Mike the Mad Biologist

At the behest of Our Benevolent Seed Overlords, I recently discussed elitism and how to restore science to its rightful place. I think, though, porn is probably not the best way to do so (italics mine):

…the [NSF] employees in question weren’t just logging onto their Facebook accounts or buying birthday gifts on Amazon.com. The report says they were watching, downloading and e-mailing porn, sometimes for significant portions of their workdays, and over periods of months or even years.

In one particularly egregious case, the report says one NSF “senior official” was discovered to have spent as much as 20 percent of his working hours over a two-year interval “viewing sexually explicit images and engaging in sexually explicit online ‘chats’ with various women.”

Investigators calculated the value of the time lost at more than $58,000 — for that employee alone.

Following an initial wave of incidents, the grant-making agency — which has an annual budget of $6.06 billion, and was created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; secure the national defense — reveals that probers then “selectively sampled” a single internal server and found even more workers harboring everything from software that can allow users to set up camera-to-camera connections to hard-core images and titillatingly titled bookmarks.

Committee investigators also learned from sources that one employee even had camera-to-camera software to facilitate his on-the-job sexcapades – and that the employee had complained to the IT specialist that his camera was working too slowly.

The foundation has since installed filtering software to prevent employees from accessing inappropriate websites and is currently trying to address the fallout from the agency’s adult-entertainment problem. This includes finding ways to support staffers who were “acutely embarrassed” by the filth-filled environment — like the employee who learned of a co-worker’s adventures in porn via sounds overheard from said co-worker’s computer speakers.

How stupid does one have to be to do this? (Answer: very). Watching porn at work? Over speakers?

The mind boggles. The good news is that filtering software appears to have been installed.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt Heath
    January 29, 2009

    “one employee even had camera-to-camera software to facilitate his on-the-job sexcapades” Isn’t having camera to camera (in itself) entirely normal? My computer at work has skype.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 29, 2009

    What, has no one heard of the term “home computer?” Dweebs.

  3. #3 dreikin
    January 29, 2009

    The foundation has since installed filtering software to prevent employees from accessing inappropriate websites

    Wow, those are (were?) some amazingly liberal sysadmins..

  4. #4 Joshua
    January 29, 2009

    Mike H.: As someone who works in IT, I can tell you from personal experience that some people are completely unfamiliar with the distinction between company and personal property. Completely. And inappropriately. Unfamiliar.

  5. #5 Jack Kolinski
    January 30, 2009

    A Scienceblog post involving PORN at a National Science Institute and there have been only FOUR comments in more than twenty four hours?!?! “Methinks thy silence doth protest too much science geeks.” I’ll bet Fox News and the Christian Broadcast Network have got this one covered. I am confident important gene research was taking place. Lighten up. Scientists are human too. They like Porn and they occasionally do stupid things. LOTS of them are or have been married. Can’t we have a little fun with this?

  6. #6 abb3w
    February 2, 2009

    Jack Kolinski: Scientists are human too. They like Porn and they occasionally do stupid things.

    It’s the modern technological equivalent of the office affair; the culprit merely seems a bit more tragic.

  7. #7 yurek
    August 22, 2009

    very thanks for article

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