Thursday, December 4, 2008

Employee Spying - A Cautionary Tale - "Loaded?"

When most people think of eavesdropping, wiretapping and espionage in the workplace, they think outsiders: economic spying conducted by countries, other businesses, freelance spies, etc.

Not so.
Over the past 30+ years, working with businesses and government agencies of all types, here is what I have found... about 50% of these problems are internal: employee vs. employee, labor vs. management (and vice versa), employee vs. external auditors, rogue employees, undercover spy employees, etc..

The following news item provides an example of internal intrigue worthy of a textbook chapter. It is also another very good reason to inspect for covert bugs, voice recorders and wiretaps on a regular basis.

WI - City of Pewaukee Police Chief Gary Bach alleged Wednesday that several officers in his department secretly recorded conversations with him as part of a conspiracy to get him fired...

Bach's allegation came just days before he is to face a disciplinary hearing before the City of Pewaukee's Police and Fire Commission that could lead to his firing...

Lt. John Kopatich, who testified Wednesday that he secretly recorded conversations with Bach...

Testimony elicited throughout the day showed that officers were so distrustful of Bach - and Bach of them - that they all secretly recorded each other.

Kopatich told Davis that he recorded Bach on a number of occasions without Bach's knowledge beginning in 2005. Kopatich said he made the recordings because he wanted proof in case Bach told him to do something and then later denied it...

Bach began recording other officers about the time an investigation was launched into his conduct after a female officer filed a complaint in December 2006 alleging that he used inappropriate language when referring to her, according to testimony.

Capt. Dan Meister testified that Bach also instructed him in January 2007 to begin recording conversations with officers. The chief had a secret code that he used to make sure both had their recorders running, Meister testified. The chief would say, "I'm loaded. Make sure you're loaded," Meister testified. (more)

Internal spying can inflict just as much damage and expense as external spying. Inspecting regularly is both smart and cost-effective. (Learn more about Eavesdropping Detection Audits)