Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Shin Bet Beta v0.2c43 [decryption failed] Huh?

Israeli's security service, The Shin Bet, is launching its first-ever public recruiting drive today, calling on high-tech geeks to join the anti-terror battle. "If you thought the only way to fight terror was with Arabic, think again," says the campaign's slogan. The Shin Bet sources admit the ad campaign is also intended to change the organization's image. For many, the first thing that springs to mind at the mention of Shin Bet is torture (not to mention the famous interrogation under bright lights in an otherwise dark room, perhaps involving a sledgehammer or needles :)

But not anymore! The Shin Bet will market the jobs as "technology with real vocation, not just another start-up waiting for a chance," says a source close to the campaign. Because Israeli is the #2 country in the world for technology startups, there's a very large supply of people who go from one startup to another, working on or inventing cutting-edge technologies as a way of life. The business end of the high-tech startup world often is disconnected from the technology geeks' desire to just do new and amazing things.

Enter The Shin Bet to the rescue! Their slogan should read Don't just be a Geek, Be A Hero! with the way they're running this ad campaign.

They say they're looking for people "who have been out there and made it," (read: who have worked in more than one startup, had it close down on them and gone onto Yet Another undaunted by the economic risks) and who are now looking for an opportunity to develop technology "that could save lives, catch the suicide bomber on his way to Tel Aviv." (read: Be a Hero! Save your Country! Yeah, laying it on a little thick there, guys, but it's a great shift for the Shin Bet to be doing this recruiting openly for a change). The security service is also putting together a benefits package intended to entice high-tech people from the private market

MK Yisrael Hasson (Yisrael Beitenu), who was the service's deputy head until 2002, says that in his time the Shin Bet did not bother with its public image. [...] Asked why today ads were needed to recruit people, Hasson says: "It's always hard to get people in technology. It's a very competitive market, even if you're named Bill Gates." Well, I suppose if they're competing with Redmond, Washington, there might not be much oppportunity to Be A Hero after all.

Five years ago the Shin Bet opened a spokesman's office. Its heads deny
that the Shin Bet has a spokesman but journalists are given a telephone
number to refer questions to. Shin Bet people from that office also
ghost-write articles themselves and offer them to journalists.

We don't exist. I don't know what you're talking about. It's all in your
imagination--and you spelled his name wrong, you know, it should be....

Rak b'Yisrael!!


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