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Alabama IT Whistleblower Fired For Spyware

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the insult-injury-and-all-that-jazz dept.

The Courts 751

chalker writes "Vernon Blake, an IT sysadmin for the Alabama Department Of Transportation, wanted to get evidence that his boss spent the majority of his time playing solitaire on his computer. Since emails to higher up supervisors were ignored, he installed Win-Spy, which grabbed screenshots several times per day over a period of 7 months. 70% of the resulting screenshots showed an active game of solitaire, and another 20% showed his boss checking the stock market. When he reported this to superiors, he was fired, even though he had 21 years of service in the position. His boss got a reprimand to 'stop playing games'. He is appealing his termination in court since he claims it was part of his job description to 'confirm and document' computer misuse for ALDOT. His complete story is here."

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751 comments

Everyone knows (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855574)

Employers spy on employees, not the other way around!

Especially in Government! (4, Insightful)

theguywhosaid (751709) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855637)

Employers spy on employees, not the other way around!

I read that as:

Employers spy on employees, why not the other way around?
And I thought AC deserved a medal.

Re:Everyone knows (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855659)


if you're a sysadmin... should you run crack and crack passwords -- for security? works just fine... unless you crack a superior's password.

what about MA? can you own a password file there?

there are lots of crazy things out there... most people are dumb as a rock. it's useless to try to fight the global stupidity.

use your computer.. buy food.. be happy...

think an original thought -- go to jail.
don't do what your masters allows you to do today -- go to jail.

WHICH IS BETTER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855661)

ceren [satindeath.net]
perdida [img66.exs.cx]
perdida's sister [upenn.edu]
mercatur [mercatur.net]
taco's wife [cmdrtaco.net]
cowboyneal [everything2.com]
rustina [img28.exs.cx]

Re:WHICH IS BETTER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855668)

Mercatur... no question.

Re:WHICH IS BETTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855685)

yuo = nuts

Re:WHICH IS BETTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855706)

It's not like I voted for CowboyNeal!

Credit Card Risk! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855686)

I once helped a customer who had his credit card stollen by his employers keylogger.

Seems the company had a policy of spying on its employees with a key-logger. Unfortunatelly the cocmpany didn't keep these key-logs securely and someone stole them and extracted credit card info from people who made online purchases.

This kind of spyware is dangerous regardless of who is using it.

Wow... (1, Interesting)

sixide (643991) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855575)

this guy got shafted. Canned for doing your job?

Re:Wow... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855608)

I've never seen "Installing spyware to capture bosses activities' included in an IT job description.

Politics (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855629)

It's called office politics. If you don't like the game, become self employeed. And ya...people suck ass. YOu just gotta learn to live wit it.

Oh ya, I hope that lazy-ass sysadmin get's his job pulled from underneath him!

That's 90% (4, Funny)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855576)

Should we ask what the other 10% consisted of?

Re:That's 90% (1)

djkoolaide (729441) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855587)

Should we ask what the other 10% consisted of?

Porn.

Re:That's 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855601)

Only 10%? He should obviously be fired.

Re:That's 90% (1)

CrazyGringo (672487) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855672)

It would be more interesting if the screenshots were arranged like time-lapse photography. A game of solitaire would morph into a rapid staccato of pornography...and back to a pleasant game of solitaire.

Re:That's 90% (5, Informative)

fuctape (618618) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855679)

According to the article:

10. An analysis of the screenshots yielded the following results:

  • 293 (approx. 71%) of the screenshots documented active, on-going games of solitaire.
  • 87 (approx. 21%) of the screenshots documented web site visits, email subscriptions, and other miscellaneous non-job related activities consisting mostly of personal financial and stock market research.
  • 29 (approx. 7%) of the screenshots indicated some job related activities, mostly consisting of an "I concur" in an email response. However, solitaire was minimized (hidden) for quick retrieval on most of these screens.
  • 1 % or less of the screenshots were inconclusive as far as the type of activity.
  • No screenshots (0%) documented any job-related activities such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, job related websites, electronic document management, right-of-way plans standards, etc.
Additionally,

5. A screen capture utility was used to automate this process. The utility behaves like a camera by capturing photographs of the computer screen. The utility did not target any specific activity or application usage by the user.

6. Screenshots were automatically recorded at times randomly selected by the screen capture utility. The installer of said utility had no control over the randomly selected times.

7. Periods of computer inactivity on the part of the user de-activated the utility until such time that user input was detected. This feature prevented generation of redundant screenshots at night, weekends, holidays, days off, etc.

8. Also, A minimum time interval of approximately 30 minutes transpired between screenshots to prevent a large volume of redundant images. The purpose of the utility was to take a representative sample of computer activity. The pattern of computer usage on the part of the user ultimately governed the interval between screenshots. When no activity was detected, screenshots were halted.

I really hope this guy gets vindicated in the end. He did his job, documented his case very well, and got screwed.

That was appropriate (1, Insightful)

cerberusti (239266) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855578)

Firing him was an appropirate response. He abused the power he needed to do his job, and could no longer be trusted with it.

No it wasn't (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855619)

He wasn't abusing his power. He was doing exactly what he was paid to do: stop computer misuse. His boss was misusing the computer. The only reason he got fired is because he did this to his boss, rather than to some underling.

Re:That was appropriate (0)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855644)

Indeed. That kind of activity is something that is outside the scope of his job. If his employer thought it was necessary to spy on the boss the they would have directed the sysadmin to install the software. He is no longer trustworthy as an employee and should be fired.

Re:That was appropriate (1)

fuctape (618618) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855688)

Repeat after me: He WAS the sysadmin. RTFA.

Re:That was appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855729)

Repeat after me: sysadmin != God,
in spite of what sysadmins like to believe.
What matters is whether the boss had been
notified that his activities on the employer's
hardware were subject to monitoring.

Re:That was appropriate (5, Insightful)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855676)

Firing him was most certainly NOT appropriate.

The guy knew his boss fucked around on the computer all day instead of doing his job and this was known to the employee who got fired.

He reported this to higher ups and they ignored it. The first mistake here is they should've listened. Since they didn't, the only other option was to take matters into his own hands.

Even if he wasn't an IT manager of sorts, he did the right thing in proving to higher-ups that his boss is doing nothing but wasting the company's money by playing solitaire and looking at stock market crap instead of working.

I'm sure there are tons of people out there who are looking for a job and would be more than happy to fill his position and actually do some work.

They should've fired the boss and gave the IT manager that position (provided it paid more).

Re:That was appropriate (4, Insightful)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855714)

He reported this to higher ups and they ignored it. The first mistake here is they should've listened. Since they didn't, the only other option was to take matters into his own hands.

Why, exactly, was his "only other option" to spy on his boss? Why not write the letters to the editor that are now being written for him? Why not put up a website that talks about the issues he's facing, without mentioning names? Why is the next step to spy on his boss?

Was his boss' conduct reprehensible? Yes. Was it his job to spy on him? Short of a policy expressly giving him permission to spy on his boss (or *anyone* else in the office), his behavior was wrong. And no, " 'to confirm and document' such misuse" [knology.net] is *not* sufficient authorization for spying on *any* user in the office, especially his boss.

You can get in trouble doing such things, including prosecution under federal wiretapping laws. This is *not* an area where you want to screw around with.

Re:That was appropriate (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855704)

I agree that he should have been canned. I would also call for his boss to get the same.

-jcr

oh, BTW (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855579)

3rd one

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855580)

first post

Damn, that's a lot of solitare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855582)

Am I the only one who HATED solitare?

Past tense of course, I no longer use the dreaded windoze... you know, D O Z E.

Yes, I am cool.

Re:Damn, that's a lot of solitare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855635)

Yes. You are the only one.

Re:Damn, that's a lot of solitare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855692)

No, I hated it too.

It's boring and stupid as hell.

couldn't he just.... (5, Insightful)

airbie (767806) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855584)

delete solitary from his boss's computer?

Re:couldn't he just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855657)

Actually, the parent states a very good point. It's the easiest solution to something rather unpleasant.

Or better yet -- why didn't he confront him in person?

Yes! That's perfect! (2, Funny)

JThundley (631154) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855673)

That would be the best course of action, because then the lazy bastard would have to ask somebody to put Solitaire back on the computer. Or he would go and download his own little games and fuck up Windows with spyware.

