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The NSA may be trying to repair its image. This is a bit offtopic, but I think the NSA is in serious trouble because they need good hackers to join them, and it seems like almost nobody will want to after last year's revelations. (Even their salary offers seem to suck in comparison to an important SV engineer's salary, which struck me as odd.)

One way to start to repair their reputation would be to responsibly disclose some vulnerabilities and then take credit for their disclosure. That might motivate whitehats to join them, and whitehats are exactly the type of people they need.

In 10 years, the US is going to be in trouble unless they can continue recruiting good hackers. In 20 years, they'll be in serious trouble when foreign powers have clearly begun dominating the SIGINT arena. And at the rate technology is changing, those timelines seem optimistic.

I doubt the NSA's image problem is that large. I suspect many NSA recruits fall more toward the "black hat" end of the spectrum. They break into things without thinking about the consequences of their actions.

The NSA can likely get all the recruits it needs by just offering the chance to hack with legal immunity.

Snowden doesn't seem like a blackhat. Certainly looks can be deceiving, but it's hard to believe they'd be so shortsighted as to hire mostly people who are in it for the thrill of doing usually-illegal things.

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