Porn across the water

A group of French technicians is suspended for using company computers to send dirty pictures.

By Jack Boulware

Published November 7, 2000 8:38PM (EST)

As the world gravitates to a global network of corporate e-mail, the thrill and ease of sending and receiving pornography become second nature to little pervert employees sitting at computer terminals.

Unfortunately, this network backfired for a group of technicians working at a factory in France. They were suspended after an interoffice porno e-mail was accidentally sent across the Atlantic to the United States and, in particular, to a female NBC television executive.

The porn exchange had been running for some time at the General Electric gas turbine plant in the town of Bourogne in eastern France, said factory management. It was not a complete surprise for an NBC employee to receive the errant porn missive, because NBC happens to be owned by GE. Nevertheless, the 18 technicians were suspended, not for offensive behavior, but because they were wasting company time and computer memory, storing the porn images on their hard drives.

"It's not only because it was a woman who got the e-mail and she was American," staff manager Thierry Baril told Reuters. "It's a question of utilizing professional equipment for personal uses, taking up memory space and risking importing viruses."

In other words, French GE officials aren't wringing their hands over the heinous moral crime of zapping a woman a porn image. This was just a bunch of tech geeks goofing off when they should have been working.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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