[ISN] Stephen Northcutt needs your help
isn at c4i.org
Fri Jun 25 09:06:17 EDT 2004
Forwarded from: Stephen Northcutt <stephen at sans.org>
This note is intended for U.S. citizens and is a personal note from
Stephen Northcutt. For the past few weeks CERT and SEI, DoD
government funded organizations, have been purchasing google adwords
so that when people search for "SANS Training" they see an
advertisement for CERT/SEI's network manager course.
I have a couple of concerns about this. The first is trademark or
brand related, when you search for SANS training, you should get SANS
training. Other competing commercial training companies have also
engaged in this behavior and when I have written them and asked if
this how they want to be remembered by the security community, they
have discontinued this practice. I wrote cert at cert.org a couple weeks
ago and they continue this practice.
My second concern is that the government offering the course violates
the spirit and letter of OMB A 76. "Two of the key principles of
Circular A-76 has always been that "in the process of governing, the
Government should not compete with its citizens" and that "a
commercial activity is not a governmental function."
My third concern is the amount of tax we pay as citizens. The
government is in the process of authorizing about 481 billion dollars
for DoD spending. The Department of Defense clearly has too much
money if they can afford to create training that mirrors material
widely available from SANS, MISTI, CSI, Intense School and other
training organizations. I believe the money spent on CERT, SEI and
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology, and Logistics should each be reduced by at least 10%
So I am asking for your help. If you agree with me please write your
congress person and either use this note as a base or write your own.
I would be honored if you would copy me, Stephen at sans.org. If you
don't agree with me, or don't want to help me, that is fine, but
before you send me a knee jerk email flame would you do three things.
Look at your last paycheck stub and remind yourself how much tax you
pay, second, consider the impact of the U.S. deficit
(http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ ) and finally think about how you
would feel if the government decided to compete in a disreputable
manner with a course that took you months to write, SANS Security
Leadership. After that, if you disagree with me, I would love to hear
what you have to say. So please help me and write your congressman
and tell them your home address, make sure they know you vote and you
agree that the government has no business wasting taxpayer money
competing with a course Stephen Northcutt does a better job of anyway.
To find your representative:
To find your congressional representative, the best link I could find is:
Thank you for taking the time to help! Needless to say, I write this
note as a private citizen and the author of SANS Security Leadership
and am certain this note does not reflect the collective views and
opinions of The SANS Institute.
Stephen at sans.org
More information about the ISN