Security: The future for middle-class jobs?

Summary:China employs about 2 million people to scan the web looking for criminal or political content.

Nick Farrell reporting for TechEye: 

According to Chinese state media, the country hires two million people to run and monitor its "Great Firewall."
Beijing News has reported that many employees are performing keyword searches and checking tens of millions of messages being posted each day.…

The "web police" are hired by the government's propaganda arm, as well as by commercial sites.

Foremski's Take: Security is a growing market and there are lots of jobs to be done that still can't be done well by software. It's not the best paid job in the world but it's a steady job with excellent growth prospects.

There are estimates that one-third of East Germany's population worked for the Stasi security organization either as informers or agents. 

In my dystopian fantasies it's easy to see a future in which most people work in security, scanning, and patting each other down, at every doorway. 

People are essential for security. With the deluge of information an operation such as the National Security Agency's produces, the number of false-positives turned up by its software searches must be astronomical and requires humans to process it forward.

And as the world of subterfuge becomes more sophisticated, it will require ever more feet-on-the-streets, or eyes-on-the-Tweets to combat.

Spying on each other will be crowd-sourced, as it always has been, and that'll generate even more information that someone has to process. Who can you trust? You won't be able to trust anyone with any remark, no matter how glib, or funny.

In a future where trust is rare, patting each other down during a security check might become the closest we get to human contact.

Topics: Security


In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to become a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley. Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leading comput... Full Bio

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