Lawmaker Renews Battle Against Porn-Watching on Federal Computers

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A North Carolina Republican is making another attempt to advance a bill he has said should not be necessary in the first place: the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act.

The measure, reintroduced by Rep. Mark Meadows on Wednesday, would ban federal workers from accessing pornographic and other explicit material on government computers or devices. There would be an exception for investigators.

Meadows last introduced the bill in September, but it languished in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He acknowledged that most agencies already have rules to prohibit porn-viewing at work, but said the practice continues. The Environmental Protection Agency has yet to fire an employee who was discovered to have spent up to six hours a day watching pornography at work, and to have downloaded up to 7,000 pornographic files onto his government computer, the lawmaker said, adding that “we continue to learn of similar bad actors.”

Aside from creating an “unprofessional and potentially hostile” work environment, downloading explicit files poses cybersecurity risks, Meadows said. “It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites,” he added, repeating a statement from the first time he unveiled the bill.

An EPA spokeswoman on Thursday would not confirm the porn-watching employee's employment status. “This is an ongoing disciplinary matter and we can’t discuss personnel issues,” press secretary Liz Purchia stated. 

(Image  / Shutterstock.com)

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