A Denver law firm is suing the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission for its refusal to release the names of top officials who were caught regularly using government computers to access pornography.
Calling the senior officials "voracious voyeurs of pornographic and sexually explicit websites," law firm Steese, Evans and Frankel says their Freedom of Information Act requests for the identities of alleged federal voyeurs has unfairly been shot down.
They're saying it's time for the SEC to pay the peeper.
The porn surfing practices of top officials who were being paid to monitor the economic crisis at the SEC first came to light in April. The agency's inspector general conducted 33 (completely platonic) probes over the past five years and found several instances of top officials accessing sites like www.bdsgay.net, www.anal-sins.com and www.scatmen.com, to name just a few examples detailed in the suit filed earlier this month.
If you're just dying to see the lawsuit, which lists a whopping 59 of the porn sites accessed by SEC officials, click here.
"Most of this activity happened during the financial meltdown, and seventeen involved senior SEC employees, who earned as much as $222,000 per year," reports the Washington Times.
In addition to releasing only redacted internal documents to Steese, Evans and Frankel, the SEC had previously declined to provide the names of the SEC porn watchers to the Times, citing a need to avoid "harassment and annoyance in the conduct of their official duties and private lives."
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But the suit says there's no excuse for blocking the identities of federal employees who watched porn (and who knows what else) as the financial markets went limp.
"There is simply no privacy right or interest to search pornography on SEC computers, particularly during work hours," says the seventeen-page suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court.
David Kotz, inspector general with the SEC, said in April that of the 28 employees investigated for accessing porn at work, eight resigned and six were suspended, according to the Associated Press.
Maybe the SEC didn't quite understand the meaning of "Stimulus Package."