Montenegro Gives Odd Reason For Banning Facebook On Gov't Computers

from the take-down-the-network? dept

Banning Facebook at the office still doesn't make much sense to us, but even if we granted the (incorrect) premise that Facebook should be banned for being non-work related, it's still odd to see the country of Montenegro's reasoning for banning Facebook in all government offices. They're claiming that it's to avoid taking down their own network. Usually, you take down your network from traffic heading in not out. And, it's not like visiting Facebook takes up that much traffic. In the meantime, at least some other governments have realized that Facebook can be a useful way to talk to citizens. Hell, even terrorists now like Facebook. Perhaps governments should think twice about banning it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Andy, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 8:22pm

    in not out

    When you visit a website, the download, from the other end, is much heavier than the upload. That would be the "in" to the network that is the download.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    I have been an end user and admin for US Gov IS's. This is nothing new. Personell network sites have been banned in the states for a long time. Govies don't work as it is do not give them another reason to screw off.

    I do not see why any other goverment would not want to help productivity of there employees.

    PS. Intel does not get limitations put on it's work related internet usage.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    just joe, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 3:20am

    while I dot disagree at all with this self-described "end user and admin for US Gov IS's" comments, I must say I am mystified how anyone can hold such a position - or even get hired - with such poor spelling and grammar skills.

    It's appalling how many errors there are in one short message, any of which should preclude promotion from the 6th to the 7th grade in any self-respecting school system.

    IS's (why the apostrophe?)
    Personnell (Personnel)
    states (States)
    Govies don't work (needs a period here)
    do not give them (needs an initial upper case)
    on it's work (again, why the apostrophe?)

    There's an excellent book out there, perhaps the funniest book ever written about grammar and syntax, called "Eats Shoots and Leaves."

    Signed, The Grammar Police
    (a subsidiary of The Spanish Inquisition)

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    When at work, one ought to work. Hard.
    Even public-paid government employees.

    Stupid reasoning for the ban nevertheless.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 4:42am

    Just Joe, how the hell did you miss the "there."

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    Just Joe, nice way to deal with the argument. Bravo, you definitely debunked it. Retard. Oops, was that a one word sentence? Yes, it was.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Internal Affairs of The Grammar Police, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    Re: Just Joe

    Dear Joe,

    I would like to point out two grave errors in your initial comments. Please refer to your opening sentence. You forgot to capitalise the initial word and you have misspelled what seems to indicate the word "don't".

    Please turn in your badge and HR will make sure your P45 is in order. I would like to strongly advise you to please re-read Eats, Shoots & Leaves again before seeking employment elsewhere.

    Kind Regards,

    Prof. Oxford Comma

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    X-man, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    sure FB can take down your network, indirectly

    Those recent FB viruses, like Koobface, came via notification that employees might get in their email. There's no real good reason for institutions of any type to allow FB
    http://envirostats.info/2008/12/04/institutional-banning-of-facebook/

    unless they were trying to monitor terrorists... in which case, they would be hacking FB to really know what the terrorists might be doing... the ones you should take seriously, at least, cause the ones careless enough to have their stuff public are too stupid to cause a lot of harm.

    As for interacting with the public, membership to FB and its walled garden status makes it an elitist tool, meaning gov can't be using it to reach out to "all" citizens.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Just Joe

    Dear Prof. Oxford Comma,

    Thank you for your kind response. I remain curious as to your nation you claim citizenship towards. You see, here in America, we aren't the ones to 'kindly point out grave errors.' Such issues are usually taken care of the same way forefather patriots. May I suggest you research Samuel Adams effect on the East India Company, and how said patriot is honored virtually every evening at 5:00.

    Thank you for your time and may you be prosperous in the new year.

    Team America, World Police

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    j1mmyd, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    All risk; no business purpose

    I work in IT Security at one of the remaining mega-financial companies and I wish we were allowed to completely block Facebook. If something has any risk whatsoever, but no business purpose there's little reason to have it open. We're required by law to monitor all forms of chat, messaging, email, etc. which are not blocked. Allowing even partial access to sites like Facebook make it very difficult to comply. I'm thinking even Montenegro understands something that we don't.

     

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  11.  
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    Michael T., Dec 20th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    They should just say the real reason....

    I suspect the reason for the ban is that all those social networking sites are a MONUMENTAL waste of time. As an earlier posted said...when you are at work...you should work.....HARD. Not sit on your tail all day and have fun wasting your employers time. This is why, by my recommendation, ALL social networking sites are blocked by Sonicwalls at my clients sites.

    We also block ALL access to a whole list of web sites (subject matter...porn, sports, etc.)external chat, IM and email as it is a threat and another way to waste time.

