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Thread: Ethics of Eavesdropping PLEASE READ ON!

  1. #1 Ethics of Eavesdropping PLEASE READ ON! 
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    Nothing to do with gov't. I suppose a heap of regret could befall me, but WTH, I'm too old to worry about it.

    When I worked for a major retailer, I had the pleasure (displeasure?) of installing the new in-store phone system. Installation manuals were brightly marked "Confidential", but the boss knew I could not work without it; he was out of the home office, anyway, not "touchable" locally. I was absolutely shocked, even disgusted, when I learned I had to instruct the Store General Manager about the means implemented, through issuance of a coded entry assigned only to him, allowing him to pick up any phone of the hundred or more in the store, enter code, dial any other phone, and listen to the conversation undetected! One dared not speak "behind" this guy's back!

    I was summarily instructed by the boss, to absolutely never reveal this to anyone. I did not, until now, nearly 30 years later. Hell, today the guy likely not only listens, but also watches! It occurred to me back then, that were it to become general knowledge, it's usefulness would be totally compromised, and yet new lawsuits filed; the company had just been advised their private email system was just that: their own company property, not protected by an consumer acts.

    Does anyone see where I would go next with this? jocular


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    If it's OK with you I don't plan to participate. I'll just listen in on this one.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    If it's OK with you I don't plan to participate. I'll just listen in on this one.
    Of course! It HAS to be OK with me, no? However, you have whetted my curiousity, as perhaps I have yours. I'm just hoping some member other than myself winds up getting the "screws tightened", expanding on my meager start above.

    Seriously, I see, and don't see, the "need" for what I consider to be unnecessarily intrusive behavior. One of my supervisors years back had a book on his shelf entitled "What Managers Do". I thumbed through it, he having encouraged me to look over his library while temporarily out of his office. One chapter was entitled "Sometimes it is necessary to lie to subordinates". I disagreed with that then, and still do now. Sure, many scenerios may be painted in support. But each has a much more non-devious acceptable response than outright lying. What do you think? jocular
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Nothing to do with gov't. I suppose a heap of regret could befall me, but WTH, I'm too old to worry about it.

    When I worked for a major retailer, I had the pleasure (displeasure?) of installing the new in-store phone system. Installation manuals were brightly marked "Confidential", but the boss knew I could not work without it; he was out of the home office, anyway, not "touchable" locally. I was absolutely shocked, even disgusted, when I learned I had to instruct the Store General Manager about the means implemented, through issuance of a coded entry assigned only to him, allowing him to pick up any phone of the hundred or more in the store, enter code, dial any other phone, and listen to the conversation undetected! One dared not speak "behind" this guy's back!

    I was summarily instructed by the boss, to absolutely never reveal this to anyone. I did not, until now, nearly 30 years later. Hell, today the guy likely not only listens, but also watches! It occurred to me back then, that were it to become general knowledge, it's usefulness would be totally compromised, and yet new lawsuits filed; the company had just been advised their private email system was just that: their own company property, not protected by an consumer acts.

    Does anyone see where I would go next with this? jocular
    It is kind of like spying to me.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    If it's OK with you I don't plan to participate. I'll just listen in on this one.
    Of course! It HAS to be OK with me, no? However, you have whetted my curiousity, as perhaps I have yours. I'm just hoping some member other than myself winds up getting the "screws tightened", expanding on my meager start above.

    Seriously, I see, and don't see, the "need" for what I consider to be unnecessarily intrusive behavior. One of my supervisors years back had a book on his shelf entitled "What Managers Do". I thumbed through it, he having encouraged me to look over his library while temporarily out of his office. One chapter was entitled "Sometimes it is necessary to lie to subordinates". I disagreed with that then, and still do now. Sure, many scenerios may be painted in support. But each has a much more non-devious acceptable response than outright lying. What do you think? jocular
    I think one of the reasons almost all of our employees stay with us until they retire or die, is because we are upfront with them. There is no need to lie. The truth usually remedies the solution.
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  7. #6  
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    It's widespread. Most every company spies on its employees, citing lost productivity as a primary cause.

