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Economy Tanked While Government Surfed Porn

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the gotta-have-your-priorities dept.

Government 405

unixan writes "In a report by the SEC Inspector General that smacks of fiddling while Rome burns, 33 recent ethics investigations all showed that the government employees responsible for keeping an eye on the economy were instead obsessed with surfing porn — while the economy was tipping over. One cited example: 'A senior attorney at the SEC's Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office.'"

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405 comments

Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around You (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#31958056)

... government employees responsible for keeping an eye on the economy were instead obsessed with surfing porn ...

So when they were studying boobs online they should have been studying the boobs that were busy running/ruining our financial and housing industries? Understandable how those orders could get confused.

About 16 percent of men with Internet access at work admit to looking at online porn while at the office, according to a 2006 survey by Websense Inc.

Look at the man in the cubicle across from you. Now look at the two men to the left of you. Now look at the two men to the right of you. One of them is surfing porn at work.*

* Unless it's you. And if it is you, how stupid are you? Seriously? Seriously you'd jeopardize your job for that?

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 4 years ago | (#31958090)

Any non-work internet activity is risking ones job.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Funny)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | about 4 years ago | (#31958236)

Kind of like reading /. at work?

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958356)

Unless you consider and can justify reading /. as part of your job (keeping abreast on technology news)...

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (4, Interesting)

TheMidnight (1055796) | about 4 years ago | (#31958140)

Wow, talk about bureaucracy. There's no way I would have gotten away with downloading that much on a work connection, even if it was Linux ISOs or legal, harmless data. How did these guys get away with it for so long? Let's say this guy had a 500 GB hard drive...then stacks of DVDs at 4.7 GB each...that's a lot of smut a day. My network admins would have been knocking on my office door. Once they found out what it was, I'd never find a job again.

Something tells me the network admins for that government department must have been doing the same thing, or were incompetent, or playing WoW (or maybe some hellish combination).

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

xclay (924789) | about 4 years ago | (#31958178)

It's called a private office... and a mindset with a lot of imaginations that develop over time.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | about 4 years ago | (#31958182)

I'm sure IT was well aware of the situation by the time the hard drive was full.

Who watches the watchers? Ceiling cat does.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 4 years ago | (#31958572)

They probably were aware...but whats the point of doing anything about it?

I mean, the full HDD lawyer's job is probably to prosecute people that the SEC examiners have found evidence against...So as far as I can tell, he was doing his job since they had failed to actually find anybody to prosecute before everything fell apart.

Also..SEC...the X key is surprisingly close to the C key

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (2, Interesting)

dasheiff (261577) | about 4 years ago | (#31958274)

When I was interning at the VA I noticed that one of the public computers for the vets to use had spyware on it. IT was contacted, ran their one program, but the spyware was still there. They said that's all they can do. Government IT people don't go crazy by not realizing that their marching orders are insane. Also have no undergrad at all probably doesn't help.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (-1, Flamebait)

interval1066 (668936) | about 4 years ago | (#31958560)

Government IT people don't go crazy by not realizing that their marching orders are insane.

Government people don't really do anything other than take money from me (and I assume you) and then go spend it on crap, useless crap, and a few programs for the indigent. Funny how they are incredibly efficient at collecting our money. At one of my first jobs in Silicon Valley we had an engineer who was caught surfing porn, this was back around '95. He was fired on the spot. Move that guy's position to something in the Fed. and he probably makes $120K+. Some of those ass clowns spent their entire 8 hours cruising for ass pix. I wish I could emancipate myself from their slimy, c*m-soaked grip.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (3, Interesting)

e2d2 (115622) | about 4 years ago | (#31958350)

Yeah this is shocking given the typical government network is locked down to the Nth degree. When I contracted on site for the Dept. of Health they actually cut me off from the network because I used torrent to download a Linux ISO. I violated policy and it cut off soon after the download started, and the jack went dead. It wasn't just "you can't surf the internet anymore". It was "VIOLATER! KILL HIM!" and I got dressed down soon after. So they closely monitored it.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (4, Insightful)

senorbum (1795816) | about 4 years ago | (#31958486)

You'd be surprised at what people get away with in corporations. This really isn't that surprising. People are just like 'ZOMG its gov't failure' instead of 'ZOMG it people failure'. I bet many large companies would have similar statistics (sadly).

