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Snooping on loves' sweet nothings

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You might have the impression from last week's column that I rather disapproved of the Pervy Boss's Charter (PBC)aka the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP). And that would be entirely correct. For one of the great things about the Internet is the way it propagates and nurtures office romances. The idea of a Pervy Boss secretly (and legally) calling up your electronic flirting is quite sickening.

Some cast a chilly eye on the very notion of the office flirtation. What happens, they asks, when people who have to work together split up? How can draftspersons expect to ink straight lines if they are stealing glances across the office? The thought of a Pervy Boss' totally legal activities will, says this sad bunch, dampen down such counterproductive activity.

A straw poll last week elicited the universal opinion that office romances are not only inevitable but quite a good thing. One of those asked recalled how as a new office junior in a big practice he was hauled before the senior partner. His office romance had been going through a bad patch. The elder statesman told him to get his act together. 'I can hire architects by the yard, ' he warned, 'but I can't easily find a PAwho understands this bloody modem messaging stuff. You've got a week to get her smiling again.'

Under the new PBC, who could tell if this ferociously kindly partner hadn't found out by snooping?

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