British spy agency launches cryptography app for kids

British surveillance agency GCHQ have launched an app aimed at 14 to 16-year-olds to take up STEM subjects as well as teach them about the history of surveillance.

Called Cryptoy, the free 'fun and educational' app is currently only available as an Android app with plans of releasing it for iOS in early 2015.

Young users can learn four encryption techniques including Enigma, Vigenere, Shift and Substitution getting to grips with ciphers and keys and also learn how to create encrypted messages. 

The app has been created by students during the Cheltenham Science festival while on a placement at GCHQ. At the launch of the app, Robert Hannigan, GCHQ's director said, "Building maths and cyber skills in the younger generation is essential for maintaining the cyber security of the UK and growing a vibrant digital economy. That is why I am keen for GCHQ to give something back through its work with school and universities."

However, those who are worried about this being a covert way through which the agency wants to keep a beady eye on your interactions need not worry- the app doesnt request permission to access your contacts list, your camera or your microphone. So you are safe for now!

You can download the app here

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