The president of Canada’s internet registry is facing allegations his IT staff were fired when they discovered explicit photos on his computer and reported it to HR.

Byron Holland, head of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (Cira) – the government agency that sells Canada’s ‘.ca’ internet domain – allegedly had more than 1,000 pictures of himself and others engaged in sex acts on his work computer.

According to a report in The Toronto Star, the company’s IT team stumbled across the sexually explicit pictures while transferring his files to a new PC back in 2015.

The Star claims to have seen the pictures which were copied at the time of the discovery, some of which appear to have been taken at parties, with others taken at an adults-only Caribbean resort, Hedonism II.

Pictures were stored in various folders, one which was named ‘Naughty Pics’, the newspaper said.

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One member of the IT team, who felt uncomfortable transferring the images, told HR.

But after an in-house investigation in 2016, Mr Holland continued in his job at Cira while three IT workers, tasked with working on his computer, lost their jobs.

They were allegedly given payouts and told never to speak of the matter.

The story is only coming to light now because The Star said it had investigated allegations that Cira mishandled its 2016 investigation into the matter.

It claims to have spoken to four anonymous former and current Cira employees who claim Mr Holland’s original hard drive was ordered to be destroyed during the HR investigation.

One Cira employee, acting on instructions from a manager, used a drill and hammer to destroy the hard drive, the newspaper reports.

But the allegations against Mr Holland have been rejected by Cira.

The company’s chair Helen McDonald said in a statement that the article was ‘a deeply unfair account’ and the allegations were ‘a painful attack on our organization, its staff and Board’.

She added: ‘The Star today, December 16, in a deeply unfair account, attempted to revive a four-year-old story.

‘As a matter of policy, out of respect for their privacy, we do not respond to demands for access to, or comment on, our employees.

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‘Out of respect for Cira’s stakeholders and our employees, following a report of an incident in 2015, the Board did conduct a complete investigation with the help of external technical and legal advisors.’

Cira said its investigation into the porn allegations was completed at the time and that the company ‘took appropriate action, in accordance with the recommendations of that inquiry’.

It also said the IT staff dismissals were ‘unrelated to the incident cited above and were fully documented, proper, and in Cira’s best interests’.

Byron Holland, who was provided with detailed allegations by The Star, declined to comment on the story.