It started with the public opening of a cyber security team at the British government’s “secret” listening post in Cheltenham, a photograph of which was published on the BBC Web site in 2003. During the announcement on Thursday, the UK’s cyber security minister Lord West said that the government is hiring former “naughty boys.”
“You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff… If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys,” he told the BBC.
It’s possible that the BBC knew it could get Lord West to say something he shouldn’t. “Baron West of Spithead appears in the headlines occasionally for putting his foot in his mouth,” wrote Graham Cluley, Sophos security expert, in his blog.
Previous gaffes by Lord West include betting that his own party would lose the next election, Cluley added.
While hiring criminals to defend the country may seem radical, Conservative Member of Parliament Crispin Blunt asked whether the UK government was simply imitating Obama’s cyber security policies.