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DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the probably-still-an-upgrade dept.

Security 174

theodp writes "A week after President Obama stressed the importance of computer science to America, the Department of Homeland Security put out a call for 100+ of the nations' best-and-brightest college students to work for nothing on the nation's cyber security. The unpaid internship program, DHS notes, is the realization of recommendations (PDF) from the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on CyberSkills, which included execs from Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and Sony, and was advised by representatives from Cisco, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, the NSF, and the NSA. 'Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career?' reads the job posting for Secretary's Honors Program Cyber Student Volunteers (salary: $0.00-$0.00). 'If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.' Student volunteers, DHS adds, will begin in spring 2014 and participate throughout the summer. Get your applications in by January 3, kids!"

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174 comments

Stick with what works... (4, Funny)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 4 months ago | (#45747503)

Ooo! Outsiders worked so well before! Snow-den! Snow-den! What fun.

Re:Stick with what works... (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 4 months ago | (#45747577)

Ooo! Outsiders worked so well before! Snow-den! Snow-den! What fun.

If youi're taking a snipe at contractors vs govt personnel here on this one, there really isn't much a difference in the loyalty or trustworthiness of the two.

If you're working on something security related, you have to sign the same forms saying you're liable to the same laws and penalties if you divulge secrets, etc.

It isn't like the govt. worker is held to any standards higher than the contractor is, if working on the same system/data.

And a secret clearance background check isn't any more thorough for a govt employee than it is for a contractor, they pretty much use the same exact methods and entities for them.

Re:Stick with what works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747645)

Commenting to agree (gave mod points)

The only difference between a contractor and an employee on a TS level is the type of work you are hired to do and who signs your paycheck. Whether it be DoD, Northrop, Booze, etc

Re:Stick with what works... (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 4 months ago | (#45747669)

Most people just don't get this. Strange, isn't it?

Re:Stick with what works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747739)

Yes, yes, because the us government bases all its employees in Hong Kong. No difference at all.

Re:Stick with what works... (3)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 4 months ago | (#45747747)

Why in the hell would you have a limited time internship that requires a secret level clearance that will probably take the UNPAID intern months to get?

Seems like a ton of hassle for very little reward.

Re:Stick with what works... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747899)

what is it the Bankers, Ceo's and political critters like to say about their wages?
Pay peanuts and get monkeys , you have to pay if you want he best talent and all that?

Re:Stick with what works... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#45748009)

Someone once said to that while people complain about the salaries of politicians, some of the states with the most blatant corruption are the ones that don't pay their politicians much....so they have to be wealthy or in some pockets; nobody else can take the job.

So what little reward? Clearly they are not looking tor people with much conscience. Conscience is a luxury of those who can afford it.

Re:Stick with what works... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748011)

My dad used to say "you get what you pay for" as he handed me my $1 allowance.

Get your security clearance before graduation ... (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45748123)

Why in the hell would you have a limited time internship that requires a secret level clearance that will probably take the UNPAID intern months to get? Seems like a ton of hassle for very little reward.

Because it gets you that security clearance before graduation. When you and your peers begin applying for jobs after graduation you have an advantage, you already have security clearance.

Re:Stick with what works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747803)

But, like the old saying goes, you can teach anyone skills, but you cannot teach everyone values.

Someone who works as a government employee is likely to have a different mindset to someone in the private sector. The latter, by definition, must be ultimately driven by rational selfishness / profit / whatever you want to call it. The former is likely to be in public service for the long haul, and must have a reason other than maximising their bank balance.

Re:Stick with what works... (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 4 months ago | (#45747895)

Two words: bull and shit.

Show me a single congressman (house or senate) that left "public service" poorer than they started.

Re:Stick with what works... (1, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 4 months ago | (#45748171)

Two words: bull and shit.

Show me a single congressman (house or senate) that left "public service" poorer than they started.

Harry Truman. When he ended his 2nd term, all he had was his old WW1 Army pension to fall back on.

Re:Stick with what works... (2, Informative)

demachina (71715) | about 4 months ago | (#45748015)

Civil servants are frequently working for the chance to retire after 30 years, with a life time pension, and the ability to start a new career in the private sector, often exploiting their government connections, and working for the contractors they once managed. This is often refered to as double dipping. If you do military, civil service and then private sector its triple dipping. There salaries may not be great but their life time payout is actually really good. Life time pensions are increasingly rare in the private sectors because they are staggeringly expensive with people increasingly living to be a 100.

