The NSA developed an internal development competition for new analysts in order to improve their abilities using ‘XKeyStore’ software, an application that can filter through and index huge amounts of public data.
New recruits went through a period of desensitization to the Orwellian tasks they were employed to do by playing games like this and earning points in order to ‘level-up’.
The following is an excerpt from the Snowden Files (Original Document)
Now we know what we can do with XKS (XKEYSCORE) and exactly why we want to use it – to make these discoveries… to see what is new for the day.
Combine these exciting finds with the introduction of XKS Skilz points, and you can see why McDonald’s teamed up with Monopoly years ago: people buy more and even super size their orders just to get game pieces. With the brainchild of Skilz, where analysts can earn points and unlock achievements for performing tasks in XKS, people are willing to try new things within the tool. Analysts think to themselves, “Using the Pivot Data feature will earn 30 points… I’m going to try it and see what happens.” Discovery! Points! We have been lured by our geeky desire to unlock achievements and earn points, and bragging rights are everything.
“Definitely a number of users have gotten into the Skilz points. We have several people at level six. They see what they need to do to earn points and start trying out different things.”
Some people say that the potent combination of Skilz points, the Circuit Training, and the team of easily-accessible on-site instructors is the secret to ECC’s successes with XKS.
Wikileaks Decrypted | Wikileaks Blog