So, here we have the confirmation: the computer webcams are routinely used by the intelligence agencies to spy on people. You might know the old internet saying "the FBI is watching you masturbate"...well, now it's finally official. :D
I wonder how many people, between the years 2008-2010, have been masturbating, or have been naked (for any reason), in the front of their computer, or have had intimate video chats with someone...or have had sex in their bedrooms, with their computer+webcam (or a laptop with an inbuilt camera) situated on a nearby table?
Well, we don't have to guess anymore, because our brave anti-terrorist forces in the NSA and GCHQ have been, without us even knowing it, furiously gathering statistics on these matters lol. :D
According to the linked Guardian article, only Yahoo webcam chats were (and are still being) spied upon...But I suspect that this thing is far more widespread; every webcam/camera on any computer/laptop/tablet/cellphone can be used as a spying device. Only a fool would believe otherwise...
And who is targeted by this webcam spying?
"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."
What, say that again! Does that mean that in 2008 alone 1.8 Million Yahoo users were caught masturbating? O_O
This is just awful, shame on you, think about the shock of the average GCHQ agent, who is trying to do his job: looking for terrorists from webcam feeds, when suddenly he is ambushed by your dirty wanking sessions. :O
"The documents also chronicle GCHQ's sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place."
"Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: "Unfortunately it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person..."
But why was this webcam spying started in the first place?
" Bulk surveillance on Yahoo users was begun, the documents said, because "Yahoo webcam is known to be used by GCHQ targets" "
The name is Bond, James Bond. :D
And also here we got a comfirmation to my earlier ramblings about the Xbox 360 Kinect camera thing:
"While the documents do not detail efforts as widescale as those against Yahoo users, one presentation discusses with interest the potential and capabilities of the Xbox 360's Kinect camera, saying it generated "fairly normal webcam traffic" and was being evaluated as part of a wider program."
Notice the sentence "as part of a wider program"...integrating the millions of Xbox cameras into their spy program is simply just "one part" of it...
Personally I believe that in addition to game consoles and computers, these guys see every device which has a camera function in it (or that has the theoretical capability to host one) as a potential resource where to expand their spy program.
For now the normal people can still evade this type of computer webcam spying: simply cover the camera with something, such as a sticker...
But in the future, if the "Bad Guys Win" scenario comes true, we can assume that advanced cameras and facial recognition technologies will be by default embedded and integrated into all computers (and into many other things), meaning that they won't work unless they constantly see the users face...if you cover the camera with a sticker or try some other trick, the device will simply lock itself or goes into "sleep mode" or something like that. And so all online (and offline) activities can always be linked into a certain person. A strict technology monopoly 100% controlled by the "big players", with 100% integration with spy agencies, no alternatives.