Broker sacked for porn email

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The Independent Online

A City firm, has fired one of its employees for distributing pornography on its internal e-mail system.

A City firm, has fired one of its employees for distributing pornography on its internal e-mail system.

It is understood that the staff member, believing he was passing on the sexually explicit image to a select group of colleagues, instead forwarded it to the company's entire 3,000-strong workforce.

The company, Garban Intercapital, a money broker, is also believed to have reprimanded a group of employees who were on the sacked employee's mailing list.

A circular has been sent to all its staff warning that senders of such material will be summarily dismissed.

Garban Intercapital's decision to take a firm line against such abuses represents the first decisive step by a major City institution to clean up its cyber act.

But technological advances have let firms build ever more effective "fire walls" to ensure questionable material cannot enter their systems. Several City groups now have systems that ensure their employees cannot receive pictorial images of any kind.

The Home Office is satisfied that any material that is legal in printed form can be sent by email.

Its attention has largely been focused on the net trafficking in child pornography; it has been left to the discretion of individual firms to decide how to treat staff members who distribute legal pornography.

But companies are taking an increasingly hard line, and two other main abuses of email have been targeted: spoofing, the mischievous passing of correspondence in somebody else's name, and spamming, or sending of unwanted material to unsuspecting users.

Garban Intercapital was set up last year by merging Intercapital, the broking firm founded by chief executive Michael Spencer, and Garban, formerly the broking arm of media group United News & Media.

Despite electronic trading systems and banks' increasing desire to deal direct, Mr Spencer has built up his firm's status as a leading operator.

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