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Many Hackers Too Fat For The FBI 657

CaveDwler writes: "Want to work for the FBI in computer security? Better put down your cheesey poofs and pick up your M16. According to this article over on Wired, you have to pass physical requirements in order to work with FBI in computer security."
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Many Hackers Too Fat For The FBI

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  • for CowboyNeal.
  • Hackers? Too Fat? Say it's aint so!
  • Where are all these fat pasty geeks I keep hearing about? Most I see are scrawny as hell. Yeah okay, so they're pasty, but they could carry a M16(crap, just try to KEEP a geek away from a M16 for Christ's sake).

    I'd think the "college degree" required bit would be a bigger limiting factor.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Where are all these fat pasty geeks I keep hearing about? Most I see are scrawny as hell.

      Ah, you must be one of the common eastern geeks. Known for their nervous twitchs and darting eyes. I am more familiar with the geekus midwestus, who are more noted for their smug manner and snorting laughter. Oh, and rolls and rolls of fat, of course.

    • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:27PM (#4192114) Journal

      They're not just ruling out the fat ones. They're rejecting all the ones that don't have a buff bod and those who wear glasses. Remember, a gentlemen agent not only has to be smart but has to be good looking enough to seduce the sexy Russian and Chinese evil hacker agents that he will undoubtably encounter in exotic locales. Don't you watch the movies, man? Everyone knows this shit!

      GMD

    • Re:Fat? Where? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:32PM (#4192146)
      >>I'd think the "college degree" required bit
      >>would be a bigger limiting factor.

      Not really. Universities churn them out by the thousands, every year. And many of them are quite buff, physically, emotionally, mentally.

      When we read stories like this article, and hear about some overwieght, aging geek who got the wild
      hair to go into law enforcement when it suddenly appeared lucrative, and was rejected, we are supposed to sympathize. Perhaps we should, somewhat, but we must also consider that despite the requirements, and no matter what hype you hear to the contrary, most Federal agencies are having no problems whatsoever finding qualified applicants. There are a lot of people out there entering the workforce. It appears to me that there was a little babyboom in the more-is-more 1980s, and those kids are coming of age. I wish there was a way to get credible census information in this kind of detail, but I'll bet $1 that there are more 18-25 year olds today than there have ever been in history.

      In the case of the Federal law enforcement agencies, they usually have enough applicants just from former MP's, who have degrees, are physically fit, and have records that show distinguished military service.

      The "average geek" will refuse to believe that a business major or enlisted soldier could be as effective in computer security, network administration, or programming than he, but it is merely a perception based on prejudice, and not necessarily based in reality.

      I'm not even sure the "typical geek" would survive at all in a regimented, authoritarian work enviromnent. Quasi-military police work?

      The story sensationalizes the "overweight" factor, but I believe strongly that the man being over 35 and just now wanting to go into law enforcement is a bigger red flag. You really should start that career at 20. Perhaps at 18, beginning either with a few years of military service or majoring in criminal justice or political science. When it's time to retire from police work, you'll probably have a law degree to fall back on!

      But don't wait until you're almost 40, already burnt out, and THEN decide you want this type of career -- and if you do, don't try to blame not getting the job on your weight. There are a large number of factors working against this individual; the weight thing is just one; more of a symptom of the whole.

      • Re:Fat? Where? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Catbeller ( 118204 )
        "But don't wait until you're almost 40, already burnt out, and THEN decide you want this type of career "

        What is someone over 30 and who wants to start a new career supposed to do, commit suicide?

        Not everyone is 18-25, son. This forum's collective opinion to the contrary, there are over-25 yo's who can still contribute without wearing Depends.

        We are likely to be the generation that will live to 100, hell, 120 or 150 years of age. If only 18-25 yo's, just fresh out of college, are the only people worth considering for law enforcement, or comp sci, or IT, or electronics, hell, anything other than McJobs, what the hell is the majority of the world's poulation supposed to do? Read Slashdot for the rest of their lies and weep that they are no longer 18 and fresh out of a good high school in the burbs?

        This is a serious point. The population is aging, regardless of the Baby Boomlet kids of the 80's jamming up the employment pipes right now. The amount of ageism I encounter in real life and on fora such as these is also found in Human Resources departments I encounter daily.

