Pardon us, U.S. House of Representatives — is that… is that mud on your face? Don’t worry, you’re not the only government group to get caught allegedly downloading pirated content from the Internets. A new report claims that someone or multiple someones in the offices of the U.S. House of Representatives have been catching up on TV and movies by illegally downloading content recently.
U.S. News & World Report’s “Washington Whispers” blog says it got its hands on data compiled by ScanEye, a site that checks on which IP addresses have been downloading stuff on BiTorrent.
In late October, someone at the U.S. House of Representatives decided to catch up on the latest season of Dexter, illegally downloading an episode of the TV series while at a congressional office. In the days that followed, with Hurricane Sandy threatening to keep federal workers hunkered down at home, employees of Congress downloaded the 2012 mob film Lawless, a Halloween-themed episode of The Middle, and an episode from Season 9 of CSI: New York.
That’s not all, folks — in the last four months employees have downloaded dozens of movies and TV, according to the report. Whispers says a bunch of IP addresses associated with Congress are on that list, but since not all congressional offices are on those rolls, the illegal download count could be even higher.
And according to ScanEye, the downloads are still going on. Adding insult to injury is the fact that they’re not even watching good stuff — The Smurfs movie, really?
This isn’t the first time the House of Representatives has been called out for such activities — back in December 2011 TorrentFreak reported that the House had illegally downloaded a bunch of TV shows and of all things, self-help books. Interestingly enough, the timing of those downloads fell right around the time Congress members were drafting the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Congress has even more company than just the SEC in this run-in with piracy: The august Recording Industry Association of America had similar claims leveled against it in the past, though it denied those allegations with the “it wasn’t us” defense.
Trying to find out what happens next on Dexter is a compulsion we know well, but if the government can’t keep its own employees from accessing pirated content, that doesn’t bode well for its ability to keep anyone else from doing so.
Congressional Offices Continue to Illegally Download Movies and TV Shows [Washington Whispers]