Re: network (intranet?) privacy help Q...

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Sure. Depending on which SSL encryption is used, he could grab the encrypted response, brute-force it, and have a decryption of enough of the traffic to be a problem in minutes, hours, or days. Also, this could be seen as "intentionally bypassing IT security", which is probably fireable anywhere. Certainly wouldn't look good on your review to be caught at something like this. Also, some of the anonymizers pass the URL info in the clear in the URL line, there it's simply a matter of them re-asking for the same thing to see where you were going. Further, if there is a proxy server at your school (as there most likely is), content of the proxy server can be cached for everyone, or for just people they chose to watch. All these things _can_ be done, but obviously I have no idea of _if_ they're being done where you are.

Nope, I didn't mention PGP. I said that if you're using a webmail that's https:// they will see you're going to a webmail server, but not be able to read the traffic without getting creative. If you're using a webmail that connects with https://, you might as well print everything and leave it laying on your desk, because it's that trivial to read.

Both of my parents being teachers, I'm aware of that.

You should find out what your school's acceptable internet usage policy is. Then, you can decide if and how you choose to violate it. Maybe they really don't care as long as you don't, as another admin put it, make more work for them. Over the years, I've run into a few "problem users", the ones who noise up my network, or are continually trying to find ways around the security I have built. For most of 'em, a "Hey, stop doing (thing) please, because it makes my monitoring stuff go nuts, OK?" was sufficient. But, I've also had the boss's boss call me into his office for the "We need to know what (person) is doing, web, email, everything" chat, and (person) was soon no longer working there.
For 10 bucks, you can bypass the whole thing by getting a home internet account. Heck, you may be able to use it _from_ work by dialing out on an outside line right from your classroom.

Check your employment agreeemnt, you may have done so.

Maybe dialup from the classroom is the answer.

From my perspective, it's not about "Big Brother", it's about keeping crap from getting into the network. Obviously a Mac presents exactly zero threat of virus, trojan, or other infestation, so that's not a problem. However, I'm also responsible when the "network is slow" so I have to keep an eye on it to make sure people aren't watching streaming video from whatever sports site on bandwidth that isn't cheap, and so on.

Ethically, if they're snooping and don't have a damn good, work-related reason for it, they can and should be fired. You don't read a user's email just because you can, you don't snoop their traffic just because you want to get dirt on 'em. But, if it's "Wow, that port is taking a whole shitload of traffic, what kind of traffic is it", then it's certainly reasonable to expect that if it attracts attention, it might get investigated.

This is where I'm going to excuse myself from the conversation, because (a) I really don't care, and (b) can't be bothered. The situation is what it is, and that's what you need to either decide to live with, or circumvent, the conditions that exist.

Well, any admin who abuses their access should, and will, get fired. Employers, right now, have the right to order them to do so, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
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Dave, I have especially enjoyed your comments, which are obviously the product not merely of relevant experience, but a good analyticaly mind (and good sense of humor).

Should one of those (the latter?) read http:// ?
<snip>

network has built for the purpose of protecting the network. I don't think I've ever done anything that remotely threatened the security of a network I've used. I just want to protect my own privacy.
Since I'm new at this school, I'm not really sure what the network admin is like, but I'll be sure to try to get to know him--that won't hurt regardless his snooping habits. In the meantime, I'd like to know just what and how well I can protect myself. You have answered that to my satisfaction, even though the answer was not optimistic.

I could do that, but I hate modem connections. I'll just wait until I get home to do anything that even hints of unapproved activity. Even Caesar's computer must be above suspicion nowadays, it seems.

my contract.
<snip>

valid as mine. I want my school's network admin to be vigilant, just as you must be. But I don't know how to protect myself should he be just as vigilant about snooping into my private affairs. Seems there's little I can do about it at this point in time.

You enjoin me to accept things as they are below, and I must return the favor at this point. You're right, of course, in the first sentence above. The problem is that very few administrators have the ability or inclination to discover a networker's transgression. Regarding the second sentence, you must have a bright outlook on human nature if you believe that. Me, I'm a Federalist 10/Duc de LaRochefoucault kind of guy.

Right, and it get tricky here, ethically and legally. A networker has such wide-ranging power and the to abuse that power in virtual privacy. Compare him to a police officer and search warrants, and you'll get what I mean.
But as you observe, that's how it is.
<snip digression on ethical philosophy>

Ah, but you do care, you have been bothered, and thank you for the insights.

Should? Yes. Will? Rarely. Fewer than 1 in 1000 abusers get nailed on this one, I would venture to bet.

"so" being "to get fired"? (sorry, I'm not sure what you meant here)
<snip>
Thanks again, I shall take your advice. H
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Thanks. Now get clear on the concept of who owns the network and how they could fire you for misusing it, and you'll be fine.

Yes.
But if they see you using an anonymizer, or ssh tunneling, or whatever, they may _feel_ it is being used to bypass what they have put in place, and that would be accurate. IF they wanted to, they could present it any way they chose. These aren't the sort of things that by themselves are likely to be a problem, but if someone gets an attitude and wants to "find something" on you, it gives 'em an easy target.

