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NSA monitoring pornography Web sites of suspected troublemakers

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Intending to harm the reputations of six people the National Security Agency considered "radicalizers," the bureau collected evidence of online sexual activity as well as visits to pornographic Web sites. According to whistle-bower Edward Snowden, the targets, all Muslims, were sterling examples of how "personal vulnerabilities" can be learned through electronic surveillance.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Then agency then exploited the information to undermine a target's credibility, reputation and authority.

Among the vulnerabilities the agency listed was "viewing sexually explicit material online" and "using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls."

According to the NSA document, which was dated in October of last year, none of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused in the document of being involved in terror plots. However, the agency believes they currently live outside the U.S.

The agency does identify one of the suspects as a "U.S. person," which means he is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, which entitles them to greater legal protections against NSA surveillance than foreigners are.

"The NSA scandal turns a dangerous corner," Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, writes. "I bet Washington is full of nervous people."

The European Union is now reviewing a commercial data-sharing agreement with the U.S. known as Safe Harbor. One EU executive threatened to freeze the pact, which covers commercial swaps between U.S. and European companies, information exchanged to limit international terrorist funding and the supply of information on transatlantic air passengers.

An appendix attached to the document lists the argument each surveillance target has made. These claims are what the NSA terms as radicalism, as well the personal "vulnerabilities" the agency believes would leave the targets "open to credibility challenges" if exposed.

One target's offending argument is that "Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam," and a vulnerability listed against him is "online promiscuity."

A foreign citizen, one of the six people in question, is what the NSA describes as a "respected academic," but holds the offending view that "offensive jihad is justified," and his vulnerabilities are listed as "online promiscuity" and "publishes articles without checking facts."

The Huffington Post said it withheld the names and locations of the six people.

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