Are sysadmins and Google evil hackers?

Do almost half of systems administrators read the emails of their co-workers? And has Google found a way into the content-management system of News Limited?

A nice little stoush is developing between the Systems Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) and the Sydney Morning Herald, over quotes published in the SMH where Earthwave CEO Carlo Minassian claimed, "We know that 40 per cent of IT email administrators and IT managers look inside their manager's, their board's, their chief information officer's, and chief executive officer's emails regularly and read their email."

SAGE issued a fiery retort to the quotes.

Minassian replied, quoting an HP study that surveyed 5569 IT operations and security managers in 13 countries, including Australia, where 64 per cent of people who have privileged access rights feel that they are allowed and empowered to access things, and 61 per cent of those users access sensitive or confidential data because of their curiosity.

So, which is it? Are sysadmins vile snoops just for heck of it? Or are they fine, upstanding gentlemen that keep networks running at prime efficiency?

In my experience, it's just like any other job; some are very good, some are mediocre and some are truly terrible sneaks.

Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below.

Are you ready for a tale so fantastic that words will fail to do it justice?

Last night, during the pinnacle of Australian television award ceremonies, otherwise known as the Logies, the Herald-Sun published a story that revealed the gold Logie winner while the awards were still taking place. For international readers, the gold Logie is a popularity contest between mainstream TV personalities — and, yes, its as terrible as it sounds.

Where this story gets nice and technical is that the editor of the Herald Sun, Simon Pristel, has claimed that Google was able to index an unpublished story, and that the story never appeared on its website.

"It turns out that Google had somehow searched into our system and found the story that was published in the paper," said Pristel.

These screenshots beg to differ.

If you can bring yourself to listen to it, there's an interview with Pristel on Triple M from this morning.

Warning: above interview may contain traces of Eddie McGuire.