Washington Times: Porn surfing rampant at National Science Foundation

Now we know why they like global warming so much – it’s hot.

NSF_stop_porn

Excerpts below of the original story here: Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation

Jim McElhatton

EXCLUSIVE:

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

“To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.”

The budget request doesn’t state the nature or number of the misconduct cases, but records obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Times here

Have a friend or acquaintance that works at NSF? Send them an Ecard here

h/t to Charles the moderator

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75 thoughts on “Washington Times: Porn surfing rampant at National Science Foundation

  1. Well, if the ‘science is settled’ what else do you expect them to do?
    Sorry Mr Moderator, couldn’t resist that one.

  2. Here’s hoping that peer reviewing in this extra curricular interest is as romantic as their climate analyses.

  3. Every Gov’t agency, et al, that I’ve worked with has very strong router filters in place… w/ user habits monitored and logged~

  4. “…accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year.”
    Does this mean that heavy breathing by “surfers” at the NSF led to a six fold increase in CO2 emissions?

  5. I wish I had an office private enough to search porn from.
    Umm, wait a minute, that didn’t come out quite right. However, people working in glass cubicles can throw commentary!

  6. Clayton Hollowell (08:48:26) :
    Oh hey, gummint bureaucrats wasting taxpayer dollars. That’s not news, that’s olds…
    At least it is a hell of a lot cheaper than fighting climate-change, and its more fun 😀

  7. CON SCIENCE… No conscience in our science, or our government…
    No confidence in them from most people…
    Conscience is the awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong…
    We’ve been conned by science and government.

  8. one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women
    Although the report doesn’t give us the time period over which this happened, one might wonder when he found time to do any work of any value. In Canada, there are only about 250 work days a year, so either the time epriod was greater than one year, or this senior exec put in a lot of overtime at someone’s expense. In any case, the practice is one better done at home, if one feels so inclined to do it at all.

  9. Could this be a diversion manoueuver?
    One group engages in frantic porno-surfing so that the others can keep up the grant fraud (to finance building more hockey sticks)? 😀

  10. The reason for the increase is that Climatologists are bored. This is what happens when the ‘science behind AGW is settled’.
    I’m sure that twenty years from now this period will be viewed as the dark-age of science. Sad really that when new technology is allowing us to find out more and more about the universe, science seems incapable of developing new theories to adequately explain what is observed.

  11. Perhaps they’re just collecting data on how the area of clothing worn by the average webcam performer, averaged over the duration of her performance, varies regionally and with respect to time.
    Obviously they’ll have to watch a lot of ladies over a lot of sessions, for a really long time, to be sure this represents a valid AGW proxy.
    At any rate – it should result in a powerful upturn at some point in the process.

  12. I bet they had no problems archiving their favorite pictures and porn sites.
    The only things they were blocked from accessing on the web was data used by climate researchers.

  13. RealClimate and ClimateProgress were my sources for [climate] porn. I’ve since cleaned up my act thanks to WUWT, although still take a peak at the dirty stuff once in while.

  14. Congrats to the Washington Times for their up to date reporting. Are they going to announce as ‘breaking news’ that President McKinley has been assassinated?
    This is pretty old news. It was carried by the rest of the press 6-8 months ago.
    I’m in IT Security — at the NSF. Fortunately for me, being the agency porn cop has never been considered to be within the IT Security Officers purview. A fact of which I am heartily glad of that.
    Yeah, they discovered a long standing problem (because no one was the porn cop) and have cleaned it out. The issue was that NSF has for all of its existence pretty much treated the environment as if it were an open campus environment and did not want to ‘inhibit’ or interfere with the free exchange of ideas. These individuals took advantage of that philosophy to pursue their ‘hobbies’. It was pretty bad. We now have content/URL filtering in place and run checks looking for unacceptable files/pics on computers.
    Always amazes me how people think their government issued computers are ‘theirs’ to do with as they will and that the Government has no right to even look at the thing.

  15. There’s really not much difference in doing this and doing their assigned jobs these days, is there?
    It’s just a shift from fantasizing about polar bears to polar Bares.

  16. “…discovered a long standing problem ” Over 4 hrs and I think your supposed to call a doc…right?

  17. So is this how all the silly “research” grants make it through, submit the proposal with a little porn for incentive?

  18. They give you fever
    when you kiss them
    Fever if you really learned
    Fever
    Till you sizzlen
    But what a lovely way to burn
    But what a lovely way to burn
    But what a lovely way to burn
    But what a lovely way to burn

  19. Bill Marsh (09:29:14) : “We now have content/URL filtering in place and run checks looking for unacceptable files/pics on computers.”
    *sigh* Back to solitaire.