        Something's going to give here. Even with the H1B visa worker flood, there is a shortage of good talent everywhere -- good talent, not mediocre and hired 'cause they're young and fit the profile at HR. Ther's going to be 80 million or so aging Americans with no access to good jobs because of the prejudice and school snobbery of the Boomlet. With Social Sec killed by the current admin's "borrowing", where the hell is anyone supposed to make a living?

  • darwin (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:06PM (#4192003) Homepage Journal
    "They will not consider you unless you can carry your M16 through the physical fitness course without killing yourself in the process,"

    I think its fair, if you die in the test, they don't hire you.
  • by Penguinoflight ( 517245 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:07PM (#4192008) Homepage Journal
    Forget the M16, anyone who's played q3a can handle a rocket launcher flakk cannon, and a pulse gun! Well, at least they think they can ;-)
    • Actually, my first time at a gun club that had moving targets, I was able to out-shoot all the other novices at the range, because endless hours of Quake had taught me how to lead targets really well. Once I got used to the handling of the shotgun that was loaned to me, I was a darn good shot.

      This doesn't mean I would be any less useless than the next guy when using something like a .38 pistol in close quarters, but those clay pidgeons must f33r m3! :)

  • gee (Score:4, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@ya ... .com minus punct> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:08PM (#4192013) Homepage Journal
    physical requirements to get into the FBI.
    What next, a background check?

    Slow day in the office over there at /. Headquarters?
    • Re:gee (Score:4, Funny)

      by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:35PM (#4192170) Homepage
      FBI Interviewer and relatively fit Geek

      Interviewer:
      "Tell me about your background"

      Geek:
      "Well, at first there was nothing, just the default, but then I had this png of Natalie Portman and maaaan it was biatchin'. I even sent the screenshot to KDE..."

      Interviewer:
      "All right, that's good"

      Geek:
      "When do I get a gun?"

      Interviewer:
      Falling off the chair
      "Never!"
      • Weird guy: When do we get the friggin guns!?

        Chief Wiggum: Look, I told you, you don't get a gun until I get your name.

        Weird guy: I've had it up to here with your "rules"!
  • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:08PM (#4192014) Homepage


    ...it's the bind-bogglingly stupid hiring practices in general. And the FBI know it; heck, even this article spends only a little time discussing the physical bit. Most of the article points out other ways in which the FBI shoots themselves in the foot:

    [security consultent] Rosenberger added that even if a person were an acceptable job applicant, it would not guarantee that the person would work with computers.

    "You won't get a position in computer security until you've worked at least five years on the beat, preferably in physical investigations," Rosenberger said. "They'll grudgingly let you past if you just do forensics, but they feel you really should chase bad guys with a gun before you chase bad guys with a computer."

    At some point it will occur to the FBI that people can specialize in a topic before joining.

    • but don't forget that they want people who can do more then one thing. It's stupid to hire people that can do one and only one thing well in law enforcement. These are the people who need to be able to do a multitude of things to 'survive' at times.

      They are just saying that you should be able to do many, things and may be required to be a 'normal' agent from time to time. If they actually get what they want is another matter altogether.
      Maybe the computer job pays really really well compared to a normal agent?

    • It's really simple. Either a few prodigy agents get through and carry the entire beurau, or they will be duped time and time again by kiddies with half the skill set of a mitnick (and most of what he did was social engineering!)

      If the gov't is too stupid to keep up or farm out, then they deserve to be left behind.

      and $45k?! Whatever!

    • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:40PM (#4192203) Homepage
      Maybe they want people who already know what the limits of what they can and cannot do are, and how law enforcement generally operates.

      That way, the new guy doesn't bollux up an investigation by committing some mistake which a defense attorney can present as a violation of his client's rights and grounds for dismissal. They'd also likely have a better grounding in who and what you're dealing with, on the other side -- and it won't just be against stereotypical "black hats" getting their rocks off by DOSing some high-profile .com, either.

      At least, that's one possible explanation. Another is just that they cut-and-pasted requirements from their other divisions without being overly concerned about it. I'm not a Fed, so I wouldn't know.
    • "They'll grudgingly let you past if you just do forensics, but they feel you really should chase bad guys with a gun before you chase bad guys with a computer."

      No reasoning problems here...

      "We don't trust you with a computer, so here's your gun!"

      However, mentioning that the duty of the cybercop is to chase bad guys with computer does put the fitness requirements into perspective... Man, computers are a !$%&@ to carry, especially while running, and I'm sure you've really gotta be built to throw that thing hard enough to take out the perp!