Buy him food and/or drink. Never hurts.

Yup.
Your respones here are not consistant with your responses to Nick.

There are plenty enough examples of people in my position being fired and/or sued for violating the trust that our job entitles that even those who aren't all that honest, are still very likely not to "go there".

OK, I'm sure that would mean alot to someone who knows who that is. Me, I'm the "jaded and cynical" type.

Not at all. Once it starts impacting the hardware my boss pays me to keep from falling over and catching fire, it becomes my business. No fuzzy line, no gray areas, it's "What the hell is happening at IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx that's saturating my switch". At that point, troubleshooting continues until the cause is identified. Like I said, in the past I've done the "Er, hi, please stop doing (thing) because it's making my monitoring stuff get all excited and paging me". Almost always that's been a self-correcting problem, I tell the person it's been noticed and that I know what he's doing (streaming media seems to be a favorite), and that I'd like it to stop. If it did continue, I'd get his streaming media player removed from his system or block the traffic at the switchgear, if he went around that, _then_ we start escalating it to managers. As per policy. No BigBrother about it, it's a clear case of Joe User going around what has been put in place to keep the network healthy.

If a cop breaks into your house without a warrant, they are also doing something not only illegal, but possibly fatal. Not sure how that relates to you putting traffic on my network that isn't supposed to be there.

Oh, damn.

No, what I'm saying is I don't care to get into the whole philosophical side of this, other than "tough, that's the situation, live with it or work to get it changed, but don't go around it or my counterpart is very likely to stop you".

I'm in the field, and you clearly are not. I have direct personal knowledge of two admins who were found doing this, and both of them were fired. Yes, limited sample size and all that, but it's _just_ _not_ _done_. When it's done, it's not tolerated.

"to do so" being "to monitor everything you do online". Again, caselaw has established this.
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wrote:

I'll try, but you have not yourself addressed who owns the network of a school or public organization, so your response is a bit disingenuous.
If someone accuses me of misuse and fires me, but is dishonest in establishing standards of use, then there's a good chance he will be the one who ends up getting fired. That's how public law works. Private companies have more leeway to be Orwellian.

paint a distinctly rosier scene about networkers. It's the "like it is" part that has me concerned. I appreciate your candor, when it comes to the fore.

Nor are your responses consisten with Nick's. So why should my differing responses be a surprise?

Read your last two responses. They don't add up. If you're cynical (BTW, that is Fed 10 and Duc de LR to a "T"), then you must find it hard to believe, as I do, that most networkers can resist checking out so-and-so's activities.
It's just human curiosity. I don't fault networkers for trying it either, I doubt I could resist. It's like giving a teenage boy some mythical sunglasses that will allow him to see under the girls' clothing, then telling him not to look. It's just happenstance that at this point in history our technology has exceeded our ability to enforce our ideals (of privacy). Networkers have a tremendous amount of ability to snoop. Sure, some have been caught, but how easy is that (to catch a networker snooping)? No doubt you can do it with enough money to hire the expert (and who's going to watch *him*?), but is it reasonable to expect of a school?

The scenario you describe is perfectly reasonable, and I sympathize with the difficulties a networker faces such as these. But you yourself admit the potentiality of BigBrother networker abusing his position: "[not] the sort of things that by themselves are likely to be a problem, but if someone [networker] gets an attitude and wants to "find something" on you, it gives 'em an easy target."
I applaud you if you are everything you say a networker does and doesn't do. I'm apparently more cynical than you about your peers.

It relates not to me as user but to you as networker--you are the cop. Yet it seems that you can invade what I consider private without a warrant, usually without anyone even being able to detect what you've done: twice the entry power of the cop and none of the constraint.
It concerns me. And this thread leads me to admire Orwell and Jefferson more and more.

Your point is taken. The counterpoint is that you can't really avoid the philosophical side, try though you may.

My only response is quite simple: I just don't believe this.

My understanding of the law is that I have some defenses against what you envision as a right of employers.
But, to cut to the chase, this whole thread has convinced me of your essential point ("the way things are"), that it's really not in my best interests to try to outsneak my networker. I'm pretty good at what I do. I'm not really interested in trying to become better at what he does.
H, banished to his home cable connection.
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This would be a more accurate analogy if you were storing your personal information down at the police station.

You considering it private doesn't make it private. An exhaustive search of all cases that I could find in the 30 seconds I looked brought up the following from eff.org, which is a summary of US v. Councilman, released on June 29, 2004.
'The First Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a grave blow to the privacy of Internet communications with its decision today in the case of U.S. v. Councilman. The court held that it was not a violation of criminal wiretap laws for the provider of an email service to monitor the content of users' incoming messages without their consent. The defendant in the case is a seller of rare and used books who offered email service to customers. The defendant had configured the mail processing software so that all incoming email sent from Amazon.com, the defendant's competitor, was copied and sent to the defendant's mailbox as well as to the intended recipient's. As the court itself admitted, "it may well be that the protections of the Wiretap Act have been eviscerated as technology advances." '
todd
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Riiiiiiiight, so now you're going to go into "it's the taxpayer's network and I'm a taxpayer, so blah blah" rant I bet. Nice try.