    Its terrible it has come to this but unfortunaltey, the work ethic in this country has gone down the tubes and this type of enforcement is necessary.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    The AC with bad grammer, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    pERhaps he was drunk

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    just jane, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    iam going to. Use bad grammer an speling. Maybe. To make him mad

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    barrenwaste, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Work Ethic

    When at work, you cannot, not will not, cannot give one hundred percent for one hundred percent of the time. It is impossible. Not only that, but pushing your workers to the point of disgruntlement is counterproductive. There is a reason for breaks, and this reason has been well researched and proven. Humans can only work at a certain pace for a certain period of time before their productivity degrades. Allowing them to take a breather and relax, and there by resume their previous level of productivity is simply sound business. During that break/breather, what matters if they use a social network? The whole point of the break is to get their mind off their work and into enjoyable pursuit. It is very simple, happy workers produce more, and social networks help to produce positive outlooks.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: All risk; no business purpose

    you are required by law to what!!!!!!!! GET LOST
    my lap top is linux with PGP encryption and you are not permitted my key.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    Re: They should just say the real reason....

    glad i ndont work for youtr censoring B*****ds you would most definitely be working out how to block what i do to your system as a work round eitjher that or enjoying hospital food

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    nasch, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: All risk; no business purpose

    Exactly - your laptop. Presumably you would not be permitted to use said laptop for work at said mega-financial company. You would be using their computer, with their spyware on it, with no administrator access for installing applications such as PGP. I don't know if Sarb-Ox or some other law really requires such monitoring, but either way they can do it with their own employees if they want to.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Gov Auditor, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    Work Time

    My first language is Spanish, so I apologize to the grammar police in advance.

    I work for the Government of Puerto Rico (Gov). In our Constitution we have a section that reads: Assets and funds property of the Commonwealth are to be used for the Commonwealth and not for personal uses. (My translation, since it is in Spanish).

    Of course, you can use the argument that Gov can communicate to people using Facebook. That doesn't mean that all employees can use Facebook to message THEIR personal friends. If the Gov want to communicate with employees, they issue MEMOS. Ever heard that word before? Also there are other forms of communications like CIRCULARS. Ever heard of that? I have. They also use Intranet and Internet email.

    I work for the Gov as an auditor. When I audit PC's and there have been misuses, I look for porn, politics (political party communications - don't know the correct words) and personal private businesses. If I find that, I just add the personal web surfing to the list to prove they make bad use of work time.

    I use Facebook at work to track employees and connect them to other persons. Like "suspect1 did know suspect2" kind of thing. So, for me it is very useful. And yes, I do that on my spare time on my personal PC. Love my work. :)

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    nasch, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    In case you haven't been sufficiently ridiculed/corrected already:

    Personnell (Personnel)

    It should be "personal".

    Govies don't work (needs a period here)

    No, there should be a period or semicolon after "Govies don't work as it is".

    do not give them (needs an initial upper case)

    Not if he had used a semicolon.

    on it's work (again, why the apostrophe?)

    Because apparently something like 2/3rds of people using the internet don't know what apostrophes are for. Or how to spell "lose".

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Checking in, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 2:40pm

    The true problem is the autoresponders

    I worked as a director of IT at a private school where we finally had to block facebook and myspace not because we believe blocking things is the right way to do things in education but because it was crippling our network. The kids are all so interconnected and are updating pages (650 kids) regularly enough that it would send and autoresponder avalanche whenever a kid updates while at school. We would get slammed with incoming traffic. It was sad. but we finally had to pull the plug.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    izzataziz, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 2:42pm

    Boo....

    they no luck in capturing advance technology..
    poor them...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    That reply was well needed. I'm a government employee myself, I also was cringing at the post above.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 4:46pm

    Facebook is Crap

    I can completely understand them banning Facebook on their network. They should go ahead and ban Myspace too. I've seen plenty of people get "hooked" on these sites alredy and start obsessing about how many friends they have and crap like that. It's like they take a trip back in time to highschool and spend more time worrying about being popular than they do working.

    And I don't buy the premise that it's all that useful for business. Maybe a salesman or someone that spends time with the public might get some legitimate use from a presence there. But Joe Blow in Accounting has zero reason to be on there during work hours.

    Like so much of the over-hyped "Web 2.0", Facebook is disappointingly over-utilized and underwhelming.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Mike Allen's life partner told me this..., Dec 20th, 2008 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: They should just say the real reason....

    Mike, you're a douche bag. I've filled holes with people smarter than you.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Check it out, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Work Time

    Maltego is great.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 6:39pm

    I have a theory

    My theory is that Italy's boot-heel stepped into a pile of doo-doo, and the odor wafted across the Adriatic Sea to Montenegro, and the stench simply got so bad there that common sense took a leave of absence.

    Employees only waste their time on such sites as Facebook when their employers do not keep them sufficiently challenged with productive and meaningful work supervised by managers who are true leaders and who set an example for their underlings.

    I suspect the work ethic in that country rivals the diminutive size of the country. You know how the short guy is always trying to pick a fight to "prove" he is "macho?" Perhaps that country's insecure aristocracy is simply trying to prove they are "in charge." It is the "micromanagement" system at work. Look around. I suspect the "Peter Principle" is also in play here.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    viewfromabove, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 10:46pm

    So what?

