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6

Competing Values Regarding Internet Use in “Free” Philippine Social Institutions

Erwin A. Alampay, Joselito C. Olpoc, and Regina M. Hechanova

The Internet is used within institutions to expand access to knowledge, to improve communications, to manage information, or to increase productivity. But users also download movies, write blog posts, and chat with friends. In other words, people do not always use the Internet for the original purpose for which an institution provided it. Though it is value neutral, there are often competing values in the intentions of those who use Internet technology in an organization: between openness and control, privacy and security, participation and efficiency. These competing values are not necessarily emphasized equally, and may differ from unit to unit, even within the same type of institution. Emphasizing one value can hamper the pursuit of another, depending on the context and structures influencing an organization’s choice.1 Quinn and Rohrbaugh in their model on competing values, for instance, hypothesize that common tensions arise out of internal versus external issues, and between concern for control and a desire for flexibility.2

Since information systems can be designed for a range of purposes, it is relatively easy to observe how competing values lead to tensions in access and use. In the case of the Internet, how it is used and adopted within institutions also undergoes similar contestations, even in countries such as the Philippines, where access to it is relatively unfettered.3

This chapter explores three institutions in the Philippines: the government, educational institutions, and private corporations. Through a series of case studies, we analyze how these institutions struggle with implementing policies on Internet use, while highlighting competing values among stakeholders on how to take advantage of the benefits that the Internet provides. These cases highlight some of the issues, concerns, and competing views with respect to using Internet facilities in the workplace that emerged from two separate surveys conducted by OpenNet Asia in 2008–2009. The first survey collected the views of information and technology managers and human resources managers on why they provided Internet in the workplace and how they monitored and disciplined employees. The second survey investigated the same issues from the perspective of the employees. Comparing the views of both sides, patterns of dispute regarding the online space the organization provided were evident: one side tried to control use (e.g., monitoring; disciplining for misuse, etc.), while the other side explored the boundaries of the space (e.g., performing tasks not originally intended, deliberately circumventing policies that restrict use).

The first set of cases deals with how the current government uses new media. Governments see in new media the opportunity to encourage citizen participation and a venue for more transparent government. The second set of cases involves educational institutions. It analyzes universities internally providing Internet access to increase access to online knowledge, while at the same time trying to regulate what students access. The last set of cases analyzes corporations and how they tackle Internet abuse by employees, and their ways to control external stakeholders whose use of the Internet also has an impact on how these organizations are perceived.

These cases are analyzed using Quinn and Rohrbaugh’s model, which describes four important values that differ in their preference for control (controlling versus flexibility) and locus (internal versus external), namely: internal process value, open system value, rational goal value, and human relations values. Internal process value emphasizes control and internal focus while stressing information management, communication, and stability. Rational goal, in contrast, focuses on the external and on control, using terms like plans and productivity. Human relations values the flexibility provided, while focusing on the internal and stressing better cohesion, morale, and human resources. Finally, open systems also look at the external and how to provide the organization with flexibility, while stressing growth, resource acquisition, and external support.4

Three Philippine institutions illustrate how competing values apply in contested Internet use: government, schools, and corporations. In these cases, clear positions, protocols, or policies have yet to take hold. In each venue, different sides debate the balance of how the Internet can or should be used by or within these institutions. These incidents, in turn, help define their respective institutions’ future policies. Although not as dramatic as the contestations that occur at the international level, they nonetheless touch on similar themes: security, control, privacy, access to information, transparency, and freedom of speech.

Government Bureaucracy: Using the Internet for Participation, Transparency, and Efficiency

The new administration of President Benigno Aquino III won the May 2010 elections, which were partly fought through new media. Political candidates made use of social media including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and text messages on mobile phones. Since new media helped the administration get elected, the government eventually wanted to harness it for governance.