If you actually compare private sector versus civil service salaries, civil service salaries are starting to outpace the private sector in many fields. This is partially a product of private sector salaries being stagnant in many fields for decades.

Certainly Wall Street banker and hedge fund manager out performs civil service. In the case of SEC civil servents they are usually there to do favors for the big banks and brokers they are supposed to be regulating and then they cash in the favors for high paying job with the people they used to regulate. There is a similar revolving door in just about every Federal agency. And yes it is also known as corruption.

Re:Stick with what works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747787)

This will save TAX PAYERS...

Re:Stick with what works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748331)

Right. Because if you aren't getting paid, you pay no taxes.

from bad to worse (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#45747879)

"Hi, I'm Jihad McMuhammed, I'm here to start data analysis as your newest intern."

"fine, why don't you take the Assistant Leader Personal Security desk over here, and coordinate our reactions to intelligence... you can text when you're not busy."

what could possibly be wrong about that?

Probably playing world of warcraft ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45748093)

Ooo! Outsiders worked so well before! Snow-den! Snow-den! What fun.

What makes you think these interns are sys admins? They are probably the folks playing world of warcraft and looking for sinister activities in chat.

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747511)

First time!!!

Re:FP (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 4 months ago | (#45747551)

Didn't they just recently pass laws/regulations pretty much banning unpaid internship for most private businesses???

Re:FP (2)

flonker (526111) | about 4 months ago | (#45747587)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division allows an employer not to pay a trainee if all of the following are true:

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
  • The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
  • The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
  • The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
  • The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internship#United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747871)

>> The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees

It's that point that got most companies in trouble. Unpaid interns -cannot- do any meaningful or productive work for the company.
The moment they do, they need to be paid for it.
It's very hard for a company to prove that the intern they aren't paying isn't beneficial to the company.

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748181)

Well, this is DHS that we're talking about. Is anything they do meaningful or productive? They could have nothing but unpaid interns and probably stay within the letter of the law!

Re:FP (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 4 months ago | (#45748235)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division allows an employer not to pay a trainee if all of the following are true:

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
  • The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
  • The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
  • The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
  • The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internship#United_States [wikipedia.org]

The 'trainees' WILL replace 'regular employees' and the employer DOES receive an immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees. That was the whole point of this, wasn't it? NOT to train up the next gen of cyberwarriors, but to put them in place to DO SHIT.

The big tech companies write their job descriptions these days to where they 'can't' find Americans trained 'well enough' to fill them, thus, they NEED H1Bs to fill the slots that they 'can't find any American to fill'. H1Bs work cheaper, and besides, you have a stranglehold on them because they're not citizens. The only thing cheaper than an H1B for an employer is an UNPAID INTERN. We should be surprised that the government would take this advice from the big tech corps?

Government doesn't live by its own rules ... (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45748169)

Didn't they just recently pass laws/regulations pretty much banning unpaid internship for most private businesses???

Since when does government have to live by the rules it imposes on individuals and business? Exempting itself is a common practice.

There's a disconnect here (5, Insightful)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 4 months ago | (#45747515)

"...100+ of the nations' best-and-brightest college students.."
"..to work for nothing"

Boy. Can't imagine how they could say no to that.

Re:There's a disconnect here (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747571)

If it gives people the opportunity to abuse power in order to get back at people they dislike, with no oversight or accountability whatsoever, I can imagine it would attract quite a few bright people. Only problem is, it would also end up filtering for sociopaths. Intelligent, driven sociopaths, at that.

Re:There's a disconnect here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747687)

On the other hand, there are a lot of bored and disillusioned college grads who know the job market sucks and will gladly infiltrate "The Man" and his methods, and leak them a la Snowden. A good number of them probably remember how good life was during the Clinton years, before the police-state clenched its filthy claw all over the airports and roads.

Bootlickers need not apply.

Re:There's a disconnect here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748031)

... there are a lot of bored and disillusioned college grads who know the job market sucks and will gladly infiltrate "The Man" and his methods, and leak them a la Snowden ...

Right, because these college grads are looking for an opportunity for prison, exile and/or lifelong unemployability in their native country (and many others too).

Re:There's a disconnect here (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45747797)

well hey, it will put people back to work right? I mean who cares if they arent getting paid as long as people are working!

