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Techs Suspended for Sending Porn E-Mails

October 27, 2000 

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Eighteen technicians at a factory in France have been suspended after pornographic e-mail they were exchanging at work ended up in the inbox of a female executive at a television network in the United States.

The porn exchange, apparently running for some time at the General Electric (GE.N) gas turbine factory, was exposed when one e-mail was sent by mistake to the executive at the NBC television network, which is owned by GE.

The management at the factory in the eastern French town of Bourogne suspended them not so much for offensive behavior, the reason usually cited in such cases in the U.S., as for wasting company time and computer memory with their Internet images.

``It's not only a moral problem, it's not only because it was a woman who got the e-mail and she was American,'' staff manager Thierry Baril said Thursday.

``These people were spending a bit too much time doing things other than their work and storing megabites of photos and videos on their hard disks,'' he said.

``It's a question of utilizing professional equipment for personal uses, taking up memory space and risking importing viruses.''

The management was due to decide Friday whether any of them should be fired for violating a computer usage agreement worked out with trade unions last year.

Reuters News Service

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