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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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by JamesRL In reply to What kind of email are yo ...

There is a difference between the management reserving the right to review the mail, or instructing someone to review the email, and a tech taking it upon themsleves to read someone's email.

If the tech is not management and doesn't have the monitoring duty in their job description, or been instructed by someone to monitor, they are acting inappropriately and by the standards of most organizations I've been in, that person would be fired.

I had a similar situation at a previous job where if we could prove it we would have fired him (he had been a mail admin, but had moved onto another position - and yes someone should have changed the passwords. That error was corrected .


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by CuteElf In reply to Yes your Majesty

Is there a way you could set up an email address just for BS/ Honeypot, and have a key logger attached to it?

Have emails sent to both Real & Fake, and have keylogger on the workstation, and leave it open for the tech to get into.

Only have person open real email @ home by webuse/ no downloads?

Also may want to check IM keyloggers and ghosting......

You think to document this for another month, and nail the bastage?

How else to do this, I'm interested. I'd like to learn more about forensics and snaggin the buggers.


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Legal Ramifications

by Aaron A Baker In reply to That's illegal here in th ...

Hello Gadgetgirl;
Thank you for the comeback, and yes I am Canadian :). "Golly, Shucks" ]:)
I have spoken to "My Friend" the owner regarding the moral and legal issues re; this. At this point, he is most hesitant to do anything because The "Tech" Seems to be the only one that knows the system. Not that it's that big, trust me,it isn't. The Owners however are not Computer savvy and have placed themselves in his hands a few years ago and so it stayed. Partly because he knows the system "Probably built some of it and partly out of fear. I did not solicit the job, I only expressed my outrage to the owner who is a dear Friend of mine. But he feels locked in and with that kind of fear, it's most difficult to get people moving. That's why I asked for advice from my Colleagues, every letter will be copied and printed and then I will hand deliver them to my friend the owner and say "See, this is what "Truly Professional Techs" think of his situation". The second problem is that he unsure as to how to replace him. I told him I would help, but the fear factor set's in and it's back to square one. Meanwhile this "Tech " Thinks he's king of the hill and has full domain to do what he wants.
I am determined to put a stop to it, but want to do so without hurting my friend or his business.
Just so you'll all know, You have no idea how grateful I am for all the advice and the letters.
It will help make my point that Techs are indeed a Highly Reputable People and that this Tech's conduct is nowhere near the level of Pro.
Thank you.
Aaron :)

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tell the onwer

by warpindy In reply to Legal Ramifications

From what I have read the owner is a good friend, but you must explain to him this is the way business is done. That tech should be fired for his gross his conduct of reading other people's email. What you should do is tell the party that is getting thier email read is to change their password on their workstation to put a stop to this. If the tech gets into the workstation again have a lawyer and security computer expert walk him out the door.

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change passwords ??? seriously ???

by larrybell_2000 In reply to tell the onwer

True, I have only been a mainframe operator for 15 years or so, and had my own computers for about as long. But I would swear that the Network Admins had access to all the passwords so that they could help users with password resets and such.

So would changing passwords REALLY help the owner keep this smuck out of his Email? Wouldn't he have access to the password file so he could just look up the new password everytime the owner changed it? That doesn't solve anything.

I know this post comes really late in the game to have my two-cents-worth mean much, but I agree the Tech guy needs to be fired ASAP. But yes, making sure all employment laws in regards to giving warnings, written notice, etc be followed to make sure the guy can't sue and win for unlawful discharge.

I would also suggest that if this guy is really good, he probably has back doors into the system that need to be plugged. I'm thinking a PC with PC Anywhere, or running GOTO MYPC, or whatever other remote access method. That would be why the owner needs to get another IT Security contractor in (on the sly perhaps) to find and be able to plug the holes the second the door hits the guy in the *** on the way out.

In the meantime, yes, document (save) the Emails that he sends referring to content in the email account of the owner (as well as the original emails). Contact Lawyers for guidance.

Larry B.

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Password Access

by bjones In reply to change passwords ??? ser ...

Even if the Admin has complete domain rights, they will not have access to the passwords. The Admin only has the right to reset it, not view it. So, if the Admin changes the user's password, the user would know it the next time they tried to login that his system was comprimised.

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Changing workstation passwords is not the answer

by Real Aus Tech In reply to tell the onwer

simply because this guy has Admin level access to the email server, where the mails are stored. Changing user passwords in this situation is not going to change anything as he is just going to continue looking on the server. The only answer is to terminate this guy, and have him prosecuted for whatever crimes he has committed. See my other post much later in the forum for more information.

(:- If you cannot have everything that you want, be happy with what you have!

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few things

by ijusth In reply to Legal Ramifications

first has this tech read or snooped anyone else so you can have others thinking the same way. Second ask the owenr what he would feel if HIS email was read and then commented on. Third the king of the hill comment reminds me of an OLD website that had a character called the ******* operator from ****. He was an Englishman who essentially did as he pleased in a company.

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You're right of Course

by Aaron A Baker In reply to Tech Snoops into Client's ...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who is outraged at this jerk's nerve. Imagine the temerity of calling my friend the next day to say that he hope's he had a good time at the dinner invitation received in the E-Mail. At fist I could not believe my ears, then I realized,this guy is counting on the fact that the client is not aware of the law or feels so omnipotent and indispensable that he can do as he pleases. His other job by the way,is working a and IT Tech for the Dept of Highways. Cute huh?
So naturally, I've advised my friend to get rid of this yahoo and get a real Pro in there. An yes, I will keep a copy of the responses, just to show my friend what Real Professionals think of such conduct. I will definitely make the Tech aware that I AM aware of his actions and that actions will be forthcoming. haven't taken any thus far at my friend's behest.
I shall keep reading, feeling better and better as I read of all you wonderful people who feel as I do.
Thank You.
Warmest Regards
Aaron :)

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by gadgetgirl In reply to You're right of Course

I think we're all of the same mind when it comes to idiots like this tech - he gives the rest of us a bad name. There's no reason why this profession should put up with people like him.

Please bear in mind what I said about informing others - in your part of the world, it may be a legal requirement that you do.

(Ask Jaqui, he looks as if he's the Canadian equivalent of me! No, Jaqui, I know you're a fella and I'm ...... not! ]:) )

Let us know how you fare.

Best of luck


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