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Dail web users try to access porn sites

LEINSTER House computer users have attempted to access porn, dating and gambling sites over 1,100 times in just five months, new statistics have revealed.

Staff, visitors, contractors and journalists have all tried to log onto banned websites on Oireachtas computers.

Records show that there were a total of 1,170 cases which were not linked to pop-up pages or spam – which means they were deliberately accessed.

Oireachtas staff members, journalists, visitors and contractors all have access to the computer equipment.

DISCIPLINED

And Leinster House workers have been disciplined over the bids to access the illegal and banned sites.

A number of individuals have been disciplined for their deliberate misuse of taxpayer-paid for computer equipment.

The office of the Houses of the Oireachtas service operates a strict 'acceptable usage policy' (AUP) which applies to journalists, visitors, contractors and staff, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The AUP states that staff are also put on notice that "any contravention of these principles may be regarded as a matter to be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure".

"Where inappropriate usage is identified, it is investigated and where spyware and malware computer viruses, and other technical issues are ruled out as being the cause for traffic, these access attempts are dealt with through the formal disciplinary procedures," the representative said.

"Disciplinary action has been taken where the AUP has not been followed."

Although the documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Irish Examiner reveal that there were almost 40,000 attempts to access banned sites but only 1,170 of these were not linked to spam.

A further breakdown of the figures identify that 17,078 of the 29,839 records related to the eight-week summer break between July and September.

hnews@herald.ie


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