Web surfing like talking on phone, U.S. judge rules
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Thread: Web surfing like talking on phone, U.S. judge rules

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Web surfing like talking on phone, U.S. judge rules

    Interesting. When I first saw this I thought: great. Now everyone is going to have an expectation of privacy on the web. Now that I've read it, I'm thinking, great. Now every employee will figure it'll be ok to surf when they want as it's no different than being on the phone. And that it's no longer a resource of the company. Wonder what kind of fall-out will come from this in future cases.

    Web surfing like talking on phone, U.S. judge rules
    Apr. 24, 2006. 01:00 PM
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    NEW YORK — Surfing the web at the work is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone, an administrative law judge said in recommending the lightest possible punishment for a city worker accused of disregarding warnings to stay off the Internet.

    The case involved Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran of the Department of Education, whose office computer had been used to visit news and travel websites.

    "It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work," Administrative Law Judge John Spooner said in recommending only a reprimand for Choudhri.

    The judge noted that city agencies allow workers to make personal calls if it doesn't interfere with their work performance.

    Choudhri's lawyer, Martin Druyan, called the ruling "very reasonable."
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    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
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    I read this earlier too MsM, in short it will not change my policy on Internet usage. The policy pretty much states the Internet is to be used, primarily, for business related issues. While we realize, some personal use maybe be required, (insert company name here) reserves the right to monitor and report on all Internet usage and take appropriate actions if abuse is uncovered.

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    DjM

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    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    Is that really any different than most companies policies on phone use though DjM? If you're making personal phone calls that don't affect your work performance, it's okay. If they catch you using the company phone to make threatening phone calls to someone, or calling porn lines, you're going to be in hot water. Same with the internet, I'd think. You're fine as long as you stay within reasonable work boundaries.
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    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    I would think that spending a couple of hours on the net would be easier to do then tying up phone lines, espescially where a switchboard is in use, and then with the PC, you have IM..( I have disabled all of our PC's with this feature as it is not work related), so there is room for a lot of abuse as opposed to the phone...?

    Surfing the web at the work is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone, an administrative law judge said in recommending the lightest possible punishment for a city worker accused of disregarding warnings to stay off the Internet.
    Who takes all day to read the paper, and I alway's figured you got the morning edition of the rag so you could read before going to work, or read it while you commute, so this is rather disingenious at best, also there was obviousley a pattern here of abuse as the individual had been warned.... as in more then once....

    "It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work," Administrative Law Judge John Spooner said in recommending only a reprimand for Choudhri.
    Boy if this becomes a test case then employer's had better dot their I's and cross their T's when drafting up internet usage policies while at work...

    The judge noted that city agencies allow workers to make personal calls if it doesn't interfere with their work performance.
    What constitutes interference with work performance for city workers (tongue in cheek), halllooo city workers are asleep half the time, how can they be accused of being on the internet and possibly interfering with their performance at the same time, is this like an "oxymoron".....silly servants internet is for kids......


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  5. #5
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    The phone IS like the internet. Every call is recorded by a line in the billing system. Who called what number and how long. Certain calls are restricted. For instance one may not be able to call long distance. If you spend all day on the phone Bull Shitting about Survivor, your a loser.

    This case does not seem to have any legal precedence and you can certainly do your job WITHOUT internet access in many cases.
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    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    We have implemented a quota system. Users have 1hr of quota time per day that *should* be used during their lunch hour. However, I'd guess that only a few people actually use their quota time at lunch. Most people use it first thing in the morning reading news/entertainment sites.

    They can only go to sites that are appropriate for viewing at work. No alcohol/drug, "questionable", pr0n, gambling, gaming, etc.

    After their quota time is gone... sorry about your luck!
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    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    I use quota time as well. I think its too hours I would have to check. That's plenty of time for news and to see how bad the raiders got spanked.
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    AO Guinness Monster MURACU's Avatar
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    We dont set qoutas on the time people use the internet. We do limit the sites people can connect to though.
    I tend to more judge by if the work is done or not. If someone is surfing the net all day they wont get their work finished. In that case you just fire them for not working rather that being on the web. I wonder how many people were succesfully fired for using the web?
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    The difference between a phone call and using the internet is that a phone call probably wont bring down the whole network for a day or two if a wrong number is dialed.

    Where I work using the internet is an integral part of everyone’s job. I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure nothing malicious gets threw so I agree with the judge. If an employee has been granted internet access and uses it within the TOS than it should be treated no differently than phone usage.

    So how did this employee get on the internet if he’d been denied internet access?
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