The basic intention of this report is given a proper explanation about Social, Professional and Ethical issues which are arising in day to day life at organizations. Further, the importance of this essay is it is not only pointed to one party's point of view but also distinguish opposing perspectives. Therefore, the main approach of this report is given a more reasonable analysis with identifying Social, ethical and professional issues, limitation, vulnerabilities and challenges which will be able to arise when applying the solutions. In the case, one of company director has informed to the system administrator of the organization that some members of the organization are doing non work related activities using their office computers. The director wants to avoid these kinds of activities at the office time. Therefore this report is discussed about what are the possible action that system administrator has. And what the considerations are.
Social, Professional and Ethical Issues in Information System
Monitoring Computer network activities is doing many organizations for different perspectives. One fact is, Organization should be responsible legally liable for employees who are working in the organization. As an example, if any employee hacks a network internally or externally, it will also be directly influenced to the company.
"An employee in a large semiconductor manufacturing firm was recently arrested on charges of child pornography after a coworker alerted company managers and the managers called law enforcement authorities. Upon detailed inspection, his office computer was found to have hundreds of illegal images stored on the hard drive. The company's quick action probably prevented what could have been legal problems for the employer itself. In a Central Texas county, a sheriff's department employee was fired after many sexually explicit images were found on his office computer. The department had no problem searching his computer, since it had a well-written policy regarding computer and Internet usage." (The Texas Workforce Commission, 2003)
Any action may be a good for one party and also it may be bad for another party. Because, In Sri lanka, Smoking in public places banned. Therefore people who are smoking may not like this law because those who smoke in public places will be arrested and produced in courts but most of people like to this law. (Srilankanewsfirst, 2006)
Therefore according to this example issues can also be occurred in the organization at any time when the action is taken. But those issues can be minimized and balanced.
How to prevent
To avoid happening these issues the proper legislation system is must and also people should aware the code of ethics and law. As well as people must accept, match and trust their attitudes with the right thing. In many organizations when employees are recruited they are given agreement of rule and regulation therefore they are legally liable to carry out the rule and regulation. And one of main disadvantages of this is if there is any absurd react is happened employee may not be able to go to the court.
"In the U.S., the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) prohibits interception and disclosure of electronic communications, but it contains a "consent" exception that would apply if you have the signed notification, as well as a "business extension" exception that permits monitoring when you have a business-related purpose." ( TechGenix Ltd , 2010 )
Sometime law and social can be conflicted. In other word, People may like to access some websites such as social networking sites, because they may meet their old friends and share the details. But if it is banned People are angered. As an example at some places in china Facebook is prohibited (allfacebook, 2009)
In Sri lanka, There are several websites are banned by courts because of pornography. As an example "Colombo chief magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi has ordered a ban on 12 pornographic websites until the 07th of August."(Colombo Today Network, 2010)
With the Sri lankan culture, that incident is fully ethical and no one protest with that. Then social issues will not be arisen.
According to the case, some members of the staff are doing non-work related thing using their computers. It can be occurred bad effects for the organization. From company view time is wasted by doing chatting and social networking and playing online games. After addicting to social networking chatting automatically decrease their eagerness for work therefore important task may be missed. As a result of that the work efficiency of employees will decrease and also employee mind may also be pointed to non-work related things and internal issues may be occurred. Furthermore if employee addicted to bad thing such as online gambling or pornography it will bad for themselves also. In other side when downloading music and checking emails virus and other unwanted program may be affected to the computer network.
Further, most important factor is because of restrictions of internet some of employee may be encouraged to violate the limitation such as hacking. So, company is needed more secure network. But there are some indirect advantages also available with this fact. In other word if the management can give the permission with limitation they can use this fact as gain for the organization. As an example if they are allowed to use internet within special time period (e.g. fifteen minutes before tea time). Then staff members can be work after the break with more relaxed mind and they are able to reduce the working stress. "Employee blogging or social networking activity may also be protected under the National Labor Relations Act."(LLC, 2010)
Besides, they will be satisfied about the organization and they pointed to coming to the work. The most significant fact is, there are some important web site can not to be access because of because of filtering words. The best example for this fact is, Some organization filter word like 'sex' as the result of that users may not to be able to search some Important word such as 'Middlesex university'. Therefore it is very disadvantage for the users.
For monitoring the internet activities many organization use monitoring software. Monitoring software is an application which is used to identity and track to user network activities. Internet monitoring software has been become so popular because there are plenty of advantages can be obtained from this software to organizations.
To monitoring the employee organization are used several types of monitoring software. Such as Keystroke logger, Activity motoring software and more. Using this kind of software organization can be Got real time detailed stats of what the employees are doing. Not only that if they want they can monitor employees without their awareness. Using these kind of software they are able to track the visited URL then they can easily aware what are the websites that employee visited. Further they are able to get screens of the remote computers, used applications, typed keystrokes, email and IM chats etc.
Some special devices are used to monitoring activities. Such as hardware key logger, SPY COBRA and more. Hardware Key logger is monitoring device it is similar to key logger software. But no software to install it should be attached to the USB port or ps/2. Using this device emails or passwords can be read, or can be monitored online chatting without being detected.
According to the company side, if employee addict to do unnecessary thing in office time it is not acceptable because it is not ethical and simply it is not good for employee, organization and also to the society. So, to avoid these kinds of thing companies may be pointed to monitoring people. Monitoring people is not good without their awareness. Though there are some laws about these factor most of the people don't aware about this. Therefore the best solution for this before monitor the people organization should aware the employees with their own favor. Further according to my point of view legislation should be improved and it should be acceptable with both employees and employers. And there should be a common and lawful rules regulation procedure when recruiting employee.
- Colombo Today Network, Colombo court bans 12 pornographic websites, viewed 28 February 2010, http://www.colombotoday.com/english/articles/Lite/Colombo-court-bans-12-pornographic-websites/4289.htm
- WebMediaBrands, Chinese Government Shuts Down Facebook, viewed 27 February 2010, http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/07/chinese-goverment-shuts-down-facebook/
- TIPI, COMPUTER MONITORING HARDWARE, viewed 27 February 2010, http://www.pimall.com/NAIS/computermonitoring.html