Not On Company Time

The Wall Street Journal reported in a January 16 story titled Web Filters’ New Job: Protect the Network (subscription required) that corporate use of Web-filtering software has evolved from broad-brush blocking employee access to the “sinful six” — pornography, gambling, illegal activities, and hateful, violent, or tasteless content — to more fine-grained control. Companies are using filters to block work-time access to bandwidth-intensive sites (e.g. YouTube), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace), shopping sites (the article mentions a London office that allows access to shopping sites during lunch), sporting events (World Cup games) and other sites that don’t serve a corporate purpose. One wonders how a generation that grew up on AIM, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube will react.