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Tech Snoops into Client's Private EMail

By Aaron A Baker ·
Opinions Please
E-Mai Snooping or Professional Misconduct?
I have a friend who owns a Medium Sized Business. It? a good Business and doing extremely well.
In this setup he has the usual, a few Computers, Printers and the usual IT Setups to do the chores.
The Problem is his IT Tech.
Although the Tech is quite knowledgeable, he has the habit of logging himself in on my friend?s system at night when all is closed down, and then proceeds to read all my friend?s E-Mail. All without my friend?s permission or consent. As a matter of fact, my friend doesn?t even know anything has taken place until the Tech asks how the date went last night etc, etc.
If an E-Mail contains a note from my friend?s girlfriend regarding going out for dinner or whatever, the Tech will usually call him the next day to ask ho the dinner went and so on.
Of course this frustrates my friend to no end as he feels that his mail is private and should certainly not be held out as entertainment.
This Tech does this without regard as to how this might affect the client.
He Just goes in and reads it all and then will send in little comments on things In the e-Mails such as ?I hope the Wine was good? , How was the Pizza? You get the idea.
When my friend asked me about this, I hit the roof. I informed him that this was Professional Misconduct. No Professional Tech would read other people?s mail for the purpose of snooping. It simply wasn?t done.
I told him that the Tech had absolutely no reason to log himself back on after hours for the sole purpose of snooping and that this was conduct unbecoming of a professional IT Tech.
Let alone call the next day to discuss the contents of said E-Mails. What Nerve.
I am writing to you, my fellow Techs to ask if your are of the same mind.
Do you think it?s appropriate for a Tech to help himself to a clients personal E-Mails and then make comments on the contents of the e-Mail to the client?.
I suggested firing him out the window, what do you think?
Would be grateful for your thoughts.
Thanking you in advance

It is now Nov 17,2005
I've read every single post that has been put up here so far. I've also started copying them and pasting them in order so as to show them to my friend. I have to do ten or so at a time and then my eyeballs fall out :).
But the one thing I felt the need to say to each and every one of you is a really huge,"Thank You".
Your input has been far more valuable that you can possibly imagine, not to mention it's given me some great fighting ideas. I was surprised at the amount of answers but at the same time felt a deep sense of well being knowing that the True Pros out there feels and act as I do. It's a comforting feeling, knowing that although your work is done almost always by yourself, you're never really alone.
And so I just had to take a minute and thank you all so very much for having helped me out with this.I will of course keep coming back,a-To copy & Paste and then b]- To read any new posts.
It's a genuine pleasure knowing that I am dealing with the very best, and all these posts, prove that beyond a doubt.
Please forgive my little rant, but I truly touched am very grateful to all of you. Far more than you can know.
And so I close in saying
"May we continue keeping our standards and morals at the highest"
"No matter where we are in the World, May we be of one Moral Core."
Thank you one and all
Warmest Regards and heartfelt gratitude

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Fire him, right now

by jdgretz In reply to Tech Snoops into Client's ...

That is totally improper, and I can't believe he has the nerve to actually make comments on what he has read.

There ain't no tech who is that good, just make sure that guy who replaces him changes all the passwords and remote access doors before the old guy is out the door.


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Documentation Reprimand Fire

by mayres In reply to Fire him, right now

Ok there are some legitimate reasons for logging on to a clients computer and opening the email client I have to do it a lot but to read the email is another story. Hear we login Send a few test messages ext but are not allowed to read the email it is laid out in the AUP that we wrote out says that a tech can not check email for personal curiosity. Yes what he doing is wrong but you might get in to legal trouble if you fire him out right. Hear is what I would do

1. Write and Acceptable Use Policy
2. Get everybody to sing the Policy (Including the Tech)
a. This way you have written conformation that he can not do that anymore
3. Talk the Tech tell him it is not acceptable
4. If he cops and attitude or does it again throw his but out the door
It is really important to let him know that what he is doing is wrong and give him a chance to correct the problem before terminating his employment. It would really suck if the company has to pay for his unemployment because the proper documentation was not signed

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by neal_work In reply to Documentation Reprimand F ...

I know it was a typo, but I LOVE the idea of getting everybody to "sing" the Acceptable Use Policy (especially the Tech)

Maybe they will pay more attention to it if they have to keep in tune

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fire his ***

by Techie31 In reply to Fire him, right now

don't even let him back in the door. I can't even begin to think someone would be such an ***. call a lawyer and a computer security consultant, meet him at the door get his keys and turn him over to the police..I am sure that he has broken more pirvacy laws then you can hit with bat

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the guy is a lunatic

by rayc In reply to Fire him, right now

Fire him now, change the passwords, scan for trojans and damn him to everyone connected with employing him. the guy is obviously a lunatic to so obviously comment on the content of emails etc.

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Get your ducks in a row BEFORE you do or say ANYTHING...

by jchickory In reply to Fire him, right now

He needs to be fired. But, since there is a question of his ability to know moral or ethical boundaries, you need to do things BEFORE you even talk to him about it. Once he knows that he's in trouble, he may do even MORE mischief. Consult with someone to know your legal ground. If you have to establish legal ground and policy before firing him, do so. But it would probably be a good idea to bring in a new IT to secure the system immediately before doing or saying anything to the old IT to prevent him from retaliating. I hope that you have good back ups. Good luck.

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I would get things in order too

by nsim3008 In reply to Get your ducks in a row B ...

You don't want to let this guy see your upper hand. He may be more tech saavy then you think and you can see that he has no morals about what's right. Contact both a lawyer and an IT security specialist. Have the IT security specialist check to see what other damage this guy has done. Then have him go to work finding ways to keep this guy locked out and prevented from doing further damage. I don't see any legal problems in firing him, but your friend should have saved any e-mails he sent to him regarding private messages with other parties. I also hope your friend has written in his policy and procedures his right to fire an employee at will for misconduct or otherwise.

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Proceed carefully

by abbazobil In reply to Fire him, right now

It's hard for me to imagine that this tech isn't actually trying to provoke some sort of reaction. Why else would he knowingly violate all codes of proffesional ethics and then flaunt it like this. He either believes he has something in the system that assures him he won't lose his job(like a triggered worm etc) or the company hr policy is very badly doc'ed and he may be counting on suing the company for wrongful termination. Either way, first force him to take a vacation where his access from the system is completely cut-off to find out if there is something in the system. Document all his work and third, yes definitely terminate him. Last make sure he knows what in his work habit is unproffesiona, so he does not make the nmistake of passing on your name as a reference.

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Severance pay

by davew In reply to Fire him, right now

Hand him this shirt as Severance pay and escourt him out of the building.

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by Jaqui In reply to Tech Snoops into Client's ...

get rid of him, after getting a replacement tech.
make sure the replacement is fully up to speed before fireing him.

keep the comment emails, on cdrom that your friend takes home with him, as well as the email that the comment is based on.

lay charges of invasion of privacy, theft of data against the tech being fired.

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