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GCHQ Intercepted Webcam Images of Millions of Yahoo Users 137

An anonymous reader writes with more chilling news from the Snowden files. Quoting the Guardian: "GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. ... The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell's 1984, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ's existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs." Remember, friends don't video conference with friends unless they're using SIP and TLS.
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GCHQ Intercepted Webcam Images of Millions of Yahoo Users

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  • by the_scoots ( 1595597 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @02:50PM (#46360601)
    I find it hard to believe anything the big tech companies say after years of favors from the government.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @02:57PM (#46360695)

    "Forget the $16 billion romance between Facebook and WhatsApp. There's a new messaging tool worth watching [].

    Tor [], the team behind the world's leading online anonymity service, is developing a new anonymous instant messenger client, according to documents [] produced at the Tor 2014 Winter Developers Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland."

  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @03:13PM (#46360909)

    Look up Echelon.

    The USA, the UK and Australia were all legally prevented from domestic spying.

    So they agreed to spy on each others citizens and share the results, in 1948. It has never stopped.

    The original AT&T supplied call metadata to the government back when 'who knows who' was the worlds largest database.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @03:19PM (#46360977)

    The truth is even funnier.

    The document estimates that between 3% and 11% of the Yahoo webcam imagery harvested by GCHQ contains "undesirable nudity". Discussing efforts to make the interface "safer to use", it noted that current "naïve" pornography detectors assessed the amount of flesh in any given shot, and so attracted lots of false positives by incorrectly tagging shots of people's faces as pornography.

    The porn filter filtered out the faces, which was exactly what they wanted to capture. Brilliant!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @03:28PM (#46361067)

    Robbins v. Lower Merion School District []

    The FBI investigated, there was a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, but in the end the school district spent some money.

    In October 2010, the school district agreed to pay $610,000 to settle the Robbins and Hasan lawsuits against it. The settlement must be approved by Judge DuBois, who could also make his injunction barring the district from secretly tracking students permanent. The settlement also includes $175,000 that will be placed in a trust for Robbins and $10,000 for Hasan. The attorneys for Robbins and Hasan get $425,000.

  • WebRTC Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @03:33PM (#46361109)
    WebRTC [] seems to be the best way now to communicate and avoid all the spying. It is supported by Firefox, Chrome, and Opera browsers. It does audio, video, text and file transfers. The media streams are all encrypted and once connected the media streams from browser to browser with no middle man/web site.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault