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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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October 29, 2003

Blogger Fired for Security Violation

Posted by Ernest Miller

According to his blog, until this past Monday, Michael Hanscom was a temporary employee in Microsoft's Copy/Print shop, reporting to a Xerox supervisor. Michael worked there until he was fired for a security violation for a blog post (Of blogging and unemployment). The original blog post that resulted in the firing contains a photo of a number of Power Mac G5s being unloaded from a truck at the receiving dock on the Microsoft facility in Redmond (Even Microsoft wants G5s).

I've only had the chance to read one side of the story (and I doubt MS Security will comment), but it seems to me that Microsoft has overreacted (though it is within their rights to fire). Couldn't this have been handled with a discussion and some more training about security issues? Is the employee manual so clear on security issues? I'm also sort of curious as to how this came to Microsoft's attention. Do they monitor employee's private websites?

What this does show, however, is that companies probably should add an "acceptable blogging policy" regarding company-related posts to their employee manuals.


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Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging and Journalism | Freedom of Expression | Security


COMMENTS

1. monkey on October 29, 2003 01:28 AM writes...

I'm guessing he probably made posts to his weblog from his office computer. They most likely monitor where the employees go to and the website eventually caught their attention. None of this surprises me coming from Microsoft. I'm sure you'd find plenty of Windows machine over at Apple. My neighbor works at a Coca Cola bottling factory and when he goes to taco bell and gets a drink he has to throw it away before he goes back to work because it is in a Pepsi cup. It's just the world we live in I guess.

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