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National Security Jobs To Rival Silicon Valley Over the Next 10 Years?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the government's-digital-transition dept.

Security 136

AHuxley writes "The Capital reports on a new cyber curriculum at a Maryland high school to feed the ever growing needs of the NSA and Cyber Command. A quote from Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) about job growth in the local national security sector stands out: '... in 10 years, there are going to be more tech jobs than Silicon Valley.' Could the new funding for the expansion of the National Security Agency and the Army's new Cyber Command be the next big growth area for the US?"

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i hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249696)

cause i live here

Re:i hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249732)

+1 insightful, now we know where AC lives :-)

lol (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250692)

If they're going for high school, it means they need stupid people, which'll yield up disaster eventually.

NSA salaries aren't too shabby but they're slightly lower than equivalent level jobs in private industry, well government jobs offer better benefits, right?

Wrong. All the much vaunted retirement benefits offered by state governments are rapidly being rescinded [metafilter.com] . I'd imagine federal jobs will soon follow. If Republicans can gut the VA, then NSAs benefits political are toast.

If your taking a government job, please help all your fellow government employees by insisting upon a salary that's on-par with industry. In particular, you should apply for industry jobs every now & again, seeing if you get offered a significant raise.

Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

Mass Overkiller (1999306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249730)

Getting citizens excited about spying on each other.. Great.. Just a natural extension of BigBrother TV shows where we "spy" on house inhabitants, etc. etc.

Nothing to hide... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249764)

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Oh, but lets execute all members of wikileaks.

Re:Nothing to hide... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250012)

I don't necessarily disagree with your ultimate point. However, governments very much do have valid things to hide at times.

Re:Nothing to hide... (1)

Bratmon (1649855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250058)

I don't necessarily disagree with your ultimate point. However, governments very much do have valid things to hide at times.

So do private citizens.

Re:Nothing to hide... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250946)

Yeah..... but what is valid? Who determines that?

If you are own your own property, or your own home, your desire to have privacy is inherently valid. Privacy and Anonymity are a human right. It is essential to freedom. Even if you want some sort of Utopian society where everything is open and shared, you still need to respect the individual that wants their privacy and recognize that is their right.

The challenge is that we have this erroneous belief that government determines our rights. It doesn't. It is supposed to provide *limitations* and enumerate its own rights. The Bill of Rights was a bad idea. We should have just agreed that we have the right to do ANYTHING. Flipped it on its head. Then the government should have come in and said, "Oh you can't say anything that would put the public in immediate danger like yelling fire! in a public space". Stuff like that.

If we had the Bill of Limitations then we would have far less arguments. The limits on our speech would have been very very specific. If the founding fathers had the idea that we should only possess the amounts and types of weapons to defend ourselves, but not at the same time pose a threat to government or law enforcement, they could have spelled that out.

Instead we have this system which ain't working out too well if you ask me. Not only were the specific rights they outlined, ostensibly to protect us, dwindling away into nothingness, the government has this idea that we have no rights except the ones they specifically give us and their rights are absolute and their mistakes are without consequence because everything is conveniently and ultimately in our best interests.

No.

Our desire for privacy is automatically and inviolably valid at all times.

Re:Nothing to hide... (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251884)

The challenge is that we have this erroneous belief that government determines our rights. It doesn't. It is supposed to provide *limitations* and enumerate its own rights. The Bill of Rights was a bad idea. We should have just agreed that we have the right to do ANYTHING. Flipped it on its head. Then the government should have come in and said, "Oh you can't say anything that would put the public in immediate danger like yelling fire! in a public space". Stuff like that.

I think you're missing the problem. It doesn't matter what the constitution says if they don't follow it.

It isn't that you need to set out a document that properly enumerates the limitations on government power. I mean you do, but we've more or less done that. Perhaps some of the language could be made more clear.

The real problem is that if the government is allowed to ignore what the constitution says or interpret it to mean something else because it's politically expedient then you're on the path to perdition.

The failure of the federal government to respect individual rights is in reality a failure of checks and balances. Congress is not supposed to pass laws that violate your privacy. The executive is not supposed to implement them. The courts are not supposed to uphold them. All three branches fail, and that failure is the one for which a solution must be devised.

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249802)

Who's going to teach all these 'soldiers of the cyber command'? Almost every state is getting rid of teachers en mass and making teaching a less desirable field to get into. Where are these cyber soldiers coming from?

Does it matter? (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249928)

Almost every state is getting rid of teachers en mass and making teaching a less desirable field to get into. Where are these cyber soldiers coming from?

Considering that it's going to be a series of high school classes ... it doesn't matter because this is nothing more than a photo op. Politicians showing that they're "doing something" about "the threat".

