re: Monitoring Vs. Spying: Are Employers Going Too Far?
Jonathan, I think this case raises some important issues. While we might agree that there's a policy in place, I would question the need to enforce it here. I could well be wrong, but this is precisely the reason the question needs to be raised. In determining whether to examine e-mails, Harvard should weigh the risk (what it's having to deal with now) with the reward (is it that important that they know who leaked? would they be willing to fire the person who did so? and for what gain . . . because we learned that a big group of students cheated? if the university deals with this correctly, would it really harm the reputation of Harvard?). I wonder how many organizations have gone on a hunt for some miscreant and, looking back, ascertained that it didn't matter as much as they originally thought it would. We're not really talking about leaking classified CIA information here.
I wonder how many organizations have policies like Harvard does. I wonder how many enforce them, and how they do it. I wonder what burdens that puts on IT, which must at some level implement these policies, and enable this monitoring, and possibly even make the IT folks privy to all of it (the doing of it, and what gets discovered).