IT veteran describes working overseas for the CIA's IT Group

Many IT professionals at the Central Intelligence Agency ride alongside the CIA's "ops" personnel on overseas mission. These jack-of-all-trade techs must be able to handle any technical problem that pops up--from troubleshooting a LAN to fixing a generator.

Central Intelligence AgencyIn a article published August 6, 2008, by Thomas Wailgum recounts his interview with CIA CIO Al Tarasiuk and a 23-year veteran of the CIA's IT group (who's name was withheld for national security reasons). According this senior IT officer, IT professionals who travel overseas must be "versatile and agile" techs, who can handle just about any technical problem—from troubleshooting a PC or LAN to fixing a generator. As Wailgum wrote"

At one time he can be troubleshooting a LAN transmission system and another he'll be called to an ambassador's residence to assist on some tech problem. "But you can be pulled away to do HVAC stuff too," he adds.

If the constantly-changing daily responsibilities weren't enough to content with, IT staffers who travel overseas must also work in "bad spots" (including war zones) and be away from their families for months at a time. The CIA's IT service is definitely not for fainthearted techs.


Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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