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Discreet Remote Viewing/Control Software

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Where I used to work (years ago), we used to use TightVNC with a registry change to hide the icon exactly as you desire. You can see the registry change in the FAQ at It looks like they have changed it in newer versions so that you must use the interface to disable it though. That's going to be a pain if you want to push it out via GPO or similar.

As you already know, this is a bad idea. There are better ways of tracking things like web activity and installed programs. Doing this opens up potential privacy issues. What if the person you spy on was in the middle of writing a sensitive letter to one of your colleagues for example? Or if the person is running payroll and you see the salaries of people that you shouldn't be seeing? If they're going to do it, I'd at least inform the users in a very simple and open way and have them sign off on it (which I'm sure many of them will refuse to do, which will hopefully see the people wanting to do this change their mind).