NSA Employees Occasionally Spy on Love Interests

NSA Headquarters

NSA Headquarters

You might remember that we reported on the NSA PRISM program, a clandestine, often domestic, spying program that was recently brought to light by whistle-blower Edward Snowden a few months ago. If not, surely you’ve heard about it elsewhere, and you’re probably fatigued by the very mention of the NSA, PRISM, or Edward Snowden by now.

But while this story has had a tremendous affect on our collective national conscience, jump-starting debates about the legality, practicality, and morality of the whole affair, there’s been little in the way of levity. No longer.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that there have been a few incidents involving NSA employees harnessing the tremendous eavesdropping power that’s been afforded them to spy on love interests. This is the most inevitable thing we’ve ever heard.

Though the practice isn’t terribly common – the best guess officials could offer was a handful of incidents over the past decade – it happened enough times to merit naming this category of incident. So just as signals intelligence gets shortened to SIGINT and human intelligence becomes HUMINT, information gleaned from illegal information gathering from a prospective love interest gets labeled LOVEINT.


NSA officials were quick to reassure the American public that anyone caught engaging in LOVEINT gathering had either been officially reprimanded or fired. Of course, this is the NSA, so feel free to choose how much you trust their assurances, but even someone with the most negative opinion of the organization has to admit that the NSA probably wouldn’t tolerate something this egregious.

Anyway, how are those VPNs sounding to you all now?

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