The NSA has not been too quiet about its elite hacking team, TAO, although it has not been as forthcoming with its other activities. Arguably, secrecy is inherent to the NSA, but recent turn of events have raised a lot of questions. Just last week, we wrote about Microsoft taking steps to increase the strength of its encryption due to suspicions of NSA surveillance. This time, we have another bit from the flavor of the month of whistleblowers, Edward Snowden: “The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites.”

The NSA Knows What You’re Watching Online - Especially Porn! 

Before you get all nervous and paranoid, though, it is worth highlighting that Snowden’s information is very specific. Supposedly, the NSA has six targets – all of them Muslims. These targets are being used as case studies, for lack of a better term, by the NSA.

The goal? To learn how “personal vulnerabilities” can be gleaned using electronic surveillance. This, of course, leads to exploiting these vulnerabilities to take down the targets. Read: destroy credibility and reputation. Here’s a snippet of the leaked document.

NSA

Needless to say, there is some good intention buried in this whole thing somehow. But then again, we all know that saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” and there is the fact that power like this always brings up concerns about abuse. Who is to say that individuals who may not be involved in any legal activity are protected against such surveillance? (And I mean protected in the real, practical sense of the word.)

On the other hand, just because there is potential for abuse does not mean that an idea ought to be rejected if there is some good to be gleaned out of this. Tricky situation indeed.

Either you go the safe way – the next time you visit your favorite adult site, whether to download or stream, you might want to think again – or you just don’t give a darn.

What’s your stand?

[Images via nydailynews & Huffington Post]