But how do employees feel about their bosses' playing such an "in loco parentis" role? "Believe it or not," says Sears, "some of them are grateful. We get letters saying, 'Without you guys, I would never have been able to get online at all.'" Heck, call us crazy, but without porn and hate speech, how would we get any work done around here?
Those clever content-filterers over at SurfWatch have a new product that puts the family feeling back in the workplace. This morning SurfWatch unveiled SurfWatch Professional Edition, a version of its popular parental content-filtering software -- but built for a corporate environment. According to Michael Sears, general manager at SurfWatch Software, although its software "was designed for home and school use," 20 percent of its sales went to corporate customers. Sears emphasizes the money-saving angle: lower bandwidth costs, heightened productivity and, last but not least, freedom from liability. Sexual harassment lawsuits are on the rise, especially involving Internet materials. Two high-level employees, for instance, were recently dismissed from Salomon Smith Barney for electronically exchanging pornography at work. SurfWatch estimates that on average, 23 percent of Internet traffic in the workplace is non-work-related.