back to article UK spies on MILLIONS of Yahoo! webcams, ogles sex vids - report

British spies allegedly intercepted and stored nude pics and other stills from millions of Yahoo! Messenger webcams – and mulled capturing snaps from the XBox's Kinect camera, too. The UK intelligence agency GCHQ started slurping photos from innocent netizens' camera feeds in 2008, The Guardian reported today. In just one six- …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Underage nudie pics?

    In just one six-month period, pics from 1.8 million Yahoo! users were pulled into government servers.

    So how many of those nude pics were of minors? Ah the perverted GCHQ, at least now we know where all those pedi's are getting their pics from!

    1. channel extended
      Windows

      Re: Underage nudie pics?

      The kiddy porn people all LOVE GCHQ!

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Underage nudie pics?

      "optic nerve" is rhyming slang for "perv".

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: AC Re: Underage nudie pics?

      "....at least now we know where all those pedi's are getting their pics from!" Yes, from Yahoo! Messenger webcam sessions, most probably.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Government Creeps Hiding from Questions

      Other words fit too. Compared to the fine work done during the war at Bletchley Park this sort of thing is a sick, despicable insult to the nation, legal or not.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Underage nudie pics?

      So how many of those nude pics were of minors? Ah the perverted GCHQ, at least now we know where all those pedi's are getting their pics from!

      Not many depending on the population of US immigrants, although the amount of British children that have is probably through the roof.

    6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Underage nudie pics?

      "So how many of those nude pics were of minors? Ah the perverted GCHQ, at least now we know where all those pedi's are getting their pics from!"

      And remember kiddies the UK CP laws are possession. There are no "extenuating circumstances."

      Anyone at GCHQ who has seen them is therefor liable for an entry in another govt database. The SOR.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Users who may feel uncomfortable about such material ...."

    Odd concern, there : I would have thought anyone who was quite comfortable about spying on innocent members of the public in such an intimate way would not worry too much about seeing a bit of nudity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Users who may feel uncomfortable about such material ...."

      Especially when they see a cunt each time they look in the mirror.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Users who may feel uncomfortable about such material ...."

        Aw come on, that's a little unfair to cunts.

  3. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coat

    Translation:

    "Furthermore, all of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, blah, blah, blah rigorous oversight, yackety-smackety secretary of yammer, yammer interception and blah, blah, blah and the Parliamentary mumble mumble...Hey, lookee here! Tits!!!!."

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Translation:

      Or GCHQ could just be lying.

      I'd like to see the legislation that says it's fine to collect pictures of naked adults, and probably naked kids too.

      1. Lyndon Hills 1

        Re: Translation:

        We don't normally have laws like that, in the UK. For example there is no law that says you _can_ keep a poodle, but there are laws that say you _can't_ keep various types of pit bull.

        Collecting pictures of naked adults is not illegal (excepting what might be covered by extreme porn laws). Pictures of naked kids, that are not your own, is more likely illegal - dunno for sure, but you'd need to look at the full statute to see if there are exemptions for the security services. Intercepting communications is illegal, but there is definitely an exemption for the security services.

        1. henrydddd

          Re: Translation:

          "Collecting pictures of naked adults is not illegal " with the consent of the adult, otherwise, it is voyeurism which is a crime. There is no difference between this garbage and a toilet cam. However; courts seem to justify this activity on the basis that "people have no expectation of privacy when the government is spying on them".

          Whether it is adults or children, considering the morality and mentality of the spies looking at these pictures, it is probably considered a fringe benefit of their job. Why haven't the people risen up against this junk?

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Translation:

        "I'd like to see the legislation that says it's fine to collect pictures of naked adults, and probably naked kids too."

        Typical get out clauses are "in the interests of national security", "exemption in service of the Crown" or "prosecution not in the public interest".

    2. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: Translation:

      Yeah, the problem is not that they're breaking the law - they're probably not. The problem is the law that says they're allowed to do this.

      1. Oninoshiko
        Childcatcher

        Re: Translation:

        thought child pornography was always a crime to posses, no matter how you received it. I think we need a investigation!

        1. Graham Marsden

          @Oninoshiko Re: Translation:

          > thought child pornography was always a crime to posses, no matter how you received it

          Sexual Offences Act 2003:

          * * * * *

          46 Criminal proceedings, investigations etc.

          (1)After section 1A of the Protection of Children Act 1978 (c. 37) insert—

          “1BException for criminal proceedings, investigations etc.

          (1)In proceedings for an offence under section 1(1)(a) of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child, the defendant is not guilty of the offence if he proves that—

          (a)it was necessary for him to make the photograph or pseudo-photograph for the purposes of the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, or for the purposes of criminal proceedings, in any part of the world,

          (b)at the time of the offence charged he was a member of the Security Service, and it was necessary for him to make the photograph or pseudo-photograph for the exercise of any of the functions of the Service, or

          (c)at the time of the offence charged he was a member of GCHQ, and it was necessary for him to make the photograph or pseudo-photograph for the exercise of any of the functions of GCHQ.

          * * * * *

          Of course the "necessity" here is the prevention of terrerism...

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Number6

              Re: @Graham Marsden

              Enough people are starting to question all of this activity. I guess it's a form of revenge if everyone starts declaring GCHQ people to be a pervs based on bits of news like this.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Tim Jenkins

      Re: Translation:

      "Hey, lookee here! Tits!!!!"

      Nope; that's not the body part(s) in question; they deemed it to be 'undesirable nudity', remember?

      On the other hand*, research into penile recognition technology should now get an unexpected infusion of Government cash (and another use for those airport full-body scanners too)

      *or in the other hand. YMMV.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Translation:

      It would be interesting to know if other crimes were sent on the police, e.g. Having a Cannabis growing room, or pulling tags off shoplifted items etc.

      If so then having constant monitoring of people for crimes 'against the government' has major similarities to George Orwell's book.

      It wasn't too long ago that 1984 seemed like an outlandish idea with a nudge towards truth. Now it feels like you don't have to be a tin-foil hat wearer to see major parts of it are already upon us, with little in the way of opposition.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Translation:

        The major problem was down to the fact that due to the National Curriculum dumbing down, most of NuLab thought that 1984 was a user manual.

      2. Blitterbug
        Big Brother

        Re: Translation:

        Agree with the Orwellian (though rather obvious) comparisons being made in this thread. But what I want to know is: Who the fuck keeps DVing these perfectly reasonable expressions of disgust and outrage? I'm quite sure the culprits aren't about to provide any open support of this hideous behaviour in these forums - at least, not under their real handle - so I guess a sneaky DV for any 'subversive' comments is the only way they can safely suck up to our Lords and Masters.