Politician cheer success at reducing unemployment (3, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45748053)

well hey, it will put people back to work right? I mean who cares if they arent getting paid as long as people are working!

You are not far off. When you go from a good manufacturing job to unemployment to flipping burgers you are a victory in the unemployment statistics, politicians will cheer their success at reducing unemployment.

Re:There's a disconnect here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747909)

"No, we dont pay you, but you can access prism from your workstation..."

(captcha: illusion :-S)

Re:There's a disconnect here (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 4 months ago | (#45747961)

Exactly. What they're demonstrating here is the difference between saying "We're serious about fixing the problem" and "We're serious about fixing the problem and have allocated resources to demonstrate that". Promises of changes like these are worthless unless they're backed up with a budget, personnel, or infrastructure.

Something on the resume of than classwork ... (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45747989)

"...100+ of the nations' best-and-brightest college students.."
"..to work for nothing"

Boy. Can't imagine how they could say no to that.

They are college students. They get course credit for things like this, each quarter/semester is the equivalent of an elective class. That has a monetary value.

Plus a key to getting hired is to have something on your resume other than your degree and its assigned coursework/projects. So it has monetary value in that regard too. Its not terribly different than voluntarily contributing to a FOSS project, well other than HR departments probably consider DHS experience and references more valuable.

Thirdly, if you want to work for DHS this gets your foot in the door. In governmental bureaucracies like this knowing someone inside and/or having an insider reference is quite valuable. Works in corporations too. I think the newly announced General Motors CEO started at GM as an intern when she was in college.

That said, I am not against paid internships. I am merely pointing out that as a student even an unpaid internship can have a value.

Re:Something on the resume of than classwork ... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 months ago | (#45748129)

They are college students. They get course credit for things like this, each quarter/semester is the equivalent of an elective class.

That's part of the problem. Credit should not be given for "internships" like this, which are clearly (read the description) used to obtain free labor with no training given back (just on-the-job experience).

Re:Something on the resume of than classwork ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#45748243)

They are college students. They get course credit for things like this, each quarter/semester is the equivalent of an elective class.

That's part of the problem. Credit should not be given for "internships" like this, which are clearly (read the description) used to obtain free labor with no training given back (just on-the-job experience).

I had a "paid internship", actually it was called "cooperative education" - I have no idea if there is a distinction between the two, and to get credit I had to write a report at the end of the quarter explaining how this work related to and contributed to my field of study. I'm not claiming that this report is some great hurdle but there is supposed to be some educational aspect, well at least in the co-op class I had.

Re:There's a disconnect here (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45748117)

But they get a "meaningful and rewarding career," that is, if you define "meaningful" to mean "unpaid" and "rewarding" to mean "dead-end."

Re:There's a disconnect here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748265)

ROFL

Well worth it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747525)

$0 is a great price for being shunned by your peers for the rest of your life.

Re:Well worth it! (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45747859)

And further evidence that DHS is a communist invention.

Re:Well worth it! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748001)

This reminds me more of Fascist Germany and Hitler's Youth program.

Nor is it the first time.

Re:Well worth it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748311)

$0 is a great price for being shunned by your peers for the rest of your life.

Maybe your peers will shun them. Their peers will hold them in awe.

Evil Plot (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45747535)

Sometimes I wonder if unpaid internships are just part of a sinister plot to keep the class divide as large as possible. In college I knew lots of really bright people who had to skip internships because they had to do things like work so they could pay for school and, well, eat.

I know that they are not intended that way, but it is one of the side issues with the 'internship' culture, they tend to be a step based off how much cash you have that can have major effects on your long term career options.

Re:Evil Plot (5, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | about 4 months ago | (#45747679)

That's exactly what this is.

The position requires a security clearance, for God's sake! This is an internship for the children of congressman and other highly-placed public officials (and, of course, children of big donors to the Republican and/or Democratic parties). Nothing will get accomplished, but a lot of rich kids will get to put it on their resume.

Re:Evil Plot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747693)

Absolutely. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. If you have enough money that you don't need to work, you get access to opportunities that let you make even more money that you don't need.

It's definitely a problem here (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 months ago | (#45747775)

DHS is clustered heavily in DC and the areas immediately outside of DC within the beltway. The cost of moving to this area just to work could easily add $10k-$12k in debt or lost savings for just a single summer. This is simply not an internship that makes sense for any student who comes from a family lacking real wealth.

