Australia giving snoop powers to employers
No consent needed for reading staff emails
The Australian government is considering extending email snooping powers currently restricted to security services to all employers.
Using the usual canard of terrorism, Australia's deputy prime minister Julia Gillard said today the government was considering giving employers the right to snoop on staff emails without consent.
Gillard said the move was about protecting "critical infrastructure", but not about "who did what at the Christmas party".
She said: "When we think of infrastructure, we think of roads and bridges and big things. But our technology is a big infrastructure issue these days. If our banking system collapsed, if our government electronic systems collapsed obviously that would have huge implications for society."
Australian civil liberties groups were less impressed, saying there was a danger of losing the balance between maintaining freedoms and providing law enforcement with sufficient powers to fight terrorism.
Legal restrictions on Australian firms reading staff emails vary from state to state. In New South Wales companies are free to read their staff emails at the moment - as long as they notify them first. If you are using a work address, work PC and a work server, then some form "ownership" is usually assumed.
From Gillard's comments it is unclear whether the changes would be limited to infrastructure companies such as utilities or apply for all businesses.
In the UK employers have full access to staff emails and phone calls and many larger companies have full-time staff to monitor staff communications.®
You work in the IT industry, yet you seem to have forgotten that computers are used in quite a few more situations than just the IT industry these days, and thus there are quite a few more scenarios and businesses than just the one you work in.
I too live in Australia. I too work with IT. I don't work in the IT industry. I have in the past, both here, in Holland, and the UK though and I stress that you might want to look out the window one day...There's a whole world of activity in IT these days...
Boring your employees to death can be counter-productive...
Paris wins the icon, as she's having a Blonde moment.
I dabble at home, I have my own ISP, my own equipment, does this mean I get to read all my emails?
Anyone not routinely encrypting all their email might as well write it all on the back of a postcard and leave it on their desk.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of fools out there. I'm still trying to convince a damn medical research client of mine that sending client personal info by unencrypted email is not only not a good idea, but potentially a fucking crime in the country he's in. Will he listen? Hell no, because his regular Microsoft sales rep assures him that Outlook is secure. I'm sorely tempted to fire that particular client. I'd probably have better luck with Paris.