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I found things on my bosses

By zlitocook ·
Laptop that turned my stomach. He had pictures, movies and other things that a company President should not even let others know he looks at. The way I found out about them was because he bought a new laptop and I had to migrate the data to it. It is a boring process, you just watch the files go by. That was when I saw alot of jpg, pic, mpg and other things going by.
A question to all if you see things you should not know about should you tell your boss?
I ask because there was things that were Illegal
to have like pictures of people and mpgs from actors. I did not dig into the files because I do like to bother other peoples info.
This could really hurt this guy and his company. I do not want that but if he steals others things and pictures what do I do?

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Things

by sleepsalot In reply to I found things on my boss ...

You say things that are illegal how illegal?? Is it things like CP or just yhings you think he should not have?? Sorry to sound negitive but the way you put it he is a thief.

Wayne

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It Really Depends

by michael549 In reply to Things

In two instances of your message, the words, "He bought" and "His laptop" were used. Many people consider "their" laptops to be a part of their personal space whether it is used for "company" work as well. What your superior asked of you was a data transfer operation, not for you to be looking through his files - no matter what they were. Curiosity has often killed more than a cat.

Absent actual illegal documents, or pornography involving children -- and proof of such activities - the mere statement that the files appeared "offensive" to you - is not enough to gamble your job upon. While it often is the job of the network manager to be the "policeman" of the network ("the public streets") - there is a whole gray area when it comes to another's personal space - their own bought and paid-for laptops. Of course, reviewing network logs, etc - for breaches of company policy a good thing to do.

One possible solution is a program like "LapLink" or similar data-transfer programs, to teach and allow your superior to transfer his own files by himself. This becomes a "teachable moment" for you and him, and it removes you from having to be involved with information or files that you find to be offensive.

Just a thought.
Mike

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Something to do

by w2ktechman In reply to It Really Depends

Hello Michael,
I have many times 'accidentally' found non standard software and photos on the work systems where I work. This happens everywhere you go. Usually, I just try to ignore stuff, but if I do run into something that is against company policy, I will confront the person in question. BUT, Be tactful about it. DO NOT tell them what to do.
What I usually do is when I am dropping off the system, I will make a comment that there may be some things on the system that are against company policy. And, as such, you are required to bring it up. I also let them know that I transferred the files anyway, but if the system gets serviced by another technician, these types of files should not be on the system. I also give them a printout of what the company policy is. The whole time, not offending them, but casually brought up as a oh, by the way... This will take a lot of tension out of the scenario.
However, not all companies have a written policy on this matter, and many only have 1 tech. This makes it a bit harder, but it can still be done.
You can also offer to loan a cd burner to remove and store the files on their home system, but decline to transfer the files onto a cd for them, because you do not want to get involved any further.

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Exactly Right

by bigaldepr In reply to Something to do

This is the correct approach. The use of phrase "there maybe some" is perfect. Explain that there is no expectation of privacy on the company network and he runs the risk of others finding the questionable material. Someone holding grudge could use this against him.

Another senerio I have encounter is the son/daughter of the manager had access to the laptop at home. Someone else had loaded the material and she was not aware of it.

This approach avoids what I call the Network cop image and you are performing in a helpful advisory role that is to his benefit. If he is reasonable, he will remove the material himself and you have achieved the desired result. Otherwise, he is an idiot and deserves what ever happens.

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Right on

by stevedart In reply to Exactly Right

I've been in a similar spot and i have been saved by company policy. So confront him but never accuse him. Truth is, you don't know for fact that he actually is the culprit (even though he probably is).
If there is no company policy (most small companies? don?t have any) take the initiative and set one. Site the problems that come with the questionable materials as reason: spyware and viruses to name the two big ones.

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Subpoena

by Overcharge In reply to Exactly Right

I'm probably not the only one, but I'm probably one of the few that has been subpoenaed for what they've found on computers. I was upgrading and clearing out old files and ran into some triple-x stuff. Called and asked the owner if they wanted the porn to stay. The comment was "what porn?"

The couple was in the middle of a nasty divorce and child custody fight. Next thing you know I'm sitting giving testimony. Kid goes to mom.

A couple years later, I'm in the return line at Fry's and strike up a conversation with a guy and his girlfriend/wife. I mention I'm from ???? and he says his ex-inlaws are from there. I ask who and realize from the answer that it's a good thing that I'm not wearing a suit, 'cause he's the guy that lost his kid over it.

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Network?

by WizofKwaj In reply to Exactly Right

This is a simple case of someone snooping files on another's computer. No network was involved. The boss asked for files to be 'migrated'. Basically make my new laptop have 'the same stuff' as the previous.

In the case o the scenario of 'somebody else' loading objectionable material the law doesn't care how it got there, only that you have it in your possession. The mere act of acquiring it is considered manufacturing (yes, I know that is a ridiculous interpretation) which is in many jurisdictions a felony.

The mere fact that the files were copied could set the copier for charges.

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But in the real world

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Network?

How can you tell what is on any HDD before you open it?

I do not know about you but I for one lack the luxury of time to waste looking at the contents of any HDD unless I'm paid to and even then it is the most cursory inspection I just keep the files in the more common folders and then proceed to erase the drive before reloading and then copy the files back across. The My Documents folder is an easy one even the Favorites is an easy one about the only ones that I'm ever close to looking at are the Address Book and stored E-Mails as they are imported in and even then I just leave the thing running while I do my work and come back a long time after it has finished.

Now this is where the Law at least over here is stupid it relies on you having "Intent" to break the Law so if you can quite rightly say that you have absolutely no idea of what was on a HDD then you have shown no Intent to break the Law and if there are any repercussions they do not fall on the IT person but the owner of the unit.

That is why I keep saying that if you don't look you'll never find yourself facing a dilemma such as this, a perfect case where ignorance is bliss. :)

Col ]:)

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WRONG!, WRONG!, WRONG!...etc.

by gordon.rudd In reply to Something to do

After doing IT security for far longer than I care to remember...I have to say you are so wrong it is scary. In fact you are the person who would get fired ?for cause?. It is not now, nor will it ever be a job duty of IT to police users. IT implements corporate policy. Unless you have been specifically requested to determine the contents of this person?s hard drive by your HR or Legal department -or- a law enforcement agency with a valid warrant YOU not your President have crossed a line and should be fired.

Even if you notice a file name or extension that catches your attention during the file transfer you should not open to file.

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Rules on searching

by ashembers In reply to WRONG!, WRONG!, WRONG!... ...

I think that we IT folks overstep our bounds sometimes and need to take a note from the police on what is punishable. They have rules on what is admissable during a court procedure, and how people come upon evidence to find guilt. We should be the same way & protect people's privacy because ultimately it makes a difference with what corporate culture we make.

So if it were me, I would pay attention to how I found it. If he were watching it on work time and it was visible from his monitor, then by all means call the authorities. However, if it was merely on his system, you could implement a policy where computers would be swept of content outside the known, used directories, as well as large video files for people that do not need them. Call it a "keeping the systems in top shape" type of policy & include other things like scheduled defrags, disk checks, etc. Then go and delete the illegal content later on. The point is that you need a policy behind you before acting on anything, because nothing else will save you from a ruined career that could have otherwise been trouble free.

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