QuickLinks - Employment and social issues
Issue no. 178 - 19 November 2000
- Employers, workers begin to hang up on telecommuting
Human resource experts predict that telecommuting will likely become as rare as the 40-hour workweek. They predict corporate America is on the verge of a severe backlash against telework, which if not properly regulated can result in productivity drops and an erosion of team spirit.
Issue no. 177 - 12 November 2000
- Chat Room Penetrates CIA Net
The CIA is investigating 160 employees and contractors for exchanging "inappropriate" e-mail and off-color jokes in a secret chat room created within the agency's classified computer network and hidden from management
Issue no. 176 - 5 November 2000
- Techs Suspended for Sending Porn E-Mails
Eighteen technicians at a factory in France have been suspended after pornographic e-mail they were exchanging at work ended up in the inbox of a female executive at a television network in the United States.
Issue no. 175 - 29 October 2000
- Labor Pains for the Internet Economy
Once, old-economy companies watched in fear as their best people left for dot-coms. Twenty thousand layoffs later, they're coming back.
Issue no. 174 - 21 October 2000
- Firm targets 'cyber skivers'
A company has launched a system designed to improve internet security and detect "cyber skiving" by employees. Actis Technology's system aims to give employers the power to monitor how their staff have been using the internet to ensure confidential material does not fall into the wrong hands. Actis said its system also offers companies the chance to pinpoint where time and money have been wasted.
- Soziale Schüler surfen
Die Gefahr einer Reizüberflutung und Vereinsamung der Jugendlichen durch Internet und Fernsehen sehen Medienwissenschaftler nicht - ganz im Gegenteil.
Issue no. 173 - 15 October 2000
- Cubicle Blues Blamed on IT
Feeling depressed? Perhaps a little stressed? You're not the only one in your cube farm that feels that way. One in ten office workers in Britain, the United States, Germany, Finland and Poland suffers from depression, anxiety, stress or burnout, according to a study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) the United Nation's labor and human rights agency.
Issue no. 169 - 16 September 2000
- Company fires 24 for e-mail abuse
Dow Chemical Co. has fired 24 employees and reprimanded 235 others after an investigation into the use of the company’s e-mail system to send violent or sexually explicit material.
Issue no. 168 - 9 September 2000
Issue no. 166 - 30 July 2000
- UK E-Minister Unveils Govt. Plans For E-Women
The British government is looking to nurture equal opportunity within the IT industry in areas such as training and funding, said British Minister for E-Commerce Patricia Hewitt.
- USA - AOL Agrees to Make Service Accessible to the Blind
(New York Times)
The National Federation of the Blind agreed to drop a lawsuit accusing AOL of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. In return, AOL will make its software compatible with programs the blind use to convert digital information to speech or Braille.
- USA - Dow Chemical fires 50 workers after e-mail investigation
An investigation by Dow Chemical of employee e-mail found that people at all levels of the plastics and chemicals manufacturer had sent pornography and violent images from company computers, leading to the firing of 50 workers and the disciplining of 200 others.
Issue no. 165 - 22 July 2000
- Intellectual Property to Dominate Legal Landscape
(Enterprise Systems Journal)
With the technology industry expected to continue its soaring growth throughout the next decade, forty-eight percent of attorneys polled in a national survey believe intellectual property will be the hottest practice area in law over the next 10 years. This field received more than three times the response of the next choice, corporate transactional law.
Issue no. 164 - 15 July 2000
- Internet Madness
Warning: Studies say net use can cause depression, isolation, addiction.
- Feed the world as you surf the Net
Non-profit-making site www.feedyourworld.com is a cunning marriage of charity and commerce designed to let people raise money for the world's poor while surfing the Net. Funds raised by clicks on the site go straight from the advertisers to the World Food Programme (WFP), which is the United Nation's frontline hunger relief agency. The programme is maintained solely through advertising revenue.
