Sex, Surfing, and the SEC: Investigation Finds Workers Surfing For Porn on Government Computers

Ever wonder what those guys at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission were doing during the financial market meltdown. A recent investigation uncovered more than two dozen SEC employees and contractors were surfing for porn on their computers, including one supervisor who made more than 1,800 attempts to look up pornography in a 17-day span.


The supervisor with the 1,800 attempts later said to investigators, “[i]t was kind of distraction per se.”

The information was uncovered by The Washington Times, which reviewed more than 150 pages of records and transcripts on investigations by the Inspector General’s office.

Of course, it could be worse. Imagine looking at nude pictures when a live camera broadcasts the moment across national television. That is what happened to a Macquarie Bank adviser in Sydney, Australia when he decided to open pictures of near-nude supermodel Miranda Kerr.

While we have long debate what drives the financial markets, we appear to have an answer.

For the Australian story, click here.

30 thoughts on “Sex, Surfing, and the SEC: Investigation Finds Workers Surfing For Porn on Government Computers”

  1. I find it rather unbelievable that the employee internet porn interest could go on so long without being detected. I work in a small non-profit agency ( about 130 staff ) with 1 IT guy. Our IT guy can open any history of any employee simply by turning his own computer on. We have had 2 people terminated for misuse of the computers, 1 for looking at porn the other for looking at Facebook. The terminations had nothing to do with the time spent looking at the sites, but rather the security risk that these employees were putting sensitive, confidential client and staff files at. Apparently these staff member overroce the firewalls that we have and were able to access sites that have been blocked. To me, that would be of far more concern than the time wasted during work hours!

    BIL
    ” That may be my dirtiest typo ever. lol Oh. my.

    Most humble apologies, but the humor was indeed unintended ”

    Be careful, one might think that to be a freudian slip…..were we thinking of someone special this morning while reading about porn?

  2. I heard that some of the people working for the SEC were under the impression that they were working for the Sexurities Extracurricular Commission.

  3. Other government agencies have filters to prevent just this. Why doesn’t the SEC use them? Or are these old data?

  4. The Washington Times? I thought they were bankrupt, and not just in the moral sense.

  5. Byron,

    I think that was my point. Not all takings are equal. And the answer is we’d get laughed at unless we had enough money to throw at the graft machine like any other corporation.

  6. “Pornographers made some of the very fist (some would say first) profitable uses of the internet for distribution and sales.”

    That may be my dirtiest typo ever. lol Oh. my.

    Most humble apologies, but the humor was indeed unintended.

  7. Buddha:

    what if you or I or Elaine or AY were able to make a claim on some of those millions of acres? What if individuals were allowed to go and stake a claim on those lands for the mineral rights?

    What do you think that would do for our economy and each individual that was willing to take a little risk?

    Why should that land be tied up by government for the use of big companies only? What about the small operators and individual “wildcatters”? Don’t they count?

    Why should government land only go to those companies that can afford to buy off and blow government employees?

  8. Those of us who are professional bloggers have known this for years. I catch government workers looking at my “safe for work” hotties all of the time. Fifteen minutes is plenty, sir. That’s the length of a standard coffee break. Then, it’s back to work for you, bureaucrat. Sadly, the average time for a government worker on my blog is over three hours.

    Really, government. Next time you need to know something, give your uncle Norman a ringy-dingy.

  9. Byron,

    If your complaint is who is watching the watchmen then who exactly other than government is there to police corporations, that fiction that government creates and evil men abuse.

    Stupid and horny is not the same as corrupt.

    But corporations without restraint? You don’t have to look at the news to hard to see exactly where that got us – The Fascist States of America (Thanks, SCOTUS! Douche bags . . . Alito and Roberts, looking your direction.).

    As far as governmental taking of land? I have no issue with that if the land is being used or conserved for the public benefit. But when they take and then give the land to private developers? If they tried that crap with me, they’d get the land alright – a patch of burnt and salted desert. Not all takings are created equal. Nor are all incompetencies and malfeasances equal. Proper policing is possible if lobbyists are not allowed to write laws that tie the hands of regulators or circumvent those protections.

  10. “Those accused are workers who sell U.S. mineral rights to oil companies. Such sales are one of the government’s biggest sources of revenue besides taxes.”

    this goes back to my basic contention when told government regulation is necessary for a fair market place . . . who will regulate the regulators?

    It also speaks to the issue of why does the government have a right to millions and millions of acres of land? It should be left to those that can develop it and put people to work. Like the homesteading during the OK land rush.

    Capitalism does work, it is an overbearing and corrupt government which prevents the full and proper function of the market. This story is just the tip of the iceberg of government corruption.

    And I do acknowledge corrupt companies such as Enron, but those individuals were not true capitalists, any time you sell your soul to government to make a buck you have become a fascist.

    Get government out of business and business out of government. No “corporate welfare” and no “too big to fail”.

  11. How about a little perspective.

    People have used porn since cavemen started scribbling on walls.

    Pornographers made some of the very fist (some would say first) profitable uses of the internet for distribution and sales.

    More people “think” with their genitalia than with their brains.

    The SEC has clearly not been hiring from the top of the barrel either given how they aided and abetted the Wall St. looting of government tax dollars.

    When one hires a bunch of semi-skilled dullards, such as work at the SEC, porn use on the networks should be a given.

    This is for the IT guys at the SEC – LEARN TO USE YOUR DAMN FIREWALLS. You clowns should be able to stop SEC employees from going to porn sites. I know. I’ve done it before on my networks. Blocked that evil Facebook, MySpace and Twitter garbage as well. It’s not rocket science. It is, however, computer science. You know. That think you IT guys are supposed to be good with.

    Just like sex, viewing porn at work requires two to tango: a would be wanker and a lazy or incompetent IT manager.

  12. I didn’t know you worked for the SEC, badtroll.

    Which is funny because the SEC is he subject of this thread.

  13. One guy spent 331 days looking at porn,Did he know what he was looking at,or was he trying to figure out what he was looking at?

  14. The workers at the SEC may just be trying to compete with the folks at the Interior Department. Remember this:

    Sex For Oil Scandal At Interior Department
    Inspector General Reports Accuse Government Employees Of Rigging Contracts In Exchange For Sex And Gifts (CBS News, 9/10/2008)

    Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

    The allegations of bad behavior involve 13 government employees in Denver and Washington, reports CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Those accused are workers who sell U.S. mineral rights to oil companies. Such sales are one of the government’s biggest sources of revenue besides taxes.

    But the Inspector General for the Interior Department says they rigged contracts, and engaged in illegal moonlighting, drugs, sex and gift-taking from oil company representatives, according to three reports released Wednesday.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/10/national/main4436263.shtml

  15. rafflaw,

    Yes, and that would make it rather uncomfortable for those that have even a vague understanding of what the bible actually means.

    FYI, Phil saw his Shadow.

  16. It could be worse, the government employees could be looking up Bible quotes during their work hours. Just imagine what chaos that would cause!

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