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Councilwoman wants Olympics blocked from City Hall computers

August 1, 2012 |  5:29 am

Olympics London
After learning that so many employees at Los Angeles City Hall are watching the Olympics online that the city's computer system is threatened, Councilwoman Jan Perry said she is requesting that streaming of the Games be "immediately" blocked on city computers.

"We are going to stop this activity now," she said. "That is what I am requesting they do immediately."

In an email Tuesday, the city's chief technology officer begged employees to stop watching the Olympics online for fear of a municipal computer meltdown.

"We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online. I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations," city tech guru Randi Levin wrote in an email sent to thousands of workers.

The email came on a day when the U.S. women's gymnastics team was competing, as well as the women's soccer team.

Mark Wolf, executive officer for information technology for the city, said he had not discussed the email with Levin but said any time employees watch streaming material, it takes up a tremendous amount of bandwidth. NBC is streaming the games live online.

Perry wasn't the only council member who expressed alarm at the prospect that city employees were watching the Olympics instead of doing their jobs.

"City employees aren't paid to watch the Olympics on their computers or TV. That is not what the taxpayers are paying them to do," said Councilman Dennis Zine, who saw the email. "The question is where are the supervisors when this is going on?"


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— Richard Winton

Photo: The Queen's rowbarge "Gloriana" carries the Olympic flame along the Thames River from Hampton Court to City Hall on the final day of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 27 in London. Photo: Oli Scarff / Getty Images