NSA spying reaches its dirtiest levels yet

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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The latest Snowden-leaked document about NSA surveillance brings to light what the agency watches after dark — porn habits.

The document explained how targeting the “personal vulnerabilities” of six Muslims identified as “radicalizers” could be used to harm their authority, reputation, and credibility by exposing hypocritical behavior in contrast to their public personas.

The document, quoted in a Huffington Post report Tuesday, is dated Oct. 3, 2012, and details behavior like “viewing sexually explicit material online or using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls;” using donations for personal expenses; and charging high admission fees for often incendiary religious speeches.

“A previous SIGINT (signals intelligence, the interception of communications) assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document said.

“Some of the vulnerabilities, if exposed, would likely call into question the radicalizer’s devotion to the jihadist cause, leading to the degradation or loss of his authority,” it continued.

The document originated from the director of the NSA and recipients included the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Commerce, among others.

“Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the U.S. government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence,” Director of Public Affairs for National Intelligence Shawn Turner told The Huffington Post Tuesday.

“Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said. “The NSA says this personal information won’t be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines ‘abuse’ very narrowly.”

All six men were identified as “U.S. persons” in the document, but the NSA believes none of them are currently in the United States. None were linked to any suspicions of terrorism in the document.

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