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.

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Comments on “Montenegro Gives Odd Reason For Banning Facebook On Gov't Computers”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

just joe says:

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)

Internal Affairs of The Grammar Police says:

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

Anonymous Coward says:

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

nasch says:

Re: 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”.

X-man says:

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

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.

j1mmyd says:

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.

nasch says:

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.

Michael T. (profile) says:

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.

Michael T. says:

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

mike allen….

you are right … 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.

Forge says:

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!

barrenwaste says:

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.

Gov Auditor says:

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. 🙂

Checking in says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Mark Regan says:

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.

viewfromabove says:

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.

Mike says:

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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