back to article DHS grilled over uber secret cybersecurity plans

The US Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity initiative may be unnecessarily shrouded in secrecy and too reliant on contractors, according to a Senate panel. The concerns are so basic that the panel also included questions asking what, exactly, is the role of program and why a determination was even made to start it. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Go figure...

    not like anyone's probably going to read this anyway, since I'm the first poster and it's been up a while.

    Since the Reagan Administration, contracting out of the military and other agencies has went up so high that almost everything is contracted out now (look at the airplane-contracting-gone-overseas controversy going on as we speak). When the feds had everything under the military, it knew 99.9999% of everything that was going on, and if someone leaked, they were prosecuted for leaking state secrets and jailed for 10-50 years. Now, with contractors, it's just a big *OOPS*, the contractor maybe gets sued, they go out of business, and nobody is to blame when China or some other country gets a new military toy courtesy of American contractors.

    There's only so much you can make things cheaper without compromising quality and creating security holes. The first happened during the Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton administrations, and the second happened during the Clinton and Bush 2 administrations - satellite/anti-satellite technology to China, anyone? Thanks, idiots; why not leave your zipper down at your next press conference while you're at it?

    Remember, the whole point of a corporation is to make craploads of money and to deflect blame for problems to the corporation, who isn't a person so it cannot be thrown in jail for anything. If a corporation thinks it can get away with selling state secrets and make some money, *they will*. If the feds were smart, they'd make a law that any government contractor who leaks state secrets would have their CEO, Board of Directors, CIO and every other admin person thrown in jail for 25 years, no parole. Maybe then they'd watch each other and their people instead of their over-fat wallets.

    Think of it this way: if a military computer contractor, say IBM for instance, got bought out by a friendly foreign corporation, in Britain for instance, and that company got bought out by another competing company, in China for instance, that would be the literal definition of selling state secrets - and the building(s) they are housed in. And it can happen. But who's to blame where international law is concerned?

    This the kind of crap that makes me wish Reagan had never been elected, because he was the one who pushed contractors on us and got my sister's logistics job contracted out to idiots who lose stuff in Iraq to the tune of millions of dollars. Your tax dollars at work, and mine *spit*.

    It's not a coat at the door, it's a Level 5 quarantine rated hazmat suit because things are such a damn mess over here.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I sense a little bitterness there AC

    I have one name for you Von Braun.

    So if the States can bring over a Nazi Germany weapons scientist to further their on agenda how in the h*ll can you criticise other governments for taking what is in my opinion a somewhat less detasteful course.

    Pot meet kettle :)

    Oh and I work for an American company as outsourced IT and frankly u guys are nothing to write home about in terms work its just your companies are rich because they are good at manipulating, and your government bends over for them and says 'yes please give it to me'.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Should be given to the Air Force anyway...

    ...instead of the Department of Fatherland Security.

    "The Mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests to fly and fight in air, space, and cyberspace."

    Your web site being defended in-depth or precision bombed from 10'000 miles away - can it get any better?

  4. James O'Brien


    This is just too easy I like my new phrase

    Looks like we are screwed.

    /Mines the one with the DHS agents on each arm

  5. Stuart Van Onselen

    AC #2 misses the point by 1.6 kilometers

    AC #1 was not criticising foreign countries for stealing US secrets, he was criticising the US for making it so damned easy for them.

    The further irony is that, while accusing #1 of bitterness, #2's post was dripping so much bitterness I had to wipe it off my laptop screen before it dripped onto my keyboard and dissolved the keys!

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Ping Dynasties? ......... Who you gonna Call.

    "The concerns are so basic that the panel also included questions asking what, exactly, is the role of program and why a determination was even made to start it. The program was unveiled in January as the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC)."

    The role is simple ....... Global Communications Control HQ in the Cloud. Or does that sound too Alien 42BTrue ...... which in Truth, would be only too Alien to you?

    However, such Bold Imperialists/FutureBuilders/Ping Dynamicists/VirtualAstraMetaPhysicist as would Ponder42Provide such a Facility/Opportunity, which in no Way is a Vunerability, will All Face and be Required to Make a Jump/Quantum Leap into an Infinitely Better and Beta Understanding of the Elevated State of AI Graceful Being, in Order to Pass Go and Build DreamScape Vistas and Seventh Heavens, because a CyberIntelAIgently Designed, Catch 22 will always confront Every Man, to Test and Beta Test, his Every Thought ......... at Every Step and at All Subsequent Steps of the Way ......... Magical Mystery Turing Trip.

    Women, the Significant Other if you are AIMan, and this is of Prime Significance and Vital to Elevate Understanding to any Immaculate State of Virtual Grace, Ride Test and BetaFree in Command and Control.

    You would do Best to consider IT a Colossus of AI ProgramMIng, from some QuITe* Stealthy, Blithe Blighty Bletchley Boffinry, which only those with Both the Intelligence and the Need to Know will ever Really Know, even though IT shares it with you Virtually, so that you may All Know of AIR&dDs** in the Cloud and its Clouds, for such Registered Transparency allows for Global Participation and Progress in ........ well, let us just say Enlightened and Enlightening Matters.

    And here ... ... you can read of further, out of this world, earthly developments, which, when you read between all the Lines, tells you that IT is a Private EduTainment Program ........ to Disengage and ReProgram the Psychologically Flawed, Pathetic Psychotic, War Machine/Military Industrial CompleXXXX and Dumb Capitalist System and Replace it with something Altogether Better in AI Beta Program.

    And IT is SMART enough in ITs IntelAIgent Design to Fully XXXXPect Dumb Capitalism to Fund ITs Own Better and Beta ProgramMIng..... to Lift them out of the Pit they have Dug for Themselves.

    Would anyone like to venture an opinion on what would be the likely response from British Intelligence/SIS? Do you Think they would just Act Dumb and Glaked/Glakit? More Anon on that Tangent if they Prove the Point.

    I Trust in Global Operating Devices, Dan Goodin in San Francisco, that that is not Too Much Confusion for senators...... or for any of the Delegates/Wannabe Investors in Northern Ireland currently Present in the Province and CUltraEnvirons of Holywood .......... Phishing and Phorming Alliances..... Coalitions of the Ready, Willing and Enabled? Although if Chaos rather than Order is their Stock in Trade, they'll be well used to it and welcome to it. The Titans in Ireland are building an All Together much more IntelAIgent and Tighter Ship .... QuITe UNThinkable is the MetaMorphosis of the earlier Unsinkable Claim and only a Fool would bet against the Irish who just Love to Bet on the Dark Horse 42 Win Win.

  7. Steve

    @ I sense a little bitterness there AC

    "So if the States can bring over a Nazi Germany weapons scientist to further their on agenda how in the h*ll can you criticise other governments for taking what is in my opinion a somewhat less detasteful course."

    He's not, he's criticising the US government for running a system whereby it becomes too easy for those other governments to get hold of state secrets and failing to punish those responsible.

    Just because you know someone will always be trying to get hold of your secrets, doesn't mean you should give up on trying to protect them.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Why is it called DHS?

    Shouldn't it be called the FOT (F**K Off Tourists)?

  9. Michael Compton

    RE:Stuart Van Onselen

    No bitterness intended, these things don't really bother me much to be honest so why would i be bitter.

    And i am man enough to apologise because you are right it wasn't really aimed at the 'contractors' but its a fine line, i seen the same attitude over here; it was late at the time and may have been a bit blinkered.

    The main point i was trying to make was that the US is good at ripping off other people and then gets very vocal when other people try to level the playing field.

  10. Paul

    RE: Go figure...

    It seems to be an ongoing gripe people (Not just in the US) Have about there governments. Complaining they are outsorcing everything.

    I do see some things as very silly, like the outsorcing of Logistics. The problem as I see it is that the Gov realy do think that the private Biz can run things better than Gov Biz when realy all they can do is hide there cock ups better. BUT people talk about buying Chips from IBM etc. That is not outsorcing, that is buying stuff in. Even the US Gov dosent have the money for a dedicated Wafer-fab plus a chip factory R&D plus....

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  12. ImaGnuber

    One or the other

    One day people bitch about how incompetent government is when it comes to managing anything and the next they are saying only government should be managing whatever.

    Which is it?

    (Just to be clear: I think outsourcing is a dumb idea from a control and responsibility point of view and probably from an economic one as well - which should bring on some rants about gov't incompetence.)

  13. Stuart Van Onselen


    I think the problem is, as you alluded, that while government levels of inefficiency, waste, and graft are legendary, the private sector outdoes them!

    Private corporations tend to leverage government incompetence so that they can suck the taxpayer dry so much faster, while providing an inferior service.

    Just look at the monumental f'up the US army is in, re: healthcare and logistics. Soldiers have been showering in, and drinking, water that is unsanitary. One soldier was actually electrocuted in the shower! (Barracks built, and water supplied, by KBR or its subsidiaries). And when they sick from the water and get taken to hospital, that hospital might just be Walter Reed!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Walter Reed

    I'm sory I thought that place was a hospice , you know a place were they take you to die rather you want to or not. Screw Gitmo. Tell the terrorist if you ont talk we till take to Walter Reed and let the interns practice on you .

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