Re:couldn't he just.... (1, Interesting)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855712)

Actually, on win2k and later, because solitare is part of the base install, you can't delete it (it regenerates).

This is part of that windows thing that doesn't allow you to delete system essential files (idiot proffing windows). I know this because i tried to delete solitare from my new win2k computer (just to keep out temptation) and it wouldn't go away. It was like the terminator.

maybe he was fired... (3, Insightful)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855588)

For spending 70% of his time worrying about what his boss was doing. Give me break! We've all worked with people like this before- they're sooo worried about what everone else is doing. These are the same people who used to remind the teacher about the homework assignment.

I'm not saying its right to spend all day playing solitare, but it sounds like this weasel went to extremes to "tell on" someone.

Re:maybe he was fired... (4, Insightful)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855594)

For spending 70% of his time worrying about what his boss was doing.

Errrr... isn't that why he installed the spyware in the first place? So he wouldn't have to spend 70% of his time worrying about what his boss was doing?

Re:maybe he was fired... (2, Insightful)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855603)

dude, it was part of his job.
his firing is bs.

the boss was wasting time, wasting company money, and mostly wasting space.

Re:maybe he was fired... (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855628)

Yes, but most importantly, he already informed his bosses supervisors, and was ignored. Obviously his supervisors should have told him more directly that they weren't interesting in knowing what was going on. But the fact that he then turned around with vengence and spied on his boss to "prove" his alligations, speak very negativly of him. I would fire him on the spot too.

Re:maybe he was fired... (5, Insightful)

harkabeeparolyn (711320) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855664)

Fuck his supervisors. If they were too chummy to act on a legitimate complaint they should be fired as well. We're talking about tax money here; the citizens of Alabama deserve better.

Re:maybe he was fired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855633)

So, you're a nosey sysadmin too, eh?

Re:maybe he was fired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855636)

drat to the close tag

Re:maybe he was fired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855698)

who does more damage to a company single handedly over a period of 5 years?

the IT guys?

or the Suits?

i rest my case.

Isnt spying in any form a felony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855589)

I heard you cannot even record phone conversations, EVEN if you feel that the other person has ulterior motivation to call you!

Re:Isnt spying in any form a felony... (1)

Myuu (529245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855626)

Thats state law, here in North Dakota, its legal as long as at least one person is aware they are being recorded.

Wait (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855591)

They have computers in Alabama? When did this happen?

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855604)

psshh, I'm sure they were rentals. What a shitty place..

Re:Wait (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855632)

The army is putting over 1500 Xserves in Huntsville...

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855693)

Yeah, well, that's the army. They put computers in Iraq and Afghanistan, too, but it doesn't mean they belong there!

Re:Wait (2, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855670)

Yeah, they've got them, but they're not so good at numbers.

Use? (4, Insightful)

Daleks (226923) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855592)

Was the bosses machine his primary source of doing work? If you're the boss you're in meetings all day and out telling people what to do, not sitting in your office typing away. Also, I've left a game of freecell going during a 2 hour meeting before or during lunch. That doesn't mean I'm derilict in my duties.

Re:Use? (3, Informative)

bizpile (758055) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855674)

The article said the program took in to account idle times and took no screenshots during periods of inactivity.

'whistleblower'? (4, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855593)

Please. This guy installed Spyware on his bosses computer, and his wife's. for seven months, probably looking for porn surfing but all he got was solitaire.

This guy was just an asshole, the kind of person who thinks because he's a sys-admin who has admin access on the computers that he ought to be the computer morality person as well. Or in this case, the productivity nazi.

The supervisor in this story has gotten good reports, maybe playing solitaire is the way he 'thinks'. Who knows?

The person who setup these screen grabs (seven months of them) deserved exactly what he got.

Re:'whistleblower'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855641)

probably looking for porn surfing but all he got was solitaire...

Nice tie-in with autopr0n.

Re:'whistleblower'? (1)

ideut (240078) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855649)

The outrageous thing is that these screenshots are still posted on the web [knology.net] . This guy obviously completely lacks any sense of ethics. If I posted screenshots of my boss's desktop on the public internet without his permission, I would expect to never work again.

He was looking after your taxes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855655)

Your post makes no sense at all.

