The Problem: The Case of the Web Surfers

You have been hearing rumors that people are using company time to “surf” the ‘net and to conduct personal business on the company Internet system. You have heard in the news and from your HR people that problems can occur if people are either accessing pornography or other work inappropriate sites. Also, e-mails are going out to unintended recipients – salacious jokes or other comments that many would find offensive and are clearly inappropriate in the work place. The current policy is to treat the computer like a telephone, which is to say there is an assumed “expectation of privacy” where what one does on the computer is confidential. The question is whether that should in fact be the policy or whether, in light of these recent events, there should be a more restrictive policy in your department.

The first step is to identify the ethical actor. In a sentence identify the ethical actor for this problem.

The next step is to identify the stakeholders. List the other stakeholders for this problem.

In two or three bullet points, identify any assumptions you are making about the problem.