Feeds

Zurich sacks seven for ‘disturbing’ emails

Not pornographic, but deeply offensive

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Zurich Financial Services has sacked seven staff found with "disturbing material" on their office computers.

The insurance company fired the unlucky crew for gross misconduct, as well as disciplining another six workers, all from its Swindon head office. Last month's action followed a random check by Zurich's IT security systems which picked up on large files flying around between email accounts.

The dismissable material was described by one Zurich representative as "offensive to everyone", but wouldn't give specifics on what was found. "It wasn't pornographic...It wasn't page 3, but it was deeply offensive," was all she would reveal.

The firings depended on: "how active or passive an individual had been at receiving and transmitting the information," she added.

Zurich has revised its in-house Internet guidelines as a result of the incident - staff are now not allowed to send material that others may find offensive, as opposed to the previous rule of not transmitting "offensive material".

"In a way, this has been a learning experience for us. We would urge other employers to follow our lead in setting and enforcing ethical procedures," it said.

Meanwhile, a study has revealed that nearly two thirds of companies in the US have disciplined workers for abusing the Web, with almost a third firing offenders. The research, by the Saratoga Institute, found that 56 per cent of companies admitted staff used the Internet inappropriately. ®

Related stories Smutty emailers sacked at New York Times IT manager fired for lunchtime Web surfing Barclays swoop on porn-at-work staff

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.