Posted by: David Vasta
eCrime, eMail, Felony, Jail Time, Lotus, Mail Forwarding
I answer the IT Questions from time-to-time. This one (http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/creating-a-rule-to-forward-my-mail-to-my-gmail-account/ ) got me to thinking about security. The company I work for it is a BIG no no to forward mail outside the company. While many people will argue that it’s a pain not to be able to get their work mail all the time, you have to understand it a little better. I started working before email. Now before you date me, that was 1990.
In offices you had paper memos that were sent around. If you wanted to communicate something you typed up a memo and send it to all the people on the TO, CC, and BCC list. You new people wondered where that came from….now you know.
You would have never put that memo in the mail and sent it to the post office and then to your house or another company. Of course some people took them home but most knew when to take them home and when not to. Today most people don’t understand that the company you work for owns it’s ideas and it’s work, just like it has for hundreds of years. You as an employee can’t share that with anyone, even at times your spouse or friends. So why was it not OK in 1990 and now everyone complains to no end that they can’t forward email?
I think it has something to do with corporate pride and morality. Today most young people entering the workforce are very tech savvy. They have grown up using computers. This has it’s upside and it’s downside. Nothing is sacred anymore. They also think it is acceptable to steal things off the internet using P2P networks and other forms of “sharing”.
That said I am not beating them down, just they lack the understanding of property. Email is in fact property. The company you work for owns that email and unless they give you written consent to take it with you and share it with an outside source, GMAIL, Microsoft Live, or Yahoo, then you had better think twice. Some if not all states can and will make it a felony if your company wants to make it an issue. District Attorneys love to have high felony counts for eCrimes on their records. It makes them look hip.
So before you go forwarding email to an external source, even your private account, you as a responsible employe had better ask if it is OK to do so or you could be stealing and could end up in prison if the D.A. can put a dollar figure on it. In most states it’s not hard to end up with a substantial felony charge and prison time for over $5000 worth of theft. Be careful!