Defense may limit foreign IT labor

The US Department of Defense has proposed dramatic new limits on the use of foreign nationals in computer-related projects, rekindling a heated debate over the use of immigrant labor for high-tech jobs.

The proposal to amend the agency's personnel security guidelines could prevent most non-US citizens from working with unclassified information, department officials said Thursday. Right now there are similar restrictions on those who work on technical projects dealing with classified information, but in a post-Sept. 11 world, the department is considering extending the policy.

The ban could take effect in 60 to 90 days if the proposal is approved. The department said it didn't know how many people would be affected by the policy, but it could concern any company contracting with the government agency.

"It is in the interest of the department to ensure that any person accessing unclassified but sensitive DOD IT systems be reliable and trustworthy. This is merely part of that effort," Pete Nelson, deputy director for personnel security, said in a statement.

News source: CNet News

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