Washington (June 26, 2003) -- A 2001 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration showed that Internal Revenue Service employees engaged in "extensive" personal use - more than 50 percent of total hours - on the Internet over a seven-day period, including time spent on Web sites devoted to stock trading, chat rooms, streaming media, sports, sexually explicit content and gambling. As a result of the report, the IRS implemented a new policy prohibiting certain Internet uses.

Despite the new rules, a new TIGTA report states that IRS "employee abuse of the Internet is still widespread." In one week, IRS employees representing 19,581 computer addresses accessed inappropriate categories. Of those addresses, 8,204 were visiting Web sites with sexually explicit materials; 8,231 were visiting chat rooms. The report said "a relatively small number of employees appear to be chronic abusers."

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