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Email Security

A very hot topic of debate today is employer access to employee email messages. Many companies operate filters on email servers to screen for keywords that would indicate improper use of company email accounts. Most states currently consider that an employee's email messages are property of their employer, using the theory that the network infrastructure, computer workstation, and mail server all are company property. Civil rights advocates are arguing that employers cannot eavesdrop on employee phone calls, and the same property issues exist for phone and email. One third of Fortune 500 firms have dismissed employees for improperly using Web browsing privileges, more for viewing adult material than for "surfing." Cookies, cached images, and URL history files all have been used by employers to validate misuse of computers, and sanction or dismiss employees.

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