The problem is NOT that we don't have people who understand security.

The problem is that those people's BOSSES do not care about security until AFTER someone cracks their systems.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251036)

Considering that it's going to be a series of high school classes ... it doesn't matter because this is nothing more than a photo op. Politicians showing that they're "doing something" about "the threat".

Makes sense the NSA would look to the law as the way to solve this, since high school is pretty much mandatory; this is a great move to weed out those who might have any actual interest in the subject.

The problem is NOT that we don't have people who understand security. The problem is that those people's BOSSES do not care about security until AFTER someone cracks their systems.

And consumers do not care about security until AFTER someone cracks THEIR system, so there is no market for your "secure" product.

And people will happily gloat at others' misery to feel superior.

So close but so far:

It is not the boss's system that will make them take notice, it is the boss's kid's or their spouse's system that will make them take notice.

Why do you think the boss is so apathetic about technical matters?

They're just trying to feed (fund) their family, and security is irrelevant if they can't do that.

Re: Fsck ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249950)

Half the teachers are fsck ups thanks to the equal opportunity laws and women's liberation. Only a person who wants job security and not much else becomes a teacher (in short a loser). Half the people that are black only got jobs because they are black and perhaps big dicks. Most breeders (read parents) have absconded their responsibilities has parents and blame the teachers because their kids don't study. Hey breeders you can't handle kids maybe you should think before you open your legs? We have become a 3rd world country. Bread and circuses [Mcdonalds and cable TV]. A nation of fsck ups.

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250184)

"Where are these cyber soldiers coming from?"

Overseas: they'll outsource this just like they've outsourced every other programming or computer related job. Only jobs left for IT/CS grads is $10/hr GeekSquad.

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250962)

Read Fahrenheit 451.

Teach? That's extreme wishful thinking.

This is going to be an indoctrination. Very similar to bootcamp. These soldiers will be broken down mentally and then rebuilt. What you learn in College or some sort of trade school rarely prepares you for the real world anyways. I am sure they will teach some basics, but the real meat will be the psychological indoctrination. Afterwards they will put them into production and they will receive hands on training.

How else are you going to get these people to ignore pesty things like due process and other so-called "rights"?

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251366)

Old AOL users?

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249954)

Nah, this is 8 seasons of Jack Bauer doing the "right" thing in every wrong way conceivable. When faced with a moral dilemma our brave hero always had to weigh the end result against zapping someone's nuts for intel. Tellingly "hacking" to get info on the general public never raised any issues, just meant more work for that cute nerdy chick.

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250104)

um, have you seen facebook entries.

citizens don't have to spy on each other they will gladly tell you everything for a little perceived attention.

Re:Ewww thats a bingo! (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250470)

Somebody is still bitter that they did not get one of those cool spy kits when he was a kid

Rediculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249736)

Does anyone else think this whole "cyber" thing has gotten out of hand? Someone needs to tell them that if they want to be taken seriously, they shouldn't use such a buzzword.

Why do a whole curriculum? The only steps should be:
1. Remove all mission critical systems from the internet.
2. Remove all other systems that do not require the internet from the internet.
3. Do not allow employees to take their non-internet laptops and use the internet from home.
4. Do not allow employees to use removable media.
5. Preferably use a thin client setup so that the machines can more easily be secured.

Re:Rediculous (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249780)

Exactly, especially step 1. "Cyber War" isn't a war if we simply have all truly critical things offline.

Re:Rediculous (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249864)

Until the late 50s, all truly critical cybernetic things were offline.

Re:Rediculous (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250374)

And later, when I worked in the NMIC, part of the WMCCS (war room). We had a teletype that printed out stuff from the military secure satellite system (DSCS) and a Sargent who sat there, read it, and typed it into another teletype.
.

At the time, I thought it pretty dumb. Turns out I was dumb I guess. No big surprise there, I was young then too.
.

Here's the deal now -- the military has bought into the COTS stuff all the way. They get the internet "free" in essence, avoiding having to build out a similar network that goes everywhere -- prohibitive expense to say the least. In fact, organizations from power companies and refineries to grocery stores that used to use dedicated leased lines got suckered into the same deal. And now, we have a problem...and it's not widely recognized as it should be. As recently as a year or so ago, even Bruce Schneier didn't know this and thought cyber-threats unlikely against such types of systems. Oops -- when cheap is offered and seems to work well (leased lines from a monopoly aren't so cheap, ya know) -- people flock to it. And here we are.
.

