08 November, 2005

CryptoKids

"We're the CryptoKids and we love cryptology. What's cryptology? Cryptology is making and breaking codes. It's so cool."

This is a little weird.

The NSA have a new kids site featuring the "CryptoKids", cartoon animals each with a passion for a different aspect of the fun world of SIGINT and Information Assurance.

The gang includes Crypto Cat (speciality: cryptography), Decipher Dog (cryptanalysis), Joules (engineering), Slate (mathematics), T. Top (computer science), Rosetta Stone (language analyst) and Sergeant Sam (Central Security Service). Each character has their own biography, and there's tons of games and activities: codes and ciphers, things to make at home, colouring pages, online games, recruitment information...

...wait...recruitment information? Oh yes. On the home page, there's a large button that says, "How can I work for NSA?" After all, "it's never too early to start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up". In fact, the entire thing seems to be something of a get-'em-while-they're-young recruitment project: the slogan is "America's CryptoKids: Future Codemakers and Codebreakers".

Don't forget, kids, "without NSA/CSS, American leaders wouldn't be able to talk to one another without the bad guys listening and they wouldn't be able to figure out what the bad guys were planning".

Personally, I would have thought that few kids old enough to be seriously contemplating a future in intelligence work would be young enough to still enjoy the capers of a gang of anthropomorphised cartoon animals (and a gang geekier than your average chess club, to boot), but I'm not complaining...I've got colouring-in to do!

9 Comments:

Anonymous Lisa said...

HAHA! That is hilarious! CryptoKids... wow. I wish they would have had that when I was a kid. Makes it seem ok to be interested in that stuff at younger ages... but alas, I didn't have that and so I got made fun of all the time.
Oh well, it's still funny. :)
And I love your blog, btw.

-Lisa

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