This guy was doing exactly what he was hired to do. If he'd found a lowbie employee playing games, he'd have been given a pat on the back for his work.

His only "misdimeaner" was finding his boss guilty of this waste of tax dollars, instead of a minor minion. Bosses never think that rules apply to them.

Re:'whistleblower'? (5, Insightful)

danharan (714822) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855703)

hold on a sec.

It was so well known this guy's boss was playing solitaire all the time that people were circulating cartoons about it.

He went to upper management before installing the spyware, and kept bugging them about it.

That to me is not indicative of someone that is simply installing spyware to try and catch his boss surfing porn: it's a sysadmin who's using whatever tools he has to back up a claim no one seems to be taking seriously.

Topical comic (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855596)

From the site. [knology.net] Hehe.

Solitaire (5, Funny)

jdc180 (125863) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855598)

Surprising thing was none of the screenshots were of solitaire crashing

Re:Solitaire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855643)

They fixed that bug in WinXP. If he's running XP it probably wouldn't have crashed.

Now if only they'd fix the damn word wrap bugs in notepad.

Re:Solitaire (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855727)


That's why 70% of his time was playing solitaire,
10% was checking the stock market.

The remaining 20% was unavailable due to the blue screen of death.

Other side of the story? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855607)

Granted, most people here hate boss-types, but its only fair to ask for the boss's side of the story. For example: perhaps his job consists of minimal computer usage. When I was in college, part of my financial aid package involved doing work for the school - I got put to work answering phones and calling alumns to shake them up for money. I had a computer, and there was a solitaire game or something similar on it all the time - it was mindless enough I could do it while talking to somebody, and it kept me sane between calls. The boss could be in a similar situation if he spends most of his time on the phone or otherwise _talking_ to employees. He just wouldn't be constantly playing the game. Most people here equate working with time spent active on the computer doesn't mean that it always is.

I'm not saying this is the case, but its worth considering that the boss could have a radically different story, and the article did present a very one sided view.

Re:Other side of the story? (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855719)

That's an extremely good point, the explanation of the screenshots mentions that the software only does screen captures when the user is actively using the computer. Just because all he used his computer for was Solitaire doesn't mean that's all he ever did. Unlike most Slashdotters, many jobs require you to spend most of your time away from the computer. If everyone here had a button they pushed when they started and stopped doing actual work, the results would be very enlightening. I'd say this thread has to be one of the most hypocritical I've seen for a while.

Rule #1 (5, Insightful)

jxs2151 (554138) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855609)

Do not make your boss look bad and expect to retain your job.

Re:Rule #1 (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855616)

No shit. Natural selection at work here. Nothing to see, move on.

Re:Rule #1 (1)

jxs2151 (554138) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855658)

Makes me wonder how he survived 21 years...

Re:Rule #1 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855669)

I just disagree. Two years ago, I found that my boss was defrauding. False checks, stealing, and so on. Made a report (and strong one) to be valid for legal charge. Was rewarded.

2 wrongs didn't make a right. (2, Interesting)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855610)

1 wrong resulted in two wrongs. Unfortunately the lesser wrong was fired.

2 wrongs made a CLE (Career Limiting Event)

I am not suprised ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855620)

The dumbass is from Alabama

Sweet home Alabama

Re:I am not suprised ... (0, Offtopic)

djeaux (620938) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855710)

> The dumbass is from Alabama

Yep. If'n the ole boy lived in Miss'ippi the boss'd be playing solitaire with real cards. (Actually, if it were our DOT, the boss would be propped up in the yellow crew-cab pickup truck reading Hustler).

>Sweet home Alabama

I prefer this version [sing365.com] .

ADOT? (-1, Troll)

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Spaces in the screen caps urls (0, Troll)

jxs2151 (554138) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855624)

Grrrr....

Re:Spaces in the screen caps urls (1)

jxs2151 (554138) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855726)

Troll? Pointing out that there are spaces in the urls?

Rules of system admins (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855625)

1) Be respectful of the privacy of others 2) Think before you type

Spyware. (4, Funny)

Daleks (226923) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855627)

I wonder how the guy was caught. Oh, and there's a picture of a spy [knology.net] in the lower right hand corner.

