Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ | World news | The Guardian

• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone

• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk

• Yahoo: ‚A whole new level of violation of our users‘ privacy‘

• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images


Yahoo webcam image.

The GCHQ program saved one image every five minutes from the users‘ feeds. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

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



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