Yes, that is entirely as creepy as it sounds. The British surveillance agency, GCHQ, along with the US National Security Agency from 2008 to 2o10 hosted an “operation” called Optic Nerve. Through this, millions of Yahoo users who chatted via webcam had their pictures taken once every five minutes.
Although it was not meant to target anyone in particular or to catch any wrong doing, most of the material gathered, is said to be sexually explicit. In addition, there is no law that can prevent UK agents from using information and pictures gathered from US citizens. Yahoo denies having known anything about this.
The point of the operation was to experiment with face recognition in order to prevent things like terrorist activities from happening should a person have multiple aliases on a computer. No terrorists were found but now the governments of both countries have huge files of sexual photos in their data bases…not strange at all.
Other than being a huge violation of privacy, isn’t it somewhat backwards that the US government used the GCHQ so that they could use the images under their laws? Maybe that wasn’t the intent but it sure seems like it.
What do you think? Was this just pure invasion of privacy or is it worth it to ensure security for the country?