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Charles Stross: Snowden leaks: the real take-home: Noted for August 16, 2013

Charles Stross: Snowden leaks: the real take-home:

The big government/civil service agencies are old. They're products of the 20th century… still living in the days of the "job for life" culture…. But things don't work that way any more…. Today, around 70% of the US intelligence budget is spent on outside contractors… who grew up in Generation X or Generation Y…. Gen Y has never thought of jobs as permanent things. Gen Y will stare at you blankly if you talk about loyalty to their employer…. Employers are alien hive-mind colony intelligences who will f--- you over for the bottom line on the quarterly balance sheet. They'll give you a laptop and tell you to hot-desk or work at home so that they can save money on office floorspace and furniture. They'll dangle the offer of a permanent job over your head but keep you on a zero-hours contract for as long as is convenient. This is the world they grew up in: this is the world that defines their expectations….

This means the NSA and their fellow swimmers in the acronym soup of the intelligence-industrial complex are increasingly reliant on nomadic contractor employees, and increasingly subject to staff churn…. Perceived slights result in retaliation, and blundering, human-blind organizations can slight or bruise an employee's ego without even noticing. And slighted or bruised employees who lack instinctive loyalty because the culture they come from has spent generations systematically destroying social hierarchies and undermining their sense of belonging are much more likely to start thinking the unthinkable.