  • by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:09PM (#4192017) Homepage Journal
    How is playing Counter-Strike going to help me lose weight?
    • Maybe if you're on a long kill streak and the chips are just out of reach?

      Personally I get fragged enough to run to the fridge regularly without missing much.
  • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:10PM (#4192023) Journal

    "In order to be a good computer security person, you must think like a black-hat hacker and be able to understand the tools and methods of the dark side," Sweeny said.

    Oh great. So not only do you have to be able to run the obstacle course but you gotta be able to choke people from a distance and fight little green hyper midgets.

    GMD

  • by littleRedFriend ( 456491 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:10PM (#4192024)
    One question on the application asked if you'd smoked pot more than 15 times

    15 times? A day?
    • I cant remember.....
    • 15 times? Times what?
    • "One question on the application asked if you'd smoked pot more than 15 times..."

      Wouldn't it just be easier to leave a bowl of candy out?
    • Actually this is probably one of those questions that TLA's like to use to see if you are paying attention

      1) If you answer no:
      So you have smoked pot then?

      2) If you answer yes:
      Well good luck then

      3) I have never used drugs:
      Bravo. Look at this guy who reads the questions
    • by tunabomber ( 259585 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @07:24PM (#4192459) Homepage
      The chronic daemons out there would know that you might have to smoke pot up to 15 times before you build up enough of a reverse tolerance to get high. So, I'm guessing that the reasoning behind the FBI choosing 15 as their "magic number" is that if you've toked up that many times, then you must have gotten high at least once, but decided it's not your thing. People who could turn down weed after getting high off of it would then be less likely to care about defending its users or advocating its legalization than somebody who smoked the stuff continuously for a period of their life.

      • If they see you you run out of fingers, you probably won't pass.
      • If you're having trouble telling how many fingers you're holding up, you probably won't pass either.

      If you start counting, and break out in the giggles halfway through, you probably won't pass, unless you can recover and explain what was funny about that time without ratting on your friends.

  • So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheKubrix ( 585297 )
    Why is this considered newsworthy? All branches of the military require a given level of physique, same with virtually all law enforcement departments, not to mention fireman, rangers, and private security.

    What else did you expect? Next there will be a story on how stupid people can't join the FBI.....
    • Next there will be a story on how stupid people can't join the FBI.....

      They can't?

      Could've fooled me.

    • Since when did police departments require a certain level of physique? I've seen way too many beer-bellied donut-chomping cops to believe this one. Unless the requirement is only for new recruits.
  • Guns (Score:4, Funny)

    by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:12PM (#4192031) Journal
    Its always been my dream, to one day pull a gun and badge on someone and yell "Federal Agent, DONT MOVE!" or something cool like that. Unfortunately here in the UK theres nothing with any really catchy names, "Flying Squad" sounds lame, "MI5" sounds lame, the only cool thing i can think of is "Secret Service" but you would probably have to wisper it because its secret.. :( Even the police dont have cool 4-letter things like NYPD or LAPD. "Swansea Police, FREEZE!"

    I think its important for all geeks that want to join the FBI to get fit, and cherish their ability to pull guns and shout catchy phrases even if they have desk jobs. Mulder had to pass the physical, Scully had to pass the... mmmmmmm.. she definatly passed it :)
  • by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <(moc.cirtceleknom) (ta) (todhsals)> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:12PM (#4192035)
    Go apply today :) They really demand *alot* of agents. IF you do their application it tells you to expect to be worked 10 hours a day. I applied when I got out of college but wasn't even considered because I said I wouldn't consent to be posted *ANYWHERE IN THE US* at their discression. There were also some strange questions like, "Have you used marijuana more then 15 times?" So 14 times is ok?

    Check out their policies http://www.fbi.gov/employment/policies.htm

  • interesting balance working here.

    some of the programmers i know are brilliant at what they do because they have very little interest in social activities, physical activities, or leaving their monitors at all. almost all of there time is spent learning and soaking up new data. -generally- i find them pretty un energetic and hard to work with in groups sometimes.

    but, if they were doing physical activities, getting out more, they may be better to work with, easier to pool knowledge, and have more energy and focus.

    but would they be as tech smart and on top of things? at what point is the 'geek specialization' hurting the group interaction and thus the goals of forming a unit that works well to serve the fbi and its goal?
    • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:19PM (#4192072) Homepage
      but would they be as tech smart and on top of things?

