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FBI Need Potheads To Fight Cybercrime 319

Posted by Soulskill
from the government-dorito-budget-not-up-to-snuff dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The rate of cybercrime is growing and growing, and law enforcement is struggling to keep up. The FBI is in the process of beefing up its headcount, but they're running into a problem: many of the hackers applying for these jobs have a history of marijuana use, and the agency has a zero tolerance policy. FBI Director James Comey said, 'I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.' However, change may be on the horizon: Comey said the FBI is changing 'both our mindset and the way we do business.' He also encouraged job applications from former pot users despite the policy."
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FBI Need Potheads To Fight Cybercrime

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  • by davydagger (2566757) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:08PM (#47051349)

    Wait a second, I thought potheads were worthless burnouts who will never amount to anything?

    Looks like one bullshit stereotype driven war is affecting our ability to fight another bullshit stereotype driven war.

    The irony is fucking killing me.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      So... is this whole situation good or bad?
      It's a moral infinite loop.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:29PM (#47051555)

        When has admitting that you smoke pot to a law enforcement officer ever turned out to be "good" for you? Seriously, if you hack and smoke pot, don't work for the FBI. Not until pot becomes legal everywhere in the US.

        • Occasionally (depending on the individual LEO, the circumstances, and your flawless delivery) you can use a truthful response to your advantage during a roadside interview.

          Believe you me, the cops don't get blunt honesty a great deal, and some find it quite refreshing.

          Caveat: YMMV. There would be a much greater probability of a positive outcome if you were admitting to some minor marijuana use versus having a body in the trunk.

    • Wait a second, I thought potheads were worthless burnouts who will never amount to anything?

      Well, Eric Holder is the Attorney General . . . and any time he opens his mouth . . . I think he's tripping his balls off on LSD.

    • by flyneye (84093)

      As one of the top 4% of minds in the world, I have smoked an average of two oz. of cannabis a month for the last 38 years. Ive blow it all off over time,designed everything from military weapons to consumer electronics, interviewed more celebrities than youll ever meet in a lifetime,received two bullshit doctorates from Ivy league Universities and have the gall to offer my top of the line archtop guitar for a cool $35k U.S. This is only from my hobbies.
      What have you done lately?

    • Call me silly but shouldn't we always want to hire people who obey the law before any consideration is given to people who do break the law?
      • actually, no. You want people who can understand the people their chasing...and this is the FBI basically admitting that it shouldn't be illegal in the first place, and their missing out on thousands of highly effective hackers because of duPont Chemical's need to protect their profits against hemp paper and the racist policies of the past. Hire a criminal to catch criminals!
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Congress should pass a law preventing the FBI from hiring these people. If they're flouting the drug laws, then they have no business working for the government which enforces those laws and refuses to rescind them. If the FBI can't fill their staffing needs as a result, and cybercrime goes unpunished, then that's the price they need to pay for their bad policies.

    • Wait a second, I thought potheads were worthless burnouts who will never amount to anything?

      You'll see only success stories posted here. Not a word from those whose careers were crippled or cut short by alcohol or drugs.

  • by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:18PM (#47051439) Journal
    When Colorado passed the recreational Marijuana law last year, the AG stated that he expected to review employment-discrimination cases by the end of this year. It's going to be interesting when it comes to companies that do business in Colorado and other states, since current doctrine allows companies to have policies dependent on individual state laws, but I don't believe any of then conflict with national policy.

    Regardless of your stance on the morality of it, maybe we just start treating one drug (MJ) like another (Alcohol or Tobacco) from a legal perspective? Contrary to Mr. Christie, Denver is a fantastic place to live, and I genuinely believe the recreational industry has improved it even more.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Pax681 (1002592)

      Contrary to Mr. Christie, Denver is a fantastic place to live, and I genuinely believe the recreational industry has improved it even more. --

      Colorado, specially Denver is fantastic.. I go regularly to visit friends and for a wee bit of work. The state is happy as it's got massively increased tax revenue and the people are happy as they no longer are victimised for having a wee smoke. Police are happy as they can get on with other more serious stuff... and i mention the police as one of my friends over is

    • Enjoying my Carbondale Kool-aid Cush as I write this ;)
  • Drunk (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dickplaus (2461402) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:20PM (#47051461)
    Look I'm all for allowing them to smoke on their own time, but I don't show up to interviews or work buzzing off of a couple bloody marys. Relax the drug screenings yes, but showing up high? That's just immature IMHO.
    • Re:Drunk (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jmc23 (2353706) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:24PM (#47051489) Journal
      About as immature as all those people showing up to work buzzed on caffeine.

      Different bodies function differently. Just like the majority of people need something to speed them up, some people need something to slow them down.

      • by NIK282000 (737852)

        It is insane how much caffeine some people run on. Seeing people drink 2 XL coffees an hour for a 12 hour shift makes my weekend pub crawl look like the church picnic.

        • bah, I moved beyond adulterated caffeine many years ago. Coffee? Takes too long, just open up the Jet-alert and slam 2-3 pills!
        • by jonwil (467024)

          Of course then you get the geeks/programmers/hackers who prefer to get their caffeine in carbonated form (and become obese or diabetic as a side-effect thanks to all that HFCS they drink)

    • Re:Drunk (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjames (1099) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:35PM (#47051627) Homepage

      It used to be fairly common to have a couple drinks at lunch.

      • It still can be. I have a tech friend who used to work for a company (about 4 years ago) that brought in kegs at lunch.

      • It used to be fairly common to have a couple drinks at lunch.

        And smoke a pack of cigarettes at your desk. And only hire people of the correct religion or race. And fire the secretary for not putting out.

