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TSA Blocking Web Sites – 1400 Internet Site Blocking

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This is an easy one and I think the early news media reporting this story have missed the point completely.

Blocking web sites is common practice at thousands of corporations.  In the US, sites are blocked primarily for reasons of degraded employee productivity – not one of censorship.  What company wants their employees wasting time “surfing the internet” unrelated to the employees job? More to the point, why would a company retain employees who are found to spend their time browsing web sites rather than doing their job?  Why would any company tolerate any of this time-wasting?

This is really a measure of toleration for poor performance.  And, I would venture a guess that there is a positive correlation among:  low performing organizations against peers in its industry,  the amount of time logged web surfing job-unrelated internet content, and the quality of the leadership in its tolerance for poor performance.

It really goes deeper than that.  Blocking game sites to stop employees from playing games at work is treating the symptom rather than the cause.  Mayor Daley in Chicago wants to take guns away from people so they don’t kill each other.  Taking games away from TSA employees, just like taking guns away from people in Chicago, doesn’t necessarily diminish the desire of these people to play games or kill people – maybe both for the right kind of games.

An opportunity to face Reality

In both cases, the real value of these types of events is that it gives one the opportunity to face reality in a few ways.  First, it is clear that the TSA recognizes they have a problem with employee behavior.  Second, they have treated the symptom rather than the cause.  Third, they are simply delaying the real solution to the identified employee behavior problem by not getting to the root cause of why these folks are going to these sites in the first place.

And I did not see “pornography” on the list of blocked sites.  So, that content must be, “OK”.  That activity seems popular at the Securities and Exchange Commission. (read and watch)

If TSA really wanted to block access by employees to sites of “controversial opinion” – if it really is a matter of censorship – then wouldn’t they have to block access after these folks left work and went home?  Not about censorship – it’s about employee productivity.

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Written by frrl

July 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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