It’s Time to Organize Volunteer Hackers in Civilian Cyber Corps, Think Tank Says
A recent proposal from the New America think tank recommends the creation of a “Civilian Cyber Corps” organized along the lines of the Civil Air Patrol and volunteer firefighters. Like these two groups, the corps would be made up of unpaid volunteers and the estimate for building a corps across all 50 states is $50 million in congressional appropriation. For comparison, the Civil Air Patrol, which supports search and rescue operations, received $43 million federal funding in the most recent fiscal year. The recommended program would be managed by DHS, with local divisions connected to state and local government. The overarching purpose of such a corps would be to respond to digital attacks and support the low-sensitivity tasks that help return systems to working order. This would then serve to free state IT staff to focus on priority and high-value work. The authors of the report oppose models in which such a corps would be organized through the National Guard, as this could militarize the group that would otherwise be a fully civilian corps.