Hey kids, come join the NSA!

Eric Rescorla ekr at rtfm.com
Wed Dec 28 09:38:07 PST 2005

Hey boys and girls! Want to help your country defeat that mean old
Osama? Then check out the National Security Agency's CryptoKids web site

    On this site, you can learn all about codes and ciphers, play lots
    of games and activities, and get to know each of us - Crypto Cat,
    Decipher Dog, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T.Top, and, of course,
    our leader CSS Sam.

    You can also learn about the National Security Agency/Central
    Security Service - they're Americas real codemakers and
    codebreakers. Our Nation's leaders and warfighters count on the
    technology and information they get from NSA/CSS to get their jobs
    done. Without NSA/CSS, they wouldnt be able to talk to one another
    without the bad guys listening and they wouldnt be able to figure
    out what the bad guys were planning.

    We hope you have lots of fun learning about cryptology and
    NSA/CSS. You might be part of the next generation of Americas
    codemakers and codebreakers.

The site comes complete with a bunch of material on making and breaking
simple codes (cool), resources to teach kids about crypto (also cool),
and detailed biographies of the CryptoKids characters (kind of
creepy). Here's some of what CryptoCat does for fun:

    I'm usually hanging out with my friends at the mall or catching the
    latest movie. I love helping people so I find different ways to help
    out around the community. Right now, I volunteer as a swim coach for
    children with special needs. Its a lot of fun AND I get to spend
    extra time with my sister who has Downs Syndrome.

The NSA Gifted and Talented program looks pretty cool, though.


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