CYBERSPACE—Reading between the lines of a new investigative report on the work habits of employees at the Securities and Exchange Commission, it would appear that months or perhaps years of unfettered porn abuse on the job has turned a formerly attentive and responsible workforce into a feckless group of wasteful incompetents. That's not what the report says, of course, but what else can explain the continuing disregard for government resources revealed in the report? Porn use at work may have declined, but that doesn't mean they're still not addicted to it!
Of course, it could be that the real culprit is an SEC culture that allows the institutional misuse of funds and equipment by employees, but it's always more fun just to blame the porn. After all, it is the one thing that seems to most tick-off senators tasked with overseeing the federal agency. "How dare these SEC employees look at porn during the day when they're supposed to be making sure corporations aren't ripping off the American... um... never mind!"
The 43-page report may not mention porn, but it still outlines a pattern of misuse of government resources and failure to properly safeguard sensitive information that should also be of concern to Congress. These are the government watchdogs, remember, that are responsible for monitoring the markets to make sure the economy doesn't implode like it did in 2008, the last time they were caught asleep at the wheel.
According to Reuters, which got a look at the report, "SEC Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer discovered that an office within the SEC's Trading and Markets division spent over $1 million on unnecessary technology. The report also found that the staffers failed to protect their computers and devices from hackers, even as they were urging exchanges and clearing agencies to do just that."
No actual breaches were reported, Reuters continued, but "the staffers left sensitive stock exchange data exposed to potential cyber attacks because they failed to encrypt the devices or even install basic virus protection programs."
More specifically, the report details a "broader array of problems, from misleading the SEC about the office's need to buy Apple Inc products, to cases in which staffers took iPads and laptops home and used them primarily for pursuits such as personal banking, surfing the Web and downloading music and movies."
Gotta be the porn withdrawal.