Exactly How Much Porn Are Federal Employees Watching at Work?

Exactly How Much Porn Are Federal Employees Watching at Work?
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A whole load.  

At least according to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who introduced a bill Thursday that would uniformly ban federal employees from watching porn at work. Although many individual government agencies have hard and fast rules in place to prevent such behavior, Meadows argues they're not enforced properly

It might seem oddly specific, but the bill didn't come out of nowhere. It's in response to an incident in which a highly paid senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency downloaded over 7,000 files of porn onto his work computer and spent as many as six hours a day watching them instead of, er, working.

The porn hound hasn't been fired, however: He's merely "on leave," as an agency spokeswoman told the Washington Post, prompting Meadows to launch his brave crusade against our great nation's smut-obsessed federal employees.

He might be on to something, actually. Americans love porn, and federal employees are no different. Unlike most Americans, however, federal employees use computers that are closely monitored by the government, which means the likelihood of getting caught with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar rises considerably. 

As such, Mic has assembled a list — a federal porn-watching catalog, if you will — of some recent cases for your reading pleasure: 

1. In 2014, a Federal Communications Commission employee indulged in some pornographic me-time for eight hours per week because "he was bored."

2.  Also in 2014, investigators alleged that a Treasury Department employee viewed more than 13,000 pornographic images in a six-week span while at work. "He stated he is aware it is against government rules and regulations, but he often does not have enough work to do and has free time," they said.

3. Between 2005 and 2010, multiple employees of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly visited porn sites "as the financial system the agency has a hand in overseeing teetered and almost collapsed."

4. Dozens of federal workers — including employees of the Department of Justice and U.S. Senate — were busted after setting up accounts on DigitalPlayground.com using their .gov and .mil email addresses in 2012.

5. Workers at the Minerals Management Service accepted gifts from oil companies, smoked methamphetamine and enjoyed porn, according to a 2010 report by the Department of the Interior. These are the same officials who were responsible for overseeing drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which, um, didn't end so well

6. The Washington Times reported in 2009 that "one senior [National Science Foundation] 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."

A second National Science Foundation employee, when investigators asked him how much government work he completed on a day of particularly vigorous porn-watching, responded with, "Um, I can't remember."

7. 2009, it seems, was just bursting with starry-eyed federal porn fiends: John A. Latschar, then the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, was caught using his office computer to search for and look at over 3,400 graphic images in a two-year period. 

Lest Americans think this problem is limited to them, don't worry: The U.K. does it too.

Get a grip, guys. There's nothing wrong with watching porn. In fact, it might be good for you. But do it on your own time, not on the time of taxpayers whose hard-earned money pays your salaries. We have faith you can all rise to the occasion.

h/t Washington Post 

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Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

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