      After flirting with exercise for about two years, I finally started working out on a seriously regular basis about four months ago (every weekday, 1 hour, rain or shine or apocolypse).

      I find that I have increased energy and, as an extention, less need for caffine and a generally clearer head (esp. during those hours after lunch when everyone else is half-asleep). IMO, I absorb information much more easily and am better able to "wrap my head" around things.

      As a bonus, I find that the time I spend working out (I run and lift free weights) is rivaled only by my morning shower in terms of inspiration potential -- you're concentrating only on the mundane task at hand, and your brain is free to dedicate extra cycles towards solving problems.

      That's just one geek's observations; your milage may vary.

      • I find that I have increased energy and, as an extention, less need for caffine and a generally clearer head (esp. during those hours after lunch when everyone else is half-asleep). IMO, I absorb information much more easily and am better able to "wrap my head" around things.

        Fine, fine. Whoop-de-do. Get to the damn point, Man! Are you scoring with lots of naked chicks now or what?

        GMD

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:14PM (#4192044) Homepage
    I saw a study the other day which concludes that being a couch potato is worse for you than a reasonably serious tobacco habit. So, not being able to join the FBI is the least of your problems -- being a blob with high blood pressure whose heart is being transformed into a ten- or twenty-year time bomb ranks a lot higher.

    Don't be content to be a fat fuck, and don't let yourself off with "Gee, I'm just too busy to exercise" or "Exercise is for stupid jocks" excuse. There are better ways to flirt with death than to sit on your ass 18 hours a day chugging Dew and eating Ho Hos.

    Here's my 20 minute-a-day, 4 times a week solution: Get out and run. Two and a quarter miles or so in about 20 minutes will put you in reasonably good shape. It doesn't hurt to squeeze in some work with free weights, either, but you can work up to that. In any event, start off slow and work up to your goal over a couple of months, and *don't* let yourself plateau too early.

    Oh, and good shoes are really important. I highly recommend New Balance.

    • Don't be content to be a fat fuck, and don't let yourself off with "Gee, I'm just too busy to exercise" or "Exercise is for stupid jocks" excuse. There are better ways to flirt with death than to sit on your ass 18 hours a day chugging Dew and eating Ho Hos.

      It sounds like you suffer from the false belief that obesity is simply a matter of laziness. Trust me, there are plenty of lazy people who are not obese.

      The rise of obesity in American society has many factors, and I think that laziness is a very small one. A much more important factor would be the insane number of carbohydrates that we consume now as opposed to one hundred years ago. Do you know how many millions of gallons of soft drinks (50 grams of carbs per can) people go through in a year? To put it in the proper perspective, consider that humans used to drink exactly zero gallons of soft drinks in a year. And add to that the fact that soft drink manufacturers continue to raise the portion size of their products. Notice that snack makers (carb factories) and restaurants (carb factories) are doing the same thing. It's merely pandering to the "get more for your money" desire which is almost inextricable from the American psyche.

      Also, 99% of diets will fail (read: make the dieter gain more weight, not less) if the dieter is already over 100 pounds overweight. Telling these people, "Get off your ass you fat fuck!" does not help. In fact, I think it exacerbates the problem that you deplore.

      New balance sucks. Ecco rules the universe! Then again, I'm biased: I value my knees too much to be a runner. ;)
      • It's a combination of both lack of exercise and too many carbohydrates + a greasy diet. Most people want the simple cure all solution to keep healthy (note that I said healthy, not thin), and it's simply not any one thing. Nor is the cause any one thing.
      • The rise of obesity in American society has many factors, and I think that laziness is a very small one. A much more important factor would be the insane number of carbohydrates that we consume now as opposed to one hundred years ago.

        Well, of course you're right that dietary changes are a big part of it. However, don't underestimate the effect of a sedetary lifestyle.

        I know of whence I speak here: Up until a few months ago, I was one of those all-waking-hours-in-front-of-a-screen types. I exercised very inconsistantly, and I tried to control my weight through diet. The problem was, frankly, that I just didn't have the willpower (or the knowledge) to *always* eat right. So you're right when you say most *diets* fail -- what I really needed was a change in the way I live.

        I've been working out pretty steadily for about four months and I'm slowly taking off the weight I put on (I'm 6' 3" and 205; I'm hoping to even out about about 180 or so). I also made some other changes, like quitting candy bars and switching to diet soda, but nothing all that radical (I still have the occassional In & Out Burger, I still drink regular beer, etc).

