Building your firewall


You work in corporate HR and IT.

You put put up the latest advances in firewall protection and keystroke monitoring technology.

You block MySpace, Facebook, and numerous other sites with “dubious/unsavory” ratings.

You broadcast well drafted policies on the use of social media, the use of company computers for unauthorized or illegal purposes.

You are feeling pretty good about your situation.

And then your cell phone rings, and you hear: “Someone just filed a complaint that they saw Bob from IT watching an adult film in his cubicle….on his iPhone”

What are you going to do now? How likely is it that this will happen in your organization? It may happen sooner than you think!

Chances are, it is already taking place in some organizations. And such behavior and the resulting problems are only going to increase.

HR professionals should start thinking now about how to deal with the latest technological advances in workplace impropriety now. Here are some ideas on what you might want to watch for.


Porn and the iPhone

Fast Company recently featured an article profiling the desire of the sex entertainment industry to expand into the mobile phone business.

Thanks to the iPhone, now selling in the millions, the consumer BlackBerry and competitor models, the smartphone is making portable high-quality movie media available to millions more consumers. It’s not hard to imagine that the sex industry sees handsets as a fabulous new vehicle for selling its wares.

And thanks mostly to the iPhone’s iTunes tie-up, consumers are getting used to paying in small amounts for over-the-air distributed content. These micropayments are a totally different business model than selling Web-site subscriptions or DVDs, but as we’ve noted, the adult industry is a very flexible creature.

According to Kioskea.net, Adult entertainment powerhouse Pink Visual saw visits to its mobile video service soar after Christmas as people turned on new iPhones and tapped into porn.

Sex video makers and distributors are evolving with the technology times, catering to customers seeking satisfaction on smart phones, Blu-ray players, and Internet television.

Digital Playground, which is credited with producing the first high-definition adult film five years ago, has a website devoted exclusively to Apple’s hot iPhones and offers free trailer “podcasts” for iPods.

“The way people get their porn is changing,” Pink distribution operations manager Kim Kysar said as an annual Adult Entertainment Expo wrapped in Las Vegas on Sunday.

“It is going to be more personal and you get it anywhere you are: on the road, in the bathroom at work taking a break. Nobody is going to be the wiser.”

The number of visitors to Pink websites customized for mobile devices has rocketed for the past six months and forty percent of the visitors become subscription-paying members.

“We saw a peak after Christmas when everybody got new video phones,” Kysar said. “One of the first things people do after activating their iPhones is Google ‘iPhone porn’ and here they are.”


An iPhone app called “Hottest Girls” appeared briefly in the App Store in June 2009 and sold rapidly before being removed by Apple. The “Hottest Girls” app shows iPhone and iPod Touch users pictures of scantily clad women, and some of the models are topless. There are many apps in the iPhone store that depict women in various states of undress, but this is the first official program that shows nudity.

Eventually, the Apple lock on iPhone apps will end. Other companies will not be so protective of teir image and will sell apps that will facilitate. While it may be distrubing to consider the possibility, HR managers should be aware of the possibility of this technology making its way into the workplace, and be prepared to deal with it.

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Tags: IT, issues, workplace

Comment by Michael VanDervort on September 15, 2009 at 10:48am
It is from the Fast company article. It isn't my fault....and it does help frame the concept!
Comment by Maureen Sharib on September 15, 2009 at 10:54am
Isn't there some app that blocks cellphone reception inside companies?
Comment by Maureen Sharib on September 15, 2009 at 11:14am
But I understand some companies DO block cell reception - any info on this - how common is it?
Comment by Michael VanDervort on September 15, 2009 at 12:38pm
Here is some general information found on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_jammer

And a company in the business http://www.quietcell.com/

and a White paper link http://www.quietcell.com/PDF/2008%20March%20Laws.pdf

Solutions
Cell Block Technologies, Inc. provides the only cost-effective, non-jamming, extensible solution today, to enforce a no-cell-phones or no-mobile-phones policy and to address other problems faced with cell phone / mobile phone and wireless communications in public and private spaces.
Cell-Block-R Control Units prevent the use of cellular phones within restricted areas. This is accomplished using a patent-pending technology that takes control of the cellular phone away from the public cellular phone networks. Any incoming calls then go into voicemail at the public cellular phone network and the Control Unit will not allow any outgoing calls.

The Cell-Block-R Control Unit is about the size of a residential smoke detector and can be attached unobtrusively to the ceiling or floor of a building to effectively prevent cell phone operation within a fixed radius.

The Basic Control Unit covers a radius of 6 ½ feet (two meters). With this radius, a single unit will control approximately 100 sq feet of floor space, 10 Control Units for 1,000 sq. feet, etc. Other models cover different size areas - up to 10,000 sq. feet (1,000 sq. meters). The actual combination of models to be used in any specific application will depend upon the area to be covered.

The low power Control Units are recognized as a base station by cell phones / mobile phones within its radius. (Think of a “base station” as a “tower”.) Once the Cell-Block-R Control Unit has “captured” the phone, it instructs the phone to go to a channel that is not active in that cellular system. This prohibits the phone from receiving communication from the original system’s base station.

With multiple Cell-Block-R Control Units, an establishment can cover as much or as little area as needed. The limited radius of each control unit gives total flexibility to create “cell phone / mobile phone free” or “cell phone / mobile phone available” zones without spillover into areas that are not covered.


Control Units
The Control Unit takes control of all cellular phones within its Zone of Protection. Control Units are pre-set at the factory with a spherical Zone of Protection that is approximately 6 feet (2 meters) in diameter. Control Units may be reset at installation to provide varying size Zones of Protection as appropriate for the specific site and to activate various alarms and other settings as desired by the customer.

The maximum Zone of Protection for a single control unit is 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter, although the maximum would seldom be used. Multiple Control Units may be used to cover larger restricted areas.

Remote Management Units

Remote Management Units provide for the networking of Control Units to monitor the status of the Control Units. This can be important where the administration must ensure that all units are working and none have been damaged – for example, in prison environments. The Remote Management Unit is also used to facilitate the initial setup of Control Units and to service the Control Units when new electronic upgrades are needed. Alarms may be sent by the control units to the RMU when needed, for example, the detection of a phone in a prison or a power outage.

A normal installation will include multiple Control Units and a single Remote Management Unit. The RMU is necessary for updating the software as well as for changing the factory installed settings in the Control Units (such as the size of the Zone of Protection). For very small areas, a single control unit may be installed without the use of an RMU; however, there will be no networking and no status monitoring. If the software needs to be upgraded, the VAR must return with a personal computer and an RMU to provide service.
The Cell-Block-R Control Unit is not a cell phone jammer.

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