When we're all dead from a massive missile attack, you can blame porn

Head of Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency disturbed by porn habits of workers, contractors

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It's one thing to be, say, a tech writer and find oneself distracted from one's work by pictures and videos of naked people on the Internet. It's an occupational hazard, or so I'm told.

But it's a far more serious matter when you're talking about other occupations...

Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency warned its employees and contractors last week to stop using their government computers to surf the Internet for pornographic sites, according to the agency’s executive director.

So reports Bloomberg News, which managed to get hold of a July 27 memo from MDA Executive Director John James Jr., who looks askance at the "inappropriate use of the MDA network" in recent months by government employees and contractors. James wrote:

“Specifically, there have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images.

“These actions are not only unprofessional, they reflect time taken away from designated duties, are in clear violation of federal and DoD and regulations, consume network resources and can compromise the security of the network though the introduction of malware or malicious code.”

There's a double danger here because not only are MDA employees distracted when they go on their little porn romps, the introduction of malware from pornography sites can enable cybercriminals and cyberspies to steal data or even gain access to the MDA network.

It's also galling to know that these people are wasting our tax dollars. The Pentagon is expected to request $7.7 billion for the MDA next year, Bloomberg reports. That money is coming from you and me, not subscriptions to the Bang Bros network.

Sometimes I wonder why people look at porn using their work computers, knowing full well that their activities 1) can be detected and 2) bring with them potentially severe repercussions. Then I remember the answer: Because it's there.

Which is why I doubt James's terse warning memo will completely eradicate porn from the MDA network. Let's just hope none of our missile-defense workers ever write this message: "Dude, you gotta check out this smoking' -- hey, is that a mushroom cloud?"

Chris Nerney writes ITworld's Tech Business Today blog. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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