The IT department was asked to spy on co-workers. It didn't go well

IT? Or MI5?

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The more we’ve come to rely on technology, the more we’ve lurched toward surveillance.

In one sense, it’s all too human. Who trusts anyone these days?

In another, however, it’s a dark portent of a world gone twisted.

I’ve never been the same since reading the tale — posted to Reddit last year — of a company that used an IM system that offered three status choices: idle, available, or in a meeting. This fine system registered an employee as “idle” if they didn’t touch their keyboard for five minutes. 

And what a word to use anyway — idle — as if you’re lazing around, thinking about nothing at all. Some of people’s best work is performed when they’re idle, leaning back, and staring into space. 

I wanted to believe this was an isolated piece of software, even though I felt sure it wasn’t. And then there came the long and torrid story, recently reported by Business Insider, of a company called CoStar. 

There had been a “mass exodus” at this commercial real estate data firm. People choose to leave tech companies all the time, especially in the current climate of full employment. At CoStar, though, one of the reasons for employee

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