    6. MrXavia

      Re: Translation:

      Copyright infringement? surely ALL yahoo chat users can now sue the government for copyright infringement? unfortunately its only a civil offence, but still worth pursuing...

      Also it is breach of human rights act, article 8,unless they can prove it is necessary in a democratic society..

      Although I think section 2 exemptions a bit over reaching, it has a 'morals' exemption...

      Who the hell are the government to be allowed to determine what is moral!

    7. David 45

      Re: Translation:

      Yup - their boiler-plate statement in response to virtually anything and everything that's thrown at them is getting more than a little tiresome. We need a UK equivalent of Snowden here to get the real deal as to what they're actually up to, although it doesn't take too much guesswork to fathom.

  4. mrtom84

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen...

    1. MrT

      Eurythmics....

      ...now playing in my head ;-)

  5. Helstrom
    Meh

    "Undesirable nudity"...

    Any word on what percentage of intercepts were desirable nudity?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

      17% apparently.

      I expected more.

      By the way people screaming murder about yahoo encrypting traffic should not forget just how old yahoo chat is. It dates from the days when the PC _COULD_ _NOT_ encode a video stream and encrypt it at the same time.

      Now the fact that they did not update that over time is reprehensible. However, the fact that it was not encrypted day one is quite understandable.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

        That just means the remaining nudity was desirable. Apparently even spooks draw the line somewhere.

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      Paris Hilton

      Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

      ...between three and 11 per cent of the obtained Yahoo! webcam pics contained "undesirable nudity".

      Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person

      Which comes as a surprise only in that the number was commonly thought to be much higher.

      // undesirable...to whom?

      // Paris...because

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

      Number of people hospitalised because of weight triples in five years. The Guardian, February 20 2013

      “Spiralling out of control": Now 1 in 10 kids clinically obese by the time they start primary school. Daily Mirror, February 20 2013

      1. Sooty

        Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

        just picture all those 'silver surfers'

        or maybe not in this case

  6. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    How safe are Jonny Foreigners?

    The leaks imply that GCHQ spies were confined to the UK. How would that work?

    1. proto-robbie
      Terminator

      Re: How safe are Jonny Foreigners?

      Spying on the citizens hasn't been outsourced yet. It's sure to go soon though, along with the police, armed forces and the ambulance service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How safe are Jonny Foreigners?

        just wait for OCP to get involved in the outsourcing...

  7. RobHib
    Devil

    As I said earlier post today, the surveillance seems to be here indefinitely, and it will continue as long as citizens allow it to happen. And noise from a few commentards and libertarians won't change anything in the current political climate.

    It seems to me the only way to have the surveillance thwarted would be a public outcry of the order of the 1960s anti Vietnam War demonstrations with riots in the streets--i.e.: politicians and government officials would have to feel unsafe--but in the current political climate, Hell's likely to freeze over first.

    In my opinion, the only way to effectively thwart the surveillance is to adopt Bruce Schneier 's suggestion of using good encryption.

    If everyone used good encryption we wouldn't stop the NSA or GCHQ but we'd certainly render their effectiveness by orders of magnitude.

    1. Jess--

      Good luck trying to organise that without it being picked up by the very surveillance that you intend to protest against.

      1. RobHib
        Unhappy

        @Jess--

        Correct, but as I said it's not going to happen. Whilst citizens are disillusioned with their democracies, they've little or no appetite to do anything about it. Moreover, there's only a tiny percentage of the population like us whingeing El Reg readers who'll even bother to comment about it.

        In earlier posts I mentioned what citizens did in the past when pushed beyond reasonable bounds by their governments but I'm not advocating that path for a moment.

        Americans would probably argue that 1776 was a good idea, but in general revolutions are terrible idea—many people are killed. What happened in France in 1789 and in Russia in 1917 was terrible and the consequences of these events still echo around the world today.

        If I had the answer as to what citizens should do when their governments turn feral, authoritarian and secretive and stop acting in the best interests of the majority of their citizens—and elections cannot or do not solve these problems then I'd certainly not be sitting here now writing this.

  8. Fink-Nottle
    Paris Hilton

    As usual ...

    ... GCHQ go for the low-hanging fruit.

    1. sam bo

      Re: As usual ...

      " GCHQ go for the low-hanging fruit."

      You mean like a couple of figs ?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: As usual ...

        ..or grapes

  9. Swiss Anton

    Have some sympathy

    You've got to feel sorry for the spooks.

    I mean, when you read this story you probably had the image of some sexy young adult casually exposing their well toned body. The reality more likely to have been some flabby older person who's forgotten to zip their trousers up after having a waz.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    Translation

    "We could, so we did."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

    ... and how we would've been blown to shreds by them terrorists long ago had it not been for the crucial intel tool that is Yahoo! Messenger! Intercept!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

      "... and how we would've been blown to shreds by them terrorists long ago had it not been for the crucial intel tool that is Yahoo! Messenger! Intercept!"

      You'll need to include some support for Israel and the superiority of HP Itanium servers as well.

      It's been a while since we've heard from Mattie boy.

      Do trolls go on holiday? Or has he crossed one line too many and got banned?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

        John, you are very charitable calling Mattie Boy a troll. I think he actually believes his narcistic crap.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

        It's been a while since we've heard from Mattie boy.

        Not to worry, he's never far away, just look for AC posts with familiar sounding language. (I'm guessing he's using the AC option because he's worried about people spying on him)

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/02/27/qa_schneier_on_trust_nsa_spying_and_the_end_of_us_internet_hegemony/

      3. Pseudonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

        > It's been a while since we've heard from Mattie boy.

        > Do trolls go on holiday? Or has he crossed one line too many and got banned?

        Not banned per se but his constant abuse has earned him a "lengthy trip to the pre-moderation naughty step":

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/3/2014/02/07/snowden_documents_show_british_digital_spies_using_viruses_and_honey_traps/#c_2107586

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2014/02/10/tuesday_declared_the_day_we_fight_back_against_nsa_et_al/#c_2109478

        I wonder if he hasn't commented on this thread or if he's just had a dozen attempts declined because he can't restain himself when the subject is too dear.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Anonymous Cluetard Re: Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

      "....and how we would've been blown to shreds by them terrorists long ago...." In Iraq in 2010, when the CIA was hunting the local AQ leader al-Masri, rumours were that they had tried using hijacked email and chatroom accounts of other Egyptian militants to try and trick al-Masri out of hiding. They soon found out al-Masri did not trust 'blind' coms becuase he could not see the face of the people he was talking to. When he was traced to his hideout in Tikriit he was online using his webcam.... though I don't know if it was a YM session. Oh, sorry, did that info make your head hurt?

