Chat webcam spy
Britain's surveillance agency is said to have captured images from millions of Yahoo users' webcams as part of a broad program running from 2008 through at least 2012.
According to the Guardian, the GCHQ was able to intercept webcam images from more than 1.8 million users over a period of just six months in 2008.
In that case, it's unclear if the agency is interested in images or metadata alone.
Though the Guardian does not state whether Optic Nerve's collected webcam chats were publicly or privately broadcasted, Yahoo's primary webcam offering in Yahoo Messenger only supports private webcam chats.
The ripple of controversy brought about by the intelligence loot of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden continues to spread.
This time, details about alleged nude images collected by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) of Britain have surfaced and have created another tidal wave of privacy concerns.
"Unfortunately..would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.
Yahoo's name has been tied to a number of them, and the company has been active in pushing for the government to at least allow it to release more data about government requests it receives.
The Guardian reported that the agency had to struggle in keeping sexually explicit images from the eyes of its employees.
One safety measure was to limit the bulk access search of its staff to metadata but with Yahoo users only using their online IDs and not their real names, it was highly like that a good number of Yahoo IDs similar to the name of a target will come up every time a search was done.
However, there was also no guarantee that these messages cannot be accessed by GCHQ staff, which was warned about the kind of images analysts may see.
It is also not clear what kind of access NSA has to the library of nude images.
In this case, it would also be able to confirm that through the captured imagery.