Monster courts a giant: The U.S. government

One good Monster deserves another. That could be why Monster.com's parent company is cozying up to the ultimate (spending) monster: the U.S. government. In this case, C isn't for cookie; it's for cash.

It's no secret that large global services vendors -- IBM Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., and Electronic Data Systems Corp., to name a few -- earn sizable portions of their annual revenues from U.S. government contracts.

Perhaps Monster.com's parent company, Monster Worldwide Inc., has been taking notes. In more ways than one, the company has been trying to be all it can be for the feds.

The popular job-search Web site recently announced that its Monster Government Solutions group has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Defense in an effort to help it fill both military and civilian positions in several branches of the armed forces.

According to Monster, it has been working with the Naval Reserve for about eight months and more recently began posting positions for the Air Force and Army.

However, perhaps Monster was trying to prove its patriotism last month when it decided to delete references to seven nations from its database of online resumes.

The company claimed that the Treasury Department does not permit "certain business activities" with Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan or Syria, hence allowing job-seekers to look for work in those countries is illegal. Yet a senior government official told CNET that there really isn't any law on the books that would compel Monster to remove references to those countries.

In the end, it may have been little more than a legal misinterpretation, as Monster has now restored most of those references. Still, one wonders if the incident was a "youthful indiscretion" on Monster's part, or if it was a coy attempt to gain favor in the eyes -- and pocketbook -- of Uncle Sam.

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