Is employee monitoring legal in the U.S.? Upto what extent, and what are the resources that verify this?

In today’s world you must assume that you have no electronic privacy – that both your employer and the U.S. government is monitoring your electronic communications.

The U.S. government, however, is probably the biggest snooper.

The PATRIOT Act (Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) allows the government to snoop on U.S.

Be careful what you put in that Google search. The government may now spy on web surfing of innocent Americans, including terms entered into search engines, by merely telling a judge anywhere in the U.S. that the spying could lead to information that is “relevant” to an ongoing criminal investigation. The person spied on does not have to be the target of the investigation. This application must be granted and the government is not obligated to report to the court or tell the person spied on what it has done.

In addition:

Most organizations will have tools in place to allow a certain amount of snooping – although it may not be called this.

Companies are accountable for what individuals do – they have to protect themselves. If a company decides to snoop on employees they should have a policy in place that advises the employees of this fact, and the extent to which they will gather information. This should also tie back to the HR (Human Resources) policy.

There are issues when your information hits Internet as well so be careful to what you are sending or receiving.

See also…

Employer snooping on email?

Labor and Employment Law

Internet Law – Forum