However, there are mixed sentiments regarding its utility in government service. A newly elected congressman, Federico Quimbo, through House Resolution 184, claims that “unabated and unregulated use of the Internet by government officials and employees during office hours adversely affects their productivity and the quality of service they provide.” He estimates that all 900,000 state workers use government computers for at least two hours every day for unauthorized online social networking activities, and that the government stands to lose an estimated PHP 103,158,000 (approximately USD 2.3 million) every month from electricity expenses alone. He also claims that the Home Development Mutual Fund, where he previously served as president and chief executive officer, gained a significant increase in profit from PHP 2.7 billion (just over USD 61 million) in 2001 to PHP 9.8 billion (USD 221 million) in 2009 when it regulated the use of the Internet.5 While this purported gain is difficult to prove as due solely to well-regulated Internet use, such sentiments on better organizational regulation are not unique to government institutions. In an OpenNet Asia survey of Philippines organizations in 2008, 77 percent of respondents said they had some restrictions in Internet access, of which more than half (51 percent) reported blocking social networking sites.

The Aquino administration, however, has a different perspective. It believes that Congress does not have to pass a law regulating the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in government offices. The heads of government departments and agencies are left to “state their policies on social media if the productivity of the employees is affected by their use of social networking sites.”6 In fact OpenNet Asia’s organizational survey found that almost two-thirds of government agencies already had a form of Internet use policy in place. This includes policies on permissible sites to visit, use of Yahoo! Messenger, and access to social networking sites. About half of all government agencies restrict use of Yahoo! Messenger, while a third do not allow Skype, and 8 percent prohibited use of e-mail. Overall, use of social networking applications in the office or workplace was the third most common application blocked after pornography and gaming.7

Upon assuming office the new administration created a group specifically tasked with managing new media.8 Their motivation in doing this was to be more transparent, obtain feedback, and get the sentiments of the public. However, because using new media for governance is relatively uncharted in the Philippines, the hard lessons of how to actually make them work as an instrument for state and civil society exchanges and discussion are just becoming evident.

The following is among the first cases of how the new administration used online social networks in a very prominent national issue. The case involves the events and investigation surrounding an ill-fated rescue of 25 tourists held hostage in a bus in Manila that led to the death of eight Hong Kong nationals.

Failed Rescue of Hong Kong Nationals

On August 23, 2010, a tourist bus with 25 people mainly from Hong Kong was hijacked by a disgruntled police officer recently dismissed from the service. The hostage drama unfolded before the eyes of the public and was made more spectacular by a zealous press. When negotiations fell apart, the hostage taker started firing shots, which forced the police to launch an assault. The hostage taker was killed in the final police assault, along with eight Hong Kong tourists.9

As the event was unfolding, it was broadcast live over national television and online. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Donald Tsang, tried to contact President Aquino. However, even though the president had an official telephone, mobile phone, and e-mail and had a new media staff that presumably made him accessible on Twitter and Facebook, Tsang was unable to connect with him as the crisis was escalating. In the hours after the surviving hostages had been rescued, the president visited the site of the carnage, and his pictures and message were again beamed through various media, including the Internet.

This very open coverage is typical in the Philippines, where press freedom is highly valued and the media are considered an active influence in keeping government in check. This particular coverage, however, was also seen as contributing to the breakdown of negotiations, and also led to negative sentiments, not only from local citizens but also from Hong Kong residents, which was all documented in many social media, including the president’s official Facebook page.10

To their credit, President Aquino’s social media team initially did not filter the angry postings by Chinese residents to his Facebook account during the highly emotional and tragic events. Some of the messages posted said:

“Shame on you and your government. Tender your resignation now.”

Maaari po sana na paki training ang mga kapulisan at ang SWAT team o kaya naman sibakin na po lahat. . . . nakakakahiya sa international community ang daming namatay [Please either train the SWAT teams or fire them all. It is embarrassing to the international community that many people died.].”

“Your incompetence of leading your untrained stupid police force caused such a tragedy.”

“We Hong Kong people are very angry for your comments. Please apologize to those who were affected.”

“He’s [President Aquino’s] slowly killing our country coz [sic] of his stupidity.”

“You see, our president is a retard who has done nothing but smirk in front of the TV cameras after all that has happened.”

