23 April 2010

The SEC: A Bastion of Professionalism

Reason: Hit & Run | Jacob Sullum | To Be Fair, I Bet Working at the SEC Is Pretty Boring

ABC's Jonathan Karl reports that an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission's inspector general recently nabbed 31 of the agency's employees, including 17 "senior SEC officers with salaries ranging from $100,000 to $222,000 per year," for browsing Internet porn during work hours:
The Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to be the sheriff of the financial industry, looking for financial crimes like Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. But the new report, obtained by ABC News, says senior employees of the SEC spent hours on the commission's computers looking at sites like naughty.com, skankwire, [and] youporn...

One senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day accessing Internet porn. 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 attempted to access porn sites 16,000 times in a single month.

In one case, the report said, an employee tried hundreds of times to access pornographic sites and was denied access. When he used a flash drive, he successfully bypassed the filter to visit a "significant number" of porn sites.

The employee also said he deliberately disabled a filter in Google to access inappropriate sites. After management informed him that he would lose his job, the employee resigned.
Wall Street really better watch out with these guys on the job.

Karl's piece concludes:
Ironically, the report says most of these cases began in 2008, just as the financial system began to collapse. The same SEC officers who should have been safeguarding the economy were instead spending their working hours surfing the Internet for pornography, and the problem hasn't stopped.

The most recent case cited in the report is from just four weeks ago.
I am so glad we have such enlightened and benevolent technocrats to "safeguard the economy."  What could go wrong on their watch?

Laugh so you don't cry, friends.  Laugh so you don't cry.

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