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Porn and gaming sites common destinations for city workers: study

TT/David Landes · 19 Nov 2009, 07:43

Published: 19 Nov 2009 07:43 GMT+01:00

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Over the period of one month, officials measured how employees and students in Jönköping used the municipality’s 8,000 computers.

The results, which were presented on Wednesday, took city officials by surprise.

At times, up to 80 percent of the municipality’s internet capacity was used for file sharing, an activity which is oftentimes illegal.

In addition, employees and students spent an unexpectedly large amount of time visiting websites featuring pornography, weapons, racist messages, games, and online gambling.

“I would have never thought the problem would be this widespread,” said city director Martin Andreae to Sveriges Radio (SR).

During the month-long study, users spent a total of 1,300 hours, or the equivalent of four full-time positions, visiting inappropriate websites.

Users also often surfed on improper sites anonymously, in an attempt to hide computers' IP addresses, a further indication that Jönköping’s computers were being used for unsuitable purposes.

“If we had realized how big the problem was, we would have done something to address it sooner,” Andreae told SR.

Story continues below…

The municipality now plans on spending 500,000 kronor ($72,600) on technology that will block inappropriate sites, and to develop a new policy which will make it easier for managers to check on how employees’ are using the internet.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:25 November 19, 2009 by hjoian
the biggest surprise is your own surprise....jeez
09:55 November 19, 2009 by peropaco
I am happy they find some past time to keep their brain functioning. Things to do in Jönköping

1. Go hang out at the local gas station

2. Flock into one of the many depressing places with slot machines

3. Go frolicking about and steal some fire wood on the way

4. Get married at 17 and divorced by 21, two kids down the road

5. Move to Blekinge and become a skinhead

6. Get a job at TL
10:13 November 19, 2009 by Pablo Munoz
The problem is not surfing porn websites and share files. Those are just the external signs of a deep problem. I believe the solution is no to restrict, instead why not to research and find out why people follow this behavior? What is the driver for the people to share information and to watch porn? Sweden claims to be so liberal and now the solution is block inappropriate sites. What is inappropriate?
10:24 November 19, 2009 by Rebel
Can't they surf feminist porn...at least stuff that the Swedish government sponsors?
11:08 November 19, 2009 by Gwrhyr
Sweden is far from liberal. It just enjoys that view because people in foreign countries view Sweden within the context of their own country's political arena, not realizing that Sweden's political arena doesn't play by the same rules. Just because things like gay marriage and loose immigration and extensive welfare benefits and paid paternal leave are seen as liberal in some countries doesn't mean that Sweden is liberal. Officially Sweden would like to eradicate pornography completely, just like it openly wants to eradicate all illegal drugs regardless of whether they are soft drugs or not, and would like to eradicate the alcohol and cigarettes if it could possibly due so. Sweden is a mixture of highly conservative and liberal policies that don't fall into the liberal/conservative lines of other countries. It's often the economic right here that wants more personal freedoms for people whereas in other countries the economic right often wants to limit personal freedoms. It's sort of an opposite situation in a few key respects, which makes it very difficult to make assumptions about Sweden without a nuanced knowledge of what it's like on the ground and in reality.
11:14 November 19, 2009 by bocale1
someone can tell me why surfing porno sites should be considered an illegal activity? I can understand trying to stop illegal fire sharing and so on, but why the other sites? is the Jönköping municipality then trying to impose their moral view on its citizens, establishing exactly what is good and appropriate to see and what is not? This is ridiculous. Stop the illegal behaviors, the rest is up to the people morality and conscientiousness. Unless this is done during working time but in this case the problem is not the content of the site visited but the fact that site is not strictly related to the scope of work. And this is totally different matter.
12:37 November 19, 2009 by karex

I don't think the issue is morality as to what people can and cannot see, as long as it's on their private time and being paid for by their private internet account - not on work time paid for by our taxes and using public resources.
12:37 November 19, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
At least one of us is missing something. We are not talking about the citizens of Jonköping engaging in this activity from the privacy of their own home, we are talking about the paid employees of Jonköping surfing websites when they should be undertaking normal duties.

Most UK companies now employ site filters that block out porn, social networking, webmail, and on line games. And guess what ,it works. I have a friend who runs a large Swedish IT company and by his estimates he loses 20% productivity to facebook alone.

