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NightWatcher

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Member since: Wed Mar 14, 2007, 08:18 AM
Number of posts: 29,421

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White House to create new (old) agency to conduct background checks

What follows the release from today is something that will not be mentioned in the news, the fact that this was done to correct a failure of privatization. I know this because I was there.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cybersecurity-whitehouse-idUSKCN0V022F

White House turns to Pentagon in major background checks overhaul

The U.S. government will set up a new agency to do background checks on employees and contractors, the White House said on Friday, after a massive breach of U.S. government files exposed the personal data of millions of people last year.

As a part of a sweeping overhaul, the Obama administration said it will establish a National Background Investigations Bureau. It will replace the Office of Personnel Managementís (OPM) Federal Investigative Services (FIS), which currently conducts investigations for over 100 Federal agencies.

The move, a stiff rebuke for FIS and OPM, comes after last year's disclosure that a hack of OPM computers exposed the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information of roughly 22 million current and former federal employees and contractors, as well as applicants for federal jobs and individuals listed on background check forms.


What was not mentioned in the article is that prior to 1996 there was a federal agency that conducted all background checks for the USOPM. The investigative arm of the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) was privatized in 1996 and turned into a private government contractor named USIS (US Investigations Service) http://www.gao.gov/assets/90/85833.pdf This private company was given all of the contracts that it used to service as part of the federal government. I worked for this company and let me tell you, we made money. In 2000, the Carlyle Group bought a controlling chunk of USIS and let me tell you, we made even more money. http://www.rense.com/general69/carl.htm

USIS was sold to another group in 2007 and ultimately started losing government contracts for background checks to other contractors. Then we started hearing about people with security clearances who should never should have gotten them when USIS was exposed after taking shortcuts on investigations. Charges were filed against USIS and they were suspected of passing as many as 665,000 flawed investigations background checks between March 2008 and September 2012, which was about 40 percent of total submissions http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-usis-idUSBREA0M0BD20140123 (I knew of these going back to my time there and that was one of the reasons I left the company. It was no longer about security, but about how many reports could be produced and how much profit could be turned) http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/251549-background-check-company-that-screened-snowden-to-forfeit-30-million

So here is another shining example of the failure of privatization. A lot of people made a lot of money off of this filed venture. I've already spent the relatively little bit I made when I cashed out, so you can't have it back.

I'll never understand the people who romanticize him

He purposefully lied to take a job with the sole reason of stealing government intel. He then ran away with said intel to China and Russia, with his final destination unknown.

His actions are not mythical or heroic. He shares a mindset with Ayn Rand loving minions of Ron and Rand Paul. He believes he's striking a blow against the Evil Empire that is us.

Why people on a Democratic Party supporting website continue to fellate him is beyond me.

Pray to god but row away from the rocks

So far the only thing that about half of us will do is pray. When storms come on a weekly basis we hear about people cowering in their bathtubs praying, crowded into hallways praying, sitting in a room praying. They hope and pray that the storm wont hit, or that it wont destroy their house or kill their loved ones, but they never seem to be willing to row away from the rocks.

It angers me to an insane degree when the policy makers and politicians tell us to pray. This is not a debate about deities, but since one has yet to intervene personally, can we stop putting all of our eggs into that one basket and maybe just maybe start trying to take care of ourselves and row away from the damn rocks.

Build a shelter, have a plan in place to survive, have a plan in place to respond and dig out the bodies, but since it appears that we are on our own can we start to take a little responsibility?

I live in Florida and have a wife and toddler, as soon as a hurricane or storm forms that looks like it might threaten my area, we're heading out of town. I'm not going to sit hunkered in a bathtub praying.

I know that the Bible Belt will continue to pray, but I hope that they also take responsibility for themselves and take action to avoid or respond to disaster. I really hope that the politicians will take actions, make plans, and fund responders.

(Oh yes, the quote from the subject line comes from Hunter S Thompson)
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