British spies took a peek at you

If you’ve ever video-chatted over Yahoo, spies in Great Britain may have been watching and even taking pictures of you, according to new revelations from The Guardian.

They didn’t just spy on people in Great Britain, but on people all over the world, including the US.

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.

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.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy“.