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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 28, 2015 01:02 PM
From: Representative John D. Payne
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship - Anti-Pornography on Commonwealth Provided Technology
I am about to introduce legislation in response to the recent revelations that Commonwealth employees routinely used Commonwealth-owned computers, networks and email accounts to view and exchange pornography. Though most state agencies have “policies” prohibiting such use, there is no state law that bans this blatant misuse of state assets or provides penalties for violations.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane indicated there were many others who were not dismissed due to contract issues. Press reports indicated possibly hundreds more.

My bill will make it a Misdemeanor of the Third Degree (Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2500 fine) for a Commonwealth employee to knowingly utilize a Commonwealth-owned computer network or cellular phone to display, disseminate, view, access, transfer, transmit or retransmit any photograph, video or other visual depiction of explicit sexual materials. The bill will exempt conduct that is authorized or required by official duties and will not apply to someone who received and viewed the offensive material without prior knowledge of its content, so long as they didn’t forward it to anyone and notified their immediate supervisor upon receiving such e-mail.

I hope you will join me in the effort to put an end to this conduct by co-sponsoring the legislation.

Introduced as HB780