Is it any surprise that the fear mongering stories about companies not monitoring everything their employees do online always come from companies selling internet monitoring tools? It looks like one such company has gone a step further and convinced someone to write an entire fear mongering book about companies not monitoring employee emails. The reporter writing about the book never seems to question the obvious bias from the company who provided the data for the author and (look at that!) is helping to market the book. In fact, the article seems to simply accept all of the findings outright, without once pointing out that there's another side to this story as well. Instead, we're told that this book has "startling" findings such as the fact that (gasp!) employees were looking for other jobs (hey, everyone's doing it, apparently) and that some stupidly did things like looking at porn. The only nod towards the fact that this might be an invasion of privacy is the claim that no one should be worried about privacy issues because in one story in the book, email monitoring found "an Al Qaeda operative working at a government agency." Now, that's quite a find -- but, to use an extreme example like that doesn't necessarily justify invading everyone's privacy. It actually just raises a lot more questions about how this person was hired in the first place. Meanwhile, other studies have shown that employees who feel they're being spied on by their employers tend to be less productive. This isn't to say that email monitoring doesn't make sense in some cases -- but, to brush off the downsides to monitoring in favor of what's clearly a marketing attempt by a company selling filters is weak reporting.
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