The NSA took a brief break from combing through the horrors of your browsing history today in order to create a GitHub account. GitHub, if you’re unaware, is a code-sharing and publishing service that’s popular with programmers.
The NSA’s decision to join the fray and start publishing their code online is a surprising one. (As they’re generally a group that is, well, prone to secrecy.) And despite the fact that they’ve already shared a code repository for over 30 different projects, none of them is as sexy as you might have hoped. In fact, most of the technologies are actually pretty old. For example, their latest upload, the “Lat Lon Tools Plugin,” grants you the unmatchable power of being able to zoom in on a specific coordinate on Google Maps – how thrilling!
Technically, this foray into the world of public code sharing is part of the NSA’s new Technology Transfer Program — which aims to bring the agency’s innovations to the masses in exchange for the innumerable benefits of collaboration — but it’s likely part of the organization-wide push to improve their image, following the Snowden leaks in 2013.
And although it may not be as great as their Twitter page (which overuses the word ‘cyber’ to a comical level), the NSA’s GitHub account is certainly a new way for the organization to interact with the general public. Tapping our phone calls had to get boring eventually, I guess.