make it sound like 7.5 hours a day employees are browsing looking for a new job and downloading virii.

You don't need to have some sort of special outlet to slack off, you simply have to not want to work.

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184590)

Eliminate Outlook and 99% of your virus threats disappear immediately, and at little to no cost.

FUD FUD FUD!!!!!!!! (5, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184592)

Here is the CLOSEST quote to identifying a firm that is contemplating cutoff of access:

"As a result, companies are considering dramatically curtailing, or even abolishing completely the freedoms, on which employees have grown increasingly reliant over the past few years. "

Companies? What "companies"? The only firms named in the article are firewall and security companies that are spewing the fear used in this marketing spewing article.

No real management is going to take this seriously.

Re:FUD FUD FUD!!!!!!!! (1)

sweet reason (16681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184624)

No real management is going to take this seriously.

there was a time when that was said of Windoze too.

They take it seriously where I work!!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184655)

Where I work, we completely cut off access to the Internet from nine to noon, and one to five. In other words, if you want to do anything on the Internet, you can't do it during regular business hours (except during lunch). In our case the purpose was not security or reducing liability, but to increase the productivity of our coders. Management wasn't too happy with the amount of time programmers spent web surfing and IRCing.

Some coders complained they needed to use the Web for reference and research purposes, so we set up a single computer with 24 hour Internet access in a very public area where everyone could see whether or not you doing something work related. Surprisingly, it doesn't see much use.

This whole policy was none too popular (as you might imagine) when it was first implemented a few months ago. But by every objective measure, productivity is very markedly improved, bugs are fewer, we're getting things done within a reasonable time frame for a change. It still isn't a popular policy, but even the programmers who most resent the policy have had to admit (grudgingly) that it works.

It's all marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184594)

Of course anti-virus companies like F-Secure are promoting this attitude. It helps sell their products! Stir up some paranoia about viruses, sell some anti-virus software.

Watch, they'll stir up some other security paranoia, and lo-and-behold, they'll come out with some management-oriented spyware to sell for big bucks!

Bad User, Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184596)

As long as individuals are not capable of dealing with security issues (Windows, Unix, Linux, *BSD, Mac, or otherwise), allowing traffic to flow in and out of corporate networks is plain dumb.

I hate to be mean to our fine airport security officials, but we're dealing with the same thing in the workplace... people are doing the job (patting down grandmothers or not clicking on Anna Kornikova virii) but they're not doing it well enough.

If my business depended on systems working and internal data not being mailed around the world at random, I would tell people to go to the cafeteria and use externalized chat machines on their lunch time or coffee breaks. Those machines would be completely and totally separated from the internal network. Nothing wrong with that, and it keeps the line between personal email and company property quite clear.

Call me anonymous draconian coward if you must.

Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184605)

So basically, what they're saying:

"It's not Microsoft's fault but the fault of your dumb users."

D) All of the Above (1)

Terry Dignon (548614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184606)

it seems that everyone is up in arms for either side, although maybe it should be thought out in a more rational manner.

1. 95% of all viruses seem to be windows based...therefore switch to linux/bsd/whatever!
2. although management is afraid that allowing people unlimited access to the internet will hurt productivity (viewing p0rn, aim, irc..etc) think about how such a loss of information will hurt it.
3. what good is a "blazing" t3 connection when you cant take advantage of it?

yes, i speak the obvious, my arguments are illogical and my thoughts scattered but i still present thee with my two cents. wait..nm, i need it for the bus ride home. =)

Let's be honest. (1)

Burgundy Advocate (313960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184608)

It's absolutely true.

Most people use the net for what? To waist time. To send blue mountain cards. To look at the newest pictures of Britney Spears [] . To play (unnecessarily violent) video games. To browse message boards. To forward inane emails about how "you are loved!!!1!!! (if you foward this to everybody u know!!!)". To click on anything anyone sends to them.

The internet is extremely disruptive to most people's work. I wouldn't be suprised if it was one reason the dot com economy didn't do so well. If anything, the internet is more inane and disruptive than watching TV.

Now would you let your employees watch TV all day, every day? Unrestricted?

I didn't think so.

(I am rather amused that this is under "Your Rights Online. The Internet at work? A right? Hah!)

Not very logical (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184609)

The more freedoms that are taken away from me at work, the less time I spend at work. My terms of employment state that I must work 35-40 hours per week. I usually work 60, but I feel it's fair considering I do conduct personal business (phone calls, online shopping) during daytime hours. The company gets the better part of my exess hours, I feel that we're both getting what we need. My managers have someone who's there when they need him, and who is flexible.

Take away my abilities to do those things, and I will become more "letter of the law". I only HAVE to work 35-40 hours.

Fairly weighing the risks (2, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184630)

These things are often presented as if the "conservative" action is to restrict usage. But, for example, restricting access to the web means restricting instant access to the whole of the world's static knowledge store. Operating with no access to information seems a risk, too. So it isn't a choice between "risk" and "no risk", it's a choice between "one risk" and "another risk". I never seem to see it presented that way, though.

I also don't understand the focus on racy and inflammatory stuff as the biggest risk to a company. The biggest risk to the company is not the Internet but the Intranet. It's often the case that in a single button click, one can get to the corporate secrets and with little more than a few more keystrokes one can output that info to a file and mail it to a party outside the company's walls. That risk outshines the risk of pornography in many cases.

