New Bill: Stop Federal Workers from Viewing Porn on the Job

Viewing porn on the job is such a big problem in government that Congress is trying to force them to stop.

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We already know that Federal employees can get performance awards even when it is known they have been spending two to six hours of their work day viewing porn on their work computers.

So now Congress wants to do something about it. Bill Cushing writes at TechDirt: “Bill Introduced To Keep Bored Federal Employees From Viewing Porn While On The Clock.”

Because federal employees just can’t seem to stop watching porn while on the clock, a legislator is stepping in to do something about it.

Rep. Mark Meadows on Wednesday introduced the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act, which he said would prevent government employees from taking their eyes off their work.

“Prevent” is a strong word, considering both the limitations of the nascent bill and federal employees’ willingness to go above and beyond when it comes to porn-watching in the workplace. Meadows’ statement on the bill points out one particular EPA employee who admitted to viewing porn up to 6 hours a day (indeed, he was watching porn when the Inspector General came knocking) and had accessed or downloaded more than 7,000 pornographic images.

It’s not just the EPA. The SEC and FCC also employ their fair share of (apparently) professional porn enthusiasts. But what Meadows is demanding in his bill [pdf] is little more than a reiteration of existing policies.

Except as provided in subsection 9 (b), not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue guidelines that prohibit the access of a pornographic or other explicit web site from a Federal computer.

Subsection 9 (b) basically states “unless watching porn is your job” — i.e., investigative work, etc. Given the amount of porn-watching occurring at federal agencies, it would seem that some new “Porn-Watcher Watcher” positions will be opening if Meadows’ bill manages to snag a Presidential signature. 

As Cushing point out, this law will probably be useless. What good will it do to have the Director of the OMB “issue guidelines that prohibit the access of a pornographic or other explicit web site from a Federal computer,” when such access is already prohibited? Unless the law actually requires people to get fired, the bill is just a PR exercise. “See? We’re definitely doing something!” No, you’re not.

[See also, “Government Porn Viewers Demonstrate Why We Need Sequester Cuts.”]

I think the problem goes even deeper, as I have argued in the past. I think the government wants a group of grateful, loyal employees. Paying them for hours of masturbation basically means they will get devoted followers who tend to vote as their employer wants them to.

[See also, “This Proves that Federal Agencies Are Full of… It.”]

Also, even if the porn was eliminated, who is to say they wouldn’t simply start bringing portable DVD players to the office? This isn’t just about porn on the computers; it is about people who don’t have any work to do.

The first thing to do would be to fire a majority of the workers and then rehire people as needed but with a tougher screening process.