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Tags Damian Green , Tories , uk politics

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Old 1st December 2017, 08:14 AM   #1
The Don
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Damian Green - alleged porn consumer

Damian Green is a senior Conservative MP and as First Secretary of State is Theresa May's second in command.

In 2008 his office was raided and his PCs inspected as part of a police investigation into government leaks. It is alleged that thousands of legal porn images were found on the computer.

The allegations were originally made some months ago by a retired detective constable and were dismissed at the time as an invention and a political smear. The plot thickened last month when Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner between 2009-11, said he was briefed about the claims but regarded them as a "side issue".

There has been some suggestion that someone else had used to computer to access the porn but it is now claimed that timestamps on emails and browsing history shows that if it was someone other than Damian Green then they were logged into his computer as him and sending emails as him at the same time as browsing the porn.

IMO if anyone who worked for me was using their work computer to access porn during office hours then at best they'd have a written warning - most likely that would constitute gross misconduct and result in their dismissal - I think that's fairly typical.

The Conservatives are instead defending the man. David Davis is warning that Green should not be sacked - but then again Double-D only works three days a week and so would have plenty of opportunity to look at porn in his own time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42197309

There is no suggestion that any of the images were illegal, just that surfing porn at work is bad and then lying about it isn't a good idea either.
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:41 AM   #2
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Stuff I don't get: Idiots who use their work computer to access porn. I've no problem with the porn but doing it at work with company equipment is just stupid. Keep it at home.
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Stuff I don't get: Idiots who use their work computer to access porn. I've no problem with the porn but doing it at work with company equipment is just stupid. Keep it at home.
Or on your phone.

It's concerning that those nominally in charge somehow don't seem to think things through.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Or on your phone.

It's concerning that those nominally in charge somehow don't seem to think things through.
Yeah. I already know Google sees everything on my phone; they even make "albums" I don't want from my pictures. And still people take nude selfies with them.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:55 AM   #5
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I have no respect for Damian Green at all.
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Last edited by Vixen; 1st December 2017 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 1st December 2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Why is the government investigator reporting other, legal things found on the computer?

Mmmmmaybe if it was "misuse of government property", but it doesn't sound like it.

They wouldn't get to dump his tax returns out there, either, or his medical records.


On the other hand,
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Old 1st December 2017, 01:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Stuff I don't get: Idiots who use their work computer to access porn. I've no problem with the porn but doing it at work with company equipment is just stupid. Keep it at home.
This, completely. I suppose it would probably be a sacking offence for most of us, but post expenses scandal we know that the rules that apply to us don't apply to them. Considering the things that other MPs have got away with even I (as someone who would really like to see the Tories out) don't want to see a scalp taken over this. If nothing else it means there's one MP in government who'll hopefully know better than get sanctimonious.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:18 AM   #8
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Background

Damian Green was then an opposition MP. Someone leaked to him information about government policy. There was a police investigation into the source of the leak, this resulted in a raid on the parliamentary office of an MP and seizing of his computers to look for the identity of the leak.

If he had been a journalist and the police had seized the computers of e.g. the Guardian newspaper it would probably have resulted in a much bigger noise in the papers.

Damian Green was never a 'suspect'.

Now many years later now-retired police officers have leaked information that came to their knowledge during the process of a criminal investigation of someone other than the suspect. This was done in a deliberate attempt to 'embarrass' a serving minister. As has been said there is no criminal connotation to this. There was obviously a decision at the time to take no action on this.

Now almost certainly the original computer and records have been destroyed. The 'accused' has no opportunity to review the evidence against him, nor to get an independent opinion on the evidence.

There are two issues,

1) A retired police officer reveals (embarrassing) information about an individual who was caught up in a criminal investigation an action that would have resulted in a disciplinary offence had he been still a serving officer. Police officers often escape discipline by 'retiring'. There is a question about whether there should be some on-going responsibility to keep confidential what you discover as a police officer.

In terms of the general good. Police may discover embarrassing but non criminal information about people who are not suspects during an investigation. E.g. having an affair. People will be reluctant to co-operate with police investigations if they feel that at some point in the future a retired police officer may exploit the knowledge for political or other gain.

