[svlug] Hard drive destruction

Michael Robinson plug_1 at robinson-west.com
Thu Sep 10 23:00:35 PDT 2015

The heat the drive up method is interesting, though I am curious to
know what vapors get released in the process.

As far as the concept that sysadmins have to protect privacy at all
costs or else they aren't good sysadmins, that should be weighed
against the needs of the company and the needs of the larger society.
Internet addictions can hurt society at large and shouldn't be taken
lightly. With the Internet, there is a high likelihood of multiple
players being involved in any activity whether it be good for society
or harmful to it.  Privacy is not an absolute right insofar as it can 
be a means to cover up illegal or otherwise inappropriate activities. 

If I were running a company, I wouldn't want my sysadmins destroying
evidence of illegal or otherwise inappropriate activity on company
property on company time.  In fact, I'd want my sysadmins to alert me
of any and all troublesome activity so I can remedy that and hopefully
avoid legal trouble.  I'd care about my employees productivity and
their general health.  In the case of an Internet addiction of any
kind, I'd want to get that employee some help.  An employee addicted to
something on the Internet or some Internet activity could potentially
disturb other employees making that individual's right to privacy come
into conflict with other workers rights to a safe and healthy work
environment.  It is unethical to place workers in an unhealthy or
unsafe work environment to protect the privacy of just one or a handful
of workers.  As the owner of a company, the privacy of an individual
employee has to take a back seat to the health and safety of the many
employees in the workplace.  Is there a time to protect privacy?  Yes,
I won't for example advocate spreading company wide that individual xyz
has addiction pdq.  The first step when you have to revoke privacy is
to minimize who you spread the damaging information too.  Second step
is to look at the severity of the activity you have to step in on and
the worker's history on this issue.  Third step is to turn the matter
over to authorities if appropriate.  Fourth step is to give the
employee a chance to change and adequate time/help to change.  The
fifth step if step four fails is to suspend or fire the employee.  I
for one never want to reach step five.

Privacy is a right, there is a right to privacy.  Privacy is not an
absolute right though.

     -- Michael Robinson

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