GCHQ, the American Stasi's overseas counterpart across the pond have just been busted for their theft and storage of webcam images and videos - including sexually explicit images - from millions of law-abiding Yahoo users. This latest transgression against privacy and basic human dignity from the Norsefire arm of the U.S. Surveillance machine smacks of the type of perverted voyeurism that in most decent societies would have the perps arrested and in more 'regressive' ones have the offenders penises chopped off in a public exhibition of what dirty perverts should expect. Here in the land of lies, woes and high government criminality that is now called The Homeland however and in the U.K. where the obscene concept of royalty not only exists but is actually embraced such lewdly criminal conduct never results in the lawbreakers being arrested or for that matter fired from their jobs for abuse of power.
The program is code-named "OPTIC NERVE" [suggested code-name of "PENILE-ERECTION"] and is the latest gift delivered to those who still believe in the concept of transparency in government by former government contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was revealed in a story published by The Guardian entitled "Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ" by Spencer Ackerman and James Ball states that:
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicity 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.
In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery - including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications - from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.
Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012, according to an internal GCHQ page accessed that year.
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.
The agency did make efforts ot limit analysts' ability to see webcam images, restricting bulk searches to metadata only.
However, analysts were shown the faces of people with similar usernames to surveillance targets, potentially dragging in large numbers of innocent people. One document tells agency staff that they were allowed to display "webcam images associated with similar Yahoo identifiers to your known target"
So in essence people who are totally innocent of anything save the indiscretion of posting sexually suggestive or explicit pictures of themselves on the internet and who don't have a goddamned thing to do with "terrorism" are being spied on and their personal communications stored by a cyber army of government goons. Hell, this is right up there in government abuse with the American taxpayer funded freaks, perverts and pedophiles who work for the TSA. For Christ's sake - why are these people and their online travels, sexual preferences and backgrounds not a matter of public record? Who is it exactly that is watching the watchers?
The Guardian piece also cites Yahoo's response to the revelations:
"We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity." said a spokeswoman. "This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privact 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."
Well I hate to be the one to burst the bubble of the "spokeswoman" but fat f*cking chance lady - do you Silicon Valley types actually think that Obama and his rogue administration nor that of his predecessor George W. Bush give a rat's ass about what you want? They just farm it out to their fascist cronies across the pond to skirt the laws and provide plausible deniability for their unconstitutional surveillance programs.