Email privacy in the workplace
Let's suppose you are an employer. You have a well-written and well distributed policy on privacy in the workplace. You expressly state that employees have NO expectation of privacy in ANYTHING they do. You own the hardware, you own the software, you own the network. You reserve the right to monitor every keystroke, every website, every e-mail, every IM session, every chat discussion, and even monitor the lyrics to any song they happen to be listening to on their iPods (sounds like a fun place to work, doesn't it?). You have your employees acknowledge that you have the right to do such monitoring, and they even swear that they consent to such monitoring.
Your lawyers examine the caselaw and find that, in every single case where an employer has attempted to monitor the electronic communications of employees (where there was a stated policy that this would occur) the courts have held that the employee has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their corporate e-mail. As former CIA Director George Tenet would say, that's a "slam dunk." Right? Well, my magic 8-ball tells me, "situation murky, try again later." E-mail privacy in the workplace
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