The administration’s openness, in this case, allowed people to vent anger, as it was meant to do. At one point, Aquino’s new media team had to change his profile picture from a smiling one (which some found offensive or insensitive given the situation) to a more solemn pose. Eventually, as some postings became more offensive and were deemed “below-the-belt” attacks on the president, some of the comments posted on his Facebook page were filtered.11

Subsequently, the government created an independent commission headed by the secretary of justice, called the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), to look into the apparent systemic failure in the hostage incident. The president promised that all those found accountable by the commission would be charged and punished.

After two weeks of hearings, the IIRC submitted an 82-page report that found ten officials liable for administrative and criminal sanctions. Three close supporters of the president were among those included in the recommendations. According to Malou Mangahas of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, the president wanted palace lawyers to first review the report and, if possible, strike out the names of three of his close allies. He was quoted as saying, “Napatapang ‘ata masyado ah. Bakit kasama pa sila Puno, Lim, at Verzosa?” [It’s too strongly worded. Why are we implicating Puno, Lim, and Verzosa?]12

The administration then announced that a copy would be first supplied to the Chinese government as a form of courtesy, but promised to publish the complete report in time on the Office of the President’s Web site (http://www.op.gov.ph), and quickly uploaded pages 1 to 60 of the report. However, it did not include the subsequent 22 pages that had the committee’s conclusions on accountability or its recommendations and highlights of the report.

As these two cases illustrate, the government’s intent to use the Internet for opening discussions and more transparency has not been completely fulfilled. For the former goal, there are fears that unfettered regulation could potentially lead to greater discord and disharmony rather than better understanding. For the latter, sociopolitical considerations still factor into what gets said.

Educational Institutions

Internet access is becoming a fundamental need in schools and universities, since it provides students with access to more knowledge and information.13 As a result, access to the Internet in schools is becoming a norm, despite negative and unwanted experiences that result from its use.14

Access and Availability

Among educational institutions in the Philippines surveyed, 73 percent provided Internet access to everyone (faculty, students, and employees), while the rest had provisional access depending on the person’s role in the institution.15

The degree to which the Internet is provided in Philippine schools varies, especially when considering the costs attached to it. For some, especially in private schools, the cost is already embedded in other fees. For others, the cost of using computers and the Internet is part of individual courses, with limited time use, any excess of which entails additional payments.

Access can also vary depending on the kind of user and the manner in which she or he obtains access. Some universities provide stand-alone computers with Internet access that do not require individual passwords to log on. In these cases, individual use of computer terminals cannot be effectively monitored. In other schools, students have to register their computer unit or log on using university-issued accounts, requirements that make it easier for dedicated information technology departments to monitor online use.

Restriction, Privileges, and Appropriate Use

Varying restrictions are implemented in educational institutions. For instance, generally, all of the universities in the OpenNet Asia organizational survey agree that access to pornography should be blocked.

However, for liberal arts programs, especially those with fine arts and literature courses, pornography can be a contentious issue. In some specific cases, technical tests conducted for OpenNet Asia in 2008 in the Philippines reveal that some sites that clearly have LGBT content were blocked. These include http://www.gayhealth.com, which promotes the belief that “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women need and deserve their own source for health information,” and http://www.samesexmarriage.ca, a Canadian site that advocates for equal rights for same-sex couples. Regardless of the reasons for the blocking of these sites, the danger in censoring sites is that decisions are dependent on the discretion of gatekeepers and, at times, are left to purely automated systems that cannot discriminate between sites.16

Some universities provide some leeway with these restrictions by giving users temporary access to blocked content provided that they give justification for why they want to access a Web site. In the OpenNet Asia survey study one university noted that it grants requests for temporary access provided that it is for research and instruction purposes. However, student respondents in a focus group found this process cumbersome, especially when action on the request takes time (if it comes at all) and when access can be alternatively obtained from public Internet cafés or from private Internet accounts. The same university has relaxed restrictions for its faculty, giving them access to alternative proxy servers. However, faculty members have to register in order to gain such access. Hence, people surrender certain liberties, which in this case may be privacy, in order to be included and gain privileges.17 In fact, a computer science professor interviewed says that once a person logs on to the university network, that person’s account can already be monitored, whether he or she uses the university-issued e-mail or commercial e-mail.

