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The FBI Wants To Know About Your IT Skills

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the and-how-you-take-your-coffee dept.

Databases 211

AHuxley writes "The FBI, via the Office of Management and Budget, would like to find out more about your information technology expertise if you are part of InfraGard. Terms like 'practical utility' have been included in a 60-day emergency notice of information collection via the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Is your boss or cubicle colleague part of InfraGard? It's a private, non-profit organization run as a public-private partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Are they passing info back about you or your company?"

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Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714336)

Maybe it's not that sinister but that's the first thing that popped into my head. Looking at the website, it's initial intentions aren't that sinister but mandating that much sharing of information sounds a bit creepy. You guys are going to be DHS'd/FBI'd to death if you're not careful.

Re:Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (1)

Israfels (730298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714606)

I'm pretty sure Jerry Doyle [wikipedia.org] is well aware of the situation. Just read his book, "Have You Seen My Country Lately?: America's Wake-Up Call". [amazon.com]

Re:Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715928)

Maybe, but I have no idea which side he's on. Conservatives don't have a shred of regard for individual liberties, you know.

Re:Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714784)

They refer to it as "A collaboration for infrastructure protection". Does that make those who sign up for it "collaborators"?

Re:Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714926)

it's initial intentions aren't that sinister

Or at least its stated intentions. Nightwatch sounds like a good fit, actually: If you're loyal, then why wouldn't you want to help? The catch of course being loyal to what...

Jesse Ventura (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715544)

Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory" did a good job at covering this in the episode "Big Brother":

Part 1 of 6 [youtube.com]
Part 2 of 6 [youtube.com]
Part 3 of 6 [youtube.com]
Part 4 of 6 [youtube.com]
Part 5 of 6 [youtube.com]
Part 6 of 6 [youtube.com]

Re:Echoes of B5's "Night Watch" for IT? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715568)

There was actually an episode of a show on TV about it (Conspiracy Theory with Jesse "The Body" Ventura)... dunno how much of it you can believe, but if even some of it, then this is sinister.

This would not be the first time that the government has helped/hired/worked with outside agencies to collect information that they cannot legally collect directly. My presumption would be that with updating such records about the members of InfraGuard, they can find the InfraGuard members best suited for covert information gathering of a technical nature. But that's just a guess.

I could be way off base, especially after the latest thing with Interpol (for probably similar reasons)... so who knows?

Incoming festivity (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714338)

They want to be ready for the next July 4 just in case they need someone capable to infiltrate into some alien computer system.

Re:Incoming festivity (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714794)

It must be on a Mac, because apparently aliens also use Mac OSes.

Re:Incoming festivity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714944)

Why do you think "Jobs" uses only turtlenecks? For us not to see the junction between the human head stolen from Woz's friend and his current alien cyborg body.

The real Jobs is long dead. Next-dead.

First post! (4, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714344)

The part I don't understand is why anyone would voluntarily become a part of InfraGrad and start "sharing information" about others in the first place.

Re:First post! (4, Insightful)

woody.jesus (1665793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714400)

Well, if you are a member of InfraGrad and your boss isn't, then he suddenly has to be aware that you might snitch on him at any time. Now he has to treat you with some respect for a change! Or if the boss is already a party member, then as a fellow Infragrader, you'll be preferred for promotions and raises. Maybe you were a weak little sniveling rodent before, but now you're a member of INFOGRAD and you can strut around in your imaginary jackboots because you're just a little bit better than those common people!

Re:First post! (2, Insightful)

gladish (982899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714448)

Sounds a little like the "Hitler Youth" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Youth [wikipedia.org]

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715182)

Actually, perhaps more like the Stasi. Something like 1 in 67 of the East German population was an informant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

Re:First post! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715684)

No, rather like the Stasi in the GDR and other soviet block countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi
So if you're capitalist patriot, remember that Homeland Security is the cornerstone of Communism.

Strange world. China become a capitalist Communism, the US turn into communist Capitalism. ^^

Re:First post! (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715740)

More like The Party. Not only refering to the NSDAP but also to any parties in one party dictatorships. It was not much different in the Soviet states. You were a member of The Party and you suddenly had a much higher chance of promotion, of scientific credibility, of other merits that are credited on the whim of someone or a group of people.