      1. Pseudonymous Coward

        Re: How al-Masri ruined YM for us all

        Have an upvote, Matt, for managing to make yourself heard in the face of adversity.

        I bet the GCHQ staff have been celebrating al-Masri ever since for now getting paid to watch amateur porn.

        I take it in your considered opinion it is wholly appropriate for GCHQ to not restrict themselves to metadata and get right in there?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Stupidononymous Re: How al-Masri ruined YM for us all

          "....I bet the GCHQ staff have been celebrating al-Masri ever since for now getting paid to watch amateur porn....." Oh dear, you lot are so predictably quick to swallow what you are spoonfed. The GCHQ (and NSA) are trying to monitor as much as possible of ALL possible electronic communication media that AQ, spies, gangsters and the like might use. During ordinary phone monitoring I'm sure they trawl up plenty of sad phone sex. If you read the article you might have noticed (round the chip on your shoulder and the tinfoil hat) that GCHQ were developing face recognition tools for the project because they were AUTOMATING the monitoring. Which means NO-ONE was watching you pay Whiplash Sal to flagellate her pet ram for you.

          What has happened here is the hacks have needed to make a story out of it to sell copy and advertising space, and just saying 'GCHQ intercepts webcam chats' wasn't enough. But sex sells, so they took the GCHQ warning to staff and blew it up into the ridiculous story that GCHQ staff were out looking for pr0n chats to watch. Seriously, stop and think for a sec - these guys have unfettered access to the deepest, darkest reaches of the Internet, do you seriously think that if they were that way inclined they'd be settling for watching you dribbling and play with yourself over Whiplash Sal?

          Once again, the sheeple need to get over themselves.

          1. Pseudonymous Coward

            Re: Mattie Boy - How al-Masri ruined YM for us all

            > GCHQ were developing face recognition tools for the project because they were AUTOMATING the monitoring. Which means NO-ONE was watching you

            I see. They did not (do they now?) have automated non-human monitoring and that in your mind proves that no one was watching anyone and the GCHQ warning to staff was... just for a laugh?

            You're making sense to the extent you usually do, Matt. Good to have you back.

            > so [the hacks] took the GCHQ warning to staff and blew it up into the ridiculous story that GCHQ staff were out looking for pr0n chats to watch.

            I haven't seen the press make the claim that GCHQ staff were out looking for porn chats to watch. Indeed they quote GCHQ as classing that as "undesirable nudity". Give us a ref, where did the press claim this? Guardian? Register? Or did you just need to make that up again so you can find your own alternative reality more convincing?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Mattie Boy - How al-Masri ruined YM for us all

              "Give us a ref, where did the press claim this? Guardian? Register? Or did you just need to make that up again so you can find your own alternative reality more convincing?"

              I'm not exactly a fan of Mr. Bryant's politics, but you don't need to look too far for your reference - it's hard to read anything but an implication that GCHQ was seeking out webcam pr0n from the headline, "OPTIC PERV: UK spies on MILLIONS of webcam sex chats"... Obviously the defense is, "Oh, it's just joking around etc etc", but let's be honest, given the comments here, it'd be disingenuous to say that people aren't specifically concerned with the idea of GCHQ getting their jollies watching some sweet internet lovin'.

              Say what you will about the content, but the media - El Reg included - can usually be relied upon to sensationalize wherever possible. And what's more, admitting as much makes not a bit of difference to the issue, which is that it's frankly beside the point what you're up to when they're spying on you, the problem is that they're doing it in the first place. Focusing on the nudity and giggling like schoolboys (and isn't it you Brits who are always accusing Americans of being uptight about nipples, and mocking us for not being grown-up and matter-of-fact about it like you?) distracts from the seriousness of the underlying problems.

              1. Pseudonymous Coward

                Re: @David W

                Thanks, David, I mostly agree but I haven't seen the press make the claim that GCHQ staff were out looking for porn chats to watch but if you generally take Reg Headlines as intended statements of fact then, fair enough, we do get close. Note that by that standard Lindsay must have been outraged to read "LOHAN gets intimate with 50,000 hot-blooded pilots".

                > I'm not exactly a fan of Mr. Bryant's politics

                This is not so much about his politics. I find it perfectly acceptable for anyone to be of the opinion that privacy intrusions as evident are a necessary evil in the fight against terrorism, I ask that we can somewhat respectfully disagree and debate.

                But "Mr Bryant" (that's not, he says, his real name by the way, he's a pseudonymous coward, too) goes well beyond that and feels the need to ridicule and insult those who disagree with him. What's worse, he frequently misrepresents what posters state or goes further and claims they've stated stuff they haven't got anywhere near. And then he rains down more ridicule and insults on them on the basis of what he made up they said. I'm merely holding him up to the high standards he demands of everyone else. We're all the better off for it, don't you think?

                As you see he's just established for himself that I've got a pimply bottom so perhaps it's not working. Sadly he tends to be more successful at dragging me down a level than I am at getting him to improve his game.

                Oh and I'm not British.

                1. Shades

                  Re: @David W

                  "Sadly he tends to be more successful at dragging me down a level than I am at getting him to improve his game."
                  As the saying goes: "Never argue with an idiot; they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Pstupidonymous Re: Mattie Boy - How al-Masri ruined YM for us all

              ".....They did not (do they now?) have automated non-human monitoring and that in your mind proves that no one was watching anyone and the GCHQ warning to staff was... just for a laugh?...." I assume that, just as with other coms that suddenly got pushed into the spotlight after 9/11, when the project kicked off they had to manually monitor sessions between targeted individuals. I also assume it's a safe bet that during development of the automated version they had to test it with live data to make sure it wasn't picking out your pimply arse as Osama bin Ladin. After automation (which is very much in-place for street cams in most cities in the World) they probably never needed to look again. Once again, you fail to understand that they don't have the time, resources or presonnel (or slightest inclination) to waste time watching your bizzarro sex antics. It is far more likely that full-time losers like the Anonyputzs, Lolztwats, etc. are the ones spending time intercepting webcam sessions for giggles.

              All modern electronic coms come down to digital radio waves through the air, electrical signals in a wire, or optical signals in a telecoms cable, regardless of whether it's email, Twatter posts, web browsing, uploads, webcam sessions or whatever. We already know GCHQ is already tapping the telecoms cables, they are then taking the massive amount of digital noise and filtering it down to conversations between known individuals, connections between areas of interest, and connections to known sites. I'm sure there are also filters looking for key terms and face-recognition filters for video files and streams. Stuff that does not match the filter gets stored for a short term and then dumped to make space. I'm also pretty certain there is no-one (outside of probably the RSPCA) at all interested in your Internet dribbling or whatever floats your boat. Get over yourself, you're simply not as important as you want to baaaah-lieve.

