Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Drudgery

Matt Drudge reports: "BIG SIS BLOCKS WEBSITES WITH 'CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS',"  hinting that Janet Napolitano is censoring the internet.  Napolitano is mostly incompetent, but in this case that burden falls entirely on Drudge. 

The story under the less misleading headline to which Drudge links: TSA to Block "Controversial Opinion" on the Web, makes it apparent that the blocking is being performed on government owned computer systems used by TSA employees:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from the federal agency's computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a "controversial opinion," according to an internal email obtained by CBS News.
I suppose misleading hyberbole gets hits and generates them for the CBS site, but I support "Big Sis" in blocking whatever sites are distracting TSA workers FROM DOING WHAT THEY ARE PAID TO DO!

If an employee was making dozens of hours of personal long distance phone calls on the employer's dime, no one would find the employer's objection exceptional. Why is there an assumed right to be paid to surf the net using an employer's capital investment while also risking that employer's reputation and intellectual property?  Especially for Federal employees?

For example, I doubt that the financial crisis would have been mitigated if the SEC had had the sense and technology to prohibit senior employees from visiting naughty.com, skankwire and youporn, but the agency would have been spared the embarrassment of public disclosure of what SEC employees making $100 to $200 thousand per annum think of the people whose taxes pay for their time, their offices, their benefits, their computers and their networks.

One senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day accessing Internet porn, according to the report, which has yet to be released. When he filled all the space on his government computer with pornographic images, he downloaded more to CDs and DVDs that accumulated in boxes in his offices.

An SEC accountant attempted to access porn websites 1,800 times in a two-week period and had 600 pornographic images on her computer hard drive.

Another SEC accountant used his SEC-issued computer to upload his own sexually explicit videos onto porn websites he joined.

And another SEC accountant attempted to access porn sites 16,000 times in a single month.
Sixteen thousand attempts to access prurient content from your employers' computer systems is a firing offense if only because of the time required to make the attempts, whether you succeeded or not. 

So give me a break Matt.  All surfing using employer provided infrastructure should be monitored.  Excessive personal use and any potentially embarrassing, possibly infectious or illegal internet access should be prohibited by policy and blocked by every technological means available.  The once and future Soviets still have agents here.  Do you not think Putin is planting trojans when you visit russianpussy.gov?

As far as controversial opinions go, visit The Other Club and WhiteHouse.gov on your breaks, if your employer permits.  Don't download or upload huge files or look at lots of streaming video - it steals bandwidth from your employer and thereby affects your customers' experience.

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