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British agents spied on Yahoo users' 'intimate' webcam images, Snowden files reveal

Bishkek (AKIpress) - webcam-yahoo-gchq British agents spied on millions of people through their webcams, according to leaked secret documents, The Independent reports.

The surveillance agency GCHQ used a hacking program codenamed Optic Nerve to view British citizens in their homes as they used the Yahoo! webcam chat system, the classified files revealed by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian show.

Up to 11 per cent of the images contained what agents called “undesirable nudity”, according to the documents. It is unclear exactly how much information was obtained using Optic Nerve. However, in six months in 2008, images were obtained from more than 1.8 million Yahoo! user accounts around the world.

Civil liberty campaigners expressed horror at the scale of the surveillance of people who were not suspected of a crime. Yahoo!, which said it had not been aware of the surveillance, said the revelations represented “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy”.


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