Instead of fulminating in a ranty thrown-together blog post on Wednesday as I did, tireless warrior for civil liberties Jennifer Granick took two extra days and wrote a serious, detailed, well-researched think piece, with citations, like a grownup:

NSA SEXINT is the Abuse You’ve All Been Waiting For

The important thing to keep in mind as media apologists attempt to minimize the story:

There are only six targets discussed in the paper. These six are worthwhile “exemplars,” according to the documents. But NSA profiles more than six people, we don’t know how many more, and we don’t know why.

Her conclusion:

In a mass surveillance ecosystem, the scale and scope on which this kind of activity can take place is unprecedented. Once it collects information about hundreds of millions of people in mass, “dossiers” of potentially embarrassing information — or blackmail quality secrets — dirt on anyone is just a few searches away. Intelligence operatives can secretly tar anyone, seemingly at will, since the NSA has the technological capacity, and no one has identified a law which would, if followed, intercede. These abilities, never mind the will to use them, are incompatible with individual freedom and democracy.

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