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Ethics in an Intranet Culture Intranet Culture Intranet Network that companies use to share files, utilize websites, and collaborate. Usually cannot be accessed from the Internet. Intranet Culture

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intranet culture


Network that companies use to share files, utilize websites, and collaborate. Usually cannot be accessed from the Internet.


The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, and behaviours that the members of a company use to cope with their world and with one another.

internet intranet realities
Internet/Intranet Realities

Good News

It is estimated that by the year 2002 more than 88 million employees in

U.S. alone will be connected to the Internet through their company Intranet.

This will allow employees to gather information and correspond with

clients more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

Bad News

The introduction of the Intranet to the company toolbox comes with many

dangers. These dangers pose a troublesome paradox for executives across

America. On one hand, companies have to much to gain from the Internet

to banish it from the workplaces. At the same time, there is far too much

to lose by granting employees free reign.

  • 268 million corporate PC’s are connected to the World Wide Web
  • 60% of Internet activity includes visits to unproductive, inappropriate, and potentially dangerous sites
  • Most companies have no company rules on computer use and misuse
ethical responsibilities
Ethical Responsibilities

The Intranet is setup with a firewall to protect

the institution from “outside harm” but must

also protect itself from “harm from within”.

Ethical responsibility must be part of the

Intranet culture to help inform and provide

guidelines to “insiders”.

problem areas
Problem Areas
you ve got mail
You’ve Got Mail

Email is a tremendously powerful communications tool, used by

millions of people in thousands of positive ways. Unfortunately, such

a powerful tool has the potential to be used in other, less productive,


Can be used to breach security of an Intranet

- by disgruntled employees who can distribute company secrets through email

- by accidents such as attaching important documents to emails

Total collaboration of emails

  • add up to loss of work hours
  • work-related activities suffer
  • instant messaging breaks concentration
email statistics
Email Statistics

- Men are the worst offenders for trying to kindle an online office romance, with 27% admitting to using email for “flirting in the office” compared with 13% of women

- Gossiping about colleagues online was the second-biggest waste of working time by men

- Among women the biggest email abuse was “planning social life with friends,’’ followed by contacting brothers and sisters and gossiping about other staff

- 13% of men and seven percent of women admitted using email at work to forward Internet sex links

- Other misuses of email included forwarding jokes to colleagues and seeking new employment.


Email Abuse

Email can be “piggybacked”


  • Sexual Harassment
  • Mail bombs
  • Tasteless jokes

Knock Knock Who's there ! Adder ! Adder who ? Adder you get in here ?

  • Viruses
  • Porn
In a survey people were asked :“How many emails should an employee be allowed to send during a workday?”
harm in surfing
Harm in Surfing?

So what’s the harm in a little personal surfing every now and then? Actually the costs and consequences associated with non-related Internet use are staggering. They hit corporations most commonly in three forms:

- productivity costs

- bandwidth loss

- legal liability

- security breaches

surfing on the job
Surfing on the job

On any given day a survey reveals 18% of employees visit the Internet 10 or more times for nonwork-related activity

If not working, then what are they doing?

72% read the news

40% shop

37% search for another job

34% check stock reports

28% coordinate social events

12% visit adult sites

software abuse
Software Abuse

Downloading software from the company

- can be held liable under both civil and criminal law

- can seek to stop you from using its software immediately and can seek monetary damages

- the copyright owner may then choose between actual damages, which includes the amount it has lost because of your infringement as well as any profits attributable to the infringement, and statutory damages, which can be as much as $150,000for each program copied

- the government can criminally prosecute you for copyright infringement, if convicted, you can be fined up to $250,000, or sentenced to jail for up to five years, or both

calling all viruses
“Calling All Viruses!”

Uploading personal software to the

company computer can present a wide

range of problems to a company

  • use up valuable disk space
  • bring lawsuits due to licensing
  • and most of all, introduce viruses!
bandwidth hogs
Bandwidth Hogs

Nonwork-related surfing clogs digital pipelines

  • According to a survey by Dataquest, 20% of workers use Internet connections more than three hours a week for personal matters.
  • Downloading music, shopping, or just browse the Web can impede work-related activity of co-workers.

- Workers sending or receiving personal emails with large attachments

- Servers routinely crash on Valentine’s day and Christmas due to load

- Spam, chain letters, “junk” mail compound problem

setting the stage for ethics
Setting the Stage for Ethics

Ethics policies are still evolving or even non-existent in most companies.

IAP’s (Internet Access Policy) or

AUP’s (Access Use Policy) are laying the groundwork for ethical

guidelines in dealing with the company Intranet and Internet.