- Internet Firms Find Worker 'Gurus' Throughout The World
Work for a Silicon Valley company without leaving the comforts of your home - be it in Boston or Bombay! While lawmakers in Washington, D.C., wrestle over how many immigration visas to hand out to foreign workers to alleviate a crushing shortage of technical talent in the United States, the invisible hand of the market is forging its own solution, with a little help from the Internet.
Issue no. 161 - 25 June 2000
- Internet Work Force Has Its First Brush With Downsizing
(New York Times)
Layoffs are signaling an end to the unbounded optimism of some dot-com employees who flocked to start-ups in hopes of developing sudden wealth, but who now say they are approaching new job offers with more caution.
Issue no. 159 - 11 June 2000
- FDA, Industry Jointly Probe Mobile Phone Safety
The Food and Drug Administration said it has teamed up with the cellular phone industry to find out whether mobile phone use is hazardous to one's health. The FDA will oversee the project and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association will foot the bill for research into the health effects of radio frequency emissions from wireless phones.
- Australia running out of IT lawyers
Australia is suffering a severe shortage of IT and Intellectual property lawyers. Executive headhunter David Slessar said at least another 500 to 600 IT/IP lawyers were currently needed and law firms were being forced to hire recent graduates or quickly retrain their own staff to meet the demand.
- Net content companies announce layoffs, money shortages
It's been a bad news week for Internet content companies. Layoffs at respected online magazine Salon.com and Oprah Winfrey-backed Oxygen Media are just the latest belt-tightening measures announced this week by online publishers. Earlier this week, crime news site APBnews.com ran out of money and laid off its entire staff of 140 people, and CBS reported laying off 24 employees at its online unit.
Issue no. 157 - 28 May 2000
- Internet 'divides society'
The internet is reinforcing divisions in society and will not be a panacea for social ills say researchers. The first results from a three-year, £3m project looking at how the internet is changing society has found that it is doing no such thing.
Issue no. 155 - 14 May 2000
- Net users are not nerds
Internet users are not sad and lonely social misfits but actually visit and contact relatives and friends more frequently than those who live their lives offline.
- EU skills shortage 'stifling start-up growth rates'
The growth of high-tech start-up companies is being stifled by the shortage of highly skilled staff. That's the conclusion of the latest European benchmarking study from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Issue no. 153 - 1 May 2000
- Australia - Telstra suspends 27 staff over porn
Telstra has suspended 27 employees for allegedly downloading and distributing pornography within the workplace. A further 35 employees, not involved to the same extent, were issued with written warnings.
- UK - Harvard May Tighten Rules for Faculty Net Ventures
A Harvard committee is proposing tighter rules on outside work. The Harvard proposal forbids faculty to teach, conduct research or offer consulting outside of Harvard, either in person or online, without permission from the appropriate dean.
Issue no. 152 - 15 April 2000
- For Start-Up Workers It May Be Worry.com
(New York Times)
The recent tumble in technology stocks hasn't just unnerved investors -- it has made some employees in the thick of the dot-com whirlwind look warily over their shoulders.
Issue no. 146 - 4 March 2000
Issue no. 144 - 19 February 2000
Issue no. 143 - 12 February 2000
Issue no. 138 - 9 January 2000
- Employers Crack Down on Personal Internet Use
(New York Law Journal)
More and more employers, concerned that uncontrolled Internet usage is reducing employee productivity, clogging up network traffic and creating potential liability for sexual harassment and other suits, are beginning to implement policies to monitor and restrict employees' Web usage at work. see also Cyberveillance at work (CNNfn).
Issue no. 136 - 12 December 1999
- USA - Navy disciplines 500 for raw e-mail
(Nando Media - AP)
The Navy has disciplined more than 500 employees at a supply depot for sending sexually explicit e-mail over government computers.
- Windows faces German emergency
Scientology is threatening to stymie sales of Windows 2000 in Germany. The forthcoming software contains code licensed from a company owned by wealthy scientologist Craig Jensen. Many Germans see the belief system as an exploitative religious cult.
- Sting of the dot.com brain drain
It’s not just the kids anymore; corporations are losing some of their brightest stars to Net companies.
Issue no. 135 - 5 December 1999
- Not Fit to Print - or Transmit
The New York Times disclosed that it has just fired more than 20 employees for sending "inappropriate and offensive" e-mail messages.
- PwC drops 200 staff to make way for ebusiness experts
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is to lay-off around 200 staff to make room for consultants with ebusiness expertise.The consultancy denied reports in the Financial Times that it is sacking consultants, but admitted that severance agreements will be offered to consultants to encourage voluntary retirement.
- Teleworking will destroy society
Futurologists fall into two camps: the insanely optimistic or the suicidally depressing. Professor John Adams, of University College London, subscribes to the latter school of forecasting.
Issue no. 133 - 18 November 1999
- USA - Is Cyberspace a 'Public Accommodation?'
(New York Times)
At the heart of the path-breaking discrimination lawsuit filed last week against America Online by a major organization representing the blind is a legal question that is simple to pose but difficult to answer: Is AOL's service a "place of public accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a key law protecting the rights of the disabled?
Issue no. 132 - 11 November 1999
- Federation for the Blind sues AOL
The National Federation for the Blind filed suit against America Online for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming AOL designed its "service so that it is incompatible with screen access software programs for the blind."
- In Internet Time, a Year Is Much Too Long, Judge Finds
(New York Times)
In Internet time, the concept that everything and everyone involved with the Internet moves faster than the rest of the world, got some legal backing last week. A federal judge ruled in an employment case that in the Internet industry, a one-year hiatus from the work force is "several generations, if not an eternity."
Issue no. 131 - 4 November 1999
- UK - Bishops bash Web pornmongers
A Church of England report into the "ethical and spiritual implications of cyberspace", Cybernauts Awake!, encourages Christians to involve themselves with the Internet - something that it believes will become the dominant form of communication in the future.
Issue no. 129 - 16 October 1999
Issue no. 127 - 20 September 1999
- Suchtmaschine Internetabhängigkeit: Massenphänomen oder Erfindung der Medien?
[Differing opinions on whether you can be addicted to Internet] Das Internet trieft angeblich vor Schmutz und Schund, und jetzt wird man auch noch abhängig davon - Wissenschaftler und Medien haben die Internetsucht entdeckt. Alles nur Panikmache? Oder müssen wir unsere Onlinestunden bald beim Dealer kaufen?
Issue no. 124 - 28 July 1999
Issue no. 123 - 21 July 1999
- USA - Do not carry on, Nurse
A Phoenix couple were suspended from their nursing jobs over an adult Web site they say they started to raise money for their kids' college education.
- Can the Internet Drive You Mad?
The Net can be scary for anyone who's never used it, but for patients suffering from paranoid delusional psychosis, it can be an extreme torment.
- Couples frustrated in cyberspace
(WSJ Interactive Edition)
Love by e-mail not always straightforward
- Spouses browse infidelity online
The Internet is becoming a breeding ground for adultery, say experts who track the pattern of extramarital affairs. And even stay-at-home moms, who don't get to meet possible partners at work, can be seduced.
Issue no. 121 - 25 June 1999
- Internet setzt journalistische Ethik unter Druck
Die schnelle Verbreitung von Gerüchten und Nachrichten durch das Internet setzt nach Einschätzung des Medienforschers Jo Groebel die Prinzipien journalistischer Sorgfaltspflicht unter wachsenden Druck.
- UK - Sacked for surfing Net
An office manager who used the Internet to book holidays at work has lost her claim for unfair dismissal.
Issue no. 119 - 7 June 1999
- New technology makes work harder
A new survey of office workers in four countries shows that most are interrupted every 10 minutes by telephones, faxes and emails.
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