9.7.04

HE CAN HIDE IN THE BLIND, BUT YOU CAN'T. Robert at Liberty and Power offers some observations on Southern Mississippi's computer use policy, under which embattled President Shelby "Ten of Diamonds" Thames has read others' email.
No student or employee of the University of Southern Mississippi has any reason to expect email or computer privacy until Shelby Thames is removed from office, the information technology contract with Pileum Corporation is terminated, and a strict new email privacy policy is adopted.

Meanwhile, the adoption of such a policy could have wide-ranging impact. Employees in many organizations fear that their email is being read by managers. And it is common for professors and other university employees to avoid using both university email and university phone lines when discussing matters they do not want administrators to know about. It is worth noting that employees of many universities--not just USM--frequently believe that nothing they say over a university phone line is private, even though there are legal prohibitions against listening in on telephone conversations.

The USM Faculty Senate has a choice. If it moves swiftly to put forward a strict email privacy policy, it will do groundbreaking work and ensure loads of favorable publicity for its cause, while hastening the end of the Thames regime. If it falls back on reacting to administrative initiatives, or seeking to smooth things over with Thames and his administrators, it will have done its part to keep Shelby Thames in office for another two years, while insuring that one of his very worst policies remains in force after he is finally fired or his contract runs out.

(Hat tip: King at SCSU Scholars.)

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