How much do informers get paid? (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714476)

Cash, that is, not just "influence" which might backfire. I heard that Stasi rates were rock bottom, but the US screwy agencies have deeper pockets. Hey, in these challenging times lots of folks would be willing to snitch (perhaps even inventively) on their colleagues and other obstacles to job security or promotion (=boss).
Not being a citizen of any NATO country, they'd probably offer me less, the bastards.

Re:First post! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714752)

Well, if you are a member of InfraGrad and your boss isn't, then he suddenly has to be aware that you might snitch on him at any time. Now he has to treat you with some respect for a change!

Or fire you at the first possible chance he gets before you can get the goods on him. It's all great that you'd try to take him to court that you were fired for being in the InfraGrad program, but you'd have to prove it as well. And regardless of the case, after such a case is made public you can kiss your other job prospects goodbye as no employer likes "a troublemaker".

Re:First post! (4, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714418)

It seems aimed at big "IT Infrastructure" companies like ISPs, search engines and mail providers: a way to be in touch with these people in the event of "cyberterrorism" and systematic DOS/takeover attempts. It seems like a much better idea than waiting for something to happen and then have no idea who you're supposed to get in touch with about it. Knowing who to call in an emergency shouldn't have to be half the battle.

Re:First post! (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715112)

valid point, It looks like the government wants users ( in this case IT Pro's ) to be in communication so that in-case of something real bad, the net can still work.

reminds me of 9/11 air traffic controllers, they did an excellent job getting planes out of the air without government interference ( after they were told ) and since then, there are no standing orders to interfere with them if it happens again ( let the people who handle air-traffic do there job and not government it up ).

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714446)

Don't you want to be an upstanding member of the community, doing your bit to protect queen/king/dictator/president [delete as appropriate] and country?

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714494)

Maybe that's because you don't know what InfraGard is about.

It is not just about IT, and was developed after 9/11 because it was felt that many organizations faced similar infrastructure security risks, but had no way of sharing good ideas, or even "dots" which might be "connected" if known. It's true it's largely aimed at bigger companies, but there's no rule. It's just that they have the biggest risks.

My chapter tended to have quarterly rather generic talks about various security and business-continuation issues by local people who were felt to be knowledgeable.

Re:First post! (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714496)

it's called totalitarianism. Long history. look up words like STASI, KGB, GESTAPO. If there is a way someone can gain some social advantage over others, eventually there will be a "someone" to cheerfully fill those jackboots.

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714610)

Fun fact: 'Department for Homeland Security' is an almost literal translation of 'Ministerium für Staatssicherheit' i.e. STASI.

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714878)

In addition, while visiting Miami Beach I noticed cars looking like police cars named "Public Safety" - literally this was the name of the communist police in the former Czechoslovakia - "Verejni(a) Bezpecnost". I know you Usanians are familiar with them but for me that was a shock and I grasped for breath for a while.

Same job, different place... (1)

Grog6 (85859) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715618)

Where do you think all those guys went when the wall came down?

Here it will be blackshirts; brown is a discredited color.

History: The source book for the unimaginative.

Can we really have this conversation without invoking Godwin's Law? :)

Re:First post! (4, Informative)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714792)

Of the three things you mentioned, only one is an acronym and thus only one should be ALL CAPS.
Gestapo is a shortened version of "Geheime Staatspolizei"
and Stasi is a shortened version of "Ministerium für Staatssicherheit"

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714840)

and Stasi is a shortened version of "Ministerium für Staatssicherheit"

Or in plain English: "Department of Homeland Security".

Re:First post! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714714)

You could ask the 100,000 “inofficial employees” of the Stasi [wikipedia.org] that.
Or those who, in Nazi times, betrayed their own family members because they hid Jews.

Or actually anyone who “works” at an agency that spies on its own population.

