I was drawn to the words, “Love interest” and “Love intelligence” appearing in Maureen Dowd’s article, “Creeping Crowd” which dealt with the N.S.A.’s domestic surveillance, in Sept 28 New York Times.
Dowd describes the ‘surveillance’ as indiscriminate Hoovering of Americans’ phone records, and says:
“Yet, news broke this past week that the N.S.A. inspector general admitted that there have been a dozen instances of staffers spying on love interests. The Wall Street Journal said this practice is known as “LOVEINT,” for love intelligence.
Though I’ve never heard of the words, ‘to spying on “love interests”’ and “love intelligence,” until today,Weblio English Dictionary carries the heading of “love interest” and defines it as:
1.One who is of interest as a potential partner in love
2.A romantic plot or subplot in a film or book
3 Any of the characters involved in such a plot
But, can any of the above definitions be an object of the NSA’s surveillance?
Are “love interests”’ and “love intelligence” neologies? How do they differ from plain "love affair” and “love gossip”?
Are there any special meanings, say political, or intelligence implications in “love interests”’ and “love intelligence”?