Another issue among universities regarding Internet usage pertains to accessing “high-bandwidth” consumer sites. OpenNet Asia testing conducted in a state university found YouTube and subsequently news content such as http://youtube.com/AlJazeeraEnglish and http://youtube.com/zamboangajournal blocked. The reason for this block, at the time of testing, was bandwidth concerns. In larger campuses with bigger student populations, the quality of Internet access varies. Some students complain that the quality of Internet access also varies within the same building. These quality issues were a network infrastructure problem, whereby quality diminishes with distance from the source. In other instances, there are individual units and colleges that provide wireless access independently, and in these cases they provide layers of restrictions in addition to those that the university already provides.

A recent study on the Filipino youth’s digital media use found research and schoolwork to be the most common use for the Internet.18 However, the same study found accessing entertainment and YouTube ranked second. As a result, one university proposed regulating high-bandwidth sites. Its recommendation was based on its internal Internet traffic report in 2008 that showed that six of the top 20 sites being accessed by its users pertained to online videos and downloading/file-sharing sites (table 6.1).19 The proposed restriction, however, was not accepted by the student body. The students argued that since they are already paying fees for the service and since the cost of bandwidth was actually going down, funds should not be a problem if additional bandwidth is necessary.

Table 6.1

Top Sites Browsed in a Philippine University Where Internet Access Is Unregulated


Web Site

Bytes

Percent

Description/Remarks

1

http://veoh.com

28,660,474,919

13.29

Online videos

2

University home page (total)

17,656,553,028

8.19

Probably default home page of browsers

3

Google (total)

17,415,538,849

8.08

Various Google pages (aggregated)

4

http://onemanga.com

16,933,337,623

7.85

Japanese anime Web site

5

http://yimg.com

15,645,486,702

7.26

Yahoo! images server (provides the images in the main Yahoo! pages)

6

Facebook (total)

10,940,882,497

5.07

Social networking Web site

7

http://googlevideo.com

9,873,551,602

4.58

Online videos

8

http://vo.llnwd.net

7,558,115,507

3.51

Peer-to-peer networking

9

http://rapidshare.com

6,316,262,412

2.93

File-sharing/downloading site

10

http://megavideo.com

6,046,856,378

2.80

Online videos (like YouTube)

11

Yahoo! (total)

5,088,233,299

2.36

Various Yahoo! pages (aggregated)

12

http://multiply.com

4,340,471,199

2.01

Personal blogging/social networking Web site

13

http://liveupdate.symantecliveupdate.com

4,209,346,563

1.95

Symantec update services

14

http://animemagicbox.com

4,083,513,115

1.89

Japanese anime Web site

15

http://myspace.com

3,561,970,100

1.65

Personal blogging/social networking Web site

16

http://megaupload.com

3,389,124,492

1.57

File-sharing/downloading site

17

http://node1.otakuworks.net

3,321,871,362

1.54

Japanese anime Web site

18

http://tudou.com

3,297,361,598

1.53

Online videos (like YouTube, Chinese version)

19

http://friendster.com

3,251,756,770

1.51

The original social networking Web site

20

*.l.google.com

2,692,012,762

1.25

Top Google cache server (but counted in item 3)

Totals

174,282,720,777

80.84


These examples illustrate how Internet use in schools is developing rapidly, and how much is to be learned on how to make it effective and safe for students to use. Even though there is no prescriptive remedy to ensure Internet responsibility, schools find they cannot rely on a single solution.20

Corporations

Corporations recognize the impact on and contribution to their business of information technology like the Internet and “smart phones.” A study on Philippine organizations revealed that 65 percent of employers provide Internet access to all their employees. Employers cited the importance of technology in enabling communication, enhancing productivity among employees, and obtaining information.21

