“The State apparently never mentioned the extent of the software’s capabilities—or the level of monitoring that it intended to impose on employees—to the legislature when it requested money for the purchase during the budget adjustment process.”
For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2010
Contact: Doug Gibson
Vermont State Employees’ Association Concerned That “Marshall 86” Internet Blocking Software Does Far More Than Just That. Union Wants Say In What Sites Are Blocked. Also Opposes Software’s Tracking And Report Generation Functions.
Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) Director Jes Kraus today joined several Vermont legislators in expressing concern over what exactly the internet blocking software the Douglas Administration wants to install on state employee computers does.
“In a committee hearing today about the State’s recently purchased ‘Marshall 86’ software, several legislators objected to the State’s desire to use the software to closely track individual employees’ internet usage,” explained Kraus. “The State apparently never mentioned the extent of the software’s capabilities—or the level of monitoring that it intended to impose on employees—to the legislature when it requested money for the purchase during the budget adjustment process.”
Kraus added that installing the Marshall 86 software will do nothing to help an already demoralized state workforce feel better about their current working environment.
“An extremely large majority of state employees use their computers responsibly and efficiently,” said Kraus. “Monitoring an employee’s internet usage to the extent being proposed by the State is overkill, and sends the message that this administration has no faith in its own workforce.”
Kraus indicated that the State can already monitor an individual’s internet usage by using the SurfControl software the State purchased and began using in 2007.
“In 2007, the State told VSEA that the SurfControl software would address the concerns they had about employee’s internet usage,” said Kraus. “That system is barely two years old, and now here we are buying a brand new program to address the same concerns. Where does it end and how much are taxpayers going to have to spend to satisfy the administration’s “Big Brother” mentality?”