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31958526)

or the guy had enough bureaucratic weight that it would flatten anyone that spoke up about it...

heck, sometimes i suspect the office rats that do not get replaced during a election cycle either collect stuff they can leak on a "temporary" boss in case he becomes to uppity, or just wait the term out and then go back to business as usual if said boss got voted out of office.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#31958568)

You don't think this happens at private companies?

It's sort of like medicare fraud. Private insurers struggle with insurance fraud all the time too, but people feel like money one or two steps away from the taxes they paid is actually still theirs, so they are more attached to it.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31958614)

I guarantee you that any competant IT department would not only be fully aware of what was going on, but also smart enough not to stir a pot that big.

If I came in tomorrow and the entire sales team was found to be mass downloading pron, what could we do? Get the entire team fired? Who is going to pick up the slack from that? Can't just replace people just like that. We could filter their content, but how long before that becomes a headache when they can't reach legit sites. We can throttle them but then there are complaints that they can't get any work done while they are chewing through bandwidth on a bit-torrent.

IT's job is to make sure that everyone is up and running. Its the managers job to make sure that people are doing their work. When people start treating IT like a police force, then something is seriously wrong, and you need to look at the power structure and layout of your company. We can be eyes and ears, we can inform managers, but its definately NOT our job to go and get people fired.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Funny)

jbeach (852844) | about 4 years ago | (#31958146)

Yep - watching people screwing, while the people they are supposed to be watching are screwing the public. Which makes the SEC like the glory hole in Wall Street.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (2, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | about 4 years ago | (#31958170)

This puritan interpretation is just dumb.

Porn did not kill the economy, the SEC has way more than 30 employees. C'mon.... If porn was such a baaaad thing, no company would be doing anything and the economy wouldve.... oh wait!

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 4 years ago | (#31958334)

The SEC's job was to go after fraud and general theft; they didn't do their job. The fact that a lot of them were caught surfing for pron isn't the point; the point is that they were not doing their jobs and the consequences were for the most part, felt by other people.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31958294)

FTFA:

The number of cases jumped from two in 2007 to 16 in 2008. The cracks in the financial system emerged in mid-2007 and spread into full-blown panic by the fall of 2008.

Anyone want to bet that certain right-wing news outlets are furiously trying to figure out a way to blame this on President Obama?

Anti economic reform FUD (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31958528)

FTFA:

The number of cases jumped from two in 2007 to 16 in 2008. The cracks in the financial system emerged in mid-2007 and spread into full-blown panic by the fall of 2008.

Anyone want to bet that certain right-wing news outlets are furiously trying to figure out a way to blame this on President Obama?

A certain right wing news outlet? How about Slashdot? Where in the summary does it mention that this happened under Bush? Nowhere, it says 'recent.' This is meant to spread FUD about the SEC, in order to turn people against the idea of financial reform and regulation. "Why, if these fools are constantly surfing porn, how can we trust them to regulate Wall Street?" But they aren't anymore: the fellow appointed by this administration cracked down and stopped it.

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

abigor (540274) | about 4 years ago | (#31958310)

Are you surfing Slashdot at work?

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

poena.dare (306891) | about 4 years ago | (#31958426)

Yeah, surely this isn't news to anyone here. How about a story about the ONE guy at the SEC that DIDN'T surf pr0n?

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 4 years ago | (#31958328)

Look at the man in the cubicle across from you. Now look at the two men to the left of you. Now look at the two men to the right of you. One of them is surfing porn at work.*

Wrong. One of them *has* surfed porn at work at some point. They are not doing it necessarily right now. Times were different a few years ago when internet traffic was not routinely monitored and we had offices where no one could see our monitors.

Hell, I worked in a small office where the owner routinely mailed porn to everyone who worked there. I was asked about how I felt about porn when I interviewed there (in '96).

