Having trumped IBM for a $600 million cloud contract with the Central Intelligence Agency, Amazon Web Services is hiring the hundreds of engineers and other professionals necessary to bring the spooks’ new super-secure cloud to life. The company is reportedly hiring 500 employees at AWS’s recently opened Herndon, Va., facility, located not far from CIA headquarters in Langley. Included in many of the descriptions posted on Amazon’s jobs site is a qualification already familiar to those the company expects to hire for the project.
This position requires U.S. citizenship and the applicant selected must obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) eligibility and access. A U.S. Government administered polygraph examination will be required. The applicant selected must possess a Single-Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) that is eligible for crossover as defined in ICPG 704.4.
The SSBI requires the applicant to complete a more than 120-page government questionnaire that includes such questions as, “Have you EVER knowingly engaged in activities designed to overthrow the U.S. Government by force?” While most people can offer an honest “no” in response, anyone who has used a computer at work might have trouble with this one.
In the last 7 years have you introduced, removed, or used hardware, software, or media in connection with any information technology system without authorization, when specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines, or regulations or attempted any of the above?
If their answer’s a “yes,” applicants are given space to explain the transgression, probably considered less of a disqualifier than attempting to overthrow the U.S. government. Published reports say the State of Virginia has kicked-in a $500,000 grant to support recruitment and training at the facility, which opened in late August.