back to article GCHQ losing its 'internet whizzes' to Microsoft, Google

British spooks, who are increasingly being tasked with wading into the so-called cybersecurity threat, have been fretting about the dearth of internet experts at GCHQ because the intelligence agency can't compete for expertise with the likes of Microsoft and Google. The agency's director told the Intelligence and Security …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    solution....

    outsource it all

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Coat

      to China?

      I hear they're really good at this spy stuff. At least that's what Google keeps telling me.

      The shady cloak with the floppy hat and the pipe, please.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expert

    >The best way would be to (dare I say it) contract this sort of work out to a consultancy company, who would be security-cleared for this sort of work.

    So the consultancy company takes all the money, and pays its workers as little as it can get away with. Paying an individual a decent wage for a highly skilled job is a requirement.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Take issue with that.

      Whilst consultancies certainly charge the earth, there are many of their employees who earn comparable salaries to their peers in the wider industry.

  3. Mike 61
    Black Helicopters

    They are just in the wrong location

    My number one job requirement is "keep me entertained". who I am working for, or why I do what I do, or how much I am getting paid (beyond a certain minimum level to live on) is secondary to the entertainment value of the job. However, I do own a home and am not interested in moving to any of the state sized countries. However if they decide to setup shop in the US, give me a ring, and keep it interesting.....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problem, outsource it to Huawei

    I'm sure they'd give a great price to take on the chores of monitoring the UK nationals.

    If they did, I bet you won't even see your conversation show up in News of the World either...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe ...

    It's not just the salary, but also the embarrassment of working for someone who can say ""I need some real internet whizzes in order to do cyber" with a straight face.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Second Class Service does not entertain First Class Travel?

      "Maybe ... It's not just the salary, but also the embarrassment of working for someone who can say ""I need some real internet whizzes in order to do cyber" with a straight face." .... JustaKOS Posted Thursday 14th July 2011 15:33 GMT

      Be that as it may be, JustaKOS, but that is exactly what is needed, and anything less is an epic fail with Blighty always on the back foot and responding to foreign generated events rather than leading in anything the wizards would be seeding/feeding.

      That is the UK's problem ..... it leads in diddly squat. And just you try and present them with that which they really would need to lead in cyber, and see what happens/where it takes you. Who would you send an email to, to get a cogent response to what would obviously be a very sensitive proposal indeed. Indeed, so sensitive that really one shouldn't be sending it by any electronic means at all, given that all communications are monitored. Or we are led to believe that it is so, although that could be a convenient myth.

      I imagine one needs to share such thoughts in tongues/steganographic code with as tempting a live bait as one may consider may create some smart reaction and engagement from the service aiming to be top dog in that field.

      It can be the case that some things will be beyond the ken of a nation and one may be obliged to venture elsewhere.

      Is anyone betting on GCHQ monitoring this registering thread? :-) ....... Smile, say cheese, :-) All of your plans belong to us, is the wager ........?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        @amanfromMars 1

        "I imagine one needs to share such thoughts in tongues/steganographic code with as tempting a live bait as one may consider may create some smart reaction and engagement from the service aiming to be top dog in that field."

        Not surprisingly, amanfrommars, good commentator, hits quickly on the main point. Anyone who sends any scroll anywhere will find that all roads lead through Rome. That said. with the exception of inductive reasoning (which is more akin to prediction, based on knowing the natures of things,) all analysis in this field is based on reaction, even those who get the information earlier.

        Also I cannot think of any bait sufficiently large that would tempt a foreign ear to hire someone it knew had alleigance to their homeland.

        Out of interest, was it a joke to make the Inbred country Massive's new building, to look like an ear from space.

        However, getting a note to someone who actually could help is as simple as piss. All you have to do is, just a second, there's someone at the door.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
          Happy

          Cosmic Angel Intelligence Dust .... EPCP

          "However, getting a note to someone who actually could help is as simple as piss. All you have to do is, just a second, there's someone at the door." ..... Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 14th July 2011 19:21 GMT

          :-) LOL. Nice one, AC.

