Continued from page 1

Ms. Harrington also noted that the commission prevents and detects computer misuse in several ways, including monitoring Web traffic and blocking “specific inappropriate sites based on reputation.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is hardly the only agency to encounter the problem. In 2010, The Times reported on more than two dozen employees and contractors at the SEC whose porn-surfing habits were bared after an open-records request.

The ensuing publicity prompted one Colorado lawyer to file what turned out to be an unsuccessful federal lawsuit to pry loose the names of offending employees and contractors.

Also that year, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, wrote to the National Science Foundation over concerns about porn-viewing inside that agency.

At the time, both agencies said they had tightened online monitoring and cracked down on the problem.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general also plans to continue monitoring employees’ online habits.

Computer investigators at the agency participated in meetings held by cybercrime task forces looking into the issue of computer misuse by federal employees, case records show.

Meeting participants included the Secret Service’s electronic crimes task force, the Justice Department’s computer crime section and the High Technology Crimes Investigation Association.

In a September memo, an unidentified special agent for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general wrote that the investigation would be opened again this year.