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It is ethical to look at the users email?

By jgtez ·
Hi, If I'm the manager of the mail server, it is ethical to look at the users email to detect porno or content that can damage the bussines?


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you could but...

by MSChan In reply to It is ethical to look at ...

... do so according to the guideline listed in the company policy.

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by adam.chen In reply to you could but...

Before that, make your guys be aware of
1. Company resources should be used for business only.
2. Any activity might be monitored while using company resources.
3. You are authorized by the company.
Then, there should be no private stuff expected online. You are monitoring company's communication.

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by JamesRL In reply to It is ethical to look at ...

Without involving anyone else or getting official permission, then no its not ethical.

You should work with your HR Department, and Senior IT management to establish policies and monitoringguidelines. You might need to communicate to employees letting them know that their communications may be monitored - and better yet, get them to sign that they have read the policy.

Once you have clear communicated policies and guidelines, then go ahead. I would suggest that this is better done with a tool than by hand. There are tools available which will block file types, and scan content for specific words - on both incoming and outgoing mail.


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Is there a policy established by a competent authority?

by jgtez In reply to Process

Is there a policy on the web or in document, established by a competent authority or a opinion leader in the subject?

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Maybe but

by JamesRL In reply to Is there a policy establi ...

In reality, every company is different. You will have to craft your own based on inputs from senior management and HR.

You have to establish: what the expectations of privacy are, who will be allowed to monitor emails, what circumstances will trigger an investigation, who needs to initiate investigations, and most importantly - who is responsible for any enforcement of policies (make HR do it).


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Do a Google search.

by jmd10k In reply to Is there a policy establi ...

I recently had to write a corporate policy for appropriate use of corporate equipement. I found several such documents on the web. I was able to use them as a baseline and now have an established corporate policy that has been approved by HR and our Senior VP. Google is great!

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Available from Tech Republic

by lmaurer5 In reply to Do a Google search.

We wrote our policy based on a template from Tech Republic. Search for "Acceptable Use Policy".

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TR should have a "White Paper"

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Is there a policy establi ...

That could act as a guide line for setting up what basically is a contract between the business and workers.

However the final product will need to be vetted by the companies Lawyers just to cover the companies and the IT workers backsides.

This should already be in place as every company should have a set of rules covering e-mail and phone calls. Not only does the hardware belong to the company but while the workers are supposed to be working and are actually spending time either on line or on the phone it is costing the company money in both web time phone calls and wages that are not earned.

Most companies have a set of rules in place and are flexible in terms of what is acceptable but any form of abuse has to be jumped on immediately.

Also depending on the company the workers could be sending leads to other business and gaining financial advantage from these leads.


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I Agree Totally

by Debon In reply to Process

I agree with James. There needs to be a clearly defined policy that is circulated to staff (i.e. and preferrably signed by ALL staff as having been read). This policy should state among other things that ....staff are to have absolutely no expectation of privacy for any data, information or any representation thereof, that is contained in or stored on, hard disk, floppy disk, tape or any other media type whether printed or otherwise, purchased by the company or present on company property...... It may also state what sanctions can be brought against anyone found in violation of the policy and may also name the position whose job it will be to enforce the sanctions. It is necessary to have it reviewed by the legal department to ensure it is enforcible and that it protects the Company and whoever is responsible for enforcing the policy.

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Just flag it

by Oz_Media In reply to It is ethical to look at ...

get a spam protection that allows you to flag specific keywords or addresses.

IE: Any mail from my clients server is scanned and keywords such as 'resume', 'hiring' etc are flagged. the message is then forwardd to either myself or the owner (depending on the keyword flagged). also it scans attachments for the same keywords, such as RESUME, ad many sexual terms used in jpegs etc. to ensure it is captured before leavig the ofice.

the compnay mail system is NOT private mail for employees, it is completely acceptable for the owner and provider of the system to review ALL mail set through it, especially while the employer is paying for the persons time.

mail at work is NOT private, is is NOT petrsonal, it is owned BY the company and anything sent through or recieved into it is also the property of the company to read or delete as it deems neccessary.

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