1. THBW's Avatar
    An interesting article that originated in the Guardian. Perhaps another opportunity for a security conscious app like BBM.

    Britain's signals intelligence division is stealing screenshots from hundreds of thousands of innocent Yahoo users' webcam videos, according to the Guardian newspaper, which also reported that the years-long operation has swept up a huge haul of intimate photographs.

    The newspaper said GCHQ has been scooping up the sensitive images by intercepting video chats such as the kind offered by Yahoo Messenger, an effort codenamed OPTIC NERVE. It's not clear how many Yahoo users were spied on in this way. The Guardian said that in one six-month period in 2008 GCHQ intercepted the video communications of 1.8 million users, but it's possible that the program, which the Guardian says was still active in 2012, has either grown or shrunk in scope since then.

    If the program expanded, millions more could have had their video communications intercepted. Yahoo Messenger had 75 million users worldwide in late 2011, according to an estimate by digital analytics company comScore, although numbers have fallen steadily since then.

    The Guardian said the documents were provided by former U.S. intelligence worker Edward Snowden, who remains in Russia after having sought temporary asylum there.

    Intimate images

    If confirmed, the Guardian's report would represent "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy," Yahoo Inc. said in a written statement. The Sunnyvale, California-based company said it was unaware of such snooping and would never condone it, calling on governments across the world to reform their surveillance practices.

    Like theNSA'scollection of millions of innocent people's phone, email, and credit card data, thewebcamsurveillance program was carried out in bulk, creating a massive database where the communications of hundreds of thousands of people could later be scanned by analysts for clues or patterns.

    However, unlike the phone database, OPTIC NERVE also automatically downloaded the content of video communications ? taking a screenshot from the video feed every five minutes, the Guardian said. One snippet of a leaked document published to the Guardian's website appears to show that GCHQ hoped to eventually "collect images at a faster rate," or perhaps even download all the webcam videos in their entirety.

    Even at one screenshot every five minutes, material published to the Guardian's website appeared to show U.K. analysts being deluged with X-rated footage.

    "It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," another snippet of an intelligence document published said. It went on to say that an informal study had found that between 3 and 11 per cent of all the images carried "undesirable nudity."

    Optic Nerve

    The Guardian said that OPTIC NERVE was intended at least in part to identify targets using automatic facial recognition software as they stared into their computer's webcams. But the stockpiling of sexually explicit images of ordinary people had uncomfortable echoes of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four,where the authorities ? operating under the aegis of "Big Brother" ? fit homes with cameras to monitor the intimate details of people's home lives.

    "At least Big Brother had the decency to install his own cameras," British media lawyer David Banksy said in a message posted to Twitter after the revelations broke. "We've had to buy them ourselves."

    The collection of nude photographs also raise questions about potential for blackmail. America's National Security Agency has already acknowledged that half a dozen analysts have been caught trawling databases for inappropriate material on partners or love interests. Other leaked documents have revealed how U.S. and British intelligence discussed leaking embarrassing material online to blacken the reputations of their targets.

    GCHQ refused to answer a series of questions about OTPIC NERVE, instead returning the same boilerplate answer it has given to reporters for months.

    "It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters," the agency said, insisting all its work was legal, necessary, proportionate, and subject to rigorous oversight.

    Posted via CB10
    02-27-14 11:30 PM
  2. Omnitech's Avatar
    GCHQ refused to answer a series of questions about OTPIC NERVE, instead returning the same boilerplate answer it has given to reporters for months.

    "It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters," the agency said, insisting all its work was legal, necessary, proportionate, and subject to rigorous oversight.

    I suppose the "oversight" they are referring-to in this case are the trenchcoat crowd hunkered-down in front of their computer, watching all those nude pics of innocent citizens...
    02-28-14 04:08 AM
  3. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    Yahoo users should file a class-action lawsuit naming both NSA and GCHQ along with specifically the Government of the United States of America and the Government of England as well as the president and prime minister.

    Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.
    02-28-14 05:39 AM
  4. SmellWhole's Avatar
    The spying on what you do on your webcams is for your own good! It's for the "homeland."
    02-28-14 05:49 AM
  5. mjs416's Avatar
    Maybe Yahoo and their incompetent CEO should take a proactive approach to this instead of throwing up their hands as if there' nothing they can do.

    Yahoo sucks. I can't believe they are even still in business.

    Posted via CB10
    kbz1960 likes this.
    02-28-14 06:54 AM
  6. berryaddictnoza's Avatar
    The spying on what you do on your webcams is for your own good! It's for the "homeland."
    When a new Hitler comes along, he will make use of this kind of infrastructure, and we'll be assured it will be "for our own good"
    notafanboy likes this.
    03-02-14 12:28 PM
  7. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    The spying on what you do on your webcams is for your own good! It's for the "homeland."
    We've heard the same thing throughout human history yet any rational person never bought the government propaganda.

    Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.
    03-03-14 06:41 AM
  8. Omnitech's Avatar
    We've heard the same thing throughout human history yet any rational person never bought the government propaganda.

    And if the world were made up solely of "rational persons", then sneaky governments wouldn't bother disseminating propaganda that everyone ignored.
    03-03-14 04:14 PM
  9. bbzp's Avatar
    And this is why security and privacy matters. Many innocent people are being spied upon. Government agencies should only spend time catching the bad guys and not wasting time spying on innocent people. Everyone should not be treated as guilty until proven innocent. That's not how a true democracy works.

    IMO it is unethical to have bulk surveillance on the population when most people are innocent. It is sad to see freedom and civil liberty disappearing in the world.
    Omnitech and qwerty4ever like this.
    03-06-14 01:05 PM
  10. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    The spying on what you do on your webcams is for your own good! It's for the "homeland."
    Sorry I forget the benevolence of our lords and masters. I seemingly forgot my station in society. Forgive me Benevolent Dictatorship.

    Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.
    03-14-14 06:49 PM
  11. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    Maybe Yahoo and their incompetent CEO should take a proactive approach to this instead of throwing up their hands as if there' nothing they can do.

    Yahoo sucks. I can't believe they are even still in business.

    Posted via CB10
    Yahoo's CEO is incompetent. You expect an incompetent CEO to make a good decision? Did you learn nothing from the CEOS of BlackBerry?

    Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.
    03-14-14 06:51 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Want adblock for browser
    By spikesolie in forum General BlackBerry Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-03-14, 09:18 AM
  2. Closed: WTT VZW iPhone 5 (32gb) for VZW Z30
    By TLD1 in forum The Marketplace - Buy, Sell & Trade
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-03-14, 10:39 PM
  3. Sync email more than 30 days
    By Keith Hooper in forum BlackBerry 10 OS
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-27-14, 07:33 PM
  4. Search NAME for invite?
    By Agatonga in forum General BBM Chat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-27-14, 07:16 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD