28 January, 17:00

NSA site’s “kids section” a fresh embarrassment in light of Snowden leaks

NSA site’s “kids section” a fresh embarrassment in light of Snowden leaks

By Justin Mitchell
WASHINGTON (VR)– The National Security Agency has been getting some of the worst press possible in the last few months, but that doesn't stop the CryptoKids.

They are a plucky, cute group of anthropomorphic animals who have their own space on the NSA's website, intended to educate America's kids on what the agency does. They have been around for about a decade, but went almost unnoticed until this New York Times article. In the meantime, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the breadth of the NSA’s spying on Americans have severely damaged the Agency’s credibility.

So is this a cute promotional tool, or have the Snowden leaks recast it as propaganda?

Daniel Castro, the Senior Analyst with the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, joined VR’s Justin Mitchell to discuss websites like this one and their level of effectiveness in educating people about the nation’s intelligence program.

“Since federal agencies have begun to use the internet, a lot of them have thought it would be a good idea to have a kids’ section,” Castro said. “Obviously, in the NSA’s case, this kind of looks a little bad for them.”

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