US missile defense staff told to stop watching porn

Summary:U.S. missile defense workers have been warned that porn on the job is not allowed. It's not just a question of public security due to distraction, but there's also the risk of computer security due to malware found on many such sites.

US missile defense staff told to stop watching porn

John James Jr., director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), recently sent out a one-page memo warning employees and contractors to stop using agency computers to visit pornographic Web sites. That's right; apparently they were watching the wrong type of bombshells.

Missile defense workers were reportedly accessing sites and sending messages with pornographic content despite the inherent risk of malware. Here's an excerpt of the July 27 memo, obtained by Bloomberg:

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.

The message was just a warning; the MDA says that the porn sites did not cause any harm to its computer network. The agency emphasized, however, that there will be repercussions for anyone caught violating the policy.

"MDA has more than 8,000 employees, and less than a half-dozen were found to have accessed restricted sites or downloaded inappropriate materials," an MDA spokesperson said in a statement. "MDA has a highly-advanced monitoring system to detect intrusions, access to inappropriate viruses and malware downloads, and it worked as designed, and there was never any compromise of the MDA computer network. Employees should not access inappropriate Internet sites for pornography, gambling, video games and unauthorized music and video sites, to name a few. If they do, there are consequences, including possible loss of security clearances and termination."

The MDA is the section of the Department of Defense (DoD) responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. Boners don't count.

See also:

Topics: Security, Government, Government : US, Malware

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.