        Anyhow, I think my biggest point was that you shouldn't just disregard your health or assume that you're helpless to control your weight or fitness level. If I was able to adopt a semi-healthy lifestyle, anyone can.

        • I'm 6' 3" and 205; I'm hoping to even out about about 180 or so

          LOL, I'm about 6' 1" 180 trying to get to 200 ;) I eat tons of healthy stuff, but I think that I am just too active to gain any weight. Between the gym, surfing, and golf (4 hours walking in the heat IS exercise) I stay fairly active. I typically view myself as too thin, so instead of taking down the 205 to 180 you should work on using the stored energy you have there and turning it to muscle :)
      • The rise of obesity in American society has many factors, and I think that laziness is a very small one. A much more important factor would be the insane number of carbohydrates that we consume now as opposed to one hundred years ago. Do you know how many millions of gallons of soft drinks (50 grams of carbs per can) people go through in a year?

        Surely failing to count how many cans one has drunk or how much food one has eaten is in some way lazy?

        I mean, noone made these otherwise sensible citizens drink all that sugar did they? They could have drunk diet sodas instead couldn't they?

        Regardless of the reasons for be obese, people should take personal responsibility for their health.

        It's not my fault, it's Pepsi's, honest!

        You know even if someone has a genetic propensity for being overweight, they could still do a little exercise.

        I do agree what diets will almost certainly fail. A permanent change in lifestyle, not some temporary starvation is the only long-term way to control weight or improve physical fitness.

        It seems to me that in the western world (where I live), people are more and more likely to find an excuse for their circumstances outside of their own home. They had a bad childhood so they're bad people. They were poor so they steal.
        Give me a break! I grew up poor and I stayed in school, didn't do very well, but am at least employed. I take complete responsibility for my life and my actions and my condition. Period.

        Finally: if the next time you go to a restraunt they give you a bigger portion than the last time DON'T EAT IT ALL!!!!!

    • by Ooblek ( 544753 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @07:50PM (#4192567)
      2.25 miles in 20 minutes? I haven't done that since Reagan's first term!

      Better way to flirt with death:

      1. Go out with a girlfriend who is a better shot than you.

      2. Kick a cat in the middle of a PETA conference.

      3. Damn, I'm too hungry to think of any more. Where are my Ho Hos?

    • by Crag ( 18776 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @07:57PM (#4192601)
      One great thing about walking, jogging, or running to get fit is that the heavier you are the harder it is. An exceedingly obese person can work up a sweat using an elevator. An exceptionally underweight person can transport themselves relatively long distances without risking over-exercising themselves. As long as a person is careful not to destroy their joints and is patient with themselves, these kinds of workouts (walking a little every day to start with) will always place demands on the individual proportional to how much they need the exercise in the first place.
  • Maybe you need to be svelte when decked out in a cocktail dress and two tennis balls, flirting with bin Laden at a remote casino. Makes sense, really.

    > "In order to be a good computer security person,
    > you must think like a black-hat hacker and be able
    > to understand the tools and methods of the dark
    > side," Sweeny said. "Right there, you are in a very
    > gray area, in the feds' opinion."

    Excellent! They may be the Ministry of Peace, but at least they're dumbshits too. At least the linebacker watching me can't enlist a computer in aid.

  • by Frank of Earth ( 126705 ) <frank@nospAm.fperkins.com> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:16PM (#4192052) Homepage Journal
    .. it was the background check that scared me. What if I was a stupid teen and I did knock over a few mailboxes with a baseball bat [which I didn't..], would they use that against me?

    So worse case is I don't get the job and then I get brought up on charges of some stupid thing I did in my youth.

    "The Background will routinely encompass your entire adult life (age 18) and earlier years as necessary to fully resolve issues that arise. Information developed of a derogatory nature will be forwarded to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for adjudication."

    How many people can answer these questions with a response of No?

    1. Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?
    2. Have you used marijuana more than a total of 15 times in your life?
    3. Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years?
    4. Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) more than a total of five times in your life?
    5. Have you ever sold any illegal drug for profit?
    6. Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago)while in a law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust?

    • I can.

      People do stupid crap when they are kids, the FBI knows that, and quite frankly has better thing to do then try to prosacute someone for some minor infraction they did as a kid.