On the other hand, most computer security is a joke, because we don't say, fine microsoft for bugs that actually do cost a lot of people a lot of time and money. As Bruce points out, if there's no consequences to the people who make defective things, why would they ever stop doing it?
.

It wasn't all that long ago when just getting two computers to talk at all was a real hard thing. I worked for DEC way back in the day, and just getting a serial connection to a big IBM in the same building was a major issue, taking specialized hardware on both ends -- DEC was ASCII, IBM EBCDIC , and that was the very least of it -- control signals, protocols and so on. So when it became easy, no one really built security in -- it was so hard to do on purpose, the idea that some outsider would try it was a ludicrous joke (and then, it was all real wires and leased lines too). Who would try to break a perfectly good computer? MS fell afoul of this too -- in the rush to get anything to just work at all, forget any extra work on making it "safe" in any sense of the word -- that would just generate error messages, and cut sales.
.

Thing is (and I'm just quoting Bruce again) - you can't easily add security from the outside, post design. That's the hard on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside model currently in use by MS products (and in the Far Side alligator joke). No, you pretty much have to design it in. Again, prohibitively expensive -- and now you have to write all new apps to run in the new enviornment too. Much of MS's stuff that does remote procedures (OLE, ActiveX, COM, DCOM) for just one example -- total security hole, and most of their apps won't run without it. Linux is a little better off, of course, but still -- accident waiting to happen if a real adversary is attacking with country-class resources.
.

At least Unix (pre linux) got used in a bunch of college machines, where people with too much time on their hands and a lot of motivation to get grades changed or free tuition has been so hacked most of the easy stuff (later designs used in linux too) has been fixed....but still....

Re:Rediculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249806)

6. Do not allow portable CD players.
7. Always have someone watch over the shoulder of your employees, less they pull an USB stick out of their anus.

Re:Rediculous (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249844)

6. Do not allow portable CD players.
7. Always have someone watch over the shoulder of your employees, less they pull an USB stick out of their anus.

Anyone allowing high security work to take place on a computer with removable media drives is an idiot.

Re:Rediculous (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249818)

Does anyone else think this whole "cyber" thing has gotten out of hand? Someone needs to tell them that if they want to be taken seriously, they shouldn't use such a buzzword.

I think that's a cyberiffic idea!

Re:Rediculous (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249828)

It is a replay from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Back then, the government was ridiculously exaggerating the Soviet threat to fuel cash into nuclear weapons. Some estimates say the total amount of nukes produced exceeded a reasonable deterrent 50 or 60 times. The huge pile of money spent on that was, of course, money wasted -- and that doesn't begin to include the infrastructure costs around those warheads.

The "cyber" threat is the history repeating, this time as a farce -- the threat from this "cyber warfare" is significantly smaller than that of a nuclear attack, and this time around the US government is mostly paying with IOUs instead of real money.

But hey, it is the turn of information technology to really profit from the government.

Is your face red? (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249870)

I'm surprised you haven't been subjected to redicule for your title yet.

Re:Rediculous - Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249874)

This is ridiculous, what is happening is the real work needed is not being done.

The sign is Two main issues:
1. America need real employment.
2. Software Development needs to be fixed. that there are no jobs in the US if it has gotten to the point were all the jobs are from the Government and this Cyber Warfare is what every learning organization is trying to get people with. This shows the whole Cyber Warfare and Information Security has matured and there are no more jobs.

Solution:
First fix K Street and limit its power of influence.
Eliminate the High ROI on Financial markets. They can only ROI from direct business investments.
Focus on employment where, when unemployed will create work which an item can be exported. That is create products.

Fun is they are making work for them selves. All those who for one reason or another do not get employment will be the ones who employ those who do. Just like Layers and Attorneys and what they do when they do not have work.

Re:Rediculous (1)

jmcvetta (153563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250174)

1. Remove all mission critical systems from the internet.

This is already a goal of all reasonable security folks. However it's harder to implement than to talk about.

2. Remove all other systems that do not require the internet from the internet.

Good luck with that, and let us know how it works out for you.

3. Do not allow employees to take their non-internet laptops and use the internet from home.

Why bother giving them laptops if they can't take them anywhere? Save some cash, make employees do their sensitive work at the office. This will be a big political struggle, of course, as many people holding powerful positions within an institution will resent the restriction of their working freedom.

4. Do not allow employees to use removable media.

I've never heard of an organization that does, intentionally, allow use of removable media on secure computers.

5. Preferably use a thin client setup so that the machines can more easily be secured.

Sounds like a good idea to me. However I'm sure thin clients have their own security issues I haven't considered.

