I work in an IT startup with 2 partners, and I'm the programmer/IT guy -- in other words, the work horse. To make a long story short, I'm doing most of the work right now, while they spend all day on Facebook. That's OK, because they're paying my salary, but if the project fails, I'm sure they'll blame me for it (I'm doing my best to make sure that doesn't happen!), and I want some sort of recourse. I already have an app that blocks time-wasters on my local PC, and keeps logs of when the app is enabled (so I can say "I had Facebook blocked from 9am-5pm today.")

Is there any way I can get a brief summary of the most heavily visited sites, split up by client PC? At the end of the month, I want to be able to say "You both load Facebook, on average, every 10 minutes. You spend hours a day on Youtube, and haven't opened up our bugtracker in weeks" and maybe have a nifty chart or graph to match it.

We have a crappy D-Link router, and no IT budget. They are both on Windows Vista, I run Ubuntu Linux. I don't want to install any monitoring software on their PC, but I'm totally fine with, say, routing all the network traffic through my machine.

I guess I can think of lots of ways to accomplish this (telnet into JSSH and list open tabs? log all the DNS requests, per-domain? even thinking of setting up a webcam on my desk and just keeping 5-minute snapshots...), I just don't really know where to start. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

  • 3
    If they want to blame you for their failure and you are on their payroll, a nice graph won't save you. Especially when you tell them it was made by monitoring their network usage.
    – MDMarra
    Apr 6 '10 at 0:58
  • ah, touche, sir. I'd still like to have it around, so maybe if it comes down to it, someday I can mail it to our investors and say "You're screwed without me". a little leverage never hurt anyone. Apr 6 '10 at 0:59
  • 3
    Wow. The solution for your issue is not technical and the only issue isn't specific to your partners.
    – Warner
    Apr 6 '10 at 1:37
  • 1
    A little leverage has often hurt people, particularly when acquired in this sort of manner.
    – ceejayoz
    Apr 6 '10 at 3:32
  • @everyone; The guy asked a technical questions and is looking for a technical answer. He did not ask for a moral analysis of what he is planning on doing.
    – ITGuy24
    Apr 7 '10 at 12:37

I used to run an OpenBSD box with packet filter redirecting all HTTP requests through a squid proxy on the same box. Coupled with SARG, it was a pretty workable solution.

Still, if you're that uncomfortable about your work environment and the people you work for, I don't think this type of activity is going to do you any good. It may even harm you if they catch wind of you invading their privacy without explicit company policy permitting such, which of course you'd have to get them to agree to, presumably.


You could setup an old PC to run Untangle. The base version is free and fairly simple to setup.


I already have an app that blocks time-wasters on my local PC, and keeps logs of when the app is enabled (so I can say "I had Facebook blocked from 9am-5pm today.")

echo "2010-04-05 09:00:00 blocker enabled" >> blocker.log

This is not a problem with a technological solution. Your activity logs, both of theirs and yours, are so easily falsifiable as to be useless. Attempting this would not reflect well on you, and if I were an investor, I'd see such an attempt as pure poison to the working environment.


Is there a reason they require internet access? Perhaps looking up documentation?

If I were you, I would just outright block social networking sites during certain time periods. If you want to dick around on facebook all day, stay at home, when your at work, you work. And if they don't like it, skilled programmers are very easy to come by. Well, the second part isn't true (my whole college is filled with computer science students who can barely remember a statement in C++). And ironicly many of those same students surf on facebook during class. But, I am available :D.

But, seriously, I would block social networking sites. If they complain, block more. Though, I did read it CAN boost productivity if you let them on (as they won't be thinking about it all day long...kind of like drugs), so as a compromise I would say open it during opening time, lunch time, and closing time.

My two cents anyways.


You could take www.opendns.org for a spin, you can use it to block social sites and timewasters like youtube. It logs how many hit's the sites get and when. And oh, it's free and would plugin your crappy D-link router.

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