2) Was Damian Green or whoever looked at the porn committing some form of disciplinary offence? At the time MPs employed their own staff, so Damian Green was the boss. To a large extent although they had expenses claims the equipment would have been owned by the MP. It may or may not have been a 'private/personal' computer. The internet access may have been public. MPs do not have working hours, they are entitled to breaks. If we are to say that they can not look at porn, then we also have to say anyone who sent personal emails, did on line shopping or looked up cat videos was equally guilty.

Even from the retired police comments the viewing of porn sites occurred over a limited three month period. No pictures were down loaded or saved, the porn viewing is based on images in the browsing history. My guess is it must have been pretty Vanilla because if it was gay, bestiality, violent etc. that would have been leaked. Would it have been different if he had thumbed through a Playboy magazine whilst sitting in his office rather than browsing on line? If Playboy is out should people be banned from reading Cosmo at work?


One of the important issues is that Damian Green may be a fascist Tory but he is entitled to the same protection and due process as anyone else. If it is wrong to browse legal porn between breaks at work, then it is equally so to read Lady Chatterly's Lover. You are using public resources to do so, light, a chair, etc.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Why is the government investigator reporting other, legal things found on the computer?

Mmmmmaybe if it was "misuse of government property", but it doesn't sound like it.
It was (or more specifically they were) a government computer and the browsing of legal pornographic images was carried out during "working" hours. In most workplaces that would at least earn you a written warning, in many it'd be gross negligence and get you fired.

The real issue is the "cover up". If he'd have said that "Sure I accessed porn, many men do, what of it ?" then there may have been a bit of a ruckus and calls for him to resign because of his attitude to women. Instead the story is now not just about him accessing porn and instead it's about saying that the police are conspiring against him and his government and lying about accessing porn - or if it was someone else accessing porn and his emails on his computer then it's a security breach.

IMO it's almost never the original "offence" that's the problem, it's the lies and cover up that does people in.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Background

......

1) A retired police officer reveals (embarrassing) information about an individual .....
Or, he lies about he saw. Police officers lied about what allegedly happend during the Plebgate scandal.

Is there any data evidence that there was porn on the computer? Is there anyway to find out? Is it just one persons work against the other?
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:39 AM   #11
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The police should know fine well that even if there is porn on the computer, that is only evidence someone has accessed it. They should then be able to prove who it was.

How quickly the Met forget what happened when they got FBI data about people allegedly accessed child porn and the woefully inadequate investigation. Operation Ore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ore
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:41 AM   #12
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Background 2

Bob Quick, Britain's most senior counterterrorism officer, was forced to stand down after an embarrassing security leak resulted in a major anti-terror operation, designed to foil an alleged al-Qaida plot to bomb Britain, being rushed forward. Police were forced to carry out raids on addresses in the north-west of England in broad daylight yesterday, earlier than planned, after Quick, the Metropolitan police's assistant commissioner, was photographed carrying sensitive documents as he arrived for a meeting in Downing Street. A white document marked "secret", which carried details of the operation being planned by MI5 and several police forces, was clearly visible to press photographers equipped with telephoto lenses.

The security lapse followed a series of earlier controversies which had already left Quick's future in doubt.

Last December, he had to apologise for an outburst in which he accused senior Conservatives of leaking a story.

He faced damaging headlines after it emerged that his wife was running a luxury car hire firm from their home and details of their address were published on a website, and was also criticised for his role in sanctioning the arrest of the shadow immigration minister, Damian Green, during a Whitehall leak inquiry.

To correct my post above Damian Green was a suspect during the leak enquiry, but was never charged and there was no evidence he had committed any offence.

Last edited by Planigale; 2nd December 2017 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
My guess is it must have been pretty Vanilla because if it was gay, bestiality, violent etc. that would have been leaked. Would it have been different if he had thumbed through a Playboy magazine whilst sitting in his office rather than browsing on line? If Playboy is out should people be banned from reading Cosmo at work?
Actually, I've seen it alleged that it wasn't all that vanilla, and if it had been a few weeks later, it would have been illegal as the law changed to make certain types of porn banned in the UK. Exactly what the images were supposed to have been is unclear (the outlawed categories are much broader than what's listed in the linked article), and apparently what's being alleged now is different from 3 years ago when the story was touted around journalists then.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 05:01 AM   #14
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Wow. Its almost like there's nothing else going on with the UK that people should be concerned with, thus freeing us to worry about trivial crap like outrage over man looks at porn shock horror .
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Old 2nd December 2017, 11:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It was (or more specifically they were) a government computer
Are you sure about that?

He was an opposition MP at the time, and the employment status of MPs is not completely clear.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 11:15 AM   #16
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The issue is that Green is accused of inapproproate behaviour, from earlier in November

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41827264

"Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy, Damian Green, has said allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female activist are "completely false".
Mr Green has instructed libel lawyers over the claims, the BBC understands.
Tory activist Kate Maltby wrote in the Times that he "fleetingly" touched her knee in a pub in 2015, and in 2016 sent her a "suggestive" text message.
The cabinet secretary is to investigate whether Mr Green broke the ministerial code.
Ms Maltby, 31, a writer and academic, said Mr Green, 61, said he had sent her the text message after she posed in a corset for the Times."

To which an ex police officer, Neil Lewis has decided to put the boot in by recently claiming he saw lots of porn on the MP's computer during an investigation many years ago.

The police officer has waited until he had retired and there was an opportunity to stick it to Green. That makes the police officer's motives and credibility very suspect indeed.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 02:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The issue is that Green is accused of inapproproate behaviour, from earlier in November

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41827264

"Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy, Damian Green, has said allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female activist are "completely false".
Mr Green has instructed libel lawyers over the claims, the BBC understands.
Tory activist Kate Maltby wrote in the Times that he "fleetingly" touched her knee in a pub in 2015, and in 2016 sent her a "suggestive" text message.
The cabinet secretary is to investigate whether Mr Green broke the ministerial code.
Ms Maltby, 31, a writer and academic, said Mr Green, 61, said he had sent her the text message after she posed in a corset for the Times."

To which an ex police officer, Neil Lewis has decided to put the boot in by recently claiming he saw lots of porn on the MP's computer during an investigation many years ago.

The police officer has waited until he had retired and there was an opportunity to stick it to Green. That makes the police officer's motives and credibility very suspect indeed.
My understanding is that it was Bob Quick who has a track record in relation to relationships with politicians particularly conservatives referenced in my post above who initially 'leaked' the porn issue to the press. Neil Lewis was a forensic computer analyst (and detective) who carried out the original analysis and presumably told Bob Quick although according to Green the porn was not referenced in the official report at the time as it was not pertinent to the investigation into the leak of government documents. So this would appear to be word of mouth. Green did retain some documents from the investigation after his retirement that may be a contemporaneous record. These documents presumably belong to the police and by keeping them he may have committed an offence. Lewis was involved in operation Ore referenced above.

Given the pleb gate scandal and now the 'porngate' scandal, it seems the met have some officers who want to 'fit up' the conservative party.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 02:19 PM   #18
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What this shows is what is well known within the police, that the Met are the worst force in the UK for the behaviour of its officers. There are some seriously nasty police officers in the Met.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 02:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
What this shows is what is well known within the police, that the Met are the worst force in the UK for the behaviour of its officers. There are some seriously nasty police officers in the Met.
That is nonsense.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 05:14 PM   #20
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It shows that the Tory Party are no longer the party of Law and Order, they have lost the trust and support of the Police.

Just like they are no longer the party strong on defense. They cut and cut for ideological financial reasons, not through any coherently thought out defense strategy. Their latest ideas (from the Chancellor of course) are that the Navy has to lose either Frigates or their Amphibious capability to compensate for getting an Aircraft Carrier. They other good idea is to cut another 12000 from the Army.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 04:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
That is nonsense.
IIRC Nessie has intimate knowledge of the UK police forces.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 02:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
IIRC Nessie has intimate knowledge of the UK police forces.
I would not go that far, but by reputation, number of scandals, the behaviour of ex-Met officers who transferred to Scotland and then the CC Stephen House taking over with his cronies, the reputation of the Met was very low with other forces.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 04:25 PM   #23
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Kind of a side topic, but I had a job once cleaning off old computers, when we got new batches, at a place before we sold them on second hand (before everyone started leasing)

People are into some freaky stuff man
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
That is nonsense.
Corruption was certainly been rife within the Met in the past. Opinions differ on just how much it has cleaned up its act. Certainly reforms will have done little to change the character of some "old school" officers beyond prompting them to shut their mouths a bit more than they used to.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It was (or more specifically they were) a government computer and the browsing of legal pornographic images was carried out during "working" hours. In most workplaces that would at least earn you a written warning, in many it'd be gross negligence and get you fired.
Is there any clear law (not just a workplace policy) against this in the UK?