Re:Rediculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251520)

I work as a contractor, doing software development, on non-classified projects, for the Air Force/DoD. I work mostly off site, most of the people I work with, work mostly on base. On base, they practice most of the things on your list. Following that list, and more, completely annihilates productivity.

I'd guess their developers lose 30-50% of their productive time to interruptions and inefficiencies caused by the various security measures. The military branches and TLAs are implementing plenty of CYA, post incident, overly broad security policies. They're not doing enough cost benefit analysis, as to what really works, and what is really necessary.

In other words, talent down the drain (4, Insightful)

alexmin (938677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249758)

We do realize that national security "jobs" do not produce anything, don't we?

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249814)

It does if you export instability and hysteria worldwide. Worked (well, works) exceedingly well for weapons.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249886)

That's not necessarily true.

NSA has a technology transfer program [nsa.gov] .

I leave it as an exercise to the googler to find out what things you're currently using that came from their labs.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249896)

That's the beauty of government jobs. Since they don't produce anything of value, people can't not buy them, and thus the demand is always there.

That's why we have lots of lawyers, bureaucrats, business analysts...

It's the ultimate job security.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250218)

The idea that government jobs are incapable of producing anything of value is nonsense, albeit oft repeated. Nothing magically makes a person paid in tax dollars incapable of producing something that their private sector counterpart could...

Now, as an empirical matter, there are a number of specific instances where(because of some combination of deadweight losses from taxation, poor incentive structures, lack of competition, etc.) you can make the case that state employees are quite inefficient, or that the projects they are working on are white elephants; but you actually have to look at the details to do that.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250808)

If everyone has a government job, and they pay taxes to the government, then where does the money come from to pay their salaries? After all, you don't pay 100 percent of your salary back to make up for your wage. Ideally you save some of it, or invest it in property, or pay for your kids food and clothing. Its simple algebra. You cannot support a society filled with government jobs unless your society is out plundering and setting up colonies. Really, you need to produce something you can trade for something else that is more valuable to your society (i.e. something you don't have or something everyone wants to make their life easier). With the exception of some US companies, that simply doesn't happen here. Its one reason the Chinese are overtaking us as the #1 world economy. Im not suggesting its necessary to be the best economy, as its better that your people are happy like in the Scandinavian countries, but all the same. Government jobs rely on private sector jobs for funding.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251224)

The system is not closed. You make money buy selling stuff to other countries. Still, it's not like anyone is ever advocating for "100%" government jobs (outside of the old failed soviet states perhaps). Just pointing out the flaw in your logic. And if you want to look big picture the concept of money is just a shared dream; we can't really "create" wealth, we're just playing with numbers in a very sophisticated barter system.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251350)

There are no flaws in my logic. Quantifier : I said if "Everyone" has a government job then it is so. That's the way the US is going. Its not good to have more government jobs, because not only does that mean a bigger government (and thus more taxes to support it) it also means less workforce in actual production. Its better to have a healthy industry producing products that are exchanged for money and then other products we need. Yes, we are using a sophisticated barter system. However, wealth is created through the labors of each of us. For example, I can create a steam powered saw that can cut wood. It will save other peoples productive-time chopping it down themselves with an axe. Then they can spend their time using the wood from the machine to build their own other products, such as a house or a new tool. Wealth is basically what humans have built up themselves against entropy. It stretches back to our ancestors and the origin of life itself. Back to the topic at hand, unfortunately all we have to barter in the US is "Intellectual Property", and Apple/Intel/IBM/etc. are the forerunners of that. Our laws do not apply overseas and the Chinese and others are more than willing to steal knowledge from us. That is the problem with knowledge, it wants to be free. All it takes is one person to understand the new knowledge and then they have it forever. For example, if your tribe invented the bow and arrow, and mine only had spears, as soon as one of my tribe figured out the bow and arrow we would use it back against you. We cannot subsist on arbitrary laws people can break at any time. Its better to invest in a strong industry. Its either that, or invest in a strong military and force everyone to agree with your own point of view. That is precisely what the US is doing.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251764)

No, your logic is flawed. There is nothing inherently broken (economically) in a closed system were all employment for a single entity that also taxed. Your issue is that you fail to understand the concept of money, which is just an adjunct to the underlying financial system, and whose value is not fixed. Go study some economics. Now, as to your other point about the inherent value, and ease of duplication of non-physical goods, I share your concern. Our economic system is not based around the concept that I can simply take the goods you produce, and create exact duplicates for zero cost. This is an unsolved problem in the new digital economy, and I think a huge liability for economies that are leveraged to depend on these type of goods. I disagree with your assumption that the strong military has much to do with the US economic strategy however, as at this point in time they appear to be able to use pressures related to trade to coerce less willing parties into line on IP laws. The strong US military does nothing in the economic struggle with China for instance, and the trade leverage is gone from that relationship.

