British Spies Spied on Millions and Captured Webcam Images from Yahoo Users
Feb 28, 2014 01:03
There really isn't any point in trying to secure your privacy these days. So you're probably not going to jump out of your chair when you hear that the British counterpart to NSA ran a program called "Optic Nerve" from 2008 to 2010 that involved capturing webcam images from internet users.
That's crap news. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the surveillance agency managed to capture over 1.8 million Yahoo users during a six-month period in 2008. The Guardian says that the cache included "substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications." What the? By the way, the NSA helped them out.
The aim was to gather intel on terrorism of course, and not gather creepy web cam shots like that for some perverted archive. The problem was that their facial recognition software had no way of telling who was even a UK citizen. Which probably means, if you've talked to someone from the U.K, via webcam your picture could be with them. Worse still, whatever explicit thing you did.
The British spies didn't capture entire webcam sessions. They saved one image every five minutes "partly to comply with human rights legislation, which apparently exists.
The surveillance agency didn't know what to do with all those naked photos. No one knows what happened to them. Yahoo isn't happy about this breach of its users' privacy.
Like we said in the beginning. Is anything a surprise anymore? [Guardian]
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