More than 220 government workers have been
disciplined--including 16 who were fired--for downloading pornography
onto their computers at the United Kingdom's Department of Work and
According to reports, one person has been prosecuted in relation to the
offenses, which included the downloading of pornographic images of
child abuse onto department computers.
The sweeping disciplinary action is the result of a lengthy
investigation into the improper use of the Internet and e-mail within
the vast government department, which employs 140,000.
A department representative told Silicon.com that the agency
regularly scans its systems to detect inappropriate materials on its
network and said that when any is discovered, "disciplinary action will
be taken and that can lead to a criminal prosecution."
The representative confirmed that 16 department workers have been fired
for "gross misconduct" that contravened the department's Internet and
e-mail usage policy.
The U.K.-based Sun newspaper asserts that more than 2 million pages of
pornographic content were downloaded by staff within the department.
Will Sturgeon of Silicon.comreported from London.