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U.S. Government Crippled by Sex, Gaming Sites 283

Posted by Zonk
from the i-would-too-if-i-was-a-civil-servant dept.
BobB writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior's inspector general has released a report that says department employees are wasting their taxpayer-funded work time going to prohibited web sites. Some of these sites relate to sex, computer games, gambling and auctions. The study found that almost $2 billion a year in productivity was being lost to these 'excessive indulgences.'" From the article: "Computer-use logs revealed more than 4,732 entries relating to sexually explicit Web sites and gambling sites. Some computers accessed sex sites for 30 to 60 minutes during the test period. More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction sites."
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U.S. Government Crippled by Sex, Gaming Sites

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  • Who's doing it, tho? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday October 05, 2006 @03:49PM (#16327555) Homepage Journal

    In a couple of prior jobs executives and managers were the ones caught with gobs of pr0n on their computers. On was actually walked out the door while we all watched, his computer had been examined by the techs and was crammed with child pr0n. Dunno if he was prosecuted, I certainly hope so.

    We have logs of our sites activities, too, which can be linked directly to users. I haven't heard of anyone getting the dusting for it, possibly because half the staff in Personnel are surfing while their boss tells me how busy they are and can't do some work which truly belongs to their department.

    Even I do a little surfing, but usually during breaks or while waiting for some task to run.

  • by ZippyKitty (902321) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @03:57PM (#16327703)
    Also, say for example I load /. while I'm waiting for a task to complete, read a bit during the next task, etc... through out the day - would that be 8+ hours of wasted time, since my computer shows me displaying /. during that time?

    Just wondering

    ZK
  • A common problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanusFury (452699) <kevin@gadd.gmail@com> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:07PM (#16327901) Homepage Journal
    Back when I did IT work for a certain government agency, I'd often have to clean porn dialers, viruses and spyware off users' machines, all obviously the result of people browsing inappropriate sites at work. We even had to fire a few individuals for using the office T1 to swap songs on Napster (this was back when Napster was both popular and illegal). This sort of behavior wouldn't suprise me at the typical office, but many of these individuals were in their 40s or 50s and had Masters degrees/doctorates and made high 5 digit (or even six digit) salaries, with good medical and benefits. It suprised me that so many of the engineers and other govt. employees would waste so much time and basically damage government property at work instead of waiting until they got home to do it - it's not like they couldn't afford their own computer and internet connection. Often the stupid things they did would prevent them from using the machine to actually get work done, because the software they had installed impaired the operation of the system.

    And strangely enough, in my free time while administering some fairly sizable gaming forums, I've actually had to ban users with hostmasks indicating they were using government internet connections. I even went to the trouble of tracking down the name of one individual and contacting their boss about their behavior. It's suprising how badly some professionals will behave at work when they think nobody's watching.

    (And yes, IT is watching you. Always watching.)

    Boy am I glad I don't work in IT anymore. :)
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:14PM (#16327995) Homepage
    I don't consider that unethical.

    Yeah, but... porn at work??? Unethical or not, that's just nasty...
  • We've got about 0.6% 'nasty' usage.. It only sounds nasty if you don't average it out per employee. From TFA:
    A one-week study by the department's Inspector General found, however, that a lot of abuse is going on. Among the study's findings:
    • This activity accounted for more than 24 hours of Internet use during the sample period, which did not include a review of e-mail or other means of transferring prohibited material.
    • More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction sites.
    "7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004 plus hours accessing game and auction sites." That's 15.5 minutes per average user over the one week study. This probably includes coffee breaks and lunchtimes. -- but when you multiply that by thousands of users, you can get scarey numbers....
    E.G. The United states spends 1million hours per year blinking -- Just think how much time we could save if we could outlaw blinking .... (this stat is made up, but it gives you the idea of what you can get if you multiply by 300million citizens).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:53PM (#16328551)
    I've contracted with small and medium sized businesses, and size isn't as important a factor as whether there is one big boss.

    I know 1 owner who has figured out how to read Linksys router logs ... and employees there should be worried if he sees you HAVEN'T got your fix of FOX [foxnews.com] or RUSH [limbaugh.com] today.

    Nobody follows the many written rules but everyone knows those little unwritten ones.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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