Posted May 21, 2014
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been authorized by U.S Congress to hire 2,000 new employees this year, and many of those will be young hackers and Programmers in order to built-up its cyber crime division, but FBI’s Director ‘James B. Comey’ is facing some difficulties.
Apparently, FBI’s Strict Anti-Drug Policy is making it very difficult for them to go after real criminals because most of the hackers have a fondness of smoking weeds, illicit drug.
According to US agency policy, they won’t hire anyone who used marijuana in the last three years, but it seems that now the law enforcement agency has to think about deviating from its own policy to get right talent to tackle cybercrimes over the Internet which has become a first priority for the agency.
Recently, During an annual conference held at Manhattan’s New York City Bar Association, One attendee asked James B. Comey that – One of his friend who considered an FBI job but ultimately did not apply because of the marijuana policy. So, Would FBI move on from this outdated anti-marijuana policy that is complicating its efforts to fight cybercrime?
But Comey replied, “He should go ahead and apply,” despite the marijuana use, which gives clear signal that FBI could possibly bring changes to those strict rules very soon, in order to overcome the troubles in recruiting qualified programmers and hackers. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 21 states have legalized only medical marijuana.
Such move will definitely put a higher priority on investigating cybercrime, “I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
‘It does look like our friends in federal law enforcement are warming up to the idea of hiring people that like to take part in a fun activity that’s legal in two states and practically legal in many more, though.’ Adam from Gizmodo commented.
Mr. Comey also commented on the federal agency’s efforts in combating white collar crime, and 1,300 agents currently investigating 10,700 white collar crime cases worldwide. The director also said the number of corporate fraud cases being investigated has jumped 65-percent since 2008.
At this moment, one can not predict that in future the FBI anti-drug policy would change or not, but it’s clear that being conducting International raids on the cyber criminals and those involved in the malware purchasing, selling or using, the agents need more employees to tackle the Cyber World.
UPDATE After media reports, The FBI Director Comey explained his statement, “I am absolutely dead-set against using marijuana,” and “I did not say that I am going to change that ban.” He is against using marijuana, but pot-smoker can apply for cyber security jobs.
Cops and Drugs: Police Departments Tolerating Past Drug Use by Job ApplicantsPosted June 23, 2000
The Los Angeles Times reported last week (http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/20000618/t000057769.html) that police departments across the country are hiring admitted former drug users. The article focused on the Denver Police Department, where controversy over police hiring policies broke out last year, but also compared Denver’s policies with selected other departments. Denver, the Times found, is not unique.source: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/142/copsanddrugs.shtml
In Denver, where the Times looked at the employment applications of every police officer hired last year, 52 of 80 new hires admitted to past drug use, usually, but not always merely marijuana. Ten of the new hires had used other drugs, including LSD, psilocybin, ecstasy and amphetamines.
One officer listed about 75 drug experiences over a 20 year period, including speed, LSD, cocaine, and Librium. Another admitted to having bought quarter-ounce bags of weed on several occasions, but described the buys as “a mistake I deeply regret making.”
All of the above cases fit the Denver PD’s guidelines for acceptable past drug use, which require only that the applicant’s have been clean for the last year.
Other departments surveyed by the Times also have policies that allow the hiring of persons with drug use histories. In Dallas, you can have smoked marijuana on as many as 75 occasions, but you must wait a year for every 10 usages. If you admit to having smoked 10 times, come back in a year; 10 to 20 times, come back in two years.
The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department has different criteria: You can have smoked pot up to 20 times, but only 5 times after you’ve turned 21, and you cannot have smoked in the last three years. In Tempe, even hard drug use is not an automatic disqualification. Fewer than five times gets you a free pass, but only if was more than seven years ago and before you became an adult.
In Austin, applicants can even have sold marijuana in the past, as long as it was at least 10 years ago and they were never arrested. For marijuana use alone, a three-year wait, and a five-year wait after “narcotics” use.
Seattle’s policy is identical to Denver’s one-year rule, except for a 10-year wait after using hallucinogens.
Even the FBI has loosened up. The agency, which maintained a strict ban until 1994, now operates under guidelines that allow prospective applicants to have smoked marijuana up to 15 times, though not within the previous three years; hard drugs up to five times, though not within the previous 10 years.
FBI Denver office spokeswoman Jane Quimby told the Times, “The general preference is still to hire someone who hasn’t broken the law, but the harsh reality is… there just aren’t that many people.” Quimby, who was in charge of Denver police hiring from 1997 to 1999 said that of 35 agents hired on her watch, one-third admitted to having smoked pot.
And, perhaps not surprisingly, the DEA has also made provisions for at least some drug users, agency spokeswoman Rogene Waite told DRCNet. “In the case of marijuana specifically, youthful indiscretion is allowed for. Use of any other drugs is an automatic disqualifier,” she added. Unlike many other law enforcement agencies, DEA does not have a set of quantitative guidelines, Waite said.
The law enforcement hiring practices mentioned above are replete with ironies and contradictions. For one thing, they reflect a growing crisis in police hiring, which has resulted in departments relaxing their standards at the same time drug laws have become more severe.
“If you think you’re going to try to hire police recruits who have never used drugs, you’re just whistling,” former San Jose (California) Police Chief Joe McNamara told the Times.
Such comments inspired the Times to ask, “How can a substance be so pernicious that thousands of Americans are arrested every day for using it, yet so acceptable that a user can still grow up to be a cop? In some cases, officers bust people for acts they themselves have committed. If police are that permissive with their own, how can the law be so punitive with others?
And that question points up another contradiction: the huge disconnect between relaxed social attitudes toward drug use, especially marijuana, and the harsh, punitive laws in place to discourage drug use. Americans routinely defy drug laws, in numbers so large that police departments are now being forced to make allowances for hiring drug law violators, yet police departments spend billions each year trying to arrest these same people.
When asked to reconcile these conflicts, law enforcers turn begin to sound like soft-hearted apologists, the Times reported. They sling around phrases such as “human frailty” and “putting mistakes in context.”
Such selective compassion arouses people like Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). “It’s ironic and sad that police are given more leniency than the people they pick up,” Stewart told the Times. “These are people who don’t get a second chance… who aren’t looked at in their entirety.”
The Times turned to renowned criminologist Elliot Currie for a last word. Most of our institutions recognize that minor drug use “is not a particularly dreadful thing,” he told the Times. The fact that police, the very symbol of order and authority, tolerate past drug use “tells us that our draconian system of drug laws bears no resemblance to reality.”
Hypocrisy at its finest.