Ok so I don’t have much to add this other than stupid government. Basically the FBI has decided that to “fight terrorism and student extremists” they are promoting a set of guidlines(PDF) to pinpoint potential foreign spies or terrorists. Not a bad idea, however bad plan, because they basically say that students can be interested in anything but their own work, can’t travel overseas, can’t work late hours, maintain contacts with foreign nationals, and more. The problem with these guidelines is that every student breaks them, number one, also, when has information ever been contained to just the group of researchers? Research and information is like that it won’t stop simply because someone wishes it to, scientific journals, research papers, internet chat rooms, and more all provide avenues that researchers publish their information to. The information is published so the researchers can gain funding for more projects, if their projects are kept locked down they will not recieve funding to either contuine their current project or fund new projects.
Also how many students are honestly so wrapped up in their own work that when a friend comes and talks about a cool new idea, they will blow them off and say that it is outside their “job description” to discuss this? Personally I am interested in a range of subjects and follow the information in these subjects closely, from physics, chemistry, biology, computers (my actual field), history, mathematics, and many more. Simply being a well rounded person mean that I am spy or that I actually enjoy learning and educating myself? The remainder of these guidelines are equally vague and meaningless in a university and the academic world. Researchers will contact those that have the latest information whether they live in China, the U.K., Germany, South Africa, or Montana. The late hours is crazy, has anybody ever seen someone who wasn’t enthusiastic about their work not work late and odd hours?
This is a bad idea, the potential here for trying to have people untrained in security and intelligence field out spies will only cause problems and false alarms, especially with the ridiculous guidelines provided.
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