Re:First post! (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714920)

if you pay attention, you should also consider "block watch" programs. These are still voluntary. In seattle, people would make the point effectively enough that the cops had to stop having public organizing meeting. this was a while ago.

with the perpetuality clauses in the senate health bill, we now have what Tom Paine explicitedly described as tyranny, so what do you expect?

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715338)

I worked as a two member defense contractor, an FBI rep spoke to us about joining infraguard in order to help protect the few government secrets we had. It was marketed as being a place we could go for intrusion prevention and detection advice from friends in the industry. Mainly the FBI wanted to know if we were ever compromised.

Re:First post! (1)

InterStellaArtois (808931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715342)

The benefits of membership listed on the site include "access to sensitive information". Its going to attract a certain kind of person. Makes me think of the psychos who have a delusion that they are a secret agent, and try to pull vulnerable people into their ... <dissonant flourish> ... web of deceit.

Re:First post! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715718)

Because they believe the whole "good citizen and patriot" BS?

You'd be amazed how far this can reach. The whole Gestapo system would not have worked if it hadn't been for people who consider it their "patriotic duty" to inform about people who are not really "in line" with the whole system, even if they themselves could not have cared less about the whole Nazi movement.

There are not really black or white, not really for or against government. Well, there are, but they are the minority. Most people are somewhere in between. The hardliners are the easy ones. The hardcore "pro" government people will be the ones doing the prosecution, the hardcore "against" are the driving force against it, ultimately also believing in violence against it. The people in between are the ones who are caught in it as more or less innocent bystanders. There's the "rather support" guys who will be sharing information and the "rather against" ones whose information will be shared...

Re:First post! (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715976)

The part I don't understand is why anyone would voluntarily become a part of InfraGrad and start "sharing information" about others in the first place.

Because, if you're not in the InfraGuard then you must be an InfraRed.

on the flip side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714360)

We have someone where I work on that, and you should know, information flows both ways.

i think they need to weed out faggots too. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714362)

start up those old german showers boys! don't drop the soap.

Re:i think they need to weed out faggots too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714634)

And homophobes.

Who do we contact? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714366)

Who do we contact in the InfraGuard if we find someone deploying Microsoft products on a LAN connected to the Internet? Jokers like that are costing the country billions of dollars in lost productivity each quarter. This InfraGuard is very much needed if it will help clear out the posers, cocksuckas and charlatans pretending to know something about IT while actually deploying Microsoft instead of IT.

Re:Who do we contact? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714544)

if they cleared out the faggot cocksuckers there would be no one left to administrate linsux.

Sooo, essentially... (2, Informative)

tciny (783938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714376)

... the Stasi of the IT world or am I misreading this? The wording seems intentionally diffuse.

Re:Sooo, essentially... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714472)

... the Stasi of the IT world or am I misreading this? The wording seems intentionally diffuse.

You're not misreading it.

(In post-9/11 Amerika, InfraGard misreads you. Whadda country!)

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714378)

It's a trap!

Why is this necessarily a bad thing? (3, Interesting)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714380)

While I'm against snooping without cause, something of this in a collaborative model isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it does open up for potential abuse. There are lots of times when I call up buddies ask them what sort of IT issues they're having with security, spam, etc, and this just seems to formalize it a bit, and get the circle of trust a little bigger. Companies too often seek to distrust the authorities for crimes because it will make their companies look weak. As such criminal will get away with things solely because no one reports them. This doesn't look like a secret "Stone Cutter" type group, just a way to get to know some local colleagues and keep more ears to more ground looking for potential threats.

Re:Why is this necessarily a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714452)

You must be new around here; my overlords will label you as low-risk, complacent, and obedient. job well done citizen

Re:Why is this necessarily a bad thing? (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715990)

> You must be new around here; my overlords will label you as low-risk, complacent, and obedient. job well done citizen

Well, wasn't that the WHOLE IDEA behind welcoming them in the first place? It would certainly be stupid to get them to label you as "potential troublemaker - not for promotion" whether you were or were not.

Re:Why is this necessarily a bad thing? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714688)

What I find striking is the utter lack of information that the FBI's website gives about what Infragard is really about. They give few details about what sort of information they are looking for, and what sort of information they give back to their members. That alone makes it difficult for me to trust...

