TECH
11/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Porn Surfing Rampant At U.S. Government Agency

An investigative report by The Washington Times reveals porn surfing by employees has been rampant at the National Science Foundation, a government agency that received $6 billion in taxpayer funding in 2008.

Investigations into employee misconduct, which frequently involved workers looking at x-rated sites on government computers, grew sixfold over the past year.

Out of 10 misconduct cases at the NSF, at least seven involved workers viewing online pornography.

A senior executive at the foundation was found to have spent at least 331 days looking at porn and chatting with naked or scantily-clad women on his work computer. When confronted, he tried to justify it as a charitable act:

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.

"He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that," investigators wrote in a memo.

During a three-week period in June 2008, another employee visited hundreds of Internet porn sites during work hours.

According to the Times, the misconduct was so widespread that investigations into the improprieties overwhelmed the NSF and it had to cut back on its primary mission: identifying grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

Read more about the pornography problem -- and how it came to light -- at The Washington Times. The NSF's Wikipedia page entry can also been seen here.