Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The return of the embarassing news story.

As mentioned previously, the news story about NSF upper level staff surfing for porn while on the job is back.  This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic and sad.  Obviously this is inappropriate behavior, and NSF clearly needs to get their IT staff up to snuff, since it's certainly possible in a corporate environment to detect and stop this kind of activity.  Still, it seems unfair to single out NSF like this.  I'd be surprised if this didn't go on in all large, computer-heavy organizations at some rate.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having worked for the Fed Gov, we all joked about how surfing for porn on your work machine was one of the few fireable offenses. In reality, the one guy I know personally who got caught had to do some penance, but didn't get fired until he got unstable and scary. Then it was easy to get rid of him due to the porn (among other things).

Viewing porn is actually minor compared to some of the other shenanigans I saw/heard about! In one of the other divisions, someone ran a porn server on their lab machine, someone else with a co-conspirator in shipping stole everything they ordered (the shipping guy just delivered the empty boxes!), and yet another guy cooked up crystal meth in his lab and house with government bought supplies. Thanks to Mr. Shipping Thief, the powers that be instituted a rule that all packages had to be opened in front of a witness. Hooray for wasting lots of people's time!

It's not like there is no oversight--all of those people were arrested and fired (except the porn server guy who was just fired).

I understand a little surfing at work (shown here!) but I have to admit viewing porn at work creeps me out a bit--isn't that something that requires privacy?

Doug Natelson said...

The Bell Labs IT guys when I worked there had a fun monitoring system. They had a screensaver that would pop up captures of recently accessed webpages from within the network. They told me that they would very occasionally catch someone looking at porn. However, b/c they tried to block risque sites anyway, it was much more common to find people spending too much time on E-trade, Ameritrade, or looking at their Lucent stock.