NSA has been under a lot heat after Edward Snowden revealed several projects and measures by the spy agency to be illegal. Interestingly, the agency has a website for children where it projects a very positive image of its own.
Some may rush to the conclusion that the site must have been made as a result of the recent backlash faced by NSA but that wouldn’t be true. The site, called CryptoKids, has been around for some nine years and is filled with cartoon characters, games and a ‘How Can I Work for N.S.A.?’ section.
On a first look, the site comes off as an obvious case of propaganda. It says, “In the world of diplomacy, knowing what your enemy is planning helps you to prepare. But it is also important that your enemies do not know what you have planned. It is the mission of the National Security Agency and the Central Security Service to learn what it can about its potential enemies to protect America’s government communications.”
If you delve further into the site, you realize that the site is meant to encourage the kids so that they would work on coding, encryption and other such tasks. There’s also a section which tells the kids what sort of skills they would need if they want to be hired by the NSA.
Interestingly, similar quasi-propaganda sites meant for children have been made by a number of other government agencies. These include FBI, CIA, the State Department, the Department of Treasury, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and many others.
The propaganda, some experts say, is not necessarily bad but it still is a very unintelligent way of appealing to the younger lot. In most cases, they say, this is a failed strategy when it comes to really connecting with the people.