QuickLinks - Employment and social issues
Issue no. 218 - 6 January 2002
- Fair Play? Violence, Gender and Race in Video Games
Most of the top-selling video games offer very little racial and gender diversity, according to a comprehensive study conducted by Children Now, a child research and action organization. White characters were the only human characters found in young children's games. Nearly all of the heroes were white and female characters were severely under-represented in video games, accounting for only 16 percent of human characters.
Issue no. 217 - 16 December 2001
- Psychologist untangles the Web of cybersex
The computer is a tantalizing 21st century "sex toy" that looks benign but can explode like a land mine, trashing the private and work lives of a surprisingly large number of Americans, says psychologist Kimberly Young.
- Italy - Internet porn addicts advised to log on with a partner
People addicted to online pornography can cure themselves by watching it with a partner. A new Italian study says logging on to porn websites in private is addictive and damaging. It says that watching internet porn together can help couples maintain a healthy sex life.
- USA - Ex-employee banned from mass-mailing ex-colleagues
An ex-Intel employee cannot send e-mail to thousands of former colleagues using company distribution lists, a state appellate court has ruled. In a 2-1 decision, California's 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld an injunction against Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, holding that e-mail he sent over the objections of the company to Intel's staff was an illegal "trespass."
Issue no. 216 - 8 December 2001
- UK - Online kiosks aid abused women
Women who are victims of domestic violence will soon be able to turn to technology for help. London women who suffer mental and physical abuse by their spouses or partners will be able to find and contact support services via the net-connected kiosks that dot some of the capital's streets.
Issue no. 214 - 23 November 2001
Issue no. 213 - 11 November 2001
- Chronicling, and Living the Internet Revolution
(New York Times)
On a recent morning, I found myself in a bankruptcy courtroom in San Francisco, reporting on the demise of yet another former highflier. Another Internet bankruptcy might have been a yawner, but I had a personal interest. The company being dismantled was my former employer: the parent of the defunct magazine The Industry Standard.
Issue no. 212 - 27 October 2001
- Sexy emails leave workers suspended
Two Liverpool council workers have been suspended after using council-owned computers to send 150 flirty emails to each other in just seven days.
Issue no. 209 - 1 October 2001
- Relief Agencies Retool to Handle Online Flood
(New York Times)
The Internet has made it possible for millions of dollars in small donations from around the country and the world to be used for relief efforts almost instantaneously.
Issue no. 207 - 18 September 2001
- Internet becomes global forum for soul-searching and support
The Internet proved its value as a virtual balm for a global crisis as friends, families and even strangers collected online for soul-searching and emotional support.
- France - «Un e-mail, c'est privé»
C'est aujourd'hui que chercheurs, juristes et dirigeants d'entreprise font leur rentrée au sein du Forum des droits de l'Internet. L'un de ses premiers chantiers: «relations du travail et l'Internet». Utilisation privée de l'e-mail, temps passé à surfer, usage syndical, les sujets de friction entre salariés et employeurs ne manquent pas.
Issue no. 206 - 3 September 2001
- Judge Slams Monitoring Of Court Staff Web Use
The Judicial Conference's Committee on Automation and Technology issued a unanimous recommendation that federal courts monitor employee e-mail and Web usage for signs of "inappropriate" use, such as downloading music or pornography, or playing games online. A federal judge has warned that this could endanger the confidentiality of sensitive court documents and create an atmosphere of paranoia among judiciary employees. see also Monitoring of Judiciary Computers Is Backed (New York Times) and Rebels in Black Robes Recoil at Surveillance of Computers (New York Times).
- Study: Multitasking could make kids less efficient learners
A new study by researchers at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor says that while multitasking - juggling a variety of activities at one time, such as doing homework while participating in an online chat - may appear to be more efficient, it can actually be more time consuming and less healthy.
Issue no. 205 - 3 August 2001
- Internetsucht: Die digitale Droge
Die Definition des Begriffes "Internetsucht" ist unter Experten noch immer umstritten. Eine der bisher wenigen Studien für Europa wurde von österreichischen Experten erstellt. Dauer-Surfer sind danach vor allem in Chatrooms und bei Online-Games zu finden.
- Professor Who Once Found Isolation Online Has a Change of Heart
(New York Times)
Three years ago, Robert Kraut, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, released a shocking study of the Internet's impact. According to his findings, heavy Internet users reported increases in loneliness and depression and saw the size of their social networks decline over time. Now Dr. Kraut is causing a stir yet again. He has new data from a more recent survey that in many respects contradicts his original research.
- Spain unleashes the Mobile Muncher
Spain has launched a campaign to recycle millions of old, discarded or obsolete mobile phones. It is being led by a mascot known as Mobile Muncher, or Tragamobiles, a giant mobile, who stuffs smaller ones into a kangaroo-like pouch.
Issue no. 204 - 27 July 2001
- Manila government targets lewd e-mail
The Civil Service Commission of the Philipinnes has issued a new code for state workplaces which classifies text messaging or sending e-mail what are "embarrassing, offensive or vulgar jokes" as an act of sexual harassment.
- EBay France Bends to Strikers
A strike by iBazar employees is over - but only after a violent incident outside parent company eBay's Paris headquarters.
- Swiss Microsoft site pulls racy ad
A sexy ad for Microsoft's newly released Office XP was pulled from a Swiss Web site, one day after it created a minor sensation among Internet buffs. The advertisement features a man embracing a scantily clad woman. As the man fumbles to undo her bra, a Microsoft prompt appears, asking for his password.
- T'es connectée chez tes parents?
Pour les jeunes, les premiers émois amoureux se découvrent désormais en «chattant».
