Report: NSA Spied on Porn Habits of Islamic Radicals

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 12:38 PM

By Lisa Barron

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The National Security Agency gathered evidence on the porn-watching habits of six Islamic radicals as part of an effort to discredit them, reports The Huffington Post,  citing documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, states that "Some of the vulnerabilities, if exposed, would likely call into question a radicalizer's devotion to the jihadist cause, leading to the degradation or loss of his authority," according to the Post.

Among the vulnerabilities to be exploited are "viewing sexually explicit material online" and "using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls," it said.

The Director of the NSA is reportedly listed as the "originator" of the document, which was sent to officials with the Departments of Justice and Commerce as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration.

None of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused of being involved in any terror plots, and the agency believes they all live outside the country, although it identifies one of them as a "U.S. person," noted the Post.

Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Jameel Jaffer told the publication that the revelations raise new concerns about the NSA's abuse of  power.

"It's important to remember that the NSA's surveillance activities are anything but narrowly focused. The agency is collecting massive amounts of sensitive information about virtually everyone," he said.

"Wherever you are, the NSA's databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online," Jaffer added.



"Hmm, what could be dangerous about the world's most powerful spy agency using pornography viewing habits to discredit political opponents?" tweeted Ben Wizner,  director of the ACLU Speech Privacy & Technology Project on Wednesday.

The latest news also comes as the European Union is reviewing a commercial data-sharing agreement with the U.S., known as Safe Harbor, in the wake of the Snowden revelation, reports USA Today.

Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, is reportedly threatening to freeze the pact, maintaining that U.S. surveillance activities will have to comply with EU law and that Europeans whose rights may have been violated will have to be allowed legal recourse in American courts.


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