Re:Evil Plot (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 months ago | (#45748059)

Sometimes I wonder if unpaid internships are just part of a sinister plot to keep the class divide as large as possible. In college I knew lots of really bright people who had to skip internships because they had to do things like work so they could pay for school and, well, eat.

I don't know if there is such a plot, but it is definitely an effect of the increasing income disparity. I rather doubt a plot, because historical evidence suggests that an increasing divide in wealth distribution results in less wealth for all (including the wealthy) over time.

Re:Evil Plot (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 4 months ago | (#45748271)

Sometimes I wonder if unpaid internships are just part of a sinister plot to keep the class divide as large as possible. In college I knew lots of really bright people who had to skip internships because they had to do things like work so they could pay for school and, well, eat.

I don't know if there is such a plot, but it is definitely an effect of the increasing income disparity. I rather doubt a plot, because historical evidence suggests that an increasing divide in wealth distribution results in less wealth for all (including the wealthy) over time.

A quick glance at history suggests a shorter lifespan for those at the top of the wealth distribution curve. Shorter by a head, that is...

Re:Evil Plot (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 4 months ago | (#45748139)

In addition to that, kids have to use their family connections to get the unpaid internship. A law firm, advertising agency or something will hire a kid because his father is one of their clients.

It used to be that kids would use their family connections to get a paid internship.

There are even agencies that will place kids in an unpaid internship for a fee in the thousands of dollars.

What happened to minimum wage? (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 months ago | (#45747539)

Thought that was exploitive and slave like to use unpaid interns.

Re:What happened to minimum wage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747671)

Hey, we got to compete with China somehow. Can't have them using more unpaid interns than the U.S. now can we?
*sarcasm*

Security clearances??? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747595)

I would have thought anyone working in this area would need security clearance - which can take quite a while to get. How is that effort going to make sense (or be done in time) for spring/summer 2014 temporary work?

Re:Security clearances??? (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about 4 months ago | (#45747701)

They can start with an interim security clearance. The interim security clearance only doesn't hold up when the applicant perjures himself. At which point, of course, he winds up in Federal PMITA Prison.

Re:Security clearances??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747873)

At which point, of course, he winds up in Federal PMITA Prison.

Bullshit.

Re:Security clearances??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748005)

You can get a Confidential pretty quick. Just give 'em your fingerprints, swear you're not a communist and it's pretty much good-to-go. At least that's what it was like in the 80s. I was put in for Secret, and that did take a few months. In fact, yep, the internship ended before I got Secret which was OK because I could come back next year and use it. Unfortunately I had some personal problems and had to drop out of school. Back then I was proud to be dealing with all that. Today? NFW. Oh, and the internships were *paid*. It wasn't generous mind you--just min wage or a bit above. I earned about $3000 that Summer.

Merry Christmas from the US government! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747613)

I know that spending my time applying to do a bunch of menial work for the government for free is exactly what I was hoping to get to do this Christmas!

Also relevants... (5, Insightful)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 4 months ago | (#45747633)

This position requires a Security Clearance of SECRET. SO, let me get this straight. Unpaid, FULL TIME, college age, best and brightest... with access to secret level items...

Nevermind. This is a great idea. What could possibly go wrong?

What constitution? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747643)

Not content with making a mockery of the first and fourth amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the DHS now sets about dismantling the thirteenth amendment!

Re:What constitution? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#45747951)

The 13th really has nothing to do with it. No one will need to be compelled to do this so it would be neither involuntary or slavery. It would be more like charity.

Oh, and as soon as the 13th does come into play, you need to involve the 5th too. Time and effort is still the most common private property held by the people and if it is seized for public use, just compensation is more than appropriate.

Simple reason they are unpaid (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45747649)

It ensures only the ideologically pure will come to work for them.

Re:Simple reason they are unpaid (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45747883)

Doesn't work for the tech sector, or any other for that matter. Hey, genius, see that carrot dangling out there called "future job"? Yeah, it's made of money. The internship means that only the folks who aren't poor enough to need money will work for them.

Hi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747651)

The unpaid internship program, DHS notes, is the realization of recommendations (PDF) from the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on CyberSkills, which included execs from Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and Sony, and was advised by representatives from Cisco, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grummaan, the NSF, and the NSA.