Please define "chinese are overtaking us" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251480)

China's GDP is around 1/3rd of the USA GDP. The only economy with a comparable amount of output (GDP) is the eurozone [actually a little higher than USA]

The only way china will "overtake" the usa economy is if it grows at a tremendous pace (remember 10% growth in china is like 3.3% growth in USA) for a tremendous period of time.

Assuming long term exponential growth is rarely a good assumption. (see recent housing crisis in USA)

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252132)

Straw man. Everyone having a government job is not the question. O.P. talked about not all gov't jobs being a waste. It depends on the job and what it does. If a gov't job or program facilitates the private sector or protects a precious resource it is worth it. The question becomes, "What is the payoff?" It there is a good payoff, such as providing a needed public utility to facilitate private companies or a pooled resource such as education then it is good. If the payoff is poor then perhaps it shouldn't be done. It is heresy to say this in this day and age and in the current climate of "conservative" economic dogma but there are some things the gov't is better at doing than the private sector, and vice versa. We should play to the strengths of each, instead of having the knee jerk reaction of "government bad, corporations good."

FYI, I have worked for both the gov't and for Fortune 500 companies. In my experience the Fortune 500 companies were much more wasteful and inefficient than the gov't.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251196)

It's not a matter of if they work hard or not.

It's that they don't produce much of value. Many lawyers work very hard. So do many bankers and financial planners and accountants... they just don't produce anything and rely largely on the government to make laws to give them work.

Much like the police, prison guards, lawyers... and the war on drugs. They work very hard dealing with a lot of crap. Is society any better off for the work they do? Nope.

Those are the real unproductive areas of the public sector and the associated private sector jobs that rely on government (lawyers, accountants...).

You certainly need some of them... as overhead for society... but they've become industries on their own.

I don't care much if a public sector worker is 10% or 20% less efficient than a private sector worker. It's what you actually produce.

I have no doubt those working for the national security IT jobs will work very hard. But will our society be any better off for it? Will you actually value the work they do? Easy way to find out...

How much of your own money would you pay so the government can have a national it security program?

This is why central planning tends to fail. Those in the central planning tend not to provide what people need... They serve themselves, create work and systems so those inside the system prosper with money and power and society feels progressively poorer and poorer. All those resources spent on stuff no one values.

Are there things government does that has value? Of course. I would pay for clean water, roads, urban planning... now ask yourself how much of the budget is spent on these essentials... versus everything else.

Case in point... Obama recently proposed cutting infrastructure funding for water treatment as part of his budget cuts. And now he wants this big national security it system.

Good trade off?
No... but very common for central planners.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251232)

As I say... it's hard giving people what they want. That's why government loves leaving that to the private sector.

But they reserve all the endless goals for themselves so they funnel any amount of money into endless job creation programs for themselves that produce nothing.

Can you ever have enough security?

Kind of like education which stopped being about educating kids long ago. It's now a self serving system for bureaucrats, committees, teacher unions...

I mean... can you ever have enough education...
and if what they do doesn't work... just need more programs and more money... ...

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252056)

You are correct that the parent speaks too broadly. Some government jobs are in actual value-creating enterprises. The post office, for example. But GP is correct that national security jobs produce nothing of value. They are entirely negative in their effect (they *keep* things from happening), and even when perfectly successful their negative effects have only slight practical value. We would be much better served finding a way to keep from needing a ton of national security workers, than by finding a way to pay them.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249918)

You don't make a thing if your country is subverted by foreign cyber terrorists. Not saying that what they're doing will, or will not, produce a safe nation. However, that's their aim.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250348)

Why not? Would everyone just stop working immediately if some afghan terrorist entered the white house and killed the president? Would the farmers stop farming? Would they stop milking their cows? If you actually do real work, it doesn't matter who pretends to be in charge.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250364)

What, you mean like the internet?

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250696)

Im glad someone said it. Look at Greece. Their employment was mostly filled with Government jobs. Then, the money ran out to pay people and there were riots in the streets over pensions and wages being reduced or dissolved. A society that only has government jobs ends up burning itself out of capital.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

mtthws (572660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250700)

What do you propose then? Historically defense has been where any number of the innovations we currently take for advantage came from. It is often times extremely hard to value what they produce, especially from highly secretive portions of it, but they are there. The NSA has been working with colleges for years to beef up their security education. Now they probably only get a fraction of the graduates that go through these programs. How do you think the companies that get the remainder feel about getting developers that better understand how to create secure systems and software? How does that benefit the economy? While some of the cyber issues may be over hyped, I do not think to many people will disagree that we can do a hell of a lot better. How often do we hear about companies getting broken into or attacked? I also do not think there is really any group with as enough influence and resources to get us on better footing the the Federal Government. In order for that to happen they have to make a major investment, hence what is going on in this article.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250776)

>>We do realize that national security "jobs" do not produce anything, don't we?