Re:Why is this necessarily a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716048)

boy are you naive

GeekSquad for the FBI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714416)

I read this as having each field office have local contacts, kind of like a GeekSquad, that they can call on in case they need certain skills in a particular region. I don't see any domestic surveillance embedded in what's online.

Re:GeekSquad for the FBI? (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714632)

I don't see any domestic surveillance embedded in what's online.

this gov org isn't as dumb as you think. or, restated, they aren't total idiots and don't fully disclose their actual intent and purpose.

not all gov agencies are as dumb as bush. in fact, bush's dumbness was a cover. no human could be THAT moronic and rise to the level of the most powerful man in the world if he's truly an idiot.

one of the smartest moves is to act dumb and it requires a certain kind of talent to pull it off. bush had that, innately.

operation TIPS is alive and well; just below the radar. things like this never go away. are you kidding me??

The cost of stupidity? Priceless! (-1, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715246)

Excellent example! The way you pretended not to know how to use the shift key really had me going there. Add to that pretending that you actually believe that Bush is not an idiot, and you've made one priceless post!

Re:The cost of stupidity? Priceless! (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715826)

do not judge people based on 'shift key' issues.

you'd be very wrong to do so on such trite matters. hint: there are other reasons for lower case.

you don't know all you think you do. realize that.

Re:The cost of stupidity? Priceless! (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715876)

I'm not judging you on shift key issues; I'm judging you on your inability to figure out that even if Bush was pretending to be an idiot, that would in itself be an idiotic thing for a POTUS to do, therby making him an idiot either way. If you are alluding to having a disability, you can still generate capital letters if you put the effort in. You'd probably be better off investing your time doing that rather than trying to sound like Yoda. You blew that opportunity to pull that off in the first post you made in this thread.

Re:The cost of stupidity? Priceless! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716026)

Fuck you.

Funny stuff (4, Funny)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714420)

Lol, "Self-identified as IT specialists" indeed. Thats one funny document. What would they need that kind of information for ? To evaluate bragging rights ?

Re:Funny stuff (4, Informative)

finitimi (126732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714558)

I am a member of InfraGard. In the past, our local FBI office has asked members of our chapter to self-identify their expertise in a particular IT specialty. I and others did so, and subsequently assisted them in a couple of criminal investigations. I think the FBI just wants to broaden and formalize their inventory of IT subject matter experts.

Re:Funny stuff (5, Funny)

The FBI (1717712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714628)

The FBI has never contacted you in any way, shape or form, other than through this post. You are advised to retract your statement and apologize, otherwise legal action will be brought against you. Thank you.

Have a nice day.

Re:Funny stuff (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715438)

Did you create a user id just to post this?

IT skillls lisdted bellow: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714424)

Wekl, fwirstly, my tyuping sklills are spoty on.

Re:IT skillls lisdted bellow: (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715548)

Aye sink ewe knead two get hay gnu spill chucker, lake thee won aye rote four dose peephole.

Distrust of big organizations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714456)

Be it the government, a big corporation or a church: Centralism is inherently dangerous, not because the people are particularly bad but because there is little room for error. Massive parallelism of small independent entities is the stable form of organization.

FOR WORKERS REVOLUTION! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714460)

Smash capitalism! Workers to power!

Parallels (1)

scjohnno (1370701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714464)

As someone who's in the middle of watching Babylon 5, I couldn't help but think of the Night Watch when I read this story.

missing tags (0, Redundant)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714470)

bigbrother, snoop, gestapo, stasi, kgb...

Re:missing tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714520)

Combine, Civil Protection, Overwatch

Re:missing tags (1)

RegTooLate (1135209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714524)

Bigbrother, snoop, and even Stasi perhaps but KGB, Gestapo? No, as tempting as it may be, the FBI is not rounding up all IT people and sending them to the showers....

Re:missing tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714570)

...the FBI is not rounding up all IT people and sending them to the showers....