Do these things on your own time!
12:54 November 19, 2009 by Michael84
It's not peculiar to Sweden.
13:04 November 19, 2009 by Beynch
Considering the fact that the salaries of these useless slackers come straight out of my paycheck, I suggest an immediate crackdown on such waste. You can probably reduce the workforce by half. Set an example by sh*t-canning some of them. Now! And we're wondering why our taxes our so high?
13:27 November 19, 2009 by Rebel
Isn't porn and gambling to Sweden what baseball and apple pie are to the USA?
15:23 November 19, 2009 by Texrusso
At least don't surf porn at work if you have any respect for your employer and colleagues. But otherwise there is nothing wrong with using facebook at work or even read the daily online news papers at some times when there is not much to do...
16:01 November 19, 2009 by Leprechaun .se
@ Gwrhyr

By your reasoning Sweden is liberal when compared to other countries since the non-liberal stuff you've talked about that our government is against is the same stuff that all governments are against (well except the Dutch one which is the only one that supports light drugs but they are against the other things). Not porn though; the Swedish government isn't against porn, they have made no policies against it; hell they have even funded porn! Jeeze.. get real! Or get me real; give me one example of a western country that has made it clear that they are against porn.
17:15 November 19, 2009 by eZee.se
While true, they are wasting time that they are paid to put into their job by visiting porn and gambling sites... file sharing is no biggie at all, after all, most of the population is doing it, its socially acceptable.
19:19 November 19, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
"... file sharing is no biggie at all, after all, most of the population is doing it, its socially acceptable."

Good old eZee. knew it wouldn't be long before you crawled out of some rock with your "pro file share mantra". Half of Sweden pick their nose, but that doesn't make it socially acceptable.

I'd be interested to hear in what price you would be willing to pay for an album (SEK 1, SEK 10), where's the tipping point in your mind where the Greedy Suits can make their money, or do you just want it for free?
00:11 November 20, 2009 by bocale1
@karex, you should read better both the article and my message as well.

The point here is not that the Jonkoping officials were shocked by the amount of time spent by workers surfing Internet for matters not job-related; all the shock was caused by knowing that, in that time lost, they visited mainly porn and gambling sites (classified as inappropriate!) instead of other more morally acceptable sites.

Is someone able to explain why I should be more happy in seeing people (paid by me with taxes) losing time at work by surfing facebook, twitter, news and announcements sites instead of porno and gambling?

the problem is the excessive use of Internet for not work related matters, not the content of what they visit in that time. All this discussion is full of hypocrisy and not focused on the real problem (time lost and level of efficiency of public employees)
01:18 November 20, 2009 by Gwrhyr
Leprechaun, with regards to drugs most Western countries are implemented or moving toward implementing harm-reduction policies whereby there is a distinction between soft and hard drugs and the consumers of drugs and producers/smugglers, whereby the use and possession of small amounts of soft drugs are being decriminalized more and more and the focus on drug users is referral to health care if they develop a problem with drugs rather than criminality. The criminal justice system is reserved for the producers and smugglers of drugs. Sweden ignores the concept of soft and hard drugs. Most countries are moving slowly towards the Dutch model, not the Swedish model.

You're also wrong on porn. The Swedish government has made laws against any porn that is considered "too violent", but the border of what is considered violent porn is vague and up to the discretion of the bureaucrats who raid porn shops and people's computers who happen to review the porn. S&M porn is quite popular but often illegal here, even when all parties are consensual. Also, pornography is seen as a social evil by most Swede's even though plenty of Swedes porrsurfar, a development that came out of the same folk-movements against alcohol that led to Systembolaget's existence, and the movements against all drugs (RNS, Riksförbundet Narkotikafritt Samhälle for example). Sweden is a mix of what is liberal and conservative in other countries, no getting around that. Even in Finland the Green Party there is for the decriminalization and ultimate legalization of light drugs, but no Swedish party dares to go against the hard-line against all drugs which causes Sweden to have an embarrassingly high amount of drug-related deaths and disease rates.

You're right, though. Plenty of governments are against drugs and have really repressive policies towards them. But the difference is that the conservatives in those countries defend and implement those policies while the left tends to be for dismantling those approaches. In Sweden it's not like that, the Social Democrats were the implementers of the restrictive and "punish the users the most" drug policy.

I hope you understand my point better now.
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