SEXINT is a term coined by Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society which refers to the practice of monitoring and/or indexing the pornographic preferences of internet users in an effort to later use the information for blackmail. The term is a portmanteau of sexual intelligence retrieved on an intelligence service target.
The term was first used specifically in reference to the practice by Five Eyes member, the National Security Agency of the United States of America. It is unclear how often these programs and methods are used in comparison to other Five Eyes initiatives such as Optic Nerve (GCHQ), MUSCULAR, and XKEYSCORE.
The extent to which SEXINT itself is used is unknown. Targets who have come forward are few and far between. While first-hand accounts are rare it is confirmed that 6 people, all Muslims not involved in any terror plots, were demonstrated as potential targets of this method for their influence on the popular video hosting site YouTube, Facebook and other social media websites.
The National Security Agency has been able to keep most specific instances of abuse of intel such as SEXINT under wraps. A few reports have slipped through, including an employee able to use the related tactic of gathering LOVEINT to search for his ex-girlfriend on his first day of work.
There has been much controversy over whether or not agencies such as the National Security Agency have been spying on American citizens. In early May 2014 Edward Snowden stated that American citizens are, in fact, watched more closely than anyone else.
- "NSA SEXINT is the Abuse You've All Been Waiting For" Granick, Jennifer, Center for Internet and Society, November 29, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "NSA SEXINT is the Abuse You've All Been Waiting For" Granick, Jennifer, justsecurity.org, November 29, 2013. Retrieved May 7th, 2014.
- "Top-Secret Documents Reveals NSA Spied on Porn Habits as Part of Plan to Discredit 'Radicalizers'" Greenwald, Glenn, Huffington Post, November 26th, 2013. Retrieved May 7th, 2013.
- "LOVEINT: On His First Day of Work NSA Employee Spied on Exgirlfriend" Farivar, Cyrus, Arstechnica, September 27th, 2013. Retrieved May 7th, 2014.
- "Edward Snowden: NSA Spies Most on Americans" Volz, Dustin, National Journal, April 30th, 2014. Retrieved May 7th, 2014