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The Few, The Proud, the Geeky
September 27, 2001 1:43 PM   Subscribe

The Few, The Proud, the Geeky "U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has called for the creation of the technology equivalent of the National Guard: 'That's what I'd like to propose. What this country needs is essentially a technology equivalent of the National Guard: a National Emergency Technology Guard - NET Guard - that in times of crisis would be in a position to mobilize our nation's information technology, or IT, community to action quickly, just as the National Guard is ready to move during emergencies.'" Akk! Volunteer geeks on patrol!
posted by bclark (19 comments total)

 
All we need, militant techies.
posted by me3dia at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2001


Don't we already have militant techies? I'm always seeing competition between operating systems and applications described as "war".
posted by MrBaliHai at 2:22 PM on September 27, 2001


Left hand, right hand anyone ?
So on one hand you've got politicians trying to Lock hackers up and on the other hand urging them to the nations defense.

Hmmm
posted by agoldfish at 2:36 PM on September 27, 2001


As long as Microsoft is not the gatekeeper of the approved technology for such a Guard, it might be feasible. If it specifically recruited people who had skills with MS stuff and skills with the rest of the computer universe, it might have a chance of being effective.

But, then again, effective at what? The internet itself is already de-centralized, with proprietary agents ready, willing, and able to defend their nodes.

Besides, the best defenses are open standards, open protocols, full disclosure, and careful documentation. No Guard required.
posted by yesster at 2:41 PM on September 27, 2001


You guys are taking a 'Net-centric view of this. What about the massive amount of data crunching that would be needed to rapidly track terrorists' records? Or the quick mobilization of teams to get computer and phone networks, TV stations, mission-critical facilities back online after a hit like those of 9/11? Verizon had a team deployed as soon as possible to restore full cell service after they lost multiple antennae at WTC; they're talking about a federally funded equivalent to that.

I take back my earlier dismissal; it doesn't seem that bad an idea.
posted by me3dia at 2:55 PM on September 27, 2001


where do i sign up to take care of programming the homeland defense national id card database?

that sounds fun! and profitable!
posted by lescour at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2001


Deal me in for the NET Guard General Medical Officer. I'd love to be attached to a wing of crack router monkeys and DB jocks.
posted by shagoth at 4:45 PM on September 27, 2001


I get an awfully weird mental image around the phrase "crack router monkeys"......
posted by briank at 4:59 PM on September 27, 2001


Hey, I'd love a way to serve my country that doesn't require killing people, or even getting killed. Atomic DB transactions vs. atomic bombs, man.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 5:03 PM on September 27, 2001


"Volunteer geeks on patrol" *shudder*

I don't want volunteer geeks sitting at their terminals on guard.

I'd want paid geeks sitting in a physical government office at terminals on guard.
posted by tomorama at 5:07 PM on September 27, 2001


This isn't necessarily a bad idea, although I suspect it would be more useful in dealing with worm or virus outbreaks, rather than with physical disaster recovery. If a building containing a major network node gets blown up, the phone companies will still have replace the fiber, etc. Where it might be more useful is for internet-specific problems that require decentrilized coordinated effort. For example another Nimda outbreak, or as me3dia mentioned, codebreaking.

"Crack router monkeys standing by, sir!"
posted by Loudmax at 5:55 PM on September 27, 2001


Sounds like a job for the eWPA
posted by m@ at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2001


So first they tell kids "hacking" is wrong, threaten to throw them all in jail, make a rediculous example out of one...

...and then they have the balls to ask hackers to help them?
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:58 PM on September 27, 2001


"Just one weekend a month and two weeks a year!"

And hey, I heard that combat scenearios are going to be run in a MUD setup. They might even license Quake!< / sarcasm >
posted by eljuanbobo at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2001


agoldfish/CrayDrygu

So first they tell kids "hacking" is wrong, threaten to throw them all in jail, make a rediculous example out of one...

For quite some time now, the federal government has been telling people "killing" is wrong, putting killers in jail and making examples out of people who kill each other.

Guess what? They still have the balls to hire people to kill other people. They're called soldiers.
posted by Sinner at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2001


shagoth: consider a DMAT -- Disaster Medical Assistance Team. your talents would do well there.

There are currently 22 "level one" teams nationwide. four of them are currently onsite in NYC, providing medical support around the recovery site. They have seen and treated some 4000 cases among the rescue workers so far: eye injuries, respiratory problems, chest pains, lacerations, burns, crushing injuries...

My wife (an RN) is a member, and her team is due to rotate into NYC, eventually (OEP is keeping the exact schedule confidential). I too am a member, but as a non-medical person (and OK-1 being flush with ham radio operators w/ EMT-P qualifications), I'm lucky to get called in to handle home base communicatons.
posted by willconsult4food at 10:29 PM on September 27, 2001


There's something ludicrous about this idea, but I can't quite put my finger on what.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:27 AM on September 28, 2001


"I don't know what you upload;
Your mamas eating UNIX code..
Count Off, 1, 2..."
posted by Perigee at 7:31 AM on September 28, 2001


From what I understand, China has been doing the same thing for a long time. Fidel as well? He, of course, laughed at the accusations later. (Sorry, can't find link for Chinese source.)
posted by adampsyche at 7:37 AM on September 28, 2001


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