How is this News?

Via the Mail (UK) Online:

Britain has spent more than £100 million in the past year on consultants to combat cyber espionage and the growing use of the internet by terrorists.

Now, MPs are investigating the soaring costs of employing private contractors, some paid the equivalent of £150,000 a year, three times the average wage at GCHQ, the Government’s signal and intelligence agency.

No shortage of commentary about this article, mostly focused on the use of the term “cyber-war” but all of that flailing misses the mark. The money quote is above the fold, if anyone bothered to read beyond the title:

The specialists are mostly IT experts recruited to ensure the security agencies have state-of-the-art systems to run complex surveillance operations, thwart cyber attacks and provide digital back-up.

In the States federal intelligence officers are on this thing called the “General Schedule” which is a fancy word for pay table for various grades of employee. I imagine our cousins have a similar system to some degree. You know what both systems probably have in common: Anyone on that schedule is a generalist. By definition they cannot perform specific jobs as well as someone who has deep expertise in a given subject/trade. You know what you do when you need that level of expertise? You bloody well pay for it.

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