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British Webcam Surveillance Program Downloads Yahoo Webcam Images

The British webcam surveillance program, also known as Optic Nerve, downloaded images from Yahoo webcam users over the course of two years.

British Webcam Surveillance Program Downloads Yahoo Webcam Images

 

British Webcam Surveillance Program Downloads Yahoo Webcam Images

Yahoo Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The GCHQ is the U.K.’s equivalent of the U.S. NSA.  The Optic Nerve surveillance program was collecting images approximately every five minutes from Yahoo webcam users over the course of  2008-2010.  According to information leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA was also helping the GCHQ with this program.

Yahoo, had no idea this was happening.  The GCHQ was downloading images off of Yahoo webcam chats every five minutes.  Among what was downloaded, there was a lot of unfavorable photos that people would not want seen by anyone besides the other person on the video chat.  Also, the GCHQ does not have the technology to only download data between just the U.K.   People from other countries that may have placed video calls to the U.K. may also have had their images downloaded.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement on the leak: “This is a truly shocking revelation that underscores the importance of the debate on privacy now taking place and the reforms being considered,” said Alex Abdo, staff attorney. “In a world in which there is no technological barrier to pervasive surveillance, the scope of the government’s surveillance activities must be decided by the public, not secretive spy agencies interpreting secret legal authorities. This report also raises troubling questions about the NSA’s complicity in what is a massive and unprecedented violation of privacy. We need to know more about what the NSA knew, and what role it played.”

 

British Webcam Surveillance Program Downloads Yahoo Webcam Images

 

 

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