Amen. It's not a "growth area" in the economic sense of the word when the government expands the jobs it is hiring for. Those are illusory jobs, that will vanish when the government funding dries up.

People (especially those in Wisconsin) need to realize that government funded jobs are not the solution to our current unemployment crisis.

Re:In other words, talent down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251642)

We do realize that national security "jobs" do not produce anything, don't we?

I work in that area, so I'm a little more circumspect in my views. National security gets overblown by both sides; it may not be *that* necessary, but it's necessary to some extent, just like law enforcement. Neither produces anything, but both are enablers by supporting the law and order framework the market rests on.

My problem is just how unbelievably inefficient it is. When there aren't stupid office politics, everything is tangled up in red tape. There's not that much corruption or fraud, rather the system is just this big, retardedly complicated hierarchy. And the government's own rules make it damned near impossible for them to get a good deal on anything.

It's pretty frustrating.

You know what they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249760)

Sooner or later everyone's working for the man.

"...next big growth area..." (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249776)

Growth increases national wealth. Security expenditures never do that. At best they consume a portion of the national wealth in order to protect the remainder from enemies. These, of course, won't even do that.

Re:"...next big growth area..." (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249890)

Without security, you're not going to grow very much before the next guy realizes he can grow by taking what's yours instead of inventing his own.

Re:"...next big growth area..." (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250356)

I thought you had plenty of guns in the US.

Re:"...next big growth area..." (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252150)

You have it backwards. Without a strong economy you can't support a strong military/security forces. If security forces cause a drain on an economy the economy eventually falters and then both the security forces and the economy weaken.

Re:"...next big growth area..." (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252246)

True, without adequate security. However, any amount beyond adequate is simply a waste. Naturally there is a margin for error that must be covered but growing the NSA to exceed Silicon Valley is way beyond that!

I hope not. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249788)

No, national security jobs do not produce goods or services. If they're next big thing, they'll probably be the last big thing too.

Re:I hope not. (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249914)

That's right. DARPA [wikipedia.org] never produced anything of value [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I hope not. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249956)

Most of the people who made those developments did not actually work for DARPA. They worked for other organizations that received funding from DARPA. This is a subtle but critical difference.

DARPA (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249996)

I had a DARPA contract during my tenure at Pixar, before we got our first film contract. The purpose was to create economic demand for computer graphics hardware by making new advances in image-processing software, so that the U.S. would have that technology if it needed it for wartime. So, it ended up making live-action and old cel animated films look better, but served the economic purpose desired by DoD.

Re:DARPA (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251358)

Unfortunately, I think that a lot of more recent government funding has moved away from things that are useful to industry. Contracts I've worked on have pretty much been a matter of pouring money down a rat hole. Perhaps reading through the DARPA solicitations would show what I mean. At first blush many of them look good, but dig deeper and many make no friggin' sense, if they're in an area that you're knowledgeable in. Plus the rewarding of contracts is highly political (in a lucrative-revolving-door and looks-good-on-a-resume sense). By the time everyone takes their cut, not a large portion of the money is left for research anyway. Its mostly just R&D on paper. Useful innovations that I am acquainted with which were developed with government money were finished in the 70's or late 80's. I would like to see a relaxation of the obsession with various kinds of surveillance, and more of an emphasis on things that are useful to the rest of the economy. I don't know if that's realistic though.

Re:I hope not. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250282)

The only difference is that DARPA didn't have a mandate to keep the work secret.

Most of this new cyber-security work will be done by contracted projects as well.

And some of it will result in things like enhanced encryption (like the new SHA-2 algorithm) that we can all take advantage of.

Re:I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250750)

Ummmm.....DARPA is a funding agency.

in 10 years ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249792)

would there be more govt jobs than private sector jobs?

Government top secret jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249798)

Go for it kids! They can't off-shore those jobs. And when you get tired of work'in for the Government, you can go and become a private consultant and make bucks!!!

Re:Government top secret jobs (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250818)

And what's really great about them is it's all secret so no one will know how really badly run and wasteful they are.

Too big? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249832)

If the industry protecting our electronic assets is larger than the industry creating said assets, doesn't that raise a red flag that maybe we're doing something wrong in implementation?