I would never do this myself, of course. OTOH, I do admittedly bend the rules a bit, by for example, coming to this website and others during work hours. I do steer clear of dodgy websites for the most part.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:56 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Is there any clear law (not just a workplace policy) against this in the UK?

I would never do this myself, of course. OTOH, I do admittedly bend the rules a bit, by for example, coming to this website and others during work hours. I do steer clear of dodgy websites for the most part.
There is no law regarding workplace use of computres for non work purposes of any form.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:12 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Is there any clear law (not just a workplace policy) against this in the UK?

I would never do this myself, of course. OTOH, I do admittedly bend the rules a bit, by for example, coming to this website and others during work hours. I do steer clear of dodgy websites for the most part.
There's a difference between the law and what's stipulated in your employment contract. For example, it's not against the law to be chronically late for work but it's likely going to get you dismissed (after due process of course)
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Old 4th December 2017, 11:23 AM   #28
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Prosecuting the two ex-cops who leaked the news about Green's computer could be a double-edged sword as 'confidentiality clauses' can never cloak wrongdoing.

For example, say you are asked by someone to do something illegal. They cannot put you under a contract to keep it confidential, because the law of the land trumps any private agreement.

If, for the sake of argument, the two cops disclosed the information in good faith, that there was extreme porn on the computer and it was reasonable to conclude Green was the downloader of it, then they could have the legal defence that it was in the 'public interest' (the Whistleblowers charter).

Would we want a Cabinet Minister who behaves in such a manner (not that anyone is saying that Green has broken any laws)?
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Old 4th December 2017, 11:36 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Stuff I don't get: Idiots who use their work computer to access porn. I've no problem with the porn but doing it at work with company equipment is just stupid. Keep it at home.
This falls into the category of stupid hurts really.

There was a prof at my university fired for mysterious reasons. A brief student movement to get him back then the local paper rain a story about child porn being found on his work computer when he gave it to the IT department for maintenance. WTF was that guy thinking.
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Prosecuting the two ex-cops who leaked the news about Green's computer could be a double-edged sword as 'confidentiality clauses' can never cloak wrongdoing.

For example, say you are asked by someone to do something illegal. They cannot put you under a contract to keep it confidential, because the law of the land trumps any private agreement.

If, for the sake of argument, the two cops disclosed the information in good faith, that there was extreme porn on the computer and it was reasonable to conclude Green was the downloader of it, then they could have the legal defence that it was in the 'public interest' (the Whistleblowers charter).

Would we want a Cabinet Minister who behaves in such a manner (not that anyone is saying that Green has broken any laws)?
The trouble is that the porn found was not extreme or illegal. There is something that it would be illegal following a later law change (I'm assuming involving BDSM). Nor was the leak in good faith, the two officers involved were also involved in the debatably illegal search of Green's offices years ago to find leaked documents, a politically motivated witch-hunt that involved a distinct lack of a search warrant.

I find it amazing that a retired police officer still has his confidential notebooks 9 years on! I think both of these officers are acting in a manner that undermines the supposedly apolitical nature of policing. IMHO they should both have the book thrown at them to snuff out this silliness.
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
The trouble is that the porn found was not extreme or illegal. There is something that it would be illegal following a later law change (I'm assuming involving BDSM). Nor was the leak in good faith, the two officers involved were also involved in the debatably illegal search of Green's offices years ago to find leaked documents, a politically motivated witch-hunt that involved a distinct lack of a search warrant.

I find it amazing that a retired police officer still has his confidential notebooks 9 years on! I think both of these officers are acting in a manner that undermines the supposedly apolitical nature of policing. IMHO they should both have the book thrown at them to snuff out this silliness.
Ah, but will Damian Green welcome having the details of the alleged 'extreme' porn spelt out in explicit minutaie under the legal privilege of the court room, what was found on his computer signed in on his password, and why they believed it to be his responsibility.

Will Nadine Dorry(_sp?) the MP who rushed to his aid saying she gives everybody, including the interns, her password, want to explain herself in the witness box, bearing in mind the guidelines that passwords must not be shared?

Let's get the popcorn in.
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
There are two issues,

1) A retired police officer reveals (embarrassing) information about an individual who was caught up in a criminal investigation an action that would have resulted in a disciplinary offence had he been still a serving officer. Police officers often escape discipline by 'retiring'. There is a question about whether there should be some on-going responsibility to keep confidential what you discover as a police officer.