          2. RobHib
            Flame

            @Matt Bryant -- You've Missed The Point!! -- Re: Stupidononymous How al-Masri ruined YM for us all.

            ...do you seriously think that if they were that way inclined they'd be settling for watching you dribbling and play with yourself over Whiplash Sal?

            You've completely missed the point!

            Let me illustrate with an example I've used many times. Without exception, everyone on the planet has to go to the toilet. Despite this universal and totally accepted lawful practice, the vast majority of people seek to do so in private—and they DO NOT expect others to be spying on them whilst engaged in this activity.

            Nor do they have to give a reason for wanting this privacy, nor is a reason expected. It's the way things are—it's just normal human behaviour!

            What the NSA, GCHQ, et al are doing with their blanket surveillance of video, audio, text etc. is blatantly violating that kind of privacy—it's as simple as that.

            There are many reasons why violating privacy in this manner is destructive. For starters, it intimidates people, thus their activities become more inhibited, others won't participate at all, it violates trust and so on.

            ...And of course, those who really need to be caught will go to ground—they won't use the services or they'll assume different identities, put on masks, encrypt everything, use steganography, etc. etc.

            Why is it so difficult to grasp or perceive such simple concepts?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: RobHib Re: @Matt Bryant -- You've Missed The Point!!

              "You've completely missed the point!...." I'm guessing what you actually mean is 'no, I want you to baaah-lieve what I baaah-lieve'.

              "....What the NSA, GCHQ, et al are doing with their blanket surveillance of video, audio, text etc. is blatantly violating that kind of privacy—it's as simple as that....." Except for the fact there is NO blanket surveillance. There is collection of data, that is then filtered by automation to sellect targets and those targets only are actually surveilled. The massive majority of the data that falls outside the filter is eventually just deleted. You are labouring under the idiotic misconception that (a) anyone has the ability to read everything flowing over the telecoms cables, and (b) anyone would actually WANT to read your demented dribblings or watch you take a dump. Seriously, try and get a clue, get some perspective, and get over yourself! Despite what your Mummy told you, in reality you are not that important.

              "....And of course, those who really need to be caught will go to ground—they won't use the services or they'll assume different identities, put on masks, encrypt everything, use steganography, etc. etc...." Oh, so you're finally admitting there are actually 'bad guys' out there and that Snowdope's revelations (and Greenwald's self-serving hawking of them) are helping the 'bad guys' avoid detection?

              You sheeple are just so full of fail it comes out your ears.

              1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Re: Mattie explains his PoV.

                  ".....So for Mattie it's alright because a)It's being done by machine and b) It gets deleted....." I see your extensive technical knowledge failed to include the bit about how the Internet is not that fluffy cloud you see on diagrams, but machines called routers, switches and repeaters, that handle your coms by reading them in, holding them in cache, repeating them to the next machine, then deleting them if the signal is acknowledged. You obviously know as little about networking as you do about the realities of our World. You very obviously fail to realise a network engineer (or hacker) can sniff (it's a technical term, it actually means copy off the bits from the data stream for analysis, not the actual physical action of sniffing that your lack of education would lead you to,believe it to be - wouldn't want you to be any more confused than you already are) one of those machines and watch all your traffic flying through it. As it is, the owner of the machines does already retain metadata on your traffic, as does the service provider (and any advertising bodies they pass your history to). You stated that was unacceptable, so please do stand by your principles and refuse to use all modern forms of communication if you really are that deluded, it will free up some bandwidth for the rest of us.

                  1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                    Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Mattie explains his PoV.

                    ... fail to realise a network engineer (or hacker) can sniff (it's a technical term, it actually means copy off the bits from the data stream for analysis, not the actual physical action of sniffing that your lack of education would lead you to,believe it to be - wouldn't want you to be any more confused than you already are)

                    Sorry, but that made me chuckle.....

                    Of course, the rest of the argument is bollocks as having the ability to do something doesn't mean it's OK to actually do it, for any reason. Whilst packet capturing can be useful for diagnostics, that utility doesn't mean it's OK to sit and take captures from a core router just to see what nude selfies happen to fly by. It's possible, but also not OK to set up a port mirror, and run captures on the offchance they might capture an email that would prove your spouse was cheating.

                    Presumably it's OK for me to assault anyone who comes to my front-door because they might be thinking about robbing the house?

                    does the service provider (and any advertising bodies they pass your history to)

                    I suspect both bodies would argue that that happens with your consent (though some would disagree).

                  2. BlueGreen

                    Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Mattie explains his PoV. @Plump & Bleaty (yet again)

                    hi lambchop, as you've addressed the points of others', could you answer my question please? I don't know why you keep not seeing my post, perhaps you'd like dancing gerbils around it, or fresh straw or something, to get your attention.

                    (BTW if I were you I'd check my facts first. If you knew anything about networking you'd not have put repeaters in your list. They're just signal boosters. FYI, HAND, BAAA)

                  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                    Unhappy

                    Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Mattie explains his PoV.

                    "...So for Mattie it's alright because a)It's being done by machine and b) It gets deleted....." I"

                    <assorted patronizing drivel snipped in the interest of bandwidth>

                    I fully understand how insecure the internet is and I think something like reasonable levels of privacy will need a new generation of internet protocols. That and updating privacy laws to recognize that a lot of what is possible should not be allowed

                    BTW linking a series of statements together and then ending with some absurd course of behavior is a favorite salesman's trick. But you can't resist using it, can you?

                    I think my description of your PoV was quite accurate.

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Mattie explains his PoV.

                      "....I think my description of your PoV was quite accurate." Yeah, well the flat-Earthers thought their faith-based beliefs were right when they were just as wrong as you and your baaaah-liefs. I note that once again you are attacking the man because you cannot argue the points raised.

              2. BlueGreen

                Re: RobHib @Matt Bryant -- You've Missed The Point!! @Plump & Bleaty

                > There is collection of data

                So, again, you admit that widespread data collection is occurring? I only ask because you declined to answer that question before. So, kindly address my question, then we can get onto whether your claim of "there is NO blanket surveillance" holds water.

                > You sheeple [...]

                But plumpo, you're the biggest, fattest bleatiest sheep of all, what with your willing ignorance and blind trust in GovernmentFarmer.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge
              Pint

              Re: @Matt Bryant -- You've Missed The Point!! -- Stupidononymous How al-Masri ruined YM for us all.

