According to The Guardian, secret documents have revealed that "Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, "intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing." Amusingly, "between 3% and 11% of the Yahoo webcam imagery harvested by GCHQ contains 'undesirable nudity,'" leaving the intelligence agencies to note that "a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person." In other words, if you were naked in front of your Yahoo webcam, an intelligence analyst has probably seen your naughty bits.
GCHQ did not make any specific attempts to prevent the collection or storage of explicit images, the documents suggest, but did eventually compromise by excluding images in which software had not detected any faces from search results -- a bid to prevent many of the lewd shots being seen by analysts.
The system was not perfect at stopping those images reaching the eyes of GCHQ staff, though. An internal guide cautioned prospective Optic Nerve users that "there is no perfect ability to censor material which may be offensive. Users who may feel uncomfortable about such material are advised not to open them".
It further notes that "under GCHQ's offensive material policy, the dissemination of offensive material is a disciplinary offence".
The above image is from the The Guardian's article titled Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ.
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