British spies view home-made porn from millions of people’s webcams

British intelligence agents have stored millions of sexually explicit images they took from Yahoo webcam chats across the world.

Fresh spying allegations emerged today after the Guardian revealed from 2008 to 2011 GCHQ collected and stored countless images from webcams of people who were not suspected of doing anything wrong.

In just six months during 2008, 1.8m people’s webcam conversations were accessed.

Documents handed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden said GCHQ had struggled to keep explicit images out of the hands of its staff.

According the Guardian, the creepy system took still images every five minutes during webcam conversations, and used automatic facial recognition software to identify people.

Staff were allowed to view images of people with similar Yahoo usernames as a known target, potentially involving a great deal of innocent people.

Porn

The document estimated up to 11% of the webcam images contained “undesirable nudity”. It also said there was a “surprising” amount of porn, particularly as one user could broadcast to more than one viewer.

It said: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. 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.”

Yahoo

Yahoo denied it had any involvement.

“We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity,” a spokeswoman told the Guardian.

“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 are committed to preserving our users’ trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services.”

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