        • by swb (14022)

          We've stopped doing all those things and now look at the mess we're in.

          Peggy, get your skirt back on, get me some ice and pour me a drink.

        • by sjames (1099)

          So if we bring even one thing back, we automatically have to have all the others?

          Besides, the drinks at lunch continued well after the other things went away.

      • Quite true. Should we bring back other practices from that bygone, golden era, such as sexually harassing women in the workforce and refusing to hire blacks for decent jobs? Or are we still waiting for those other bad ideas to come back in style?

        (quick aside: apologies if you're merely making an interesting historical observation, without intending to use it to lend credence to the notion that it's fine to show up high for an interview)

    • by dcollins (135727)

      I'm sure that FBI Director James Comey has specific case files he can point to of this actually happening, and wasn't engaging in hyperbolic BS like he normally does.

    • Look I'm all for allowing them to smoke on their own time, but I don't show up to interviews or work buzzing off of a couple bloody marys. Relax the drug screenings yes, but showing up high? That's just immature IMHO.

      Imagine you're going to throw your morals under the bus. Wouldn't you be plastered or stoned in your FBI interview? The shitty thing is, aside from my anti-war and anti-spying activism, shitfaced or not they'd hire me on the spot after seeing my resume.

      The people that could protect this country, wouldn't agree to work with the NSA and FBI anyway, that would be counter productive to said goal. Look, if they wanted to end cybercrime then our guys would be discovering exploits and patching them. We'd be bu

  • by PvtVoid (1252388) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:42PM (#47051705)
    The only FBI agent I have ever known reasonably well was a scoutmaster and used his boy scout troop as couriers to deal weed. True story.
  • They just need to actually advertise for those positions.

    Anyone seen the FBI recruiting for hackers?

    Nope? Okay... so there's your problem.

    If they're really serious they'll talk to the Pentagon about how to actually get recruitment flowing.

    It requires things like "placing an ad"... in anything. And then manning the phone or email address cited.

  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:04PM (#47052425)

    Like gay marriage the prohibition of marijuana will start falling state by state. Colorado and Washington have already done so. When people see that it isn't going to be a huge disaster other states will follow suit and eventually it will become untenable to maintain the prohibition. It's just a matter of time.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)
      And as long as its use is viewed the same as drinking, that's fine with me. My problem is pot users seem to think they should be able to get high on their smoke break, or while driving, or whatever. By all means, use it at home or when you are off the clock. Just don't show up anywhere smelling like pot that you couldn't show up smelling like vodka.
  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:08PM (#47052865)

    Assuming you've got a track record as a top-notch white hat hacker and security guy and you had some unique experience/skill mix that the FBI really felt they needed, would they just kind of put up with it, maybe/especially if you lived in a state like Colorado or had a medical card in California?

    How do companies like Apple/Oracle/Google/MS/Amazon handle it in California now? My first hand experience and everything I've read in the media makes pot seem pretty well accepted in California and there's certainly a counter-culture kind of attitude among a lot of technology people. If you get recruited to Google because you're something special, do they give you a piss test and then tell you they won't hire you?

    • by ark1 (873448)

      Assuming you've got a track record as a top-notch white hat hacker and security guy and you had some unique experience/skill mix that the FBI really felt they needed, would they just kind of put up with it, maybe/especially if you lived in a state like Colorado or had a medical card in California?

      How do companies like Apple/Oracle/Google/MS/Amazon handle it in California now? My first hand experience and everything I've read in the media makes pot seem pretty well accepted in California and there's certainly a counter-culture kind of attitude among a lot of technology people. If you get recruited to Google because you're something special, do they give you a piss test and then tell you they won't hire you?

      If you are a world class mathematician, NSA will hire you without the traditional polygraph. Under these circumstances they will likely invest more on the field investigation which are fairly expensive but for exceptional individuals likely worth the extra $$$.

    • by BigDish (636009) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @03:56AM (#47054301)

      Funny...you think tech companies drug test. I worked for MS for 5 years - I *NEVER* heard of an FTE there getting a drug test, even on hire. I never took one. I've since left and work for another tech company. Most of the owners (it's a ~30 person company) know I smoke, and I've smoked with some of them. I have friends at Apple, Google, and Amazon. Again, no drug tests.

      Tech companies basically can't drug test - they would have to fire 1/2 of their employees.

  • by msauve (701917)

    He also encouraged job applications from former pot users despite the policy.

    Maybe we can discuss this over a beer?

  • I know someone who tried joining the FBI years ago, as a mechanic. He had tried a few things during college, even though he hadn't used in years, and he didn't make it through the interview process. This was probably 10-15 years ago.

    Shortly after that, I had heard they had increased the limit to 7 years, so he gave up, rather than trying to just wait out the time ... so three years might've already been relaxing the rules.

  • Perhaps now you see why secret agencies like the NSA and FBI are detrimental. Their "Cybercrime" is full of skiddies who'll do anything for a paycheck and likely are the same folks who privately rail against such mechanisms. Think about it. How many of the ones they hired that weren't potheads were spies from "enemy" states instead?

  • by Snufu (1049644)

    Fraternal Brotherhood of Inhalers.

  • "The F.B.I.?"

    "Yes. The F.B.I."

    "...F.B.I.'s not here, man."

  • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:45AM (#47053835)

    Seriously... Ever see a stoner get violent? Many drunks get violent, yet alcohol is legal. Weed is not the same as hard drugs, and more people than you think indulge (or have indulged) in the stuff.

    Besides, if you use a vaporiser, it's not that harmful, and I don't think weed kills more brain cells than beer.

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