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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 Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:21PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:23PM (#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?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:28PM (#45747649)

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

  • Re:Evil Plot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by realmolo (574068) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:30PM (#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.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:40PM (#45747791) Homepage

    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.

  • by Zephyn (415698) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:42PM (#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?

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:17PM (#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.

  • by iamgnat (1015755) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:17PM (#45748691)

    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.

    All true, but at least we'd be paying the Fed employee less to screw us over. I did a stint as a DoD contractor and was paid a little more than twice what a Fed doing the same work (in the same group) was getting paid. And I was getting about a quarter of what was going to my contracting company for the position. Hell, given that math I'd be more worried about disgruntled Feds than contractors

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.