Issue no. 203 - 19 July 2001
- Attack of the masked cyberdudes
(New York Times)
The Internet revolution has nothing to do with the Nasdaq and everything to do with a 15-year-old California kid going online and turning himself into a big-shot lawyer.
- Text message divorces banned in Malaysia
Government officials say Muslim men cannot use mobile phones to declare their intent to wives as the country's law states it must be done in court. Divorce declarations through SMS have been endorsed by religious authorities in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. see also Les dignitaires koweitiens divisés quant au divorce électronique (AFP).
- UK - Human rights saves porn man
No action will be taken against a council worker alleged to have downloaded porn using a computer because officials have broken the law by breaching his human rights. Walsall Council has been told serious disciplinary action is not an option because it "acted illegally by intercepting communications".
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
Issue no. 201 - 26 June 2001
Issue no. 200 - 14 June 2001
- Former dot-com workers find homes at porn sites
As IT workers receive pink slips in droves, some are finding job security in an industry that shows little sign of slowing: online pornography.
- Vatican to rule out online confessions
The Internet is an excellent instrument for evangelization and religious dialogue, but the sacrament of confession, by which the Roman Catholic faithful receive pardon and absolution for their sins, must always take place in "the sacramental context of a personal encounter".
Issue no. 198 - 28 May 2001
- Loft Story coûte 64 millions de francs
Au cours des 15 derniers jours, le site internet de Loft Story a été consulté par quelque 500.000 salariés pendant leurs heures de bureau, selon un sondage Ipsos -Médiangles réalisé pour le Figaro, qui en conclut qu'il en coûte 64 millions de francs par semaine aux entreprises françaises.
- The E-Mail Read 'Round the World
Investment banker Peter Chung's message touting his sexual adventures made it into the wrong hands - his employer's.
Issue no. 197 - 21 May 2001
- Dismissed for Chat Room, C.I.A. Workers Speak Out
(New York Times)
Four C.I.A. employees, fired for their involvement with a private and unauthorized chat network on the agency's computer system, said in interviews this week that the agency had treated them far too harshly for what they considered a harmless social activity.
- Workplace: Cultures Clash as AOL Switches to Its E-Mail
(New York Times)
AOL Time Warner is in the process of switching all employees to America Online as their primary corporate e-mail program, and not everyone is happy about the change.
Issue no. 195 - 8 May 2001
- By the Water Cooler in Cyberspace, the Talk Turns Ugly
(New York Times)
Thousands of message boards for individual companies have emerged over the last few years, creating a window on what some employees feel but never say publicly. Often the view through this window is rather ugly. While message boards are popular for companies, they are also common for schools, professional groups and other interest groups. All raise troubling questions about how to permit free and often useful exchanges that tend to be intertwined with vicious gossip and hateful comments. And for companies, some of which are not even aware that the discussions are taking place, these electronic dialogues represent a whole new challenge and area of potential liability.
Issue no. 191 - 19 March 2001
- FBI swoops on internet twin broker
Federal agents in the United States have raided the California home of the woman at the centre of the internet adoption scandal and taken three small children away from her.
Issue no. 190 - 12 March 2001
- Porn surfing firemen feel the heat
Three London Fire Brigade officers were today disciplined after logging on to Internet porn sites when they should have been carrying out a safety inspection.
Issue no. 188 - 24 February 2001
Issue no. 187 - 17 February 2001
- CNET To Cut Workforce by 10 Percent
CNET Networks has announced it will cut its global work force by 10 percent.
- Net shake-out benefits some
Monster.com has benefited from the US economic slowdown - more than doubling the number of resumes posted by job-seekers on its website over the last 12 months - but it says most ex-dotcomers have found new jobs without much difficulty.
Issue no. 184 - 20 January 2001
- Battle Over Internet-Bought Twins
A British couple embroiled in a bitter adoption battle over six-month old twins - who were born in the United States and sold twice over the Internet - vowed to keep the girls.
- EMusic cuts 36% of staff
EMusic.com, the troubled downloadable music website, announced its second round of layoffs in the last 12 months, cutting more than a third of its staff.
Issue no. 183 - 14 January 2001
- UK - 50 suspended for e-mail abuse
Following the media hype that followed a lewd e-mail forwarded this month by a junior lawyer to his six friends that eventually reached an estimated one million people, several employees at other organisations have this week been suspended for breaching e-mail policies.
- News Corp shuts web division
News Corp is closing its Fox internet division, a move that will result in more than 200 job losses, as the company tries to cut costs to weather a weakening advertising market.
- NY Times online arm cuts staff
The New York Times Internet division will lay off about 17 per cent of its workforce as part of an attempt to become cash flow profitable for the year 2002.
- Online News Frenzy Is Fizzling
It's raining pink slips in the online media world, creating new doubts as to whether content is really king on the Internet.
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
- Amazon Fights Union Activity
(New York Times)
Amazon.com has come out swinging in its fight to stop a new unionization drive, telling employees that unions are a greedy, for-profit business and advising managers on ways to detect when a group of workers is trying to back a union.
- Cable company sacks six for email "misuse"
Another six employees have lost their jobs for alleged "misuse" of email as Cable & Wireless has dismissed six people from its Birmingham office. see also Let the sacking begin (IT Director).
- CIA fires employees for secret chat room
The CIA fired four employees and reprimanded 18 others for participating in a secret chat room created in the spy agency's classified computer system to exchange jokes and gossip.
Issue no. 178 - 19 November 2000
- Unions call for email agreement
The Trades Union Congress said it wanted employers to draw up sensible guidelines with unions on how staff can use emails, following the introduction of the RIP Act which gives bosses wide powers to read employees' communications. The TUC said users should be warned in advance that emails may be electronically scanned for obscene, indecent, racist or illegal remarks. They should be allowed occasional and reasonable personal use of email, as long as this did not interfere with work.
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