Re:Spyware. (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855666)

Wow, a classic PHB desktop. At least ten unlabeled IE shortcuts and two duplicate AOL shortcuts on two duplicate MS Office bars, one on top, one on the right. 6 system tray icons (first two can't be helped), a cut-off quick launch panel next to the system tray.

And is this Windows 95 or Windows NT? I guess it's up-to-date by Alabaman standards. I also hear swing dancing is about to come back into style there.

Fire them both? (2, Interesting)

Zarkonnen (662709) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855630)

Just gathering from what they've done, both the boss and the employee should be fired. Just firing the boss would open the door to people spying on one another all the time, but just firing the employee, well, there's your standard business-type hypocrisy.

Thats what the boss gets....... (4, Funny)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855631)

... for using Windows. Bet if he was using Linux and playing games (games on Linux are better anyway) he would have been fine. I'm pretty sure the only reason why I haven't been fired yet is because I use Linux. ctrl+tab moves me to my other desktop, which conviently is running vi with the latest version of our app, and I am sure that I have no spyware installed.

Arthur - If you're reading this -- just kidding! Otherwise, I am completely serious.

Re:Thats what the boss gets....... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855660)

So you're saying that Linux is bad for productivity?

And if you're installing linux to play games.. I just have to ask why.

Better games? What games?

Re:Thats what the boss gets....... (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855697)

Are you sure? How do you know your window manager's process hasn't been replaced with one that's had a backdoor hacked into it?

Re:Thats what the boss gets....... (1)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855705)

md5 and tripwire :) plus he doesnt have either my user password, or the root password.

Sounds like a case of (4, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855634)

Not-so-mean-BOFH vs. PHB. Let's get ready to rumble!!!

What's in a name? (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855640)

This kind of makes me wonder if he would have still been fired if he used software that was more for "remote administration". Something like PCAnywhere, where you can see the remote desktop over the network if you needed to manually install a patch at night on a user's computer from your own desk.

Even then, doesn't this guy's company have some sort of disclaimer for their network in which using it provides consent to monitoring? If so, the boss can't say he wasn't warned.

The more interesting question (5, Interesting)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855652)

If you ask me, the more interesting question is: To what extent should an employer have a right to decide what their employees do on company time.

Should it matter if you're spending half your time playing Solitare if you still manage to do the job you're supposed to do?

This boss's managers don't seem to want to get rid of him. One conclusion you could draw from that is that perhaps the boss actually is getting what he's supposed to be doing done. (Maybe most of his work isn't even done on the computer?)
In that case, who cares if he's playing solitare? Perhaps he's thinking things through and making decisions while doing it?

Personally, I've got a job where nobody tells me what to do with my time, as long as I get the job done.
And that's the way it should be, if you ask me.
By my definition, a job is performing a task for money.

Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855653)

This guy deserves a Darwin Award for removing himself from the workplace.

Welcome to America... (2, Insightful)

gwoodrow (753388) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855656)

...where money has always been and will always be more important than justice.

Shut up! (0)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855663)

This guy pisses me off. After reading the article I can see he tried to get boss in trouble because he pissed him off. He claims that he could effectivly "supervise" his 6 subordinatesl well if he was with the company for so long how did he manage so far. And another thing, I'm sure his job discription doesn't include investigator. Even if you a Sys Admi you cant install software for your needs.

Is that really spyware? (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855678)

I thought spyware generally meant a completely unrelated thing, software like Gator that spies on the user that installed it, and gives the information to the company that makes it. As opposed to software that allows one person to spy on another person.

He should have known better... (1)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855680)

He should have known better than to get the son of the CEO fired.

Playing Solitaire (4, Insightful)

eltoyoboyo (750015) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855681)

is to the office staff what leaning on one's shovel is to the DOT road crews. It is a privilege of the senior employees. Yes, you could be fired for not working all day. Obviously, it is not going to happen to this supervisor any time soon. The fact is that this guy is not good guy whistle blower. He is just an idiot with an unproductive boss.

Installing unauthorized software on a state government computer WILL get you fired. Raise the bar, and install spyware on a state government computer and you could be facing criminal charges. It does not matter that the software install was for alleged "white hat" purposes.

