AOH :: ISN-3101.HTM



By Network World Staff
Network World

The title of a report issued this week by the Department of Interior's 
Inspector General -- "Excessive Indulgences: Personal Use of the 
Internet at the Department of the Interior" -- pretty much says it all, 
but here's a bit more.

The department, which oversees national parks, land management and more, 
encourages most of its 80,000 employees to use the Internet for 
work-related duties. A one-week study by the department's Inspector 
General found, however, that a lot of abuse is going on. Among the 
study's findings:

* Computer-use logs revealed more than 4,732 entries relating to 
  sexually explicit Web sites and gambling sites. Some computers 
  accessed sex sites for 30 to 60 minutes during the test period.

* This activity accounted for more than 24 hours of Internet use during 
  the sample period, which did not include a review of e-mail or other 
  means of transferring prohibited material.

* More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 
  Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and 
  auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 
  100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 
  full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction 

* 177 disciplinary actions have been imposed on department computer 
  users for inappropriate Internet use since 1999.

Despite these ongoing issues, the department is sensitive to Internet 
misuse, having had several employees convicted in the past for various 
offenses, including possession of child pornography. The department has 
appropriate-use policies in place and conducts regular training, 
although it does not have a systemwide monitor or blocking system yet. 
Some bureaus within the department do use such tools, and there are 
plans to provide them departmentwide.

The report concludes: "Efforts to prevent, deter and detect Internet 
access to inappropriate Web sites are inconsistent and must be 

The department has not been without other embarrassing Internet 
situations. Earlier this year the Office of Management and Budget gave 
it a grade of F [1] for its cybersecurity system.

Two years ago, the department even had the plug [2] pulled on its Web 
over security concerns.

There's more from the Inspector General's report here [2].

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