[plug] legality of internet traffic monitoring

Peter Sutter sutterp at sopac.com.au
Sat Jan 12 13:43:42 WST 2008

Hi, Enlighted ones,

I am currently doing some work for a small company with about 10 office 
employees, of which most feel that they were employed to surf the internet 
and visit chat rooms etc. After we started to experience bandwidth problems, 
I installed squid proxy server to mainly monitor of what is going on, but also 
to control access to certain sites.

The employees are aware that we are monitoring when and what website they 
visit and complain that this is a violation of the privacy laws. The also 
strongly object me blocking certain sites. Are they right? 

I feel that the law should be on the side of the employer who provides the IT 
infrastructure for work and work related visits to external web sites and 
considers private net surfing as abusive, a point of view which I understand 
and support; it is stated in their employment agreement for what purposes the 
internet may or may not be used. 

The employer is understanding enough that private visits to the internet will 
occur and has no objection to an occasional visit, when it however, as is now 
the case, leads to excesses and seriously and negatively affects 
productivity, his patience is, understandably, wearing thin.

What am I really up to? Do I violate privacy laws when monitoring IP traffic 
on a privately owned network?

Looking forward to interesting replies


More information about the plug mailing list