You're exactly the sort of person who is going to piss off the wrong person at some point, and call attention to yourself so they _will_ find an excuse to tell the network admins to snoop on you. I bet you're a feaking _blast_ to work with (note heavy sarcsm).

I have not contradicted myself in any way. If I'm ordered to snoop your port by my boss, I'll do it, and I'll do it well. I'm not gonna do it on my own, because my job is more important than your petty little headhunter-sent email exchanges.

My message is consistant throughout, it's your perception that is tainted.

Because I am not Nick, but you are you, and you change from time to time.

Absence of response, and significance of same, noted.

They most certainly do.

I don't care.

You overestimate how interesting you are. Really, you do. I've got 1000 users on my network at any given time. Not only don't I care, but I _aggressively_ don't care what the hell they're using email for, as long as it doesn't make my pager go off. But, if they're spewing out virus- infested email, _then_ I'm gonna find out why. Likewise, I don't care what they're using their browser to go see, _until_ they do something that causes my pager to go off or a manager to ask my manager to find out why they aren't getting any work done or whatever.
You users just aren't that interesting, and you need to get over yourself. Nobody cares about your job offers, unless they want to for some other reason.

That's why you're not a network admin. People like you are better teaching poli-sci or whatever the hell you teach, because you're not the right kind of person for IT (to put it mildly). It's clear you can't be trusted, as your entire rant here points out.

You are projecting your own personal failings and weaknesses onto others. I find that quite telling.

News flash: exactly the same way I'd catch you bypassing my filters by using a rogue proxy server.

Trivial, second year of experience network or sysadmin stuff.

That would be a network admin doing it because he's ordered to do it, you keep missing that point.

You don't know my peers. We don't care about your traffic, you're just more load on our network.

Ah, there's that "I don't care that it's their stuff, I'm calling it mine anyway" attitude.

That's your choice. Your email isn't worth me getting fired for reading it, altruism aside, how can that not be blisteringly obviously true?

Why don't you go make yourself a test case then, sparky, and tell us how it goes (from your next employer's internet connection...)

Ya think?

Good. Because that's clearly not gonna happen.

Gosh, poor you, having to do your non-work network stuff on your own network.
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An anonymizer prevents your personal information from going to a remote web-server. It does -nothing- as far as concealing what you are doing from someone with the ability to watch the local network traffic.

Well, maybe you _better_ hesitate. <grin>
All email to a work account is the property of the *employer*. They can read it, filter it, store it (permanently!), etc. *without* so much as a 'by your leave'. This has been litigated, more than once, And the law _is_ clear.
If the school in question is a public school, _any_ of your emails are subject to a FOIA demand.
If it's a private institution, they can still be compelled to produce any/all such mail, as part of 'discovery' in a legal action.
The "generally accepted standard" for email is: 'don't put in email anything you wouldn't put on a postcard.'
Encryption for email works. Unfortunately, it works *only* between those parties -- *both*ends* -- who have made advance arrangements to use it.
It's *USELESS* if one party doesn't have the appropriate tools/facilities.

NOT TRUE! I've been in discussions on that *very* point in an actual legal discussion group -- where I held the opinion that the employee _did_ have to give consent, and had the contrary facts (complete with case cites) rammed down my throat.
In the U.S., phone calls _at_work_, on work phones, are *NOT* protected to any significant extent against listening in _by_the_employer_, or a 'agent' of the employer. A pay phone, that happens to be located at the place of employment, is a different matter.

You are spouting bullsh*t.
The network, the equipment used to connect to the outside world, etc. are *their* property. THEY pay for it.
They have the absolute right to dictate how, and for what purposes their employees may use _their_ resources.
Your 'intellectual property' gives you *NOTHING* with regard to the use of _their_ facilities.

You have *no* "rights" to their equipment/property. In fact, there are *no* "rights" on the Internet, _none_whatsoever_. The only thing that exists is 'privileges'. Either extended as a courtesy, or as part of a contractual agreement.

Doing that is *really* simple. *DON'T*DO*ANYTHING* you don't want them to see, _from_their_network_. End of story.

The law says "their property, their rules." Trust me, you _don't_ want to see that changed.
[[.. munch ..]]

Then *don't* use the network. That _will_ ENSURE* that there is no potential for mis-use.

Ignoramus.
Who owns the in-building network wiring? Who owns the in-building networking equipment? Who pays for the connection to the outside world?
Yes, it *IS* 'their' network. They being the company/school/etc. And the admins are the 'delegated agent' of the owners..
If the owners trust those admins to do the job the way the owners want it done, then _your_ opinion simply doesn't count/matter.
If you don't like it. don't use _their_ network.