Re:Look Around You, Look Around You, Look Around Y (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | about 4 years ago | (#31958544)

Hell, I worked in a small office where the owner routinely mailed porn to everyone who worked there. I was asked about how I felt about porn when I interviewed there (in '96).

This is hilarious. He would be sued into oblivion for that today.

And we... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958084)

And we surf slashdot rather than doing our own jobs

Re:And we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958266)

My job is IT related. As such, I feel that keeping up with the news is part of it, to a certain degree. Admittedly I wouldn’t want to be called on the carpet and have to defend my internet use, in part because that would imply that the “certain degree” had been grossly abused for it to reach that point.

Re:And we... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#31958498)

And we surf slashdot rather than doing our own jobs

If you're doing something creative, distracting your mind with something else and allowing your subconscious to work on it will help in solving the problem.

One of my issues is that no matter how hard I think about something, I can never solve it on demand. Then, when I'm working out or meditating it comes to me.

The mind is a real pain in the ass.

The SEC needs a bigger staff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958088)

So there can be more effective squading in BFBC2 between porn surfing sessions.

Re:The SEC needs a bigger staff (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958352)

The SEC needs a bigger staff

That's why they are studying them.

Haha...Get it?

(It's a penis joke)

For what it's worth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958092)

Nero himself was actually a pretty responsible guy when he heard that fires had broken out. (Better than these jerks!)

I can only hope (1)

crumbz (41803) | about 4 years ago | (#31958102)

that in the case of the attorney, an ethics complaint is filed with the state bar. This is unconscionable behavior for an attorney and should result in disbarment.

Re:I can only hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958510)

WTF are you talking about? Have you ever met a lawyer? Do you even know what a lawyer does?

While it is true he was working in public service, he was not representing the public - at least not in a formal attorney-client relationship. Accordingly, he had no duties which he could breach. He also broke no law.

The Golden Rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958108)

He who has the gold, makes (and thus can break) the rules.

Democracy helped our society break free from the rule of the mob. Unfortunately for us, our leaders no longer harbor any fears of us forming a mob and descending upon them.

Re:The Golden Rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958268)

Democracy helped our society break free from the rule of the mob.

Er... democracy is rule by mob; a democratic republic O.T.O.H. sets some basic ground rules on what the mob can do. Unfortunately a democratic republic is an unstable state that eventually erodes away.

Re:The Golden Rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958546)

Democracy helped our society break free from the rule of the mob.

Er... democracy is rule by mob; a democratic republic O.T.O.H. sets some basic ground rules on what the mob can do. Unfortunately a democratic republic is an unstable state that eventually erodes away.

Citation needed.

Democracy most certainly is not mob rule:
democracy [reference.com]

Can somebody explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958114)

What is the point of looking at porn when you are in an office building, with other people all around? I mean, what exactly do you *do* looking at porn in an office environment? I don't get it. I mean, people generally look at porn in the privacy of their own homes for a reason - because you do things that are *private* while you are looking at it.

Am I insane or something? Do these people enjoy looking at porn just to look at it?

Re:Can somebody explain to me... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958336)

It can help pick up ones mood.

A pretty picture can perk ones mood up better than a cup of coffee.

Re:Can somebody explain to me... (3, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | about 4 years ago | (#31958382)

I cant believe people fill up their hardrives with the stuff. I mean porn is fine and all, but how much do you need. Are you ever going to go back and look at your archived porn. I mean, I can understand having some archived that particularly turns you on, or downloading some that you might look at later and then delete, but archiving hundreds of gigs of porn?

I just don't get it. Its not like there is going to be a shortage all of a sudden.

I'll bite - here's your explanation (1)

Layth (1090489) | about 4 years ago | (#31958582)

I think the key word here is "obsessed".
The characteristics you've ascribed to yourself are moderated, healthy behaviors. In contrast, true obsession is a psychological dysfunction.

That's the sense of it in a nutshell, no more or less than eating yourself to 600 pounds, owning 20 cats, or threatening murder over cartoons.

