Get ‘em while they’re young

The CIA is taking a humorous approach to recruiting, using cartoon images of spies-on-the-go in TV ads and movie trailers as well as on the...

The CIA is taking a humorous approach to recruiting, using cartoon images of spies-on-the-go in TV ads and movie trailers as well as on the career section of its Web site to encourage a younger, media-savvy generation of job applicants, as PRWeek reports.

But the CIA is not the only intelligence agency that needs more warm bodies. The National Security Agency (NSA), a much larger government agency that does electronic surveillance of all sorts, is also doing a lot of public outreach to encourage job applicants, including running TV ads and attending many campus career fairs around the country.

Rather bizarrely, given the somewhat sinister nature of the NSA's work -- the agency is, after all, intercepting people's phone calls and other communications, though not, NSA representatives say, those of innocent Americans -- the NSA's Web site homepage features a link to a Kids Page.

There, visitors can do all sorts of fun things, like create their own codes and ciphers or learn morse code, and find out about different types of jobs at the NSA, as explained by characters like DecipherDog and CryptoCat.

Never too early for kids to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up...

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