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DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-still-an-upgrade dept.
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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DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security

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  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:22PM (#45747577) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:54PM (#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...

  • Re:Well worth it! (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:00PM (#45748001)

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

    Nor is it the first time.

  • by demachina (71715) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:01PM (#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.

  • by peterofoz (1038508) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:04PM (#45748033) Homepage Journal
    If they're displacing regular employees or they derive immediate advantage from the activities of the intern...

    6 Legal Requirements For Unpaid Internship Programs []

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:07PM (#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.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:47PM (#45748407)

    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.

    This [] contains an interesting summary of Truman's salary history.

    • In 1921 Truman's salary was probably close to nothing. He was living in debt and trying to keep his failing business open.
    • In 1922 he was elected Missouri's Jackson County judge and was paid $3,465.00 per year.
    • In 1925 Truman lost reelection and took a job selling AAA automobile club memberships for $15.00 each...
    • In 1926 he was elected as the presiding judge and was paid $6,000.00 per year.
    • In 1934 Truman was elected senator and made $10,000.00 a year.
    • In 1944 he was chosen to be the Roosevelt's third vice-president. His salary jumped to $20,000.00 per year.
    • In 1945 ... Truman became the President of the United States. His salary was $75,000.00 and then increased $100,000.00 a year
    • In 1954 he sold the rights to his biography for $600,000.00 which would be paid over 5 years, and in 1958 Congress passed a law to retroactively provide former presidents a pension of $25,000.00 a year.

    So, he went into public service making about zero, starting with a judicial position at $3465 a year. He left the Presidency and started a military pension at $13500 a year. He then picked up another $25k a year retroactively starting in 1954.

    I'd say going from zero to $38k a year is not leaving public service poorer than he started. It's not the lavish pensions pols get today, but it's still not poorer.

    As for political donations for personal use, the same source reports:

    He continued paying down the debt, even while the Great Depression was occurring, until 1934 when a political supporter bought his debt allowed him to pay it off for $1,000.00.

    So, a political supporter donated a huge sum by buying the existing debt on the new Senator's failed clothing store and letting him pay it off cheap.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:51PM (#45748459)

    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.

    That's better than "go from good manufacturing job to no job to running out of unemployment insurance to giving up looking" which also counts as a success at reducing unemployment numbers.

  • by volxdragon (1297215) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:08PM (#45749139)
    Federal civil service workes haven't had a pension in decades - CSRS was closed to new government workers in 1987, all they get now is FERS which really is no different than any other 401(k). The days of the government pension are pretty much dead (unless you're a congress critter that is).

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse