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Fears of a Security Brain Drain
When the Washington Post reported last month that the U.S. Department of Defense was crafting a new personnel policy, industry went on red alert. The new policy stated that IT companies with defense contracts would no longer be allowed to employ non-U.S. citizens on unclassified projects. As the news broke, everyone from H1-B subcontractors to tech industry leaders worried that this would lead to thousands of layoffs and underqualified, poorly trained replacement hires.
Many security companies who contract with the DoD feel the policy is dangerous. Losing qualified developers, regardless of their national origins, would undermine the process of creating secure code, which requires experienced teams where everyone is intimately familiar with the project. But security companies -- many of them small contracting firms -- have been reluctant to criticize the DoD openly for fear of biting the hand that feeds them. Their concerns have been voiced by professional organizations like the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).
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