Sysadmin1138 has an interesting followup to an Ask Slashdot question about IT admin abuse… It’s a pretty complete answer, and good insight into what we system administrators have access to, and what we can do.
It’s easy to see from the response that abuse is easy for us, we have the access, the temptation is there, but we’re not all bad. I’ve known people to cross the fine line between doing their job, and looking a little deeper at somebody’s email account whilst “fixing”. It’s not hard for us to peek at chat conversations whilst we sniff out connectivity issues for servers.
Whilst we may possess the power to do so, most of us follow ethics, if not officially documented ethics, our own personal ones. And whilst there are always a few bad apples, it applies to all industries, the large majority of us are good, don’t let the few bad ones make you think we’re all out to spy on you.