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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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