We have the obligatory ‘we can see anything you do’ warning on our computers. We call it our ‘am hate mail’…not that it’s hate mail per se but an annoying box you have to click through. We are allowed some personal use of work computers, the main caveat being ‘don’t cost money, don’t shirk your work, don’t do anything ‘bad” (ie wanna type up a letter during your break, fine, just don’t print it out and don’t take all day doing it, and if your letter happens to be a death threat if the police ask for a copy we’ll happily hand it over)
Rumor has it that our IT dept would love to block yahoo, hotmail etc….but a few too many people at the top like having hte ability to check theirs so we all get it.
Work is work. You want it to be private, do it at home (presuming you have no spyware on your home puter). they pay for the equipment and internet connection, they get to monitor what goes over it and lay down rules how to use it. The same way McDonalds can block adult sites if they want to, or Starbucks can block sites at their stores.
Blocking content in general is one thing……’spying’ on your employees in the case above? Kinda suggests to me that there are some serious issues going on beyond simple use of govt. machinery in an inappropriate way. It suggests a level of control freak + insecurity + fear + some serious issues. It hints at the potential for a John Grissom Novel conspiracy theory.