Official records reveal that over the past year, members of Parliament, peers and their staff accessed pornographic websites 300,000 times. The information was released by Palace of Westminster IT bosses this week in response to a freedom of information request.
When broken down the total figure represents more than 820 sites a day and covers “attempts to access websites categorized as pornography.” Parliamentary staffers, however, claim that the figure also included pop-ups that don’t reflect deliberate efforts to search for porn.
All the devices monitored were linked to the parliamentary network, which is used by members of Parliament, peers and staffers. The report which monitored computers from summer 2012 to summer 2013, also revealed inconsistent monthly figures. For example, November was a big year for Parliament porn with 114,8444 attempts to find it, while in February, only 15 attempts were documented.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance had this razor sharp insight: “This highlights the fact that many people working in Parliament are spending far too much time on websites that have nothing to do with their job.”
A House of Commons spokeswoman insisted the records did not prove users “intended” to access pornography: “We do not consider the data to provide an accurate representation of the number of purposeful requests made by network users due to the ways in which websites can be designed to act, react and interact and due to the potential operation of third-party software.”
However, Parliament’s track record might reveal that it is certainly conceivable that its members have other things on their minds other than government business.
Past reports included the following Parliamentary surfing patterns:
* Thousands of hours on Facebook pages, up to 3 million times a month
* Extensive time playing computer games and placing online bets
* A high number of visits to supermarket shopping websites, gaming sites and music download sites
* Up to 50,000 visits were made to the controversial adultery website Out of Town Affairs, which advertises “no-strings-attached fun, hot steamy action and erotic encounters.”