              "Let me illustrate with an example I've used many times. Without exception, everyone on the planet has to go to the toilet. Despite this universal and totally accepted lawful practice, the vast majority of people seek to do so in private—and they DO NOT expect others to be spying on them whilst engaged in this activity."

              ...which makes it very difficult and unreliable to extrapolate from "normal people" to "the sort of people who choose to broadcast it on Yahoo Messenger".

              Back to the original article, both GCHQ and Yahoo are all defensive as one would expect, but I'm not hearing much from the people who are casually broadcasting their own porn channel onto the interwebs. Are they actually bothered? If they aren't, should we be?

              Oh, and by the way, Matt, whether or not you win this argument, I think you deserve a beer for your retort. Your opponent made up a completely insane straw man scenario to try to make you look ridiculous and you were able to reply with "Well, yes. That actually happened.". Highly enjoyable for the spectators.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Anonymous Cluetard Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

        "When he was traced to his hideout in Tikriit he was online using his webcam...."

        Just as well he wasn't taking a shower at the time.

        I like to take showers, and don't expect GCHQ to use some islamist terrorist as justification to spy on me

      3. Mad Mike

        Re: Anonymous Cluetard Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation on how this is all necessary...

        ""....and how we would've been blown to shreds by them terrorists long ago...." In Iraq in 2010, when the CIA was hunting the local AQ leader al-Masri, rumours were that they had tried using hijacked email and chatroom accounts of other Egyptian militants to try and trick al-Masri out of hiding. They soon found out al-Masri did not trust 'blind' coms becuase he could not see the face of the people he was talking to. When he was traced to his hideout in Tikriit he was online using his webcam.... though I don't know if it was a YM session. Oh, sorry, did that info make your head hurt?"

        So, in order to catch one or two people, spying on everyone is acceptable? It's the kind of logic that says it's OK to kill 1000 innocents, as long as you get the 1 you were looking for. It's completely out of proportion to the issue.

        Also, there were far more effective ways of stopping what was going on in Iraq. Top of the list would have been to stop lying, stop killing thousands of innocents and get out of the country when your reason for invading was shown to be complete and utter made up rubbish!!

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. RobHib
          Happy

          @Mad Mike -- Re: Anonymous Cluetard Cue Matt Bryant's forceful explanation ...etc.

          It's the kind of logic that says it's OK to kill 1000 innocents, as long as you get the 1 you were looking for. It's completely out of proportion to the issue.

          Re above: — My faltering faith in humankind is restored (well, temporarily at least) when I read the upvotes vastly exceed the downvotes.

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Gimp

          @Mad Mike

          "So, in order to catch one or two people, spying on everyone is acceptable? It's the kind of logic that says it's OK to kill 1000 innocents, as long as you get the 1 you were looking for. It's completely out of proportion to the issue."

          Yes. That's exactly the justification. MI5 Islamist suspects totaled 0.003% of the UK according to MI5 in 2007.

          So of course 100% of the UK have to be spied on.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Re: @Mad Mike

            "....MI5 Islamist suspects totaled 0.003% of the UK according to MI5 in 2007....." So how many Islamists did it take to carry out the 7th July 2005 Tube and bus bombings? Four. I'd ask you to try rethinking your insistence that 0.003% of the general population (and that was KNOWN jihadists and did not include either known sympathisers or - of course - the unknown ones we need people like the GCHQ and MI5 and Police to find) pose no threat, only thinking is very obviously done for you and the results spoonfed to you to bleat.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 @Mad Mike

              " ... the unknown ones we need people like the GCHQ and MI5 and Police to find) pose no threat"

              Essentially, yes, they pose no threat. They are a tiny number threatening a tiny number for a tiny amount of time. They effectively do not exist in any sensible way. The security and spying services are spending way too much time and far, far too much money on dealing with the equivalent of a molecule of fart smell in an aircraft hangar.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                Re: Insufferable Pothead Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 @Mad Mike

                Yeah, we all know your politics don't see allow you to see beyond your blinkers, Pothead. What you're basically saying is you'd be fine with a repeat of the London Tube bombings every week, or an attack of the same scale of 9/11 in the US every other month, because you think 'wtf, it was only a tiny minority, and they only killed a few dozen here and 3,000-odd in the US'. That is the reality of other countries that do not have similar protections. What the heck, there are 350 million-odd Yanks, we can afford to lose a few thousand, right? Apart from the obvious suggestion of what that would mean to you if someone you actually cared about was a victim of one of those 'harmless' attacks, have you ever stopped to think how different your life would be if we simply said 'happening type x only kills a few dozen a year in the UK, we'll just ignore the victims and not try and prevent their deaths'? You can start with a lot of diseases and cancer, all not worth bothering with according to you. Or you could say 'Police on the streets only stops x number of muggings, let's just let the muggers run wild'. Why stop there, let's scrap the Police all together (something your daft politics would probably applaud) as it's impossible to say how many lives they save each year by preventing crime, and instead you can sit up each night with a shotgun to protect your property and family from those 'minority' criminals that might want your stuff. Oh, sorry, no you can't, because you're the type of numpty that supports gun control too! Darn, you'll just have to protect yourself with your beloved copy of 'Das Kapital' - does it have a chapter on home medicine?

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Ignorant Pothead Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 @Mad Mike

                "....Essentially, yes, they pose no threat. They are a tiny number threatening a tiny number for a tiny amount of time...." Oh, and BTW, that was exactly the type of blinkered drivel spouted by those who didn't want to believe the MI5 warnings that the IRA were planning a bombing campaign in the UK in the Seventies. And we know just how 'trendy and rebellious' it was to support the IRA, especially in certain unis' Student Unions. I remember one such group of 'deep thinkers' from the LSE saying exactly that whilst the Balcombe Street siege was being televised! You'll probably have to do a bit of reading as that was probably long before you were born.

  12. Tom 35 Silver badge

    So it will be encriped soon

    And this will be another reason for ISPs to install spy proxies (or Explicitly Trusted Proxy as AT&T like to call them).

  13. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    meanwhile ...

    ... they still have no idea how Gareth Williams died ...

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "undesirable nudity"???

    I resent that! It's bad enough getting that line from the wife without some git at MI5 chipping in (although it has to be said the last time I myself saw a bod like mine it was on top of the Empire State building swatting aeroplanes).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GCHQ spokesman

    I'd love this job! You just copy and paste from your previous statements and copy and paste and copy and paste and copy and paste and get paid to copy and paste and copy and paste to get paid to copy and paste.

    How about outsourcing it to India, or running a bot to spare us a few squid, eh gov?

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Jeeceeaitchcue: "We do what we must because we can!"

    Hopefully they got an eyeful of more scat session than they bargained for.

