Federal Employee Computer and Internet Misuse

By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com

Federal employee use of government computers and workplace internet is fairly common at federal agencies. As a result, there are many times when federal employees get into disciplinary trouble involving their use of workplace computers or the internet. It is generally advised that federal employees avoid using federal agency computers and/or workplace internet, even where permitted, wherever possible. Many future problems can be avoided by taking this approach.

The most frequent problems that arise for federal employees in this area involve: (1) watching extended entertainment programs (Neltfix, Hulu, etc.); (2) excessive social media usage (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); (3) gaming at work; and (4) watching, sending or receiving sexually explicit materials. There are any other number of examples which could run afoul of individual federal agency policies. While a number of federal agencies have adopted personal usage policies, many federal employees have not been given full training in this area and may run into potential disciplinary problems.  

This article discusses some of the more common issues. Please continue below to read the article.