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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." Writing on his personal Twitter feed, Christopher Soghoian, a principal technologist at the ACLU, said: "Save at least some of your outrage for Yahoo, which didn't care about users enough to encrypt their webcam traffic. "It doesn't take a genius to know that webcam chats are used for sensitive (read: sexual) content.
Yahoo should have encrypted from day one." GCHQ's webcam-raiding program, dubbed OPTIC NERVE, was still active in 2012, according to an intranet page that was accessed that year.
The UK intelligence agency GCHQ started slurping photos from innocent netizens' camera feeds in 2008, The Guardian reported today.
In just one six-month period alone, pics from 1.8 million Yahoo! Blighty's hush-hush nerve-center was also said to have explored the possibility of intercepting footage from the Kinect camera for Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console as it generated "fairly normal webcam traffic." We're told the British g-men made an unfortunate discovery while allegedly harvesting the snaps: between three and 11 per cent of the obtained Yahoo!
Users who may feel uncomfortable about such material are advised not to open them." Yahoo! "We were not aware of nor would we condone this reported activity.
British spies allegedly intercepted and stored nude pics and other stills from millions of Yahoo!Messenger webcams – and mulled capturing snaps from the XBox's Kinect camera, too.It's alleged GCHQ grabbed stills from active cam chat sessions every five minutes – regardless of whether the users were suspected of any wrongdoing. it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," GCHQ wrote in a document leaked by ex-NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the newspaper."Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography." The spy agency did try to protect the delicate sensibilities of its staff, with a handbook note stating: "There is no perfect ability to censor material which may be offensive.webcam pics contained "undesirable nudity." Although Yahoo!
's instant messaging service uses SSL to encrypt passwords when logging in, it does not prevent network eavesdroppers from intercepting, decoding and storing text messages and live webcam feeds between contacts.