Hi! I'm a very rich big shot and I don't want to spend the money and time finding great security talent. And it woud be great if my security talent knew top secret decoding/cypher/secret code knowledge that I can profit from - FREE R&D baby!

Fucking corporatist!

You know folks, before blaming me for voting for Obama (I did), keep in mind Romney would be just as corporatist.

That is NOT an excuse, but a complaint.

We the people need to hold these asshole's feet to the fire.

Are they promising changes or just telling us what we want to hear?

The latter obvikously, but let's really hold these asshole's to their worthless word -fuck you Obama! You fooled me!

Democrats and Republicans are ALL corporatists!!

If someone has a 'D' or 'R' by their name - they are liars, cheats and worthless politician scum.

Reminds Me Of... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747653)

...during the Clinton years, but before the Monica Lewinski scandal where government would place ads in newspapers and certain periodicals asking for interns. The ads mentioned something along the lines of "gain experience under the nation's leaders". After the Monica scandal, this bit of wording was changed.

C-c-c-combo breaker! (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 months ago | (#45747659)

Not only you help spy on your family and friends, help to demolish remaining US freedoms, but also you get not paid for that! How you can refuse that great deal?

Slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747683)

Didn't America have a civil war over slavery?

Re:Slavery (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 4 months ago | (#45748017)

Didn't America have a civil war over slavery?

Yes, twice.

Once in 2008 and again in 2012.

The slavers won both times.

Strat

Re:Slavery (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 4 months ago | (#45748325)

Didn't America have a civil war over slavery?

Yes, twice.

Once in 2008 and again in 2012.

The slavers won both times.

Strat

That's debatable. Just remember, under the Old Regime, man oppressed man. Under the New Regime, they reversed that...

Unpaid Internship Slave Labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747695)

What could be more 'merican than that?

Gov't follows industry--makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747703)

Considering 9 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies use interns (at least 1/2 of them unpaid), gov't is just nothing but a model of a modern day corporation... especially those in media or tech.

Interns are great, lots of 'spunk', will work overtime no sweat, do anything you ask, and are actually interested in the work.... but lack any real world experience, domain knowledge, and are plainly inefficient... even the geniuses for what I've seen. It's only a few that make a difference or shine... but what's the chances it's different from a F/T employee? Not much aside from interns can get controlled to an extent.

Considering I see more interns than employees are several big media and brick-n-mortar companies... I find this quite NOT surprising. It's a short term solution that will bite the gov't in the butt eventually. Cause the really problem is [really] training existing F/T employees and interns in building skillsets.... and NO ONE does that anymore.

no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747733)

ok... so let's see how this works.... we go from someone who had possibly some idea of how to do his job to kids who may post the info on google+ and facebook... nice.... well, I guess the failures of healthcare.gov and what happens when you let people who have no idea how to do the job correctly went unnoticed.

$0/Hr? (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 4 months ago | (#45747777)

Now that is attractive, maybe we should have $0/Hr employee's set the next encryption standard, NSA would love that.

Get out the plunger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747779)

Yeah, well when you are flushing as much money down the toilet as DHS is, they had to cut corners somewhere. And it isn't going to be on programs that make rich people richer.

Sounds like a career killer to me (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#45747791)

Put that experience on a resume and you're likely to see more rejections than you would expect normally. There was a time when "government job" meant something but now it means something else entirely to a growing number of people and businesses out there. Things are getting polarized. Working and living in the DC area showed me exactly how polarized they are even 3-4 years ago.

you are fooling yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748289)

EVERY goddamn Silicon Valley asshole will be all over these interns.

Re:Sounds like a career killer to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748335)

I can personally attest to this. I've spent over ten years trying to escape government contracts. Every time a potential private sector company talks to me, they always say things like "Things are different on the corporate side than in the government. We're much more fast paced." I'm going to disagree there, seeing as part of my contracts have led me to work in Afghanistan being rocketed at while still managing to fix servers, and the constant fear of pissing off a 4 star general and ruining my career. I am sick and tired of the higher classified contracts, where I work in a cave with no windows, and my only customers have the power to send me to GTMO if I screw up. Yeah, escaping the GOV is hard, and it's a black hole, but at least I can pay my bills.

Transformers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747809)

Wait a minute... isnt this a scene from Transformers 1. Where the hot intern chick steals the info to have her 31337 friend break the signal for her? rut roh! we know how that panned out!

