Politics

Despite porn pledge, scientists accused of studying ‘anatomy’

Despite a pledge last year to crack down on porn snooping among its federal employees and contractors – including one former executive who accessed illicit websites on at least 331 days – the National Science Foundation is facing renewed questions about whether workers are still surfing for smut on the government’s time.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, told top NSF officials in a letter Tuesday that he’s heard from three unnamed whistleblowers about continuing porn problems at the foundation.

He also said he’s concerned that senior executives caught looking at pornography are being punished more harshly than lower-level employees.

“One of the whistleblowers that approached my staff raised concerns about possible disparities in disciplinary actions at NSF when it comes to viewing pornography,” Mr. Grassley wrote in the letter to the NSF’s acting director, Cora B. Marrett.

“In particular, my staff was advised that higher-level employees are treated differently than lower-level employees for the same or similar offense.”

But NSF spokeswoman Maria Zacharias on Wednesday said the foundation handed down appropriate disciplinary measures within the guidelines of the foundation's administrative system. She said the pornography problems, which surfaced in 2008, have been fixed.

“There have been zero instances,” she said.

Full story: Despite porn pledge, scientists accused of studying ‘anatomy’ – Washington Times