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Sep. 29 2009 - 1:09 pm | 40 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Workers at the National Science Foundation love porn

National Science Foundation pornographyI’ll start this post with a public service announcement: Don’t get your porn fix at work.

It seems like an obvious rule to live by, but it seems to get people into trouble again and again. I will never see the NSFW (Not Safe for Work) acronym again without thinking of the NSF (National Science Foundation). The Washington Times has an exclusive report on the rampant porn surfing of workers at the Foundation.

The NSF is a federal agency which chooses scientific projects to receive government funds. Its budget is over $6 billion dollars according to its website. According to the Times, a good portion of that budget has gone to support study of the human anatomy:

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars….[R]ecords obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show…. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

via Washington Times – EXCLUSIVE: Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation.

He had quite a creative excuse for his extensive pornographic “work” for the Foundation. A round-up of the worst offenders and their excuses, after the jump.

– The senior executive mentioned above claimed “that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women… ‘He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that,’ investigators wrote in a memo.” This guy will have to continue to support the needy & lusty from home. He retired after being investigated.

– But porn surfing won’t always lead to a forced retirement: “One foundation employee paid an unspecified sum last year after investigators found that during a three-week period in June 2008, the worker perused hundreds of pornographic Web sites during work hours. That employee received a 10-day suspension.”

– Another employee was also suspended for ten days, a ruling he unsuccessfully appealed as being “too harsh”: “Another employee in a different case was caught with hundreds of pictures, videos and even PowerPoint slide shows containing pornography. Asked by an investigator whether he had completed any government work on a day when a significant amount of pornography was downloaded, the employee responded, “Um, I can’t remember,” according to records.”

– Men were not the only ones with pornographic photos on their hard drives: “Another employee who stored nude images of herself on her computer told investigators she mistakenly had downloaded the pictures. She received counseling and was told to adhere to the foundation’s policies on computer use.”

Please remember that your use of computers is far from private. At work, your employer probably does keep track of the sites you visit and may even monitor your e-mail. When I worked at a law firm, we would often go through lots of company files during litigation discovery. I was always shocked by the personal conversations people would have via work e-mail and intra-office chat, apparently oblivious to the fact that it would be stored on servers for years to come.

In this case though, I’m grateful to a colleague for sending me pornographic material. Thanks for the NSF tip, Michael.


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  1. collapse expand

    As shocking as this all is, I can’t help but laugh at: “… even PowerPoint slide shows containing pornography.”
    These guys were really out to waste a lot of time.

  2. collapse expand

    This is Client-9 funny for two other reasons not mentioned:
    1. The NSF was “invented” by the guy who invented the idea for hyperlinks (V. Bush)
    2. The NSF used to *run* the Internet (1990-1995?)
    I mean, *really*?

  3. collapse expand

    Well, they are mostly nerds. Better than intra-office screwing I guess. Or is it the other way around?

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