We know you don't blaze up. But you've got this friend who does, and he seriously wonders whether that endangers his chances to code and hack for the top federal law enforcement bureau. You know what? Tell your friend the boss cop says it's cool.
Law enforcement angencies generally don't hire stoners and slackers. But as the cyber war heats up, groups like the FBI may be forced to turn to people who like to get a little heated to stay ahead of the curve.
"He should go ahead and apply," was the advice FBI Director James B. Comey had on Monday for a young man who theoretically balked at applying for an FBI job because he liked to get lit. Comey spoke about the difficulties facing the FBI when it comes to hiring promising young hackers at the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at Manhattan's New York City Bar Association, according to the Wall Street Journal. The trouble is, a lot of hackers smoke weed, and that's something the FBI generally frowns upon.
This is not your father's effa-bee-eye, run by some scary cross-dressing dude with a dossier on everybody. Well—it still is the FBI, and it still has rules. But as China tries mightily to win the internet by any means necessary, those rules might get some relaxing:
As it stands, the FBI's hiring policy on its website says an applicant must be marijuana free for three years if they hope to apply for a job with the bureau. Unfortunately for Comey — who has to fill 2000 new jobs this year, many of them dedicated to fighting cyber crime — finding a tech wizard who hasn't smoked in the last hour is hard enough. "I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," Comey told the conference attendees.
The FBI could possibly amend those strict rules soon. Comey told the conference the bureau is "grappling with the question right now" of how to change the drug policy without scaring off the cream of the hacking crop.
Trying to snag outside-the-box cyber-savants to do shadowy, secretive government work. There is no way this could possibly go wrong for the feds.
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