NSA Spied On Porn Habits Of Muslims Suspected Of "Radicalizing," Says New Leaked Document

Amidst all of those surveillance programs, the NSA apparently had an epiphany: the Muslim men they suspected of "radicalizing" look up porn online, too! The latest leaked document by Edward Snowden (surprise!) reveal that the NSA spied on targets' online porn habits and sexual activity in an effort to damage the reputations and authority of these so-called "radicalizers." All of the men are believed to live outside of the United States, but one was listed as a "U.S. person," which means he's either an American citizen or permanent resident.

The document divulges that six men, all Muslims, were targeted in the hope of tapping into their "personal vulnerabilities," including “viewing sexually explicit material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.” Though none of the men had been directly linked to a terror plot, all were labeled as people who could influence others through YouTube, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Specific sexual offenses were not listed in the report, and the Huffington Post redacted the targets' names because they couldn't be verified. One man was listed as a "well-known media celebrity" in the Middle East, who apparently leads a "glamorous lifestyle" and claims that the U.S. was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Another of the men is said to be a "respected academic" who has vulnerabilities that include "online promiscuity," and allegedly "publishes articles without checking facts."

The six men spoke and wrote for audiences that included both English and Arabic native speakers, and were "susceptible" to terrorist messages. They were from a range of countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Kenya, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia.

So, how big a deal are these latest revelations? Well, the NSA says that even though they're tactics of humiliation, rather than force, they're still lawful means to harm radicals spreading violent diatribes. And it'll kick them where it hurts. "If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to," says Stewart Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA.

But Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, likens this latest NSA revelation to abuse. "Wherever you are, the NSA's databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online," he says. "The NSA says this personal information won't be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines 'abuse' very narrowly."

Ever since Snowden became a whistleblower, the NSA has suffered a big image problem. Although Snowden is currently chillin' in Russia, the NSA has been lambasted for covertly infiltrating the information centers of Google and Yahoo, amid everything else.

Image: Flickr/D. Sharon Pruitt