There are also data to suggest that employee use can include unproductive, negligent, illegal, and counterproductive activities. In an OpenNet Asia survey that was distributed to 1,033 employees in 86 companies all over the Philippines, respondents were asked if they “know of any employee being disciplined due to violation of Internet use policy at work.”22 They were then asked to explain some details about the violation and any sanction imposed. Eleven percent, or 114, of the respondents reported knowing of a coworker who committed some technology abuse at work. Out of the 114 respondents, 73 gave details about the type of Internet-use-related abuse. The top two technology abuses or violations were “pornography related” and “downloading of video files, audio files, or unauthorized applications.”23

Thus, like other employers across the globe, Filipino employers are at risk. They struggle to balance the productive uses of information and communication technologies for saving time and enhancing productivity, while also trying to curtail the abuses that can threaten their internal security and lead to legal liabilities.24 At the same time, the experiences of employers highlight tensions in corporate values—equal treatment/benefits versus cost, privacy versus security, and freedom of expression versus risk of defamation.

Equal Treatment versus Cost

The use of policies to regulate information and communications technology (ICT) use is still not widespread among Philippine organizations. Less than half (48 percent) have an ICT-use policy in place. These policies typically cover the use of the Internet, e-mail, and instant-messaging applications. A minority have policies on mobile phone use (16 percent) and use of camera phones (11 percent).25

Beyond the existence of policy, a dilemma appears to be emerging in its implementation. On one hand, there is a need for any policy to apply to all members of an organization. On the other hand, actually implementing the policy uniformly may place an organization at a bigger risk. This dilemma appears to be especially salient in the case of pornography.

In the case of Company A (a bank) two incidents of accessing pornography were mentioned. The first was a case of an employee directly caught by the president of the company. The president happened to pass by his cubicle and saw the employee viewing a pornographic movie. The employee was terminated on the same day.

The second incident occurred during the height of a sex video release involving some popular show-business personalities. The IT security director of the bank was directed by the president to investigate the downloading of these videos in their system. Since they kept audit logs of Web sites that their employees visit and any Internet activities that they engage in, employees caught during the audit would be sanctioned according to the company’s policies. With his investigation, the IT security director informed the president that should the prescribed sanctions be imposed on those who were caught, more than half of the company’s management committee would not be present in the next board meeting. In the end, the president decided to release a memo informing everyone that a number of employees had been caught during the audit and a stern warning was issued (instead of termination).

Access to Information versus Security

The Internet has become a valuable resource for Philippine organizations and workers in obtaining information. A previous study revealed that one of the most popular reasons for using the Internet is research.26 Yet the value of providing employees access to information is also tempered with concerns about security. Companies are facing bigger and bigger risks from viruses and malicious programs that are intentionally or unintentionally downloaded while employees are online. Companies also lose some level of productivity because the large size of some files can clog up the bandwidth, degrade the network, and consume valuable corporate storage space.

In qualitative responses from the employee survey, employees mentioned that those who were caught were downloading movie files (e.g., TV series or pornographic movies), music files, or pirated/unlicensed software. These files were then stored or installed on their work computer or, in the case of one incident, stored on the shared drive of the whole company. Employees who were caught downloading files were warned, suspended, or put on probation depending on the number of times they were caught downloading files that were considered unauthorized by the company.

To deal with the tension of access versus security, one approach of employers is to place restrictions on Internet use. For example, the OpenNet Asia survey reveals that 58 percent of employers block specific sites (although for 37 percent, blocked sites can be accessed if permission is requested). For a quarter of employers, accessible sites are dependent on the nature of their job (23 percent) or are limited to specific computers (21 percent).27

Freedom of Expression versus Risk of Defamation

Information and communication technology is used to facilitate communication, whether within the organization or between the organization and its publics. One emerging tension emerging from this communication is that freedom of expression can create a space for defamation, especially in the case of blogs.

Data show that a fifth of organizations surveyed by Lingao and Tordecilla already have ICT policies pertaining to personal blog postings.28 These policies are also more common among financial and manufacturing firms. However, this is an emerging policy area among all types of organizations, as illustrated by the two following cases.