          "That said. with the exception of inductive reasoning (which is more akin to prediction, based on knowing the natures of things,) all analysis in this field is based on reaction, even those who get the information earlier.

          Also I cannot think of any bait sufficiently large that would tempt a foreign ear to hire someone it knew had alleigance to their homeland." ..... Neuro Linguistic Programming with its Core Source Base in inductive reasoning would be an Extremely Powerful Control Project and be a Perfect Manchurian Candidate Cloud Application for Overwhelming Phantom Phorms and Rogue Renegade Protocols/Nations.

          Home is where the heart is, and that is invariably always where one is most appreciated and where one is encouraged and/or able to be as one is, and everyone wants one to be. In some lands is that easily provided, and for virtually nothing of real value too, with the delivery of fiat currency to smart subjects and persons of interest, for spending/distribution. Maintaining an allegiance to a homeland which seeks to destroy alternative competition for exclusive excluding rights in executive privilege rather than foster growing advantage for the sharing of mutual benefits, is to chain oneself to a millstone and declare to everyone that one has been easily fooled and available to be used as a fool's tool.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Government payscales are specifically designed...

    to weed out the best and brightest and ensure that it is only the dullards who can stay as long as they want and earn that great pension.

    If they had half a brain GCHQ would be in the search industry and snoop on the side. (You don't think Google may already be the CIA doing that huh?) Why go to the expense of collecting and processing data and not taking the last step to take financial advantage of it in order to cover the costs?

  7. Uncle Siggy

    Wither Google? Wither Government?

    I have often wondered if Sam Lowry's* reveries were under the duress of the government or the company.

    *watch Brasil

  8. Baked Beans

    Who gets what?

    "The Daily Mail and the Telegraph keeps telling us that public sector employees earn more than private sector ones..."

    I think they mean that the zeroes in the public sector are paid obscene salaries and talented people are given a pittance. The private sector is always willing to pay for talent.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    public sector

    The whole ethos of the public sector is to outsource any actual work while going to play golf, sailing, tennis, taking a nap etc...

    The reason you join the public sector is so you can earn above average money while doing very little and having very limited actual responsibility. This obviuosly requires elements of a counter productive mindset to begin with, coupled with an initial moral struggle to join the club.

    It gets easier with time though as income becomes a given and work becomes less of a focus point in your life.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      @Oliver Jones.

      Don't sit on the fence mate. Tell us how you really feel :-)

      Joking aside, surely there's a financial penalty to be had for being allowed to live in lovely places like Scarborough, Lincoln, Coventry, Ipswich, "Marry your cousin" Country itself (that's Gloucestershire, not some arab state), or even "an hour from anywhere, six hours from anywhere real" Cornwall?

      Naturally, as I support all these guys, I'm going to blame the people I blame for everything. Politicians. The world would be a better place if we took all the politicians and beat them to death with the charred remains of all the religious people.

      They should get a payrise, simple as that.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Old Painless
    Boffin

    I'll do Cyber...

    .....is she hot?

    And as an idle toff millionaire,i'd be happy to stymie the evil web-boche/hun purely for the 733t hacx0rz lulz. I'll use the hilarious salary to buy pet food for my maid

    pip pip!trebles all round

  12. Cheshire Cat
    FAIL

    The management dont understand the value of tech knowledge

    They have no problem with paying 6-figure sums to senior management in order to 'get the best'.

    However, when it comes to getting decent techs, then they seem to think one's as good as another and you can pay peanuts. Unsurprisingly, said techs all bugger off to work for a company that knows the current market value and can simply take all the cream.

    In that situation, I'd go and work for Google, too. But maybe not Mircrosoft... I still have SOME scruples, after all...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Well if GCHQ want the best..

    then pay the going market rate.

