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NSA collected porn visits data to discredit Muslim ‘radicalizers’

The National Security Agency has been collecting a mountain of dirt on the online sexual activity of individuals, all of them Muslims, whom the agency seeks to discredit due to their ‘radicalizing’ efforts.

The expression ‘all’s fair in love and war’ just took on a whole  new meaning in the ongoing debate that pits national security  against personal privacy.

Yet another top-secret NSA document – one of many whisked out of  the United States by whistleblower Edward Snowden – revealed that  the agency sought to discredit the “credibility, reputation and  authority” of six Muslim ‘radicalizers’ through their online  sexual activity and visits to pornographic websites, according to  Huffington Post.

The targeted “exemplars,” whose identities are not  revealed, are purportedly attempting to recruit and radicalize  followers through “incendiary speeches.”

The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, aims to exploit the   “personal vulnerabilities” of its targets through their  online tendencies, including “viewing sexually explicit  material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive  language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.”The Huffington Post said it is withholding the names and  locations of the six targeted individuals, whose alleged online  activities “cannot be verified.”
The Director of the National Security Agency (“DIRNSA”)  distributed the top secret document to a number of government  agencies, including the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and  Firearms (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and US  Customs.

‘We can discredit them’

Snowden’s revelation’s turned a spotlight on the NSA and its  warehousing of billions of pieces of information – emails, phone  calls, photos and videos. However, in its effort to find the  proverbial needle in a haystack, the NSA is scooping up millions  of innocent people in its dragnet.

However, in the never-ending fight against terrorism, proponents  of the NSA’s eavesdropping techniques, which have spied on  everything from the offices of the United Nations to the Vatican,  maintain a position of security over privacy.

Stewart Baker, former general counsel for the NSA, supported the  idea of practicing what essentially amounts to character  assassination against individuals who are believed to pose a risk  to US security interest.
“If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill  Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to,” Baker  said, as quoted by HP. “[D]ropping the truth on them,” as  opposed to a drone missile attack, for example, is “fairer and  maybe more humane.”

Who’s next?

Although the NSA document only mentions Muslims on its list of  targets, critics of the clandestine data mining system worry that  such tactics could be used against ordinary Americans for any  number of reasons.

“This kind of dragnet surveillance is precisely what the Fourth  Amendment was meant to prohibit,” said ACLU Deputy Legal Director  Jameel Jaffer, who presented arguments against the NSA  surveillance in a US federal court last week.
“The Constitution does not permit the NSA to place hundreds of  millions of innocent people under permanent surveillance because  of the possibility that information about some tiny subset of  them will become useful to an investigation in the future,”  Jaffer added.

Jaffer said it is right to ask if a “president will ask the  NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political  opponent, journalist or human rights activist.”

“The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would  be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the  future,” he said.

None of the individuals listed in the NSA document, all of whom  are believed to reside outside the United States, is accused of  being involved in terror plots against US interests, the article  concluded.

Source: rt.com

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