The first case is the first libel suit against a Philippine blog. It was filed in August 2005 against the institutional blog of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) by Jonathan Tiongco. He filed six libel suits against the PCIJ, including one case for sedition. All of them were related to the posting of the “Hello Garci” audio recordings in PCIJ’s institutional blog. These recordings were supposed conversations between then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a commissioner for elections regarding vote manipulations in the presidential election. The Supreme Court threw out the petition to remove the recordings in October that year and said the constitutional right to free expression was paramount, even if it was just in a blog.29

The second case involved Pacific Plans, Inc. (PPI), an educational savings firm that offers educational plans to families. In 2005 the company was in near collapse and applied for rehabilitation with the Makati Regional Trial Court in 2005. The court issued a stay order on April 12, 2005, that allowed PPI to stop payment of tuition fee benefits to the traditional, open-ended plan holders and unilaterally substitute what its educational plan holders considered a patently disadvantageous scheme without any consultation with them. As an immediate reaction to this unexpected and unconscionable move of PPI, parents (plan holders) who converged at Kamagong Street in Makati on April 14, 2005, began to mobilize to be heard, and the Parents Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition was born.

As a result, the Yuchengco group of companies and Pacific Plan holders are locked in a legal battle in connection with the savings firm’s admission of financial difficulty, making it hard pressed to honor its commitment to fund the education of its 34,000 plan holders.

The Yuchengcos filed the libel case on October 18, 2005, before the city prosecutor of Makati City in connection with the alleged “highly defamatory” article posted by PEP members on its PEP Coalition blog alleging mismanagement and mishandling of their fund.30 The case was later dismissed by a Makati court and by the court of appeals.

Blogging-related controversies are of course not just a concern among private corporations, but also a problem in public institutions as well as schools. In a public high school in the Philippines, for instance, a principal handed a ten-day suspension to four students as a penalty for posting a blog critical of her and other school officials. The principal argued that the blog postings were damaging to her role as principal and to the school and that they caused alarm to the school’s alumni. She then imposed a penalty that she said was based on the school’s rules and regulations.31

Student editors’ guilds protested, calling the suspension a form of campus repression that undermined students’ rights to freedom of speech and expression. The Commission on Human Rights chairman was also of the opinion that the students’ rights may have been violated. The Department of Education eventually stepped in to rescind the order and transferred the principal.32

In these three cases, it is apparent that legal measures and harassment are being implemented to curtail freedom of expression. Even though the first two cases were dismissed from court, from an organizational perspective, legal costs of employee postings are very real concerns. Posting on an internal corporate blog, for instance, can be sensitive and potentially damaging because it has an institutional name attached to it. Likewise, external blogs of consumer groups can also become a public relations problem. All types of organizations are therefore becoming more wary of what occurs in the blogosphere.

Conclusion

The issues highlighted in the cases in this chapter illustrate the struggle to balance different objectives with competing values with regard to the Internet in the Philippines (figure 6.1).

Figure 6.1

Competing values framework as applied to institutional Internet use.

Source: Figure adapted from Robert Quinn and John Rohrbaugh, “‘A Spatial Model’ of Effectiveness Criteria: Towards a Competing Values Approach to Organizational Analysis,” Management Science 29 (1983): 363–377.

The Internet can be used internally to strengthen internal systems and communications, just as it can be used externally to support communications with clients and obtain knowledge from outside the organization. Likewise, it can be used to control not only information, but also members of an organization, since it allows institutions to monitor their members. Similarly, with the increasing mobility of new devices and ever-expanding content online, the Internet also offers flexibility to members of organizations, assuming that institutions providing access to these services allow them to be used in this manner.

The problem, as the cases illustrate, occurs when institutions or their stakeholders want to use the Internet for purposes that conflict, contradict, or compete with another purpose. For instance, government prioritizes both national security and transparency and encourages external support through people’s participation. However, these are inherently competing values, with the former being internally focused and requiring greater control, while the latter is focused externally and encourages more flexibility in its use. Similar contradictions were seen in how schools provide access to the vast knowledge in the Internet, and yet want to control how their students use that knowledge because of harmful content.

