Submitted Spring, 2004.

Document Type



An organization with internet access runs a high risk of compromising their computer network. Data can be corrupted, confidential information can be stolen, and viruses can paralyze an entire network. Monitoring employee activity involves questionable legal issues and risk of violating the employees’ privacy. An organization must balance the need for monitoring against possible damage to morale, because even an innocent employee may feel spied on. According to American Management Association’s annual survey on workplace monitoring released in April 2001, 78% of large firms in the U.S. are monitoring their employees, but 10% do not notify their employees of this. Monitoring is most common in the for-profit organizations, however 62% of public administrative organizations monitor their employees, and it may have increased since then. Of the 78% of monitoring organizations, 2/3 have disciplined employees for abusing their internet privileges, and more than 1/3 have dismissed employees for these abuses (Skelton).