    Although Yahoo!'s instant messaging service uses SSL to encrypt passwords when logging in, it does not prevent network eavesdroppers from intercepting, decoding and storing text messages and live webcam feeds between contacts.

    Well, this lack of security is, well, completely unexpected from the likes of wazoo. SSL is a pretty new invention, you can't expect rollout to happen overnight, can you?

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Jeeceeaitchcue: "We do what we must because we can!"

      To play devils advocate, how many social network sites or systems of this ilk (IM, email, video chat, etc) can you name that have been SSL by default or enforced SSL for more than the last five years (when pretty much all CPUs can encrypt on-the-fly with no major loss of performance - IE it's become acceptable to enforce it).

      I think FB and Google only went HTTPS default (or HTTPS end to end as an option) fairly recently.

      I'm not giving Yahoo an excuse - they're pretty crap IMHO - but from memory most parties with the exception of finance-related outfits (banking, paypal, shopping sites) are generally guilty of this sort of lazy-arsed attitude.

      Not attempting to be a smartarse, I'm genuinely curious - anyone got any numbers or know an easy way of finding out?

      Has FB video chat always been encrypted, for example? Skype? How many other potential vectors have there been?

      Steven R

      Ps: On the subject of blanket webcam snooping? That's the sort of crap that you'd think would cause a full-blown revolution, as they are almost explicitly (not like that) private communications - to be mass monitoring that sort of thing without a warrant against a particularly individual is utterly, utterly reprehensible from what proclaims to be a first world democracy. It makes the 'Axis of Evil' seem almost fluffy in comparison when it comes to intrusion by the state into the private lives of individuals. Although, obviously, they have other parts of their regimes that are far worse, natch...

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    "....it appears to be sometimes used for broadcasting pornography."

    Oh Jeez. Here come the rationalizations about "We're doing it to stop evil pedos!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "....it appears to be sometimes used for broadcasting pornography."

      What is wrong with pornography? I would rather the government did not push their false sense of morality on me.

  18. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    To my American friends.....

    .... especially those who think us El Reg Limeys have an anti-America agenda.

    Congratulations! We have now taken from you the title of most scummy despicable government spy agency.

    This is far worse than storing phone metadata any day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To my American friends.....

      I was going to point out that it appears that - shockingly - UK spies aren't pure as driven snow, either, but it's nice to see a Brit actually acknowledge that there may in fact be a way in which the US is not the sole and quintessential personification of evil... :P

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: To my American friends.....

        Aye.

        There have been more stories here on the NSA because most of the leaks have been to do with the NSA directly. I (and I hope the other Brits here) have been critical of their actions as have you guys - but not under an anti-American agenda.

        In a strange way, I'm almost pleased this story has come out. - You guys get to call out our spooks and successive governments for a change, and I'm sure most of us Brits would agree.

        So, righty-ho good chap! Do carry on, and I'll get the beers in!

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          Re: To my American friends.....

          This is way over the top. Do terrorists and criminals really video-chat a lot? I'd think that would be a pretty bad idea, unless you were essentially using the video feed as confirmation that yes, you are speaking to me because you recognize me. Even then, I'd think that using some tradecraft code like "Abdul's falafel is cold today"/"Yes, my heart weeps at the thought" would be safer than spreading your picture on the internet so you can be ID'd more easily.

          Otherwise, this seems creepy and excessive, especially since it seems that GCHQ can't tell what country the pictures are coming from, so they can be storing images of Brits, Americans, whoever.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: To my American friends.....

      Now we just need to hear from France, Russia, China and maybe the Koreas... and maybe the Caymans. Seriously, once the NSA hell broke loose, I pretty much assumed all countries were doing it. But webcams is pretty scummy.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To my American friends.....

      Ahem.....This is no longer intercepting and storing metadata, this is content.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great blackmail material

    Once again our overlords are learning from the criminals how to blackmail Yahoo users. Instead of closing security holes , they abuse them from a position above the law.

  20. YARR
    Big Brother

    "We're on the side of freedom...."

    ....freedom for us but not for you. We can do as we please because we say so.

    We've heard corporates deny any involvement in these privacy violations, but all the mainstream political parties have their hands dirty. Their top elected representatives have all been in power and authorised these intrusions into our privacy. They expect the public to believe that spying on the web-cams of law abiding people is "necessary and proportionate"! What kind of security agency finds it necessary to gather intimate data about people? We live in a democracy but has the electorate ever been consulted about this?

    Those before us made great sacrifices for freedom, but the power elite today think the public are happy to exchange their freedom for security. If people want to fight for their freedom, they will have to take their votes elsewhere. The time is right for a freedom alliance to stand against the old parties, with a pledge to shut down these government agencies and make their activities illegal.

  21. MrDamage

    I hope they enjoyed my performance

    My girlfriend googled my yahoo until I binged all over her facebook.

    1. Havin_it
      Linux

      Re: I hope they enjoyed my performance

      Just as well you left her twitter alone, or you might be up before the beak...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is for all those brits making comments about the USA last year.

    Over the past several months, all I've read is how horrible the USA is, the NSA, blah,blah,blah.

    Kinda funny when its in your own yard, such a vile act as titi shots, and how it could be you or yours.

    Let the DVs begin!!!!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Actually, I think GCHQ has the better end of the bargain so to speak. They get pics and vids. NSA only gets text and voice.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Mark 85

        "...They get pics and vids. NSA only gets text and voice." You really think either stops there? They (along with the Fwench, Germans, Russians, Chinese, Australians - just about every country) are looking at ALL electronic means of communication. Phones, email, chat rooms, IRC, online games, Dropbox/FTP sites, etc., etc. The only limits are how much they can gather and how much they can automate filtering to ensure the right stuff ends up with the analysts. No-one is watching you or reading your email, it probably gets scraped straight into /dev/null by the GORMLESS_SHEEP filter at first pass. Seriously, get over yourself.

        1. BlueGreen

          Re: Mark 85 @Plump & Bleaty

          > The only limits are how much they can gather and how much they can automate filtering to ensure the right stuff ends up with the analysts.

          So you do concede, finally, that widespread interception is occurring?

          BTW it's spelt 'French', with an 'R' - butterhooves!

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Mark 85

          No, I don't think it stops there. I've long suspected that this has been going on ever since there was an Interweb. It possibly goes back to ARPNET. Any given person may not get their stuff looked at, but it's been scraped and possibly filed. Or at least the metadata filed. It's about trending... if suddenly someone is contacting someone in Yemen from the States, that will probably ring the bell.

          As for the chat vids... The only thing I can think of is that some analyst decided to add to his porn collection and found that he could grab the feeds. or not.

