Number of NSA Applicants Doubles Following Porn Disclosure

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency disclosed Friday a 200% surge in employment applications over the previous 48 hours, but refused to comment on whether this renewed interest was connected to the revelation that the spy agency has been monitoring the pornographic viewing history of radicals in an attempt to humiliate and discredit them.

Citing documents provided by former N.S.A. contractor Edward Snowden, the Huffington Post revealed Wednesday the N.S.A.’s plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches and rhetoric. The document proposes that six redacted targets, all Muslim, would be discredited by revelations that they viewed sexually explicit material online. None of the six individuals is accused in the document of being involved in terror plots.

The embattled intelligence agency has faced criticism and scrutiny over its spying methods in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks. While an N.S.A. spokesperson refused comment on a possible link between this most recent disclosure and increased interest in working for the espionage giant, the application swell should come as a relief to intelligence officials..

“While the agency has seen a dip in applications over the last six months, over the last 48 hours, we’ve more than made up for the lost numbers, and are on pace to exceed our recruitment target for the year,” N.S.A. spokesperson Vanee Vines told reporters. “Unfortunately, from what we’re seeing, a large number of the applicants are already disqualified by virtue of their criminal record,” adding that an equally large number were “already under surveillance by one or more of our sister agencies.”

It remains speculative if the pornography revelations and employment applications are connected, but reporters managed to catch up with one applicant who spoke of his sense of duty.

“I’ve always wanted to serve my country, and I think I have a particular set of skills that the N.S.A. would be very interested,” said one recent N.S.A. applicant whose name was withheld for security reasons, adding that he feels he is “uniquely qualified” to engage in the data collection and surveillance that is the N.S.A.’s purview. “I think the government really needs me out there, monitoring the dirty things the bad men get up to.”

Vines also dismissed accusations of a connection between the pornography exposé and a fall report noting that several N.S.A. employees illegally used the agency’s surveillance powers to snoop on their love interests.

“Those incidents were rogue perverts who overstepped their authority,” insisted Vines. “This was a textbook case of our dedicated agents keeping tabs on somebody’s pornography collection. Two completely unrelated occurrences.”