The Boston Globe reports that Harvard University searched the email accounts of 16 resident deans in an attempt to identify the person who leaked the story of more than 100 undergraduates cheating in an introductory government course.

This revelation of email searches naturally concerned the Harvard community, prompting university spokesman Jeff Neal to respond that “any assertion that Harvard routinely monitors e-mails – for any reason – is patently false.”

Well no one said you were routinely monitoring emails, the Globe just discovered you were monitoring some email accounts recently. That’s what people found disturbing.


Sharon Howell, Harvard’s senior resident dean, told the Globe that said “I thought looking at our email records was sort of drastic and problematic.”

It is, however, perfectly legal. The university is entirely within its rights to monitor the Harvard email accounts of students and staff; Harvard owns the accounts.

Harvard apparently identified the dean responsible for the leak though the institution maintains that “no punishment had been involved.” [Image via]

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer