Walmart's Spying Operation Is Hiring!

Former CIA or FBI intelligence expert? Want to train your eye on more… “innocent” suspects than you did during your days in law enforcement? Look no further than Walmart’s Global Security division, which is headed by former senior CIA and FBI senior officer Kenneth Senser and Army Special Operations veteran David Harrison.

Don’t think that your days at Walmart won’t be filled with lots of investigating! Job postings on Walmart.com called for individuals to collect information from “professional contacts” and public data to anticipate and assess threats stemming from “world events, regional/national security climates, and suspect individuals and groups,” according to the AP.

“Familiarity with a broad spectrum of information resources and data-mining techniques” is listed among the skills sought, along with a foreign language, preferably Chinese or Spanish.”

Walmart has probably already seen our special “Walmart Spying Operation” Twitter account (provided for their benefit and edification and so they don’t have to tap our phones), so what are they doing with all this data and intelligence gathering? They’re spying on their customers, of course!

From the AP (emphasis ours):

Harrison told a meeting of security professionals last year that Wal-Mart was learning to defend itself by using the vast information it routinely collects about its employees, shoppers and suppliers.

The only public comment to date on the work of the Analytical Research Center, the speech was reported on by the trade magazine Government Security News. Wal-Mart did not dispute the report when contacted by The Associated Press this week.

Harrison told the meeting that Wal-Mart tracks customers including those who use its pharmacies, buy propane tanks and anyone making “bulk purchases” of prepaid cell phones, which some law enforcement officials have tied in the past to terrorist or criminal activities.

Harrison did not elaborate on how that information could be better used, except to say the data could be shared with law enforcement.

My, that’s a ringing endorsement for Walmart’s pharmacy… —MEGHANN MARCO

Wal-Mart Recruits Intelligence Officers [Forbes]
(Photo: aforero)

PREVIOUSLY: FBI Investigation: Is Walmart Reading Your Email?
How Did The Walmart Spy Intercept Text Messages?
New York City Comptroller Requests Investigation Into Walmart Spying Operation
Walmart Granted Gag Order Against Former Spy
Fired Walmart Spy Says He Felt Pressured To Find The Information Leak

Comments

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  1. tvh2k says:

    Now if only you could get an intern into that job!

  2. Mills says:

    Do they help their “spies” apply for Medicaid while filling out their hire paperwork?

    Or is that just a special benefit for store employees?

  3. thunderstruck says:

    When our nice, new superWal opened, they had 2 uniformed security guards. Within 6 months, they were unpacking boxes, still in uniform. Then, they were working the floor like everyone else.

    Does this mean there’s actually a part of Walmart that doesn’t dump their problems on local law enforcement?

  4. Brie says:

    @thunderstruck: I knew a guy who went from being a police officer to starting his own business. There was some kind of lag time in between, so he briefly worked in security at WalMart. I said, “So you caught shoppers?” He said, “Are you kidding? Shoppers aren’t even half the problem at this WalMart. I spent all my time investigating EMPLOYEES.”

  5. pestie says:

    I really don’t think it’s going to be long before governments are completely irrelevent, everything is outsourced to private companies, and companies have their own armies. Hell, the Bush administration has already taken us 90% of the way there!

  6. Trick says:

    Funny how Wal*Mart is “spying” on their customers. At Target, they are only “monitoring” and “keeping track” of their customers.

    Wal*Mart is EVIL! EVIL SPYING BASTARDS!

  7. John Stracke says:

    I notice they’re looking for a foreign language, “preferable Chinese or Spanish”. I say it’s time we stop thinking of Spanish as a foreign language. With 32 million people in the US who speak Spanish at home, the US has more primary Spanish speakers than Peru (29M people, 23M primary Spanish speakers) or Venezuela (28M people, 21M primary Spanish speakers). In fact, we’re getting close to having more primary Spanish speakers than Spain, where the total population is 44M, but there are enough regional languages to bring that down to about 36M primary Spanish speakers (4M speak Catalan, 700,000 speak Basque, 3M speak Galician).

  8. 5h17h34d says:

    Spanish *is* a foreign language. This is America. We speak english.

    And don’t forget that!

  9. mopar_man says:

    @5h17h34d:

    That’s what I was thinking.

  10. tvh2k says:

    @John Stracke:
    That’s like saying the Atlantic Ocean has more salt in it than the Dead Sea! Well of course it does, it’s a freaking ocean! However, the dead sea has a much higher salt concentration.

    “Statistics can be made to prove anything – even the truth!”

  11. Bourque77 says:

    @MissedTheExit: Last I heard employees in store like wal-mart account for over 80% of theft. I doubt thats changed.

  12. youwakeup says:

    to mopar_man and 5h17h34d:

    under your retarded logic, English is a foreign language, too. because it comes from England. isn’t that a foreign place?

  13. buck09 says:

    You’re all thinking in terms of the public-facing retail end of Walmart’s operations. I suspect the work is a little more interesting than that. There’s a market for these people, and it’s not getting paid $8/hr to watch security tapes.

  14. wezelboy says:

    Walmart policy is to not even bother shoplifters. The cameras are there to keep the employees in line. You can shoplift to your heart’s content and no one will lift a finger. If they do, it’s grounds for dismissal.

  15. ngwoo says:

    Aww, how cute. Consumerist’s Walmart bashing for the day. And wow, the sarcasm meter is going nuts on those first three paragraphs.

    Quality journalism here. Oh! There goes the sarcasm meter again!

  16. shdwsclan says:

    Hell, even religions have their own spies and armies…..and private companies they ou

    Just look at islam and scientology[not really a religion]

  17. vongarr says:

    Damnit consumerist, you should have posted this when the job was active so I could apply!

  18. Nickoli says:

    @youwakeup:
    English is indeed a foriegn language to people in America. They call the language “English”, but it isn’t.