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Security United States

Is Off-Shoring a National Security Threat? 319

Posted by timothy
from the never-buy-outside-your-zip-code dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Should the U.S. government hold developers more responsible for the quality of their code? One top cyber security analyst says more regulations would be a mistake. 'Any attempt to regulate software quality and security simply drives the software industry off-shore for good,' he says. 'Similarly, requiring trusted on-shore production ensures two things: (1) falling behind world progress as we aren't the only smart people and we are a minority, and (2) costs rise in a way that makes on-shore-mandated software cost-uncompetitive on the world market.'"
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Is Off-Shoring a National Security Threat?

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  • Paying our enemies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aqualung812 (959532) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @11:28AM (#37599610)

    -Note, I live in the USA, I get that you might not. Ignore the "we" in those cases.

    Off-shoring becomes a bit of a problem if you decide you want to fight a war with one of the countries you offshore to.

    For example, if we would start a war with India, one of the first things that would happen is the loss of all communication with that country. How many businesses would fail since they wouldn't be able to replace that infrastructure quickly.

    How about if we go to war with China? Can we produce all of the parts we currently use in our weapons systems here, quickly?

    Yes, in both examples, the USA would be able to eventually produce everything it might need, but it would take years to regain the infrastructure that currently isn't located here.

    Where things get really complex is when you consider the off-shoring of natural resources, such are rare metals or oil. If the USA pissed everyone off, it wouldn't have enough resources to maintain current standards of living & fight a war, even with all of the imaginary money it can print.

    All of the above could be seen as a positive, though. Maybe if the idea of killing others isn't enough to stop war, the cold facts of logistical interdependence might.

  • by Duhavid (677874) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:01PM (#37600026)

    If people have jobs and can afford to buy things, then maybe it is.
    If everything costs twice as much, but you make twice as much, it is level.
    And really, have prices fallen that much with outsourcing? Not for the items that are essential.

    The problem we have right now is that not enough people have jobs here in the US paying enough to afford the amounts required to live here.

  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:48PM (#37600790)

    Actually outsourcing their own forces brought the romans to their downfall both the western and eastern empire.

    Naah, study your history. That was an effect along the way, but hardly the cause.

    The cause was the rich people had all the money land and power. Read your Gibbon, near the end all the land in the empire was owned by only a thousand landlords and everyone else was dirt poor. Kind of like where the USA is headed. When Rome was more egalitarian, Rome the city produced 25K fighting men, which means a total army size in those days of about 75K. Back then individuals paid for their own gear when they volunteered for service...

    Once only the rich had money, the poor couldn't even volunteer to be the equivalent of cannon fodder, and the rich had to hire foreign mercenaries, at ripoff prices. Toward the end, the average Roman was so poor that the empire could barely raise 100K fighting men. You'd think an empire could raise more than 4x just one city, but they had economically destroyed themselves, so...

  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @01:26PM (#37601290) Homepage

    In other words, it's ultimately a self-destructive strategy that will end in dragging down first world markets to third world economic levels. We may already be past that critical point, looking at the perpetual recession we are in.

    It's what most of that first world is built on, getting ridiculously cheap labor intensive imports from abroad while exporting expensive high tech and processed products back. Except the world isn't stupid and the world isn't standing still. As the rest of the world gets civilized, they do get educated. They too understand high tech. Americans aren't magical just because they're born in the US, the rest of the world is catching up. You can close off the borders, but that market isn't coming back. Then it'd just be the US economy, no almighty dollar which is worth so much around the world. That dollar was - is - worth so much because there's valuable things to be bought for dollars. Close off trade, take that away and you might find yourself with a third world currency bringing US wages down to match the rest of the world all the same. Either way they're starting to match the US and you can't just stick your head in the sand about that.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @02:07PM (#37601768)

    We should fucking COMPETE. We EXPORT commodities and manufactured goods which would make us vulnerable in a trade war.

    GERMANY is the fucking size of TEXAS, is the second-largest exporter in the world and has strong unions. It has "socialized medicine", a high standard of living, an excellent education system, and person-for-person is superior to most cultures on the planet.

    What's the US excuse for failure? "We need tariffs because we suck"?

    If secure code is worth having then the market will deliver it. Those who deserve secure code will PAY for it. Why should the government burden ALL of us with another UNFUNDED MANDATE?

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