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Stop watching porn on work computers, Pentagon tells employees

August 03, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • The Pentagon has warned employees that they could be fired for using work computers to visit porn sites.
The Pentagon has warned employees that they could be fired for using work… (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg )

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has told employees to stop using work computers to peruse pornograpy and visit porn sites -- just the latest example of public employees behaving badly.

Bloomberg News service obtained a memo that agency Executive Director John James Jr. wrote on July 27 revealing that government employees and contractors had been detected in recent months "engaging in inappropriate use of the MDA network," including "accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images."

Workers were told the actions jeopardized the agency's security system and could be grounds for dismissal

"These actions are not only unprofessional, they reflect time taken away from designated duties, are in clear violation of federal and DoD and regulations, consume network resources and can compromise the security of the network though the introduction of malware or malicious code," James wrote in the memo, according to Bloomberg.

An agency spokesman told Bloomberg that the problem was not widespread, explaining that only a handful of the agency's more than 8,000 employees were involved.

The incident is the most recent in a string of misdeeds by public employees at various levels of government.

At the local level, so many Los Angeles City Hall employees were streaming Olympics coverage online that they taxed the system's bandwidth. The city's tech guru sent out a memo asking them to stop, out of fear it could trigger a massive computer meltdown

At the state level, California park authorities are still trying to explain how a $54-million pile of money was sitting around, unused, at the same time the state was warning the public it didn't have enough money to keep 70 state parks open.

And at the federal level, the House approved a proposal that would fire federal employees found to be "seriously delinquent" on their taxes. An Internal Revenue Service report recently concluded that federal employees and retirees owe roughly $3.4 billion in delinquent taxes.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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