NSA Collecting Information on Americans’ Porn Habits

The NSA is utilizing its extensive surveillance network and mind-boggling technological resources to collect data on your porn habits. It should probably go without saying that I don’t think you should have any porn habits. But if you do have any, the NSA knows about them.

Aside from the fact that the NSA collects anything and everything at all, why would they want to find out about the porn usage of regular U.S. citizens? They have their reasons. One of the documents (dated October 2012) leaked by Edward Snowden explains the NSA’s tactic of discrediting “radicalizers” by exposing their various hypocrisies:

A previous SIGINT [signals intelligence—the interception of communications] assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent. Some of the vulnerabilities, if exposed, would likely call into question a radicalizer’s devotion to the jihadist cause, leading to the degradation of his authority. Examples of some of these vulnerabilities include: Viewing sexually explicit material online or using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.

The report makes it seem like only “jihadists” and terrorists are being targeted. But that is not the case. Other proposed victims of this character assassination could be (fairly) normal American citizens. The Atlantic explains:

The term the NSA uses for [targets of character assassination] is “radicalizers,” and if you’re thinking of fiery orators urging people to strap on dynamite vests, know that the NSA chart accompanying the story includes one target who is a “well known media celebrity,” and whose offense is arguing that “the U.S. perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.” [His name probably rhymes with “Alex Jones”] It makes one wonder if the NSA believes it would be justified in targeting any 9/11 truther. The chart shows another target whose “writings appear on numerous jihadi websites” (it doesn’t specify whether the writings were produced for those websites or merely posted there), and whose offending argument is that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself.” That could be a crude description of what the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Ron Paul thinks about 9/11.

I really have no desire to protect terrorists or people who look at porn. And the NSA is counting on that. It can slowly encroach on more and more private citizens by working its way from the fringes in. What if you are a squeaky clean dissenter whose private life is in complete accord with your public profession? Do you think that will compel the NSA to tell the truth about you if these practices continue to be subsidized and defended? No. The problem is that the NSA is utilizing any and all information at their disposal to discredit any and every person who might possibly be viewed as a vague threat to the current administration’s purposes and propaganda. No matter what you believe, that is a scary proposition. Is it 1984 yet?