    • Except for number one, they're all No for me...and I suspect it's the same for many people (though I'm sure many who answer 1 also answer 2 with "Yes"). Excluding pot, most people don't use or sell illegal drugs.
    • no problem.

      but then, i grew up as a fbi agent's kid.
      too many moves and too many schools before graduating high school.

      it's more of the boyfriends that were the trouble.
    • > How many people can answer these questions with a response of No?
      >
      >1. Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?
      > 2. Have you used marijuana more than a total of 15 times in your life?
      >3. Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years?
      [ ... ]

      Tack: "Yes sir! I can answer 'no' to all six questions sir!"

      f3i: "...and can you say that truthfully, Mr. Tackhead?"

      Tack: [embarassed] "Sir, I'm applying for the job of computer geek. I had no life in high school. Or college either. I have no life now. So yes, sir, I can truthfully answer 'no' to all six questions, but do you guys really have to keep rubbing it in?"

      f3i: "Well, uh, no, we're not trying to embarass you into admitting you had no life, it's just on the form..."

      Tack: "And besides, steroids? Does this body look like I've ever even exercised it since 1991, let alone tried to bulk it up artificially? Sir? Sir?" :-)

      Actually, I rather enjoy reading government forms as historical documents. Because there's no effective mechanisms for getting rid of dumb policies, only ways of adding them, every government form is a reflection of the past 10-20 years of legislative cruft for whatever government department has to deal with said cruft.

      I mean, steroids haven't made headlines for... gee, about eleven years. I know it's been eleven years since steroids were news because of the date on the form, that indicates the passage of some "for the childrun" law on February 27, 1991, indicating that it was no doubt the issue-du-jour about a year or so earlier.

      (If you think that's silly, try reading the cross-references and subforms on every line of your tax return. There's stuff in there - railroad pensions, etc - that goes back the 1930s.)

      Prediction: A question saying "...had more than 30 MP3s or 3 DiVX ripz a collection of unlicensed music, shared more than 30 MP3s or 3 DiVX ripz with people not already licensed to listen to the music, burned more than 30 MP3s or 3 DiVX ripz to removable media, after [some date in 2004]" will eventually appear on FBI recruitment forms.

    • 1. Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years? - NO
      2. Have you used marijuana more than a total of 15 times in your life? - No
      3. Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years? - NO
      4. Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) more than a total of five times in your life? - NO
      5. Have you ever sold any illegal drug for profit? - NO
      6. Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago)while in a law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust? - NO

      Not hard is it really ? what are you trying to say here - the majority of the population can answer NO to all of those..
    • So worse case is I don't get the job and then I get brought up on charges of some stupid thing I did in my youth.

      When I was being interviewed by the feds, I asked them about some of the questions on the many-page form. Questions of the format, "Have you ever mutilated small children while dropping acid, selling crystal meth, and joining a right-wing militia/religious cult all at the same time?" etc. I asked, "are you actually expecting a "oh sure, all the time" answer? Have you ever gotten a yes answer? Don't people get freaked out that they're shooting themselves in the foot?"

      The representative[*] chuckled and pointed out that the answers you give on the form, and during the interviews, are sealed. They cannot by law turn around and bring you up on charges based on how you answered. (They can deny you the job/clearance/position/whatever because you're a meth-smoking nutcase, but they can't trick you into putting yourself in jail.)

      [*]Sweet little old lady on the outside, but damn... there is nothing more intimidating than someone who looks like your grandmother staring you in the eye while asking, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of any organization whose stated goal is the violent overthrow of the United States Government?" and no, she's not smiling.

    • I can. some of us don't need to be fucked up to enjoy ourselves
    • You didn't use or sell drugs...I fail to see where the implausibility of finding someone like this lies.

      Hell, nearly every programmer I hang out with fits these requirements. The ones I know that don't fit are the ones who are more than likely to go, "Wait, you've got a gun...and you're threatening my life? F*ck that, here are the exploitable security flaws in our system!"

      I also don't know who couldn't carry an M-16 through their little course. If you're under 6 feet, don't work out, and are in the range of 250+ pounds...don't try to be a cop or and FBI agent...sorry...them's the breaks.

  • I can just see the applicant pool now...

    D'ya think Am Sexy. D'ya have any baby's around. Which way to the Gent's I've got to leave some evidence...

  • "In order to be a good computer security person, you must think like a black-hat hacker and be able to understand the tools and methods of the dark side," Sweeny said. "Right there, you are in a very gray area, in the feds' opinion."

