DOC employees blocked access to prohibited websites 51,000 times in a month

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A DOC employee said the employees were redirected to porn sites from legitimate websites. Photo / 123RF

Department of Conservation employees have been banned 148 times from accessing pornographic websites since late January.

Of the banned X-rated websites that employees tried to access from Jan 29th to date, 54 were referrals from other websites that allowed a URL to be embedded in a legitimate website and 94 were direct Access requests.

The most popular sites unsuccessfully attempted to click were stripchat.com, chattypics.com, and ondgk.sexboys.org, all of which were banned every 14 times, according to a response from the Official Information Act to MediaWorks.

During July 31st and August 30th, there were 51,000 attempts to access other blocked websites that fell under 19 different categories. In the six months to August 2019, 300,000 were locked for security reasons.

The classifications included pornography, marijuana, hacking, gambling, dating, web chat, nudity and daring, malicious websites, lingerie and swimsuits, illegal or unethical, and brokerage and trading, MediaWorks reported.

Rachel Bruce, DOC’s assistant director general of corporate services, told the Herald the organization was confident that employees didn’t even know they were accessing pornographic websites.

URLs for porn sites were often embedded in legitimate pages, which meant people could be referred or redirected to blocked pages, she said. DOC’s firewall blocked links and referrals to restricted websites.

“We are confident that DOC staff are not looking for adult or X-rated sites. Access to the sites is blocked in any case.”

Last week the government confirmed that it would crack down on online pornography sites.

Home Secretary Tracey Martin has instructed officials to prepare legislative changes that will restrict New Zealanders’ access to online pornography in the hopes that the proposals will be presented before next year’s elections.

The main focus was on policy options to prevent harm to children and adolescents from online pornography.

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