NSA为何面临人才流失的问题

01-08 14 9063 雨天路滑当心
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NSA’s toptalent is leaving because of low pay, slumping morale and unpopular reorganization

美国国家安全局顶尖人才因工资低、士气低落、重组不得人心而离开。



The NationalSecurity Agency is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilledpersonnel, some disillusioned with the spy service’s leadership and anunpopular reorganization, take higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the privatesector.

美国国家安全局正在以令人担忧的速度失去顶尖人才,其中一些人对间谍服务的领导层和此次不得人心的重组感到失望,去私营部门从事了更加高薪、弹性的工作。

Since 2015, the NSA has lost several hundredhackers, engineers and data scientists, according to current and former U.S.officials with knowledge of the matter. The potential impact on nationalsecurity is significant, they said.

据之前和现在的知情美国官员说,从2015年开始,美国国安局失去了上百个黑客、工程师和数据科学家。他们说,这对国家安全潜在的影响是巨大的。

Headquarteredat Fort Meade in Maryland, the NSA employs a civilian workforce of about 21,000there and is the largest producer of intelligence among the nation’s 17 spyagencies. The people who have left were responsible for collecting andanalyzing the intelligence that goes into the president’s daily briefing. Theirwork also included monitoring a broad array of subjects including the IslamicState, Russian and North Korean hackers, and analyzing the intentions offoreign governments, and they were responsible for protecting the classifiednetworks that carry such sensitive information.

国安局总部位于马里兰州的米德堡,雇佣劳动力约21000,在全国17个情报机构中是最大的。已经离开的人以前是负责为总统的每日简报收集和分析情报的。他们的工作还包括监测包括伊斯兰国、俄罗斯和朝鲜黑客在内的一系列问题、分析外国政府的意图,以及负责保护那些运送敏感信息的机密网络。

“Some synonymof the word ‘epidemic’ is the best way to describe it,” said Ellison AnneWilliams, a former senior researcher at the NSA who left in 2016 to start herown data-security firm, Enveil. More than 10 of her employees also came fromthe NSA, she said. “The agency is losing an amazing amount of its strongesttechnical talent, and to lose your best and brightest staff is a huge hit.”

“用“流行”的近义词来描述它再贴切不过了,”Ellison Anne Williams,国安局的一名前高级研究员说。她在2016年离开国安局,创立了自己的数据安全公司Enveil。她说,公司的十多个员工也来自国安局。“国安局逐渐失去一大批顶尖的技术人才,而失去最优秀和最机智的员工是一个巨大的打击。”

The NSA wouldnot disclose how many job vacancies it has. Agency officials said there is a5.6 percent attrition rate among personnel who specialize in science,technology and math. The attrition rate is closer to 8 or 9 percent amonghackers and those who staff the agency’s always-operating watch centermonitoring for cyber attacks, a trend that has spanned the Obama and Trumpadministrations.

国安局不会透露有多少职位空缺。国安局官员说,专攻科学、技术和数学的人员有5.6%的减员率。黑客和那些负责持续监视网络攻击的监视中心的工作人员中,减员率接近8或9%。这一趋势贯穿奥巴马和特朗普政府。

Although thedeparture rates are low, compared with attrition levels in the civiliantechnology industry, and although the agency is filling its vacancies, most newpersonnel lack the experience of those who have left, said one seniorintelligence official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity tooffer candid insights about the secretive organization. That experience deficitcan impede the NSA’s core mission of collecting and analyzing the masses ofdata the agency lifts from foreign networks.

虽然与民用科技产业的减员率相比,国安局的离职率很低,虽然国安局填补了职位空缺,但是大多数新员工缺乏离职员工具备的经验,一个高级情报官员说。像其他人一样,他匿名向秘密机构提供了坦诚的见解。这种经验的不足会妨碍国家安全局的核心任务——收集和分析来自国外网络的大量数据。

Some groups within the NSA have lost almost half of their staffs, one former official said.As a result, projects -to make intelligence collection more effective- havebeen cut or slowed.

一位前官员说,NSA内部的一些组织已经失去了近一半的员工。结果,使情报收集更有效的项目被削减或减慢了。

It is aturbulent moment in the NSA’s 65-year history. The agency continues to facepublic distrust after revelations, made by former contractor Edward Snowden in2013, about the scope of its surveillance of American citizens. Morale dippedin the aftermath of those disclosures and has not fully recovered. Morerecently, the workforce was rattled by a series of breaches targeting the agency’shighly sensitive hacking tools.

这是美国国家安全局65年历史上的动荡时刻。在前雇员Edward Snowden2013年对美国公民监视的揭露后,该机构继续面临公众的不信任。这些揭露后士气低落,至今尚未完全恢复。最近,由于一系列破坏国安局高度敏感的黑客工具的行为,员工们感到慌乱。

Anothersource of frustration is an ongoing reorganization that has merged the NSA’shighly secret electronic spying mission with its more public network-defenseoperation, along with other changes. NSA Director Michael S. Rogers, a Navyadmiral who also oversees the military’s Cyber Command, launched NSA 21 tobreak down what he called the “walls of granite” among divisions whose missions,he believed, complement one another.

另一个沮丧的原因是,正在进行的重组将国家安全局高度机密的电子侦察任务与其更公开的网络防御行动合并,并做出了其他的变动。国家安全局局长Michael S. Rogers,一名海军上将,也监督军队的网络司令部,他推出了“国家安全局21”来打破部门之间的“花岗岩墙”,他认为这些部门的任务是相辅相成的。

Formeremployees have voiced a variety of complaints. Some say they feel theirmissions have been marginalized by the restructuring. One called thereorganization “an enormous distraction” and lamented what he characterized asan inefficient procurement process that made it difficult to obtain even simpleopen-source developer tools. Another faulted the agency’s pay structure andpromotion system, saying it favors seniority over skill and competence.

前员工们表达了各种各样的抱怨。一些人说他们觉得他们的任务在重组中被边缘化了。有人称重组“严重使人分心”,把它描述为即便是简单的开源开发工具都难以获得的低效率的采购过程,并为之悲哀。另一个人批评国安局的薪酬结构和晋升制度,称它偏爱资历而不是技能和能力。

A series ofbreaches beginning with Snowden and including the arrest of former contractorHarold T. Martin III in 2016 have led to new security precautions. Suchrestrictions on accessing data have made work more difficult, and the internalhunt for would-be leakers has contributed to an environment of suspicion, saida number of current and former employees.

从斯诺登开始的一系列违规行为,包括2016对前雇员哈罗德·马丁三世的逮捕,导致了新的安全防范措施。不少现任和前任员工说,对于访问数据的限制加剧了工作的难度,国安局内部寻找潜在泄密者营造了怀疑的气氛。

“It comesdown to death by a thousand cuts,” said a former employee, adding that people“tend to quit in packs. One person hits their breaking point, and once theyleave, the dominoes start falling.”

“水滴石穿。”一个前雇员说。他说人们“往往结伴辞职,一个人触及了他们的极限点,一旦他们辞职了,多米诺骨牌就开始倒了。”

The braindrain has been so pronounced that at one gathering in 2016 of the agency’selite hacking division, one individual raised the concern with Rogers directly.According to several people familiar with the exchange, Rogers disputed thatthere was any increase in attrition and told his employees that they shouldstop complaining and get back to work.

人才流失如此严重,以至于在国安局精英黑客部门2016年的聚会中,有一个人直接向Rogers提出了这种顾虑。据熟悉这次交流的几位人士说,罗杰斯不认为减员有所增加,并对他的员工说,他们应该停止抱怨,回去工作。

An NSAspokesman, Tommy Groves, did not challenge the account, saying that employees’concerns about high attrition rates have led to changes, including increasedpay, increased promotions and greater opportunities to work at all NSA sites.

国安局发言人Tommy Groves没有对此提出质疑,他说,员工对高离职率的担忧引起了一些变化,包括增加工资、增加升职机会以及增加在国安局任何一个机构任职的可能。

Rogers didnot respond to a request for comment. More recently, though, he has made it apoint in public to thank the agency’s workforce and acknowledge the “culturalchallenge” its employees face. At a national security conference in September,for instance, he said that dealing with “the great men and women of theorganization” is “the best part of the day for me.”

国安局局长Rogers没有回应采访的请求。不过,他最近在公开场合表达了对员工的感谢,并承认国安局的员工们面临着企业文化的挑战。比如在义词国家安全会议上,他说,和“组织里优秀的人们”共事是“一天中最好的时候”。

He added: “Ifthe price of security becomes that we drive away the very men and women thatgenerate value in the first place, we now have a self-induced mission kill.”

他补充道:“如果安全的代价是我们赶走了最初产生价值的人们,那我们现在就有了自发的杀戮任务。

Rogers hastold colleagues he plans to retire in the spring, ending a four-year tenurethat has been rocky at times. At one point in 2016, the defense secretary anddirector of national intelligence wanted him removed over various leadershipconcerns. Rogers survived the episode, and with Trump’s national security teamstill settling in, he was seen as an element of continuity at the agency.

罗杰斯告诉同事,他计划在今年春季退休,结束四年时而艰苦的任期。2016年的某段时间,美国国防部长和国家情报总监曾因为一系列领导层的顾虑希望罗杰斯离开。Rogers度过了这个时期,如今特朗普的国家安全团队还在安顿,他被认为是国安局能持续稳定的因素。

It is notclear whom President Trump will nominate to succeed him, but whoever steps intothe role will face a variety of challenges.

目前还不清楚特朗普总统会提名谁来接他的班,但不论是谁担任这个角色,都会面临各种挑战。

“NSA is atthis moment experiencing stress that is constant and unrelenting,” one formersenior intelligence official said. He said the agency has weathered otherhigh-anxiety periods “because there was cohesion in the workforce and a leaderwho could nurture them through it, if not inspire them. But this directorhasn’t chosen to do that.”

一个前高级情报官员说:“美国国家安全局此刻正承受着持续而无情的压力。”他说,国安局经受住了其他高焦虑时期,“因为员工中有凝聚力,还有一位领导可以培养或鼓励他们度过这段时期,但这位局长没有选择这么做。”

Skilledpersonnel have always left the NSA, in particular to work for defensecontractors that support its work, said Deputy Director George Barnes, who hasbeen at the agency for 31 years. “The big change these days is there’s asupply-demand imbalance between the outside and the inside,” he told TheWashington Post.

能力强的工作人员一直不断地离开国家安全局,特别是去为支持国安局工作的国防承包商工作,已经在国安局工作了31年的副局长George Barnes说。他对华盛顿邮报说:“现在最大的变化是外部和内部供需失衡。”

Barnesdefended Rogers’s leadership and his handling of the reorganization. Rogers, hesaid, “is totally focused on ‘What’s the culture? How do we understand whatcauses stress?’ It’s the antithesis of the negative vibe” about which someemployees complained.

Barnes为Rogers的领导和他对重组的处理辩护。“Rogers,”针对一些员工的抱怨,他说,“完全专注于“文化是什么”、“我们如何理解导致压力的原因”。这是负面情绪的对立面。”

Barnes alsonoted the allure of Silicon Valley and other cities that tech start-ups callhome. The U.S. private sector is struggling to fill more than 270,000 jobs incybersecurity, according to Burning Glass Technologies, a labor analytics firm.Total compensation for those jobs can reach $200,000 or more, meaning evenrelatively junior cyber professionals in the industry can make more than topofficials at the NSA.

Barnes还提到了硅谷和其他被科技初创企业称为家的城市的魅力。据Burning Glass Technologies——一个劳动力分析公司说,美国的私营部门正在努力填补超过270000个网络安全方面的工作岗位。这些工作的总薪酬可能达到200000美元或更多,这意味着即使是相对初级的网络专业人员的收入也能超过国家安全局的顶尖官员。

Some seniorofficials say that the outflow in part reflects a cultural shift in whichmillennials are not inclined to stay in one workplace for an entire career. Andit also stems from a disproportionate number of retirements of people whoentered the agency in the 1980s during a hiring boom.

一些高级官员说,人员流出一定程度上反映了文化的转变——千禧一代不愿意整个职业生涯都呆在一个地方。这也是由于在招聘热潮时期,大量上世纪80年代进入国安局的人退休了。

Other formerNSA personnel who have left or retired recently expressed confidence that theNSA would weather the storm.

其他的离开或退休了的国安局前工作人员表示相信国安局会平安度过暴风雨。

“Yes, peoplewill leave, but there are things you can do there that you can’t do anywhereelse. It’s for God and country,” said Daniel Ennis, who oversaw the agency’sthreat operations center before retiring in 2015 after 33 years. He now leadsadvanced cyberthreat intelligence for BlueteamGlobal, a private cybersecurityfirm.

“是,人们会离开,但有些事情只能在国安局做,别的地方都做不了。它是为了神和国家的。”Daniel Ennis说。他在2015年退休之前,负责监督国安局的威胁行动中心,工作了33年。他为BlueteamGlobal,一家私人网络安全公司,领导先进的网络威胁情报机构。

“NSA alwaysrecovers,” Ennis said.

“国安局总会恢复过来的。”Ennis说。

 
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ghost ofyossarian:
I worked for 20 years inthe private sector in network security. Worked with brilliant coders, hackers,interface designers. Worked with people from other companies and governmentagencies.
I didn't see anything new here, or substantial data to saythere is an increase in the turnover rate.
The private sector will always have a recruiting advantageover public sector in this field. Not just with money, but with workingconditions. Federal bureaucracy, political winds changing your mission, publicarmchair quarterbacking, Byzantine contracting rules enforced by Congress ....it takes some real public service dedication to choose that, and very few willdo it for an entire career.

我在网络安全领域的私人部门工作了20年。与优秀的程序员、黑客、界面设计师合作。与其他公司和政府机构的人员合作。
我在这里没有看到任何新的东西,也没有大量的数据表明人事变更率增加了。
私营部门在招聘上比公营部门有优势。不仅仅是钱,还有工作条件。官僚主义、政治风向改变你的任务,公共椅上发号施令,国会执行拜占庭时期的承包规则…有真正为公众服务的决心的人才会去选择承受这些,很少有人整个职业生涯都干这个。

Tonybindc:
The federal pay scale is woefully out of datefor technical fields. Lets see- a kid fresh out of grad school can take a GS-9position (*if* they can make it through the federal hiring process) and make alousy $56k a year in DC... Or they can make nearly double that starting at mosttech firms. Additionally when you get to the higher GS levels, you usually haveto take on management responsibilities to get promoted. Some lab rats just wantto be really good lab rats, and not managers. That's A-Okay.

悲伤的是,在技术领域联邦的薪资已经过时了。比如研究生刚毕业的孩子可以做一个GS-9级官员(GS一共分为15级,数字越大级别越高)(如果他们能通过政府的雇佣过程)然后在华盛顿一年赚个56k美元。或者他们可以在大多数科技公司赚到两倍的钱。此外,当你达到更高的GS级别时,你必须负责管理才能继续升迁。有些实验室老鼠只是想成为好的实验鼠,而不是管理者。那是可以的。

rogueshoten:
Oh please.I'm a 30 year Federal employee.People are not walking away from cushy Government jobs because they don't likethe President. Most are leaving to seek higher paying jobs in the privatesector or retiring before Congress has a chance to cut pension/retirementbenefits.

呵呵。人们离开舒适的政府的工作,不是因为他们不喜欢总统。大多数人离开是为了在私营部门找到更高报酬的工作,或者在国会有机会削减退休金之前退休。

ceaTigr
I'm not surprised they'rehaving retention problems. You've low morale from the Snowden, etc., affairs.Then you have Republicans on the Hill lining up to cast you as parasitessucking the life blood from Americans. Then you have some Democrats casting youas jack-booted thugs who would fit right in with the Gestapo or the Stasi orthe KGB. Then you have private-sector jobs that pay far better than yourgovernment salary - sometimes purely private sector, and sometimes working fora contractor and performing the very same duties you were doing as a govie(i.e., you still work with the same people, it's just the color of your badgethat changed...and your paycheck).
There's only so many people willing toendure those circumstances and remain govies for their entire careers. Many, ifnot most, will eventually decide that even a mission they believe in isn'tworth putting up with all of that.

我一点也不惊讶他们会有留不住人的问题。你们因为斯诺登等人而士气低落。有共和党人排着队想把你们当作吸食美国人鲜血的寄生虫除掉。又有民主党人安排你们饰演适合盖世太保或斯塔西或克格勃时代的军队暴徒。然后你提供私营部门的岗位,工资比政府的工资高许多,有时纯粹为私人部门工作,而有的时候为政府的承包商做事,和做政府官员时执行同样的职责,(即你还是和那些人共事,只不过你的徽章的颜色和薪水改变了而已)。只有那点人愿意忍受这样的情况,一辈子做政府的官员。大多数或绝大多数人最终会决定,即便是他们信奉的使命也不值得他们忍受那些。

TedDR:
When an employee expressedconcern about attrition rates, Rogers told him to stop complaining and get backto work.
Did I miss something here? Did theemployee ask for a raise, a longer lunch hour, better food in the cafeteria,more coffee breaks, a bigger office, or less uncompensated overtime? No. Heexpressed concern that a brain drain is compromising the ability of NSA tofulfill its mission.
Sounds like the problem lies at the top.

