Premium Essay

Internet Surveillance

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By figaro
Words 1527
Pages 7
Contrary to what many people may think, online private data and cellphone meta-data is susceptible to snooping by not only government agencies and corporations, but also hackers willing to risk a prison sentence. In 2013, NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed previously unknown details of global surveillance programs run by the United States' NSA in close cooperation with three partners: Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The documents leaked by Mr. Snowden revealed details about the NSA secretly tapping into Yahoo and Google data centers to collect information from millions of accounts worldwide. The shocking evidenced released by Mr. Snowden reveals that lawmakers and politicians should take greater control over how and why they are using their surveillance technologies, and question whether or not the fight against terrorism justifies the use of these surveillance programs on citizens as well. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that there be continued innovation in internet security in order to create services and products which can counter-act the use of these programs on ordinary citizens who don’t want their data accessible to anyone but themselves. Spying agencies are able to cripple the civil liberties and the right to privacy of citizens, therefore it is imperative that the government protect the rights of citizens through reforms on Surveillance Acts, but it is also equally pertinent for citizens take initiative and push for new reforms and innovation in online security.
Surveillance is defined as the “monitoring of people and systems in order to regulate their behaviour” (Castree) and has been a rooted part of many cultures and civilizations. Along with changing socio-political times, surveillance has transformed in shape and form due to the real and perceived needs of mass surveillance which continue to show up i.e. protection of the...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Commodification of Free Speech

...into an age of counter-terrorism. While the more obvious aspects of this effort against violent extremism, which violate human and constitutional rights, such as drone strikes, waterboarding, and black prison sites, are specifically targeted toward a specific population, it is the subtler aspects of mass surveillance and corporate and governmental intrusion of privacy which present an overwhelming threat to human rights and quality of life. As has been made clear by recent revelations of the scope and depth of these intrusions, internet users specifically have many reasons to suspect that private information entered online is vulnerable to un-ethical intrusions by third parties. However, many groups and individuals have come together to bring resolution to the issue of personal privacy and national security. According to article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honor and reputation (Lachmayer 749). However, the more subtle aspects of the new counter-terrorism age include a heightened amount of internet surveillance, video surveillance of public spaces, electronic eavesdropping, and data retention. Additionally governments have access to bank accounts, travel booking information, and data held in cloud storage (749). In other words, nearly every aspect of modern life can not only be monitored, but due to recent technological......

Words: 2685 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Electronic Surveillance of Employees

...Electronic Surveillance of Employees LEG 500 Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance January 22, 2012 1. Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. Human beings need privacy and have a right to expect privacy in certain areas of their lives. The areas where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace are very limited. Common decency precludes monitoring in highly private locations, such as bathrooms. Personal items, such as purses, wallets and gym bags may also be considered to be off-limits. The employee can also reasonably expect privacy during personal telephone calls at work. In Watkins v. L. M. Berry (1983), the court upheld upon appeal that employers must stop monitoring calls upon realization that the call is of a personal nature. Exceptions to this are when employer policy specifically forbids calls of a personal nature. Here the employees need for privacy directly conflict with established policy. Privacy protection may vary with state laws and federal statutes. State laws on privacy in the workplace may differ with some states offering much more privacy protection to the employees than others. For example, Volkert (2005) reported that while electronic surveillance may be allowed in Idaho, it must have a specific purpose and record video only (no audio). Government employees are likely to have greater privacy rights than private sector employees due to protections under the Fourth Amendment......

Words: 1445 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Fmla

...Rashad Watkins Bus 352 Stratford University 11/1/11 How much privacy can your employees expect at work? Today, it's possible for companies to monitor every aspect of what employees do in the office, from email and surfing the Internet to phone conversations. But when are you crossing the line? There are specific laws, rules, and regulations granting certain employee privacy rights. For example, there are laws that create a right to privacy for employee personnel records, medical information, and background screenings. But what about cases in which no specific law creates a right to privacy? Does one exist anyway? The answer is maybe. If no law or regulation exists, whether there is a right to privacy is determined by referring to the "reasonable expectation of privacy." If, under the circumstances, it was reasonable for the employee to expect certain conduct or communications would be considered private, then the courts might deem that a right of privacy existed. Suppose an employer searches an employee's office or cubicle, working files, or locker. Was it reasonable for the employee to believe that his or her office or cubicle is a private area that the employer cannot search without permission? What if the employer's Employee Handbook states: "The Company reserves the right to access and search all offices and work areas on company property, including but not limited to locked and unlocked desks, file cabinets,......

