Security

NSA is using online porn habits to discredit ‘radicalizers’

Image Credit: Meghan Kelly/VentureBeat

In the latest report on the NSA’s extensive digital spying efforts, it turns out even online porn habits are fair game.

The National Security Agency has apparently been using details on porn predilections to hurt the reputations of a group of Muslims it believes are radicalizing others, Glenn Greenwald reports at the Huffington Post. The goal? To point out hypocritical acts from people’s personal and private lives that could diminish their standing with extremist groups.

However, Greenwald points out that none of the six people being targeted by the NSA are classified as terrorists. Additionally, one of them is listed as being a “U.S. person,” which means they could be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Shawn Turner, the director of public affairs for National Intelligence, noted in a letter to the Huffington Post that “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.”

While this report isn’t nearly as damning as the NSA’s widespread spying on phone records, it’s not that difficult to imagine how this strategy could eventually be used against people without any ties to “extremist” views.