Re:Can somebody explain to me... (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | about 4 years ago | (#31958596)

I save everything I watch, because hard drives are so cheap. Who knows when you'll want to go through anything? Might as well keep it.

And this way, your kids won't have to start from zero.

Not news (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | about 4 years ago | (#31958142)

As of 2007, the SEC employed 3798 people. They found 33 cases of apparently habitual porn surfing (I get the impression a single visit didn't count, but visiting a few times a week would get noticed). Is it actually news that ~1% of *any* organization consisting primarily of office workers with internet connections would surf for porn? Finding 1% of any given population with no damn common sense or self control is trivial. I'm not sure how it's any different because the SEC numbers are known.

Re:Not news (5, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 4 years ago | (#31958388)

Yeah, this is a manufactured controversy issue by the GOP. They are attacking the SEC because its attacking Goldman Sachs and trying to regulate the industry that almost took the economy down. Republicans have no shame.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hOvd2ZHpLgAEKjwU87acksA24EDQD9F8SEUO0 [google.com]

Re:Not news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958514)

At least they're not into bondage or diapers or pages or ........

Re:Not news (1)

vxice (1690200) | about 4 years ago | (#31958604)

wait it is illegal to surf porn at work? why didn't anyone tell me? get me from my porn when news that matters shows up not just a few cases of people not doing their job. the real problem is this half regulation deal we got going. now any company that is partially regulated thinks that because they are regulated and none of the regulators are saying anything then they must be doing a good job and will keep with their crap.

Re:Not news (1)

fermion (181285) | about 4 years ago | (#31958622)

OTOH, 17 of these are senior level managers making more than base GS-15. I wonder how many top level managers there are? Of course would expect that managers would surf porn at 10X the rate of those that actually do work.

It was very understandable... (0)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 4 years ago | (#31958150)

The economy was heading down. They were depressed. They needed something to get their spirits back up. And maybe to get other things up...

"Porn" isn't the problem, it's just goofing off. (5, Interesting)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 4 years ago | (#31958158)

These poor bastards are going to be burned at the afraid-of-sexuality stake, instead of the do-your-damn-job-instead-of-goofing-off stake. They deserve to be fired like any other idiot who goofs off, but I'm sure they're going to be charged with sex crimes of some sort.

Re:"Porn" isn't the problem, it's just goofing off (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 4 years ago | (#31958344)

that's true, and sad. Surfing for porn is just a form of escapism. They could be powerless, overwhelmed or drowning in the bureaucracy. Porn is the same thing as Facebook, doing your email or hanging out on Slashdot.

which reminds me... I should re-enable my Slashdot parental controls adn get back to work :-)

# slashdot
#$IPTABLES -I FORWARD -d 216.34.181.48 -j REJECT
#$IPTABLES -I FORWARD -d 216.34.181.45 -j REJECT

Re:"Porn" isn't the problem, it's just goofing off (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | about 4 years ago | (#31958608)

These poor bastards are going to be burned at the afraid-of-sexuality stake

This sounds very erudite and post-contemporary, but it's also nonsensical cruft.

Playing Tetris is slacking off. Browsing porn at work is a sign of really, really questionable, almost "flaming out" judgment.

Not too surprising if you think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958162)

Not that surprising really. They probably knew what was coming; knew it was their fault and couldn't deal with it. Most likely they were getting depressed with that reality. Porn is excellent escapism; and boosts your dopamine and serotonine levels which might have kept them going while they adjusted to whet they didn't want to believe.

Dangers of Regulatory Capture (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#31958164)

If the regulators are basically at the whim of the industry [wikipedia.org] , then clearly, they don't have much to do... The de-regulationists will say this is government waste and move to disband or "rightsize" the SEC. Meanwhile, everyone else is concerned about regulatory capture. This is a clear indicator.

Re:Dangers of Regulatory Capture (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#31958358)

what? that less then 1% of a ork force was misusung work equipment? yeah, that's a clear indicator~

So, had they NOT been surfing for porn... (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 4 years ago | (#31958168)

Would the economy be OK now? Just asking.....

