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Thread: Big Brother Policy

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Big Brother Policy

    Does your employer have a policy regarding your internet use? Our administrator doesn't care what sites we visit or whatever as long as we don't leave the company susceptible to viruses and such. I'm not crazy enough to surf porn at work like some other people (that's why I have a computer at home ), but I do feel that my time spent on the internet should be work-related. With that being said, does time spent posting mundane messages like this at Cyburbia count as legitimate work :??? I think it does...........

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    South Milwaukee
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    This is our policy for internet and email

    It is the policy of the City that all employees who use e-mail and access to the Internet do so as a tool to better job performance. The use of Internet and e-mail are to be within the guidelines of the Code of Ethics. Any inappropriate use or abuse of e-mail, the Internet or other computer equipment can necessitate disciplinary action, including up to termination of the violating employee. This policy applies to all City employees.

    All computer equipment, software packages, and their accompanying files are the property of the City and are to be used for City business. The Department Head shall determine which employees in their department shall gain Internet access, and shall determine and monitor which uses are appropriate. Any use of the City’s equipment is considered consent by the user to have such use monitored by the City at its sole discretion with or without prior notice to the user. Communications via these media are not considered private.
    The confidentiality of any message or file should not be assumed. “Deleted” messages or files may be recoverable.

    The City’s e-mail system is to be used for business purposes. The City’s e-mail system shall not contain messages having language or images that may be reasonably considered offensive, demeaning, or creating a discriminatory, hostile or abusive work environment. E-mail shall not be used to create offensive or disruptive messages. All messages composed, sent, or received on the electronic mail system are the property of the City. They are not the private property of the employee. The City reserves the rights to review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all messages created, received, or sent over the electronic mail system. The use of private passwords or access codes shall not be considered a user’s withdrawal of consent to such monitoring.

    Internet access is for City business. Personal use of this equipment is permitted during breaks, as well as before and after work hours. This includes the use of Internet browsers and e-mail.

    Employees shall not use the Internet in a way that is inconsistent with the policies and procedures of the City. Internet users must remember that they are representatives of the City. Employees shall not knowingly access any sites having language or images that may be reasonably considered offensive, demeaning, or creating a discriminatory, hostile or abusive work environment.

    The knowing introduction of software that contains a computer virus of any sort into computers or networks owned by the City will be grounds for disciplinary action. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance of networks or any other computer system or network on the Internet by spreading computer viruses is considered criminal activity under state and federal law.

    *****************************************************************

    The only guy ever busted for violating it ended up in jail for it. You can use your imagination....

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Our email policies are similar to bturk's. When I turn my computer on every morning, there is a reminder that pops up stating that City computers are for City business only.

    Hey - Cyburbia is work-related, isn't it?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    When I worked for the city, only the "privileged" civil servants were allowed to have internet access. The executive director of the city planning dept. had to seek permission from the chief administrative officer to allow a handful of the lowly planners to have it. I'm sure things will change with the new administration as the new mayor is gung ho about technology and as he had the city's website completely revamped within his first week in office.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I wrote the Town's Internet use policy!

    1.0 Purpose and intent

    Broadband Internet access allows the Town to provide new services to its residents, and permits staff to conduct business, perform research and correspond with constituents in a more effective manner. However, high speed, “always-on” Internet access can be addictive, and when abused the privilege may harm the productivity of town employees. Citizens and property owners may be critical of Internet use among local government employees; they don’t want their tax dollars paying for town employees to “surf the Web” instead of performing their vital functions. The intent of this Internet use policy is to provide reasonable guidelines that will supplement the good judgment of town employees, to ensure the productive and responsible use of the Internet on town computers and other electronic devices.

    2.0 E-mail and chat

    2.1 E-mail clients. E-mail clients tend to be a matter of personal preference. Since all e-mail programs offer what is essentially functional compatibility, employees may use the client of their choice. For support purposes, Microsoft Outlook, Netscape Navigator and Eudora are preferred.

    2.2 Town e-mail. Town e-mail addresses shall be used for town-related business only. E-mail sent from town e-mail addresses shall be in plain text (ASCII, not HTML or any form of styled text), to reduce bandwidth and ensure compatibility with all e-mail clients.

    2.3 Personal e-mail. Employees should use a non-town e-mail address (AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, their home address accessed through POP3/SMTP protocol, etc.) for personal business. Please contact the acting IT director for information on accessing home e-mail accounts from your work computer using your preferred e-mail client or a Web-based mail client service.

    2.4 Forwards. Town e-mail addresses must not be used for forwarding of jokes, recipes, virus warning hoaxes, humorous images, urban legends, “glurge” and similar matter. If a town employee is the unwitting recipient of such messages, they should ask the forwarding party to stop sending such messages to their town e-mail address. (Personal e-mail addresses shall be used for “forwards.”)

    2.5 Chain letters. Town computers must not be used for sending chain letters or other forms of unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam). Spamming using town computers may be punishable by restricting or removing Internet access, formal reprimand, or termination.

    2.6 Instant messaging. Instant messaging programs (AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo Chat, etc) may be used only for town related business during work hours. The town will evaluate several programs, and choose one to serve as a standard for town computers.