In the meanwhile... (1)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855682)

His boss probably has screenshots of him spending 70% of his time looking at screenshots of solitaire (and 20% of the time reading slashdot).

In all seriousness, by the time it got to this point, wouldn't have been easier, less time-consuming, and all-around saner to just go and get another job? After 21 years in IT, this guy should know how that world works.

Encouraging (1)

artlu (265391) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855683)

Different work places have different work ethics. I work for a certain big company in SiValley, and I run a stock company [groupshares.com] on the side. Since the market closes by 1pm PT, I have at least 5 more hours of work aside from just monitoring the market every morning.

I think that in California this work type of work ethic is enjoyed where as in New York any deviation from work would be reprimanded. Similar to the dress codes as well.

Obiligatory Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855690)

Just the good ol' boys,
Never meanin' no harm,
Beats all you've ever saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born.

Straight'nin' the curve,
Flat'nin' the hills.
Someday the moutain might get 'em, but the law never will.

Makin' their way,
The only way they know how,
That's just a little bit more than the law will allow.

Just good ol' boys,
Wouldn't change if they could,
Fightin' the system like a true modern day Robin Hood.

Gov/State workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855691)

If this was private enterprise damn tootn he should have been slammed. However this is state and tax dollars this is a concern...we should know where and how are dollars are spent...or we should not use tax dollars to support this system.

OVER TAXING.

You're just a resource (2, Insightful)

leebrownusa (598293) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855695)

If you haven't figured it out yet, IT and the people in it are just a resource to be used and abused. If you're not connected up in the food chain then tread carefully. Just a worker bee here.

Had this same sort of problem (3, Funny)

FluffyWhiteBunny (771314) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855700)

I had this same sort of problem at work. But instead of trying to prove that the employee was spending innordinate amounts of time playing solitare we would just go in and change all the windows shortcuts to point random places. My favorite was to have it open mspaint with a screenshot of a new game of solitaire.

He has a hit counter... (3, Interesting)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855701)


He has a toolbarcounter on his whine page [aldotwaste.com]
This should be fun to watch... [toolbarcounter.com]

Counter Hits Summary
Total Months Counter Hits / 12200
Average Number Of Counter Hits Per Day / 394

Oh, and I imagine this will look different in a few hours as well ;)

Top 5 Browsers by Visits
(Browsers / Visits)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x / 6498
FireFox / 1447
Unknown / 922
Safari / 598
Netscape 7 / 437


With a Banjo on My Knee (1)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855707)

Might I remind you this is Alabama. Our typical computer system intra public includes a state of the art pentium 2 processor, with 24 to 32 megabytes of Ram. YIKES !!!. Osi Osi Noche

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855716)

How does one detect Win-Spy? Just in case.. erm... just wondering... uh... hypothetically speaking, if someone has installed WinSpy on my^H^H a computer, how would one detect it?

rules to live by (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855722)

Yeah, never underestimate the buddy system in management.

During bad times I took a soul killing job at a charity. Like many charities, this one was run to keep buddies employed. I was doing the number two position in our branch office, moving our inefficient paper around. Number one sat in her glass-walled office and read romance novels all day, being a buddy of the big chief at head office.

Desperate for brain stimulation, I figured out how we could exchange our photocopier lease for a computer system lease (our charter did not allow us to own equipment), and how to set it all up to handle our paperwork. I figured a month to install, another to make absolutely sure it worked perfectly, and then they could fire me as redundant. Excellent efficiency. Wrote it up and delivered to my manager. Got turned down. I bugged for why. It was eventually admitted that it would also eliminate the number two at head office, who was of course another buddy of the big chief.

But I got out soon enough. There was an inspection coming up and I was informed I'd have to be demoted because romance-reader needed to cover up that I'd been doing all the work; branches weren't supposed to have a number two.

You might think of that next time you're phoned to donate clothing to be resold by a charity. Give it directly to the poor instead and write a cheque to a real cause.

He's an Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9855728)

Maybe this guy should have spent time WORKING instead of wanting to get his boss fired.

what kind of sys admin uses Word for HTML output? (1)

gradedcheese (173758) | more than 9 years ago | (#9855732)

<meta name=ProgId content=Word.Document>

<meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 9">
<meta name=Originator content="Microsoft Word 9">


*sigh*
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