          As an aside, I probably should have used the joke icon for my previous post....

        3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Mark 85

          " The only limits are how much they can gather and how much they can automate filtering to ensure the right stuff ends up with the analysts. No-one is watching you or reading your email, it probably gets scraped straight into /dev/null"

          So why gather it? They are obviously looking for keywords, so I suppose its fine to you if an email of mine is flagged and read because it says "great time last night. Those guys doing that dare.... true martyrs, I tell you! sorry the movie bombed, but the sex afterwards was great. That thing that you did with your tongue.."

          Funny Matty boy, you consider everyone else to be paranoid, but you are the one who thinks there are terrorists around every corner.. It seems you've forgotten the much more legitimate threat that was the IRA...

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Dimwit Jones Re: Mark 85

            ".... It seems you've forgotten the much more legitimate threat that was the IRA..." Seriously, who the fudge do you think these tools were first developed for? The GCHQ teams were working on automated radio interception and analogue phoneline monitoring for the KGB and IRA decades before 9/11. Trying to ignore the CURRENT leading threat by saying 'well, what about the old Irish threat' is beyond stupid. Even the current resurgence in wannabe IRA activity is nowhere near the threat posed by Islamists.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Taylor, read my post on this subject on the previous page, and please try and understand the difference between being critical of a situation/policy/event, and being anti the people.

      To you, a critical comment coming from an American could well be justified. from a non-American, you see it as an anti-American attack.

      You may go ahead and post your disgust at this webcam hacking, and rather than crying like babies, I think you'd find most of us Brits agree.

      Downvoted not for being American, but for being an insecure paranoid twerp!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rest assured that everybody else still hates you too.

      Or did you not know that there are other countries?

  23. Tommy Pock

    Legal framework

    We all operate within a legal framework. The police operate within a legal framework. Criminals operate within a legal framework.

    Asserting that your organisation operates within a legal framework means literally nothing. If they haven't broken any laws they'd say something like

    We haven't broken any laws.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for that one.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yeah, you like?

    Check out my tits, NSA!!!

  25. southpacificpom
    Angel

    OMG

    I hope these bastards aren't checking out my xhamster activities...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Di-hydrogen proportionate planar monoxide? No, thanks,I'm driving the water board...

  27. Anonymous Coward
  28. apjanes

    I bet the NSA is loving this

    Nothing like other people doing the same thing or worse to make you feel good about your own failings and flaws!

  29. Valeyard

    dirty bastards

    between three and 11 per cent of the obtained Yahoo! webcam pics contained "undesirable nudity."

    the rest were of nude underage kids

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: dirty bastards

      Time to invoke the irresistible force against the immovable object..

      CALL MUMSNET!

  30. Rob

    Translation

    ""Furthermore, all of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee."

    In other words, we don't give a shit, it's what we are paid to do, speak to the boss (someone pass me the teflon jacket).

  31. Thomas 4

    Just like certain webcam content, this is hard to swallow

    "Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," GCHQ wrote in a document leaked by ex-NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the newspaper."

    Did no-one, amongst "the finest intelligence minds in the UK" seriously consider that people cyber with each other over the internet? It's Internet 101 for heaven's sake.

  32. boba1l0s2k9

    But think of the children!

    Somebody needs to stop evil pedos...

    1. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: But think of the children!

      Yeah I agree but we have to wait for the next election!!

  33. Bloakey1

    Gareth W.

    That is all sorted and in the bag as it were ;) The company renting that apartment and a good few others seems to have dissappeared for some reason. Funny that.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Gareth W.

      Perhaps he knew that inside a locked bag is the only place you can get your jollies without being watched.

      Wouldn't want that information getting around...

  34. Bloakey1

    Septic sceptics.

    You sir are a bounder and a cad and your father fellates gerbils.

    Why attack those who are against an organisation but not a nation ?

    I had an attack helicopter called in on me by two Marine muppets in Beirut. I know where my Ire should be directed so subsequently only hate the entire Marine Corps and US Navy, Coast Guard and supporting elements. (Insert emoticon)

    Let us have a bit of proportion please. Anti NSA is not anti USA.

  35. Glostermeteor

    Just put masking tape over all my front facing cameras. I don't use them anyway. I am also deleting all my info off Facebook, and withdrawing my files from Google Drive. GCHQ and NSA have single handedly cost the American and British tech industry billions of dollars. I hope they withdraw their HQs from those countries and teach the politicians a lesson!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or

      You could disable the cam completely in device management, disable your mic while you're at it.

      1. teebie

        Re: Or

        or both...

        It's possible an agency could reenable devices - I believe there was news recently of a cam that could be turned on without your lnowlege - so the software fix isn't perfect.

        EDIT: why both? Why not just the masking tape? Well, I don't want GCHQ knowing what masking tape I use, do I? Or maybe I just didn't think things through before posting

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or

          "I believe there was news recently of a cam that could be turned on without your knowlege"

          That was all Android handsets.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Or

        Isn't that treason?

        Revealing the secrets of how to get around GCHQ's protection of our liberties will allow the Russians to invade Ukraine without GCHQ knowing anything

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT Broadband

    Has someone missed a large part of this story ... BT had a long tie in with yahoo and from memory didn't their startup pack installer cd/dvd install a raft of bt and yahoo software... which included yahoo messenger at one time.

    So anyone who was a BT broadband customer may have potentially had exposure to this...?!?!?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the leaks continue.....

    I accidentally (*cough*) stumbled over a porn site with some interesting new titles:

    "Desirably nekkid and 18"

    "Face Upright"

    "Debbie does webcam."

    "Triple Xbox rated"

    "Deep Cam"

    "Didn't you to turn that damned thing off -"+??"

    "Honey, I spunked the webcam"

    "Master, Slave, controller"

    Good to know someone is still making hay while the sun shines.... n'est ce pas?

    And if this isn't moderated, I fear the Reg will soon need a tasteless joke alert icon.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do Sports Direct....

    stock enough holdalls to stuff all the rest of these fuckers into?

  39. Havin_it

    I wonder if

    They used Chatroulette as a training procedure?

  40. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I wonder if this will start to backfire on GCHQ ...

    because now they're going to have to explain why they *must* have seen images suggesting sexual abuse of children (it's a statistical given) and did nothing.

  41. SuperNintendoChalmers

    Sniffing what?

    Sub-header: "Perfectly legal for us to watch your unencrypted steamy cam sessions, sniffs GCHQ"

    Anyone else wondering *what* they were sniffing?

  42. dervheid

    Have they really...

    got FUCK ALL BETTER TO DO?

    We're paying these utter knob-jockeys to spy on us.