    2.6 Chat. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and AOL Chat must not be used during work hours.

    3.0 World Wide Web and Usenet

    3.1 Web browsers. For support purposes, Microsoft Internet Explorer is the preferred browser; Netscape Navigator (Mozilla) or Opera may also be used.

    3.2 Work-related Web use. The primary use of the Web during work hours is to perform research and conduct town business. During slow periods, town employees are encouraged to use the Web for professional development; i.e. visiting Web sites that relate to their work duties.

    3.3 Personal Web use. It is expected that some personal Web surfing will take place. Town employees must use the same judgment regarding personal use of the Internet as with personal phone calls. Personal use of the Web must not hamper employee productivity, nor present such an appearance to the public. If excessive personal Web use interferes with productivity, Web access may be monitored, restricted or removed.

    3.4 Preventing spam. To protect town employees from receiving unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam), entering an unaltered form of a town e-mail address into any Web-based form (except sites approved by the acting IT director, and sites of approved vendors), registering for mailing lists (listservs) where old messages are archived on the Web and available for public viewing, and/or posting to Usenet newsgroups is prohibited. Employees should use a free e-mail account (Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) if they need to enter an address into a Web-based form, post to Usenet, or subscribe to a mailing list that maintains an archive on the Web that is viewable by non-subscribers.

    3.5 Computers visible to the public. For computers where the monitor is visible to the public, the Web browser window must be sized so it does not dominate or completely fill the screen.

    4.0 Protecting town computers

    4.1 Virus and Trojan horse protection. All computers with Internet access must be equipped with the latest version of a virus scanner and disinfectant. The virus checker shall not be disabled while the computer is connected to the Internet. Virus definitions must be updated weekly. The town will evaluate several virus scanning and disinfection programs, and choose one to serve as a standard for town computers.

    4.2 Spyware protection. All computers with Internet access must be equipped with the latest version of a spyware detection and removal program. The employee and/or acting IT director will regularly inspect town computers for the presence of spyware unwittingly installed by third parties or without the town’s knowledge. If such spyware is detected, the acting IT director will remove it. The town will evaluate several spyware detection and removal programs, and choose one to serve as a standard for town computers.

    4.3 Firewall. All town computers must be equipped with a firewall program (ZoneAlarm), to prevent unauthorized access to town computers from outside the town network. The firewall must not be disabled while the computer is connected to the Internet.

    4.3 Executables. Executable files (screen savers, programs) downloaded from the Internet may be installed only with approval from the acting IT director.

    5.0 General

    5.1 Pornographic and offensive matter. The use of e-mail, the Web, Usenet news and other Internet services and protocols to find, view and/or distribute pornographic and offensive material is absolutely prohibited at any time. “Surfing” for pornography and offensive material may be punishable by termination. Exceptions: 1) officially sanctioned Police department investigations; and 2) when pornography or offensive materials are unwittingly “pushed” to the user through banner ads, pop-up windows, taking over the browser, adding bookmarks, changing the startup page, and other means; in such a case, the material shall be removed immediately (or the monitor and/or computer turned off), and the incident reported to the acting IT director or Town Manager.

    5.2 Moonlighting. Town computers and Internet access shall not be used for “moonlighting” or the profit-making ventures of town employees. Very limited personal use of town computers for conducting personal financial matters (i.e. checking stock and mutual fund prices, conducting personal banking, and so) on is acceptable; use of town computers in conducting a personal business venture is not.

    5.3 Servers. Town computers may serve as FTP or Web servers only with approval of the IT director.

    5.4 Streaming content. Streaming content, such as listening to a Web-based radio station (while otherwise performing work functions) is permitted in moderation. Incoming streaming content may be stopped if it interferes with the speed or reliability of the town network, or the bandwidth is needed for official town business. Town employees are asked to limit the quality of incoming streams to 64 kilobits/second or less.

    5.5 Distributed computing. Town computers may be used for distributed computing projects (SETI, etc.) administered by non-profit organizations and agencies, with permission of the acting IT director.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Dan - although it's lengthy, your town's internet policy seems rather liberal to me, especially Section 2.6 about allowing instant messager for "business purposes." If anyone ever saw some of the convos I've had on AOL IM............. :eek

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The AOL IM was a concession to the PD. All the police cars have wireless Internet access, and the officers are a bunch of closet geeks.

    As for me, I seldom IM. Why type out a conversation over the period of an hour instead of having an actual two or three minute FTF?

    Basically, I made not what I thought was a liberal IUP, but a realistic one. C'mon ... even at the most draconian business, folks are checking their portfolio on Datek, and looking at espn.com. There's going to be a few minutes of "off time" here and there. Folks spend spare minutes on the can with the paper, or gossiping with a co-worker. Looking at stereo equipment on eBay for a few is really no different.

    A lot of provisions were put in place because of someone who ... well, was a lot like her.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    In some of your policies, incoming email spam with nasty content could get you into trouble. In our policy and several others in Iowa, receiving the nasties is ok, but sending will get you in deep do do.

  9. #9
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Dan

    A lot of provisions were put in place because of someone who ... well, was a lot like her.
    Great link Dan! :p

    I know way too many people like that.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I totally missed that link the first time around.......I can think of at least 3 people who fit that description. LMAO

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