Resolving Competing Values

In democratic governments that espouse participation and transparency, regulating people’s comments and controlling information that is made public by a government’s own services remains a delicate balance. In educational institutions, rules of access and use of the Internet are also just being developed. Likewise, corporations try to balance using these technologies to ensure efficiency and better communications with issues such as privacy and worker/citizen rights.

The space is being contested in various ways. In cases where there are system-level information systems, there is discretion on how Internet-use policies are automated. In some cases, content is actually filtered, not as a policy, but rather as a result of using preinstalled corporate software. While this eliminates discretionary action among managers, discretion actually still exists in how the systems programs are implemented. These decisions are made by programmers, IT managers, and systems administrators.33

Even as formal rules and regulations are beginning to appear at the organizational level, legal avenues are also being used as a threat to control individual actions. Individual organizations are also becoming party to monitoring what happens online, especially for posts that may have an impact on their reputation, but also for internal posts that could have legal implications.

For individuals, the lesson here is that even as democratic societies offer space online, this access does not mean that an individual’s online presence and actions are not monitored or unhindered. People who know that there is limited privacy in using the Internet within institutions are more careful of how they tread, what they view, and what they post. For the unwitting, what one does online may actually end up being a violation of their organization’s rules and therefore subject to discipline, punishment, and dismissal. In some instances, behavior may be monitored by stakeholders outside the organization and can also be subject to prosecution.

As institutional policies begin to develop, organizations must consider the primary objective of providing access to the Internet. Do they want to promote participation and transparency in government? To encourage liberal ideas and access to knowledge in educational institutions? To ease communications, service improvement, and productivity in corporations? While organizations do have the right to develop their respective policies, they also have to make sure that the controls and regulations they impose do not end up curtailing their primary reason for providing Internet access in the first place.

To a certain extent, the tensions illustrated in the institutional-level cases mirror similar struggles to control the Internet at the national and global levels. For instance, institutions can be sensitive to, if not wary of, contrarian views to the point that they filter or censor online messages, file charges, or implement authorized-use policies to discourage such views. Likewise, network security is another concern mentioned among governments, schools, and corporations that want to monitor and limit access and use of Internet facilities. However, some of these practices are not based on well-thought-out or formally stated policies and are unknown to the employees themselves, so that these practices not only are selective in their implementation but also impinge on the privacy of employees. While policies in institutions cannot be prescriptive, the process of developing policies needs to involve management, administrators, users, and clients, just as with states and their citizens. Even then, however, contestations cannot be avoided, given the different priorities and competing values each side holds.

Notes

1. Victoria Buenger, Richard Daft, Edward Conlon, and Jeffrey Austin, “Competing Values in Organizations: Contextual Influences and Structural Consequences,” Organization Science 7, no. 5 (September-October 1996): 557–576.

2. Robert Quinn and John Rohrbaugh, “‘A Spatial Model’ of Effectiveness Criteria: Towards a Competing Values Approach to Organizational Analysis,” Management Science 29 (1983): 363–377.

3. Technical tests that the OpenNet Initiative conducted on Internet service providers in the Philippines from 2009 and 2010 found no evidence of Internet filtering.

4. Quinn and Rohrbaugh, “‘A Spatial Model’ of Effectiveness Criteria”; Buenger et al., “Competing Values in Organizations.”

5. Amita Legaspi, “Lawmaker Seeks to Regulate Facebooking in Government Offices,” GMANews .TV, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/198315/lawmaker-seeks-to-regulate-facebooking-in-govt-offices.

6. Jam Sisante, “Palace: No Need for Congress to Pass Law on Facebook Use,” GMA News.TV, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/198401/palace-no-need-for-congress-to-pass-law-on-facebook-use.

7. Erwin Alampay and Ma. Regina Hechanova, “Monitoring Employee Use of the Internet in Philippine Organizations,” Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 40 (2010): 10, http://www.ejisdc.org/ojs2/index.php/ejisdc/article/view/648.

8. At present, the Official Facebook page of the president is managed by a newly created new media team under the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

9. “Hong Kong Hostages Killed in Manila Bus Siege,” BBC News, August 23, 2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11055015.

