NSA Hiring 15-Year-Olds

Spy agency's interns tend to stay on

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 10, 2013 1:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Does Edward Snowden have a little brother? The National Security Agency is starting its spies young with paid internships for people as young as 15, Salon reports. The agency has around young 500 interns on its books, including college students recruited through ads seeking would-be journalists and teens who sign up for the agency's longstanding High School Work Study Program. An NSA spokeswoman says up to 95% of interns who want to stay on with the agency after their internships are able to do so.

So how does reading people's emails—or snooping on games like World of Warcraft—stack up as a job for ambitious young people? "The job was way exciting," says a former employee who interned as a "Cryptological Technician" at the agency. "I had access to a whole universe of fascinating real-time information from around the globe and the agency provides great resources for advancing one's self."

A sign stands outside the National Security Administration campus on in Fort Meade, Maryland, where interns are offered subsidized housing.
A sign stands outside the National Security Administration campus on in Fort Meade, Maryland, where interns are offered subsidized housing.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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