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        I received only 4 responses to my inquiry about whether people's
employers had a policy of monitoring their network usage:
 
        1 person thought the employer did but had not actually read it.
 
        3 people said it would be impossible to have such a policy because
                they worked in academia and there was academic freedom.
 
 
 
        However, the employer in question IS a university. The advice
given to the person who had been asked to sign the policy was to cross
out the offending paragraph, initial it, and then sign the statement. If
she is given the policy again and told she must sign it all, she will
note "I am signing this statement under protest."
 
        Many commercial outfits (Boeing, for example), have policies
about monitoring and prosecuting their employees. What is surprising to
me is that people seem so outraged that this "could" happen AND IT
ALREADY HAS. Most companies have been monitoring phone calls for
years--the number called, the duration of the call, AND they can record
conversations through the same computer system that is noting the number
called, etc.,
 
        The woman who raised the issue about the e-mail snooping doesn't
have the time to bring a suit over it. But I hope that the National
Lawyers Guild or even the ACLU might agree to work with a group like
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and do a class action
suit or some such action to specifically raise the violations of privacy
we are routinely asked to endure in the workplace.
 
        In summary, I think it is important for people to ask themselves
if they agree that the Bill of Rights must be left at the timeclock, if
they agree that economic coercion (conditions of employment) take
precedence over the U.S. Constitution...
 
Tamara A. Turner, Director                   Phone: 206-526-2118
Hospital Library CH-38                       Fax:   206-527-3838
Children's Hospital and Medical Center       Internet: [log in to unmask]
4800 Sand Point Way N.E.
P.O. Box 5371
Seattle, WA 98105