US missile defense staff told to stop watching porn

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.

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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

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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.

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13 comments
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  • US missile defense staff told to stop watching porn

    Nonsense, I've watched a lot of porn and never got any malware. Its just a matter of knowing which sites to go to.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Watching porn at work

    People wouldn't bring VHS and DVD containing porn to work (unless you work for the adult film industry), so why should they be allowed to watch porn online in the workplace?

    My guess is, when staff members start surfing for porn at work instead of doing what they're paid to do, it is a sign of poor discipline and low morale. This can happen anywhere, but it is especially disheartening to see it in our military.
    Tech watcher
    • So, is the military afraid that those missiles

      start malfunctioning and instead of destroying a target soak it with some white fluid?
      markbn
  • Sensational and slightly misleading title.

    They didn't get told to just stop watching porn, and it doesn't appear widespread (no pun intended).

    It was actually a selection, pornography, gambling, video games and unauthorized music and video sites

    But ZDNet just focuses on one of those, and implies that was all.

    Click bait, nothing to see here.
    Bozzer
    • Nope.

      The memo was specifically about porn. See the blockquote. The MDA statement later was just an explanation of what is and isn't allowed at the MDA.
      Empro
  • "Boners don't count"

    The hell they don't;
    shoot those turgid wangs right out of the sky.
    NexusSloth
  • Why do their computers have internet access?

    Shouldn't there be a separation of concerns here: Missile defense on a separate computer (and network) from a computer that can browse web pages. Come on!
    Jonathan Suppe
    • They are separate

      However, you need access to both these days.
      T1Oracle
      • Would - You - Like - To - Play - A - Game?

        Sure thing, Joshua
        William Farrel
  • I wonder what they were watching

    Hmmm....maybe some things like:
    Shaving Ryan's Privates
    Behind Enemy Behinds
    Apollo's 13
    Dr. Strangepants
    Full Metal Jack-off
    Master and Commander: Far Side of the Girl
    A Dear And Pleasant Danger
    The Porn Ultimatum"
    Beyond the Hurt Locker
    A Pocket Fist Now....
    JustCallMeBC
  • There will be "repurcussions" for anyone caught.. "violating" the policy

    if you get what I mean
    zhangkhaien@...
  • Errrr.....

    Great security. You'd figure their sys admins would block those sites.
    Maybe it was military porn sites? You know, a female captain describing the latest "projectiles".
    Gisabun
  • LOL

    It's kind of funny that the youngest looking of the Ziff Davis editorializers is the one to pick up on the porn link.
    inkwell