SEC In Hot Water Over Staff Computer Misuse... Again

Two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission was rocked by scandal when it was revealed that a number of supervisors spent most of their days sitting at their desks watching porn while the economy outside collapsed, staffers are in hot water over their computer habits again.

The findings in the new report, leaked Friday to Reuters and dated Aug. 30, are tame compared to the 2010 revelations.

Still, it found some serious irregularities, including that officials wasted more than $1 million in taxpayer money purchasing iPad tablers that employees mostly used to download music and videos or send personal emails.

Embarrassingly, the report also found a certain level of technical incompetence among the SEC staff, noting they did not follow best practices by using encrypted software and anti-virus shields on their laptops even as they were recommending those measures to the institutions they regulate.

"Although we found no evidence that data was compromised, the problem was fixed and the two staffers responsible for maintaining and configuring the equipment are no longer with the agency," agency spokesman John Nester told Reuters.

An SEC staffer was found to have used a personal email address at least once to transmit sensitive and secret market information.

The agency was forced to spend $200,000 hiring a third-party security firm to make sure no data had been unlawfully disseminated in that case.

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