Report: NSA Tracked Porn-Watching Activity To Discredit Muslim ‘Radicalizers’

The National Security Agency monitored Muslim targets’ visits to pornographic websites in order to discredit them, according to a Huffington Post report published Tuesday and co-authored by Glenn Greenwald.

An NSA document dated Oct. 3, 2012, provided to the Huffington Post by former security contractor Edward Snowden, identified six targets as Muslims and described them as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be exploited through surveillance to harm the targets’ reputations.

The document explained that “radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” according to the Huffington Post, suggesting charges of hypocrisy would be effective in undermining the targets.

The document then went on to list some “vulnerabilities” as “viewing sexually explicit material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls,” as quoted by the Huffington Post.

The NSA did not accuse any of the six targets identified in the document of involvement in terror plots, according to the Huffington Post. One target was identified as a “U.S. person,” who may either be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.

A spokesman for National Intelligence told the Huffington Post that the government uses all available means to obstruct “valid terrorist targets.”

“Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US 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 Shawn Turner wrote in an email.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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