I don't know. There are still some throwbacks from the old days who come in smelling pretty bad. You know - the scruffy, large, guys with B.O.- they really need a shower.

Re:missing tags (3, Interesting)

Savage650 (654684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715090)

Bigbrother, snoop, and even Stasi perhaps but KGB, Gestapo? No, as tempting as it may be, the FBI is not rounding up all IT people and sending them to the showers....

For now, they are just recruiting "volunteers" to watch for "suspicious behaviour" and report "unreliable elements".

Just the most obvious problems (as mentioned in other posts)

  • how long until "not volunteering" is deemed "suspicious behaviour"?
  • how long until people wronly accuse others for financial gain or just for fun?
  • how long until you'll have to prove your "reliability" by filling your snitching quota?

Another thing to keep in mind: The so-called "War on Terror" can be used to outlaw anything and anyone.

Soon after a high-profile Cyber-Attack all knowledge of critical infrastructure(tm) will become classified. Too bad for those lacking the official clearance for things they already know. The state will have to place such persons in "protective custody" camps to keep the terrorists from expoliting their knowledge. Unfortunately, even a short time spent in a such a camp will disqualify you from ever getting back to your former life: While they could'nt prove any previous contacts to "unreliable elements", now they know where you have met them. Finally, once the "unrecovereable elements" are confined to the camps it wont be long until some politician wants the money wasted on their upkeep be spent on his constituency instead. That is where the "showers" come in ..

Re:missing tags (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714602)

search on 'operation TIPS' while you're at it.

it never went away. only press notice of it went away.

An end run around warrants? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714510)

So, if the FBI wants to ask for certain records they have to get a warrant.

But, if a member of InfraGard decides to provide the FBI with records without the FBI asking then it's a private citizen reporting "suspicious behaviour"

Or, would a member of InfraGard be considered an officer of the government, making any records they had access to inadmissable?

I'm guessing it's pretty clear that I'm not a lawyer.

The FBI Wants To Know About Your IT Skills (0)

The FBI (1717712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714554)

Not true.

28000 members, 917 hours annual burden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714562)

"There are approximately 28,000 InfraGard members, for a total of 28,000 responses with an estimated response time of two minutes per response.
        (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with this collection: There are approximately 917 hours, annual burden, associated with this information collection."

Can someone put a taxpayer's money cost estimate on the 917 hours annual burden, associated with this information collection?

The US is practically financially bankrupt. Is this money well spent?

Re:28000 members, 917 hours annual burden (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714654)

Can someone put a taxpayer's money cost estimate on the 917 hours annual burden, associated with this information collection?

Let's say $100 an hour for a good salary and a nice office for the guy reading the applications. That's less than $100,000. However you feel about the idea, I can't imagine picking a less significant reason to attack it.

Re:28000 members, 917 hours annual burden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714790)

When getting rid of Maffia leaders, their tax evasion was the least significant reason to attack them. But the most effective.

Re:28000 members, 917 hours annual burden (1)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715300)

The 917 hours represents the amount of burden put on the public, not the burden on the U.S. government. This calculation is a necessary part of the Paperwork Reduction Act for any information gathering.

Am I missing something? (5, Interesting)

Callandor (823150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714650)

From the information provided, which is very little, it appears that the FBI is requesting information from people who have voluntarily joined an organization of IT professionals not just sponsored by but directly affiliated with the FBI. Why is this getting everyone's hackles up? It does not say that the information will be required of all members, nor does it say that members will be required to inform on their coworkers or companies. The ACM asks you about your IT skills, too. How is this different?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

The FBI (1717712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714732)

From the information provided, which is very little, it appears that the FBI is requesting information from people who have voluntarily joined an organization of IT professionals not just sponsored by but directly affiliated with the FBI. Why is this getting everyone's hackles up? It does not say that the information will be required of all members, nor does it say that members will be required to inform on their coworkers or companies. The ACM asks you about your IT skills, too. How is this different?

*shrug* Beats me, buddy.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714998)

From the little info that is available, the problem seems to be exactly the direct affiliation with the FBI.