Words: 714 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Surveillance in the Workplace

...that need for a specific policies regarding surveillance or monitoring in the workplace. The primary purpose of such policies is to eliminate any expectation of privacy on the part of an employee utilizing company technologies or property for personal use. However, even when an employer has a policy, it is nonetheless common for employers to tolerate some degree of private usage by employees. This is one dilemma for employers and the main purpose for establishing a "zero tolerance". In any event, the employer's written policy and actual practices should clarify to employees specifically and inform third parties through implied or informed consent the expectations of the employer or business utilizing surveillance. Assignment One 2 Question One 1. Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. In the office workplace there are typically two types of workspaces, an open area, in which there are several desks and where conversations can be overhead, or an enclosed office, in which—when the door is closed—conversations cannot be heard and where one would expect virtually total privacy. Explain whether it makes a difference if an employee is in an open area or in an enclosed office. Surveillance is becoming commonplace in the work environment. Generally speaking, employers are permitted to monitor by surveillance "public" areas. When surveillance is hidden, however, and when the surveillance is surreptitious, then the employer......

Words: 1870 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Assignment5

...Assignment #1 – Electronic Surveillance of EmployeesStrayer University        LEG500 – Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance   Assignment #1 – Electronic Surveillance of EmployeesExplain Where an Employee Can Reasonably Expect to Have Privacy in the WorkplaceAlthough the law on employee privacy rights is still developing, various federal and state laws limit and define what employers can do when monitoring their employees (Dillon, Hamilton, Thomas, & Usry, 2008). Under federal and most state law, there are areas where an employee has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the workplace. Generally, privacy in the workplace can reasonably be expected in the following three general areas.First, the area of where employees can reasonably expect to have privacy from their co-workers is in their private workplace areas. Courts generally recognize a reasonable expectation of privacy as to an employee’s exclusive private office, desk, and file cabinets containing personal matters not shared with other workers (Wilson, 2006). Second, in highly private areas such as restrooms, break lounges, locker rooms, and places designated for health or personal comfort, courts have generally recognized employees’ reasonable expectations of privacy. The main reason is that activities carried out in these places are things that are not normally done in public. They are private acts, and the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy during these activities. Finally, different kind of......

Words: 2001 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Electronic Surveillance of Employees

...have a reasonable expectation of privacy is in the restroom. Also, since the employers need to know all employees are providing a proper job, that the workplace place is always secured, also because as the owner of the company he owns the computer network, the terminals and will be the biggest loser if the company fails, he or she is free to monitor employees in order to protect the business and at the same time the employees. Even if employees are sometime given today some minimal protection from computer and other forms of electronic monitoring in the work place, especially through union contract, the Fourth Amendment; or Connecticut, Labor Code Chapter 557 and so on, 92% of all of the US companies still conducting high electronic surveillance in the workplace according to the American Management Association (AMA) report of 2009. For example, personal calls are protected under federal case law. So when an employer realizes the call is personal, he or she must immediately stop monitoring the call unless the employee knows it is being monitored and consents to it. 2. In the office workplace there are typically two types of workspaces, an open area, in which there are several desks and where conversations can be overhead, or an enclosed office, in which—when the door is closed—conversations cannot be...

Words: 563 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

...I. INTRODUCTION Controversy surrounding workplace monitoring and surveillance has intensified with the rapid digitization of the workplace. The ways in which we work, communicate and share information have forever changed. Employers are playing constant “catch up” with new technologies that are utilized on a broad scale long before policies are created to manage their impacts. Privacy issues often arise in connection with employer efforts to locate, hire and evaluate the most qualified and reliable employees. Improvements in technology, such as the rapid rise of the use of electronic mail and the increasing use of surveillance cameras, often force otherwise reluctant employers to readdress the balance between employees' privacy concerns and perceived business needs. In fact, nearly 67% of all companies currently use some type of surveillance in the workplace. According to a recent poll, “. . . over 66% percent of those surveyed had used the Internet from work in the past 24 hours.” (M.Lee Smith Publishers, Hospitality Workforce Trends, January 2000) In addition, when issues in his or her personal life impact an employee’s work, the employer must make judgments as to the appropriate level of involvement. Lastly, as traffic on the “information superhighway” continues to explode a number of substantive questions about the use and abuse of these information networks arises. What are the ramifications for employees’ right to privacy in the workplace? Does an......

Words: 3154 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Electronic Surveillance of Employees

...Electronic Surveillance of Employees Professor Michael Hall Law, Ethic, and Corporate Governance- LEG 500 November 1, 2011 Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. You may think your United States employee rights authorize you to have a privacy workplace. People are wrong because, according to workplace privacy studies, the odds were good that your employer was monitoring all your internet actions, including your web pages and chat rooms (Niznik, 2011). If your company policy does not state there is a workplace privacy policy, your employer may watch, listen, and read just about everything in workplace area. Employers have the right to protect their business, their finances, and all of their equipment. The American Management Association (AMA) conducted a study of 526 employers which most use some type of electronic surveillance of the employees (Niznik, 2011). Many employers will deny they use any type of electronic surveillance however; the odds are good that your employer has “the eye,” watching your every move at work. Employers are not required to provide workplace privacy because your employers own everything you use at work. Your employers own the computers you work on, the telephones you talk on and the buildings in which you work. There are only a few weak employee workplace privacy right laws that exist. Since there are so few workplace privacy laws, it is legal for “the eye” to spy on you without......

Words: 1946 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Electronic Surveillance

...Electronic Surveillance of Employees Employee privacy is a controversial topic. There is a need to ensure quality and accuracy in the interactions with customers. This need opens the discussion of what is insuring quality and what is an invasion of privacy. With the advancement in technology there are many surveillance options at the disposal of employers. The employer must review all surveillance options to determine which are legal as well as beneficial to customers, employees, and the business. Employers must consider these factors to make the best legal and ethical decision. Privacy in the Workplace Understanding the meaning of the word privacy is key to set standards of where in the workplace employees may expect discretion. Privacy is “the right to be free from secret surveillance, to determine whether, when, how and, to whom, one's personal or organizational information is to be revealed” ("Privacy," n.d.). Employees may reasonably expect to have privacy in several areas of the workplace. Two physically invasive areas which privacy should be a must are the restrooms and if one has an office with a door, a certain amount of privacy should be expected in that space. Other types of privacy a staff member can demand fairly is the confidentiality of their personal record, like background information, medical reports, social security numbers, financial information, corrective action, and any development plan the employee has engaged in. However, as far as monitoring......

Words: 1275 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Electronic Survilleance

...Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. Is there truly such a thing as privacy in the workplace? In today’s society it is possible for companies to monitor every aspect of what employees do in the office environment, from email, surfing the Internet to phone conversations. Federal and state laws specifically address an employer's right and ability to monitor, save, record, access, or otherwise conduct surveillance of employees' use of company electronic communication resources and systems. Generally speaking, if an employer complies with the notice and consent requirements under these laws, and writes and distributes policies consistent with the laws, it will be difficult for employees to show a reasonable expectation of privacy in using company-owned electronic communication systems. But there are specific laws, rules, and regulations which grant certain employee privacy rights within the workplace. These laws govern Personnel records, social security numbers, monitoring and eavesdropping, medical records, drug testing, and background screening. Employees generally have a right to privacy in their personnel records, with exception of a few specific circumstances. This means that employers are generally not permitted to disclose personnel records of an employee to third parties without a legal obligation to do so or written consent from the employee's. The right can be found in state statutes, codes, or by judicial case law....

Words: 1941 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Electronic Surveillance of Employees

...Running Head: Electronic Surveillance of Employees Electronic Surveillance of Employees Tenika Farris Professor: Anne Dewey- Balzhiser LEG 500-Law, Ethics & Corp. Governance 10/22/2011 Introduction New technology allows employers to monitor the job performance of their employees which has become a common practice in some workplaces. This procedure can be accomplished through e-mail, telephone, camera, internet and other electronic surveillance monitoring systems. This procedure was designed to be used solely for business purposes. In many instances employees have been made to feel as if their privacy has been invaded. Upon implementing such practices employers and employees both have a need to be knowledgable of any policies permitting the use of monitoring devices and to know their rights. Research The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) is the only federal statute that offers workers protections in communications privacy. ECPA prohibits the intentional interception of electronic communications. However, the ECPA contains loopholes that facilitate employee monitoring. First, employers are permitted to monitor networks for business purposes. This enables employers to listen in on employee phone calls or to view employees' e-mail. Employers may not monitor purely personal calls, however, in order to determine that a call is personal, employers usually have to listen to portions of the employee's conversation. Second, an employer may intercept...