    It isn't agreeable, but it's not easy to avoid it by any means. The rule of thumb is and always was- Keep your nose clean at work.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    What irks me is when someone picks up the phone then hangs up abruptly just to get more phone answering numbers every week. The employees who use this are seldom caught because those calling in never get their names so it is hard to let management know this type of thing is happening. Those who do this gain better numbers and get ahead of the rest of their coworkers by doing this.


    Employer Phones: Employers generally can monitor, listen in and record employee phone calls on employer owned phones and phone systems. This includes cell phones, voice mail and text messages provided to employees.
    For example, in City of Ontario v. Quon (2010), the US Supreme Court found that a police officer’s personal text messages on a government owned pager were not private and the employer/police department had the right to view the messages—even though public employees (unlike private employees) have 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure since their employer is the government.
    Personal Phones: Employers generally cannot monitor or obtain texts and voicemails on an employee’s personal cell phone. But if you’re spending a lot of time at work loudly talking about your weekend plans, there is a good argument that it wasn’t private and you can be disciplined for not working.
    Employer Computers- Again, if the employer owns the computers and runs the network, the employer is generally entitled to look at whatever it wants on the system, including emails.
    Personal Accounts: It depends on the circumstances—whether the use is at work and on employer equipment. The employer should not look at private emails on a private email account that is password protected by the employee because the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy, the account is the employee’s, and computer hacking laws provide protection against viewing personal emails without consent.
    However, employees should be careful about using those accounts and passwords on employer owned equipment, because that information can be stored in backups, is visible to monitoring software and may not really be private at all.
    Several cases involving private emails on employer time and equipment have gone against the employee and determined that the employer’s interception or use of an employee’s personal emails was permitted because of policies that allowed it and implied consent and because the employee was using employer owned computers or sending the emails from work.
    Even cases of employees contacting their attorney have gone both ways. In Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. (New Jersey 2010) an employee emailed her lawyer on a company laptop, but through her personal password protected Yahoo account. The court held the emails were protected by the attorney client privilege, but did not really address the privacy issue.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...U8IENZ17ordJuQ
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    If it's OK with you I don't plan to participate. I'll just listen in on this one.
    hilarious
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    . ... "Sometimes it is necessary to lie to subordinates". I disagreed with that then, and still do now. Sure, many scenerios may be painted in support. But each has a much more non-devious acceptable response than outright lying. What do you think? jocular
    I think one of the reasons almost all of our employees stay with us until they retire or die, is because we are upfront with them. There is no need to lie. The truth usually remedies the solution.
    I assume no privacy when using phones, the internet, or even conversations in public places.
    When I was vetted for the stratcom clearances, the M.I. guys had found out stuff about my background that I had forgotten. # days, we chatted with them helping me remember peopla I had known. When they succeeded, I'd say: "Oh, yes, now I remember him", and proceed to discuss my impressions of the individual in question, along with filling in their gaps. Finally, realizing that I had nothing which I felt I must hide and keep private, they granted the clearances and let me go to work in the site(R).

    Ethics, is a whole 'nuther story, and, I suspect comes down to why the eavesdropping is occuring. A peeping tom by anyother name is still someone with whom I'd rather not associate. But, trust me on this, you have precious few moments of privacy, which are dissapearing with increasing speed.

    Joc, not just your phones, there used to be a way to call someone up(enter a code--I'm not sure if the code was dialed in first), then when they "hung up" their phone was still live, and you could listen in to their "private" conversations in their own homes. Damned handy for the guy listening, but led some I've known to put their phones in a soundproof box.

    allahu akbar

    If I suspect that I am being evesdropped on, I get really into being just about as insulting as my vocabulary allows.
    (Piss 'em off and make 'em show their cards.)
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