    Simple economics, its not like they can't afford it as this is purely civil service pay grade issues.

    Special skills bonus on top of "official" wages would work methinks.

    Actually I think most of the problem is that people working for them need to be seen as "lowly civil servants" by their friends/family/etc so that they stay under cover.

    Having a larger wage could mess this up big time.

    Two words. Scrap Trident. Divert money saved into education, hospitals and national security.

    Maintain one working sub just in case, but replace the nuclear warheads with conventional and perhaps David Cameron could be nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Price for denuclearising Britain as an example to the rest of the world.

    AC/DC

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      AC @06:43

      "Two words. Scrap Trident. Divert money saved into education, hospitals and national security."

      But think of the UK's drop in national *prestige* and (as politicians *love* to remind their electorate ad nausum) the UK's ability to "Punch above its weight" on the world stage IE trade their UN security council vote (usually to America).

      And (possibly the final insult) , the UK would only be doing what South Africa has *already* done.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    One does not "need" a whiz...

    I know there's a whole complicated international vernacular thing going on here, but what is meant by the word "whiz"?

    If it's short for "wizard", then there's no "h" -- whether that's an "aitch" or a "haitch"!

    WITH the "h", it's American slang for "urinate", and the proper usage is, "I need to take a whiz."

    Perhaps the esteemed gentleman overheard a corporate HR guy saying, "Personally, I need to take a whiz at least four times a day", and concluded that Google was hiring 1460 geeks per year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @One doesn't need a whiz.

      Whiz.

      From Whiz kid. - quick moving(metaphorically speaking)/thinking youngster.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    In Movie terms

    I always suspected GCHQ and the intelligence services were more like "Brazil" than "Enemy of the State".

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    and they wonder why.....

    I am 3 years out of University and have two very good degrees, I was contemplating joining 'one of the firms', when I graduated, however on reflection I decided not to continue (mainly because of the money) and the fact once you leave what exactly could you write on your CV? I assume most of it is very specialised.

    Now once again I see the jobs online, and why should I be tempted for a job that's currently paying 1/2 on what I am currently on? (excl bonuses).

    Of course I would like to "do my bit

    if you want "the best" pay the money, if not hire people with NVQs and see how it goes.

    and no its not all about money, but it does help pay off my huge Uni debts.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    GCHQ has whiz on tap.

    I don't think Google will let it's staff have anything more potent than a high caffeine cola.

  18. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Write off student debt

    Simple solution for highly skilled graduate recruitment in civil service.

    Anyone who meets critical criteria gets their loans frozen then written off after 10 years employment.

    Make sure they are on true performance related contracts to fire the chancers.

    It could even be done by setting up an arms length secret squirrel consultancy like quinetic but less dodgy.

  19. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Information is Power, Intelligence ITs Control and the Spread of Money its Artificial Wealth Reward.

    "..I am 3 years out of University and have two very good degrees, I was contemplating joining 'one of the firms', when I graduated, however on reflection I decided not to continue (mainly because of the money) and the fact once you leave what exactly could you write on your CV? I assume most of it is very specialised." .... Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 15th July 2011 10:17 GMT

    And in that one simple sentence has AC highlighted the problem which plagues and renders all supposed centres of intelligence excellence, wherever and with whoever/whatever they may be thought to be associated and servering, merely as second rate copies/sub-prime clones of the real thing. For as they are perceived and conceived to be providers of superior intelligence product, would one never wish to leave, as everything would be revolving around what one was providing, and that is a priceless commodity which sustains reality and easily allows agents to capture financial markets too with their targeted programming applications, permitting one to pay oneself with as much as one needs, for one is leading a New World Order rather following orders handed down.

    Is not , "Once in the KGB, always in the KGB", not the mantra of any and every Control Intelligence Agency worth the moniker and worthy of unbridled support from everybody whenever providing such sterling selfless service?

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