'Who guards the guardians?' is not *your* concern. It matters only to those who are the employers of the guardians, and the owners of that which they are employed to guard.
Don't like it? Tough. Welcome to the 'real world'.
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I agree with the response above. If you think about it, there isn't any significant difference between a data network and a voice network. They are both just pipes for information. It's just that one is usually digital data and the other is analog data. OK, before any flaming responses I am just trying to make a point. I am aware of digital PBX's and VOIP, etc. I am just pointing out that it doesn't really matter if the data originates in your pc or in your mouth.
I was involved in one such case where my employer wanted to record all of an employees telephone calls and wanted to capture all data traffic to/from his pc. It was all legal and the network and telephone policy statements said so. We did not have the facility to record all voice conversations, but we did monitor his pc traffic and had all of his email and other files going back for a number of years.
If you are using company (school?) resources, they can do practically anything.
Wayne
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<snip>
That's the way I see it.

Change that first "and" to a "because", and make the statement inclusive of an agreement and you're right, of course.
...which is why I exised that part out of a recent employee contract during negotiations.
<snip>

No, they can't not without your permission.
H, ...beginning to wonder if anyone here doesn't talk groupspeak.
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Robert,
You have delivered quite the indignant tirade, which I hope indicates that this topic has touched some nerve in you originating outside this thread. Otherwise, all the puffery seems out of place....
snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote in message
<snip>

The fact that such litigation continues at an increasing pace should be evidence to you that the law has not settled on this score. Your blanket statements here amount to little, and they ignore contract law. My contract, about which you know nothing, does not allow my employers to circumvent my privacy or the integrity of my intellectual property, including phone and digital communications.

A good point.

at least not easily.
<snip>

sure I'd brag about that as an authority, but you go girl.
And despite my inner rational person warning me not to, I'll bite: cite the cases, we'll see if I can trump them (BTW, that's how it's done in the real [legal] world).

That phrase "significant extent" is rather leading. Just what is the "extent" as you and your group understand it? And I hate to intrude on the authority of a legal discussion group, but do you think contract law might affect such rights?

practice specializes in communications or privacy law. Otherwise, well, I guess we'll know who's spouting what....
I will disclose that I am not a lawyer. My legal experience, however, is probably enough in a few areas to know if someone else knows what he's talking about.
The alarms are ringing.

You noted above a distinction between public and private, I'll return the favor: who exactly owns a public school?
A) School administrators B) Networkers C) Some NGer spouting BS on the web D) Taxpayers/citizens
If you gave the correct answer, D, then you are now free to understand that public school policy on such matters is susceptible to the pressures of the owners. That's me. And you. And many others. Not THEY. WE. Welcome.

the term "absolute" cavalierly. I would say, on the contrary, that you are absolutely wrong about their absolute rights. Ownership in very few things grants absolute rights over usufruct or other competing property rights.

Ah, back to the spouting.... And your source for this belief about intellectual property rights? (No doubt you, or better yet your discussion group, specialize in intellectual property rights, and this area of the law is to you also "clear".)
OK, I have a short quiz for you: I have a copyrighted document--or even, say, a copyrighted song--that is, illegally I say, disseminated on their network. Do they have the right to ignore my complaint? Do I have NO legal recourse with regard to the use of their facilities?
Think twice....
<snip>

Assuming, as I know you must be, that said property is not public and I am not a citizen. Right?

<snip>
(of "their").
<snip>

Sort of makes for a more interesting connundrum when you realize that we, not they, own all that stuff in a public school, doesn't it?
...also makes for an interesting reconsideration of the word "ignoramus".

Let's just say I'm glad you don't get to decide this.
<snip>

Then let's also say I'm glad that you are not representative of the "real world", only one small insignificant legal discussion group.
BTW, what was that, 1L, Parumph community college, what?
Public ownershiply yours, H
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Since you already know all the answers, why did you ask the question?
<H. trying to show everyone how smart he is snipped>
--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Wow JC, that's awfully clever. You sure did get me. But since you don't know the answers, why do you bother pretending you do?
H, happy to have this comic interlude

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Actually, Robert is speaking the truth and you don't like the answers. Your tone is amazingly inconsistant from one message to another, and makes me wonder why I'm bothering.
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wrote:

For one who doesn't care to engage in philosophy, you're free and easy with talking about things like the truth.
And Robert is simply wrong, legally.

If you should take all my posts in this thread out of the context of each sub-thread, as you have apparently done, and evaluate them, you would indeed find a wide range of tones or even personae, which you label inconsistency.
Would you have me believe that you talk to different people in different situations with the same tone and persona? I've never met such a person.
What I didn't like about Robert's message, which has nothing to do with you, were things like: name calling ("Ignoramus"), aggrandizement (pretending to be some big legal expert on the basis, apparently, of participation in a discussion group), and general insults ("you're spouting bullshit!). I had been civil, I had not deserved the first and third, so I dished some back. But again, that has nothing to do with you.

Me too. Why bother getting involved in this sub-thread?
Curiouser, H
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I'm not shy about telling people when they're full of crap.

...like that.

