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house Bill H.R. 680

Porn Sites on Gov't Computers: Should They be Banned?

Argument in favor

People don’t pay taxes so government employees can watch smut at work. Plus, watching porn can create a hostile work environment and expose government computers to viruses. There is literally no reason.

Diane's Opinion
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04/13/2017
Seriously! I work for a school district and we have blocks on all kinds of sites. This is common sense, it is work!!!
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Tangela's Opinion
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04/14/2017
I'm in the military, we're not allowed to do it and for good reason. You are at work to do a job not look at porn. It's very disrespectful to the workplace and the other employees.
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Heather's Opinion
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02/25/2017
Why is this even a question? Of course it's bad.
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Argument opposed

There are already regulations against pornography in most government offices. If porn use at in the Federal government is really this bad, we need to do a lot more than just block some sites.

Hilary's Opinion
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04/14/2017
Obviously people shouldn't be watching porn at work but this shouldn't be legislation. This is what managers are for.
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Michael scott's Opinion
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04/13/2017
Agree this is one of those "why is this even an issue?" questions. But I'm concerned about overreach, as this might be used, for instance, to prohibit government employees from accessing LGBTQ* resources on their lunch break. Who defines what's pornographic or offensive?
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Mohamed's Opinion
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04/14/2017
Has congress solved literally every other problem in government? Stop wasting time with things that do not require legislation and can simply be done by even a semi-competent manager. Also stop writing vague legislation while you're at it. If you feel the need to waste time on this then explicitly lay out what you are legally defining as pornography. Otherwise it just looks like you're trying to get blanket approval to terminate government employees.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 680?

This bill would ban federal employees from watching pornography on the job. If enacted, it would give the Director of the Office of Management ninety days to come up with a plan on how to block websites containing pornography “and other explicit material” from computers used by federal employees.

The bill does not apply to federal computers being used to conduct investigations that involve porn sites. They can still look at porn. But just for, uh, investigations.

Impact

Government employees, government agency heads, porn creators, porn sites, companies that buy advertising on porn sites, Federal investigations into porn sites, and the Director of Office Management and Budget.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 680

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information


In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced this legislation largely in response to a well-publicized instance in which an EPA investigators found that one of the agency’s employees watched porn for two to six hours a day. Four months after the investigation went public, that employee was still drawing a salary from the agency. Though Rep. Meadows expressed outrage at this in his release, the bill does not include any language on termination of employees that view pornography.

Reaching a definition of "porn" could be difficult when implementing this bill. The Supreme Court couldn’t do so in 1963’s Jacobellis v. Ohio, in which Justice Potter Stewart wrote “I know it when I see it.” That said, U.S. Code does contain a working definition for “sexually explicit conduct” in U.S. 2256, which is a law concerning child pornography.


Of Note: In the summer of 2014, The Washington Times found that this behavior was hardly isolated—employees of the Commerce Department, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development also made a habit of watching porn at work.


Media:

(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov

AKA

Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act

Official Title

To prohibit accessing pornographic web sites from Federal computers, and for other purposes.

    Seriously! I work for a school district and we have blocks on all kinds of sites. This is common sense, it is work!!!
    Like (75)
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    Obviously people shouldn't be watching porn at work but this shouldn't be legislation. This is what managers are for.
    Like (425)
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    Share
    Agree this is one of those "why is this even an issue?" questions. But I'm concerned about overreach, as this might be used, for instance, to prohibit government employees from accessing LGBTQ* resources on their lunch break. Who defines what's pornographic or offensive?
    Like (261)
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    Share
    Has congress solved literally every other problem in government? Stop wasting time with things that do not require legislation and can simply be done by even a semi-competent manager. Also stop writing vague legislation while you're at it. If you feel the need to waste time on this then explicitly lay out what you are legally defining as pornography. Otherwise it just looks like you're trying to get blanket approval to terminate government employees.
    Like (215)
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    I had to check yea or nay so I chose nay. But what a ridiculous thing to waste time on. If someone's productivity is suffering whether from watching porn or polishing their nails, they need to be terminated. I just wasted 2 minutes answering this one.
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    What a dumbass bill! The nation has a loose cannon, incompetent person in the Oval Office who got into office by treasonous means. That same individual is conning the US out of millions of dollars by his trips and additional security details for his family. That same incompetent individual is threatening to start WWIII as well. But wasting tax dollars on legislation to stop porn is a higher priority? Seriously?!?
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    Unnecessary. Just add a list of blocked websites to the office network. Done deal.
    Like (68)
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    I'm in the military, we're not allowed to do it and for good reason. You are at work to do a job not look at porn. It's very disrespectful to the workplace and the other employees.
    Like (57)
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    Is this really a problem? I'm a federal employee (DoD) and our systems automatically block a lot of content (yes porn is included in that, at least I was told that my first day and I'm not brave enough to test it). These other agencies should just take the lead on fixing this.
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    Why is this even a question? Of course it's bad.
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    This is an office issue not a congress issue. Bigger fish to fry!
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    Why is this even a question?
    Like (33)
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    "People don’t pay taxes so government employees can watch smut at work. Plus, watching porn can create a hostile work environment and expose government computers to viruses. There is literally no reason." This statement is correct. Pornography is evil! Workers are paid to do their jobs. If they are viewing porn, they should be terminated immediately!
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    Most federal gov't servers do block sexually explicit websites. And of course gov't workers should not watch "porn" on the job or with taxpayers money or resourced. What I find troubling about this bill is the vagueness. Porn is not described. "Official Title To prohibit accessing pornographic web sites from Federal computers, and for other purposes." What exactly are the other purposes? Is this bill specifically targeting LGBTQ resources? Health interventions? Why is this bill even necessary? I did notice it was introduced by a member of the Republican party, a party that claims disdain for big government but the idea the we need a law, government intervention, seems like making government overreach a little more.
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    Watching porn in a work environment should never be allowed Plus most porn websites can carry viruses that affect computers which would be a bad mix with government computers
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    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??! No employee has the right to be viewing pornography on his/her employer's computers! The government at ALL levels and private sector employers should have strong internet filters on their computers. If perverts want to indulge their lustful addictions, they can bloody well use their smartphones while on breaks or wait until they get home. Employees caught viewing porn during work hours SHOULD BE FIRED! Porn, like drugs and gambling and other addictions, has ruined many a marriage and destroyed families! It is EVIL! Those who think it is harmless just prove how degenerate our society has become! I VOTE YEA ON THIS BILL!
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    Legislating what is already a normal workplace expectation is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Instead of this, let's legislate fair treatment of employees, equal pay for equal work, and a living wage.
    Like (18)
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    Just like any other employer in the country.
    Like (15)
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    I can't believe this is even a question! You shouldn't watch porn on the job-no matter what that job is!
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    No one should be watching porn at work for pleasure. Private companies ban inappropriate sites and so should the government. It should also go further in that those caught watching porn at work are fired. If they don't have enough work, get rid of their position and give me a tax break.
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