Britain's surveillance agency intercepted Yahoo users webcam images

GCHQ, Britain's surveillance agency

GCHQ, Britain's surveillance agency

According to the Guardian, the GCHQ, Britain's surveillance agency, with the aid of the US National Security Agency (NSA), intercepted and stored the webcam images of Yahoo's global users.

The Guardian's report is based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The program called Optic Nerve collected webcam images of 1.8 millions of Yahoo global users in one six-month period in 2008, including a large quantity of sexually explicit ones.

Yahoo denied prior knowledge of the program. Stating in an emailed statement:  "We were not aware of nor would we condone this reported activity." Yahoo said, " ...if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy that is completely unacceptable..."

It is not known if the GCHQ has continued the program or if the United States NSA is running or ran a similar program. 

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