email ethics question

email ethics question

Post by Timothy J Luo » Sat, 04 Mar 1995 01:33:04

        If someone answers a question I post to a news group
        by emailing me a response, should I email a thank you

I'd say this was a (n)etiquette question, rather than an "ethics"  
question, but that's irrelevant (or at least semantics).

Usually when I reply to a post I will reply directly to the person  
(as I have done here), as well as to the newsgroup (since I use the  
incredibly wonderful email-to-news gateway provided by  
"").  I do so because I assume it will be more  
conventient for the person who has asked the question (by getting a  
response delivered rather than having to go look for it).  However, I  
do not expect that the person will write back to "thank me" for doing  

If you _request_ that responses be emailed, then you might want to  
drop the person a note saying you've received their response and  
thank them for taking the time to do so.

I will often reply to email sent in regards to my posts because 1) it  
tells the person I have received their message and 2) helps if I need  
followup advice/clarification that they might be able to give.


NeXTStep 3.2 m68k    UNIX workstations         Shell=tcsh 6.05.01
Allegheny College    No Root/super-user access    1 Peter 3:15-16
If I understood the man page I wouldn't have asked the question.


1. Question of ethics

Hello. I have a question regarding the ethics of
system administration.

My question is this. Does a Sys admin. have the
right to copy, then delete files in a user's directory?

Here are the specifics of this problem. My fiance is a
web site developer, and has an internet account with
her local provider. She pays them a monthly fee for the
use of e-mail, newsgroups and web space. She was
developing a site that was contracted by her provider.
She uploaded the HTML files to her own private space to
debug links, cgi scripts etc. In a meeting with the coordinator
of the project at her local ISP, my fiance informed them that
she uploaded most of the site to her own space so that
they can get a sneak peak at her progress. The next thing
she knows the site she worked on (and didn't sign off on)
was up on the client's server (she has not been paid to date).
Not only that, but the orginal HTML files from her private space
were deleted. This was all done without her permission.

Now, from my point of view, what her ISP did was a serious
breech of professional ethics. A System Adminstrator, from
my understanding, doesn't have a right to invade the privacy
of their users. Am I correct in this thinking?

I would like to get your input. Sorry for the lengthy message,
but I need the advice of professionals. Thank you for your
                kindest regards,
                        Dave Palmer
Upstate Press
P.O. Box 117 Sherrill, NY 13461
"When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro"
      --Hunter S. Thompson

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