Monday, February 22, 2010


The pornography industry was one of the first industries to take advantage of the Internet medium. It is estimated that the online pornography industry is worth $1 billion. In addition, the research company Datamonitor reported that sex accounts for 69% of spending on the Internet. Academic researchers also claim that “sex” is the most searched for topic on the Internet  , and as many as one-third of all Internet users visit some type of sexual site. It is also claimed that much of this activity takes place within workplace settings and is therefore an issue of major concern to employers.
All the problems that e-business and e-commerce ventures face today were first experienced by the pornography industry, which continually pushed the envelope of streaming technology because of the potential huge profits to be made. Two particular developments in current use (pay-per-click banner advertisements and real-time credit card processing) were both developed by technical expertise from within the pornographic industry. These developments have had significant impacts on the accessibility afforded to Internet users. Furthermore, theoretical 24-hour constant access has the potential to stimulate Internet abuse, which may in some circumstances lead to addictive and/or compulsive activity. Again, these factors are just as salient to those in the workplace setting as those with home Internet access.
One of the main reasons that the pornography industry has such a vested interest in this area is that in the offline world, the buying of most products is hassle-free and anonymous. However, buying pornography in the offline world may be embarrassing or stressful to the consumer, particularly if they have to go to venues deemed to be “unsavory.” If pornography consumers are given the chance to circumvent this process, they invariably will. Furthermore, in the workplace setting, individuals may also be able to hide this part of their lives from their partner and/or family at home.

Sexually Related Internet Crime by Employees
The actual extent of sexually related Internet crime remains a somewhat elusive figure. However, most commentators assert that it is on the increase. The reality is that advancements in computer technology generally, and the increased availability of the Internet in particular, have provided for new innovations in, and an expansion of, the field of criminality (and more specifically in the area of sexually related Internet crime) .
In the broadest possible sense, sexually related Internet crime can be divided into two categories: (i) display, downloading, and/or the distribution of illegal sexually related material; and (ii) the use of the Internet to sexually procure and/or intimidate an individual in some way . Both of these are possible within the workplace, although it is likely that downloading of pornography is the most common practice within workplace settings. The police crackdown on Internet pornography has been argued by some to be futile as it could drive it underground. However, employers can introduce their own forms of crackdown in the workplace through the use of sanctions (such as wage fines or deductions, or dismissal from the job in the case of persistent offenders). One area that has been given little consideration is that of online harassment (which is not uncommon in workplace settings). Online harassment is certainly not a new phenomenon, as there have been reported cases throughout the 1990s. For instance, in the UK, Maxine Morse gave up her £60,000-ayear job when male colleagues at the company she worked at bombarded her e-mail address with images of bestiality and naked men taken from the Internet.
She was awarded £22,000 in compensation.

Electronic Harassment
In addition to Internet addiction, it is also worth highlighting the issue of online harassment and “flaming”. Such behaviors can be psychologically traumatic for the victim . Words can hurt and seeing the abuse in print makes it stronger to the victim as they can read it again and again. If the post is on a list or a newsgroup, there’s the added effect of knowing that lots of other people can see it, and that it’s permanent. For the victims of online harassment and bullying, the health-related consequences appear to be similar to those having an Internet addiction, i.e., anxiety-related disorders, depression, and insomnia.
The psychological and health effects will almost certainly impact on an employee’s productivity as a result.
Online harassment and flaming can also be a pre-cursor to more serious Internet-related offences.
Cyberstalking is also an emerging issue that employers should be aware of. Very recently the first prosecution case of cyberstalking or harassment by computer occurred in Los Angeles when Gary Dellapenta, a 50-year-old security guard, was arrested for his online activities. It all began when Dellapenta was rebuffed by his 28-year-old victim, Randi Barber. As a result of this rejection, Dellapenta became obsessed with Barber and placed adverts on the Internet under the names “playfulkitty4U” and “kinkygal,” claiming she was “into rape fantasy and gang-bang fantasy.” As a result of these postings, she started to receive obscene phone calls and visits by men to her house making strange and lewd suggestions. Although such a phenomenon is by definition a global one, it was the Californian legal system that took the lead in an effort to combat it. Many other cases of cyberstalking and/or persistent and unwanted e-mail messages have also been reported, some of which have originated in the workplace.

1 comment:

  1. It is necessary for every parent to learn what is cyberstalking its impact on your child and how to protect him/her from Cyber harassement