    That's the MAIN problem, hacker are believed to be criminal. Discrimination is a handy tool for people wanting laws passed, ala DMCA.
  • uncorrected vision not worse than 20/200 (Snellen) and corrected 20/20 in one eye and not worse than 20/40 in the other eye. All candidates must pass a color vision test.

    Considering many males are colorblind and many have poor vision, this is another problem. The FBI is shooting themselves in the foot by having overly demanding entrance requirements.

    The FBI should hire experts in the field they are going to work in. Have officers with guns do the dirty work and scientists do the research. This is the way law enforcement should work.

    Then salaries could also be distributed to be competitive to get the correct people for the job.

    -Sean
    • " The FBI is shooting themselves in the foot by having overly demanding entrance requirements. "

      You are assuming that their requirements are creating a dearth of recruits or a surplus of jobs. Probably, even with these requirements, they are swamped with applicants, who are COMPETING for the jobs.

    • Thats pretty damn poor vision. The definition of legally blind is being 20/200 with corrective lenses. I can understand the reasoning behind it: lose your glasses and transform yourself into a blind agent. Not cool. If your vision is correctable with lenses then you're good to go. Colorblindness on the otherhand, probably excludes a significant number from participation. I can think of a scenario though where that might be an issue (however unlikely and theatrical it might be): cut the red wire instead of the green wire and transform yourself into a dead agent.
  • If you read the think at the fbijob site linked in the article, it will show all the requirements. It serisouly looks like a sucky job, you must have great health, great hearing, great vision, be less than 37 yrs old, and you will get a starting pay of ~45,000. Also, people need to have knowledge in computer science, hard science (phyiscs, chemistry...) foreign language, and other stuff. The big problem (as mentioned in the article) is that the fbi excepts the new recruits to be like normal fbi agents and run around and go after the bad guys in the real world. Have they never heard of specialization? The only way i can explain it is that the fbi are getting deluged by applicants and have ultra high requirements for that reason.
  • by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @06:28PM (#4192120) Homepage Journal
    At least to me. The FBI is in the business of finding and arresting the "bad guy". So it makes sense that all of their agents be in top physical condition and that folks work the street for awhile before specializing. That way the agents know how to put together a case from the ground up, and not have it kicked on a technicality.

    That being said, I would think that they would try and increase their cybercrime fighting abilities by increasing the number of civvies they hire, and giving them more clout. Course with the egos involved that last one might be a bit of a toughie...
  • well I'd do it.
    I would sweat my guts out; cough my own blood up during hellish daily 30 mile drills with a 22'' monitor on my back, for 10 months untill I meet the requirements, all for uncle sam!

    As long as I can kill people with my .45 or with my bare hands, well they'd let me decide, I'm sure ,...oh.uh, wait just a sec, we were talking about a shitty nt4-sp1 (now, stay focussed) socalled-hack-by-terrorists-which-was-in-fact-just -a-bug-exploited-by-some-scriptkiddies-in-the stoneage-or-feature-you're-not-really-sure-but-the -cia-is-shutting-your-mouth -anyhow-so-you-stopped-caring-after-this-thought-r eached-you-which-was-when-you-filled-in-the-realon e(tm)-questionaire (strange how things go sometimes right?)-which-was-recorded-by-echelon-somehow-and- they-approached-you sys-admin-"ish" job here right?

    Well, never mind then!
  • Probably the only one that appealed to me, available for free, too. Written by a geek, too.
    Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.ch]
  • they should realize that expertise in hacking doesnt come in a particular body type package. By maintaining their physical fitness standards they are ignoring a huge and resourceful group of people, to their disadvantage. This is a sign of the FBI's lack of efficiency and effectiveness. Perhaps this is for the best, as I see hackers as a body of potential heroes, in the ongoing and upcoming battles for freedom from oppression, etc. etc. The people should have this resource on their side, to counteract privacy invasions, unstrung corporate greed, if the need be. If the FBI is silly enough not to enlist the overweight into their legion of hackers it is but a boon to any other security application.
  • I presume their forensic people don't have to be crack shots and marathon runners. Why require the same for people doing what are essentially "computer forensics"?
  • They don't mention the many other requirements. While it says you need a college degree, you would need to have gotten it without doing drugs, writing subversive papers, or anything else that a college student would do.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @08:56PM (#4192909) Journal

    The FBI just does not want to pay for two seats when the fly you. It has nothing to do with caring for your health. If you croak early it is less pension forked out.

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