Letter: User education better than net restrictions

Regarding, DOD considers prohibiting personal use of networks, a reader writes: At a time when a companies throughout the corporate sphere are realizing that the line between work and life is increasingly blurry, DOD/DISA seems to be considering a step backward in time. The
consideration of locking down DOD networks to all but "purely official" business to stabilize the network and ostensibly reduce network load is both an admittance of a failure to be able to successfully train employees in IA/acceptable use policies and a failure to anticipate
network usage patterns and build infrastructure accordingly.

DOD and the federal workforce is facing an unprecedented wave of retirements and the next-gen workforce, facing a more restrictive work environment will either enter government service and then proceed to fight the system from the inside (lower percentage chance of happening)
or more likely, will simply bypass government service all together.

So let's consider to work on the real front line of network security, user education; pursue cutting edge network security and understand that people who work hard also have lives and families and that the ability to maybe check your child's school Web page to see if they are sending
kids home early because of bad weather, while not purely work related might just be a quality-of-life issue. Also consider that when you hire a 25-year-old, you are also hiring the network of contacts that they bring with them in their e-mail and their IM and if you lop that off, you're essentially getting half what you paid for.

Sincerely,
Mark Oehlert


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