ACM is just a professional organization, and they'd like to know the profiles of their members. ACM doesn't have other goals but tho help their members (at least officially).
The same applies to IEEE and others.

In this case, an external entity (the FBI) is asking for this info from members of another entity, which does not specify clearly their purpose or the nature of their relationship with the FBI.
It is only natural for people to think this is weird.

Did any of you actually READ the link? (4, Insightful)

cravey (414235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714660)

They only want information about the IT skills of their own members. How else would they process ONLY 28,000 responses at 2 minutes each? This doesn't even seem to apply to all Infragard members, only:

"Public and private professionals
self-identified as having information technology expertise."

This would also be why it's called:
"InfraGard Knowledge/Skills/
Abilities Profile"

IT seems kindof obvious that they might want to know what the skills of their own members are if they need assistance on something. Not like the FBI knows anything about technology [wikipedia.org] .

Perhaps they're looking for resources for the next time they have an IT issue/project they need to not fuck up. According to their website, you need a background check to join. Seems like a good way to build a database of IT professionals that you don't need to do background checks on after the fact.

Re:Did any of you actually READ the link? (5, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714786)

Most people didn't. They panicked when they saw the headline.

I've known about InfraGard for a while now. It's more of a group of security consulting people, gathered together to try to get a solid handle on securing the infrastructure of the country.

I might be in the minority here, but this request is probably more in line with gathering a list for the FBI to go contact when they need an independent contractor for something. Like you said...while there's some aspects of tech they've got a handle on, there's others including this sort of thing that they just simply don't- and I'm thinking they thought it might be useful to get a list of that class of individual and what they do so they know who to turn to for help when they need it.

Re:Did any of you actually READ the link? (4, Informative)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715936)

I have taught classes to an InfraGuard chapter in my area, it is quite different than the scary statements that have been made by many.

It is about being aware of your vulnerabilities and developing contingency plans and fairly basic security procedures to make it less easy for someone to mess with your infrastructure. Most of the folks who attend the InfraGuard monthly meetings are already in middle management and have been tasked with the chore of improving security. While pretty much anyone can participate there are levels to it. Some information is compartmentalized on a need to know basis when it comes to specific incidents or threats.

Re:Did any of you actually READ the link? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715950)

I might be in the minority here, but this request is probably more in line with gathering a list for the FBI to go contact when they need an independent contractor for something.

You've got to put in terms that Slashdot users understand.

The FBI are looking for IT Security Pros [imdb.com] without having to send out a cop [imdb.com] to shake down an informant [imdb.com] during an actual emergency. Bonus points if the Security Pro has his own Command Center and is familiar with CB technology.

So? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714674)

Disclaimer; I'm an Infragard member (have been for about 7 years). Why are they collecting this? Easy, they're public/private partnership that focuses on emergency response. "In the event", they want to know who within there membership has skills that may be needed. Don't like it, don't join (or quit). Don't want them to have your data, make them remove it (you have the legal right to do so). No conspiratorial aspect here.

Re:So? (2, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714806)

Shame you had to post anon there, but I understand. And I'd have to concur- that was the read I got on this whole thing once I saw the request text on Cryptome.

Because of all the BS that went on prior to today within the Government, people are unfortunately hypersensitive of this sort of thing. What's sad about that, though, is that there ARE things to be up in arms about, even now, with stuff that the Government is doing (and in some cases, isn't...) in regards to "security" that goes unnoticed because we're worrying about things that don't need the concern and the other stuff slips by.

It's not what you collect, but what you do with it (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714682)

The Stasi were very good at collecting information. In fact, they were too good. They collected so much that their analysts couldn't effectively evaluate even a fraction of it. They lacked IT resources (when compared to Western agencies) and the Stasi leadership should have shifted more manpower from spying to analyzing.

The FBI has access to unlimited IT resources, and the US intelligent community if very effective at evaluating the information that they have collected. Just look at how they stopped the underwear bomber . . .

. . . uh-oh . . . never mind . . .

