The NSA, like any good, covert government body controversially collecting information on American citizens, has a fun, kids-only website. It’s clearly “hip” and “really cool” because it has cartoon animals on it wearing sunglasses, baggy pants and backward baseball caps. These characters were clearly created via a panel of peers who carefully told a committee what kids today really like.
Each of the characters have their own backstory, including family members and often siblings who just drive them silly sometimes. We can all relate to that, can’t we, folks?
They even have hilarious catch phrases to get kids talking on the playground. Turtle Computer Expert “T. Top” explains to kids on the site, “In the world of diplomacy, knowing what your enemy is planning helps you to prepare, but it is also important that your enemies do not know what you have planned. It is the mission of the National Security Agency and the Central Security Service to learn what it can about its potential enemies to protect America’s government communications.”
Ha ha ha ha ha! Ohhhh, that’s so “T. Top”!
According to NSA spokesperson, Vanee Vines (not a cartoon character, that’s a real person’s name), the website “is designed to help children learn about cryptology and N.S.A.’s mission to defend the nation.” There is a section for kids to ponder their future employment opportunities in a fun way that kids can connect to and completely understand: “As a signals analyst, you will work with cutting edge technology to recover, understand and derive intelligence from a variety of foreign signals found around the world,” children are told in the future employment section. “You will also attempt to identify the purpose, content, and user of these signals to provide critical intelligence to our nation’s leaders.”
One of the main characters, Cy (one of two new characters introduced in 2010) tells kids, “There are people out there who don’t have your best interests in mind”. Cy, as a character trait I suppose, has no concept of irony.
The website reeks of ironic ignorance for the team that created these characters for actual use. If the cartoon themes here don’t sound familiar, you probably don’t know who “Poochy” is, either. And that makes me sad. If you genuinely don’t, I highly recommend you (and the creators of this NSA kids website) watch Season 8, Episode 14 of “The Simpsons” titled The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show. It is literally the idiotic idea behind this website in a nutshell.