State tracks workers' downloads

State Department officials have issued a directive that bars workers agencywide

from using government computers to download music — or any other non-official

files — from the World Wide Web.

The department is backing up its words with a software program capable of

finding and reporting on unauthorized downloads, according to Steven Toole,

marketing director for WQuinn Associates Inc., the Reston, Va.-based manufacturer

of software called StorageCentral.

State has used StorageCentral for about two years, but the newest version

includes an improved function that lets systems managers know how much storage

particular workers are using and for what purpose they're using it.

State officials were not available for comment.

Agencies are concerned about music, pornography and jokes being downloaded

to agency servers, Toole said. Such material raises the danger of sexual

harassment lawsuits. At the very least, it takes up room on agency servers,

causing systems to slow down and cut overall productivity — especially when

a server crashes from overload, he said. Also, certain types of files can

introduce viruses into computer systems.

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