News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
You are here: Home / Personal Tech / U.K. Spies Target Yahoo Webcams
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Scandalous: U.K. Spies Target Yahoo Webcams
Scandalous: U.K. Spies Target Yahoo Webcams
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
FEBRUARY
27
2014


It’s not just the National Security Agency you have to worry about spying on you anymore. Apparently, the Brits are also involved in the snooping action.

According to a report in The Guardian, GCHQ, Britain’s surveillance agency, is working with the NSA to intercept and store webcam images of millions of Internet users. The paper cites “secret documents” that reveal the subjects of the snooping were not even suspected of any crimes.

And this didn’t just start happening, either. A surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, The Guardian said, pointing to GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010. More than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts, including those that contained sexually explicit communications, were reported collected during a six-month period in 2008.

The article was based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, and said, “Webcam information was fed into NSA's XKeyscore search tool, and NSA research was used to build the tool which identified Yahoo's webcam traffic . . . It is not fully clear from the documents how much access the NSA has to the Yahoo webcam trove itself.”

Internet Traffic Fair Game

Yahoo could not immediately be reached for comment but according to a published statement: "We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity. This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy 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 caught up with Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisory at Sophos, to get his take on the international news. He told us anything sent over the Internet unencrypted is fair game for police, intelligence services or anyone else to intercept.

“While it is disappointing that Yahoo doesn’t provide adequate protection for their webcam services, it isn’t surprising,” Wisniewski says. “Yahoo has historically been behind the curve when it comes to securing its services and this is just another example of how far they have to go.”

Truly Shocking

Reuters is reporting that the NSA and GCHQ have shared intelligence under an arrangement known as the UKUSA agreement. According to the wire service, they also collaborate with eavesdropping agencies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand in what is known as the "Five Eyes" alliance.

“This is a truly shocking revelation that underscores the importance of the debate on privacy now taking place and the reforms being considered,” said Alex Abdo, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

“In a world in which there is no technological barrier to pervasive surveillance, the scope of the government’s surveillance activities must be decided by the public, not secretive spy agencies interpreting secret legal authorities. This report also raises troubling questions about the NSA’s complicity in what is a massive and unprecedented violation of privacy. We need to know more about what the NSA knew, and what role it played,” he said.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN PERSONAL TECH
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.