Re: [ISN] U.S. to Curb Computer Access by Foreigners

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 22:45:50 PST

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    Forwarded from: Darren Reed <darrenrat_private>
    I'm not being xenophobic here but there is some real crap
    personal opinion is that countries should strive to be self sufficient
    first, with prime importance given to its citizens, their needs and
    building up a strong local workforce, skilled in all areas.
    In some email I received from InfoSec News, sie wrote:
    > Forwarded from: bob <bobat_private>
    > Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    > March 7 2002
    > Experts said barring foreign nationals from certain computer
    > projects opens the prospect that key jobs will go unfilled because
    > of a shortage of qualified citizens--a situation exacerbated by the
    > relatively small number of U.S. students who pursue advanced
    > technology degrees. Costs may also rise sharply as higher-paid U.S.
    > citizens replace foreign workers.
    I'm amazed at the crap people manage to write.  You have relatively
    large numbers of skilled IT people, unemployed due to the IT burnout
    but yet we still have problems with "unfilled jobs".  Who is the
    source of this?  Recruiters?  Employers?  Unemployed?  I just don't
    believe it.  It's like the government people locally saying there is
    an unfilled 10-20,000 jobs or so in the Austalian marketplacae.  If
    you talk to recruiters, they say "Where are these jobs, I've got
    hundreds of people waiting!".
    The other aspect of the above paragraph which I find appalling is the
    implied endorsement of cheap labour provided by foreign nationals. If
    I was a union leader in the USA, I'd be all over anyone saying these
    types of things.  Minimum wage and working conditions should not be
    the same for everyone.
    > "You can easily create a critical manpower shortage," said Annalee
    > Saxenian, a professor of city and regional planning at UC Berkeley
    > who has studied the effect of immigrants on the technology industry.
    > "There's probably no company in Silicon Valley that doesn't have
    > from 10% to 40% of their work force who are foreign nationals. . . .
    > [Defense Department officials may be] boxing themselves into a
    > situation where they will lose the best talent."
    So what this means is that American people will have to be trained and
    skilled up to fill these positions.  It might not happen over night
    but is this an outcome that is unwelcome?  I wonder how many
    unemployed (or underemployed) American IT workers in Silicon Valley
    would be upset if foreign nationals had to leave, opening a position
    for them.
    > "Rather than worry about what country somebody was born in, we ought
    > to focus on the design and the architecture of our information
    > systems," he said, adding that he supports the use of background
    > checks, automatic recorders that log keystrokes by programmers and
    > stricter rules on individuals changing data.
    And at the end of the day, when I burn it all onto a CD, hop on a
    jumbo back to Beijing to visit mum & dad, are they going to notice?  
    All this will do is create more information that needs further
    processing by someone or something.  More information that is going to
    be largely meaningless and useless, resulting in time being wasted
    searching for that needle in the haystack (as opposed to just stopping
    needles from getting in there in the first place).
    > "In general, trying to restrict the [information technology]
    > professional that we use to American citizens is not going to be an
    > effective approach," Clarke said. "The United States does not
    > produce enough American citizens who are IT-security-trained to
    > operate our networks."
    And how many are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the IT
    burnout?  Do you suppose all those people would not go some way to
    fill these voids?
    > "These [software] systems are wide open," said Ed Yourdon, an
    > independent expert in technology security policy. "The vast majority
    > of bad things done on computer systems are done by insiders--not
    > teenage hackers in Moscow."
    Well done!  Employ a foreign national and what access to they get?
    Internal access.  Maybe these people just aren't connecting the dots
    like others are when it comes to understanding where threats to the
    USA (at an IT level) exist.
    > IT Work Routinely Given to Foreigners
    > "The IT business has become largely contractual, with programming
    > and data work being farmed out to areas where there is cheap labor,"
    > Pete
    Something which I'm not that happy about and which I hope others who
    are employed in the industry are likewise unhappy about.
    > Some major defense technology contractors also said they could not
    > readily estimate how many of their employees are foreign nationals.
    > Industry experts believe that thousands of jobs could be involved.
    How many people will become unemployed if the Compaq-HP merger goes
    ahead?  How many have other large IT companies retrenched in the last
    couple of years?  The numbers there are in the 1000s, if not 10,000s.
    > Despite the high-tech recession, the country faces chronic shortages
    > of professionals who can manage the complex computer systems,
    > databases and networks prevalent in government agencies. The
    > high-tech industry relies heavily on Indian, Chinese and other Asian
    > workers--a group that long has complained about being unfairly
    > targeted on issues of U.S. loyalty.
    So more Americans need to step up and fill these roles.  The problem
    with this is what?  Are people saying America doesn't need skilled
    workers or that because cheap labour is available elsewhere, nobody
    wants to invest in making American workers better?
    I wonder if anyone in the USA would dare to criticise the recent
    decision by the Bush administration to impose a hefty 30% import duty
    on the import of steel.  Why has this happened?  According to
    analysts, to build up political support for the government (which
    party?) in what they call the "Rust belt" where the local steel
    industry is having a hard time competing effectively with foreign
    countries (nobody has commented on what part the strong US$ has had in
    this).  Maybe it's time American IT workers let their Government know
    that they're not alltogether happy with 160,000+ foreigners being
    allowed in to effectively take their jobs and that it should be doing
    something to make them feel wanted.  Maybe there should be a
    requirement that for every foreign national brought in to work where
    there has been an "experteese shortfall", a US citizen must be trained
    at the same time, on the same job, with a maximum term of some years
    applied to the foreigner. Fills the hole and creates a local, skilled,
    workfoce able to do the job.
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