You went from "Thanks for all the input, I'll play it safe until I can figure out how to do it in a way I can't be detected", right back to "you are wrong that it's their network and they set the rules". That's known as "inconsistent". Perhaps "waffling" might be more along your lines?

Rarely do you find one who contradicts themself from one post to the next. Apparently you don't see yourself doing this. Maybe you just aren't getting your points down well, but going from "Thanks, I'll not do it" to "yabut, I can" aren't two ideas that are particularly similar.

Pardon, but you _are_ spouting bullshit. Just because you don't like how he's telling you doesn't make it any less true. You obviously don't know much about IT, several people here do and tried to explain to you where you were wrong. Robert's extremely well written responses (which, in my opinion, are more time consuming than someone like you deserves) may not make you happy, but fact remains that he _does_ know what he's talking about and is eloquent enough to communicate effectively to anyone not intentionally misunderstanding what he writes (that would, apparently, be you).

So take it to email if you don't want others discussing it in a _discussion group_.

Because I'm not content to let your blatantly incorrect statements go unchallenged.
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_That_ wasn't a tirade. You've never seen one of my tirades. <grin>
It is, however, an exposition of the _facts_ of the law, as they apply to network administration, and network usage.

I haven't seen _any_ litigation in years on the 'basic' issue. It's all been about 'what is allowed / not allowed *BY*THE*AGREEMENT* in place between the parties', with regard to monitoring/tracking/etc of activities. The 'ownership' of such materials _is_ well-established.
Case-law includes a municipality where the mayor had _every_ incoming e-mail to every city employee copied to his mailbox. Without any notification to the employees. When the matter came to light, the city got sued over the practice. The city won. It _was_ their property.

Bzzzt. My statements are about what an employer _can_ do. which is separate and distinct from 'what they have agreed not to do'.

You sir, "don't know what you don't know".
"Your" contract terms not withstanding.
Proof: Echelon and Carnivore
The law is such that they _can't_ tell you "if" there is an Echelon or Carnivore tap on their systems, or upstream, let alone whether or not it is tracking _your_ actions. You can't even get that information with a court order.
'Telephone and digital communications' do _not_ fall under the legal description of 'intellectual property', by the way. If the contract you drew up links them as you have indicated, it is materially defective.
As for 'blanket statements', YOU started off making blanket statements about what _could_not_ be done. Those statements, even if applicable to the -contract- environment *you* are in, were invalid on two grounds. First the things _are_ technically possible. Second, employers *not* bound by a contractual agreement proscribing such actions *are* legally free to engage in them.

You *do* live in the 'ivory tower' world, don't you?
There is *nothing* that is more 'enforceable' than a judge's order.
'Compulsion' is -easy-. When the court says 'jump', you *jump*, or the court sends the Marshalls over to confiscate *everything* that _might_ contain any records related to what was demanded.
You think your emails aren't _already_ being copied? How much do you want to bet that routine system backups on the mail-server cover the mailbox directory? Do you think they would refuse to produce those backups, if subpoenaed? Oh, that's right 'ivory tower', nevermind.
There is _nothing_, at a technical level, that prevents the recording of _every_byte_ of data that passes over the network. There is nothing in the law that prevents it, either. On large, or heavily used, networks it is often *impractical* because of the volume of information involved.
But monitoring everything to/from a specific machine, or a specific user, is relatively trivial.
And is -routinely- done, when users report certain kinds of problems.

On average, a much higher quality of -legal- expertise than one finds in a woodworking group. When _practicing_lawyers_ tell me I'm wrong on the matter, _I_ listen to what they say. You can choose to 'learn from the experience of others' -- or not. I really don't care.

With regard to a company-supplied 'work' phone (this is neither a complete nor comprehensive list) -- They can take away your phone completely, without notice. They can change your phone number, without warning. They can prevent you from calling any number(s) they choose. They can record what numbers you call, without telling you. They can track how long you spend on each call, without telling you. They can record incoming calls without telling you. They can record outgoing calls without telling you. They can listen to your voice-mail messages, without telling you. They can delete (selectively, or en masse) your voice-mail messages, without telling you. They can 'listen in', in real-time, to any of your calls, incoming or outgoing, without telling you. They can _use_ anything gained from 'listening in' or recording AGAINST YOU, in an internal administrative proceeding. They can release any recordings to a government or judicial agency on demand (including a subpoena from the opposite party in a civil lawsuit), or voluntarily to support a law-enforcement investigation.
With those disclaimers out of the way, for someone who records/monitors the call, disclosing the content of the call to anyone other than 'in the normal course of business operations', *is* forbidden. In other words, if you're monitoring/recording a call, and you have a reason, _related_to_the_work_ _you're_doing_, for telling someone else in the company about the content of the call, that is allowed; OTOH, if you gossip about it, to friends, in the cafeteria, THAT is a crime. If you're engaged in the normal duties of your job (say you're a telecom person, checking the line for proper functioning) and you happen to pick up on a conversation where something illegal is being plotted, it _is_ legal to notify management and/or appropriate law- enforcement)
On a phone 'designated for personal use', such as a lunchroom pay phone, The first three items still apply, as does the part of last paragraph in regard to someone who's work causes them to happen to listen in on a call.

