The NSA Is Spying on Your Webcam Sex

If you don't want it public, don't show your junk online.

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Chris Gladis / Flickr

Unless you want a public sex tape, you should probably stop using any kind of digital machine to record your intimate acts. The latest leak from Edward Snowden shows how the NSA and the British equivalent Government Communications Headquarters collaborated to intercept webcam images from innocent Internet users.

The Guardian reveals the surveillance program, the ominously named Optic Nerve. Optic Nerve collected webcam stills from over 1.8 million Yahoo users “in bulk,” but it only grabbed an image every five minutes. The images were filtered using facial recognition technology to find specific targets.

But Optic Nerve couldn’t control what kind of material it was collecting—the documents show that there was plenty of naughty material from the haul. “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person,” the document reads. The Yahoo webcam system “appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.” Why were they surprised by this information, exactly?

Between three and 11 percent of the overall imagery that Optic Nerve collected was “undesirable nudity.” The program tried to filter by blocking images with too much flesh, but it ended up IDing images of faces as pornography, The Guardian reports. And Optic Nerve staff still had access to the pornographic images—“under GCHQ’s offensive material policy, the dissemination of offensive material is a disciplinary offense,” the document cautions.

In the age of LOVEINT, intercepted text messages, and your webcam spying on you, maybe it’s best just to go old-school and keep sexy times totally IRL. In a room encased with lead. With no electricity. Romantic, right?

5 comments
phattu.khan
phattu.khan

Give people a break... For God's sake !!!


These are just innocent d**ks... Not rife barrels or nuclear tipped missiles.. This is outrageous..

StephenVoss
StephenVoss

The Bush-Obama program has succeeded, the game is over, and the spectators are trickling out of the stadium, confused about what really happened. The government has irrevocably sold its citizens to the highest bidders and definitively breached every right to privacy they thought they had. The American dream is over, transformed into a nightmare. My suggestion to both citizens and illegal aliens is to find a new life elsewhere. With luck you can get an outsourced job some place where the NSA won't tap your phones.

JoeDetracktor
JoeDetracktor

A cell phone can be stopped from tracking if it is placed in a Faraday Cage.  A Faraday cage is a metal or conductive envelope that completely surrounds the electronic device and stops signals from going into or out of the cage.This can be accomplished by making a pouch out of a metallized ie conductive fabric.  Search youtube for detracktor for a demonstration.

sjmarin
sjmarin

People really overestimate the privacy of anything sent over the internet as well as cameras that can connect to the internet. Any webcam chats can be accessed so do not do anything you want to keep private. Cover all camera lens on devices that can access the internet when they are not in use. Hackers can turn on your camera without you knowing and film whatever is in view. I wish more people knew this. This can also create a definite legal issue of child pornography if a 17 year old couple decides to get intimate on Skype or something.  There is no privacy anymore.