Are you a fresh graduate and thinking of starting your own technology company in the UK? If so the country’s spy agency, GCHQ, might have a great job for you in the near future.
That’s because the government is considering a new program that will see promising tech graduates being employed by the GCHQ, the UK’s version of the NSA. This wouldn’t be for those looking to take on jobs in the spying field for life, but rather for a much more general public.
The program would take its inspiration from the successful “Teach First” initiative that encourages promising graduates to spend a couple of years teaching before taking on high-paying jobs at the end of their stint in academia.
A second source of inspiration is the Israeli Army which employs a very similar program. The best and the brightest in the IT divisions work for the military before starting their own businesses in the private sector.
“We have loads of talented people working for GCHQ – and there is no shortage of academic excellence,” said a Cabinet Office source to The Independent. “The question is can we create a secure space where business can work with GCHQ and build an eco-system between the two.
The spy agency would no doubt benefit from the constant addition of young and inspired minds joining their workforce – not to mention by the lasting bonds created between future business leaders and the secret agency.
And that’s where the whole program turns a bit nefarious. While it wouldn’t take much to convince the Israelis to join their army’s program, especially as Israel has a system of national service, things may be quite different in the UK where the GCHQ spooks have been mass-spying on the whole populace.
Lasting influence and a close relationship between technology companies and those with the power to spy on everyone doesn’t exactly spell out freedom and democracy.