If you had any real understanding of how the law works and what the fundamental terms mean, you wouldn't ask such a question. The answer to the question, AS ASKED, is 'No, contract law does *not* affect the employer's _rights_ in such matters. Not in any way, nor under any circumstances."
'Contract law' is concerned solely with the enforceability of private agreements between the contracting parties. And has absolutely nothing to do with property ownership rights.
A 'right' describes "what you _could_ do, if you wanted to, given that you have not agreed _not_ to do so."
A given contract _may_ inhibit the EXERCISE of certain rights under specified circumstances, but the 'rights' exist nonetheless. Proof: anyone not bound by that contract, -or- anyone so bound, but engaged in actions outside of the scope of said contract, remains free to exercise those rights.
At law, possession of a right does not necessarily mean that one has the freedom to exercise it in an unrestricted way.
In general, it takes an action of law (congress, the legislature, the courts, etc.) to modify a 'right'.
Contracts can include _agreement_ NOT TO EXERCISE a right one already possesses. but they remain a private agreement, and do not affect anybody other than the contracting parties.

Nope. Merely a number of years experience as _publisher_, and before that, as an editor. Who dealt with IP and copyright issues literally on a _daily_ basis. I expect that, over the years, there was at least half-a-million dollars of legal services involved, beyond the services of in-house counsel,
More recently, I've been doing network administration/management. With an emphasis on the security/privacy issues in 'sensitive' corporate environments. You worry about your mail being snooped -- consider what the financial value of being able to see messages in the trading room of a large brokerage firm is. Where _one_ desktop machine may be involved in $100 *million* dollars worth of transactions in a single day. Want to guess the value of -that- kind of intelligence to a competitor? That is an business where the question is not 'am I being paranoid?' but "am I being paranoid *ENOUGH*?" And when the answer comes up 'no', it costs *BIG* bucks.
In that environment, everybody _is_ told, *regularly*, that 'you have *NO* privacy here'. Of course, it's the norm for the entire industry, and nobody expects any different. They all understand that the continued existence of the company they work for rests on that lack of privacy. :)

Available evidence is to the contrary.

BZZZZZT! Game over. Thank you for playing.
The _legally_accurate_ answer to the question you asked, _as_asked_ is "none of the above".
Title, and thus ownership, rests with the government agency that operates the schools. It is a legal 'person' in and of itself.
That 'person' owns the property. and the assets in it.
That 'agency' is (indirectly) 'owned' by the taxpayers, true. But, legally, it is a separate and distinct 'legal person'.
The situation is no different than owning shares in a corporation. You, the shareholder (and part-owner) of the corporation do *not* have an ownership interest in any assets owned by the corporation "in it's own name."
You (individually), nor you (collectively) do -not- own the property owned by the school district.

In the computers trade, this is called GIGO -- "garbage in, garbage out". You started from a faulty premise, so it's no surprise you've arrived at a faulty conclusion.
Second, If you don't grasp the difference between what someone has the 'legal right' to do, and what they *choose* to do or not do, there's no point in bothering to discuss 'what the law allows'.
Tell me, while you're at it, why it is illegal for an owner of the public school to enter the school at night, and remove some of 'their' property from the piece of real-estate that they 'own'.
Why are the charges in such a case *exactly* the same as the ones that are filed if the person broke into _your_ dwelling, and took _your_ property?
Do you suppose, maybe, _just_maybe_, that it just might be that they DON'T really 'own' the property, etc. in the school?

Not cavalierly. I meant _exactly_ what I said.
An employer is under no legal requirement to provide _any_ resources for it's employees to use. Any resources that are provided are provided subject to any 'terms of use' that the employer may deem fit. The employee has two choices: (1) 'live with it', (2) seek employment elsewhere. An employer may _choose_ to commit, in a binding manner (e.g. contract), to certain practices, with regard to the use of certain resources, but they do *not* have to do so. (There _are_, in many cases, advantages =to=the=employer= TO doing so, as well as advantages to the employee.)
The employer, from a legal standpoint, _has_ absolute control. They can 'shut down' the resources. they can eliminate the resources.
"Those who have the power to destroy a thing, control it absolutely."
If they've entered into contracts to the contrary they may have to wait for those contracts to expire, or re-negotiate them. Note well that by simply waiting for the currently-in-effect contracts to expire they *can* implement the 'shut-down'/'elimination' unilaterally, and without any further discussion.

*snicker*. "Usufruct" exists _only_ if one has been granted that right, in one way or another, by the property owner in the first place. If you lease a piece of land, usufruct entitles you to the 'fruits' of what you grow on it. If you trespass onto somebody else's property to plant things, there is no 'usufruct' right to the fruits of your labor. If you do attempt to 'harvest' your crops, you can be arrested for theft as well as trespassing. This *HAS* happened, in the case of certain 'contraband' crops.
Concrete example: 'usufruct'ing an automobile, absent the permission of the owner thereof, _is_ a criminal offense in every jurisdiction in the United States. In a number of locales it is the crime of 'joyriding'; in others, it is not distinguished from 'grand theft auto'.
'Competing' property rights, in the case of absolute ownership (i.e., in 'fee simple') exist due to grants, or 'division', of the rights held, in _undivided_ _form_, by prior owners.