And, finally, a lot of this seems a scapegoat for lazy/bad management. If your employees are productively yielding what they should, what difference does it make where they are surfing. And if they are not yielding what they should, why not address that issue?

Just don't use OutLook and get Norton AntiVirus. (1)

EMR (13768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184635)

I can partially understand their view... but that's a tad extreme..
At the college IT dept were I was working at I did not allow OutLook to be used.. or if the staff or teacher wanted to use it.. I didn't support it.. (they tended to not like that when things blew up in their face. aka missing e-mail/address books, or NASTY viruses).. I also had Norton Corporate Edition installed on all the systems.. which has a central point of command.. I can automatically update the virus defs on all systems in a flash.. and all the quarenteens get dumped to one location.. I can also install NAV-CE on any new system from the server.. (as long as they were NT4.0 or Win2K)

However, the issue did arise were some employees abused their access to the internet and didn't work and just played.. mainly the guy whow was supposed to be the SysAdmin at the place, which actually I was doing all of his work as he slacked off playing EverCrack and reading pages of EverCrack forums.. And would you believe that they didn't want to fire him.. and he was doing this for about 4 months before they finally canned him.. and Then they refused to hire me for that position (which I was already doing that AND the programming).. well.. the're screwed now as I left and they haven't a clue how to run things... OH Well...

Rights On the Line (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184637)

So why is the article under the "Your Rights Online" section?

Face it, he who owns the property gets to set the rules for it. If I refuse to let Timothy redecorate my bathroom for proper feng shui alignments, I am hardly infringing on his freedom of religion. Yet somehow if I don't allow him to use my computer to cruise for pr0n I am somehow infringing on his rights.

If you own that workstation in your cubicle, go do whatever you want with it. But if you boss owns it instead, then you had better follow his rules regarding it.

This isn't about "Your Rights Online", but rather "Your Employer's Rights Regarding Your Employer's Property".

But wait, there's more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3184639)

You completely overlooked the amount of TIME people spend surfing, thinking about surfing, etc. and what it costs their employers. It's the biggest reason (aside from viruses) companies regret giving access to their employees - it's supposed to be productivity tool.

using the faster connection at work to download? (2)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184640)

Umm... my DSL line at home is faster than our T1 at work because at work there are over a hundred people on it surfing the net!

But seriously, I couldn't do my job if I didn't have the net. Sure I browse /. for about an hour a day, but I'm there 9 or 10 hours somedays, so what's the big deal? Also, every bigwig in my company has AIM or YahooIM installed, so do you really think they will block all that stuff? When the big guys visited our location last time, I got pulled out of a very important meeting to help one of them get connected to YahooIM.

What are they getting paid for. (1)

Understudy (111386) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184645)

Let's understand something. You go to work to do work. That is what the company pays you for.
You want to check your personal e-mail do it at home. You want to shop do it on your own time without
company resources. Most businesses have a huge financial investment in the computer system in the office
plus the people needed to maintain and service it.

The system does not need extra expenses because you decided to check your e-mail and let some Trojan on
the system. The system does not need to be brought to a halt because you are using Bear Share to
download you latest soap opera or all the ping hits that come with using something like Bear Share.

The people employed to maintain the system are there to maintain the files keep good back up copies and
help you when the computer you are working on decides to have a hard drive die. There is enough
for the support staff to do normally without you making their job harder. Especially when they are
going into overtime because of somebody's stupid screw up.

And yes the company can put in all the things to help prevent a lot of this . They would be idiots not
to. But usually it is so unwanted outside issues can't come in. They don't need someone on the
inside helping them. Do your ebay shopping at home.

Think this is a rant from management, wrong. I am the guy who gets stuck having to work through the
weekend because somebody went on the IRC and decided yeah I will download this file of Hot Naked Young
Babes. You know the overtime is nice but I haven't mowed my lawn in two months because of it.

Bozos? (3, Insightful)

Raunchola (129755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184649)

OK, let's look at this here:

You're surfing the Internet on your employer's time

Your employer is paying the bill for the T3 (or whatever)

And you think you have the right to surf the Internet while at work? When you're on the company's time, you're supposed to be working...not bidding on crap on eBay.

Would someone please tell timothy what censorship is? This story doesn't even come close to the definition.

OK, OK, turn off the net access... (3, Insightful)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184651)

...but please, please, please leave me a hole for Google's Usenet archive [] . Almost every programming question I've ever had has been answered 100 times on Usenet.

It may not be a right, but a good idea (5, Insightful)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3184659)

I've read quite a few comments on here saying "the internet is not a right, you should be working". Well, that isn't the issue really. It's not like we are talking about a law, but a company choice. Now granted, it is within a companies right to restrict internet access, but a company has to factor in all the results of the restriction, not just the lost time and virus threats.

The fact of the matter is right now Americans are required to work way too much as is. Many jobs onyl allow you two weeks of vaction for several years after you start, and even then you might not get that "benefit" for a year after your start date. People getting burnt out at work happens all the time, and that hurts business in terms of productivity. Sure they enact short term solutions like fire the employees and hire new ones, but the new ones get burnt out faster trying to catch up. Allowing someone some time to spend checking up on their personal email and sending an ICQ to their wife is not to much to give up when it means your employees will be happier, and therefor more productive.

But I imagine the suits along with all the "you are paid to work" zealots on this site will only see the one dimension picture of lost email due to "personal" activities. At what point did we become slaves anyway?

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