Optic Nerve: Secret Spy Program Stored Yahoo Users’ Webcam Images

No UK laws prevent access of images of Americans without a warrant

A program called Optic Nerve intercepted and stored webcam images of millions of Yahoo (YHOO) users regardless of whether or not they were intelligence targets.

Optic Nerve
Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

British surveillance agency GCHQ ran Optic Nerve which has webcam images of millions of Yahoo user accounts globally taken between 2008 and 2010. In a six-month period in 2008, the agency took images from over 1.8 million accounts including many sexually explicit images.

There are no UK laws that prevent GCHQ or other British analysts from accessing Americans’ images without a warrant. When asked about Optic Nerve, Yahoo denied any knowledge of the program.

The tech company accused GCHQ of reaching a “whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy.”

YHOO stock is up over 2% Thursday.

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