As if the creepy spy-guy wandering around your kid’s college campus trying to recruit her into the NSA wasn’t bad enough, now you can find him wandering the halls of your local high school and middle school as well.
According to a recent article in the Intercept, the NSA recently established cybersecurity camps for middle school and high school students, and hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.
The NSA already has a strong presence on college and university campuses throughout the U.S. through its Centers for Academic Excellence programs. Featuring both academic and research certifications, the spy agency uses schools as both recruiting grounds and research partners.
These high school and middle school “Gen-cyber” programs cosponsored by the National Science Foundation dig government surveillance state tentacles into the minds of even younger kids. The programs seem innocent enough. In a CNBC interview, NSA recruiter Steven LaFountain said they teach students, “low-level programming…Programming in assembly language, programming in the C programming language…where most cybersecurity vulnerabilities are.” The camps also feature “cyber scavenger hunts.”
“They had backpacks using the little antennas coming out of the backpack. They’re going around this college campus trying to find these rogue access points that had been set up. So it really was just giving them a good introduction to that technology, which is an important technology today. So that’s a program we hope to grow in the coming years. To eventually reach out to all 50 states, I hope.”
While the programs appear to simply “give students the fundamental awareness of cybersecurity,” LaFountain admits both the high school camps and university Centers of Academic Excellence serve as spy recruiting tools. The NSA needs to pique interest in government spy work at an early age in order to compete with high paying companies for top talent.
“Certainly, were looking for those smart people. And clearly, we lose a lot of incredibly talented people to Google and Facebook and Microsoft and all these other places. But we also get a lot of very, very smart people as well. Because some people just have this—this motivation to do what they think is right, to work for the government. Clearly, large numbers of our workforce could leave today and go get a higher-paying job elsewhere. But they believe in the mission,” LeFountain said.
Along with establishing the middle and high school programs, the NSA recently revamped the university Centers for Academic Excellence program. LaFountain expressed optimism that the aggressive outreach to young people will pay dividends for the surveillance state.
“I think—I hope—that we will see the pipeline of students that we’re expecting coming to NSA, going to cybercommand, going to FBI, going to the places that need the skills that we’re trying to build.”
The NSA spies on virtually everybody in the world. It violates basic privacy rights and civil liberties day in and day out. It ignores the rule of law and the protections of individual rights enshrined in the Constitution.
And its leadership lies about it.
Are these the kind of people you want influencing your children and grandchildren? Do you want the NSA recruiting your kids and training them to violate your rights?
And we don’t have to let them.
The Fourth Amendment Protection Act prohibits a state and its political subdivisions (cities, counties and parishes) from providing material support to any federal agency engaging in warrantless data collection. By passing this legislation, the state sets the stage to end NSA programs in public universities, and public middle and high schools. It also slams the door on any new partnerships in the future.
Stop spies from recruiting our kids!
Contact your state senator and representative today and ask them to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act in your state.