In some pretty ironic news, a Federal Communications Commission official has quit after investigators found pornography and lewd images on his FCC-issued work computer. The employee has not been identified, but it has been reported that he was a senior-level employee, which indicates that he was making upwards of $150,000 annually. And this isn't the first time that this type of incident has taken place. Since 2015, at least 6 FCC officials have been fired for using their work computers to look up and download adult related videos of a sexual nature.
Politico reports that FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield said the agency has proposed removal of all six employees identified by Inspector General investigators. However, Wigfield declined to name the aforementioned six employees. Wigfield said that the FCC believes viewing pornography in the workplace is "completely unacceptable." Viewing X-rated videos in just about any work environment is an offense that can get an employee fired and an employee of the FCC should definitely get terminated. Wigfield continued and had this to say.
"The agency takes all allegations involving pornography extremely seriously, and investigates them thoroughly. The agency takes disciplinary action against any employee found to have accessed or viewed such materials using FCC resources."
Mark Wigfield also mentioned that the FCC-issued work computers have built-in filtering tools used to limit access to inappropriate material via the web as well as through email. He added that all of the employees are all trained once a year about safe use of work computers while also announcing that FCC employee computer use is monitored. Anybody with a teenager at home knows that one can find just about anything online without sending any red flags to administrators or triggering anything too serious, but apparently some of the FCC officials weren't able to cover their explicit history on their work computers.
What makes the story so interesting is that one of the Federal Communications Commission's largest jobs is to monitor TV, Movies, Radio, and the internet to make sure no bad material gets through to the public. The FCC famously fined radio personality Howard Stern for mentioning certain body parts with medical terminology on the air multiple times. Between 1990 and 2004, the FCC fined the Howard Stern Show to the tune of over $2.5 million. Two fines that were issued in 1992 totaled $105,000 and $600,000, which were the biggest fines that the FCC had ever issued to that point, all for what they deemed obscene language.
The FCC first came under fire when a female employee filed a federal lawsuit because a male employee was habitually watching pornography on his work computer in an adjacent cubicle. According to the suit, the male employee watched it loud enough for others to hear and frequently invited others to come over and watch. The FCC has been forced to bring the incidents public with the heightened alert of sexual misconduct due to the Harvey Weinstein fallout in the entertainment industry. You can read more about the 6 FCC officials that have been let go for watching pornography on their work computers courtesy of Politico.