After Porn, Government Bars Social Media
By Shyam Sundar Vattam | Published: 07th January 2014 08:00 AM |
Government staff can no longer use their office computers to visit social media sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) or shop online.
Three months after blocking porn sites, the government has acted against media and entertainment sites. Employees can, however, access news sites.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had found staff using the state government’s Internet protocol (kar.nic.in) extensively to watch pornography, particularly at the state secretariat.
In September, the sleuths had reportedly discovered the preoccupation when they were monitoring computers at the secretariat for terrorist activity. They then sent a report to Karnataka’s Criminal Investigation Department.
In a damage-control exercise, IT and BT Minister S R Patil had promised to install a firewall and the government swung into action.
Now, going a step further, the department of e-governance has blocked social network and e-shopping sites on computers at the Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, M S Building and Visvesvaraya Towers.
“Yes, we did it because we noticed several employees visiting those sites when they ought to have been working,” said Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee.
Several government bodies are encouraging the use of social media to interact with citizens. “But then, officials at the secretariat don’t need social media because the nature of their work is different and they don’t have to interact with citizens,” Mukherjee said.
Patil had written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to direct officials to install firewalls. Taking note, Siddaramaiah ordered the blocking of all such sites on official computers. “The department of e-governance does not come under me, which is why I wrote to the Chief Minister,” Patil told Express.
A senior officer of the Finance Department admitted some employees spend more time on porn and social media than on work. The government has done the right thing, he said.