Re:So, had they NOT been surfing for porn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958224)

Would the economy be OK now? Just asking.....

Technically, they were not surfing for porn.

You see, the porn was brought in on USB pendrives. They were actually browsing porn. With that being said, we should commend these gentlemen for saving state bandwidth.

Re:So, had they NOT been surfing for porn... (1)

Jahava (946858) | about 4 years ago | (#31958324)

Would the economy be OK now? Just asking.....

We should take the next logical step and blame the pornographers for the economic failure. What's scary is that such a move may actually end up getting traction...

Re:So, had they NOT been surfing for porn... (3, Funny)

jrifkin (100192) | about 4 years ago | (#31958444)

Would the economy be OK now? Just asking.....

Great question!

I waiting on the official word from Fox News as to where the blame lies - will it be over-regulating liberals or porn-surfing liberals?

Re:So, had they NOT been surfing for porn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958562)

> Would the economy be OK now? Just asking.....

Maybe it would be. Maybe a quick jerk is just the thing to help these folks relax and focus on their work.

When do you look at history? (1)

coniferous (1058330) | about 4 years ago | (#31958172)

I'm really curious as to when it's acceptable to look at someone’s history for productivity. I mean, Do you do regular checks of employees? Or do you wait until there is a problem and then use web history as another good reason as to why the employee shouldn't be working there?

Just from a union and fairness point of view, it seems a bit off to only check one person’s history. If one person gets regularly checked, so should everybody else... Right?

Re:When do you look at history? (1)

coniferous (1058330) | about 4 years ago | (#31958210)

And here I am posting this at work. Man would it would by ironic if i got fired for posting this

(DISCLAIMER: I'm on break)

Re:When do you look at history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958292)

Speaking as management in a porn company, we check history frequently for any signs our employees are not surfing prurient content all day.

Any suggestion of sports, news or political websites is a sure-fire reason for the sack.*

In fact, our internet filter only allowed this /. post through as it flagged the adult-only terminology as acceptable content.

*only half joking :-)

Re:When do you look at history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958318)

Web filtering software categorizes and stores every site visited by everyone, how long, etc., then displays trends, statistics, etc. 8 hours a day should certainly show that user as a "top talker" in the adult category. It is then simple to pull up that users last 3 years, or whatever the retention policy is, and see how much time he has really wasted.

Re:When do you look at history? (1)

neurovish (315867) | about 4 years ago | (#31958610)

I'm really curious as to when it's acceptable to look at someone’s history for productivity. I mean, Do you do regular checks of employees? Or do you wait until there is a problem and then use web history as another good reason as to why the employee shouldn't be working there?

Just from a union and fairness point of view, it seems a bit off to only check one person’s history. If one person gets regularly checked, so should everybody else... Right?

Why check unless there is a problem? If somebody is goofing off for 8 hours a day, but somehow still manages to get the work done, what is the problem? Of course, in PHB logic, imagine all the work that person could do if they weren't goofing off 8 hours a day! That could probably eliminate 5 redundancies!

What about the diligent workers that spend 6 hours a day chasing their tails on problems that goof-off guy would have fixed in 10 minutes?

(DISCLAIMER: waiting for an install to finish/code to compile)

QUICK! Look over there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958194)

Instead of focusing on the fact that our regulatory system has been neutered by radical "free-market" zealots, we get this "See! The Gubmint doesn't work!" nonsense instead.

Brilliant distraction technique. The old tricks are still the best ones.

Yet none were fired (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 4 years ago | (#31958202)

As far as anyone can tell, not one of these people were fired for both not doing their job and for using work equipment in a HIGHLY non-work related manner.

Then again, we have the same thing around here. We know for a fact and have documented at least two people repeatedly, for over half an hour each day for months on end, trying to access porn and porn-related sites. Yet, like the SEC, none have been canned.

To use a tired comment, there used to be a time when one could work hard, get recognized and advance ones career through such work. No longer. Apparently failure is the new success.

