Supreme Court Decides to Hear Text Message Privacy Case

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Trooper_One

I think most people will (should) recognise the fact that anything typed/viewed on company equipment may be recorded and subject to review.

 However, would IT guy have a right to access to passwords typed on company computer and gain access to personal information?

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Tekzel

Hell no, I have absolutely no expectation of privacy on any company owned equipment or company owned internet connections. If I have something to say or do that I don't want the company to know about I do it on my own time, on my own equipment, and on my own connection.

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mikeart03a

I'm a Canuck, so I don't know your guys constitutional rights, but up this way. It is legal for companies to monitor internet and e-mail usage as long as it's employees are informed of the policy in place and have a reference copy nearby. However, said company may not search an employee's personal files on their systems without probable cause to do so (while the system is company owned and maintained, all information that is user created is considered private and cannot be accessed or modified without their explicit consent). Otherwise it's a gross violation of privacy laws.

- mike_art03a
Owner, Network Admin
Michael Artelle Online Solutions
http://www.michaelartelleonline.com
michael.paiement@sympatico.ca

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whitneymr

All the replies so far do show how well corporations have done brain washing people into believing  the US Constitution doesn't apply to them.

What's going on routinly with cmpanies is a violation of the fourth, first, and fifth amendments.

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neo1piv14

I'm sorry, but you're completely wrong here. The hard drive on the laptop owned by your company isn't the wild west where you can go stake out a homestead of 1's and 0's. That's like you getting mad because you used your friend's computer and they reformatted their hard drive, losing the word doc you created. You don't own the parts of the hard drive containing your data; your company does. If your way of thinking applied, IT folks like me wouldn't be able to do our jobs.

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Tekzel

I see that they stopped teaching anything about the constitution in school. Before you go speaking about it, you should read it and, heres the real kicker, understand it. Here, lets do for you what your school failed to accomplish.

The first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The relevant section here is free speech. You will notice that it is referring to what the government is doing. It in no way discusses what you can, and can not, say in a PRIVATE space. And, using a company owned device is a private space, owned by your private company. This one is a little tricky and requires a little actual thought, since the guy worked for a government agency. You have to think back to the time this country was founded, and remember that this kind of situation wasn't possible back then. They didn't have anything like the technologies and such that we have today. There is no way you could expect them to envision our society, so you have to interpret the intent rather than the letter of this part. The intent was to keep the government from stifling opposing ideas. This is obviously not, to a thinking human being, a situation covered by the first amendment.

The fourth amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This refers to your privately owned property, even though the guy worked for a local government agency, they still owned the item in question. So there was no illegal search and seizure.

The fifth amendment: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

How you can even remotely think this applies just baffles the heck out of me. The only even barely applicable section is regarding appropriation of private property, but we have already established that the property wasn't his. 

So there you go, you might want to go look it up and actually read the document. And, understand it. This is vitally important for every American to do, so they don't let the government take away rights granted in by this great document, but ALSO to prevent them from dreaming up rights that it doesn't establish

Edit: Tried to add allowed tags to the quoted sections but it didn't seem to work.

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roleki

Only a moron would use company-issued IT equipment to conduct activity that needs the protection of the Constitution.  Basic rule of thumb, if you wouldn't say it on a bullhorn in the presence of your grandmother, you probably shouldn't be using unsecured, traceable media to say it.

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Cache

He's using someone else's equipment, and has already signed a waiver stating that he knows he may be monitored at any time.  If he was stupid enough to violate a clear and almost universal business rule, it's his fault.  How's this for a scary thought, though?

Suppose he wins.... does that mean a company is not able to maintain, monitor, or do as it wants with its own hardware?  I'm not worried.  This guy will be nailed to the wall eventually.

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SillyElf74

I agree with the previous poster. Most companies that issue you a phone or a laptop do make you sign something that says "hey, this is our stuff, and we can check out what your doing when ever we want to".  If you sign that form, your kinda screwed later on if something like this comes up. I'm not sure what kind of privacy expectation you should have on a company provided device - they're picking up the tab afterall.

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rseding91

A "employer-issued computer" is still the employers and therefore theirs to do with as they want.

So no - I would not feel violated if a company looked at my company issued computer.

It's just simple logic - if you don't want someone to find some information you have - don't store it on something THEY OWN.

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