Don't worry about the government shutting down (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747811)

They don't get paid! It's the biggest safety mechanism that the government has left.

So let me get this straight... (4, Interesting)

Zephyn (415698) | about 4 months ago | (#45747817)

You want to offer a bunch of impressionable young people, most of whom are accumulating large amounts of debt, the opportunity to learn as much as they can about the computer security infrastructure of the country. While they do this, we're not paying them a cent or giving them any guarantees regarding future employment, further increasing their financial insecurity in the present and the future, as well as exploiting whatever sense of loyalty they might feel for their country for the purpose of reducing government labor costs.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748257)

revolution!

but then i don't see that as going wrong. its time for one!

has anyone ever thought that while the other side seems to think that it is beneficial to take advantage of these internships to get free labour. one must contemplate in the end what they are really creating. so they hire these youngsters, teach them all about the government infrastructure while bleeding them dry so when they get out of school they are further in debt with nothing to loose.. sounds like a whole lot of fuel waiting for a spark to me.. and im more than willing to set that powder-keg off!

By "they" i am referring to anyone trying to centralize power. i still don't see how we are not using the internet to help decentralize power.

"The world will always need a rebolution. That doesnt mean shooting and violence. A revolution is when you change your thinking." - Jose Mujica

There are just not enough facepalms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747913)

Meanwhile, talented people in the DC area who have been in the industry for 20+ years are losing jobs to dirt-cheap developers with zero talent and outrageously padded resumes.

 

"secret" doesn't mean "secret" anymore. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45747935)

It has been diluted into what was called "sensitive but unclassified".

In most cases, you have to have "secret" just to get past the guard house.

When I started, the order was "unclassified","classified", "secret", "top secret", with variations within those categories. Nowdays unclassified means unemployed :), classified means its an official document... But to get on base you have to have a "secret" or "top secret" clearance. For DHS, it means than secret is needed to get past the front door.

The other reason for the dilution is that whoever the person talks to will likely have a higher clearance... And even though they will be doing what used to be unclassified work, they need secret just because their office made/monitor will have secret talks that could be overheard. Not to mention seeing whats on a desk...

In other news, bribes are cheaper than ever before (2)

gapagos (1264716) | about 4 months ago | (#45747973)

"Hey kid. They're not paying you, but we can help out! All we need you to do is run "trojanbackdoormasterleaker.exe" on the server with admin privileges. We can even pay you twice as much as McDonald's would! Your $30,000 salary's in the mail!"

Is this a Labor Law violation? (4, Informative)

peterofoz (1038508) | about 4 months ago | (#45748033)

If they're displacing regular employees or they derive immediate advantage from the activities of the intern...

6 Legal Requirements For Unpaid Internship Programs [forbes.com]

Re:Is this a Labor Law violation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748197)

Interestingly, they use the word "Volunteer". It still looks like a huge labor violation tho...
http://www.elisabettalombardo.com/2009/06/23/internship-vs-volunteering-the-importance-of-the-right-term/

April-September, unpaid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748099)

I'm pretty sure this sort of thing would be illegal over here.
And anyways, this sort of entry on a resume would automatically disqualify the applicant: only idiots need to work for free.

Kinda reads like a "Who's Who" from Hell (4, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 4 months ago | (#45748159)

"which included execs from Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and Sony, and was advised by representatives from Cisco, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, the NSF, and the NSA."

Aren't these chuckleheads a good representation of all that is evil and corrupt and driving Team USA into the ground?

Re:Kinda reads like a "Who's Who" from Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748241)

It's missing Oracle.

Re:Kinda reads like a "Who's Who" from Hell (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 4 months ago | (#45748313)

I have mod points, but could not figure out Insightful, funny, or interesting so I post for all three and hope others mod you up.. Well said.

Re:Kinda reads like a "Who's Who" from Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45748347)

The official term is "Military-Industrial Complex".

Eisenhower was remarkably prescient.

Scraping the barrel here (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 4 months ago | (#45748255)

You're telling me the largest single discretionaru expenditure point of the government, the DoD, can't fork out minimum wage for Info Sec interns? Jesus the least I got when interning in college was $12 an hour. The other positions paid me $19 or $20 WHILE I got course credit. I know guys that interned with some bigger companies pulling down almost twice that.
Good luck with this approach DHS. Not like there is any competition out there...
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