Canada's Foreign Intelligence Agency Is Using Escape Rooms To Recruit Code-Breakers

The escape room was designed by existing CSE code makers and breakers.
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Canada's Foreign Intelligence Agency Is Using Escape Rooms To Recruit Code-Breakers

Escape rooms are pretty common in most Canadian cities, and ‘escaping’ is a popular pastime for millions of people worldwide. However, this awesome hobby could soon turn into a serious profession for those with a real knack for it, as Canada’s foreign security intelligence agency is now recruiting escape-room-lovers to work for them as code-breakers.

According to CBC News, the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has reached out to an Ottawa-based escape room company, looking to recruit their best visitors. From September onwards, wannabe code breakers will be able to step inside the shoes of a real government intelligence agent and try their hand at cracking a number of reality-based cyberattack scenarios.

Wannabe recruits will be able to have a crack at solving cases similar to that of real Canadian intelligence officers, with the base for the new escape rooms being located at Escape Manor in the Hintonburg area of Ottawa. According to CSE spokesperson Ryan Foreman, the intention of the CSE is to try and discover some fresh talent, who had not previously considered a career in the intelligence services.

Foreman told CBC News, "The idea behind our partnership is to bolster our recruiting efforts and build awareness of who we are and what we do.”

The specially-designed escape room will be called “The Recruit,” and will be a narrative-style room involving the fictional advisory “The Syndicate.”

The Escape Manor’s website describes the intelligence-inspired escape room by saying, “The Syndicate is back and this time the threat is real.” The website continues, “Can your team of fellow recruits rise to the occasion or will your first day be your last? Solve your way out, and into a career in cyber security with the CSE.”

According to Foreman, the escape room puzzles were designed by existing CSE code makers and breakers. He said, “CSE's workforce is made up of problem solvers and critical thinkers in many different fields who tackle some of the toughest technical problems for the government of Canada.” 

Foreman continued, “We know that the kinds of puzzles and problem-solving skills needed to be successful in an escape room challenge are common interests among many of our staff.”

The CSE is making a real push for new recruits, only days after it was announced that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been struggling to recruit Canadian spies. The room will formally open in September and run for approximately six months.

If you want to get in on the action and fancy yourself as the latest recruit for Canada’s intelligence services, you can book The Syndicate by clicking here.

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