Scandalous: U.K. Spies Target Yahoo Webcams

ItEUs not just the National Security Agency you have to worry about spying on you anymore. Apparently, the Brits are also involved in the snooping action.

According to a report in The Guardian, GCHQ, BritainEUs surveillance agency, is working with the NSA to intercept and store webcam images of millions of Internet users. The paper cites EUsecret documentsEU that reveal the subjects of the snooping were not even suspected of any crimes.

And this didnEUt just start happening, either. A surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, The Guardian said, pointing to GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010. More than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts, including those that contained sexually explicit communications, were reported collected during a six-month period in 2008.

The article was based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, and said, EUWebcam information was fed into NSA's XKeyscore search tool, and NSA research was used to build the tool which identified Yahoo's webcam traffic . . . It is not fully clear from the documents how much access the NSA has to the Yahoo webcam trove itself.EU

Internet Traffic Fair Game

Yahoo could not immediately be reached for comment but according to a published statement: "We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity. This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy that is completely unacceptable, and we strongly call on the world's governments to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles we outlined in December."

We caught up with Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisory at Sophos, to get his take on the international news. He told us anything sent over the Internet unencrypted is fair game for police, intelligence services or anyone else to intercept.

EUWhile it is...

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