TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Court Rules Against Man in Computer Porn in Workplace

Court Rules Against Man in Computer Porn in Workplace

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 08 Aug 2006 19:32:44 -0500

A Montana man who used his work computer to access child pornography
does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy that would bar a
search of the machine, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Jeffrey Ziegler had argued that his Fourth Amendment rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures should prevent the government from
using evidence that he had viewed many images of child pornography at

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco cited
similar past cases and found that even if some people lament the lack
of privacy at work, the law was against Ziegler.

"Social norms suggest that employees are not entitled to privacy in
the use of workplace computers, which belong to their employers and
pose significant dangers in terms of diminished productivity and even
employer liability," Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote for a three-judge

"Employer monitoring is largely an assumed practice, and thus we think
a disseminated computer-use policy is entirely sufficient to defeat
any expectation that an employee might nonetheless harbor."

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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