Society
Society

What Economy? Let's Watch Porn

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

This should be a busy time for employees at the Securities and Exchange Commission, what with the financial crisis and all. But it seems dozens of employees are spending their time surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on bankers and such.

According to several reports, an investigation has nabbed 33 employees for watching pornography on their work computers. All but two of the cases happened in the last two and a half years as the economy went into a freefall, and is now trying to bounce back.

Several of the employees held senior positions, with pay ranging from nearly $100,000 to $222,000 per year, says a summary of the inspector general's report. The staffers' behavior violated government-wide ethics rules.

Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it was “nothing short of disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at pornography than taking action to help stave off the events that brought our nation's economy to the brink of collapse."

The Washington Post writes:

In one instance, a regional office staff account admitted viewing pornography on his office computer and on his SEC-issued laptop while on official government travel. Another staff account received nearly 1,800 access denials for pornography Web sites in a two-week period and had more than 600 images saved on her laptop’s hard drive, the report said.

A senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington admitted he sometimes spent as much as eight hours viewing pornography from his office computer, according to the report. The attorney’s computer ran out of space for the downloaded images, so he started storing them on CDs and DVDs that he stored in his office.

"This stunning report should make everyone question the wisdom of moving forward with plans to give regulators like the SEC even more widespread authority," Issa said.