[ISN] MS seeks senior spook to score Federal security $$$'s

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 04:19:04 PDT

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    By John Lettice
    Posted: 02/05/2002 at 14:22 GMT
    Microsoft is seeking to hire a high level executive whose role will be 
    "to position Microsoft as a strategic partner to the [US] government 
    in using our products and technologies to build Homeland Security 
    solutions." Or, as the lead-in to the help-wanted ad less modestly 
    puts it: "The Director of Federal Homeland Security will partner the 
    world's most successful software company with the world's most 
    powerful nation in using innovative and agile technology to prepare, 
    detect, prevent, protect, respond, recover and manage against 
    When not steering an alliance between the world's two remaining 
    superpowers, the director will lead the Microsoft Homeland Security 
    Leadership team (which we'd never heard of, possibly because it's only 
    just been invented), and seems to be expected to combine intense 
    lobbying of the Office of Homeland Security with acting as Microsoft's 
    'Face of Homeland Security' to the press, at conferences and through 
    white papers. 
    The detailed responsibilities listed in the ad are commendably 
    upfront, making no bones about the director's role being to secure 
    Microsoft a large share of the post-9/11 Federal security trough. The 
    successful candidate will have "more than 10 years experience as a 
    senior level US Government executive," and "must hold a security 
    clearance, Top Secret with polygraph preferred." They must also "be 
    willing to maintain active clearance at highest levels of security" 
    and "be knowledgeable and experienced in Federal government business, 
    both operationally and [ahem...] politically." 
    So Microsoft wants to pull in a senior spook who knows the people in 
    Washington (and indeed will be based in Washington), and is willing 
    and able to "use and leverage credentials (including security 
    clearances), existing relationships, and knowledge of the Federal 
    government's business and politics to position Microsoft as a 
    strategic partner to the government in using our products and 
    technologies to build Homeland Security solutions." 
    They'll have to "engage Microsoft Homeland Security Leadership Team on 
    a regular basis in all Office of Homeland Security ongoing activites," 
    keep up with "congressional decisions, appropriations, executive 
    orders and presidential directives that may impact Homeland Security 
    opportunities [i.e. $$$s]," and keep track of "Homeland Security 
    related approriations and which agencies manage the funding [i.e. more 
    The job also involves 'helping' the Office of Homeland Security decide 
    what it is that it's going to ask companies like Microsoft for, before 
    it officially asks. The director will "lead Microsoft's responses to 
    Office of Homeland Security related RFIs and RFPs" but will also "be 
    proactive in influencing requirements prior to RFI/RFP stage." We 
    understand this is a process Microsoft has successfully beta-tested 
    this approach with a smaller country's government, also beginning with 
    Part and parcel of this proactivity will be to "develop and maintain 
    strong relationships with key influential government executives" and 
    to "establish oneself as a trusted advisor to the Office of Homeland 
    Security staff." 
    Fortunately, as US government officials are incorruptible, and 
    Microsoft is noted for its readiness to dispense impartial advice and 
    guidance without fear or favour, world security will be safe the hands 
    of the new director, whoever that may be. If you think you're hard 
    enough (and if you are, we've no idea why you're reading The Register, 
    but suspect it's not for fun), then you can get full details here. 
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