I do have some small knowledge of 'intellectual property rights', primarily copyright, having worked professionally as a reporter, editor, and magazine publisher; having been involved in three copyright infringement actions that went all the way to trial. (With, incidentally, a 100% record for being on the prevailing side)
Note: this gives me more experience with actual _litigation_ than a *lot* of practicing IP attorneys. All things considered, it's experience I'd prefer *not* to be able to claim. <wry grin>
My knowledge of trademark law is that of a 'well informed' layman. I used to to regular Internet sweeps for trademarks of my then employer, and would make initial calls to find out if they were 'aware' they were using a name trademarked by somebody else. The ones who got argumentative were forwarded to the external legal counsel for 'action'. In several years, there were a grand total of two disagreements between myself and the 'professionals' as to whether a use was infringing or not. both ones I'd classified as 'definitely borderline, but probably worth pursuing', and they classified as 'winnable, but not worth the cost/effort'. the 'business' aspect prevailed in both cases.
Patent law -- I've gone through the prelims of an actual patent filing personally. Twice. Both died rather quickly when 'prior art', that had never been commercialized, turned up.
Intellectual property rights give you the right to control the use of _your_ intellectual property. Period. See Title 17 USC, and Title 35 USC.
They do not give you _any_ rights to the USE of anyone else's property. intellectual or otherwise.
One would think that that is 'obvious', but apparently not.
IF your intellectual property is on, or transits over "somebody else's" resources, then the 'lowest common denominator' of "what they allow" and "what you allow" determines what can be done. If 'they' "don't allow" something that _you_ "want" to allow, well, that's just too bad. it doesn't happen.

What's to think about?
Quiz for _you_: What does your hypothetical scenario have to to with your intellectual property rights giving =you= some right to _USE_ someone else's facilities?
You hypotheticate 'some 3rd party' using the providers facilities to infringe your intellectual property rights -- a totally different issue from your original assertation.
Now, on to the answer to your 'strawman' argument --
Depending on the circumstances, *YES* they have right to ignore your complaint, and *NO* you do not have any legal recourse against them for how their facilities were used.
In detail: The DMCA statutes state that they must promptly _investigate_ a complaint received.
Upon such investigation, which starts with attempting to contact the party who produced the item that is on their network, and , If that party, for what you claim is the infringing materials, provides credible evidence (not necessarily 'proof') that they do have the legal right to do what they are doing, then the answer to the question, as asked, is:
"Yes, the network operator *is* free to ignore your complaint."
WITH impunity. And any further complaints about the same material from the same source can be treated the same way, without further investigation.
And, no, you do not have legal recourse against the network *operator* for what 'somebody else' does through their network. see 47 USC 230 (c) 1
*IF* they _fail_to_investigate_ a DMCA takedown notice, they have 'secondary liability', _after_ you prove in a court of law that the originator did, in fact, violate your copyright.
On the other hand, if they do investigate, and decide that the matter 'is open to question', you, in fact, have _no_recourse_ against them in the matter. (*AFTER* the court upholds your lawsuit against the 'author' of the infringing copies, =then= they will take the 'proven to be infringing' material down, promptly.)
An -uncontested- 'takedown' notice is 'sufficient grounds' for removing the allegedly infringing materials. A *contested* one is not.
FAILING TO ACT on an uncontested takedown notice leaves one open to liability with respect to the putative copyright owner.
ACTING on a contested complaint leaves one open to liability from the other party.
The fact that your 'intellectual property rights' are involved does not give you any 'rights' (or even privileges) to *USE* any part of their network -- whether for tracking the perpetrator, or for any other purpose.

Wrong, again. Not unsurprisingly. What you 'know' is totally contrary to reality. Such 'assumptions', which I do -not- make, are immaterial, in- consequential, and irrelevant to the matter. 'Why' that is so has already been covered, I shouldn't need to repeat it here.
Your ignorance of the real world continues to show.
Government-agency owned property is not necessarily 'public', and _even_if_it_is_classified_"public"_, your rights are *extremely* limited.
Whether or not you are a citizen is similarly irrelevant. Just because you are a citizen (taxpayer) does _not_ give you a legal 'ownership interest' in property owned by the government.
If you don't agree, prove me wrong by usufructing "Air Force One" for your next vacation trip. Be sure to bring it back in 'undamaged' condition.
Try and stay in a City Hall office, past closing time.
So much for your 'rights' in property you 'own' as taxpayer.

