There's also log analysis to identify the set of web pages visited by
each employee during work hours, and an attempt to programmatically
estimate the amount of non-work-related web browsing. This feeds into
decisions about promotions/termination/etc. Prefetching won't get
anyone automatically fired, but we'd still prefer it isn't a default.
In addition to being less user friendly, having the mindset that users/visitors to your website must live and work in ideal settings means that whatever you create will tend to be fragile and brittle because you don't try to take into account situations that you haven't seen before.
I've heard a lot of stories of ridiculous rule-by-HR culture, but that's so extreme it sounds made up.
Of course, had I known about these practices in advance, I would have declined the job offer. But I didn't. I ended up quitting a few weeks later anyway.
IT would monitor all connections from all employees and send a report to upper management with summary statistics, on a monthly basis.
I was told this was the case by a fellow worker during my second day there, so I tunneled my traffic through my home server via SSH. When IT asked me why I had zero HTTP requests, I reminded them that monitoring employees traffic was illegal under our current legislation. Doing this in a university-like non-profit research center is hard to justify.
Couldn't you just say "I just dont use http anymore because this X company data is very valuable to me" ?
Invert the scenario: if they told you that you had to do work-based research on your own personal Internet connection, would that be OK? Any overage charges are yours to pay, no compensation.
The other part about log analysis seems crazy, though, I agree with you on that.
That sounds batshit insane.
I always let my team browse Facebook, if they wanted. One of my top people browsed it the most out of everyone. If you block a page, then they will just use their phone.
If you are going to measure, then measure outputs. Measuring inputs will make you and your team equally unhappy.
The webbrowsing of other people is their private matter. If you think someone is surfing the web too much (or taking too many coffee breaks, or leaning on the shovel for a minute or any other normal activity people do to take little breaks from work), it's on leadership to tell the person to get back to work, or generally, create a work environment where work flows more naturally.
Logs are for investigations in case of crimes etc.
I read so many things here on HN that are illegal in Germany. We have laws and powerful worker representation that prevents dehumanitzing stuff like that but, often, things started in the US find their way over here....
If your company is doing that, then do not browse on company time and/or using company equipment at all. Ever. They obviously don't (or for regulatory reasons, can't) trust you, so you should treat them as an adversary for your own good.
Remember: HR exists to protect the company, not the employees.
I mean that firewall was used to track every website you browse and other evil stuff.
Where do you work that makes tolerating that level of idiotic behavior worth it? It the job super interesting or the pay above market rate? If not, there are much greener pastures my friend.
Companies that treat their employees like morons eventually push out everyone who is not one.
I think only very few people browse the web from an employer who has rules about what types of pages can be fetched. As a web developer, if I can make a faster experience for 99% of my population at the cost of potentially annoying the HR department of some tiny fraction of them, I'm going to do it. And I won't feel bad about making it slightly more difficult for my site's visitors' management to effectively surveil their browsing habits -- not my problem!
Does your company tell its' employees about their Orwellian policies upfront when hiring, or is it a public secret?
How do you deal with encrypted traffic, e.g. https?
Some companies simply filter web traffic via corporate white/blacklists, maybe you have some insights why an illusion of freedom has been chosen in your company?
P.S: Using HN at my office. Was looking at career pages of other software companies a while ago.