Re:Too big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250014)

O'reilly said that this is good idea (cough .... cough). We should increase ethanol farm corn acreage the help our country achieve energy independence (cough ... cough ,,, I think I have to .... cough ... cough)

Error. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249838)

The Cyber Command is not under the Army. Originally it was a part of the Air Forces' Space Command but has since migrated to a Joint Command. Think thats about all I'm allowed to say about it though...

I would like to hear from someone.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249848)

...in one of these positions. My past experience in .gov and DOD IT makes me suspect that that are some of the worst IT jobs on the planet.

Is there any one out there who is enjoying their cyber command job? And why?

I enjoy my cyberwar job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251902)

I can't say anything about the Cyber Command except that it is active duty military and thus probably horrible. There is much more to cyberwar than the military though.

I'm with a contractor. I get paid well. I get paid even more if I work overtime. I enjoy helping the USA. The ongoing situation is fierce, exciting, and (when we win) really satisfying.

The real government jobs are similar. You get less pay, cooler toys, more insider info, a seat closer to the action, a less flexible schedule, and more job security.

Sad if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249862)

In a healthy society, more people produce wealth than consume or protect it.

The NSA's job is - in broad strokes - to consume some wealth in order to protect the rest. As the government grows larger than the private sector, the society's economic underpinnings come undone.

I hate to say it - because some of their supporters and members are just plain morons spouting Fox-news propaganda - but the Tea Party people do have a point. Government is too big in the US.

Just saying......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249898)

The Cyber Command is a joint unified command. Each branch has components that make it up, it's not just the Army.

Comentarios (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249922)

Prazer, Boa tarde

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I worked for a spook house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35249958)

I worked for a spook house. Couldn't tell anyone anything about what I did. Couldn't talk to co-workers on the bus. I suppose it kind of forces you to separate your home life from your work life. Pay is about average. If you work for Google or other tech places, you get paid more. They tried to make it slightly more Google-ish (low prices for soda drinks, low prices for snacks). Tough to get a reference out of them if you go to work somewhere else though: "oh, we can't tell you if someone did or didn't work here...". Quite frankly, I'm happier working outside, rather than inside. I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder all the time, and I don't have to worry about what I say all the time.
Yours Sincerely,
Anonymous Coward.

If Heinlein rightly predicted an acronym-wielding (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250010)

...military dictatorship as the American Way into the future (Starship Troopers [imdb.com] style), then yes.

Here's hoping the Internet will rather make the people(s) call in unison for democratic ways and peaceful international relations.

Re:If Heinlein rightly predicted an acronym-wieldi (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250152)

While there are certainly exceptions, the economics of IT spending make it fairly likely that at least a substantial minority of the available geek talent will be eating right out of the state's hand.

Jobs requiring security clearances(whether directly on the federal payroll, or as one of the legions of subcontracted spooks) are some of the few that are resistant to the ideological free-trade enthusiasts, H1Bs, and assorted other economic and political forces that have been chipping away at the real income of ~the bottom 90% of Americans for a few decades now.

As long as the DoD budget holds out(and it will probably be among the last to go), there will be a fairly powerful incentive among those with the requisite computer skills to keep their mouths shut and keep plugging away at the electronic surveillance state...

Re:If Heinlein rightly predicted an acronym-wieldi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250606)

Read the book, if you don't want to sound like a fool to anyone who knows anything about Heinlein.

it's not growth if the government is paying for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250046)

> Could the new funding for the expansion of the National Security Agency and the Army's new Cyber Command be the next big growth area for the US?"

So, the Government takes a boatload of tax money from people and spends it on programmers.

This is not growth. No wealth is being created.

Indeed, wealth is being consumed. The larger this sector becomes, the less growth there will be.

a drag on the economy (5, Funny)

jmcvetta (153563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250084)

The problem I see here is, that whereas Silly Valley jobs create wealth (and knowledge, infrastructure, etc) for the nation, defense jobs only consume wealth. Maybe that's part of the plan, tho... If we bankrupt the country with lavish expenditure on an oppressive security apparatus, we may just get rid of all our enemies. We'll no longer have wealth for anyone to envy, global influence for anyone to resent, or freedom for anyone to hate. Good plan, right?

Re:a drag on the economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250720)

Exactly the point. The goal is to create balance-- this defense spending will offset and neutralize all the excess wealth Silicon Valley creates. Yin and Yang, man.

Re:a drag on the economy (2)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250828)

>>defense jobs only consume wealth

Actually, in this case they also reduce our privacy and personal freedoms...but it will keep a few more IT contractor jobs in the US.

I think the terrorists/government have both won. Win/Win, we lose.