As the number of employee connections to the Intranet increase, so does

the awareness that ethical policies are needed to combat abuse.


At a minimum, every company that provides Internet access for its employees should have a detailed

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

in place. Similar to other company policies, the AUP should clearly define

  • where employees can and cannot go online
  • when they can surf the Internet and use email for personal reasons
  • which types of online activity are strictly forbidden
  • what consequences will result if the policy is violated
why does the industry care about ethics
Why Does the Industry Care About Ethics?
  • Link between ethics and customer/employee loyalty
  • What kind of company do you want to work for or deal with?
  • It takes years to build a good company reputation
  • Each employee has the power to tarnish that reputation
  • Any one employee can get the company into serious trouble
why does the industry care about ethics25
Why Does the Industry Care About Ethics?
  • Companies can build a company culture of ethical business conduct
  • Commitment to integrity must start at the top
  • Employees watch to see if “management walks the walk”
  • Employees need to see that ethical behavior is valued and rewarded
  • Fines for civil or criminal violations
tools that help us make good ethical decisions
Tools That Help Us Make Good Ethical Decisions
  • The code of ethics and business conduct

sets the standard

  • Company ethics officers

promote a comprehensive and consistent ethics program

monitor performance of other employees

respond to helpline calls

facilitate training

  • Helpline

toll-free confidential help

disciplinary actions

  • Ethics awareness training
  • Compliance training

employees need to know and understand laws, regulations, and policies

applicable to their job duties

  • Communication
benefits of ethics program to a company
Benefits of Ethics Program to a Company
  • Service
  • Reduced misconduct
  • New business
  • Higher margins
  • Shareholder confidence
costs to the company
Costs to the Company

Lack of control or policy with regard to the Intranet can affect

the bottom line of a company

  • company must expend dollars for software to combat and

survey their company Intranet

  • resources must be allocated to extra staff and technology personnel to handle abuse

- productivity loss in the workplace

what about the financial impact
What about the financial impact?

Cyber-slacking wreaks havoc on the bottom line.

Equation to figure out fully burdened cost(FBC) of an employee:

1. FBC = 2(mean hourly wage)

2. Then multiply FBC by Internet usage(in hours)

3. Finally multiply by # of employees with Internet access

Example :

mean =$16.54 per hour

1. FBC = ($16.54 * 2) = $33.08

2. $33.08 * 1.5(hours)

3. 82.7 * 500(Intranet employees) = $16,540 per day cost to the company


Corporate Networks Are Paying the Price.Wasting time online accounts for thirty to forty percent of all lost productivity in the workplace.

making a case for discipline
Making a Case for Discipline

Nonwork-related Intranet use can cost companies dearly in the courtroom

- could lead to potentially embarrassing and expensive lawsuit

- threatens credibility of company

- company unity and trust is at risk

ten commandments for computer ethics
Ten Commandments for Computer Ethics

1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.

2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.

3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's files.

4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.

5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.

6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.

7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization.

8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.

9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write.

10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.

data protection act 1998 dpa
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)

This Act regulates the processing of employees' personal data by employers.

The Data Protection Commissioner has issued a draft Code of Practice in which she deals with monitoring of emails and internet use by employers. This appears to impose stricter limitations on employers' ability to monitor than the Regulations, but is likely to change to be brought into line with them.

obscene publications act 1959
Obscene Publications Act 1959

This Act makes it a criminal offence to send material to another person which is likely to ‘deprave or corrupt’ the recipient. There are tighter provisions relating to the handling of child pornography, under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Protection of Children Act 1978.

contract of employment employee rights
Contract of Employment – Employee Rights

The contract of employment imposes an implied duty on the employer to act in a manner that will not undermine its duty of ‘trust and confidence’. If the employer is unreasonable in its investigation of suspected internet and email misuse, it could be in breach of this duty, which could entitle the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

contract of employment employer rights
Contract of Employment – Employer Rights

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976

These Acts outlaw sex and race-based discrimination. The sending of an email by an employee (or even possibly someone from outside the company) which has sexual or racial content, may amount to an act of sexual or racial harassment for which the employer could be liable, unless it has taken steps to reduce the risk of such emails beingdistributed.

the telecommunications lawful business practice
The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)

(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000These Regulations dilute the requirements of RIPA and allow certainmonitoring in the course of legitimate business practice. They allow email (and telephone) monitoring without consent for, among others, the following reasons:

-Quality control monitoring

-Combating crime

-Combating unauthorized use of the system (for instance, investigating suspected misuse of email or internet)

-Determining whether the communication is business-related (this allows an employer to inspect the inbox of an employee who isabsent from work, in order to check whether any business-relatedemails have come in).