Heads up: Top comment and controversy
Xbox-playing teens to be hired as spies
19 October 2012 11:19 AM
We're used to hearing complaints about how computer games will rot the minds of a generation, but now they have the chance to live out their fantasy and become real-life spies.
Apprentice cyber-spies will be taken on as intelligence agencies seek to harness the IT-savvy talents of the ‘Xbox generation’.
As the UK looks to combat cyber attacks, IT savvy teenagers will now have the chance to train for a career in the secret services.
The scheme is aimed predominantly at GCHQ - the electronic communications agency, but some recruits could go on to work in the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and MI5.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
"It will be the young innovators of this generation who keep our country safe in years to come, against threats as serious as some we confronted in the second world war."
"Today we are not at war, but I see evidence every day of deliberate, organised attacks against intellectual property and government networks in the United Kingdom from cyber criminals or foreign actors with the potential to undermine our security and economic competitiveness.
"This is one of the great challenges of our time, and we must confront it to ensure that Britain remains a world leader in cyber security and a pre-eminent safe space for e-commerce and intellectual property online."
Graduates have hitherto been the first port of call, but agencies will overlook the lack of qualifications to find teenagers immersed in the worlds of social media and gaming.
Recruits will have a two-year training programme, which includes studying for a foundation degree in communications, security and engineering at De Montfort University, in Leicester.
So teenagers, finally there's a valid excuse to stay up all night playing computer games. The government told me to.