10. One irony in the new administration’s use of new media in this recent crisis was that even with cell phones, telephones, Facebook, and Twitter, at the height of the crisis Hong Kong’s highest official could not get in touch with the president. In this case, the problem was not the technology, but rather unfamiliarity with protocols among the new administration and its counterpart in Hong Kong.

11. “Aquino Censors Facebook Page over Hostage Crisis Bashing,” Inquirer, August 26, 2010, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20100826-288827/Aquino-censors-Facebook-page-over-hostage-crisis-bashing.

12. Malou Mangahas, “From Day 1, P-Noy Wanted to Save Lim, Puno, Verzosa,” Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, October 12, 2010, http://pcij.org/stories/from-day-1-p-noy-wanted-to-save-lim-puno-versoza/.

13. Marcell Machill, “Internet Responsibility at Schools: A Guideline for Teachers, Parents, and School Supervisory Bodies in Kids On-line,” In Promoting Responsible Use and a Safe Environment on the Net in Asia, ed. Kavitha Shetty (Singapore: Asia Media Information and Communication Centre and SCI-NTU, 2002).

14. Shetty, Promoting Responsible Use and a Safe Environment on the Net in Asia.

15. Alampay and Hechanova, “Monitoring the Use of the Internet in Philippine Organizations.”

16. In one of the universities in Malaysia for which the testing was performed, Ku Klux Klan Web sites were blocked, but similar Malay sites were not. This finding indicates that preselected blocking was already part of the installed settings of commercial automated software some institutions use.

17. David Lyon, The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994).

18. Liane Pena Alampay and Ma. Emy Concepcion Liwag, “Growing Up Digital (in the Philippines),” Paper presented in the Living the Information Society 2.0 Conference, October 1–2, 2009, Ateneo de Manila, Quezon City, Philippines.

19. A Universal-McCann survey found Filipinos to be the top Internet video viewers in the world. “Filipinos are World's Top Internet Video Viewers,” GMA News, August 27, 2010, http://www8.gmanews.tv/story/199588/filipinos-are-worlds-top-internet-video-viewers.

20. Machill, “Internet Responsibility at Schools.”

21. Alampay and Hechanova, “Monitoring the Use of the Internet in Philippine Organizations.”

22. Joselito Olpoc, Ma. Regina Hechanova, and Erwin Alampay, “Internet in the Workplace: Employees Perspective,” paper presented to the seminar on Technology in the Workplace. Trendwatcher Series, November 6, 2009, at Rockwell, Makati City.

23. Ibid.

24. Nancy Flynn, The e-Policy Handbook: Rules and Best Practices to Safely Manage Your Company’s Email, Blogs, Social Networking and Other Electronic Communication Tools, 2nd ed. (New York: AMACOM, 2009).

25. Alampay and Hechanova, “Monitoring the Use of the Internet in Philippine Organizations.”

26. Ibid.

27. Ibid.

28. Ibid., 8.

29. Ed Lingao and Jaemark Tordecilla, “Blogs Targets of Libel Suits, Regulation,” April 9, 2010, GMA News, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/188041/blogs-targets-of-libel-suits-regulation.

30. “CA Junks Yuchengco Libel vs. Parents Group,” GMA News, April 10, 2009, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/173792/ca-junks-yuchengco-libel-vs-parents-group.

31. “Ex Adviser: Penalized Student Bloggers Not Notorious Kids,” GMA News, January 16, 2009, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/144601/ex-adviser-penalized-student-bloggers-not-notorious-kids.

32. Aie See, “QCHS Principal to Be Transferred Amid Blog Controversy,” February 3, 2009, GMA News, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/147191/qcshs-principal-to-be-transferred-amid-blog-controversy.

33. Mark Bovens and Stavros Zouridis, “From Street-Level to System-Level Bureaucracies: How Information and Communication Technology Is Transforming Administrative Discretion and Constitutional Control,” Public Administration Review 62, no. 2 (March/April 2002): 174–184.

Additional Information

ISBN
9780262298919
Related ISBN
9780262016780
MARC Record
OCLC
771915958
Pages
115-132
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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