One of the most violent gangs in the United States has begun actively recruiting individuals who show a high aptitude in computer skill. I would advise parents to talk with their children and warn them against joining the ranks of psychopaths such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of
Fatherland Motherland Homeland Security (DHS):
The secretary of that agency, Janet Napolitano, knows she has a problem that will only worsen. Foreign hackers have been attacking her agency’s computer systems. They have also been busy trying to siphon the nation’s wealth and steal valuable trade secrets. And they have begun probing the nation’s infrastructure — the power grid, and water and transportation systems.
So she needs her own hackers — 600, the agency estimates. But potential recruits with the right skills have too often been heading for business, and those who do choose government work often go to the National Security Agency, where they work on offensive digital strategies. At Homeland Security, the emphasis is on keeping hackers out, or playing defense.
“We have to show them how cool and exciting this is,” said Ed Skoudis, one of the nation’s top computer security trainers. “And we have to show them that applying these skills to the public sector is important.”
One answer? Start young, and make it a game, even a contest.
This month, Mr. Jaska and his classmate Collin Berman took top spots at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Cyber Challenge, a veritable smackdown of hacking for high school students that was the brainchild of Alan Paller, a security expert, and others in the field.
With military exercises like NetWars, the competition, the first in a series, had more the feel of a video game. Mr. Paller helped create Cyber Aces, the nonprofit group that was host of the competition, to help Homeland Security, and likens the agency’s need for hackers to the shortage of fighter pilots during World War II.
The job calls for a certain maverick attitude. “I like to break things,” Mr. Berman, 18, said. “I always want to know, ‘How can I change this so it does something else?’ ”
Between drones and these types of competitions it appears that the United States government is continuing its track record of exploiting young children by making war feel like a video game. What the government recruiters don’t talk about are the harsh realities of war. In the case of computer security working for the government means working for the entity that is actively trying to suppress free speech on the Internet. This entity has continued to push legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, and Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. In addition to pushing destructive legislation this entity has also actively worked against free speech by seizing domain names of websites it finds undesirable (without any due process, of course). This entity has even go so far as to relentlessly pursue an individual for being a proponent of free speech and free information. By every definition of the word the United States government is a terrorist organization.
If you or somebody you know is an upcoming computer expert I urge you to urge them to work on projects that help protect Internet users from the psychopaths in the United States government. The Tor Project and I2P are always looking for more developers. Those of us that want to preserve free speech, free information, and privacy online need more advocates of cryptographic tools such as OpenPGP, Off-the-Record Messaging, and encrypted voice communications. Young computer savvy individuals should work on becoming experts in such technology, encourage their friends to use such technology, and work on the next generation of such technology.
Fortunately, for those of us that work against the United States government’s continuous attempts to censor the Internet, most people described by the state as computer hackers are not fond of authority and are therefore more likely to pursue non-state employment instead of working for the monster that labels them criminals.