  20. The domain name “sex.com” sold for millions of dollars. Porn is one of the largest money makers on the internet. While we might like to think that it is all about rational things, a few billion years of evolution wins out. Just wish I’d realized that when picking a domain name ( I picked a geeky one worth nothing in the early days …)
    I’ve been the computer guy who had to enforce rules against such activities and frankly, I think it isn’t worth it. If somebody is going to goof off, they can just as easily do it looking at the football team site or putting their paper money in serial number order. You just end up wasting 2 peoples time instead of one. Better, IMHO, is just measure productivity and manage to deliverables.
    I also was on contract at one site with an FBI ‘clearance’ in their security department. Google searched for a particular Unix update and clicked on what looked like a reasonable download site. My machine was flooded with porn popups faster than I could kill them. Inside 20 seconds I killed power (there was the risk of embedded trojan horses or viruses). However: Had anyone seen my screen then OR if an automated tracking system had flagged me, it could have been “very bad” for my contract. (Though a simple demo probably would have cleared me, as long as the site still functioned and I could find it again…)
    So yeah, they ought not to be doing it, but I don’t want to be the guy who has to waste his day “policing” it. (At another contract where I was project manager, there were 2 folks employed full time. One was the “spam guy” who just maintained the email spam filters, the other was the “porn guy” who maintained the content filters and site prohibition lists. 2 full time staff “wasted” on trash. Probably better now a half decade later. No, I don’t have a solution; I just wish folks had more brains and wasted mine less.)

  21. News flash
    Government workers also rank the highest in using the employer telephone and making free long distance call.
    Government workers also rank highest in using the web at work to place orders on comercial sites.

  22. “Every Gov’t agency, et al, that I’ve worked with has very strong router filters in place… w/ user habits monitored and logged~”
    Yup, the NSF paid to develop much of that technology (bro-ids.org), and it’s very effective. Their management just doesn’t think it’s important for them to use it for some reason.

  23. This is why we need more women in the workplace. Women may spend time looking at shoe retail sites, but when they’re finished and get back to work, they’re not left all… ummm…. aroused.

  24. It’s been obvious they haven’t been doing science. Now it’s public knowledge just what they *have* been doing.

  25. They should change their acronym from NSF to NSFW.
    Rich, good one.
    I just checked RC for any response to yesterdays kerfuffle. Nada. But the RC post from yesterday only has 27 comments on it, so you can be sure the censors were working overtime.

  26. I wonder if any heads rolled. I know a person, formerly employed where I work, who passed on an inappropriate email and was terminated. It was a long-time employee who had been doing well in their job, too.

  27. A friend at OSI told me 75% of internet traffic is porn. (I figure most of the rest is folks griping about Microsoft, which isn’t all that different.)
    I used to surf semiconductor company web sites. My very non-engineer boss probably considered that obscene.
    If we could get Congress to surf porn sites, they wouldn’t have as much time to spend money or pass Cap & Tax bills. NSF may be on to something.

  28. About ten years ago I went to a satellite facility of Lawrence Livermore Lab to calibrate some large scales. I had to cart in 3,000 pounds in calibrated 50 pound weights, and I still remember that no one offered to help, not even to hold the door open.
    Lots of people were in the building, but from what I could see none of them were doing much work. Most desks had newspapers and magazines, all had computers, and people clustered in small groups here and there, talking and drinking coffee.
    The job took about a week, and it was like that every day. If they had lost half their employees, the ones left still wouldn’t have been overworked.
    I suspect that most of 0bama’s green jobs will be even worse than that; make-work jobs at the expense of taxpayers. Since “green jobs” generally don’t produce anything of value, the deal will be: you get a job, so vote for the guy who takes more taxes from everyone and generates your unnecessary job. And of course, green jobs will be union jobs.
    As the unemployment rate continues to rise [U-6 unemployment, which includes those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and given up looking for full time work] is currently over 14% and rising. But printing money and raising taxes to provide “green” jobs will not turn the economy around. Only jobs that add real value to the economy will do that.

  29. In other words, the carbon tax could be replaced by charging $0.01 per porn site page view paid to the Federal Government instead of bankrupting the coal and Steel industries. If use goes down so would energy use and CO2 production. Of course lawmakers would be exempt otherwise they would all go bankrupt paying the $0.01 per page fees.

  30. “To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request.
    “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.”

    Right. There WILL BE a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions of grant fraud.
    The predictive power of science!

  31. So the equation goes like this:
    science + politics = porn
    And in these hard economic times take consolation in the fact that the number of federal employees increased by 25,000. That’s an additional 25,000 porn inspectors. It’s a hard job but somebody’s got to do it.

  32. Bill Marsh. Could you tell us if there are any files containing the Mann Hockey Stick? That has been determined unacceptable by peer review(s). Possibly those files should be deleted. Ask your boss.

  33. My suggestion: De-fund the entire organization and tell them to get real jobs. Save the taxpayer a few bucks. Then start scrapping the multitude of other useless and unconstitutional government organizations.

  34. Porn surfing is a most effective way to become a good solid hockey stick.
    It’s all a matter of a vivid imagination.

  35. Posted all over InfoWars.com
    EXCLUSIVE: Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation
    http://www.washingtontimes.com…..al-agency/
    Stop their funding for grants the agency distributes, just like they did for ACORN!
    Blog site
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..ent-195295
    Where can I find an application to get on the NO Fly List?
    Every American should try to get on the list. It would render the list useless. Use the mindset, “They can’t get all of us”.

  36. Aha! I always wondered about the meaning of the term “NSFW”
    which sometimes appears on nudie pix. Now I know!
    NSFW = National Science Foundation Work.

  37. “Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants…”
    Makes sense. I now understand why their reports say it’s getting hotter and hotter. It’s just not the climate their talking about….

  38. Leon Brozyna (11:46:25) : That’s an additional 25,000 porn inspectors. It’s a hard job but somebody’s got to do it.
    I once worked in the Unix OS division of a major mainframe computer maker. They hired a “security guy” who was long on enforcement experience but short on technical skills… He could use a computer, but was a little unclear on some of the concepts. He could, however, demand anything and with the V.P. granted cart blanche you had to give it.
    OK, he asks me about what commands folks are executing on our computers and is there a log of it.
    I tell him about the Unix facility that keeps a log of every Unix command that is executed.
    He demands that I deliver a copy, printed on regular 120 green stripe paper.
    I try to explain that scripts contain commands and that I regularly type single word command names that turn into hundreds of commands in the log. That there are hundreds of folks on the machine all day long.
    He demands his printout, with a scowl this time and the “Are You A Team Player or NOT? Do I need to investigate YOU?” look.
    I ask how often he wants it. (Weekly).
    One week later, I deliver the hand truck with 3 or 4 boxes of printout (about 1 1/2 meters high…). All of it the cryptic Unix command syntax he has no clue of how to read. He has “big eyes” but says nothing.
    2nd week, the same.
    3rd week, he asks me to stop.
    It has to be even more fun today. I saw a complaint on the business news that some government politician had demanded the email logs from BofA for a couple of years and was complaining that it was gigabytes of cookie recipes, announcements of staff meetings, solicitations for the football pool, management nags about sundry mundane things, and SPAM. It would seem that the idiots who passed the SarbOx “keep everything for years” law didn’t realize that most of everything is trash.
    I used to spend close to an hour a day junking crap email (and that was AFTER the spam filter…). And folks wonder why I don’t like to use email any more. Aside from it being a perpetual log of lawyer fodder, it is just a hideous waste of time for most folks.
    Now just think of what joy will come from some government “officer” demanding that all the web pages viewed at work be “saved for 10 years”… I’m sure somebody will propose it. Hope that they have a really big budget for disk and tape… (I’m reminded of that line from the Bruce Willis movie Die Hard “I think we’re gonna need some new FBI guys…” )
    BTW, anyone wishing to hide from all this intrusion can simply put up software like “stunnel” and open a VPN private tunnel to their home machine (with the plausible assertion that they left some work there that they did at home) then browse sites via that reflection off of their home network. As the porn site is hit from their home, it is not logged, and as the data / pictures are encrypted inside the tunnel, they can not be found via content filters nor does an archive of it prove useful to investigators. (You can’t even force them to divulge the “key” since the key is dynamic and negotiated between the two machines.)
    Oh, and if you have folks who might search the disk and / or look in cache on it for “stuff”, you can just make a bootable business card (BBC) Linux that you stick in the CD drive, and reboot. The one I like has a “use no disk” option so it never leaves anything on the hard disk. Kill power, it is all gone. (I use it for forensics work. I can take over the box and read the disk without fear of it being changed and /or launching a suicide pill somewhere.) I’ll leave finding specifics on the available releases as an exercise for the student…
    To the extent more folks are “caught”, we will just be finding the stupid or lazy and educating the rest about the virtues of non-MS tools…
    One Side Bar: You can get a Mosix BBC and deal a deck of them into a room full of PCs. At boot up they self form a cluster. Convenient if you happen to need a supercomputer, work late with a mostly empty office, and don’t particularly want to spend money or leave many tracks. Particularly useful for certain compute intensive applications…
    (For anyone worried that I’m giving help to bad guys: Folks who can do this stuff already understand it. Folks who don’t know about it yet will not take the couple of years to get good enough to use it – they generally are not interested in doing that. Basically, if you are not “born to be a geek” you just can’t pony up the chops to do this… I handed out BBCs to the class I taught in Computer Forensics at a name school in Sacramento. This isn’t exactly secret stuff. Oh, and setting up VPN’s is an absolutely normal part of business. Constantly used to link collaborating companies and work at home employees. Stunnel just brings that to the desktop. There is even a Windoze version, though that has got to leave tracks somewhere inside the box…)
    So at the end of all this I’m left with the bothersome vision of ever more “People Of Power” demanding ever more “boxes of stuff” be presented to them so that ever more “normals” are harassed and ever more “geeks” develop better tools.
    All of it producing little increase in national wealth or wisdom.
    Reply: For years I was an external vendor working inside of Cisco (people who know a little about network monitoring) sites. I just connected to my home pc via gotomypc.com and did whatever I wanted without restriction, including moderating this site while on the road. ~ charles the moderator

  39. What’s most appauling about this story is that these are people supposed to be trained in Science and Technology. Therefore you would think they would know that IT networks can track this kind of thing and that you cannot expect any kind of privacy when using a computer on somebody else’s network. And that with the possible exception of posting message threatening the life of the president or suspicious messages sent to North Korea, this is exactly the kind of thing that IT administrators are supposed to be looking for.
    They ain’t too bright.

  40. “To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.””
    C’mon everyone, this is simply a move for increased staff and budget.
    It’s text book: Cry that a new problem has cropped up, cry that it will inhibit us from doing our assigned work unless we get more people and money.
    Result 1: you get a larger staff and more money
    Result 2: Congressmen and Senators will start purging their PCs with shredder programs.

  41. “one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women”
    Lessee, 20 working days per month times 12 is 240 working days a year, yet this guy logged 331 days of pron surfing? Man is a workaholic, or some kinna holic. Even working saturdays makes for only 292 days, so this guy had to be working a lot of sundays and vacation days too. Thats true dedication to his humanitarian defense. Perhaps the IG should just move this guy over to the State Department so he can give out “Foreign Aid” as part of his job description? He obviously has an aptitude and a dedication to it.

  42. Steve Burrows (11:52:32) :
    “The internet is for porn. ”
    Rule 34 of teh internets: There is porn of it, no exceptions.
    Rule 35 of teh internets: If there isn’t porn, porn will be made.

  43. one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected
    Nude or partially clad women without being detected? Give the guy a break. He was just researching Anthropogenic Global Warming and invisibility cloaks.

  44. “… over the last 1000 years the amount of porn surfing has been static – until the advent of late 20th Century Industrialisation – also known as the “Internet”…”
    “…. It is projected that cheap access to the Internet has fueled an exponential growth in the web surfing of unwholesome sites…”
    “…. Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet details the misuse of his invention by the misguided in his new documentary – An Inconvenient Key Stroke – ….”
    “…. Given cheap access to the Internet, and the Exponential Growth in Web Surfing, a Tipping Point will soon be reached where all Human Activity is devoted to Surfing the Web resulting in the Catastrophic Collapse of Civilization….”
    “… It has been deemed that a Federal tax on Internet Usage is the best mechanism to avoid the Catstrophic Collapse of Civilization….”
    “…. By 2020, 40% of Human Civilisation will be addicted to Internet Web Surfing and be incapable of any other activity…”
    /parody off

  45. It should be noted that the National Science Foundation is America’s largest funding source for anthropological research, including the study of Homo sapiens feminae in their natural state. Those guys were just doing their science, although the category is way too over-studied to deserve any breakthrough paper. That might change when the Internet goes 3D.
    For now, the best title we can expect from them will be the like of: “The Fully-Illustrated NSF Guide to the Anthropological Resources for the Study of Muliebrity on the Internet for the Taxpayer,” or “A New Way to Help the Third World: An Illustrated NSF Guide to Vanquish World Poverty Through the Internet the Fun Way.”

  46. This is not good. If the NSF doesn’t clean up their act its public image is going to look like this, and scientists who already beg for funding are going to find it more difficult to do research. This may not get past moderation. There’s some mature language in the video, but I put this here to make a point. Wise up, guys!

  47. Huh. Embedding the video didn’t seem to work. Trying again…
    If you don’t see a video here, here’s the link:
    [sorry, I killed this before. The adult language is prohibited ~ ctm]

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