For years, the National Security Agency (NSA), the major league of electronic monitoring and surveillance, has sponsored programs that try to turn high schools and colleges into their private farm system.
As the snoops explain on their website under a tab called “Opportunities for You”:
Today's job marketplace is competitive. To get a step ahead you need to gain practical experience before you graduate. Come work with the top professionals in your field at NSA. Our internships, co-op program, scholarships, and work study programs will help you to develop and shape your career well before your studies are through.
Come on, kids. Learn how cool it is to violate the Fourth Amendment. Not only will you not be prosecuted, but you’ll be paid and get killer federal government health insurance benefits!
The NSA isn’t looking for dummies, though. They want public schools to funnel the best and brightest into the agency’s ranks. Again, from the website:
The National Security Agency’s (NSA) Gifted and Talented Program is only open to high school seniors. The program is designed for high school students who have demonstrated an aptitude for Engineering, Math and Science. This program provides a tremendous opportunity to gain valuable experience in the area of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics].
Why waste those extraordinary talents on lawful, helpful, and noble pursuits when you can come spy on your fellow citizens? Heck, play your cards right and once you’re hired you can even use our substantial surveillance resources to keep an ear on that girl you’ve had your eye on.
Are you a college student faced with the prospect of a boring summer away from the books? The NSA has a summer program sure to be a cure for the holiday hum-drums:
NSA's Intelligence Analysis Summer Program offers rising college seniors the opportunity to receive training in a multi-faceted cryptologic discipline. This experience involves their research, analysis, and presentation of their findings, in conjunction with experienced NSA mentoring to increase NSA insight into high-priority intelligence targets. Their findings become part of NSA's effort to provide the fullest possible signals intelligence (SIGINT) picture to U.S. policy makers, military commanders, and other intelligence community members. They gain practical and theoretical knowledge of NSA, the SIGINT process, and the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).
For 12 weeks, undergrads can learn to use their language skills to help their government intercept and interpret surveillance targets who aren’t courteous enough to speak English.
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Photo is of the Eyring Science Center at Brigham Young University