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Date:      Tue, 19 Jul 2011 08:49:02 -0500 (CDT)
From:      Robert Bonomi <>
Subject:   Re: Tools to find "unlegal" files ( videos , music etc )
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>

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> From  Tue Jul 19 07:26:51 2011
> Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 14:27:01 +0200
> Subject: Re: Tools to find "unlegal" files ( videos , music etc )
> From: "C. P. Ghost" <>
> To: Robert Bonomi <>
> Cc:
> On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM, Robert Bonomi <> 
> wrote:
> >> The poorly written IT TOS of a company can never bypass the law, 
> >> regardless of anything you agreed to in your company's TOS.
> >
> > "male bovine excrement" applies.
> >
> > For example, if it is part of the _terms_of_emplyment_ -- which one 
> > *agreed* to, by going to work there --that you (the employeee) give 
> > permission for the company, or it's agents, to examine any file you 
> > store on the system.
> It depends on the jurisdiction. For example, in Germany, you as an 
> employee CAN'T waive some basic rights by law, and every waiver you've 
> signed with your employer is automatically null and void, at least the 
> provisions that affect those specific rights.

Do you mean to suggest that an employee _cannot_ give permission to *anyone*
(whether it is the employer, or just a friend) to look at any file that is 
categorized as 'private' ??

If they can give permission for 'someone' to look at a particular file,
what prevents them from giving that someone permission to look at _every_
such file?

>                                               It may not be the same in 
> your jurisdiction though, so you may be right too... in your 
> jurisdiction.
> >> It *is* unlawful for them to even open your files as long as they are 
> >> clearly labeled as private.
> >
> > Oh my.  making back-ups is unlawful.  Replacing a failed drive in a 
> > RAID array is unlawful.  Re-arranging storage allocation is unlawful.  
> > *SNORT*
> >From context, I assume he was meaning "opening" manually, i.e. inspecting 
> by a human being. Merely copying files as in backups and normal day to 
> day sysadmin routine, doesn't count as such, even though it is 
> technically open(2)ing. ;-)

If what is forbidden is 'inspecting by a human being', then running 
file(1) to build a list of 'suspect' files isn't 'opening' them either.
Nor is a -mechanical- process that checks for 'suspicious' "magic numbers".

<evil grin>

> > company computers are for "business use only", that anything on the 
> > machines is 'work done for hire', and thus property of the company.
> Again, jurisdictions vary widely. We here in Europe are at the farthest 
> spectrum in terms of privacy protection of workers (students etc..) in 
> the workplace (school etc...).

Educational institutions here _are_ subject to somewhat differnet rules
than corporates.

But here, in general, private property _is_ "private property", and the 
property owner _can_ dictate -- more-or-less *completely* -- the terms
under which he lets 'anyone else' use _his_ property.

>                                It may be different elsewhere. And since 
> the OP was in France, we're discussing this under the assumption that 
> their laws are pretty severe w.r.t. privacy, and at least meeting if not 
> exceeding European privacy and data protection standards.
> > It's =not= a technology 'arms race', it is a simple matter of 
> > 'personnel management' and addressable on that basis.
> >
> > This does _not_ mean that 'technology' cannot serve a function in 
> > policy enforcement -- it simply means that technology, 
> > _in_and_of_itself_ is not "the solution".
> Agreed.

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