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Report: NSA spied on porn habits to discredit Muslim radicals

The NSA targeted suspected Muslim radicals by gathering evidence of visits to pornographic sites in order to harm their reputation, according to a report Wednesday based on a document provided by leaker Edward Snowden.

A classified document about intercepted communications – or “signals intelligence” – concluded that “radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” according to a Huffington Post article co-authored by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald

NBC News was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the document.

Jameel Jaffer, Depty Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "This report is an unwelcome reminder of what it means to give an intelligence agency unfettered access to individuals' most sensitive information. One ordinarily associates these kinds of tactics with the secret police services of authoritarian governments.

"That these tactics have been adopted by the world’s leading democracy – and the world’s most powerful intelligence agency – is truly chilling.”

Dated Oct. 3, 2012, the document, identifies six Muslims identified by the agency as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target's credibility, reputation and authority, the report said.

One of the six is described as a “U.S. person" - either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.

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The document, which the Huffington Post said was provided by Snowden, lists the Director of the NSA as its originator and the Departments of Justice and Commerce and the Drug Enforcement Administration among its recipients.

Greenwald, who until recently worked for U.K. newspaper The Guardian, was the first to report the contents of the classified documents seen by Snowden.

U.S. authorities have never formally confirmed the veracity of any of Snowden’s documents, but it has charged the former intelligence contractor with leaking classified information. 

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