当一位员工对减员率表示担忧时,Rogers跟他说不要抱怨,回去工作。
我错过什么了吗?员工要求加薪了吗,要更长的午休时间了吗?要食堂提供更好的食物了吗?要更多茶歇,更大的办公室,或少一些无偿加班了吗?没有啊。他表达了担心人才外流危及国家安全局完成任务的能力。
听上去问题在于上层领导。

carol_r:
I recently worked with someone who hadcome from the State Department. It's been gutted. Because of internal freezes,employees can't get new assignments that lead to career advancement. I expectthat a large number will leave in the next year or so taking with themexceptional skills and education that will be difficult to impossible toreplace.

我最近和一个来自国务院的人共事。它的内部已经腐朽了。由于内部冻结,员工拿不到新的项目,也就无法在职业生涯上获得提高。我预计明年会有很多人离职,而他们杰出的技能和教育是很难或者根本不可能替代的。

carol_r:
Wrong. I worked for DOD and retired alongwith another colleague recently mainly due to Trump. We were both in sciencefields. Morale under Trump is the worst I've ever seen it in the FederalGovernment in over 35 years under many different administrations.

不是的。我在国防部工作,和一个同事一起因为特朗普的原因退休了。我俩都是科学领域的。特朗普管理下的精神面貌是我在联邦政府35年多见过的各届政府中的最差的。

apgbound:
I retired a few years ago after 34 yearsin the DoD, and was recruited back after a year or 2 by my same agency. Themoney was too good to pass up. My combined retirement and contract salary ismore than many SES'ers, and after a few years I will have saved enough to allowour kids to graduate from college with zero loans. Why wouldn't I leave andcome back? That's how many of my retirement eligible peers feel about it.

我在国防部工作了34年,几年前退休,一两年后又被返聘到同一个机构。工资太高了不容错过。我的退休工资和合同工资加起来比很多高级行政官都高。几年之后我就能攒够钱供我的孩子不贷款上大学了。我为什么不退休然后回来工作呢?这就是我很多有能力又退休了的同伴们所想的。

hhodges1:
Not surprising to see this story. Clearlycyber work is being done in the civilian world with better compensation andworking conditions. Those who stay must be remarkably dedicated to theirmission - like their military counterparts. Their work is important and shouldbe in an arena of near unlimited technical resources. That doesn't seem to bethe situation so should be the first management concern.

没什么好惊讶的。显然民间的网络工作薪酬和工作环境更好。那些留在政府部门的人一定是为了使命极有献身精神的人——军人也是。他们的工作很重要,应该在技术资源几乎没有限制的环境下工作。现在的情况似乎并非如此,这应该是管理上的头等大事。

Nasochkas:
I worked for a government agency and in aseries of private firms.
The main attraction of working for a government agency isthat you get job stability, reasonable hours, a relatively steady environmentand avoid the typical corporate BS such as constant re-orgs and HR harassingyou with "morale boosting" nonsense (i.e. wasting time while you havedeadlines). In exchange, you accept lower pay.
If government agencies start adapting these corporatetrends, especially constant re-orgs, then they better boost pay, or else onemight as well go put up with this nonsense for more money.

我为政府机构和一些私人公司工作过。
为政府机构工作的最主要的好处是工作稳定、工作时间合理、环境相对稳定、没有公司里常见的废话——比如频繁地重组、人事拿“鼓舞士气”的蠢话来烦你(就是在你要赶在截止期限前完成任务的时候浪费你的时间)。
作为交换,你就要接受工资低。
如果政府机构开始应用这些企业的发展趋势,特别是频繁的重组,那他们最好提工资,不然人们也可以为了钱忍受这些愚蠢的行为。

jax2themaxx:
I guess the upside of this decimation ofthe ranks is it will make it harder for Herr Drumphuck to weaponize the NSAagainst the American people.

我想此次削弱等级好的一面是,它会令特朗普先生难以把国安局变成对抗美国人民的武器。

Wmw4:
Plus, who the devil would want toactually live in the DC area, especially on a government salary? Too expensive,too crowded, too much urban sprawl.

况且,谁会乐意真的住在华盛顿?尤其是拿政府工资的人。太贵,太拥挤,太城市化。

 
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