Hard work done by a lot of people. Nationwide, the NSA employs roughly 35,000. And each year it must find new recruits to keep it at the cutting edge of code-making and code-breaking. It gets those recruits from hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, including Johns Hopkins University.

Matthew Green a professor of computer science at Hopkins, says the number of such students the school turns out each year can vary. “Sometimes it’s a half-a-dozen,” he says. “Sometimes it’s just one or two.”

Green says that the Snowden leaks have changed academia’s views of the agency.

“Before the Snowden leaks we looked at the NSA as being a spy agency, and they did what they were supposed to do,” he says. “But we’ve learned that they’re been collecting this incredible amount of information. And they’re not shy about doing whatever they have to do to get access to that information.”

Green says he doesn’t feel as friendly towards the NSA as he once did. It’s important that people learn about the Snowden documents, he says, and he teaches about them in his classes to students like Daniel Swann. And Swann says Green’s class helped shape his thinking on whether to work for the NSA.