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Old 02-18-2010, 11:20 AM   #221
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Brewer, do you post from your work computer? Are you at all concerned that your words might be read by others there? Just curious.
Frankly past caring at this point. Besides, everything is suitably anonymous so it isn't clear to me that I run any risk of making the organization look bad,
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:04 PM   #222
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They can trace your posts (and all your network traffic) back to your computer. I think it's a subconscious termination-wish on your part.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #223
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They can trace your posts (and all your network traffic) back to your computer. I think it's a subconscious termination-wish on your part.
There's actually a federal law requiring them to do just that, dating back into the 80's at the dawn of the internet. e.g. If the feds suspect someone for child pornography they can subpoena the companies providing the internet access for all details of all network traffic for that individual. Not relevant to you as you don't care if the company actually reviews your network traffic.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #224
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Do I care? Sure. But I assume that they do it all the time, so I do not comment on any post or thread even vaguely related to the subject matter of my day job and I have never mentioned who my mployer is. As such, I do not see grounds for any real issues. Such dirty laundry as has been aired is anonymous and sanitized so much that I cannot imagine anyone reading it could trace it to a particular organization, let alone specific people. Sadly, I suspect that this sort of nonsense is widespread in most large organizations, both public and private, so this could be happening anywhere.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:58 PM   #225
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It sounds as though Alan may be referring to the ISP's ability to look at your network traffic. I think you need to be aware that other people closer to you may be able to see your traffic.

If you are just connecting to the internet through a "consumer" ISP (like Verizon, ATT, cable company, or Joes-Bits-n-Bytes, the wifi at the hotel or Starbucks) then your posts are probably anonymous.

However, if you connect through your employer's network (as you might when in the office) assuming your employer has a network and network techs, the network techs can see your traffic and easily associate it with your PC. Also, If you VPN remotely into an office network from, say, a "consumer" ISP, your general internet traffic can also be configured to route through your employer's ISP instead of your own (although I don't believe this is a common practice), giving those network techs an opportunity to see all your traffic.

Wikipedia's entry for packet analyzer : Packet analyzer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sorry for going off-topic.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:11 AM   #226
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The company can even read your emails and could be using key stroke loggers. I've never seen anyone get in trouble for the stuff they do with their work computer, but

I've seen the stuff they do on their computer used as supporting evidence when management wants to get rid of someone.

Sort of like, "we don't like that guy, lets call IT and see if he was doing anything bad on his PC."
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:33 AM   #227
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Grousing about an incompetent manager wouldn't be an issue because to make it one management would be exposing themselves.

Business purpose or not... close call but that would force them to put the content on the table... more risk for them than the employee.

The only risk is trust.

The incidents with which I am familiar involve shopping on line and porno stuff.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #228
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No doubt access is well monitored. Funny, though: I and my fellow employees are subject to strict prohibitions about ownership of certain types of securities and they do not monitor our brokerage accounts. All that is required is an annual ethics certification.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #229
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Sort of like, "we don't like that guy, lets call IT and see if he was doing anything bad on his PC."
I think the issue is that OP has "security through obscurity" on his side-- it's hard to claim that it's time to enforce the rules when there's already a long list of people violating them.

Even better, OP's "inappropriate e-mail" and posts are documenting malfeasance & negligence of his superiors. What pointy-haired boss wants to have that subpoena'd or deposed into evidence to be splashed across the pages of the WSJ & Business Week? "He's making me look like an idiot, and here's all the evidence to support it!!!"
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #230
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I consider this latest episode to be my get out of jail free card. I have no desire to be a whistleblower, but in a real sticky situation I think our ethics people would be highly interested in my recent meeting.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:41 PM   #231
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What pointy-haired boss wants to have that subpoena'd or deposed into evidence to be splashed across the pages of the WSJ & Business Week? "He's making me look like an idiot, and here's all the evidence to support it!!!"
Hardly ever used in that context. But many organizations require their PHBs to maintain rankings of their direct reports on file with HR to be used for "deselection" should downsizing be required. When the decision to downsize is made, HR makes the deselection decisions based on the rankings that the PHB has on file. This gives the PHB the opportunity to say to everybody involved "I had no input to this -- it is entirely HR's decision." which is partially true and partially untrue. Posting unflattering comments about the PHB might get you to the wrong end of the list if the PHB knew about it.