Nope. just a statement of fact.
You have no 'rights' with regard to _anything_ on the Internet. Not even 'Freedom of Speech'.
Example: If your ISP doesn't like what you say on your web-site, they _can_ force you to 'take it down'; by the simple expedient of "If you don't, we'll terminate your account". And there's not a *damn*thing* you can do about it. If you don't do as they 'request', and they do terminate you, and you try to sue for damages on 1st Amend. grounds, you'll get laughed out of court, *if* you manage to make it that far.
The Bill of Rights, etc. constrain what the _government_ can do. Things that are forbidden to the government are *not* forbidden to private property owners in regard to their own private property.
All you have on the Internet: The services you contracted for, from anyone that you have _paid_ to provide such services. In general this extends no further than services your pro vier offers internally, and transit across your provider's network. The _privilege_ of having your packets (web requests, email, etc.) carried by intermediaries to whom you have *not* paid anything, 'as a courtesy'. The _privilege_ of of having 'remote' networks accept, process, and respond to your packets, 'as a courtesy'.
If the school blocks, limits, or in any other way 'restricts' your access to the external Internet, they are *not* impinging/infringing on your "rights". You don't have any. At most, they might be in violation of a contractual commitment.
If _anybody_else_ does it, well, "too bad". You aren't party to a contract with -those- people, it's only 'out of the goodness of their hearts' that they handle _any_ traffic for you at all. They do have the right to change their mind about doing so, at any time. For any reason. Or for _no_ reason.

'They' is 'whomever-it-is that owns the property.' 'Their' refers to the same entity.
This is one of the _fundamental_ precepts of *all* private property ownership. Change that and the entire concept of private property -- be it house, car, o Internet connection, get affected.

Since that 'realization' is contrary to legal *fact*, as debunked above, there is no connundrum(sic).

Yup. You just reinforced the applicability of the word.
You know, being ignorant isn't so bad. An ignorant person _can_ be educated. Stupidity, on the other hand, is incurable.

Bad news -- that 'attitude', in toto, is common to almost all of the network owners/operators in North America.

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Ouch, I'm not sure pointing him to that is a good idea. He seems the type that will take it as gospel rather than recognizing it as a parody of what we'd be like if (a) we could get away with it, and (b) our actions doing such didn't have real world implications.
Fun to read, don't get me wrong, but he seems the type to take it for real.
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wrote:

Oh, I get it, the ability to snoop around in your network at people's private stuff is not enough for you, so now you're going to scold someone for suggesting reading material?
You were right not to want to get into the philosophical angles, you have some bad (mis-)reading habits. Consider exercising the same aversion to pop-psych, would you?
Amused, H
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Are you accusing me? On what basis do you make such a statement?

Scold? Bah. Wasn't intended as such, and I doubt that he took it as such. Your response validates my concerns, however, that you're the type to take every possible thing the wrong way. You go out of your way to act put out upon, it seems. I've seen your type before.

pop-psych? WTF are you coming from? I cautioned someone that pointing someone like you to the BOFH library would give you the wrong ideas. Clearly, that's an accurate estimation.
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Employers have been doing it, in one form or another, since there -were- employers and employees. It's a de facto part of every job description from 'supervisor' up.

No argument, on -that-.

You've been told before, "No."
Repeating what was said above: There _have_ been court determinations. Expanding: Courts have ruled that employees have no right to privacy with regard to a work-supplied machine. Courts have rules that employees have no right to privacy with regard to a work-supplied Internet connection. It is a business resource, just like any other resource the business provides. "Their property, Their rules."
This is -not- 'new law', by any means. The first cases went to court simply to establish that the _existing_rules_ *did* apply to the 'new places'.
In a business environment, the company owns *everything*.
In an ISP environment, things _are_ a little different in practice, because there is an explicit contract, whereby the ISP grants certain privileges to the customer, and agrees *not* to exercise certain legal rights that they (the ISP), as the equipment owner, have. A funny thing happens, though, if the customer breaches _their_ contractual commitments. then the ISP -will- exercise some of the legal rights that they had contractually agreed not to employ.
Contracts are not about 'rights'. If there was a 'right' to a thing, you wouldn't need a contract to provide for your getting it.
If a thing is 'conditional' on "good behavior" (whatever that may be), then the thing is a 'privilege', not a 'right'.
Things granted by contract are 'privileges'; which you 'pay for', in one form or another. Fail to hold up your end of the bargain, and the 'privileges' go away.
As stated in another article, there are *no* 'rights' on the Internet. The entire Internet is "somebody else's" private property. You use any part of it _only_ at their sufferance. Which can be withdrawn at *any* time.
There is a consensus as to what courtesies are commonly extended, "out of the goodness of their heart", by local network operators to users originating outside the local network, but that is _all_ it is. There is -nothing- that legally requires any network operator to provide _any_ of those courtesies.

Several have been to appellate level, and *affirmed*, so they are now _binding_ on all lower courts in those circuits.
There's nothing new, different, or earth-shattering in the decisions. They have just affirmed that traditional property-rights of the owner of the property *do* apply in cyberspace.
But, go ahead, feel free to believe whatever you want. "Who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to sing hymns."
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