In terms of the general good. Police may discover embarrassing but non criminal information about people who are not suspects during an investigation. E.g. having an affair. People will be reluctant to co-operate with police investigations if they feel that at some point in the future a retired police officer may exploit the knowledge for political or other gain.

That's not the real reason it's wrong. The real reason is related to the requirements to get warrants to search your stuff -- to prevent those in power from arbitrarily filching through your stuff in order to hurt their political competition. They're not supposed to reveal legal stuff they find unrelated to the crime they're looking for (more) evidence of, as government is not concerned with that because government isn't concerned with hurting political opposition, and, by extension, people in general.
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Last edited by Beerina; 4th December 2017 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:38 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
That's not the real reason it's wrong. The real reason is related to the requirements to get warrants to search your stuff -- to prevent those in power from arbitrarily filching through your stuff in order to hurt their political competition. They're not supposed to reveal legal stuff they find unrelated to the crime they're looking for (more) evidence of, as government is not concerned with that because government isn't concerned with hurting political opposition, and, by extension, people in general.
Exactly. That to me is the bigger issue here.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:49 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
surfing porn at work is bad and then lying about it isn't a good idea either.
Somehow, using Internet with your work computer becomes "bad" and a reason for a written warning or resignation, when the websites opened are porn rather than Facebook, private email, New York Times, Youtube, etc.

The whole story is one big piece of hypocrisy and moral double standard, from the beginning to the end.
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Old 5th December 2017, 04:01 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Somehow, using Internet with your work computer becomes "bad" and a reason for a written warning or resignation, when the websites opened are porn rather than Facebook, private email, New York Times, Youtube, etc.

The whole story is one big piece of hypocrisy and moral double standard, from the beginning to the end.
It depends, some companies prohibit any access to external sites for non-work purposes.

I wouldn't surf for porn on the bus, I wouldn't surf for porn at work, I wouldn't surf for porn on a friend's PC. You may consider it hypocrisy and moral double standard, I think it's just being a reasonable member of society.

Likewise I may take some of my lunch hour to peruse Classic and Sportscar or Guitarist magazine or read those two magazines on the train into London. I wouldn't sit at my desk or in the quiet carriage thumbing through a sticky copy of Big Jugs Monthly....
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Old 5th December 2017, 04:24 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It depends, some companies prohibit any access to external sites for non-work purposes.

I wouldn't surf for porn on the bus, I wouldn't surf for porn at work, I wouldn't surf for porn on a friend's PC. You may consider it hypocrisy and moral double standard, I think it's just being a reasonable member of society.

Likewise I may take some of my lunch hour to peruse Classic and Sportscar or Guitarist magazine or read those two magazines on the train into London. I wouldn't sit at my desk or in the quiet carriage thumbing through a sticky copy of Big Jugs Monthly....
Too much information.
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Old 5th December 2017, 05:41 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
IMO if anyone who worked for me was using their work computer to access porn during office hours then at best they'd have a written warning - most likely that would constitute gross misconduct and result in their dismissal - I think that's fairly typical.
What if their work performance was great?
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Old 5th December 2017, 05:52 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
What if their work performance was great?
If it falls under the category of gross misconduct then job performance is irrelevant.
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:21 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
If it falls under the category of gross misconduct then job performance is irrelevant.
To me "gross misconduct" would be masturbating at work or showing the pornographic images to people who don't want to see them. Neither of which are demonstrated by the mere presence of images in the brower history.

While I personally wouldn't choose to look at porn at work, I have had the experience of accidenly accessing porn back in the days when the internet was a bit more wild. The elements of this story are that it happened a long time ago, it took a police search to expose it, and other than the existence of the images themselves there is no evidence that anything improper happened, I'd dismiss it all.
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:35 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
To me "gross misconduct" would be masturbating at work or showing the pornographic images to people who don't want to see them. Neither of which are demonstrated by the mere presence of images in the brower history.

While I personally wouldn't choose to look at porn at work, I have had the experience of accidenly accessing porn back in the days when the internet was a bit more wild. The elements of this story are that it happened a long time ago, it took a police search to expose it, and other than the existence of the images themselves there is no evidence that anything improper happened, I'd dismiss it all.
It depends on what is in your employment contract.

Regarding whether a single accidental visit to a porn site constitutes gross misconduct, there's a big difference between accidentally falling across a site once and a browser history which shows tens of hours actively searching for, and accessing, content.
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