Despite the fact that pornography has reached an unprecedented level of cultural acceptance, with statistics showing that almost 30,000 internet users per second view online pornography, 70 percent of men ages 18-24 view porn every month and 33 percent of online porn consumers are women, the National Security Agency believes that a taste for online porn sites constitutes a “vulnerability.”
The NSA made monitoring of online porn habits part of its surveillance of six unnamed “radicalizers” living outside of the United States, according to a secret document obtained by the Huffington Post web site.
The document was provided by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first obtained top secret NSA information from fugitive leaker Edward Snowden.
Because the surveillance documented in Greenwald’s HuffPo report was targeted against individuals outside of the United States, it was probably legal.
Though the targeted radicals are not identified, they are likely to be Muslims who would, at least publicly, condemn pornography. The NSA documents say that they would be “particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent.”
“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," Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence, told the Huffington Post.
While the document did not say if the NSA actually found any of the six “radicalizers,” none of whom are suspected of taking part in terrorist plots, the surveillance did turn up other sensitive information that could be use to embarrass the individuals.
The NSA fond that one subject “publishes articles without checking facts.” Other such “vulnerabilities” turned up by the surveillance include, "charges exorbitant speaking fees,” “attracted to fame" and "glamorous lifestyle.”
Former NSA lawyer Stewart Baker defended the surveillance, saying, "If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to.” Shaming suspected anti-American activists and terrorists is “fairer and maybe more humane” than bombing them, he said.
SOURCES: Huffington Post, The Guardian, Online MBA