GCHQ, the American Stasi’s overseas counterparts across the pond have just been busted for their theft and storage of webcam images and videos - including sexually explicit images - from millions of law-abiding Yahoo users. This latest transgression against privacy and basic human dignity from the Norsefire arm of the U.S. Surveillance machine smacks of the type of perverted voyeurism that in most decent societies would have the perps arrested and in more regressive ones have the offenders penises chopped off in a public exhibition of what dirty perverts can expect. Here in the land of lies, woes and high government criminality that is now called The Homeland however and in the U.K. where the obscene concept of royalty not only exists but is actually embraced such lewdly criminal conduct never results in the lawbreakers being arrested or for that matter fired from their jobs for abuse of power.
The program is codenamed “OPTIC NERVE” [suggested codename of "PENILE-ERECTION"] and is the latest gift delivered to those who still believe in the concept of transparency in government by former government contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was revealed in a story published by The Guardian entitled “Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ” by Spencer Ackerman and James Ball states that:
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicity 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.
Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012, according to an internal GCHQ page accessed that year.
The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell’s 1984, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ’s existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest.
The agency did make efforts ot limit analysts’ ability to see webcam images, restricting bulk searches to metadata only.
However, analysts were shown the faces of people with similar usernames to surveillance targets, potentially dragging in large numbers of innocent people. One document tells agency staff that they were allowed to display “webcam images associated with similar Yahoo identifiers to your known target”
So in essence people who are totally innocent of anything save the indiscretion of posting sexually suggestive or explicit pictures of themselves on the internet and who don’t have a goddamned thing to do with “terrorism” are being spied on and their personal communications stored by a cyber army of government goons. Hell, this is right up there in government abuse with the American taxpayer funded freaks, perverts and pedophiles who work for the TSA. For Christ's sake - why are these people and their online travels, sexual preferences and backgrounds not a matter of public record? Who is it exactly that is watching the watchers?
The Guardian piece also cites Yahoo’s response to the revelations:
“We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity.” said a spokeswoman. “This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users’ privact 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 are committed to preserving our users’ trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services.”
Well I hate to be the one to burst the bubble of the "spokeswoman" but fat fucking chance lady - do you Silicon Valley types actually think that Obama and his rogue administration nor that of his predecessor George W. Bush give a rat’s ass about what you want? They just farm it out to their fascist cronies across the pond to skirt the laws and provide plausible deniability for their unconstitutional surveillance programs.
Yet another black eye for American tech businesses to go along with that nice dagger in the back that Obama has implanted with his cynical all seeing eye cast upon his damned legacy. It is going to take some time but at some point there will be surely be an accurate figure as to the amount of business dollars that have been lost to U.S. based technology corporations over all of this and it will be in the billions. Any sane person or business will never trust domestic tech corporations with their security and privacy again after all of this nor should they because they an offer no real assurance that the government isn't getting every bit of consumer data in real time. I have said before that the best remedy for the tech giants would be to pool their substantial resources and not only sue the bastards responsible for all of this but also get into the political activism business by plowing money into primaries that target the scum of society like the impenetrable wall of cellulite that is Senator Dianne Feinstein and the uber-fascist lying bastard of a Congressman Mike Rogers, two of the most bloated parasites that have long fed themselves at the public trough while betraying their oaths of office.
While that idea is admittedly just a wild hair up my ass that makes sense to a peon like me if those who are far smarter and richer than I ever want to stop this crap and engage in some long-term strategic business planning this would be one hell of a damned good place to start.
As for Yahoo users or anyone else for that matter it is definitely not very wise to engage in the passing back and forth of sexually suggestive and nude pictures and video on the internet there will always be a good number of horny, drunk and lonely people on any given day who choose to engage in such behavior. Really though, as long as such activity is practiced by consenting adults engaged in behavior that does not involve child pornography or other sick forms of sexual exploitation they should be free do do so and fully accept the risk that one day one of those pictures could be a career killer or end up used as ‘revenge porn’. It is however none of the government’s damned business and the data-mining for such content is just the latest in a series of outrages that cannot continue to go unchallenged if we are to remain a 'free' society'.
While it was Queen's subjects at GCHQ that got popped for this one in particular the NSA is most certainly involved in similar if not worse forms of exploitation as they gather up every possible piece of information for yet undefined future usage and store it in massive data warehouses such as the one in Bluffdale, Utah. It is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the slow-rolling fascist juggernaut that roared forth from the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center that a new and virulent form of government has used the opportunity of the attacks to imbue itself with unprecedented power that is abetted by influential members of a corrupt Congress and draped in secrecy. These images and videos are to be used for future sexual blackmail and coersion to find and eliminate troublemakers when the shit really does hit the fan.
Per the Guardian story:
In a statement, a GCHQ spokesman said: “It is a longstanding policy that we don not comment on intelligence matters”.
Especially when said “intelligence matters” pertain to the flagrant abuse of anti-terrorism laws to conduct fishing expeditions, engage in political vendettas and protect the royal rottenness of a society drunk on power and gone to hell in a bucket. The capture of nudity and sexual content also meshes very well with the yet to be fully revealed blackmail operations of the NSA/GCHQ and other intelligence services of which we have only gotten a small taste of to this point.
This is an outrage but if you are looking for any coverage in the corrupt American state-corporate media forget about it - the Oscar Pistorius trial is about to get the O.J. Simpson media treatment.
Move along.... nothing to see here.