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Government employees fired for surfing porn at work

Nine D.C. city employees were fired for visiting an "egregious" number of pornographic Web sites in 2007 from their work computers.

Nine D.C. city employees were fired for visiting an "egregious" number of pornographic Web sites in 2007 from their work computers.

From PC World:

In addition, an unspecified number of individuals in 18 city agencies were sanctioned for violating city computer usage policies. The investigation is continuing and could result in further actions against those found in violation of the computer use policies, the statement said.

The investigation, which began Dec. 15, was triggered when an employee at the Office of Property Management complained about other employees using their government computers to browse for and download pornographic content from the Internet. After an initial investigation uncovered a large number of employees using their work computers to browse porn sites, the CTO's office expanded the investigation districtwide.

According to The Washington Post, it was estimated that three of the nine looked at inappropriate sexual images an average of 200 times per work day in 2007.

More from The Washington Post:

The investigation uncovered no evidence of employees looking at child porn, officials said. The nine employees being fired work for four agencies: property management, contracting and procurement, child and family services, and the attorney general's office. Fourteen other agencies had employees who had viewed porn more than 10 times per day, officials said.

Since 1999, the city has had a policy that bars employees from looking at porn, but there was little ability to enforce it, Kundra said. This month, Kundra's office installed a tougher version of WebSense software that blocks porn on all 30,000 city computers and will redirect employees from inappropriate sites. That software cost $142,000, Kundra said.

I can only imagine that the "Acceptable Use" Policy would have covered issues like surfing pornography and the like. In virtually every work environment I have ever been in, there were always rules about what was acceptable to do with the company's computer and what wasn't. It was always made known that violation of the policy would result in termination. However, since some of these employees are unionized, they have the right to appeal.

Is there an Acceptable Use Policy where you work? What would happen to you if you violated it?

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