New bill would ban federal employees from watching porn at work

Is this really necessary?

Mar 1, 2020, 8:43 pm*

Tech

Eric Geller 

Eric Geller

Federal employees blowing off steam by watching pornography at work may soon find some major blockage thanks to a newly proposed bill.

On the last day before Congress’ fall recess, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) introduced a bill to ban government workers from watching porn on office computers. The bill “would require the Office of Management of Budget to issue guidelines to prohibit porn watching on federal computers,” something that the OMB apparently has not yet done, according to the Washington Post. (An OMB spokesperson told the Post that the agency is “looking in to it.”)

Meadows’ bill is called the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act, and its acronym—EPA—is no accident. The push to proscribe porn stems from an incident that surfaced at the Environmental Protection Agency in May. A separate investigatio uncovered that an employee there had used a work computer to download and view more than 7,000 pieces of pornographic content. EPA Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Allan Williams reported that the employee had spent between two and six hours per day since 2010 watching the porn at work.

Following an explosion of public anger, Bob Perciasepe, then-deputy administrator of the EPA, told the House’s government oversight committee that the agency had “taken steps to put measures in place to help ensure this type of fraud cannot be repeated.”

In his press release, Rep. Meadows said, “It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites at work.”

“This bill,” Meadows added, “is a common-sense measure that ensure federal workers aren’t viewing pornographic materials on the taxpayers’ dime.”

For your viewing pleasure, here is Rep. Meadows on Fox News going off on the EPA for its porn plague.

Photo via Jake Sutton/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 24, 2014, 6:06 pm