Re:Yet none were fired (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 4 years ago | (#31958420)

We know for a fact and have documented at least two people repeatedly, for over half an hour each day for months on end, trying to access porn and porn-related sites. Yet, like the SEC, none have been canned.

I have found the same thing in my network logs a couple of times. In each case I have messed with our proxy server to point those requests to https://www.pokemon.com/ [pokemon.com]
Same thing right?

Web Filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958204)

Have they never heard of web filters or would it prevent the employees creative expressions while at work?

The story submission is worded (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#31958220)

like a troll.

A) DO you think people watch the economy by looking out a window? no. It's worded like the think the economy is in a box and people are just watching in case it finds a way out.

B) They have no way of knowing what's going on in every board room in the financial industry

c) IT's a large organization, of course some people where surfing porn. People are people.

D) None of this excuse what they did. I'm only pointing out that just because it's "the government" doesn't mean the people running it aren't people.

Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958234)

Porn usage actually stimulates the economy.

porn is the only industry (1)

kujokane (1717788) | about 4 years ago | (#31958242)

that will never be affected by a bad economy. I'm investing in playboy and all other types....

Tip of the iceberg? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#31958248)

How many "watchers" that everything should be all right, in all sectors, are surfing porn right now? How many will enter into a paranoid state and delete everything in their hard drives, including critical info? And how many of them will try to show that they were working instead of surfing porn and or uncover something big, or take out a lot of somewhat normal people (probably more normal than them) becuase not following to the letter some law?

And, of course, who watches the watchers? 8 hours a day watching porn instead of working is a bad symptom.for any kind of work (unless you work is related with porn sites)

Sheesh. (4, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | about 4 years ago | (#31958276)

If this is that big a deal, I hope nobody finds out I've actually been having sex while the economy tanks.

Especially my wife.

Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958286)

"...spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office."

So, what's his Slashdot number?

Think before you condemn (5, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | about 4 years ago | (#31958290)

Just a quick reminder to anyone thinking of condeming these people here on Slashdot - are you at work right now, reading Slashdot? Is that what you're paid for? The article reeks of sensationalism just because these people happened to be viewing porn instead of reading news, flicking through a book, watching YouTube, or a thousand and one other things that people do every day at work instead of actually working.

Wrong Spin (1)

Protoslo (752870) | about 4 years ago | (#31958298)

Actually, this is a triumph of feminism.

An SEC accountant attempted to access porn websites 1,800 times in a two-week period and had 600 pornographic images on her computer hard drive.

SEC employees of all walks of life and genders are united in their quest for superior porn while at work!

Re:Wrong Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958516)

Awesome, not only do women look at porn, they do it at work. I wonder if she was hot?

I'm such a pathetic sexist lesbian~

One wonders... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#31958326)

Obviously, some organizations are just sclerotic and incompetent. Being a complex system is, actually, pretty tricky. However, some organizations are that way by design.

In this case, was the SEC basically just incompetent, or was their incompetence tolerated, abetted, nurtured by those who really didn't want them to find anything?

After all, in retrospect, it is fairly obvious that much of the apparent prosperity of the last decade or so was a bubble. Consumer spending based on imaginary wealth provided by homes appraised for large numbers, GDP numbers based on rampant construction of housing stock that nobody could actually afford to live in, various quite sophisticated flavors of financial chicanery and shell-gaming on Wall Street. Now, if you suspect that you are in a bubble, you have the option of trying to pop it before it gets any bigger, which provides the best long term outcome; but generally involves having it burst in your face, or riding it, and hoping that you can make it out of office/retire/move to a new job/cash out a big stack/etc. before it bursts. If you aren't excessively burdened in the ethics department, the latter is pretty sensible.

In situations where you cannot, for political reasons, eliminate a regulatory body outright, there are various ways of quietly gutting it. Just cutting its budget usually helps, appointing an incompetent crony to mismanage it also works pretty well(and rewards a crony), I suspect that allowing incompetence to fester probably works to.

Did the SEC manage to fuck up on its own, or was it permitted and tacitly encouraged to, since an SEC was needed; but nobody really wanted it to find anything?

