‘What do you need this for?’ Lachlan sat at his desk and looked at the man standing in front of him.
‘Management have asked for this. You don’t need to know why, you just need to give me that report by this afternoon. Understood?’ The tall man stood for a moment as Lachlan shook his head and turned back to his terminal.
‘It shouldn’t be this easy.’ He muttered as his supervisor walked away.
The supervisor paused and furrowed his brow, ‘Excuse me?’
‘Don’t worry about it.’ Lachlan waved his hand dismissively. ‘I have a report to write, remember?’
The supervisor’s phone rang just as he was about to challenge his employee’s insubordination. He raised his phone to his ear, held a finger up to Lachlan as if he was going to say something when he got off this call. Lachlan ignored it and focussed on the work ahead. He grinned as he overheard part of the conversation.
‘Yes sir… I know… But… Yes sir… Ok… I’ll get right on it. Yes sir…. Sorry’ His supervisor’s already pale face turned a few more shades of white and by the time the call was finished he’d forgotten about Lachlan’s smart remarks and hurriedly left the room.
Lachlan turned to his colleague who had headphones on in an effort to not get any overflow work from the visit from the supervisor.
‘Jayce. Did you hear that?’
Jayce continued to bop away to the music that was being played in his headphones. Lachlan made a rude gesture and waved it about to get Jayce’s attention. Jayce smirked and pretended to ignore the ridiculous efforts of Lachlan. After a minute of wild gesticulating Jayce finally removed his headphones.
‘Nothing.’ Said Lachlan and carried on as if nothing strange had just happened.
‘Seriously, what? You carried on like you were being shocked with 100 volts and now you’re going to pretend nothing happened…’ Jayce said, starting to sound flustered.
‘Did you hear what the boss just asked for?’ Lachlan said finally.
‘No, I was doing my best to ignore him. Couldn’t you tell?’ said Jayce matter of factly.
‘Well I didn’t get that luxury. He wanted a deep analysis of some users that we have onsite.’
‘What do you mean, ‘deep analysis’?’ Said Jayce, now a little more curious.
‘Well, you know how we provide mobile phones and Internet access for some users as part of their package?’ Lachlan said, looking around to make sure no one was watching.
‘Yeah, heaps of people get that package.’ Jayce replied, unphased.
‘Well, as part of that, we install management software on all the devices, including home routers. The users have to sign an agreement allowing the software but… they’ll sign anything for free Internet.’ Lachlan said as if Jayce didn’t already know.
‘So what does he want? What’s a deep analysis?’ Asked Jayce.
‘He wants the last 12 months of everything. Files accessed at work, GPS data from phones, websites accessed and the times they were accessed, from work, home and on their phones. It’s too easy to get that info and I feel like I am intruding into their lives.’ Lachlan said.
‘It does seem excessive. I remember when they introduced all this stuff they said they weren’t going to do broad scale searching of user history.’ Jayce said, turning back to his desk.
‘What are you going to do?’ Jayce asked.
‘I dunno, I guess I am going to give him the report. It’s my job, right?’ Lachlan asked as if looking for permission to say no.
‘Yeah, I guess so.’ Said Jayce as he put his headphones back on. The noise from them sounded louder than usual.
Lachlan set to work to retrieve the data. There was a mountain of log files. He skipped smoko, lunch and afternoon tea. He didn’t notice as Jayce left for the day and soon the sun was setting. By the end of the day he had developed a complete picture of each user’s life online and a good portion of their lives offline. He knew where they went for coffee, when and where they got money out of the bank, when they spent and on what. He knew at least a couple of them we having extra marital affairs just by GPS data matching at certain times of the day and night. He leant back in his chair, the email with the attachment ready to send. It was now dark outside. It had gotten cold all of a sudden and Lachlan shivered.
He opened the second draw in his desk as withdrew a small bottle of scotch whiskey. He poured a glass neat. He sipped away for a while deep in thought. Eventually he copied the report to a USB stick. He pulled the stick out of the computer and pocketed it. He deleted the attachment off the email and deleted it off his computer. He cleared the text in the email. He had written a long email to his boss reminding him of privacy and other violations but somehow it didn’t really get his message across. Finally he decided what to write. In large text the email read ‘I AM NOT A SPY. I QUIT’. He clicked send and walked out with a grin like he hadn’t had in a very long time.