It seems that a big-brother mentality is increasingly prevalent in our corporate culture. While this is not something new, the advent of technology makes it much easier to implement.
Fortunately, new technology can be even more easily defeated or otherwise confounded with other new technology. For example, I’m aware of a company that has instituted strict guidelines regarding web surfing, there are many sites can no longer be accessed without threat of monitoring (for example, here, here and here).
This can be foiled with a clever HTTP proxy client and some Python script, but I’m not going to elaborate on that here. What is more important, however, is that excessive web surfing should be addressed as an employee productivity issue. If your employees are busy surfing the web recreationally, then you are clearly not giving them enough work to do.
Instead of restricting access to the web, it should remain unfettered and those who continue to abuse the system will be subject to a headcount reduction. In fact, the surfing “metric” can be used to gauge the thruput of your organization. When the metric is high output will be lower, when the metric is low then output will be higher. If you can coincide major corporate undertakings with the peaks of high output, your company will continue to outshine your competition.