S-E-X at the S.E.C.

By Felix Salmon
June 9, 2009

From the Office of the Inspector General’s semiannual report to Congress:

Beginning on October 20, 2008, the OIG conducted an investigation into information showing a Los Angeles Regional Office SK-17 supervisor had been using his SEC-assigned computer to access Internet pornography. The investigation revealed that while using his SEC computer during 17 working days, the employee received approximately 1,880 access denials for Internet websites classified by the SEC’s Internet filter as pornography. The images on these websites included graphic depictions of sexual acts.

If you’re feeling sorry for the fact that he was blocked from accessing pr0n 1,880 times in a 17-day period, don’t: there was always Plan B.

The supervisor also admitted that he saved numerous pornographic and sexually-explicit images to his SEC computer hard drive and that he viewed those saved images during work hours.

You’d think that if (a) you had an easily-accessible porn stash on your work computer, and that (b) the SEC had blocked your previous thousand or so attempts to find even more porn online, you’d pretty much get the message at that point and give up trying to download yet more porn while at work.

Maybe the SK-17 supervisor in question was working in the enforcement division and waiting endlessly for the commissioners to make a decision. Even a series of hundreds of “access denied” screens would be less frustrating than that.


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He sounds like a good employee. Give him a task that he likes, and he won’t give up. The task is to utilize his likes effectively.

110-plus efforts, on average, in the day. Even if you assume a 10-hour workday, that’s roughly once every five minutes.

It would be amusing if he was using a bot of some sort to attempt to access the sites–then he would clearly be better suited for a positon at the new OIT.

Otherwise, what DtLD said. There’s a place for him on an assembly line. (Even if it is next to John Hiatt; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTiDJd62y -A.)

I bet the 1880 number is misleading. He might have accessed the site at home (using his work laptop). The site might have installed a bot or a worm on his computer which attempted to connect to the website numerous times without his knowledge (you don’t need a browser for this… any program can make HTTP requests, and not display it on your monitor).

I’d think most of porn sites do this kind of stuff so they can increase their visitor count and make a few bucks more.

OT question: when I post comments here, I _always_ get the same “anti-spam” word. I’m guessing this is not supposed to happen?

Posted by kman | Report as abusive

I glanced at that section of the report. Did you notice that the employee was only reprimanded and not fired?

Posted by Zach | Report as abusive

I wonder if ‘accesses’ include the browser trying to download multiple porn ad images that are shown on one page. ie, one page with 20 ads might register on the network as 20 attempted accesses of verboten sites. That’d inflate the access count. Hard to say without details.

On the other hand, if he admitted bringing a backup stash in to work too, it suggests that he was looking for porn on the web, and it wasn’t just that a bot had taken over his computer.

Clearly he should be working the porn beat at DOJ.

Posted by Jon Hendry | Report as abusive

If you want it to sound more like John Cougar Mellencamp’s tune, try “P*O*R*N in the S*E*C”.

Now THAT scans.

End the sound on a falling note, with:

“Accessing in the SECcccc….”