Words: 2157 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Persuasive Essay On The Fourth Amendment

...Your phone can be watched at all times, even when it’s not turned on, and they can take anything that they want off of it (Schlesinger.) This issue is why the fourth amendment was created in the first place and clearly states that all personal information cannot be accessed without a warrant. The way the government gets away with this is through, “Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” This act makes it to where the government can spy on us without our knowledge unless it involves legal reasons like the case of a criminal. Then, once people are found guilty of something and taken to trial, it is almost impossible to win the case without evidence that you were spied on by the government (Diakun). Also, nine out of ten accounts in around 160,000 communications using section 702 were found to not be of the main goal which was targeting surveillance, therefore meaning that random and innocent people’s information was breached (Greene). Perhaps if we were informed of these invasions, and if it wasn’t kept hidden from us then maybe their reasons for it could be more...

Words: 915 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Law&Ethics

...1. Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. When it comes to employment, many employee privacy rights are granted by specific laws, rules, and/or regulations. For example, there are laws that create a right to privacy in employee personnel records, the use and maintenance of employee social security numbers, employee medical information, background screenings, and the like. But what about cases in which there is no specific statute or code that creates a right to privacy? Does one exist anyway? The answer is maybe. Sometimes, whether a privacy right exists is determined by reference to the "reasonable expectation of privacy." This is a concept which basically asks if, in the particular circumstances, it was reasonable to expect that certain conduct or communications would be considered private. "Reasonable expectation of privacy" can be raised where, for example, an employer searches an employee's office or cubicle, looks through an employee's working files, or searches an employee's locker at work. Was it reasonable for the employee to believe that his or her office or cubicle is a private area that the employer cannot search without first asking permission? Determining whether there was a "reasonable expectation of privacy" typically involves a balancing test, and many factors must be considered to decide whether the employee had a privacy right in answer to......

Words: 1732 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Workplace Surveilance

...Workplace Surveillance Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace. Employees can be monitored through telephones, computers, the internet, voicemail, telephone conversations, instant message and surveillance. The employee will want to pay close attention to the company policy on privacy and electronic usage as much of these items are unregulated as stated on the privacyrights.org website. Your employer can listen, read and monitor most of your workplace communications. Even if the policy is paid attention to the employee will need to ensure they understand the implications of the privacy policy as it can be hard to say how a judge might decipher the policy which became clear to me during our reading of privacy in chapter four of our text (Halbert 2009). It is important for the employee to know when the communication crossed the line from being private to being property of the company. A big issue these days is how email and internet usage can be monitored and an employee can potentially lose their employment over misuse. It is said that some 28% of employers have fired their employees over misuse of internet as stated on the privacyrights.org website. Phone calls are also monitored when employees have conversations with customers. It stands to reason if an employee has communications with customers the business would have a right to monitor these calls. If an employee has a personal conversation the employer is required to......

Words: 1549 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Privacy Laws and Policies Debate

...to choose a side I would go against monitoring employee’s computers, listening in on calls, and video surveillance. I think my biggest concern is the fact that many employers will go too far. There will be no privacy at all for the employee in the workplace, except in the restrooms. I think this total lack of privacy and lack of trust shows an employer has no respect for the employees. Employers need to consider the effect such monitoring has on their employees since employee and employer attitudes about monitoring often diverge. There should be a pretty good battle over this issue, what with so many people being concerned with their privacy, but on the other hand so many companies making big money on software that is used to spy on a companies’ employees. Software manufacturers in 2004 expected the sale of computer monitoring and surveillance software to businesses to increase from $139 million in 2001 to $622 million in 2006 (Wakefield 2004). There aren’t any constitutional or federal laws protecting an employee's rights at work. We may end up with a few new regulations in the future that might ease the spying up a little bit, but not much. Remember years ago how people would say “big brother is watching you?” Do you think they ever dreamed that it would be like this? References Miller, S., & Weckert, J. (2000). Privacy, the workplace and the internet. Journal...

Words: 383 - Pages: 2