I'm just sayin'

Protection (1)

Databass (254179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251890)

It might not be "creation" of wealth, but prevention of wealth destruction is real. How much would it cost for the nation's banks or stock markets to go down for even one day? Then factor in the overall lost deals and reputation over the future. That's what preventing it is worth.

Spending some of our gold to hire guards to guard our giant pile of gold isn't a complete waste of gold. The guards may not make the pile bigger, but they help prevent it from getting massively smaller. And you're naive if you think there's no one would like to make the pile a lot smaller.

It seems every time they beef up security... (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250096)

...I feel less secure. It's probably just me.

Re:It seems every time they beef up security... (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250408)

Well of course. It's not your security they are concerned with.

We're going to IPO in 3 months... oh, nevermind. (1)

schwep (173358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250176)

No chance of becoming independently wealth, just quite literally a long term government job, with little real chance of advancement.

No thank you.

Re:We're going to IPO in 3 months... oh, nevermind (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251854)

Gee, it's the same as when you join any decent-sized corporation. I'm not seeing a difference.

Joining a start-up, or even founding one, rarely works out better. Normally it's worse. At the end, your paycheck goes missing.

Your IPO dreams are like the dreams of a high school kid who wants to be a movie star, pop star, or sports star. In theory it could happen. You could also win the lottery. Are you going to grow old chasing start-up hopes, or are you going to do the rational thing?

how good is the curriculum? book based or real (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250436)

how good is the curriculum? book based or based on real world systems?

How much B.S will be in the jobs? will it be tell people over and over to update the old app that is easy to hack? Tell others that you need to move to system X?

A lot of Security holes come from old apps and over locked down systems that are by passed to get work down other then waiting for paper work to get the lock down set in the right way.

Will the jobs be good and paper work mess where you can't do any real work with out braking a law.

Just outsource it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250544)

to India.

vote libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250668)

end this nonsense. begin a new era of different nonsense!

Cultural Diversity (0)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250806)

One big thing that will be missing: cultural diversity. SV attracts a lot of people because it is one of the (few) places in America that is richly culturally diverse. NSA jobs are, by law, all US citizens - and in practice, 99% are filled by white males.

a good thing (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251818)

I don't want to be at a place where the Indians eat lunch together, the Chinese eat lunch together, and the few remaining people feel like outsiders in their own country.

I also like being able to reliably tell when somebody is pleased, pissed off, joking, or whatever. I can't do that very well across cultures.

Johnny come lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250968)

There are 5 Federal Jobs in IT for every private industry job. It has been this way for 2 years. It was about 50/50 in years previous- but not anymore. Jobserve.us or usajobs.com or even Monster.com- take a tour and find out.

myth of Silicon Valley (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251178)

There was an article (mentioned here on slashdot?) that debunked the common story it was visionaries like Hewlett, Packard, Noyce, Moore and others that created Silicon Valley. Which they did but at government expense, back in those early days (1950s, 1960s) 80% of semiconductor sales were to military. Somewhat hard to believe but it makes sense with DOD spending on "space age" electronics plus all the subcontractors and other companies to support the big boys. So.... with ever increasing spending on national security with Maryland being in the center... become the new Silicon Valley? But here's the wildcard: Outsourcing to China nowadays. Back in 1950s and 60s, everything was done here so many people of all walks of life can get in on the action (i.e. Solder Ladies). And whatever computers you buy, most certain there are no "Cylon Kill Switches" built inside.

There's good news, and there's bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251326)

Contrary to the music industry, the military-industrial complex does seem to adapt.

On the downside, this stuff is even more overhead and even less productive in and of itself. That means a further hollowing of the economy and a net loss of wealth, especially when also accounting for the inevitable loss through further erosion of civil liberties. Great for the individual future governmental TLAgency employee, though. In that much this high school is spot on.

Budget cuts (1)

bored (40072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251424)

I have a good idea where the federal budget could be cut....

If we have more federal employees than private... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251928)

Then there'll be nothing in the U.S. to CyberProtect - anything worthwhile will be in China or India.

Stop the madness on this endless homeland security expansion. Companies can take care of themselves.

So comforting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252252)

As the requirements for most of those positions is a Security + cerification. Even a CISSP is a dime a dozen now thanks to DOD 8570; you can assume that the hysteria will be growing.

Most of these people can't turn on a computer or operate a console application and somehow they are going to contribute to a sensible security solution.

So I don't know what's worse with the growing hysteria. The number of snake oil salesmen at security companies who will be fleecing the government with their wares; or the "security professionals" who will be fleecing the government for all these crazy positions that will be created....

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