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Mirror, Mirror, on the Screen

NEW YORK – Suppose a group of workers frequently communicate among themselves, and then suddenly one of them gets left off all the “copy-tos.”  “It could be that they’re planning a surprise birthday party,” says Elizabeth Charnock, whose company, Cataphora, analyzes e-mail traffic and content as well as other documents, primarily for clients involved in litigation and crime detection. “It’s more likely that they’re planning to engage in fraud and they know this one person won't go along with it.”

“All abnormal behavior may not be bad,” says Charnock, “but virtually all really bad behavior is abnormal. From years of analyzing the abnormal, I’ve developed a keen appreciation for the myriad peccadilloes that are quite normal: the dull co-worker whom others scheme to avoid, the eleventh-hour passing of the buck, the ex you promised to ‘stay friends’ with but never wrote to again, the small but telling things that really get under your skin.”