You laugh, but we'll see who's laughing when... (4, Funny)

Delusion_ (56114) | about 4 years ago | (#31958332)

the SEC is the host of our Strategic Porn Reserves. Then you'll thank that attorney's forward-thinking approach to preserving a domestic supply to reduce our vulnerability to the whims of foreign porn suppliers.

it doesnt rhyme (3, Funny)

jakobX (132504) | about 4 years ago | (#31958338)

Surfed porn? Really. You couldnt find any better word that would rhyme with tanked. Sheesh.

Causation (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | about 4 years ago | (#31958340)

It's obvious that no one is claiming that there is a direct correlation to these individuals (or at least I hope they were doing it alone) watching porn and the downfall of the economy.

It's simply more sensational to say, "Look at what these guys were doing!" People screw around at work (ie reading slashdot on a slow friday), but seriously people should know better than to be browsing for the Pronz from a work computer.

Subliminal programming in porn (1)

tacarat (696339) | about 4 years ago | (#31958362)

SECsafeporn.com will have only the best available porn, for free, and certainly won't contain psychological manipulation techniques to increase my personal future profits.

As a side note, this is only further proof that hard working strippers and prostitutes are being downsized due to the electronic age catching up to their profession. I, for one, think this is outrageous and plan to visit my local establishments this weekend to show my support. Hopefully we can help prepare them financially for the outsourcing that's undoubtedly coming.

OMG NOT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958386)

NOT.......PORN!?!

Not doing one's job is one thing, and the relevance ends there, unless they are trading nuke plans with intl. terrorists etc...

Take the power away from the prudes...IGNORE THEM!

pr0n, or malware? (1)

drumcat (1659893) | about 4 years ago | (#31958400)

Let's be honest... it's not a concubine in there. The odds are much better that there were malware problems in their system. Exceptions noted, but 33%? Even the Playboy offices aren't like that...

Re:pr0n, or malware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958520)

33%? Where did you get that?

It's 33 cases. Over 5 years.

Speaking as someone who used to have to run the "pr0n reporting" server for a mid-size company, that's really not terribly surprising. The surprising bit is that senior staff got outed - usually the guys who got outed where I worked were the schlubs who work the security desk overnight or the guys whose passive-aggressive managers wanted to fire them for something but needed a better excuse than "he's got a bad attitude".

* happened while * was surfing porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958462)

Economy Tanked While Government Surfed Porn

Since the dawn of the Internet, everything that has happened, has happened while someone in the government was surfing porn. About half those things happened while I was surfing porn.

one funny thing (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#31958480)

The one funny thing about it is that SEC consists of mainly lawyers. That's right, not accountants, not economists, not inspectors but lawyers. This is on purpose, because they are just another captured/corrupt government organization that does not do its job. Example of them not doing its job is the story from Harry Markopolos [huffingtonpost.com] , who by chance figured out the scheme Madoff was running and brought it to SEC's attention with all the evidence [wikipedia.org] but they never did anything about it.

So they are incompetent people, who are working there not because they can do something, but specifically because they do nothing at all and this is a situation created on purpose by the system, it's a captured environment, SEC is not supposed to do anything that would hurt people who should really be afraid of the SEC.

So in that environment what are the workers there supposed to do? Anything at all except their actual jobs, so obviously nobody is going to blow a whistle on them surfing porn. Porn? Please, be my guest, as long as you don't investigate actual fraud cases. Again, I guess the only surprising thing is that they are lawyers.

anhyone else . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31958540)

find this wording from TFA appropriate?

"The SEC's inspector general conducted 33 probes of employees..."

Solution: Re-Org! (0, Troll)

Plugh (27537) | about 4 years ago | (#31958594)

To all the people who hope that some new legislation with "better regulation" will prevent system failure in the future:
1) Read your history. This is not the first time this exact same drama has played out. Ever hear of Bretton Woods?
2) Look around you. Pick any company that fucked up bad. Would a big re-org have fixed the root of the problem?

Why people continue to believe they need government to save them is beyond me.

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