April 23rd, 2010
08:30 AM ET
4 years ago

SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed

An agency report reveals that SEC employees and contractors cruised porn sites using government computers.
An agency report reveals that SEC employees and contractors cruised porn sites using government computers.

(CNN) – As the country was sinking into its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, Security and Exchange Commission employees and contractors cruised porn sites and viewed sexually explicit pictures using government computers, according to an agency report obtained by CNN.

"During the past five years, the SEC OIG (Office of Inspector General) substantiated that 33 SEC employees and or contractors violated Commission rules and policies, as well as the government-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct, by viewing pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images using government computer resources and official time," said a summary of the investigation by the inspector general's office.

More than half of the workers made between $99,000 and $223,000. All the cases took place over the past five years.

The inspector general's report includes specific examples of misuse by employees.

Full story


Filed under: SEC
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. kj

    I am sure the political posturing will begin shortly. that said, it is important to note the activity took place over the past five years. That means, it occurred during a period where we had a Republican and Democratic adminstration. I have my issues with the SEC but it is unfair to label the entire organization as porn addicts because of the actions of a few misguided employees. You will have this kind of activity in any large organization. The sad thing is this will be a distraction from the more substantive problems of the SEC.

    April 23, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  2. lovable liberal

    Remember when the President restrained the SEC from its duties and spanked it with a whip if it dared to enforce banking regulations?

    Fortunately, now we have a President who wants the regulators to have something of value to do, rather than downloading porn and twiddling their ... thumbs.

    Of course, the Republicans are still doing Wall St.'s bidding. Ya think Wall St. dresses up in leather for them?

    April 23, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. Bill H.

    Yeah, and most of this occurred during George W. Bush's watch! Absolutely shameful and disgusting! I am so thankful that we as taxpayers are getting much better oversight these days!

    April 23, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. Choice that matters

    So what needs to be done is restrict usage of certain sites that should not being used on those computers. Simply plain is put. Now that concerns me of the risks that are on the pcs after going to those places.

    April 23, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Are they fired yet? If not, when?

    April 23, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Dan, TX

    Drill Baby Drill!!!! What's that black stuff covering the Gulf of Mexico?

    April 23, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. ben san roda

    This is disgusting. Here we are working hard to pay our taxes and these SEC employees paid by our hard earned dollars wasting away our taxes. They should be fired and revamp SEC.

    April 23, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. rachel

    Hmm maybe if the employees of the SEC weren't so horny they would have brought charges against goldman earlier. What about frannie and freddie? Did goldman leak this report out :)

    April 23, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Anonymous

    and this is a surprise?

    April 23, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. C Mu

    These are exactly the sort of stories that create mistrust in government. Hundreds of people work for the SEC who are hardworking, decent Americans. Instead of reporting the information as a percentage of actual employees - and who decided to outsource our government to contractors, i.e. Republicans who decided that everything should be privatized so we now have disasters like Blackwater created by that idiot Cheney who decided to violate every federal rule and hire his friends for everything in sole source contracts - and separate the contractors from the employees in the report, CNN chooses to again malign all government employees. This is disgusting.

    April 23, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Jerry - Florida

    Wow. Is this a joke or what? And the NObama administration is going after the financial institutions? Why can't President NObama clean his own house first? I hope he's not planning on blaming Bush for this and his other boondoggles.

    No wonder this once great country is on the edge of the abyss.

    Oh well. There goes "Change You Can Believe In". I guess we owe it all to the NObamists.

    Stay tuned!

    April 23, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. lila

    People should be free to do what they want.. but I really believe porn is messing with us as a species. It takes away emotional connection and turns our most intense bonding process into fast food. Fast food is also messing with us as a species. It's just not healthy. We can't remove free will.. I guess we can only educate the public and that starts at home. Parents need to explain the dangers of both in an intellectual way. Even if emotional manipulating is easier. Again, what is easy is often not what is best.

    April 23, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This is shocking this is like watching porn in Wall Mart this is no way for our officials to conduct the peoples work every one of these people should be fired .

    April 23, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Moderate

    I heard the GOP finally took their heads out the sand and are taking issue with this. Nice to see you guys trying to govern for once!

    April 23, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. Jim M

    Now we know why they never did anything about the Madoff case or any other Ponzi schemes during the last decade.

    April 23, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. johnnyhouse

    You would assume our government is doing the same thing now by the expenses that have fallen on what few taxpayers and businesses that are still left working and producing. Increasing government jobs do not add to the economy-it takes from the treasury what production puts in.Production and selling a finished product makes a country strong. China is a good example. They now have us by the short hairs.

    April 23, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Beverly H Tatum

    And Republicans kept spending and running up the deficit as the economy got worse and worse – they supported a fraudulent war even when they knew it was a lie. They removed all regulations and safety alerts that would have caught the impending financial disaster.

    And your story is about some employee looking at porn???

    Why not blame the financial collapse on Republican scandals, corruption, and many adulterous affairs – since they were more focused on carnal and immoral acts than the stability of our nation and the People whose lives they were destroying???

    Stupid story.

    April 23, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Big shot yuppies who feel that they're above their subordinates' social level: many government hierarchies and administrative command structures display this disturbing trend of elitism. It's time for new brooms to sweep out the old dirt. But it almost seems to be a tendency of government to hire unqualified people for leadership positions. Many of the wrong people who don't perform are still kept, carried by industrious co-workers. This counter-productivity MUST stop someday, if we are ever going to go back to succeeding as a nation.

    April 23, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And this was the oversight provided by the Republican Administration. Didn't want to do any rules and regulations, but those family-value oriented republicans knew every porn site!

    April 23, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Duck Fallas

    These guys moonlight as RNC fundraisers.

    April 23, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. A.L. hayword

    Friends of 'Barry'.....anybody making this money is a political appointee. Why does this not surprise me from this Third World Administration???

    April 23, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Oh, there are SO many jokes that could be told about this....

    April 23, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. Cosmo

    Their conduct is no more obscene than the average day on Wall Street.

    April 23, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Right wing moderators today, so I have to rephrase my rejected post:

    FIRE THEM ALL!!! How indolent, and irresponsible do yo have to be on porn sites when you are supposed to be keeping on eye an impending doom (the economy)?

    And while we're on the subject, who's the braintrust that allowed this to go on for 5 years?? These people make well into the 6-figures, and while average Joes were losing their jobs over the ECONOMY that they were supposed to be keeping their eye on, these geniuses are watching porn.....ALL DAY LONG.....FOF FIVE YEARS?????!!!!!!

    April 23, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. A Conservative

    My company's system has even blocked me from reading the article that led to this ticker because of the content. Is our government so inept or stupid that they can't do the same? Does anyone really need to ask why so many of us don't trust them to have their hands in health care and the financial sector when they can't even block employees from going to these sites?

    April 23, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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