    I don't know how anyone can criticize anything that would potentially hasten the demise of the godawful Facefaeces or any other worthless social networking for pathetic lifeless peons. Anyone invested either financially or as a member with the sock puppet of Web 2.0 needs a mental enema.

    The sooner these stupid ideas fail, the sooner we can move onto building worthwhile applications.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 1:01am

    Re:

    You missed
    goverment -> government

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 2:04am

    ?Escuchame!

    Dame tu mano
    y venga conmigo
    Vámonos al viaje para buscar los sonidos mágicos
    de Puerto Rico!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 8:03am

    Really TechDirt?

    It sounds like this is written by some 6th grader girl who just got her latest proxy site blocked. Oh no, she can't play flash games anymore!

    If a government doesn't need Facebook but employees waste their time on it why not block it? In a business sense, it just makes sense.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Interesting observation, #30. I was thinking the same. I think we're picking up some of the people the mods blocked over at bee.

    But the Friday articles have been lacking in concept for the the last few weeks. They seem to scream "troll this".

    But have you seen this?? It needs to go viral.
    http://dancejam.com/videos/1054595188-cant-wrap-this

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Prof. Oxford Comma, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Just Joe

    Kind Sir,

    I tip my hat to your wry sense of humour. Touche'!

    Please accept my offer of a pint of Mr. Adams' Boston lager instead of The East India's finest, and join you in a hearty round chanting your organisations motto: America! F**K YAH!

    Yours Truly,

    Prof. Oxford Comma (UK Division)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Mike, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 10:24am

    Makes sense to me.

    Where I work, everyone sits at a computer, and unless they are on a break or lunch, they should never have time to be visiting websites anyway. Facebook is not what we are payed to do, and there is no way to justify access from work, as you should be WORKING when you are logged in, not browsing a social network. We have our own intranet forum, and it is closely monitored by administration. If you get caught on a website that is not specifically work related you can be fired and thats how it SHOULD be. The people that proxy around the filtering and use facebook are basically forcing the rest of us to do more of their share of the workload, and I am very glad that they are fired quickly. I have enough work to do as it is.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Michael T., Dec 21st, 2008 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: They should just say the real reason....

    mike allen....

    you are right .....you are lucky you dont work for me or you would not only be on the unemployment line but probably be eating JAIL food for malicious tampering with the companies network once I trapped and documented your feeble but futile attempts to circumvent network security. (this can and has been successfully prosecuted as a crime.

    no one said you weren't entitled to a break or even to stand around and make small talk for a few minutes but wasting HOURS on end talking nonsense with your friends is another story. Your employer is paying you to work and thats what you are expected to do....its the same people, like you, that complain when they're called in a room and told they are being let go or laid off because the company's numbers are down. Where do you think their revenue comes from? YOUR HARD WORK. There is a mindset or mentality that is at a dangerous level in America's workforce of animosity for their employers and sense of entitlement that is at the core of American workforce's problem. And YES, it starts from the top down. Many exec's set the wrong example for their employees...

    I could go on for hours about this but I won't...why do you think the japanese auto makers are kicking our butts? why aren't they asking for handouts? its because of their loyality to their company...you can bet they are not sitting around on Facebook all day.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Sos, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    It all comes down to a web 2.0 application that is built to make use of high bandwidth connection being used by a large amount of people on a network that obviously cannot support it. The easiest (read. cheapest) solution is to ban the resource. Is this so difficult to accept?

     

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  36.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 21st, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: sure FB can take down your network, indirectly

    There's no real good reason for institutions of any type to allow FB

    Except, of course, that's it's a very useful communications tool, that a gov't can use to good advantage.

    Except that.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    scott, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 4:01pm

    There is no good reason to have it at a work place - what part of facebook is work-related?. why the controversy? Oh - you just want to create one out of nothing. I get it now.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2008 @ 10:09pm

    Worst argument eve

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    ijf0, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 3:58am

    Facebook @ Work

    One should consider that many of the gov't offices in a place like Montenegro may not have the fastest networks ... even my local DMV still uses dialup!!! Talk about waiting FOREVER.
    If even 1 employee is busy downloading Facebook pics (or worse, uploading them) the "network" could essentially come to a halt.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Rich Apps Consulting, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 4:32am

    Guys... please stay on the point...

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Forge, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Re: They should just say the real reason....

    Ah yes, they are DYING at their desks at abnormally low ages because they value the kairetsu's wellbeing above their own lives. Then they go home and beat their wives and watch tentacle hentai and scat porn because of how very well-adjusted they are! Clearly we need to emulate them in every way. Hail the salariman!

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    ahhh, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 9:31am

    i dont pay taxes so the public works secretary can sit on his/her ass and go on face book during work hours... I understand there are some parts of gov. that needs to have full internet access, but face book/myspace for every gov. employee, please NO!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Matt, Mar 29th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Getting work done despite the stupid bans

    Hey, for groups that want to collaborate in an environment that does not allow chat programs, i would suggest looking at a single file chat room like http://batchchat.blogspot.com. We use it at work, and because it is only a single file shared by all users, no sysadmin has ever found it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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