    How fucked-up is that?

    This needs putting an end to.

  43. IonU
    Gimp

    Oh Great

    So now I have to wear a full gimp outfit with mask when banging one out on Yahoo Chat. Thanks a bunch GCHQ.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this spying and they still can't catch criminals like Watkins

    All this spying and they still had no clue about Ian Watkins until they arrested him, so somehow he was able to fill 27 terrabytes of illegal material despite our ever vigilant overlords at GCHQ monitoring the internet for such activity. They are either incompetent or simply turning a blind eye to anything like that.

  45. Crisp Silver badge

    Oh so it's ok for GCHQ to spy on peoples webcams...

    But when I do it, I have to go on a sex offenders register!

    1. Mad Mike
      Joke

      Re: Oh so it's ok for GCHQ to spy on peoples webcams...

      Ah yes, but when they do it, it's entirely professional and they get no gratification out of it other than knowing it's a job well done. When you do it.............well, no need to elaborate!!

      Be interesting to know if the number of replacement keyboards at GCHQ due to liquid spillage has gone up since this started.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about we all decorate the wall opposite any webcams we have in the style of the now traditional terrorist-making-demands video.

    Couple of crossed (fake) AKs on the wall, chuck a few flags up with a bit of Arabic on them etc. Perform all webcam chats in a balaclava waving an AK47 and/or a machete.

  47. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    surveillance without cause --> interment without trial?

    Surely not.

    Discuss.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: surveillance without cause --> interment without trial?

      I was going to upvote you anyway, but wanted to leave a comment to counter the brainless downvote you attracted.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now the important thing is how can I gain access to this database?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do I get my metadata updated to show that the room was really very cold...

  50. teebie

    Christopher Soghoian, a principal technologist at the ACLU

    Did anyone else read this as "a principled technologist at the ACLU"?

  51. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    "It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters"

    Does that include cock-ups as well?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters"

      Referring to cock-ups, it's worth noticing that they were so secretive that they failed to patent the public/private key encryption invented by Cocks, thus leaving the field open to the US.

      I wonder how many other potentiually lucrative discoveries were made by GCHQ and suppressed in the supposed interest of security?

  52. JohnG Silver badge

    "undesirable nudity"?

    "...between three and 11 per cent of the obtained Yahoo! webcam pics contained "undesirable nudity"."

    I take it that this means about 7% of the Yahoo! webcam pics were of naked fat people. By implication, some of the Yahoo! webcam pics most have contained "desirable nudity" but they haven't given a percentage.

  53. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Happy

    How it all goes down.....

    Realistic GCHQ Simulator

  54. Patriot

    Voyeurism

    Voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature.

    The principal characteristic of voyeurism is that the voyeur does not normally relate directly with the subject of his/her interest, who is often unaware of being observed. Voyeurism may involve the making of a secret photograph or video of the subject during an intimate activity. When the interest in a particular subject is obsessive, the behavior may be described as stalking.

    To define voyeurism, see NSA and GCHQ.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Prat-and-rot Re: Voyeurism

      "....To define voyeurism, see NSA and GCHQ." What your typical, sheeple, paranoiad-delusional bleating fails to grasp is that a voyeur's prime goal is the sexual gratification of the act, whilst the prime goal of the NSA and GCHQ is to preserve the rights that idiots like you have to self-delude yourself. It's rather ironic that you are able to post your dribblings with almost certain safety from terrorist attack due to the same actions that you mindlessly attack.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Prat-and-rot Voyeurism

        "...whilst the prime goal of the NSA and GCHQ is to preserve the rights that ..." they are trampling over? A la "We had to burn the town to save the town"?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Prat-and-rot Voyeurism

        "What your typical, sheeple, paranoiad-delusional bleating fails to grasp is that a voyeur's prime goal is the sexual gratification of the act, whilst the prime goal of the NSA and GCHQ is to preserve the rights that idiots like you have to self-delude yourself."

        What a delightfully innocent little creature you are if you actually believed that. :)

        "It's rather ironic that you are able to post your dribblings with almost certain safety from terrorist attack due to the same actions that you mindlessly attack."

        I think that's a variation of the "We fought a war for the likes of you blah blah."

        Are you terrified this group of SEL's could actually win an election? LMFAO at that idea.

        Sounding a bit paranoid there Mattie, if you don't mind me saying so.

        IRL The real reason most people in the UK live free of the fear of islamist terrorists is because there are actually so damm few of them to begin with. In 2007 MI5 said they were watching 2000 suspects. The 2010 UK population was 62.3million

        That's 0.003% of the UK population who might possibly, maybe, perhaps actually do something, eventually. Ever heard the phrase "Freedom is the right to be uncomfortable?"

        It's not just disproportionate to the size of the threat it's grossly disproportionate to actual threat.

        More damage and probably more lives will be lost in the next 10 years of extreme weather in the UK than by any real terrorist incidents. In fact the total of UK terrorist deaths 2000-2012 was 59, less than the number of people who die in botched DIY annually Lee Rigby's death would bring that up to 60 in 14 years.

        I don't expect those figures to change your mind. The only question left is why won't they change your mind?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: John Smith IQ of 0.19 Re: Prat-and-rot Voyeurism

          ".....because there are actually so damm few of them to begin with....." So first you insist they don't exist, then you insist they are tiny in number and irrelevant (the families of the victims of the London Tube bombings would probably disagree). What, don't you read beyond the sports page of the Daily Mirror? Try reading a bit of foreign news before you so blissfully ignore the threat.

          "....It's not just disproportionate to the size of the threat it's grossly disproportionate to actual threat...." 1560 people murdered by Islamic terrorists in twenty countries in February this year alone. If you want to insist the threat does not exist, and that the actions of the security services do not protect you here, I suggest you go take a trip to one of those countries without those protections currently suffering the realities of Islamic terror. You'll soon find those political blinkers of yours are SFA use in protecting you. Go on, please do insist that you would feel safe to walk around Homs, Tikrit, Peshawar, etc., bleating your drivel.

  55. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  56. Piro
    WTF?

    What terrorist would use a webcam?

    How on earth is a secret conversation aided by an unencrypted video feed?

    No terrorist worth his salt would use a webcam. What purpose would showing yourself possibly serve in the context of a private conversation?

    This was worthless data from day dot. Seriously, I'm surprised it wasn't higher than 11% nudity.

    How is this legal or justified? We are being ruled by idiots, perverts and power hungry idiotic perverts. Also, those who follow them and just nod their head because PAEDOPHILES and TERRORISTS.

    I don't think this will ever stop, because political will is as limp as a paedophile in an retirement home.

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