My observation is these rankings are more subjective than objective. Brewer's ongoing posts seem to confirm there is a lot of subjectivity there.

For sure, it doesn't work like this everywhere, but you do see this stuff.

Almost every employer makes employees sign something acknowledging electronic monitoring, but hardly any of them will actually disclose the results of their monitoring, or even admit they are doing it. It almost feels like they don't want to remind people they are being watched so somebody might let down their guard and screw up.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:45 PM   #232
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At my megacorp the only time Internet usage was used in a termination was as one part of documented evidence that the employee was goofing off. The company policy is that "reasonable" use only of the internet, company phone etc for personal business was allowed. Very occasionally I would receive a report from HR about someone in my department making lots of long distance phone calls that were obviously non-business, and also if someone had been spending large amounts of time on social network, travel and shopping sites on the internet.

I remember one young lady in my department who was spending a lot of time on shopping sites and when I talked to her about it she just didn't believe it, so I got IT to produce a very detailed report showing the hours spent in prime work time from her actual PC (mac address). Our conversation was all very low key and once she realized how much time she was spending on shopping sites she tried to cut back, couldn't, so wisely decided to have herself removed from the internet access list.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:16 PM   #233
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No doubt access is well monitored. Funny, though: I and my fellow employees are subject to strict prohibitions about ownership of certain types of securities and they do not monitor our brokerage accounts. All that is required is an annual ethics certification.
That is really shocking. DW's investment bank employer is HUGE on proper account disclosure, and they track the heck out of employee trading. One thing they have is a 30 day min holding period. So I'm watching the ISM/OSM and arbing it once. Then two days later I arb it again the other way. Boom, within a few hours, my DW emails me "the email" from head of investment banking Operations, legal/compliance dept head, her boss's boss, etc. Over a trade that netted me $200-300 on a principal amount under $10,000. They made me reverse the trade by rebuying the shares I sold within 24 hours, else they would do it themselves and take any profits (with me eating the losses).

Funny that the type of work you are in for the govt doesn't have similarly strict disclosure and compliance requirements. Of course, DW's private employer can get sued and go bankrupt if there are even whispers of impropriety or claims of insider trading, hence the extremely beefed up, probably computerized/automated compliance department reviewing all trades that all employees and spouses make in real time.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #234
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Some people don't understand the level of monitoring that is possible, and how it is being used. My employer regularly fires employees for internet mis-use. The policies are posted, and the language favors big brother. When you have 100K+ employees, it is good practice to terminate one or two every so often, for effect. One was escorted out of my area this past week. Had quite an effect on the other mis-users, from what I saw.

The funny thing about this, is that the company is aware of exactly what an employee is doing. When a reason is produced to measure the stats, it is a matter of days before the proper logs are in order, and ka-boom. The hammer comes down. So, just because you've been doing something for a year does not mean you're home free.

Corporations are peculiar beasts.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #235
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OP's "inappropriate e-mail" and posts are documenting alleging malfeasance & negligence of his superiors.
Fixed.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:44 PM   #236
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In a former life I was the head of "IT Security". We kept records of all Internet access by Mega-Corp employees. We did nothing with them unless asked. Our job was to deal with things from the outside. If an employee was abusing his/her Internet access, it was a management problem, not a technical one, and therefore not our problem.

So, in our case, if you got busted for "excessive surfing" it was because someone thought you we "surfing excessively". As they say in the audit world "Trust, but verify".
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:26 PM   #237
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Well, I was offered the new seat today. We are having a minor tussle over me not wanting to start from scratch on the promotion track after a year plus of doing above-grade work, but assuming I was appropriately diplomatic about it and did not make them feel like they are being shaken down, I have a new seat to move to. Hopefully this is better than out of the frying pan into the fire. I think it will be for the better.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:28 PM   #238
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Great news.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:30 PM   #239
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Congratulations brewer! I am so happy for you....
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:38 PM   #240
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Congrats. Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.
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