Re:It's not what you collect, but what you do with (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715478)

The only reason that they switched from spying to analyzing is because half of the population was spying on the other half. That was also the reason that they got so much information, speaking of which if you have or did have a family member who lived or visited E.Germany at the time they were in operation you can view their STASI records if they weren't destroyed. My mother visited 2 times since she left as a child, on her first trip back they had 15 banker boxes full of information on her, her habits, and where she went and what she did.

Commander Taco of the InfraGuard? (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714692)

Now we know where he got the rank of Commander.

Let's just turn those tables, shall we? (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714884)

The FBI has no need or right to know about my IT skills, but I would certainly like to know more about their IT skills, given all of the obvious and avoidable breaches in silicon-based security, document controls and methodologies lately.

InfraGaurd's IT skills (3, Funny)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714938)

I note that the web developers of InfraGaurd don't know how to change their favicon.ico from the sun logo.

Nice to see they're using Sun and Unix, I suppose, but who leaves the sun logo there?

Which skills are they looking for? (1)

sirgoran (221190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715036)

Would it concern being able to surf pron with only one hand?

Just wondering what mad skills they might be looking for....

-Goran

I love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715154)

Big Brother, I love Big Brother, I love ...

Oblig Brazil Quote... (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715418)

Don't suspect a Friend.

Report Him.

Conspiracy Theory eps IV (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715506)

InfraGard was the topic on Jesse Venturas Conspiracy Theory
http://www.conspiracytheoryjesseventura.com/category/season-1-episode-4-big-brother/ [conspiracy...entura.com]

Perhaps the usual conspiracy theory blahblah but they did really seem fairly creepy with all the "information gathering".

China 2.0 (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715510)

They say that every medium or larger sized company in China has a spy in it reporting to the government. This sounds exactly the same, unfortunately. But then again, did you really expect it to be any different over here?

Re:China 2.0 (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716050)

> They say that every medium or larger sized company in China has a spy in it reporting to the government.

Only one?!? Someone clearly has been falling down on the job, over there.

A company for which I worked had four scientists from the PRC, and one of them was a narc.

Wouldn't that conflict with NDAs? (1)

opus_magnum (1688810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715614)

Couldn't they in turn get sued by their employers?

Not as big a deal as people think (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715940)

Under the 1974 Privacy Act the US Government needs to notify we the people whenever they collect information about them. So the FBI needs to know what IT people they can contact for different areas of expertise to help them with investigations. In order to put together so much as an Excel spreadsheet with names and phone numbers they need to examine the privacy considerations. A nationwide database has similar considerations, usually a Privacy Impact Assessment, and if the assessment warrants it, a System of Records Notice in the Federal Register. Under OMB Memo 06-16 this also means the data is Personally Identifiable Information and they should encrypt it on mobile media, and while in transmission. Which means if some Infragard member has hundreds or thousands of names and contact info on their laptop and it is lost or stolen, the information of self-selected members should be protected with a FIPS 140-2 and FIPS 197 compliant algorithm and certified implementation. Lets hope they don't keep it on the Kingston thumb drives. I once attended an Infragard meeting in Maryland right after SQL Slammer hit, there were tons of us standing in line to get in all talking about who hadn't bothered to install a 2 year old patch.

look over there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715948)

> Are they passing info back about you or your company?

No, we are not.

Do they ask ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715954)

Do they ask ...
- whether you know how to remove DRM from music?
- if you have ripping music from audio CDs that you own to place onto a home media server?
- if you rip movies from DVDs that you own to place onto a home media server?
- if you record TV content and time shift and archive it onto a home media server?
- if you've ever driven over the posted speed?

As someone with a previous clearance, I'm not convinced of the good intentions behind this program, since much of the "ethics requirements" include removal of my "fair use" rights, if laws are strictly interpreted.

That and I believe marijuana use should it be legalized similar to cigarette and alcohol - for adults.

I'm all for governments securing their networks and systems, but they need to keep their policy-pushing-fingers off my network and equipment. If they'd like my help with security, I "have a rate for that."

I'm Glad To See (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716030)

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one on /. that sees this InfraGard as a group of people who are, in effect, saying, "Yes! Please social engineer me! Here's how!"
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